Thursday, March 30, 2017

Kaeng Krachan with Donald Snook


After picking up Don from his hotel in Bangkok at 4am, we headed down to Pak Thale for the Spoon-Billed Sandpipers. Waders and other shore birds. We arrived just after first light only to find that it must have rained during the night as the track up to the pump hut was a mire of mud. I always thought you should lose weight by walking, we must have gained at least 10 kilos on that short walk!!!! Well, with so many birds into moult, the area was awash with reds, blacks and browns as the birds were changing their plumage. A huge flock of Curlews were buzzed by a male Peregrine Falcon causing them to take flight. It seemed the Eurasians were spooked and did a runner, whereas the Easterns remained calm and stayed, probing around in the mud without a care in the world. Although we ticked off 27 species here, sadly the Spoonies failed to show.

Curlews





As we drove off to Kaeng Krachan a huge flock of Painted Storks were observed, with many juveniles present.

Painted Stork
Arriving at Kaeng Krachan, we birded along the access road ticking off Blue-Bearded Bee-Eaters, Black-Thighed Falconets, Racket-Tailed Treepie, Crested Goshawk, Dollarbird and Hill Mynas along with a host of Bulbuls, Barbets and Babblers.

 Black-Thighed Falconet

Blue-Bearded Bee-Eater

Hill Myna  
After a brief walk around the campsite we had a spot of lunch and headed along the streams, ready to travel up to Km 27. After hearing a Crested Jay, we stopped to check it out, only for Don to see it sitting on a nest!!  We headed up the mountain for a great few hours birding. Hi-lights were Long-Tailed Broadbills, White-Browed Piculet, Green Magpie, Great Barbet, Mountain Imperial Pigeon and the Ratchet-Tailed Treepie. On the way out of the park we managed to spot Black and Red Broadbills and a Hawk-Cuckoo. The Hawk Cuckoo flew so quickly into the jungle we didn’t manage to get a positive id.

Day 2. We headed into the park early for a bit of hide work hoping to see the Blue Pitta. We only stayed for around an hour as time was of a premium for the morning. Sadly the Pitta was calling but didn’t show, but we were happy with the few birds that did show. The rest of the morning was spent along the track between the streams. Birds here included, Common and Large Woodshrike, Banded and Silver-Breasted Broadbills, Bar-Winged Flycatcher Shrike, Blue-Winged Leafbirds and a host of Bulbuls.
 After lunch we were treated to a great display of two Silver-Breasted Broadbills fighting, I have never seen this before, one Broadbill with the other’s beak tightly clamped in his and swing it around in the tree!!! A few final birds were Sultan Tits and Green-Eared Barbets.
Green Magpie, 

 Mountain Imperial Pigeon 

Long-Tailed Broadbill

 Ratchet-Tailed Treepie
On the way out of the park we managed to spot Black and Red Broadbills and a Hawk-Cuckoo. The Hawk Cuckoo flew so quickly into the jungle we didn’t manage to get a positive id.
Day 2. We headed into the park early for a bit of hide work hoping to see the Blue Pitta. We only stayed for around an hour as time was of a premium for the morning. Sadly the Pitta was calling but didn’t show, but we were happy with the few birds that did show. The rest of the morning was spent along the track between the streams. Birds here included, Common and Large Woodshrike, Banded and Silver-Breasted Broadbills, Bar-Winged Flycatcher Shrike, Blue-Winged Leafbirds and a host of Bulbuls.
 After lunch we were treated to a great display of two Silver-Breasted Broadbills fighting, I have never seen this before, one Broadbill with the other’s beak tightly clamped in his and swing it around in the tree!!! A few final birds were Sultan Tits and Green-Eared Barbets.
During the drive back we were treated to another great show of Brahimy Kites circling low and picking frogs from a rice paddy

Brahimy Kite
 Another great trip with 96 different species seen and 27 confirmed by sound, bringing the total to 123 birds.