Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Khao Yai to Phetchaburi

We were back in the park at first light, enjoying our picnic breakfast from a fine viewpoint and spent a very nice hour or so scanning the remarkably tall roadside trees that were laden with fruit. Many Spangled Drongos were in attendance, along with Blue-eared, Moustached and Green-eared Barbets, Stripe-throated Bulbuls, Blue-winged Leafbird and many Asian Fairy Bluebirds, whilst several Vernal Hanging-Parrots showed well in the scope and a couple of Oriental Pied Hornbills flew by. Best of all a huge Great Hornbill put in an appearance before flying across in front of us – absolutely brilliant. 

Great Hornbill

It was good fun to be able to scan lots of birds perching in the treetops. We then tried a trail that was practically birdless before driving across the park and enjoying both Van Hasselt’s and Crimson Sunbirds perching in the treetops. Nearby, we watched a Crested Goshawk soaring overhead, Black-capped Kingfisher, a flyover Dollarbird, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, and we also found a huge Burmese Python coiled in a large tree. Then at a car park further down the same road we had much closer views of both sunbirds, as well as a Little Spiderhunter.

Crimson Sunbird

Van Hasselt's Sunbird

It took just a little over 4 hours to drive to the Phetchaburi rice fields where we spent the late afternoon birding along a relatively quiet road scanning the marshes and pools. At the first stop there was a mixed flock of Baya, Streaked and Asiatic Golden Weavers, as well as Brahminy Kite, Oriental Reed Warbler, Red Collared Dove, Plain-backed Sparrow and Yellow-bellied Prinia.

Moving on, a wet, ploughed field held lots of Long-toed Stints, Wood Sandpipers, Eastern Yellow Wagtails, and a lone Grey-headed Lapwing. Further on and another ‘wet’ field held lots of Black-winged Stils, our first Bronze-winged Jacana, and a really good find was a Watercock, with several Pink-necked Green-Pigeons, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Chestnut-capped Babbler, brief Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler and a Racket-tailed Treepie seen nearby.

Brahminy Kite

Our last stop along a dirt track led us to a pool where 30+ Cotton Pygmy Geese were seen, plus a couple of Pheasant-tailed Jacanas. We spent a good while scanning the area and also saw White-browed Crake, Yellow Bittern, close Black-browed Reed Warbler, Chestnut Munia, a calling Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, and a few Ashy Minivets flew high overhead calling.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater

Our hotel was only a short distance away and we celebrated a good day with some nice cold Changs!

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