Monday, March 27, 2017

Pu Kieo Wildlife Sanctuary with Paul Farrell

I met up with Paul last week for an overnight trip to Pu Kieo. We met up at 6:30 and set off for the 3 hour drive. We arrived at about 10am and as we drove along the access road, the day’s first tick turned out to be a very nice one indeed. A pair of Collared Scops Owls just a few feet away…. 
Collared Scops Owl
Continuing the drive up we stopped a few times where Blue Pittas were heard, but not seen.
As we arrived at HQ, Eurasian Jays and Red-Billed Blue Magpies were easily observed. We checked in and headed straight to our booked hide. The morning was unusually pretty slow, but still enjoyable. We decided to take a drive around at check out some other points. Again, Blue Pittas were heard very close by but managed to stay out of sight. A Large Woodshrike put on a cool aerial display over a lake and an Osprey passed overhead with a huge fish in its talons. A trip back to the hide for a final hour or so proved to be better than the morning stint with Red-Whiskered Bulbuls, Puff-Throated Bulbuls, Sooty-Headed, Black-Headed and Black-Crested Bulbuls, White-Rumped Shama, Hainan Blue Flycatcher, Black-Throated Laughingthrush and Brown-Cheeked Fulvettas topping the bill… We called it a day after that little flurry of activity and headed for the restaurant.

Black-Crested Bulbul

Black-Throated Laughingthrush

Brown-Cheeked Fulvetta

Hainan Flycatcher

Red Whiskered Bulbul

Puff-Throated Bulbul
Day 2, we headed straight for the hide again, but nothing much was around yet, so I decided to take a walk around the HQ area. Then, just as we left the hide, there it was….. A male Siamese Fireback was staring straight at me from about 2 metres away !!  We were obviously on “his” track, as he remained staring and grunting at us as if to say ‘Get off of my track !!’

Siamese Fireback
The walk around the HQ area and access road proved rewarding with Red-Billed Blue Magpies and White-Crested Laughingthrushes showing everywhere. A Large Hawk Cuckoo perched briefly, but was gone again before I could get any decent shots off. Other bird of note seen around here were Large Cuckoo-Shrike,   Ashey Minivet, Greater and Lesser Flameback,   Common Iora, Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch, Large Woodshrike and Black-Naped Oriole.

Large Hawk Cuckoo

White-Crested Laughingthrush

Red-Billed Blue Magpie

Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch
We headed out of the sanctuary at about lunchtime and took a slow drive along the access road making a few stops along the way. An Asian Paradise Flycatcher with full tail was seen but he remained too obscured in the undergrowth for any shots.

Overall, a great couple of days birding with 50+ species recorded and a few lifers in the bag for me. It was also great to meet up with Paul. Paul was a great guy to bird with and he certainly knows his stuff at Pu Kieo. Hopefully we will meet again soon for a trip to Doi Lang and Doi San-Ju in Chiang Mai. Watch this space…………

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