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Eyes, Ears, Horns and Mouths......

With Kaeng Krachan's yearly closure just around the corner in a few weeks, and so many great birds still showing, I just had to get myself down there for a last quick visit before shutdown. The main target of the visit was to be the juvenile Spot-Bellied Eagle Owl which was apparently still around. As i drove into the park, my first great sighting of the morning was a juvenile Crested Serpent Eagle. Initially it was standing in the road, but luckily it didn't fly far as I approached. It perched in a nearby tree and posed nicely before heading of again.

Crested Serpent Eagle at Kaeng Krachan
Crested Serpent Eagle

A little further along the road I came upon a pair of Gaur. These huge bovines can be extremely dangerous and, as I was within charging distance I opted to stay in the truck and take my shots from the window. The bull was becoming agitated by my presence and when he started snorting and pawing the ground I knew it was time to thank them and leave them in peace.


After parking up at the campsite, I set off walking down to the first stream area where the owl had recently been seen. A little hike along the nature trail and the up the mountain, and there it was..... Such an awesome bird, still not fully grown but already with a 1.5 metre wingspan. After getting some nice shots I had a look around the area for the adult birds, but to no avail.

Spot-Bellied Eagle Owl at Kaeng Krachan
Spot-Bellied Eagle Owl
Spot-Bellied Eagle Owl at Kaeng Krachan
Spot-Bellied Eagle Owl

The Blyth's Frogmouth's chicks are very well grown now and will be leaving the nest any day now, so this was a last chance for a few pictures. Also in the same area an Eared Pitta was sitting on her nest right next to the road... It is amazing the difference of just one year of no traffic on the road has made.. Between stream 2 to 3 I saw orange-Breasted Trogans, Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch, Chestnut-Breasted Malkoha, Crimson Sunbird and heard Crimson-Winged Woodpecker and Banded Broadbill among others.

Blyth's Frogmouth at Kaeng Krachan
Blyth's Frogmouth
Eared Pitta at Kaeng Krachan
Eared Pitta

On the drive out of the park there were still a few active Black and Red Broadbill nests, with two birds being seen. A small fruiting tree added a few more birds, Pied Hornbills, Yellow-Vented and Scarlet-Backed Flowerpeckers all showed well. This was probably my last trip to Kaeng Krachan for this season until it re-opens in November. I will be mainly concentrating on Mae Wong National Park over the next few months, with a trip booked there for this coming weekend. If anyone would like to join me on a trip to Mae Wong, drop me a line at

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