A two day trip to Kaeng Krachan with Steve from the US began on Saturday morning bright and early. We arrived at the park at around 6:30 am and headed straight up to Ban Krang. Unfortunately it was the weekend of Chinese New Year so the place was packed out with campers. Undeterred, we birded around the campsite for a couple of hours. The campsite turned up Green-eared and Blue-cheeked Barbets, Grey eyed, Black headed and Black crested Bulbuls, Thick billed Green Pigeons, Verditer Flycatchers, Blue winged Leafbirds, Golden crested Mynas, Crested Goshawk and excellent views of a male and female Greater Flameback Woodpecker busy boring out their nesting hole.
Along the road between the streams was unusually quiet, probably due to the sheer amount of passing traffic. We did manage to get some great views of Asian Pied and Tickell’s Brown Hornbills, Oriental Honey Buzzard and a variety of Drongos and Bulbuls among others. A brief hide stint at Km 18 turned up White Rumped Shamas, Sultan Tits and an Orange breasted Trogon.
After a spot of lunch we headed up to the Km 27 mark in hope of the Black and Buff Woodpeckers, which sadly didn’t show for us. The disappointment was soon washed away with some great views of 3 Long Tailed Broadbills. On the way back down the track, we briefly saw Kalij Pheasants and a Grey Peacock Pheasant.
On the drive out we made a few stops which turned up more Thick billed Green Pigeons, Black thighed Falconets Little Grebes Vinous breasted Starlings and Ashy Woodswallows. Back at Samarn Birdcamp we were treated to some nice views of Large-tailed Nightjars in the evening.
Sunday morning was spent at Lunng Sin’s waterhole stakeout. It wasn’t long before plenty of Red jungle Fowl turned up, followed by Scaly-breasted Partridges. Siberian Blue Robins, Black-naped Monarchs, Tickell’s Blue Flycatchers, Stripe-throated Bulbuls all showed well for the camera. Then an Orange Headed Thrush joined the party for some amazing views and shots. The morning was topped off when out strolled a male and female Kalij Pheasant.
The drive back to Bangkok was taken around the rice fields and salt pans in the hope to add a few more specimens to the list. Most of the salt pans were dry so we didn’t get to find too much, but Black-tailed Godwits, Great Egrets, Purple and Grey Herons, Black-winged Stilts and Common Ioras, Black and Brahminy Kites, Brown Shrikes and Indian Rollers all showed well.
Overall a productive weekend enjoyed by all. It was great to meet up with Steve and hopefully we can make another trip together soon.