Our trip started with a quick look at the paddies and marsh area
south of Thai Muang golf course (Phang Nga province). We arrived
at 10 am and that means it was already hot, but birds where everywhere
and numerous. As usual the three Lapwing species where present with
several River Lapwings and approx.
40 Grey-headed Lapwings being a high
count. A few Purple-backed Starlings
had perched high up a casuarinas tree and where joined by 2 Chestnut-tailed
Starlings. Approx. 10 Orange-breasted
Green Pigeons flew by and Ashy Minivets
and Lineated Barbet showed well in
the nearby woods. Loads of birds then went on the wing, probably
disturbed by a passing Eastern Marsh Harrier.
In the air ; 100s Pacific Golden Plover,
around 20 Long-toed Stints, Oriental
Pratincole, Purple Heron and
Wood Sandpipers. Both Cinnamon
and Yellow Bittern flushed from besides
the track as well as 2 Watercock. A
lone Sand Martin was then seen and
Black-browed Reed Warbler showed well.
A quick check of the lagoon added 8 Black
Bazas, Plaintive Cuckoo and
Lesser Sandplovers. We opted not to
go wading across the lagoon to try for the Malaysian
Plovers that were present just a week earlier as the heat
had become really intense by now. Instead we headed for lunch at
Thai Muang beach which proved to be an excellent move as an imm.
Great Frigatebird had chosen to come
and fly right above our table just only a little higher than the
nearby casuarinas trees.
we started our drive towards Khao Nor Chuchi. On the way near Phang-gna
we stopped at the mangrove boardwalk close to the intersection for
Krabi. This spot is apparently much better in the breeding season
and we saw no birds in the mangrove. (But always worth checking
as just only a week later Stijn got a imm. male Von Schrenk’s
Bittern at the same boardwalk) However, from the parking lot both
a rufous bellied Striated Swallow and
Dusky Crag Martin were sighted high
up near some limestone outcrop.
Next stop was
at the Jungle Myna stake-out 6,5 kms
south of Krabi airport (Click
here for details), with the Mynas on show as soon as we arrived.
Other birds seen here include ; 2 male Eastern
Marsh Harriers and 1 male Pied Harrier.
Then we got soaked in about 15 seconds which we needed to run to
the car just only 100m away. The umbrellas we had didn’t help
at all and by the time we reached the car the deluge had stopped.
Oh well, tropical birding!
stops in the last 10 km before reaching Morakot resort at KNC
produced Thick-billed Warbler and both
Great-eared and Large-tailed
Nightjar. Checked in at Morakot resort and had dinner. Friendly
service as ever. Had a nice chat with 2 other birders from England.
Then went spotlighting for 2 hours which produced nothing, strangely
enough. Made up for it with a cool beer before going to bed.
Breakfast at 5.30 am, served with a friendly smile! Very special
place, this resort.
6 am saw us
on trail B with the birds still sleeping it seemed. Smart they are!
Except for a Banded Pitta that gave an alarm call from close to
the stream crossing at the start of B trail. It wasn’t before
we got to the area of B and C trails intersection that some activity
had started. Stijn heard a Red-bearded Bee-eater
that was spotted soon after, nicely sitting on some dead twigs in
the sun. Luckily we did take the scope after all (we had questioned
this earlier) and Mark got some excellent digiscoping opportunity.
the Bee-eater the other birders joined us and made for pleasant
company for the rest of the day and we went via trail C to trail
D where we got a family of Green Broadbills
and Black Giant Squirrel. Cream-vented
and Streaked Bulbul were seen before
reaching the Crystal Pool with some fruiting trees next to it. Lots
of birds came in with the best being Red-crowned
Barbet, a female Red-throated Barbet,
Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker and Greater
Green Leafbird. The first open area before the Emerald Pool
had a Black-thighed Falconet perched
on top of a dead tree. After this we headed for lunch via the A-track.
Went to the
Spotted Wood Owl daytime roost after lunch but this became a miserable
attempt because we were chased away by some angry and drunk local
even before reaching the site.
Spent the afternoon
walking to the coffee plantation and back with our vehicle parked
just beyond U-trail. Birding was slow but we managed to see Silver-rumped
Needletail, Brown-backed Needletail,
Spectacled Spiderhunter, Blue-throated
Flycatcher and a male Gurney’s Pitta called on our
return very close to the main track between trails E and H, not
a usual location.
came the time for some real work. Our search for White-fronted
Scops Owl. They are in a forest fragment about 8 kms from
Morakot resort back towards Klong Thom. Arrived at 8 pm and 2 birds
were heard calling soon after. It took us until 11.30 pm (3,5 hours)
to see one however but then after all the work it tastes even sweeter.