School holidays mean Kaeng Krachan and another opportunity to meet up with Tom Backlund accompanied by Bill Woods, a Canadian resident half the year in Hua Hin. We also ran into Dave Sargeant and Peter Ericsson, so a very sociable morning’s birding.
Kaeng Krachan is still “quiet” and we restricted our activities to its lower parts around Bang Krang camp and the three streams. We were slightly disappointed as no sign yet of broadbills. A couple of Pied Hornbills were my first birds of the day soon after entering the park. I always feel lucky if I can see hornbills in the wild. These were quickly followed by Ashy Drongo, an Emerald Dove and three Great Slaty Woodpeckers flying across the road.
At Bang Krang Camp there were a few Spangled Drongos and Pied Hornbill was flying around. I managed a first lifer of the day – Blue-bearded Bee-eeter. Now I’ve seen Blue-bearded Bee-eater before at this time in Kaeng Krachan but for some reason it’s not on my list – you can tell how serious I am about listing! There were a pair in the canopy above the camp site. I tried hard to get a shot but just couldn’t manage.
A Blue-throated Barbet preoccupied by nesting activity did allow some shots. Sneaked a glimpse of Tickell’s Brown Hornbill at the well known nest hole near the third stream – it quickly vanished and did not reappear. I guess I should adjust my list to reflect the taxonomic split with Austen’s Brown Hornbill, which I believe is found in more northerly parts, specifically Khao Yai. We then went up to the dam above the third stream where I missed getting some shots of an easy Drongo Cuckoo; an Ochraceous Bulbul had me wondering if I was looking at a laughing-thrush species. Tom and Bill saw a Vernal Hanging Parrot and some Scarlet Minivets.
On the way back to the camp we stopped to try for the Tickell’s Brown Hornbill, no sign, and met with with Peter Ericsson and his party. We got onto a malkoha which eventually displayed for long enough to enable identification as a Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, a second lifer for the day. A leaf-warbler next grabbed our attention and the general consensus appeared to be Claudia’s Leaf Warbler. This was on the basis of the flicking action of its wings. Now I didn’t get on it for long enough to see this and since returning home I’ve had a look at Ayuwat’s Blog which has an excellent three part review of the Claudia/Blyth/Davison leaf warbler split. Conclusion: no claims and a better view definitely required.
After lunch I decided to head to Lung Sin hide as Tom and Bill were heading back to civilisation – wow, what an afternoon as great birds seemed to drop in at regular intervals and lots of decent images. Highlights were: Bar-backed Partridge ( lifer), Large Scimitar Babbler, Striped Tit Babbler, Brown Cheeked Fulvetta, Black-naped Monarch and up to five Racket-tailed Treepies. Close-up the Racket-tailed Treepie is a truly amazing spectacle as the photos show. Plus all the usual suspects: White-rumped Shama, Greater and Lesser Necklaced Laughing Thrush, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Black-crested Bulbul and loads of Streak-eared Bulbuls.
Such a perfect day!
There are no prizes for working out why this one is called white-rumped – see that white bit? That’s its arse!