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Southern Thailand , 2-12th June 2002

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I just had the opportunity to travel with my immediate family for a 10 days journey to the South of Thailand. My father has settled there and wanted me to visit the completion of his new house. We decided to combine it with our annual vacation and make it into an experience for all. Though rains fell heavily at times, it helped to keep temperatures down and the intensity of the rainforests greenery was immense.

Here are a few short highlights from the birding side of things.
Prachuab Kirikan province, 400 km south of Bangkok. Several Black-naped Terns, resident birds, fed near shoreline. Blue-throated Bee-eater did sorties for flying insects at the resort while kids were playing at the beach. Nice stopover on our way.

Kuraburi Greenview resort some 16 kilometer north of SriPangnga National Park, Pangnga province, were to be our next stop. Very tranquil and surrounded by green lush hill slopes. Bungalows of a high standard and relatively cheap. Highly recommendable resort.

In spite of the rain in the morning I went ahead to the National park. Some 200 square kilometers of reserved forest lies within the boundaries, waiting to be discovered.This time of year the forest was very quiet though. My highlight was a flowering tree that had attracted many Bulbuls, Sunbirds and Spiderhunters. Best bird and my first lifer was Red-throated Sunbird (4th of June), a pair. This Sunbird is rare and difficult to find. My last Sunbird outside of Fire-tailed. Hairy-backed and Grey-bellied Bulbuls were also special for me as I seldom get to birdwatch down south. A young Red-bearded Bee-eater was hunting for insects in the area adding to the charm of the forest as did a Rufous-winged Flycatcher. I had intended to camp out here but was forced to seek refuge at the resort (much to everyone’s delight).

Following day, 5th of June, I went for a quick visit to the Mangrove National Park of Pangnga town. No sooner had I stepped out of the van but a Streak-breasted Woodpecker came in front of me. I was immediately greeted by several Mangrove Pittas calling from all over. It didn’t take long to track one down for better views. This was my 2nd lifer. Brown-winged Kingfisher is easy here but what caught my attention was the rather explosive whistle of something from inside the mangroves. After a bit of searching a Mangrove Whistler came in full view and my 3rd life bird was recorded.

We then spent 2 nights at an Eco-resort half an hour outside of Pangnga town. Unbeknownst to me, my father had arranged accommodations for us here only a 5 minutes drive from Song Praak waterfall, Tonpariwat wildlife sanctuary. The fall is rather large and good amounts of water whipped up a bit of a torrent down the stream. Kids enjoyed some exciting rafting and swims surrounded by hillslopes covered in rubber trees on lower levels and native trees on higher grounds. I visited the sanctuary (200 square km) and was impressed with the potential of the area. Gibbons could be heard calling and apparently many mammals can still be found. My next lifer was to be here (6th of June), a Blue-banded Kingfisher came swiftly flying up along the stream. Never got to see it perched but the ice cool blue back/rump band gave it away, along with its call. Other nice birds here was Grey-rumped and Whiskered Treeswifts as well as Lesser Green Leafbird.

One day we spent discovering the island of Phuket. It is now possible to drive along the coast line from beach to beach. This southwestern part of the island still holds patches of secondary growth and along with the many hills and beaches makes for a beautiful setting. At the cape of the island several Brown Needletails were doing acrobatics. A cup of coffee in a restaurant while enjoying my first World Cup match (Sweden-England) was another pleasure.

Then an outing the 9th of June to Ramon waterfall just outside of Pangnga town. The park is too small to be declared National Park but still enjoys protection from the Forestry department. One have to travel through many fruit orchards with trees heavily laden with rambutans, mangosteen and durian. Finally at the water fall a smaller lawn and restaurant welcomes the visitor. Along the 8 tiers waterfall (not very steep) there is a nature trail. It was just beautiful to be inside this wonderful piece of nature looking for birds. I was rewarded with my target bird and 5th lifer, Chestnut-capped Forktail. A pair of Sooty-headed Babblers came in view as well.

In the afternoon we took a boatride to James Bond island. Lots of tourists out there but still a pair of Brown-winged Kingfishers were displaying for all of us to see. A few resident Blue Rock Thrushes were seen on the limestone outcrops giving me identification problems (I was unaware of their existence).

I ended up with over 100 species for the journey which actually was a family adventure and not a birding trip. As long as I made sure everyone’s needs were taken care of it seemed that I was blessed with many special moments in God’s Glorious Creation.

Peter Ericsson
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 Birds seen while driving south and visiting Pangnga province
Little Egret
Pacific Reef Egret
Cattle Egret
Javan Pond-Heron
Little Heron
Little Cormorant
Black-winged Stilt
Black Bittern
White-breasted Waterhen
Red-wattled Lapwing
Lesser Whistling Tree Duck
Common Myna
White-vented Myna
Magpie Robin
White-rumped Shama
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Plain-backed Sparrow
Indian Roller
Zebra Dove
Spot-necked Dove
Emerald Dove
Turtle Dove
Rock Pigeon
Pink-necked Pigeon
Asian Pied Starling
Black-collared Starling
Vinous-breasted Starling
Glossy Starling
Lesser Coucal
Greater Coucal
Asian Koel
Plaintive Cuckoo
Black-shouldered Kite
Brahmy Kite
Crested Serpent-Eagle
Large-billed Crow
Asian Palm Swift
Barn Swallow
Striated Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Pacific Swallow
Grey-rumped Tree Swift
Whiskered Tree-Swift
Brown Needletail
Silver-rumped Needletail
Ashy Wood-Swallow
Edible Swiftlet
House Swift
Streak-eared Bulbul
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Sooty-headed Bulbul
Stripe-throated Bulbul
Black-headed Bulbul
Black-crested Bulbul
Hairy-backed Bulbul
Red-eyed Bulbul
Buff-vented Bulbul
Grey-bellied Bulbul
Ochraceous Bulbul
Asian Paradise Flycatcher
Grey-headed Flycatcher
Rufous-winged Philentoma
Black-naped Monarch
Verditer Flycatcher
Pied Fantail
Common Iora
Lesser Green Leafbird
Red-throated Barbet
Green-eared Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet
Abbott’s Babbler
Sooty-headed Babbler
Rufous-fronted Babbler
Striped Tit Babbler
Puff-throated Babbler
Dark-necked Tailorbird
Common Tailorbird
White-rumped Munia
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Little Green Bee-eater
Blue-throated Bee-eater
Red-bearded Bee-eater
Chestnut-capped Forktail
Rufous-winged Bushlark
Paddyfield Pipit
White-throated Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher
Blue-banded Kingfisher
Brown-winged Kingfisher
Black Drongo
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Blue Whistling Rock-Thrush
Blue Rock-Thrush
Yellow-bellied Warbler
Yellow-bellied Prinia
Grey-breasted Prinia
Streak-breasted Woodpecker
Common Flameback
Olive-backed Sunbird
Purple-naped Sunbird
Red-throated Sunbird
Ruby-throated Sunbird
Plain Sunbird
Streaked Spiderhunter
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Mangrove Pitta
Mangrove Whistler
Black-naped Tern
Asian Fairy Bluebird
Scarlet Minivet
Banded Broadbill
Ashy Tailorbird
Peter Ericsson can be contacted at
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