Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Kaeng Krachen

Our first port of call this morning was a dry dipterocarp forest on the way to Kaeng Krachen where we picked up a few absolutely fabulous Black-headed Woodpeckers that were associating with a flock of Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrushes. We had quite nice views of these stunning peckers feeding low down on the trunk of a tree and once they had disappeared set about searching for Rufous Woodpecker but this bird remained elusive. We found a number of other birds here such as Spotted and Asian Barred Owlets, Rufous Treepie, Red-breasted Parakeet and numerous Lineated Barbets. Leaving here we drove to our lodge near Kaeng Krachen and had a quick walk around the extensive gardens seeing Olive-backed Sunbird, Common Flameback and Little Spiderhunter. The open air restaurant had a banana feeder where Oriental Pied Hornbill, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, White-rumped Shama and a variety of squirrels were coming down to feed, whilst a Stripe-throated Bulbul was sitting on a nest nearby. 

White-fronted Scops-owls

The afternoon was spent ‘up the hill’ inside the National Park in search of some very special birds and we got the ball rolling with a Dollarbird and better still, a mind-blowing views of a pair of day roosting White-fronted Scops-owls. Man, I’ve waited years to see this species and here we were with a pair about 20 feet above our heads. Wow! 

Collared Babbler

Back up the hill we quickly nailed Collared Babbler and had repeated views, although the other ‘biggie’ Ratchet-tailed Treepie would keep us waiting until late in the day. During our walk we also had Great Hornbill, Mountain Hawk-eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Ochraceous Bulbul, a pair of Bamboo Woodpeckers which rather frustratingly  didn’t show well to everyone, Rosy Minivet, Sulphur-breasted Warbler, a few Yellow-bellied Warblers, Red-headed TrogonLesser Racket-tailed Drongos, and a few flocks of regular species.

Red-headed Trogon

A little flock of babblers appeared which held Grey-throated, Rufous-fronted and Golden Babblers as we walked back down to the minibus at the end of the day. On the drive out we pulled up alongside a Large-tailed Nightjar that refused to budge from the roadside. Must admit I did toast the owls with a nice cold bottle of Chang tonight!!

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