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Southern Thailand & Kaeng Krachan Bird Photography Trip, 8th - 20th June 2016
 
  Bird Watching & Photography Trips:
If you need help organizing a bird watching or photography trip to Thailand, take a look at the suggested itineraries for ideas on creating a tailor-made trip and contact me for advice: Thailand bird tours.
Introduction
When Jan Hillman contacted me to arrange an early wet season photography tour he also told me that he had another Thailand birding trip planned in February 2017 that would take him to most of the regularly visited sites in Northern and Central Thailand. With this in mind we planned a trip that spent some time in the south, targeting species that were either regional specialities or species that could be found much more easily in the wet season, plus a few wet season visitors. Our targets then were to be Pittas, Broadbills, Woodpeckers and Southern specialities.
Transport
I used a 2-door Toyota Vigo which although it is not a four-wheel drive vehicle, does handle rough roads well but it was only just sufficient to get up the worst parts of the road to Panoen Tung at Kaeng Krachan. The vehicle was comfortable for two people and a lot of luggage in the rear compartment, although for more than two people another vehicle would be better. On the long drives the vehicle handled very well, was powerful and very fuel efficient.

Accommodation
Sinkiat Buri Hotel in Satun - a very clean and comfortable hotel convenient for the nearby mangroves, a nice place to spend our first night.

Ranger Station at Bala sector of Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary - very basic rooms with sleeping mats & pillows on the floor and very basic, cold water "showering facilities"; fan for cooling.
 
Phang Nga Bay Resort Hotel at Phang Nga Bay National Park - a decent hotel that has seen better days but has spectacular views over the national park. Perfectly acceptable with breakfast included, very convenient for birding the mangroves.

Kuraburi Greenview Resort at Sri Phang Nga - a pleasant hotel set in attractive grounds. Quite a walk to the restaurant from some rooms.

Ban Maka at Kaeng Krachan - always a pleasant place to stay with some nice birds in the garden.

Food
Thailand is blessed with one of the best cuisines in the world and a huge variety of food outlets means visitors never go hungry and there are plenty of things to try. Everywhere we stayed provided good food, although we did take breakfast in 7-11 stores a few times for convenience. One problem for us was that Muslims in the south were celebrating Ramadan so through our stay at Bala finding food was a problem. However, our ranger, Mr Lee, took us to a small restaurant in Ban Buketa where we were able to get nice food cooked in a very friendly environment.

Notes on Finding Birds
Birding in Southern Thailand is always difficult but at Hala-Bala Wildlife sanctuary bird abundance was quite high at times, although fairly low at others. This time of year is always about quality, not quantity and this was reflected in the excellent number of highly sought-after species we saw; so birding was usually fairly slow, with almost no flock activity but with patience we found a lot of good birds. Birding the mangroves was very rewarding and target species were easy to find and in open areas birding was typically a simple affair of scanning, although knowing exactly where to look for some specific species allowed us to find them in a short space of time.
Field Guides
1. A Field Guide to the Birds of South East Asia by Craig Robson
2. Birds of Thailand - Thai language field guide by various contributors
3. A Guide to the Large Mammals of Thailand by John Parr
Birding Highlights

Satun Mangroves: Copper-throated Sunbird, Brown-winged Kingfisher, Mangrove Pitta, Ashy Tailorbird, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Cinereous Tit
Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Bala Sector: Chestnut-naped Forktail, Scaly-breasted Bulbul, Grey-bellied Bulbul, Great Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Helmeted Hornbill, Bushy-crested Hornbill, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Orange-backed Woodpecker, Olive-backed Woodpecker, Buff-necked Woodpecker, Maroon Woodpecker, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Rufous-backed), Red-bearded Bee-eater, Black-thighed Falconet, Rufous-chested Flycatcher, Malaysian Honeyguide, Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Green Broadbill, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Finsch's Bulbul, Red-throated Sunbird, Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Buffy Fish Owl, Grey-and-buff Woodpecker, Lesser Fish Eagle
Phang Nga Bay National Park: Mangrove Pitta, White-chested Babbler, Black-and-red Broadbill, Brown-winged Kingfisher, Streak-breasted Woodpecker, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Ruddy Kingfisher
Bang Phut Mangroves: Mangrove Whistler, Brown-winged Kingfisher, Little Bronze Cuckoo, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
Sri Phang Nga National Park: Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Hooded Pitta
Khao Luk Chang: Blue-throated Bee-eater, Indian Thick-knee, Black-headed Woodpecker, Vinous-breasted Starling
Petchaburi Rice Fields: Asian Golden Weaver, Streaked Weaver, Baya Weaver, Watercock, Black Bittern, Stork-billed Kingfisher
Laem Pak Bia: Malaysian Plover, Spot-billed Pelican, Painted Stork
Kaeng Krachan: Banded Kingfisher, Great Hornbill, Black-and-red Broadbill, Banded Broadbill, Dusky Broadbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Blue Pitta, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Long-tailed Broadbill, Bamboo Woodpecker, Sultan Tit, Collared Babbler, Rufous-browed Flycatcher
Ban Maka: Blue-winged Pitta
Lung Sin Waterhole: Red-legged Crake, Bar-backed Partridge
Lung Yao Waterhole: Oriental Scops Owl, Eared Pitta

Daily Account

8th June - Hat Yai to Satun Mangroves
I met Jan at Hat Yai airport at a little after 3pm and we headed straight for the mangroves at Satun, taking around 1 hour 15 minutes to get there. We were able to get very close to several species for photographs quite quickly including Cinereous Tit, Oriental White-eye, Malaysian Pied Fantail and Copper-throated Sunbird. As usual getting the right shot of these very active birds was not easy so we spent some time with them trying to get the best photos. Employing this policy always works for photographers as wile we were photographing these birds Golden-bellied Gerygone put in an appearance although we did not have any luck with Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, this being the only known site in Thailand for this species - perhaps tomorrow? However, other species did include the nigricens race of Ashy Drongo and Brown-throated Sunbird before we decided to make the short journey to our hotel.

On the way back I spotted a Brown-winged Kingfisher sitting very close to a bridge, perched on a wire and we were able to get out of the car and approach this bird for excellent photographs - definitely the birding highlight of the afternoon as this species is usually shy and difficult to get close to.

We found a nice restaurant in Satun town for dinner before getting a good night's sleep in a comfortable bed.

9th June - Satun Mangroves to Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary - Bala Sector
After a 5.30am breakfast, courtesy of a 7-11 store, we returned to Satun mangroves at 6am and as we passed over the bridge I noticed that the Brown-winged Kingfisher from the previous afternoon was sitting in exactly the same place as we had photographed it. In the mangroves we managed to get improved shots of Cinereous Tit and Golden-bellied Gerygone before finding one of our main targets - Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker. Unfortunately, although we twice got good views of the bird we were not able to get any photographs. After some effort to refind the woodpecker we decided to move to another part of the mangroves where we quickly were able to photograph Common Iora and Ashy Tailorbird before calling in a Mangrove Pitta. Although the Pitta was easy enough to see, it was a little tricky to photograph but Jan did a good job of getting some reasonable shots of the bird - better images desired but some decent pictures in the bag - while I assured him that we should be able to do better at Ao Phang Nga.


While the birding in the mangroves was rewarding, we had other mangrove sites to pick up some of the other species and with timing of travel to Hala-Bala being very important we decided to leave at around 8.30am.

We made a few stops first at a supermarket to stock up on a few things just in case food at Bala was a problem and we also stopped at Hat Yai to eat and fill up with fuel. Due to the security issues in Pattani and Narathiwat provinces, in which we would be travelling, we did not want to be driving in the dark, so we gave ourselves plenty of time to do the journey in daylight. Particularly as we passed close to the town of Pattani there were very many military security checkpoints, some of which had soldiers wearing blast jackets and for good reason as we later found out on the news that there had been a bombing, resulting in several severe injuries, at a place we had passed through on the main highway, a few hours after we had driven through the area! However, we reached the approach road to the Wildlife Sanctuary at around 2.30pm, stopping to photograph a Javan Myna at the roadside, next to a rubber plantation. This species is a recent colonist to the very southernmost point of Thailand from Malaysia and is fairly common in the area as we were to see it on a daily basis in any open country, including the garden of the ranger station that we stayed at.  
Copper-throated Sunbird
(Photo by Nick Upton)
Arriving at the ranger station, next to the road a kilometre or so after passing into forest, I spoke to the staff and we were shown where we could stay for the next four nights. Very simple accommodation indeed, sleeping on mats on the floor with an electric fan to cool each room. Fortunately we had brought some other mats and soft blankets to make sleeping on the floor more comfortable. We were also introduced to Mr Lee, who was to be our escort for our time here as we were told it was necessary to have a ranger with us at all times. I have visited Bala before without being accompanied but knowing the ever-changing security issues here I did not argue and having an armed guard with us couldn't be a bad thing.
Heavy rain put a quick end to the birding for a while but when the rain stopped/eased we birded around the ranger station and along the road both of which proved surprisingly rewarding as the heavy cloud and light rain persisted. Our first find was a pair of Orange-backed Woodpeckers which gave good views at the top of a tree but it was a real feat of photography that allowed Jan to get some decent photos. Next was a Black-and-yellow Broadbill which perched out nicely for us right next to our rooms and then we began a walk along the road. The birding was good with Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Bushy-crested Hornbill, Crested Treeswift, Red-throated Barbet and a pair of Black-thighed Falconets all allowing photos of varying quality. The weather conditions did not seem at all conducive to good birding but we persisted anyway and turned up more birds in the form of Asian Drongo Cuckoo, a pair of Thick-billed Green Pigeons, a brief view of a Red-bearded Bee-eater and a very wet Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, the southern race with a much shorter crest than others in Central and Northern Thailand (IOC checklist indicates that this is the paradiseus subspecies in this area but also lists hypoballus; Philip D. Round suggests that it should actually be platurus).
 
Javan Myna
(Photo by Nick Upton)
The heavens opened again but with the light fading anyway it was time to go and find some food in the nearby village of Ban Buketa. Normally the rangers would cook for visitors but with it being Ramadan this was not an option, but we managed to find some interesting things to eat at a couple of food vendors stalls very close to the border crossing. Afterwards, with the rain having stopped, we decided to do some night-birding. It did not take long to locate a calling White-fronted Scops Owl but no matter what we did we could not see it and could not get the bird to move. Frustratingly we also called a Blyth's Frogmouth in close to us but could do no better than a short view of it as it scurried up into thick foliage. After more than an hour and a half of frustration we headed back for a shockingly cold shower but a well-earned rest.

10th June -
Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary - Bala Sector
Mr Lee arrived at a little after 6am but there was little activity around the ranger station so we drove the short distance to the Wildlife Research Centre. Here, in some small flowering bushes, we photographed Orange-bellied, Yellow-breasted, Crimson-breasted and Yellow-vented Flowerpeckers. Also in this area was the tame Rhinoceros Hornbill that has resided here for years and we took some photos of it feeding in a small tree just in case we did not come across a "real, wild one". We need not have worried about this as Mr Lee took us to an area, near the viewpoint, further along the road, where a pair of Rhinoceros Hornbills were nesting and we were able to enjoy superb views of this wonderful bird and get some lovely photos. Birding along the road from the viewpoint was quite rewarding in terms of the abundance of birds with Rufous Piculet, Grey-and-buff Woodpecker, Scaly-breasted Bulbul, Grey-bellied Bulbul, Brown Fulvetta and a couple of Dark-throated Orioles. Many of the birds were visiting a seeding tree and here we saw most of the commoner Bulbuls as well as one which is extremely range-restricted in Thailand - Finsch's Bulbul.

After lunch, as the weather got hotter we moved further along the road to a small stakeout next to a tiny stream where we were hoping birds would come to bathe in the heat of the day. In fact there was not much activity here, probably due to the recent rain making most of the forest wet, but we did get two really nice birds here; Chestnut-naped Forktail and a male Rufous-chested Flycatcher. While waiting here Mr Lee called to us to come back out onto the road where he had found a perched Wreathed Hornbill. Jan was able to get some excellent photos of this wonderful bird which although is relatively common, I seldom see it perched.

Our next excursion was to a nearby temple set in some nice lowland forest. It was really hot and there was not a lot of bird activity but we did see several Moustached Babblers and Brown Fulvettas as well as our only sighting of Buff-necked Woodpecker. There were several Purple-naped Sunbirds as well as Yellow-breasted Flowerpeckers and a nice flypast view of a Blue-banded Kingfisher. Birding down a trail from the back of the temple we only located one species, but what a bird it was - Red-bearded Bee-eater. A family group performed nicely for us and Jan was able to first get photographs of the juveniles before getting some stunning shots of the adult male.

Heading back towards the Wildlife Research Centre we said goodbye to Mr Lee for the day and did some birding next to the river. We very quickly called in a pair of Black-and-red Broadbills which were followed by a Blue-throated Bee-eater and then a magnificent Lesser Fish Eagle in flight, low across the river. As the light began to fade we heard the call of several Crimson-winged Woodpeckers which we managed to get decent views of but unfortunately the light was not good enough to get any good images. We decided to go and get some food in the village and then returned to try again for night birds. At the same spot as the previous night we again heard White-fronted Scops Owl but still could not see it but further up the road we came across a Slow Loris crossing the road. Back at the ranger station we called in a Reddish Scops Owl but once again it managed to prevent us from actually seeing it - extremely frustrating and quite unlucky as this was the third species of nocturnal bird that we had gone out to look for, found but could not actually see. Further frustration was provided by Oriental Bay Owl which called repeatedly in the far distance as I was in the shower; most birders will be familiar with this sort of thing!

11th June - Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary - Bala Sector
On this morning we were to cross the stream at the Wildlife Research Centre and walk on the 1500m trail where many of the rarest species occur. Mr Lee knew the singing tree of Malaysian Honeyguide and with this being an extremely difficult bird to find this was our top priority, at least it was until we heard Malaysian Rail Babbler calling! This bird was quite close an repeatedly calling but Mr Lee insisted that we did not use call playback which meant that seeing it was pot luck. We tried hard to spot it but as time dragged on Mr Lee told us that we needed to be in place for the Honeyguide so on we went. The trail became almost impossible to follow and we would have never continued on our own but as we approached the right place we heard the Honeyguide calling. The peculiar sound uttered by this bird proved hard to locate and although we could isolate which tree it was coming from it took quite some time before I spotted it sitting on a branch in the lower canopy. We were able to watch the Malaysian Honeyguide for more than half an hour as it called and shifted its spot so as to project its voice over a wide area. Luckily for us it never left the same perch and we were able to get lots of photos of it, although only a few were any good. We left him on his calling spot and did some birding along the way back. Birding is difficult along thick forest trails but we found Sultan Tit, Rufous-crowned Babbler, Chestnut-winged Babbler and a wonderful Green Broadbill. A little activity produced both Lesser and Greater Green Leafbirds bathing in a pool in the fork of a tree as well as a Chestnut-rumped Babbler. The Rail Babbler was still calling but got ever further away but a short burst of call playback brought in a nice male Rufous-chested Flycatcher before we exited the trail, left the leeches behind and went for lunch.
Most of the afternoon was spent close to the View Point along the road. First of all we sat in hide where several small birds came to bathe including Buff-vented Bulbul, a female Pale-blue Flycatcher, Grey-eyed Bulbul, Everett's White-eye and White-rumped Shama but it was along the road that we could hear the call of Helmeted Hornbill. This Endangered species was very high on our wish list but despite 3-4 birds calling and having a good vista across the forest, we could not spot them. In the meantime we saw Grey-and-buff Woodpecker, Verditer Flycatcher, Cinereous Bulbul and one of my target birds - Checker-throated Woodpecker. Our attention was back on the Hornbills as their calls grew louder and finally Mr Lee spotted one scanning through the 'scope. We got great views of this bird and using his 2x converter jan somehow got great photos of it, sitting out in perfect light. With this success and the rain looking imminent we headed back to our rooms, having time to stop for Maroon Woodpecker along the way before the rain set in for the night.

12th June - Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary - Bala Sector
Our first stop of the day was to be the To Mo Community Forest Trail. This was a 30 minute drive from HQ and even as we started our walk it was already getting hot. The birding was fairly slow but over the course of the morning we found some nice species. A group of Woodpeckers included Olive-backed, Buff-rumped and Crimson-winged while Bulbuls included Grey-cheeked, Spectacled, Hairy-backed and Ochraceous Bulbuls. A few birds were active in the lower strata of the forest with a couple of Rufous-winged Philentomas and a Ferruginous Babbler being seen, although perhaps the highlight of the outward bound walk was Buffy Fish Owl. At the end of the trail there is a small dam where Pacific Swallows were flying around and also a seeding tree which was attracting many birds. Sitting and waiting at this tree produced a couple of rare species in the form of Red-throated Sunbird and Finsch's Bulbul. Other birds included Grey-bellied Bulbul, Hairy-backed Bulbul, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Lesser Cuckooshrike, Purple-naped Sunbird, Red-eyed Bulbul and several other species. As we walked back to the car we continued to see more birds including some Black-and-red Broadbills with recently fledged young. Blue-banded Kingfisher was seen flying down the stream and we also had a glimpse of a female Rufous-collared Kingfisher in flight although we could not relocate it.
 
Malaysian Honeyguide
(Photo by Nick Upton)
 

Oriental Dwarf (Rufous-backed) Kingfisher
(Photo by Nick Upton)
As we drove through the forest, heading for lunch, I heard a call that I thought was Crested Jay. Stopping the car, we failed to locate a Crested Jay but did turn up a pair of Silver-breasted Broadbills and by listening for the high-pitched call I was able to spot an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, the rufous-backed version of the bird; two superb species.

After lunch we took a walk along trail next to the second bridge, where others had seen Red-naped Trogon. We did not have any luck with this bird although we did see a couple of Black-bellied Malkohas. Back on the road we found Verditer Flycatcher and some Blue-throated Bee-eaters but once again the rain began to set in and we were forced to retreat to our accommodation.

13th June - Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary - Bala Sector to Phang Nga
Our final morning at Bala was to be a short one to give us sufficient time to make the long drive to Phang Nga. We had breakfast down at the Wildlife Research Centre as it was getting light and then crossed the stream to bird the 1500m trail, giving ourselves around an hour to try and locate the Rail Babbler. At first we did not hear it but as we waited the call of a Scarlet-rumped Trogon sounded some distance behind us. Using a little call playback the bird gradually came closer to us until we spotted it quite high up but in excellent light, giving us great views of this stunning bird and Jan managed to get some good photos. Eventually we heard the Rail Babbler calling but it was some distance away and although we gave it some time the sound was always going further away and we were forced to give up so that we had time to pass through the troubled areas safely. Certainly it had been worth the effort, wet feet and leeches to see what was one of Jan's most-wanted birds.

The remainder of the day was taken up with travel. We had been making good time but as we approached Krabi there were large amounts of roadworks and the heavens opened for around 4 hours of heavy rain, both of which slowed us down considerably and although we made it to Phang Nga by about 4.30pm the rain did not ease up and we were left to look forward to the next morning.
14th June - Phang Nga Mangroves to Sri Phang Nga National Park
We had our breakfast at 5,30am in the car park opposite the Phang Nga Bay Resort Hotel (breakfast there is not served until 6.30am) and discovered that we had lucked out by siting ourselves right next to a fruiting tree. Now, when I think of mangroves I do not normally think of fruiting trees but this one made our morning one of the best of our trip for both birding and photography. In the space of one hour we managed to get very good photos of Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Olive-winged Bulbul, Asian Glossy Starling, Coppersmith Barbet, Brown-throated Sunbird, Black-hooded Oriole, Streak-breasted Woodpecker and even Oriental Pied Hornbill feeding in this tree. Add to that several Rufous-bellied Swallows and Pacific Swallows on wires and that was a lot of images for us to process once we got back home.

It was a little difficult to pull ourselves away from this spectacle but there were other good birds to try and find, so we relocated a short distance away and very soon we had some nice photo opportunities with White-chested Babbler, a rare bird in Thailand. Mangrove Pitta was the real target and it did not take much longer to see one sitting nicely on some mangrove roots for us and then we got really fortunate with a lovely Ruddy Kingfisher behaving in exactly the same way and staying settled for some minutes; possibly my best ever view of this shy bird.

Jan was still looking for the highest quality shots of Mangrove Pitta so we moved along to the Ao Phang Nga National Park HQ where it did not take long to call in a very obliging Mangrove Pitta which gave Jan the photographs he was looking for. Ashy Tailorbird and Black-and-red Broadbill also gave us some variety along with a juvenile Large-billed Crow, posing in the open.

Mangroves at nearby Ban Bang Phut have a slightly different set of birds which can be found than at Ao Phang Nga HQ so we took a short drive to this location, stopping in a village along the way to photograph a couple of Jungle Mynas in someone's back yard! Parking the car we were able to get superb photographs of a pair of Pacific Swallows attending their young before walking along the road with mangroves on either side.
 
Oriental Pied Hornbill
(Photo by Nick Upton)
 

Mangrove Pitta
(Photo by Nick Upton)
We were able to photograph some of the commoner birds quite quickly; Golden-bellied Gerygone, Scaly-breasted Munia, oriental White-eye and Collared Kingfisher before calling in a Mangrove Whistler. The general level of activity was quite high and a Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker performed very nicely for us before a couple of Little Bronze Cuckoos alerted us to their presence with quite a commotion. We also tracked down a couple of Brown-winged Kingfishers before we decided that that the heat was getting a bit too much for us and that lunch was beckoning.

We had a very tasty lunch at the restaurant at Ao Phang Nga HQ before starting our drive to Sri Phang Nga National Park which we hoped to reach in time to do some birding there. Unfortunately the rain came down extremely hard again for the remainder of the day, slowing us down to a crawl at times and even when we had checked in to Kuraburi Greenview the rain did not let up, in fact it rained all through the night.

15th June - Sri Phang Nga National Park to Hua Hin
The rain was only just easing off as we entered Sri Phang Nga National Park at 6am. Having breakfast in the campsite we spotted 2 Wallace's Hawk Eagles perched in surrounding trees before hearing a calling Rufous-collared Kingfisher behind some of the buildings. With some effort we closed in on the calling bird, climbing through bamboo and receiving many mosquito bites before spotting the female and being able to photograph it. Shortly afterwards we were on the track of a Banded Woodpecker which was calling nearby but this was trumped by the call of Hooded Pitta in the bamboo behind the toilet block. We quickly headed in that direction and it did not take long before we had excellent views of a pair of Hooded Pittas and some nice photos too. With this excellent start under our belts we bought our tickets at 8am and drove up the track to start walking up the trail to the Malayan Banded Pitta stakeout. We got our feet well and truly soaked, crossing the stream four times and were joined by a group of Thai photographers at the Pitta stakeout. The very moment we put the mealworms in the log, where the Pitta usually appears, it began to rain - hard! We waited it our for 1.5 hours when it began to stop but despite waiting all morning the Pitta was a no-show; very annoying. Abbott's Babbler, White-rumped Shama, Common Treeshrew and several lizards came to eat the mealworms but as it got close to midday we had to leave in order to make another long drive towards Hua Hin for the next leg of our trip.

After lunch the remainder of the day was taken up with driving to Hua Hin. There were road works almost the whole way which made an 7 hour drive turn into an 8-9 hour journey which was very frustrating at times, travelling at speeds as low as 30kmph. However, on arrival at Hua Hin we checked into a comfortable hotel and enjoyed a nice dinner.
16th June - Khao Luk Chang & Petchaburi Wetlands
With an early breakfast we arrived at Khao Luk Chang a little before 7am which turned out to be a bit too early for any bird activity. However, as things warmed up birds began to show themselves with Lineated Barbet, Puff-throated Babbler, Hair-crested Drongo and Rufous Treepie all showing themselves. Our main target was Black-headed Woodpecker and it proved to be a difficult bird to get a good sighting of but with much persistence we finally got some decent views and Jan did well to some nice photographs of it. During our hunt for Black-headed Woodpecker we were also able to observe and photograph both Spotted Owlet and Asian Barred Owlet.

Leaving the woodland at Khao Luk Chang we walked to an open area where there is a sand quarry and a young eucalypt plantation which provides the habitat enjoyed by nesting Bee-eaters. Large numbers of Blue-tailed Bee-eater were easily seen along with smaller numbers of Green Bee-eater. However, it was not easy getting close enough for photographs so we just stood under the shade of a tree and waited, eventually some Blue-tailed Bee-eaters came close enough. Among the commoner species there were also a few Blue-throated Bee-eaters, at the northern limit of their range in the peninsula here. Another target here was Indian Thick-knee which we found with ease and managed to creep close enough to photograph although only in flight as some stray dogs flushed the birds. With the heat becoming hard to deal with we returned to the car to drive to the next location, Petchaburi Rice Fields.

We arrived around lunchtime but nesting colonies of Asian Golden Weaver and Baya Weaver proved too tempting to photograph. Another postponement of lunch occurred when we came across a freshly flooded rice field which contained huge numbers of Javan Pond Herons and Eastern Cattle Egrets, most of them looking very handsome in breeding plumage. Among them was one out-of-season Chinese Pond Heron, very easy to pick out due to its much darker neck colouration at this time of year.
 
Asian Barred Owlet
(Photo by Nick Upton)
 

Javan Pond Heron
(Photo by Nick Upton)
Having enjoyed these birds we had lunch in a nearby local restaurant and then visited some fish ponds close to Wat Khao Takrao where we found good numbers of Spot-billed Pelicans and Painted Storks. We were also able to get good photos of a very inquisitive Yellow-bellied Prinia as well as several of the common open-country birds such as Red Collared Dove. Moving back to the rice fields we went looking for one of our main targets; Watercock. We started by looking for rice fields where the rice was just about the right height for a Watercock to see above the vegetation and it did not take more than a few moments to spot one. We drove further up the road to get closer to it and although we had great views through the 'scope it was never really close enough to photograph so we drove on, hoping to find another one, closer to the road. Luckily for us it seemed that a lot of rice had been planted at the same time so it did not take much driving to find some more suitable habitat and as we were photographing an Asian Openbill I spotted another distant Watercock but this time there was an access track leading closer to it so we quickly drove along the track and got quite close to a nice Watercock that pocked its head above the rice many times and eventually came fairly close to us while we used the car as a hide.

With this success I took Jan to look for Stork-billed Kingfisher and we got very lucky with it sitting on a wire, in good light, close to the road. Other species included Bronze-winged Jacana, Purple (Black-backed) Swamphen, Purple Heron, Black Bittern and lots more Baya & Asian Golden Weavers. We finished our time in the rice fields with a visit to a Streaked Weaver colony before it began to rain which was our prompt to move on to Laem Pak Bia. After about a 25 minute drive we entered the King's Project where we got extremely close to Spot-billed Pelicans and Painted Storks as well as seeing an out-of-season Grey Heron and a couple of Caspian Terns. Hanging around a muddy ditch resulted in a sighting of Ruddy-breasted Crake and lots of Little Terns provided some entertainment. With a long drive to our accommodation at Ban Maka we decided to cut our visit a little short and head off.
17th June - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Our first, and much-hoped-for, bird of the day was a Blue-winged Pitta feeding outside the restaurant of Ban Maka while we had breakfast. Unfortunately, it was still too dark for the best photos so we waited for the light to improve. With improvement of the light so came more people and the Pitta disappeared! I knew that we would be able to see this bird again so we headed into the forest, keen to make the most of the morning. The weather was overcast and oppressive and this made birding a bit difficult throughout the morning, but we did find some nice birds including Oriental Pied Hornbill, Sultan Tit, Black-and-red Broadbill, Greater Flameback, Common Flameback, Orange-breasted Trogon, Rufous Woodpecker, Green-eared Barbet, Green-billed Malkoha and Silver-breasted Broadbill most of which we were able to get images of. At Km 9 a calling Blue Pitta caught our attention but due to the very thick vegetation it was in we only managed brief glimpses of the bird.

Our plan in the afternoon was to visit Lung Sin Waterhole so we went back to Ban Maka for lunch, giving ourselves time to photograph the Blue-winged Pittas while we ate. This plan turned out to be a good one with a single Blue-winged Pitta showing itself nicely, in good light and approaching us to quite a short distance. With this success we drove the short distance to Lung Sin Waterhole.

On entering the hide there was a short rain shower but it did not last very long and soon several species of bird and mammal came out; Black-crested Bulbul, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Puff-throated Babbler, Grey-bellied Squirrel and Lesser Mouse Deer. Activity was a little less than usual, probably due to the rain shower, but over the course of the afternoon we added Racket-tailed Treepie, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, White-rumped Shama, Malaysian Pied Fantail, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Red Junglefowl and a pair of stunning Bar-backed Partridges. The real prize, however, were a pair of Red-legged Crakes which came in at around 5.15pm but were scared off by the sound of a camera shutter. Luckily for us they returned at around 6pm and the male settled into the pool to bathe and later both male and female fed to the rear of the viewing area. As the light faded we took the opportunity to go back and take a shower before having a nice dinner.
 
Blue-winged Pitta
(Photo by Nick Upton)
 

Red-legged Crake
(Photo by Nick Upton)
18th June - Kaeng Krachan National Park
More or less clear skies indicated that the activity levels in the forest could be higher this morning and certainly the light would be better. Our first stop was at Km 9 and at a fruiting tree Jan was able to get photos of many of the same birds that we had seen the previous day in bad light - Green-eared Barbet, Thick-billed Green Pigeon and, best of all, 2 Great Hornbills sitting in perfect light in a wonderful, golden-leaved tree, a fantastic sight. As we were enjoying these birds a Banded Kingfisher began to call and it did not take long to locate it sitting in an exposed tree. Although it was a female it was still a very welcome bird and made for nice images.

We were still searching for some of the Broadbills so we made a stop at Bang Krang campsite to search for them but to no avail! However, a group of Thai photographers alerted us to some activity where a pair of Sultan Tits were posing nicely and while we were enjoying these a Malayan Sun Bear walked out of the forest but ran away again pretty quickly when he saw the crowd of admirers. Further along the road we stopped close to the first stream and walked back towards the campsite when finally a Banded Broadbill began to call. It took a little time to locate but we ended up with excellent views and some good photos. At the same spot some Dusky Broadbills began to call and we spotted them in the treetops, making photos very difficult indeed but somehow Jan managed to get some good shots. Walking along the road we were hoping for another Orange-breasted Trogon as the one we saw the previous day was sitting in bad light. With some patience we eventually managed to track down a nice male and get some good shots of it and a pair of Chestnut-breasted Malkohas was another welcome sighting. With a successful morning behind us we decided to follow up a tip-off about Eared Pitta at the Lung Yao Waterhole in the afternoon.

After lunch we arrived at Lung Yao Waterhole at around 2pm. Sitting in the hide did not produce many sightings and with mosquitos being extremely difficult to ignore I walked back to the vehicle to get some more insect repellent. On the way back I played Eared Pitta calls and got a response close to the hide. Unfortunately the bird began to move away so we followed it down the trail. Over the course of the next hour and a half we kept hearing it call and kept getting the briefest of glimpses before I saw it hopping away from us near the trail. After some waiting it eventually crossed the trail, giving us clear but brief views. It re-crossed the trail twice more, and each time we saw it with the naked eye, clearly but briefly. Eventually we lost track of the bird and went back to the hide where we saw Malaysian Pied Fantail, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Crimson Sunbird, Stripe-throated Bulbul, White-rumped Shama, Puff-throated Babbler and a pair of White-rumped Munias all coming in to bathe. The final act though was just as it was getting dark when an oriental Scops Owl came in and sat in the tree in front of us just as I had been told it would do - a fantastic sighting. On our way out to the car we also saw 2 Large-tailed Nightjar hunting for a nice ending to a very good day.
19th June - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Blue Pitta was our big target for the morning so we drove straight into the moist forest close to the stream crossings where the forest is most mature and the viewing opportunities for ground birds are at their highest. The first few trails we tried turned up a few Silver-breasted Broadbills but no answer from Blue Pitta. Stopping at another spot we immediately got lucky with a calling Blue Pitta very close to the road. We peered into a nice area for viewing and within a few minutes we could see a nice female in the undergrowth. It was not really photographable but we were lucky as this bird repeatedly moved around in the forest close to us. At one point it was in the open very close to us but in one of those "moments" we somehow failed to photograph it. Still, it kept coming into view and a little later Jan was able to get some decent shots. We noticed that it repeatedly came to sit on the same log so setting up a blind Jan sat and waited while I watched from further back. After around half an hour the bird called again and I watched as it hopped towards Jan's hiding spot and sat on the log right in front of him - excellent! This exciting episode had taken up most of the morning so we went back to Bang Krang campsite for lunch.

At 1pm the road up to the higher elevations of the national park was opened and we drove up to Km 27-28. The state of the road was appalling, by far the worst I have ever seen, and we struggled to get up it in a non-4-wheel drive vehicle. Having already seen and photographed six of Thailand's seven species of Broadbill we were keen to add Long-tailed for the complete set. Despite there being numerous nests in the area we did not see any of this amazing species, probably mostly because of the intermittent rain and heavy cloud. Over the course of the afternoon the birding was very slow indeed but we did find a few species including Blue-throated Barbet, Red-headed Trogon, Black-throated Sunbird and Rufous-browed Flycatcher. However, at around 3.30pm the rain really came down hard and although we waited in the car it never looked like stopping so we headed back downhill. By the time we reached Km 9 the rain was down to a few bits of drizzle so we stopped, immediately finding a group of 6 Black-thighed Falconets which were close enough and good enough light for some nice photos.

20th June - Kaeng Krachan National Park - Laem Pak Bia - Wat Komnaram to Bangkok
Our last morning at Kaeng Krachan was spent by taking another drive to Km 27.5 to look for Long-tailed Broadbill. After parking the car we were alerted to a nearby Mountain Imperial Pigeon by its call and while we were taking photos of this the Long-tailed Broadbills gave themselves away with their contact call. We were able to get good views but photographs were not easy and as they disappeared into the forest we moved along to look for more. Rufous-browed Flycatcher, several Blue-throated Barbets and some Yellow-bellied Warblers showed but things were slow until the sun came out a little. With this activity picked up and Jan got a beautiful shot of Collared Babbler, a highly under-rated bird.
 
  Bird Watching Trips In Southern Thailand:
Birding in Southern Thailand can be difficult but the rewards can be great with a very many fantastic species to search
for. By visiting a number of sites over the course of 8-14 days it is possible to build up an exciting list of sightings.

Contact me to arrange a trip and/or to discuss the best birdwatching options for you: nickupton@thaibirding.com
 
Recommended
 
Some More Trip Reports
A group of Blue-winged Leafbirds fed noisily in a small tree close to us and as we hung around the Long-tailed Broadbill nest we heard a tapping on a piece of bamboo that sounded like Bamboo Woodpecker. We were able to track down this seldom-seen and shy bird, getting great views of a female as she searched for food. Although she was flighty, she never moved far away and eventually both Jan and I were able to get some really nice photos of this species - very pleasing indeed. What was even more pleasing was that the Long-tailed Broadbills came to sit very close to us - that was all of Thailand's Broadbills in one trip, very nice. With only half an hour before we needed to descend a Blue-bearded Bee-eater began to call right above us and we located it on a dead snag - somehow Jan got some clear photos of it despite it being a neck-breaking view and terribly back-lit.

We drove back to our accommodation to have lunch and one final view of Blue-winged Pitta, stopping to use an hour at Lung Yao Waterhole to see if we could get better views of Eared Pitta - sadly we did not even hear it calling this time. However, we did have time to drive to Laem Pak Bia where I knew of a nesting pair of Malaysian Plovers. We were able to photograph these lovely birds without disturbing them from the nest by keeping some distance away before driving to nearby Wat Komnaram to photograph Oriental Pratincoles; there were about 8 of these lovely birds sitting out on bare soil. With these successfully found and time ticking down we began our journey to Bangkok which took a little over 2 hours.

Conclusion
Although birding can be slow at times, rainy season trips always result in a large number of superb birds being found. This time of year is particularly good for several migrant species such as Blue-winged Pitta, Hooded Pitta, Black Bittern, Oriental Pratincole as well as a great time to see birds such as Weavers and Pond Herons in breeding plumage. Kingfishers are also much more vocal at this time of year and our total of Ruddy, Brown-winged, Stork-billed, Banded, Oriental Dwarf and Rufous-collared is not likely to be easily matched in the dry season. Successfully finding all of the Broadbills also demonstrates how productive the wet season can be and our total of 5 species of Pitta was also very good. Colourful resident forest birds are a real feature of birding in Thailand at this time of year but it is also worth noting that plenty of rain means that birders must be patient, accepting of the conditions and that these conditions make it a poor time to see great abundances of birds and because of the lack of thermals it is a really bad time for seeing raptors (as well as many of them being migrants that are not present at this time of year). As we demonstrated, night-birding can be tough too with the rain usually falling in the late afternoon/early evening but these deficiencies are more than made up for by the high number of high-quality species that will be seen.
Nick Upton (nickupton@thaibirding.com)
 Species list with notes
The names and taxonomic order used here are those from the official Thai bird checklist issued by the Thai records committee.

Satun Mangroves: SM
Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary: HB
Ao Phang Nga National Park: PN
Ban Bang Phut Mangroves: BP
Sri Phang Nga National Park: SPN

Khao Luk Chang: KLC
Petchaburi Rice Fields: PRF

Laem Pak Bia: LPB
Kaeng Krachan: KK
Lung Sin Waterhole: LSW
Lung Yao Waterhole: LYW
Wat Komnaram: WKN
Wat Khao Takrao: WKT

1. Bar-backed Partridge: 2 at LSW.
2. Red Junglefowl:
KK & LSW.
3. Kalij Pheasant:
1m on the road to Panoen Tung, KK.
4. Lesser Whistling Duck
: PRF & LPB.
5. Little Grebe: PRF & LPB.
6. Painted Stork: WKT & LPB.
7. Asian Openbill: Many at PRF.
8. Black Bittern: A few at PRF.
9. Black-crowned Night Heron: Many at King's Project, LPB.
10. Striated Heron: A few at PN, LPB & WKT.
11. Chinese Pond Heron: One in breeding plumage at PRF.
12. Javan Pond Heron: Large numbers at PRF, LPB & WKT.
13. Eastern Cattle Egret: Common.
14. Grey Heron: 1 at LPB.
15. Purple Heron: PRF, WKT & LPB.
16. (Eastern) Great Egret: PRF, WKT & LPB.
17. Intermediate Egret: PRF, WKT & LPB.
18. Little Egret: Common in suitable habitat.
19. Spot-billed Pelican: c40 at WKT & c20 at LPB.
20. Little Cormorant: PRF, WKT & LPB.
21. Indian Cormorant: PRF, WKT & LPB.
22. Black-winged Kite: KLC & PRF.
23. Crested Serpent Eagle: A few at HB & KK.
24. Lesser Fish Eagle: 1 at HB.
25. Wallace's Hawk Eagle: 2 at SPN.
26. Shikra: 1 at KLC.
27. Brahminy Kite: Common in coastal areas.
28. Red-legged Crake: 2 at LSW.
29. White-breasted Waterhen: PRF, WKT & LPB.
30. Ruddy-breasted Crake: 1 at King's Project, LPB.
31. Watercock: 3 at PRF.
32. Purple (Black-backed) Swamphen: A few at PRF.
33. Barred Buttonquail: 2 on the road close to park gate, KK.
34. Indian Thick-knee: 6 at KLC.
35. Black-winged Stilt: PRF, WKT, WKN & LPB.
36. Red-wattled Lapwing: Common.
37. Malaysian Plover: 2 nesting pairs at LPB.
38. Bronze-winged Jacana: A few at PRF.
39. Oriental Pratincole: 1 at PRF & c12 at WKN.
40. Caspian Tern: 2 at King's Project, LPB.
41. Little Tern: Numerous at LPB.
42. Feral Pigeon
43. Red Collared Dove: PRF, WKT, WKN & LPB..
44. Spotted Dove: Common in open country.
45. Common Emerald Dove: A few at HB & KK.
46. Zebra Dove: Common in open country.
47. Pink-necked Green Pigeon: c10 at PN.
48. Thick-billed Green Pigeon: A few at HB & KK.
49. Mountain Imperial Pigeon: 2 at Km 27.5, KK.
50. Greater Coucal: Seen at most sites.
51. Raffle's Malkoha: Several at HB.
52. Chestnut-breasted Malkoha: HB & KK.
53. Black-bellied Malkoha: 4 at HB.
54. Green-billed Malkoha: 3 at Km 9, KK.
55. Asian Koel: PRF & LPB.
56. Violet Cuckoo: Calling male in flight at SPN.
57. Little Bronze Cuckoo: At least 4 interacting at BP.
58. Banded Bay Cuckoo: 1 at HB.
59. Asian Drongo Cuckoo: A few at HB.
60. Oriental Scops Owl: 1 at LYW.
61. Asian Barred Owlet: A few at KLC.
62. Spotted Owlet: 1 at KLC.
63. Large-tailed Nightjar: 2 from LYW.
64. Grey-rumped Treeswift: A few at HB.
65. Whiskered Treeswift: Common at HB.
66. Pale-rumped (Germain's) Swiftlet: Most sites.
67. Silver-rumped Needletail: A few at HB & SPN.
68. Brown-backed Needletail: A large flock just before dark at Bala ranger station.
69. Asian Palm Swift: Everywhere.
70. House Swift: A few at several sites.
71. Scarlet-rumped Trogon: 1m at HB.
72. Orange-breasted Trogon: A few at KK.
73. Red-headed Trogon: 1 subadult male at Km 27.5, KK.
74. Indian Roller: Common on roadside wires near KK.
75. Oriental Dollarbird: A few at Km 9, KK.
76. Rufous-collared Kingfisher: 1f at SPN.
77. Banded Kingfisher: 1f at Km 9, KK.
78. Stork-billed Kingfisher: 2 at PRF.
79. Brown-winged Kingfisher: 1 at SM, 1 at PN & 2 at BP.
80. Ruddy Kingfisher: 1 at PN.
81. White-throated Kingfisher: A few at several sites.
82. Collared Kingfisher: Common at BP, LPB & WKT.
83. Blue-banded Kingfisher: 2 flypast birds at HB.
84. Oriental Dwarf (Rufous-backed) Kingfisher: 1 at HB.
85. Red-bearded Bee-eater: A few, incudling a family group at HB.
86. Blue-bearded Bee-eater: 1 at Km 27.5, KK.
87. Green Bee-eater: A few at KLC.
88. Blue-tailed Bee-eater: c25 at KLC & a few at PRF
89. Blue-throated Bee-eater: A few at HB & 1 at KLC.
90. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater: 1 at SPN.
91. Eurasian Hoopoe: A few at KLC; 1 at LYW.
92. Rhinoceros Hornbill: 3 at HB.
93. Great Hornbill: 1 at HB; 2 at KK.
94. Helmeted Hornbill: 1 at HB.
95. Oriental Pied Hornbill: 4 at PN & several at KK.
96. Bushy-crested Hornbill: A few groups at HB.
97. Wreathed Hornbill: A few at HB & KK.
98. Great Barbet: 1 at Km 28, KK.
99. Green-eared Barbet: Several at Km 9, KK.
100. Red-throated Barbet: A couple at HB.
101. Blue-throated Barbet: A few at Km 28, KK.
102. Blue-eared Barbet: A few at HB & KK.
103. Coppersmith Barbet: A few at PN.
104. Malaysian Honeyguide: 1 at a singing tree, HB.
105. Rufous Piculet: 1 at viewpoint, HB.
106. Grey-and-buff Woodpecker: 1 at viewpoint, HB.
107. Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker: 1 at SM.
108. Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker: 1 at PN; 1 at SPN.
109. Checker-throated Woodpecker: 1 at viewpoint, HB.
110. Greater Yellownape: A few at KK.
111. Crimson-winged Woodpecker: A few at HB.
112. Streak-breasted Woodpecker: A few at PN; 1 at KK.
113. Black-headed Woodpecker: 3 at KLC.
114. Olive-backed Woodpecker: 1 at HB.
115. Common Flameback: 1 at SM, a few at KK.
116. Greater Flameback: A few at KK.
117. Bamboo Woodpecker: 1f at Km 27.5, KK.
118. Maroon Woodpecker: 2 at HB.
119. Orange-backed Woodpecker: A pair at HB.
120. Rufous Woodpecker: 1 at HB; 2 at KK.
121. Buff-rumped Woodpecker: 1 at HB.
122. Buff-necked Woodpecker: 1 at HB.
123. Black-thighed Falconet: 2 at HB; 6 at KK.
124. Vernal Hanging Parrot: A few at KK.
125. Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot: 1 briefly at HB.
126. Green Broadbill: 1 at HB.
127. Black-and-red Broadbill: HB, PN & KK.
128. Long-tailed Broadbill: A pair at Km 27.5, KK.
129. Silver-breasted Broadbill: 2 at HB; several at KK.
130. Banded Broadbill: 2 at KK.
131. Black-and-yellow Broadbill: Seen and heard at HB, SPN & KK.
132. Dusky Broadbill: 5 at KK.
133. Eared Pitta: 1 seen briefly a few times at LYW.

134. Blue Pitta: 1f nest-building at KK.
135. Hooded Pitta: 2 at SPN.
136. Blue-winged Pitta: 2 at Ban Maka, KK .
137. Mangrove Pitta: 1 at SM; a few at PN.
138. Golden-bellied Gerygone: A few at SM & PN.
139. Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike: A few at HB.
140. Large Woodshrike: A few at HB.
141. Rufous-winged Philentoma: 2 at HB.
142. Ashy Woodswallow: PRF & KK.
143. Common Iora: Most sites.
144. Green Iora: A few at HB & SPN.
145. Great Iora: 1 at KK.
146. Lesser Cuckooshrike: 2 at HB.
147. Mangrove Whistler: 2 at BP.
148. White-bellied Erpornis: HB & KK.
149. Dark-throated Oriole: A few at HB.
150. Black-hooded Oriole: 1 at PN.
151. Black Drongo: A few at PRF.
152. Ashy Drongo: 2 nigricens at SM.
153. Crow-billed Drongo: 1 at KK.
154. Bronzed Drongo: 2 at KC.
155. Hair-crested Drongo: Several at KLC; a few at KK.
156. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo: A few at HB & KK.
157. Malaysian Pied Fantail: SM, BP, PRF, LPB, WKT, LYW & LSW.
158. Black-naped Monarch: LSW.
159. Blyth's Paradise-flycatcher: A few at HB & KK.
160. Common Green Magpie: 2 at KK.
161. Rufous Treepie: Common at KLC.
162. Racket-tailed Treepie: A few at LSW.
163. Large-billed Crow: 1 at PN.
164. Eastern Jungle Crow: A few at PRF.
165. Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher: A few at HB.
166. Sultan Tit: Several at KK.
167. Cinereous Tit: 4 at SM.
168. Indochinese Bushlark: A few at KLC.
169. Black-headed Bulbul: A few at HB, KK.
170. Black-crested Bulbul: HB, SPN & KK.
171. Scaly-breasted Bulbul: 1 at HB.
172. Grey-bellied Bulbul: A few at HB.
173. Puff-backed Bulbul: 1 at HB.
174. Stripe-throated Bulbul: A few at SPN, KK, LSW & LYW.
175. Yellow-vented Bulbul: A few at PN & PRF.
176. Olive-winged Bulbul: A few at PN.
177. Streak-eared Bulbul: Common.
178. Cream-vented Bulbul: HB & SPN.
179. Red-eyed Bulbul: HB & SPN.
180. Spectacled Bulbul: HB.
181. Finsch's Bulbul: 2 at HB.
182. Ochraceous Bulbul: HB, SPN & KK.
183. Grey-cheeked Bulbul: 1 at HB.
184. Hairy-backed Bulbul: A few at HB.
185. Grey-eyed Bulbul: HB, SPN & KK.
186. Buff-vented Bulbul: 1 photographed at HB.
187. Mountain Bulbul: 1 at viewpoint, HB.
188. Streaked Bulbul: A few at HB.
189. Cinereous Bulbul: 3 at HB.
190. Pacific Swallow: HB, PN, BP & SPN.
191. Rufous-bellied Swallow: PN & BP.
192. Yellow-bellied Warbler: A few at HB & KK.
193. Zitting Cisticola: A few at PRF.
194. Rufescent Prinia: 2 at HB.
195. Grey-breasted Prinia: A few at KLC.
196. Yellow-bellied Prinia: A few at WKT & PRF.
197. Plain Prinia: A few at WKT & PRF.
198. Common Tailorbird: A few in gardens and open areas.
199. Rufous-tailed Tailorbird: 1 at HB.
200. Ashy Tailorbird: SM & PN.
201. White-browed Scimitar Babbler: 1 at LSW.
202. Chestnut-rumped Babbler: 1 at HB.
203. Chestnut-winged Babbler: A few at HB.
204. Rufous-fronted Babbler: A few at KK.
205. Pin-striped Tit Babbler: HB, SPN & KK.
206. Brown Fulvetta: Common at HB.
207. Brown-cheeked Fulvetta: LSW & LYW.
208. Collared Babbler: 4-5 at Km 27.5, KK.
209. Abbott's Babbler: 2 at SPN.
210. Moustached Babbler: 2-3 at HB.
211. Rufous-crowned Babbler: 1 at HB.
212. White-chested Babbler: 2 at PN.
213. Ferruginous Babbler: 1 at HB.
214. Puff-throated Babbler: KLC, LSW & LYW.
215. Buff-breasted Babbler: 1 at Km 27, KK.
216. Lesser necklaced Laughingthrush: 1 at Ban Maka, KK.
217. Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush: 2 at KLC.
218. Oriental White-eye: A few at BP & SM.
219. Everett's White-eye: Abundant at HB & Km 27-28, KK.
220. Asian Fairy Bluebird: HB, SPN & KK.
221. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch: A few at KK.
222. Asian Glossy Starling: PN.
223. Common Hill Myna: 2 at HB.
224. White-vented Myna: PRF, LPB.
225. Javan Myna: A few at Ban Buketa & ranger station, HB.
226. Jungle Myna: A pair with 1j at BP.
227. Common Myna: All open areas.
228. Vinous-breasted Myna: 1 briefly at KLC.
229. Asian Pied Myna: Common at LPB, PRF, WKN & WKT.
230. Oriental Magpie Robin: All open areas & mangroves.
231. White-rumped Shama: A few at HB, SPN, LSW, LYW & KK.
232. Pale-blue Flycatcher: 1f at HB.
233. Tickell's Blue Flycatcher: A pair at LSW.
234. Verditer Flycatcher: A few at HB.
235. Chestnut-naped Forktail: 2 at HB.
236. Rufous-chested Flycatcher: 2m at HB.
237. Greater Green Leafbird: A few at HB.
238. Lesser Green Leafbird: 1 at HB.
239. Blue-winged Leafbird: 6 at Km 28, KK.
240. Golden-fronted Leafbird: 2 at KK.
241. Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker: A few at HB.
242. Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker: A few at HB.
243. Yellow-vented Flowerpecker: 1 at HB.
244. Orange-bellied Flowerpecker: HB, SPN & Ban Maka, KK.
245. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker: Most sites.
246. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird: Most sites.
247. Plain Sunbird: 2 at HB.
248. Brown-throated Sunbird: All sites.
249. Red-throated Sunbird: 1m at HB.
250. Purple-naped Sunbird: A few at HB & SPN.
251. Copper-throated Sunbird: Several at SM.
252. Olive-backed Sunbird: Common.
253. Black-throated Sunbird: 1m at Km 27, KK.
254. Crimson Sunbird: KK & LYW.
255. Little Spiderhunter: A few at Ban Maka, KK.
256. Grey-breasted Spiderhunter: 1 at SPN.
257. Streaked Spiderhunter: 1 at Km 27, KK.
258. Plain-backed Sparrow: 2 at KLC; 1 at PRF.
259. Eurasian Tree Sparrow: All open and urban areas.
260. Asian Golden Weaver: Many at PRF.
261. Streaked Weaver: Many at PRF.
262. Baya Weaver: Common at PRF.
263. White-rumped Munia: 2 at LYW.
264. Scaly-breasted Munia: BP, PRF, LPB & WKT.
265. Chestnut Munia: 2 at PRF.

Mammals
1. Common Treeshrew: SPN.
2. Northern Treeshrew: KK, LSW, LYW.
3. Slow Loris:
1 at HB.
4. Stump-tailed Macaque: Large group at KK.
5. Long-tailed Macaque: 2 at KK, a few at WKT.
6. Dusky Langur: Many at KK. a few at HB.
7. White-handed Gibbon: A few at KK.
8. Agile Gibbon: 2 at HB.
9. Black Giant Squirrel: HB, SPN & KK.
10. Plantain Squirrel: HB & SPN.
11. Grey-bellied Squirrel:
Most sites.
12. Horse-tailed Squirrel:
HB.
13. Western Striped Squirrel: LSW, LYW & KK.
14. Sun Bear: 1 at KK.
15. Small Indian Civet: 1 at KK.
16. Wild Boar: 1 at HB.
17. Lesser Mouse Deer: A few at LSW.
18. Red Muntjac: 1 at KK.
Nick Upton can be contacted at nickupton@thaibirding.com
More information on Satun Mangroves
More information on Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary
More information on Ao Phang Nga National Park
More information on Sri Phang Nga National Park
More information on Petchaburi Rice Fields
More information on Kaeng Krachan National Park
If you are interested in arranging a bird watching tour you can see some suggested itineraries here - Birdwatching Trips - and you can contact me at the above email address to discuss the best options.


   
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