Friday, March 11, 2016

Up a little higher at Kaeng Krachan, Thailand, Feb. 24, 2016

This day our plan was to get up much higher than the day before. After breakfast, (I was really getting into soup!) we left the lodge and headed to the park. We hustled up the lower elevation road. I spotted a large animal lurking in the brush a ways back from the road. I yelled "stop!" Dave asked ne what it was and I said it looked like a cow. He was very excited and said it was a Benteng, which he had never seen. We backed up just in time to see it disappear. Well, it wasn't a Bengteng, it was actually a Sambar Deer, which are a lot bigger than our deer in Texas.

The first spot we stopped at was very productive. A Mountain Imperial Pigeon perched on a branch off of the road. We heard Rusty-cheeked Hornbills calling. Dave said they were nesting nearby, but we never got a look at them. We took a trail a very short way into the forest. I was so excited to see one of my most wanted birds of the trip, Long-tailed Broadbill. There were at least four, calling and moving around. The light was awful, so my pictures were pretty awful, too, but I was still very happy! This species is a crazy mix of black, blue, yellow and green.

It was hard to tear myself away from them, but we had a lot of altitude to gain. We stopped for a mixed flock, feeding in some vines and trees. It was really hard to keep up with everything! Fulvettas, babblers, bubuls, flycatchers, and tailor birds zipped around. Deep in the under-story Dave identified a Bamboo Woodpecker, a difficult bird to see. Then a Red-headed Trogon flew in. We pushed on. There was a group of photographers shooting pictures of a nest, occupied by Long-tailed Broadbills. We stopped, as another flock was moving through. There were two species of piculets, which are tiny members of the woodpecker family. We tried to find one on of the specialties, Racket-tailed Treepie, but only heard it call.

We moved up to a high point in the road, where there was a campground. We sat and ate our lunches and scanned the over look for swifts. We were hoping for needle-tails, but had no luck. I excused myself to powder my nose and when I came back I found out that I had missed a Black-thighed Falconet. We saw a few drongos and bulbuls showing off.  Better than the birds was a mammal, a Giant Black Squirrel. This thing was a monster, almost as big as a dog! It draped itself on a branch, chomping away on something, letting its very long tail hang down.

There had been a couple of fabulous sightings a bit further on, a Pin-tailed Parrotfinch and a Blue Pitta. Both were very wanted by all of us. We got to the spot where the parrotfinch had been seen. They like seeding bamboo. There was quite a bit along the road, but the bird was no where to be found. We moved on to where the Blue Pitta had been seen the day before. We got to the trail. It was very steep and difficult. I realized that it was a bit much for me, so I decided to stay near the car. Martin joined me. Willie and Dave pushed on. Unfortunately, they did not see the pitta, but did hear it calling. I had a great time photographing butterflies. Then we were thrilled to see a Great Hornbill come in, investigating a tree cavity.

Willie and Dave finally slogged up the hill and we took off. We worked the seeding bamboo again, with no luck. We stopped at the overlook and scanned for needle-tails, but again, came up short.We drove back down to the lower camp ground, where we checked behind the kitchen for the Sun Bear, but he was also a no show.

We did quite a bit better, though, on the lower road. A gorgeous pair of Kalij Pheasants walked across, right in front of us. We had Bar-backed Partridge do the same. There was a birding tour group stopped at the tree where we had the Great Slaty Woodpeckers the day before; we were very happy to see them again! We saw another Sambur Deer by a small pond. Some Golden-crested Mynas perched up in a tree. We were exhausted by the time we got back to the lodge, but very content!

Photos for the day:

 Bird list for the day:
Bar-backed Partridge  1
Gray Peacock-Pheasant  2    Heard
Red Junglefowl  4
Kalij Pheasant  2
Cattle Egret (Eastern)  1
Chinese Pond-Heron  3
Mountain Hawk-Eagle  1
Crested Goshawk  2
Red-wattled Lapwing  1
Emerald Dove (Common)  5
Mountain Imperial-Pigeon  1
Banded Bay Cuckoo  1
Green-billed Malkoha  1
Himalayan Swiftlet  2
Asian Palm-Swift  20
Red-headed Trogon  1
Great Hornbill  3
Rusty-cheeked Hornbill  2    Heard
Oriental Pied-Hornbill  5
Wreathed Hornbill  3
Great Barbet  3    Heard
Blue-throated Barbet  1
Speckled Piculet  1
White-browed Piculet  1
Lesser Yellownape  1    Heard
Greater Yellownape  1
 Common Flameback  1
Bamboo Woodpecker  1
Greater Flameback  3
Vernal Hanging-Parrot  5
Long-tailed Broadbill  4
Silver-breasted Broadbill  5
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike  1
Scarlet Minivet  2
Brown-rumped Minivet  2
Black-winged Cuckooshrike  1
Blyth's Shrike-Babbler  1    Heard
Black-naped Oriole  2
Ashy Drongo  20
Bronzed Drongo  1
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo  3
Hair-crested Drongo  12
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo  1    Heard
Black-naped Monarch  1
Blyth's Paradise-Flycatcher  2
Common Green-Magpie  1    Heard
Gray Treepie  2
Ratchet-tailed Treepie  1    Heard
Barn Swallow  3
Red-rumped Swallow  3
Black-crested Bulbul  12
Ochraceous Bulbul  10
Gray-eyed Bulbul  5
Mountain Bulbul  3
Yellow-bellied Warbler  1
 Radde's Warbler  5
Yellow-browed Warbler  6
Eastern Crowned Leaf Warbler  2
Claudia's Leaf Warbler  1
Sulphur-breasted Warbler  5
Plain-tailed Warbler  1
Martens's Warbler  1
Dark-necked Tailorbird  1    Heard
Pin-striped Tit-Babbler  1
Rufous-fronted Babbler  1
White-browed Scimitar-Babbler  1
Collared Babbler  3
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta  1
White-crested Laughingthrush  2    Heard
Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush  3
Asian Fairy-bluebird  2
Dark-sided Flycatcher  4
White-rumped Shama  3
Rufous-browed Flycatcher  1
Slaty-backed Flycatcher  1
Taiga Flycatcher  1
Golden-crested Myna  2
Common Hill Myna  1
Blue-winged Leafbird  2
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker  2
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird  1
Streaked Spiderhunter  1
Gray Wagtail  5

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