Saturday, 18 January 2014

Why We Love Thailand..!

A full day in the national park began quite early and the sun hadn’t yet risen over the surrounding hills as we drove along the dirt road towards Bang Kram Campsite. With the recent freakily cold weather it took a while for anything to happen, but when it did I don’t think anybody could have foreseen us finding such a big bird for Thailand…… It all started innocuously enough when Phil mentioned he had a bird feeding in a little grassy area at the end of the track we were walking along. On raising the binoculars, we could see it was a thrush and expected it to be an Eye-browed Thrush which it initially looked like as it was back on. Then it turned to reveal a startling face pattern and mottled rufous underparts which took a few seconds to compute but then the gears started working and it clicked – Naumann’s Thrush..!!! 

Naumann's Thrush - Kaeng Krachen

A stunningly rare bird for Thailand and at the point of writing am unsure how many records there have been – but very few indeed, and maybe only 5 or 6 to date. Wow!  We watched it for a while before it flew off for some reason and then birded another open area close by, when all of a sudden the thrush flew into the treetops right next to us before flying down in front of us, and that’s where I managed to get these photos…. There was also a few Eye-browed Thrushes flying around as well, but these never settled at all.

Well, after that everything was a little bit of a let down really and it was rather quiet but we had a few little flocks with common birds in, plus our first Sultan Tits, Ochraceous and Black-headed Bulbuls, Common and Greater Flamebacks, Brown-backed Needletail, Asian House Martin, Blue-winged Leafbird, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, and a few other common species.

Black-and-yellow Broadbill

 We then birded the area between the streams and scoped a Tickell’s Brown Hornbill and a Green-eared Barbet at the top of a large tree. A reasonably close Black-and-yellow Broadbill was a nice find as well and we were able to watch it for several minutes, followed shortly after by Brown-rumped Minivet, Large Woodshrike, and a Hainan Blue Flycatcher.

After lunch we drove up the hill and luck was definitely on our side as a Grey Peacock-pheasant scuttled across the road in front of us. So we waited in the minibus for several minutes and played the call a few times and amazingly the bird came back on to the road and proceeded to walk sedately across it once again. Wow again! 

Grey Peacock-Pheasant

There were also half a dozen Common Emerald Doves on the drive up as well. 

Mountain Bulbul

At the top we had a fine time with Everett’s White-eye, several Streaked Spiderhunters, Lucionensis Brown Shrike, Flavescent and Mountain Bulbuls, Blyth’s Shrike-babbler, Collared Owlet, Blue-throated and Great Barbets, White-browed Scimitar-babbler, Yellow-eared Spiderhunter, and a Black-throated Sunbird.

Blue-throated Barbet

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