Sunday, August 31, 2014


 I had seen a solitary Snipe on my way to work last week so a bit more investigating was due...With only limited time at the weekends at the moment I managed to get a couple of mornings around the rice fields. There seemed to be a sizable amount Snipes around this weekend, but trying to identify them is proving difficult... Pintail or Swinhoe is the begging question. ( I like Ayuwat's version "Swintail"). Big tail, small tail, bigger tail feathers or smaller tail feathers !!!  I am still at a loss..

Snipe 1 (small pin type tail feathers)

Snipe 2  (2 small pin type tail feathers)

Snipe 3 (A much fuller tail)

 There were also plenty of other waders / shore birds about too, These also give me a headache with identification.... I hope I got them correct !!

Chinese Pond Heron

Little Ringed Plover

Wood Sandpiper

Long Toed Stint

The first bird of the morning.. A superb Black Shouldered Kite.. Just a shame it was obscured by the tree..
Black Shouldered Kite

Hopefully I got the IDs correct and as for the Snipes..... any help as to whether Swinhoe or Pintail wold be greatly appreciated

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Kaeng Krachan (The Final Week)

 Well the school holidays have finally come to a sad end!! So, there just had to be one final trip to KK before getting back to work.. After 7 weeks of KK, Chiang Dao, Doi Inthanon, Mae Wong, Chaloem Phrakiat, Sri Phang Nga plus quite few local trips (over 6000km!!) KK seemed the only place......... I really think this is my favourite place in Thailand.. No sooner had we got to Ban Krang many birds were showing. Top of my list for this this trip were Black Backed Kingfisher and Hooded Pitta, so I was happy to be informed the BB was showing well at stream 1. Stream 1 was buzzing with activity and I soon got some of my best ever pics of the BB. Also two more lifers for the morning a Crimson Winged Woodpecker and Dusky Broadbill showed well.....

Black Backed Kingfisher

Black Backed Kingfisher

Dusky Broadbill
Crimson Winged Woodpecker


The following morning we returned for some more shots and to try to get the Hooded Pitta. Unfortunately it didn't show, but  I did manage a single Blue Pitta and a Blue Winged Pitta.

Blue Pitta
Blue Winged Pitta

There were still plenty of Broadbills about,but we didn't manage to get up to PT for the Long Tailed this time.A nice Silver Breasted was doing some construction work near the damn and the Black and Red was in and out by the crossing at Ban Krang

Black and Red Broadbill

Silver Breasted Broadbill

The final morning turned up Green Eared Barbets, a Crested Serpent Eagle and a Laced Woodpecker.
On the way back down we sat for an hour in the hide waiting for the Blue Bearded Bee-Eater that was feeding young.. Although they were heard they didn't want to show... next time!.
Overall, a rewarding 3 days. KK never disappoints.....................

Mae Wong

Koons!! Dammit!!

A trip to Mae Wong had been on the cards for a long time now and since we had a few days spare we finally got there a few weeks back.. I had researched about the resident Koon flies there, so extra protection was in order. A beautiful place to visit with some stunning scenery, but those flies!!! really a damn nuisance... So the birding... Not too much about, no signs of any Pittas or the Hornbills was a bit of a disappointment. Birds seen included; Black Throated and White Necked Laughingthrush, Buff Breasted, Streaked Wren and White Browed Shrike Babbler, Eastern Crowned Warbler, Grey Backed Shrike, Grey Cheeked Fulvetta, Grey Headed Flycatcher, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Maroon Oriole, Speckled Piculet, Velvet Fronted Nuthatch, White Throated Fantail and Yellow Cheeked Tit.

Black Throated Laughingthrush
Speckled Piculet

Velvet Fronted Nuthatch

Yellow Cheeked Tit.  

White Necked Laughingthrush

The drive back down from Chong Yen was pleasant but we only managed a couple of Blue Bearded Bee-Eaters. Sadly another dip for the Crested Kingfisher !!!

Blue Bearded Bee-Eater

I'm sure we will be back there soon, maybe October this time.. Just hope not so many flies around then......scratch scratch scratch scratch scratch !!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Chaloem Phrakiat

 Uncharted Territory

So, with the school holidays running down fast I had to check out Chaloem Phrakiat NP in Ratchaburi. I've been meaning to do this for quite a while now. I finally found this relatively unknown NP on my GPS and off we headed. Only 2 hours from BKK surprised me (closer than KK). When we arrived you could see that things are pretty basic, one toilet block was about it .... Didn't see a shower block or restaurant.. The upside to this though was we didn't really see any rubbish.


Just outside the park we stopped and watched an industrious pair of Black Bazas collecting twigs and building their nest. A fantastic bird with its majestic crest.

Black Baza

Inside the park, the drive along the lake to the first stream crossing turned up about a dozen  Blue Magpies, Streak Eared Bulbuls, Spotted Doves and a single Rufous Treepie. We also caught glimpses of unknown partridges in the bamboo undergrowth. The forest here is quite dense bamboo along this lower level making photography a real chore... For most of my pictures manual focus had to be used. Across the stream, over the damn and on to the next stream crossing didn't turn up too much, but various Barbets were calling from the treetops and a Woodpecker drumming for his lunch. There were many other birds singing and calling, but I'm not too great on song identification. The road wasn't too bad, apart from some serious erosion as you cross the damn, but a 4x4 is definitely needed to cross the river to the next level ( I think a 4x4 will be needed for all roads in this park once the rains start) I was a little apprehensive about crossing here as we were the only people in the park that day and it would have been a dam long walk back if we had got bogged down!!! So we decided to head half way back down for a spot of lunch and a coffee. Along the way back more Blue Magpies, Greater Racket -Tailed Drongos and White Rumped Shamas. So I could have kicked myself..... sitting just across the first stream in a nice little bamboo clearing drinking a nice cup of coffee a pair of White Browed Piculets hopped onto the bamboo no more than three metres in front of me... My camera was in the truck!!!!!!!!! Dammit!!!  Still a nice tick.. We left the park around 3pm and headed back. About 2km out a huge storm blew up, trees falling and only about ten metres visibility. Then another first for me in 15 years of living in Thailand.... Hail.. Yes, really hailstones.. Not big, but big enough to deafen me as they fell on the truck's tin roof... I have never seen or heard of hail in central or southern Thailand...
Overall the day was good and I have really high hopes for this place ..I will be back there next week as I think it will definitely turn up more surprises.

Rufous Treepie.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Down South

Sri Phang Nga & KK

Well after my trip up north to Chiang Dao & Doi Inthanon the other week, We decided to head down south to Sri Phang Nga for a few days. The main targets were the Malay Banded Pitta and Chestnut Naped Forktail. We arrived and checked into Khun Da Resort just outside the NP. A great place to stay if you don't want to tent it.. Air con, WI-FI and hot shower for 350bt!!! The following morning we headed into the park and soon connected with the Banded Pittas although I was being plagued with condensation on my lens. Also my meal worms had all died being left in the back of the truck for the drive down..... Luckily we managed to leech off another birder at one site. This was my first sightings of the Banded Pittas..what a stunner!!
Banded Pitta (female)

Banded Pitta (male)

Unfortunately the male didn't show too much, but the
female certainly showed well. Along the stream we saw
Blue Eared and Blue Banded Kingfishers, but only in flight so no pictures.

The following morning we went after the Chestnut Naped Forktail. A couple showed well, but tricky to get good shots as they won't stay still..... The day ended early when a large tree branch fell landing on the roof of my truck, putting dents in the roof, bonnet and wing!!!! Not a happy chap was I!!!!

Chestnut Naped Forktail

 Kaeng Krachan

A few days on the beach on the way back led us to Kaeng Krachan for a few days. The hi-light definitely being the Ratchet Tailed Treepie feeding young. I think we got this just right, as the following day it looked like the young had left the nest.. Long Tailed Broadbills were busy making their nests. The Black and Red at Ban Krang seemed to be sitting on eggs as it didn't show very often.
Nice views of Greater Yellownapes feeding young along the road. Many birds were either sitting on eggs or feeding young at this time. Lesser Racket Tailed Drongo, Red Bearded Bee-Eater, Thick Billed and Imperial Mountain Pigeon were all seen this way.
Greater Yellownape
Ratchet Tailed Treepie

Red Bearded Bee-Eater

Lesser Racket Tailed Drongo

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kaeng Krachan....

Kaeng Krachan

Yesterday was my first (and sure not the last) trip to Kaeng Krachan during the school holidays.. Always disappointed that staff there won't accept my work permit for Thai price entry.. Never had any problems at other National Parks.. Well, first sight to welcome me was a splendid Shikra (although my picture wasn't so!!) Before reaching the campsite two more lifers, Ashy Minivets and Grey Rumped Treeswifts.. Another raptor I am unsure of and a Black Baza made the drive pleasant. I am a little concerned about the road as it looks like it is being leveled to be tarmac-ed. Gonna be another rally track I'm sure!!!!!!!!! At the campsite I pitched tent and went off to look between all streams, Orange Breasted Trogon and Silver Breasted Broadbill was all I got..Seemed all a bit quiet. Driving back to camp, another lifer, a Chestnut Breasted Malkoha. Back at the campsite I contemplated packing up and heading home, after a chat with Luang Dtot I decided to call it a day... Will be back soon..

Ashy Minivet

Black Baza

Chestnut Breasted Malkoha

Grey Rumped Treeswift.


Silver Breasted Broadbill

Free At Last.....

Doi Chaing Dao and Doi Inthanon.....

So the school holidays are finally here!!!!! First trip was up to Chiang Dao, but with no real chance of any birding....(have to be good sometimes) Day 3 took us to Doi Inthanon.. As we stayed at Mr Daengs  there would be a good few chances to get out with the camera. My hunt was on for the Green and Purple Cochoa, but sadly I didn't get to see them. As this was my first time to Doi Inthanon I  managed to pull off quite a few lifers, such as Black Bulbul, Black Headed Sibia, Blue Whistling Thrush, Brown Throated Treecreeper, Silver Eared Laughingthrush, Chestnut Tailed Minla, Golden Throated Barbet, Great Tit (in Thailand), White Browed Shrike Babbler,  Fulvous Breasted Woodpecker, Pygmy Wren Babbler, Large Niltava, Orange Tailed and Black Throated Sunbird and Yellow Cheeked Tit..

Blue Whistling Thrush
Black Bulbul

Brown Throated Treecreeper
Black Headed Sibia

Golden Throated Barbet
Chestnut Tailed Minla
Great Tit

Large Niltava
White Browed Shrike Babbler

Yellow Cheeked Tit

Silver Eared Laughingthrush

                         Overall a good trip with plenty of good sightings.....