After spending many hours exploring at my little known National Park in Ratchaburi for the last year or two, things took a dramatic turn recently. I was contacted by a friend regarding another entrance into the park. We met up to try to find the Rusty-naped Pitta which had been spotted in recent weeks. This area, “the other side” of the park looked really promising. We set up hides and waited….. White-rumped Shamas were first to show, followed by Abbot’s, Buff- breasted and Puff-throated Babblers and a pair of Scaly-Breasted Partridges. Then the first Blue Pitta turned up. After getting a few shots, the Rusty-naped Pitta began calling. We waited for a while getting more shots of the Blue but the Rusty didn’t show this time.
An interesting lizard showed for a while giving us an amazing insight into its camouflage and colour changing abilities. I think I am right in saying it was a “Boulenger's Pricklenape”.
The star of the day.....
We stayed around the area for a few more hours, meeting up with some interesting guys that gave us more information on exciting sightings of this area. The weather was now closing in, so we made the drive back down the mountain vowing to return for further explorations.
The following weekend we planned to meet up again. I left the house at 3:45 am, driving for about 2 hours in the pouring rain. Arriving at the park area the rain had stopped and it was looking good. As I arrived at the top of the mountain, the rain began again. It didn’t last too long and I was soon in the hide hoping for some Rusty action….. Blue Pittas seemed to be everywhere, but Rusty was silent. All the previous week’s birds showed plus a Banded Broadbill was seen and a Silver-breasted Broadbill was heard. Some Hornbills flew overhead but were not seen. From the sound, I would say more than likely Great Hornbills. Walking around the area turned up more Blue Pittas, Asian Fairy Bluebirds, various Bulbuls, Lesser-necklaced Laughingthrushes and Oriental Honey Buzzard.
The drive back down the mountain also turned up many more birds including: Blue-bearded Bee-Eaters, Flowerpeckers, and of course another Lizard.
I will definitely be back in there soon. Anyone interested in finding out more about this place, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org