We left the lodge full of optimism at 6am and headed to our breakfast stop, but upon arrival we could see the same thick mist covering the hills of Khao Yai and our hearts sank. However, as we drove up higher it was apparent that the road was quite dry and there was seemingly no chance of rain. We drove straight to our favoured road, only stopping to scope a few Barred Cuckoo-doves along the way, and did one pass along it and there right in front of us was a couple of male Siamese Firebacks feeding in the leaf litter.
So we pulled up and watched them for a few minutes and really soaked up the sighting after yesterday’s endeavours – ignoring the female Red Junglefowl nearby. We drove on some way and checked out another patch of forest where a pair of Black-and-buff Woodpeckers showed well and we also heard several Scaly-breasted Partridges calling. We then turned around and had a few more firebacks on the road before pulling over and walking a short distance. Amazingly we managed to ignore the calling Blue Pittas all around and found a superb male Red-headed Trogon which came in quite close. And as we watched this cracker a Banded Kingfisher called and we spent several minutes locating a female perched unobtrusively amidst a tangle of vines high up in the canopy.
So with this big result under our belts we drove to the nearby campsite and saw a few things but nothing much of interest and then headed down to another site where we scoped a Van Hasselt’s Sunbird singing from the top of a tree. Scanning of the river produced White-throated, Common and Black-capped Kingfishers, whilst a Chestnut-headed Bee-eater was also present. Then a Heart-spotted Woodpecker was found poking its head out of its nesting hole, a Little Spiderhunter showed briefly, and a Collared Owlet was found being mobbed by some Stripe-throated Bulbuls. So that was it and after lunch we drove back to Bangkok and an overnight stop en-route to Petchaburi – a much safer way of doing things rather than driving it all in one long 6+ hour drive.