Phu Toei National Park
With Christmas and Boxing Day over, I decided I wanted to do a short check out of Phu Toei NP and the hide at Station 1. I had seen some nice pics from there over the holiday, so Thursday morning, bags packed and off I went. Phu Toei NP is in Dan Chang district in the province of Suphanburi and about 2 hours from Bangkok. The drive, considering the time of year was wonderful with hardly any cars on the road. I had decided to stay at Huai Hin Dum Homestay. This homestay/resort is part of the local organic vegetable farming cooperative and a great place to stay if you like to relax in the mountains and get away from it all.. After checking in, I took a drive around the surrounding area and then up to Phu Toei Station 3. This is a steep, narrow, unsurfaced road up to a view point and camp ground.
The following morning, after some great company and a cool sleep the night before, I set off for the hide. I entered the park through gate 2, so there would be another 15km off-roading. The track is not too bad overall, but there are some pretty badly eroded areas. I should imagine it not to be too good during the rainy season and 4x4 would be a must..
The forest was alive with sounds and over 10 Kalij Pheasants were seen along the way. Nearing the end of the track, you pass the Lauda Air Shrine. This shrine remembers those on board the flight between Bangkok, Thailand and Vienna, Austria which crashed on 26 May 1991 killing all 213 passengers and the 10 crew members on board.
Arriving at the hide, I quickly set up and sat back and waited. The first birds down were a female White-rumped Shama and a Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher. Only few other birds turned up, but, the pick of the bunch had to be a pair of Blue Bearded Bee-Eaters that came down for a dip.. Other birds seen included; Common Iora, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Siberian Blue Robin, Spotted Dove, Black naped Monarch and an Arctic Warbler.
Overall, this was only a very brief visit, but the park and hide area look to have great potential. I am sure I will be back very soon.