Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Khao Yai

We left Bangkok early doors and rather bleary-eyed, stopping at the nearest ‘7 and 11’ for coffee and toasted sandwiches, before setting out on the hour or so drive to the limestone cliffs and the search for our next target species. It didn’t take too long to locate a pair of Limestone Wren-babblers clambering around the rockface, and we watched them come lower and lower until they were only 20 feet away from us. What views we had and were able to study them in some detail for a good ten minutes before they moved off. With Long-tailed Macaque and numerous white Variable Squirrels, David was in his element but not me! 

Limestone Wren-babbler

 The next stop was on the way to Khao Yai NP and a few Red-breasted Parakeets made their way onto our lists before entering the park. We headed up to one of the campsites where a Mugimaki Flycatcher had returned for its 3rd consecutive winter and sure enough we spotted him straight away. The White-throated Rock-thrush took a bit longer  to come in, so we walked down the road a short distance to scan the forest edge.

Mugimaki Flycatcher

White-throated Rock-thrush
A good move as it turned out as a flock of Brown-rumped Minivets were present and we then had a superb Asian Emerald Cuckoo, along with Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Sultan Tit and a few other things. So we walked back up the hill and got the rock-thrush before driving to the campsite where the usual photo stake-out produced male Siberian Blue Robin, Puff-throated Babbler, Olive-backed Sunbird, Yellow-vented Flowerpecker, White-rumped Shama and Black-naped Monarch.

Green-billed Malkoha

We also had a fine Asian Paradise-flycatcher coming into the owlet call, along with Green-billed Malkoha, and both Puff-throated and Grey-eyed Bulbuls. Lunch was taken at the small restaurant here and was rather timely considering the heavy shower that had been threatening for some time suddenly materialised. But with a scope we enjoyed terrific views of a Moustached Barbet chasing a Blue-eared Barbet, and a Green-eared Barbet was seen as well, plus a pair of Greater Flamebacks and Red Junglefowl. When the rain stopped and the sun came out it became rather steamy but the heat encouraged an Oriental Pied Hornbill to perch out in the open and sun itself.

Oriental Pied Hornbill

Then a Heart-spotted Woodpecker appeared and a couple of Mountain Imperial-pigeons flew over. Leaving here we drove to one of our favourite trails and stumbled across a huge Asian Elephant that crossed the road in front of us, threatening at one point to turn and charge our vehicle!

Asian Elephant

But once safely on the trail we spent a good hour and managed to locate a flock of around 30 Long-tailed Broadbills and a group of 6+ Dusky Broadbills as well but only managed some poor record shots, plus several Asian Fairy-Bluebirds.

Long-tailed Broadbill

Dusky Broadbill

So by late afternoon we returned to the minibus and drove back down the road to a good spot for Great Eared Nightjar, and sure enough a pair appeared at dusk and hawked for insects nearby to round off a successful day.

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