Sunday, July 9, 2017

Kaeng Krachan with Tim Bromilow

Day 1. After picking up Tim from his hotel, we headed straight down to Kaeng Krachan. Arriving at around 7am, we were first greeted with both Greater and Common Flameback woodpeckers, Oriental Pied Hornbills and Black Thighed Falconets. As a friend once told me, “If the day begins with a woodpecker, it will surely be a good day”. I was surely hoping this would be the case… After we had got some nice views of the woodpeckers and other birds, we headed a little further along the road adding Grey-rumped Treeswifts and an obliging juvenile Shikra.
Shikra (Juv)

We met up with Ali from The Joys of Birding at Km 14, where a pair of Black and Red Broadbills were nesting. I set up a hide for Tim, where he got some great views of this gorgeous bird. A pair of Collared Falconets also obliged for some nice views whilst they perched and dismembered an unfortunate butterfly.
Up to Ban Krang and a Black and Yellow Broadbill put in a nice appearance. After a brew of coffee and a few bickies, we notched a few more ticks, including Grey Eyed and Streak Eared Bulbuls, Asian Fairy Bluebird and Green Eared Barbet.
Along the road between the streams, a Banded Kingfisher was calling and soon seen for a few shots. An Orange Breasted Trogan was also seen and added to the growing list.
Blue Pittas were heard along the road, but were un-obliging to put in a show. With the weather stating to close in, we grabbed a light lunch at Km 18 before heading up to Panoung Thung. After a brief walk around Km27, we added a female Red-Headed Trogan to the list. Not quite as colourful as the male but nonetheless a cracking bird to see… A Ratchet Tailed Treepie and a Rusty-Naped Pitta were clearly heard, but unseen as the heavens began to open. We headed quickly back to the truck and headed up to the HQ for a coffee and a bit of shelter. Plenty of birds were showing in a fruiting tree at the HQ including Blue-Winged Leafbirds and Blue-Eared and Blue-Throated Barbets. The rain was falling heavily now so birding became pretty much impossible. We headed back down to Ban Krang where the rain had stopped and was becoming a pleasant evening. On the drive out of the park a Crested Serpent Eagle was perched nicely for some great views before it took flight. A good sized herd of 7 or 8 Guar were spotted at a water hole on the way out, but were spooked and bolted quickly back into the jungle before we could get any shots off. Back at the resort we finished the day off with some great food and a few deserved cold beers….
Red-Headed Trogon

Day 2. The next morning we headed first to Luung Sin’s where a Blue-Winged Pitta was feeding chicks. When we arrived both parent birds were continually calling with beaks laden with worms, but not actually feeding the young. I guessed they were encouraging the fledglings out. One by one all four chicks warily left the nest to be fed on the ground just out of sight. Talk about good timing and good luck!!!  If we had arrived 30 minutes later we would have found ourselves staring at an empty nest instead of witnessing this miracle of nature…
Blue-Winged Pitta

Blue-Winged Pitta

Blue-Winged Pitta

And then they were gone.........

Blue-Winged Pitta

With the birds gone, we headed to another water hole and settled in hope of a Kalij Pheasant. Scaly-Breasted Partridges, Red Jungle Fowl, Pied Fantails, Streak-Eared Bulbuls, Puff-Throated Babblers, Lesser-Necklaced Laughingthrushes and an Emerald Dove all appeared before finally three Kalij Pheasants appeared, an adult pair with a young male in tow… Very nice!!
Emerald Dove

Emerald Dove

Lesser-Necklaced Laughingthrush

Puff-Throated Babbler

Scaly Breasted Partridge

Kalij Pheasant

It was time to leave, but we made one more stop at Baan Song Nok for a coffee and some great shots of Stripe-Throated Bulbuls and Orange-Bellied Flowerpeckers.
Stripe-Throated Bulbul

Orange-Bellied Flowerpecker

We made the drive back around the Phetchaburi rice fields. One field alone produced Chinese and Javan Pond Herons, a Purple Swamphen, Watercock, Purple Heron and a White-Fronted Waterhen! All three Weavers were ticked, Baya, Streaked and Golden along with 4 Spot-Billed Pelicans passing overhead. We headed back into Phetchaburi town where the two great days birding finished. It had been another couple of great days with over 70 different species sighted and many others heard. We said our goodbyes and headed back for our respective beers…

Tim and his slow friend..
It was truly great to meet up with Tim and a privilege to bird with him. Hope we meet up again someday in the future.