July : Collected earl and his wife from their hotel and
headed towards Kaeng Krachan arriving at the park gate at about
Usually a few
common forest birds can be seen at the park gate whilst paying for
the tickets, but on this occasion an ominous sign was a complete
lack of even the most common species.
Making a few
stops along the access road at spots which are usually reliable
for a nice variety of forest species turned up very little; a few
Stripe-throated Bulbuls, lots of Common Tailorbirds with young,
Striped Tit Babblers and an Olive-backed Sunbird. Usually the first
few hours of light are the most active for the birds, but on this
day the weather was very cool and cloudy with little insect activity
which often makes for slow birding. Despite a very quiet first few
hours we eventually made a couple of productive stops with a pair
of Red-and-black Broadbills seen nicely, 4 noisy Great Slaty Woodpeckers
watched on dead trees for 5 minutes or more, a Black-thighed Falconet
and later a family group of Collared Falconets - all very nice birds.
As the sun began
to come out at about 9.30am things picked up and we added Greater
Racket-tailed Drongo, Bronzed Drongo, Scarlet Minivet, Ochraceous
Bulbul, Sultan Tit and Crested Serpent Eagle to the list of sightings
but it wasn't until reaching Ban Krang campsite that we had our
first mixed flcok of birds. Here a small group of photographers
alerted us to a small bird wave in which we had superb and very
close-up views of Blue-winged Leafbird, Great Iora, Ruby-cheeked
Sunbird, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Sultan Tit, Large Woodshrike, Silver-breasted
Broadbill alongside more Striped Tit Babblers and Ochraceous Bulbuls.
An hour here was well spent and as we were heading to the canteen
for some lunch I spotted a Banded Bay Cuckoo sitting on a stump
- this is a bird I don't see too often and it was very interesting
to see that it was a juvenile and being fed by a pair of Common
Ioras. These birds gave us very confiding views at a distance of
just a few feet and presented earl with plenty of photo opportunities.
Lunch gave us
a well-earned rest and the chance to look at the nice collection
of bird photos that the staff keep in an album.
At 1pm the gate
for going uphill opens and we drove the short distance to stream
1 where we stopped the vehicle and continued on foot. Although it
was warmer and more humid by this time it was still surprisingly
bearable and whilst birding was still releatively slow, we continued
to pick off new species. A pair of tiny Black-backed Kingfishers
was a highlight as they fed their almost fully grown young at a
spot just beyond stream 2. Another excellent bird was a White-browed
Piculet that performed for us as we were watching a Leaf Monkey
drinking from the stream and a calling Eared Pitta was too far away
to locate but was very vocal a short distance after stream 2.
A calling Blue
Pitta lured us down a side trail but despite being within 20 feet
of it on 3 occasions we, frustratingly, got not even a glimpse of
the bird. However, this side trail, which is on the right between
streams 2 and 3, produced some other good birds
and is worth exploring; we saw 3 Crested Jays along here, a species
infrequently encountered, 2 Lesser Necklaced Laughinghtrushes and
several Greater Racket-tailed Drongos.
With the day
drawing to a close we began to head back to the car but the remarkable
sight of a Green Magpie repeatedly attacking Leaf Monkeys made us
stop a little longer and this also gave us time to take in 2 Red-bearded
Bee-eaters. A stop at Ban Krang gave us a superb view of a Great
Hornbill flying past and 3 Oriental Hornbills gathering to roost
and one last stop along the access road revealed a single Common
Back to Ban
Maka for a well-deserved dinner although a complete absence of Large-tailed
Nightjars where they had been abundant just 6 weeks before was a
Red Junglefowl: A number of groups
2. Silver Pheasant: 1 male
Crawfordi at KK.
3. Lesser Whistling Duck: A
few small groups at TBJ.
4. Little Grebe: 1 at KK
& 1 on a nest at TBJ.
Piculet: 1 at KK.
6. Common Flameback: 1, KK.
7. Great Slaty Woodpecker: 4
seen feeding along access road, KK.
8. Coppersmith Barbet: 6
in a tree near Ban Maka, KK.
9. Oriental Pied Hornbill: Several
10. Great Hornbill: 3, KK.
11. Wreathed Hornbill: 2
flyover groups of 3 and 7, KK.
12. White-throated Kingfisher: 1,
KK, several TBJ.
13. Black-backed Kingfisher: A
group of 4, K.
14. Red-bearded Bee-eater:
15. Blue-bearded Bee-eater: 2
16. Green Bee-eater: Several,
17. Blue-tailed Bee-eater: Several,
Lesser Coucal: Several on the drive
19. Greater Coucal: 1, TBJ.
20. Banded Bay Cuckoo: 1
21. Asian Koel: 2 females,
22. Green-billed Malkoha: 2,
23. Indian Roller: Abundant,
near KK, TBJ.
24. Dollarbird: 4, KK.
25. Germain's Swiftlet: A
26. Asian Palm Swift: Common,
27. Brown-backed Needletail: A
large flock over the pond near park entrance, KK.
28. Grey-rumped Treeswift: 2,
29. Rock Pigeon: TBJ.
30. Spotted Dove: KK, TBJ.
31. Red-collared Dove: Abundant,
32. Peaceful (Zebra) Dove: Abundant,
33. Emerald Dove: 2 flypast,
34. White-breasted Waterhen: 1,
KK & 1, TBJ
35. Greater Painted Snipe:
A pair, TBJ.
36. Pheasant-tailed Jacana: 2,
37. Bronze-winged Jacana: 8,
including 3 small chicks, TBJ.
38. Black-winged Stilt: Many,
39. Oriental Pratincole: 1,
40. Red-Wattled Lapwing: 1,
KK, several, TBJ.
41. Brahminy Kite: 4,
42. Crested Serpent Eagle: 1,
43. Black-shouldered Kite: 1,
44. Collared Falconet: 4
in a family group, KK.
45. Black-thighed Falconet: 1,
46. Little Cormorant: A
47. Little Egret: 1, KK,
common at TBJ.
48. Great Egret: Common,
49. Cattle Egret: Common
at Ban Maka & TBJ.
50. Purple Heron: 8-9, TBJ.
51. Javan Pond Heron: Common,
Night Heron: A few, KK.
53. Yellow Bittern:
54. Cinnamon Bittern:
55. Black Bittern: 2, TBJ.
56. Asian Openbill Stork: Very
57. Black-and-red Broadbill: A
58. Silver-breasted Broadbill: Several
59. Banded Broadbill: 1,
60. Blue-winged Leafbird:
A few, KK.
61. Asian Fairy Bluebird: A
few at KK.
62. Long-tailed Shrike:
63. Black Drongo:
64. Ashy Drongo: 1mouhoti,
65. Bronzed Drongo: Common,
66. Spangled (Hair-crested) Drongo: 5
or 6, including several juveniles, KK.
67. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo: A
few , KK.
68. Large-billed Crow: 2,
69. Crested Jay: 3, KK.
70. Green Magpie: 1 attacking
Leaf Monkeys, KK.
Minivet: 2 males, 1 female, KK.
72. Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike: 2,
73. Pied Fantail:
74. Common Iora: 2, KK.
75. Great Iora: 4, KK.
76. Black-naped Monarch: 2
77. Large Woodshrike: 1,
78. Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher: 1,
79. Oriental Magpie Robin: A
few, KK, TBJ.
80. White-rumped Shama: 1
81. Ashy Woodswallow: Common,
82. Asian Pied Starling: Numerous,
83. Common Myna: Common,
84. White-vented Myna: Common,
85. Sultan Tit: 3,
86. Barn Swallow: A few,
87. Sooty-headed Bulbul: A
few near Ban Maka.
88. Stripe-throated Bulbul: Several,
89. Streak-eared Bulbul: A
few, KK & TBJ.
90. Grey-eyed Bulbul: A few,
91. Ochraceous Bulbul: Many,
92. Plain Prinia: Many, TBJ.
93. Common Tailorbird: Abundant,
94 Lesser-necklaced Laughingthrush: 2,
95. Abbott's Babbler: 1,
96. Puff-throated Babbler:
97. Striped Tit Babbler: Common,
98. Rufous-fronted Babbler:
99. White-bellied Yuhina: 2,
100. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird: Several,
101. Olive-backed Sunbird: 1m,
102. Indochinese Bushlark: 1
near Ban Maka, 2 at TBJ.
103. Eurasian Tree Sparrow: Many,TBJ.
104. Plain-backed Sparrow: Several,
105. Streaked Weaver:
Several nesting, TBJ.
106. Baya Weaver: Common,
107. Asian Golden Weaver:
108. Scaly-breasted Munia: A