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Peter Ericsson | profile | all galleries >> Tripreports! >> Central Thailand in 8 days! (March 2011) tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Central Thailand in 8 days! (March 2011)

Kaengkrachan and Khao Yai, Central Thailand, 18-25th of March 2011.

Participants: Isaac Grant, Pete Shen and Peter Ericsson



In 2003, Isaac Grant was on honeymoon in Thailand. Isaac managed to see many
birds in all kind of habitats but had a gnawing feeling in the back of his mind due to having missed out on the Spoon-billed Sandpiper at half a day of birding in Khok Kham.

This time Isaac managed to visit along with his birding friend, Pete Shen, a
high end and hard working lawyer from New York City who was in need of a break from his demanding work.

After having emailed back and forth we decided on an itinerary that would maximize number of species but also give time needed for the harder ones.
We stayed open to the itinerary and made changes as we felt led. This is one of the advantages of customized tours.

Thailand experienced some rather untimely weather during a few days while we were at KK. Heavy rains is not normal in March, neither is cool temperatures. I felt that
it played to our advantage though as after the rains birds would come out to feed.

I am here recounting some of our highlites in order of event.

1. Spoon-billed Sandpiper – We saw 2 of these enigmatic birds at Paktaley. As usual it brought relief to high expectations. We were also able to study the birds as they fed to make sure to cement the birds in our memory banks.

2. Black-headed Woodpecker – A pair was seen very well at Khao Look Chang. This bird is vocal, elegantly adorned and simply a gorgeous looking woodie.


3. Banded Kingfisher - This Walt Disney like Kingfisher put on a show near Panern Thung at KK with both the male and female showing well. Never a given in forest birding it sure made my heart beat.

4. Siberian Thrush – An absolute cracking looking zoothera and my first male bird. It came out to feed on the road after the rain.


5. Red-bearded Bee-eater – At the end of the road at KK a pair of thee colorful birds came to inspect a potential nesting hole. It showed no concern to the people nearby and I managed to get a couple of close up shots.

6. Grey Peacock Pheasent – This fantastic bird is very vocal at times and surprisingly hard to see. We stumbled across as we were driving. I heard the bird, stopped the car and we quickly peaked down the steep mountain slope and there it was.


7. Large-billed Scimitar Babbler - A pair came to sunbathe at Bahn Song Nok. These birds are notoriously hard to see and to be able to view them from a blind simply was awesome.

8. Blue Pitta – having dipped on Pittas at KK we were very eager to one at KY. One morning we started out the trail from Pahkloaymai campground. No sooner had we entered the trail when a bird was calling. We quickly squatted behind some vegetation as the birds seemed to be coming our way. My experience with these birds is that playback doesn’t work very well but this birds came right up to us for some cracking views.


9. Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo – While driving slowly along the road we suddenly found ourselves right inbetween two calling birds one from each side of the road. Both Pete and Isaac got views of one of the birds while I had to settle for enjoying the ‘concert’.

10. Silver Pheasant – Having seen Kalij Pheasant very well at KK along with Grey Peacock Pheasant put us on another pheasant ‘hunt’ in KY. We never did see Siamese but an absolutely stunning male Silver Pheasant suddenly emerged along the roadside near the radar station at KY. The bird calmly crossed the road allowing for some shots.


There were many more highlites but to keep it short I simply include the birdlist which added up to 317 for the 8 days.

1 day for shorebirds, 4 days at KK, 2 days at KY, 1 day in between and half a day
near Bangkok

KK – Kaengkrachan National Park, 2 and half hour Southwest of Bangkok

KLC – Khao Look Chang – a forested area an hour before KK which hold some
birds not seen elsewhere. Black-headed and Rufous WP, Rufous Treepie,
Purple Sunbird, Spotted Owlet being the main ones. We came upon about
100 raptors passing right over our heads.

BSN –Bahn Song Nok, near KK is a place where the owner, Mrs Aek, allows
visitors to make use of her permanent hides for a small fee. Best birds are:
Kalij Pheasant, Scaly-breasted Partridges, Siberian Blue Robin and
Large Scimitar Babbler

BT - Baktaley, site for Spoon-billed Sandpiper

LPB – Site for King’s project and the sandspit

KY – Khao Yai National Park, 2 hours North East of Bangkok

MANN – Military Acadamy in Nakorn Nayok bordering to the Southern part of
KY.

MB – Muang Boran, fish ponds in Samut Prakan an hour East of the airport

BP – Bangpoo, mangroves and mudflasts an hour East of the airport



1. Lesser Whistling Duck – 100 seen at Military Acadamy, Nakorn Nayok, 10 at
Muang Boran
2. Cotton Pygmy-Goose - half a dozen seen in flight at MB/
3. Chinese Francolin – One calling outside of entry to KK. Seen briefly.
4. Scaly-breasted Partridge – Seen well at BSN.
5. Red Junglefowl – many seen at KK and a few at KY
6. Kalij Pheasant – 2 males and 2 females seen well at BSN.
7. Silver Pheasant – 1 male and 1 female seen very well near top of Khao Kaew at KY
8. Grey Peacock Pheasant – heard daily at KK and seen once near Panern Thung
9. Little Grebe – a few at OPB, many at MB.
10. Asian Openbill – many in flight and paddies
11. Painted Stork – a dozen at Petburi
12. Indian Cormorant – 25 at LPB, 2 at MB
13. Little Cormorant – abundant in suitable habitat
14. Cinnamon Bittern – 2 at MB
15. Yellow Bittern – 3 at wetlands Petburi, 3 at MB
16. Black Bittern – 1 in flight MB
17. Purple Heron – 1 at MB
18. Gray Heron – many in Petburi and a couple at MB
19. Great Egret – many
20. Intermediate Egret – many
21. Chinese Egret – 3 seen well at LPB
22. Little Egret – many
23. Pacific Reef-Heron – 2 at the sandspit
24. Cattle Egret – many
25. Chinese Pond-Heron – many, several in breeding plumage
26. Javan Pond-Heron – many, several in breeding plumage
27. Striated Heron (Little) – 1 at LPB
28. Black-crowned Night-Heron – in mangroves
29. Oriental Honey-Buzzard – 1 in flight at KLC
30. Black Baza – 1 in forest and many in flight at KLC
31. Black-shouldered Kite – 1 at MB
32. Brahimy Kite – several at LPB and Petburi, 1 MB
33. Crested Serpent Eagle – seen daily at KK
34. Eastern Marsh Harrier – 1 over wetlands in Petburi
35. Crested Goshawk – 2 soaring at KK
36. Shikra – several in migration over KLC
37. Japanese Sparrowhawk – a couple in migration over KLC, 1 at KY
38. Rufous-winged Buzzard – 2 over forest at KLC, 1 being mobbed by
a Japanese Sparrowhawk
39. Gray-faced Buzzard – several in flight at KLC
40. Black Eagle – 1 at KK
41. Mountain Hawk Eagle – 2 in flight at Panern Thung, KK
42. Peregrine Falcon – 1 at KK
43. Slaty-breasted Rail – 2 at King’s project, LPB
44. Ruddy-breasted Crake – 6 at King’s project, 2 at MB
45. White-browed Crake – 6 at MB
46. White-breasted Waterhen – a few in suitable habitat
46. Watercock – 1 adult in flight at Lumlukka
47. Common Moorhen – 2 at wetlands Petburi, 2 at MB
48. Red-wattled Lapwing – seen daily
49. Gray Plover (black-bellied) – many at BT and LPB
50. Pacific Golden Plover – many at BT and MB
51. Lesser Sand Plover – many at BP, Samut Prakan
52. Greater Sand Plover – many on sandspit
53. Malaysian Plover – 3 pairs at LPB sandspit
54. Kentish Plover – many
55. Little Ringed Plover – a few at King’s project, 1 at MB
56. White-faced Plover – 1 female seen well at LPB sandspit
57. Black-winged Stilt – many
58. Pheasant-tailed Jacana – 20 at MB
59. Bronze-winged Jacana – 4 at MANN, 6 at MB
60. Common Sandpiper – a few
61. Spotted Redshank – 50 at LPB
62. Common Greenshank – 20 at LPB
63. Nordmann’s Greenshank – 10 at LPB
64. Marsh Sandpiper – many
65. Wood Sandpiper – many in suitable habitat
66. Common Redshank – 3 at BP
67. Eurasian Curlew – 200 at BT, 5 at BOP
68. Black-tailed Godwit – a few at BT and LPB, 400 at BP
69. Bar-tailed Godwit – 50 at BT
70. Great Knot – a few
71. Red Knot – a couple seen well in breeding plumage
72. Sanderling – a dozen at the sandspit
73. Red-necked Stint – many
74. Temminck’s Stint – 2 seen well at King’s project
75. Long-toed Stint – many at King’s project and sporadic in salt pans
76. Dunlin – 3 at BT
77. Curlew Sandpiper – many
78. Spoon-billed Sandpiper – 2 seen well at BT
79. Broad-billed Sandpiper – 20 at BT
80. Ruff – half a dozen
81. Common Snipe – several at King’s project
82. Pin-tailed Snipe – 2 in flight at King’s project
83. Barred Buttonquail – 2 outside the gate of KK seen well in short grass
84. Oriental Pratincole – wetlands in Petburi and MB, small numbers
85. Greater Painted Snipe – 2 at wetlands Petburi
86. Brown-headed Gull – hundreds at LPB and BT,,,,,over 1000 at BP
87. Black-headed Gull – 2 at BP
88. Pallas’s Gull – 1 immature at sandspit
89. Little Tern – 100
90. Gull-billed Tern – 10
91. Caspian Tern – 20
92. White-winged Tern – a few at all costal sites
93. Whiskered Tern – many
94. Common Tern – many
95. Great Crested Tern – 3 at sandspit
96. Lesser Crested Tern – 1 at sandspit
97. Rock Pigeon – many
98. Red Collared Dove – many in open country
99. Spotted Dove – many
100.Zebra Dove – many
101.Emerald Dove – seen daily at KK
102.Thick-billed Pigeon – seen well at KK and KY
103.Yellow-vented Pigeon – 2 seen well feeding in fruiting tree at Panern Thung
(these birds breed at PT)
104. Mountain Imperial Pigeon – seen well at KK
105. Little Cuckoo Dove – 2 at KK
106. Barred Cuckoo Dove – 6 at KY
107. Red-breasted Parakeet – 3 outside entrance to KY
108. Vernal Hanging Parakeet – seen daily at KK
109. Moustached Hawk Cuckoo – heard only at KK
110. Indian Cuckoo – 1 heard and 1 seen well at KK
111. Oriental Cuckoo – 1 seen well at KK
112. Banded Bay Cuckoo – heard daily at KK
113. Plaintive Cuckoo – 1 seen at KK
114. Drongo Cuckoo – seen at KLCand KK, heard daily at KK
115. Green-billed Malkoha – seen daily at KK and KY
116. Coral-billed Ground-Cuckoo, a pair heard extremely well calling one another
across the entrance road at KY. One bird showed well briefly.
117. Greater Coucal – a few at KK
118. Lesser Coucal – 1 at MB
119. White-fronted Scopes Owl – 1 calling (impossible to see inspite of many man
hours of searching
120. Mountain Scops Owl – 1 responding to play back, heard only
121. Collared Scops Owl – 1 seen well at KK
122. Collared Owlet – 1 seen at KK, heard at KK and KY
123. Spotted Owlet – 1 seen in day light at KLC
124. Asian Barred Owlet – 1 seen at KK, 1 seen at KY
125. Brown Hawk Owl – 1 seen at KK in daylight
126. Great Eared Nightjar – seen well at KK and KY
127. Large-tailed Nightjar –seen daily at KK
128. Indian Nightjar – 1 seen well at LPB after dusk
129. Brown-backed Needletail – 4 seen well drinking water at KY, in flight at KK
130. Himalayan Swiftlet – a few at KK
131. Germain’s Swiftlet – many at coast
132. Fork-tailed Swift – 50 at Panern Thung, seen daily at KK
133. House Swift – a few at Bangpoo
134. Asian Palm Swift – many
135. Grey-rumped Swifts – seen twice at KK
136. Red-headed Trogon – a pair seen well at KY
137. Orange-breasted Trogon – 4 seen at KK, 1 at KY
138. Common Kingfisher – 2 at King’s project
139. Banded Kingfisher – a pair seen well at Panern Thung, KK
140. White-throated Kingfisher – common on wires
141. Collared Kingfisher – regular in mangrove
142. Black-capped Kingfisher – 3 at Petburi, 1 at BP
143. Pied Kingfisher – 1 at wetlands Petburi
144. Red-bearded Bee-eater – smashing views of a pair at km 36, KK
145. Blue-bearded Bee-eater – a pair near Bahn Krahng, KK
146. Green Bee-eater – many in open areas
147. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater – 10 at KY
148. Blue-tailed Bee-eater – seen on 4 days in open areas
149. Indian Roller – many
150. Dollarbird – a pair at KK
151. Eurasian Hoopoe – 2 at Petburi
152. Oriental Pied Hornbill – a few at KK and KY
153. Great Hornbill – 3 at KK, cracking views at KY
154. Rusty-cheeked Hornbill – 3 at 2nd stream KK
155. Wreathed Hornbill – a few seen at KK and KY
156. Great Barbet – 5 at KK
157. Blue-throated Barbet – common at Panern Thung, KK
158. Moustached Barbet – 1 at KK, 1 KY
159. Green-eared Barbet – a few seen at KY
160. Blue-eared Barbet – a few at KK and 1 at KY
161. Red-throated Barbet – 1 heard at KK
162. Coppersmith Barbet - a few seen
163. Lineated Barbet – a few at Khao Lookchang
164. Speckled Piculet – 2 at KK
165. White-browed Piculet – 1 at KK
166. Rufous Woodpecker – 1 at Khao Lookchang
167. Greater Yellownape – seen daily at KK, 2 at KY
168. Laced Woodpecker – 1 at KY
169. Gray-faced (headed) Woodpecker – a pair seen well at KK
170. Black-headed Woodpecker – a pair seen well at KLC
171. Common Flameback – only one bird was seen in flight at KK
172. Greater Flameback – 10 birds all in all at KK and KY
173. Bamboo Woodpecker – 1 heard only at KK
174. Bay Woodpecker – 1 heard only at KK
175. Buff-rumped Woodpecker – a pair seen at KK
176. Great Slaty Woodpecker – sadly only heard at KK
177. Black-red Broadbill – a pair showing well at Bahnkrahng, KK
178. Long-tailed Broadbill – 1 seen well at km 28 KK, heard at KY
179. Silver-breasted Broadbill – seen once at KK
180. Black-yellow Broadbill – seen once at KK
181. Banded Broadbill – seen once at KK
182. Blue Pitta – great views of a male at KY
183. Golden-bellied Gerygone – 1 seen at King’s project, heard at BP
184. Large Woodshrike – group of 4 seen at KK
185. Ashy Woodswallow – many
186. Common Iora – 1 seen at MB
187. Great Iora – 2 at KK
188. Black-winged Cuckoo-Shrike – seen at KK and KY
189. Rosy Minivet – seen at KK with Brown-rumped Minivets
190. Brown-rumped (Swinhoe’s) Minivet – several flocks at KK
191. Ashy Minivet – 2 at KLC
192. Scarlet Minivet – seen both at KK and KY
193. Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike – small numbers at KK and KY
194. Brown Shrike – many
195. Long-tailed Shrike – 1 at Muang Boran
196. Black-naped Oriole – seen on 3 days
197. Black Drongo – many
198. Ashy Drongo – many
199. Bronzed Drongo – many
200. Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo – 2 at KK
201. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo – seen on 5 days
202. Pied Fantail – a few
203. Black-naped Monarch – daily at KK
204. Green Magpie – seen twice at KK
205. Racket-tailed Treepie – seen on 3 days
206. Rufous Treepie – 2 at KLC
207. Gray Treepie – 5 at KK
208. Large-billed Crow – small numbers seen on 4 days
209. Indochinese Bushlark – 2 in scrub Petburi
210. Barnswallow – many
211. Red-rumped Swallow – small numbers seen with Barnswallow
212. Asian House Martin – 2 at KY
213. Gray-headed Canary Flycatcher – 2 seen at KK (surprisingly few seen)
214. Sultan Tit – several pairs seen on 3 days at KK
215. Yellow-bellied Warbler – 4 seen on two days KK
216. Black-headed Bulbul – a few seen at KK
217. Black-crested Bulbul – many
218. Red-whiskered Bulbul – 4 at KY
219. Sooty-headed Bulbul – seen on 3 days
220. Stripe-throated Bulbul – seen on 3 days
221. Flavescent Bulbul – several at Panern Thung, KK
222. Yellow-vented Bulbul – 2 open country KK
223. Streak-eared Bulbul – many
224. Puff-throated Bulbul – a few at KY
225. Ochraceous Bulbul – several at KK
226. Grey-eyed Bulbul – a few at KY
227. Buff-vented Bulbul – a few at KK
228. Ashy Bulbul – a few at KK
229. Mountain Bulbul – 1 at KK
230. Dusky Warbler - 1 in mangroves at LPB
231. Radde’s Warbler – seen twice
232. Yellow-browed Warbler – small numbers on several days
233. Arctic Warbler – seen twice
234. Claudia’s Leaf Warbler – several at KY (formerly considered a form of
Blyth’s Leaf Warbler in the p. reguliodes complex, we struggled to ID this bird as it
looked much like Blyth's but had a different and to me unknown song, after some research
it turns out that this might be the most common Leaf Warbler in KY in winter and now is
elevated to its own taxon p. claudiae)
235. Pale-legged Leaf-warbler – seen once, commonly heard at KK and KY
236. Plain-tailed Warbler – 1 seen on trail 6 KY
237. Black-browed Reed Warbler – seen at King’s project and MB
238. Thick-billed Warbler – seen once in scrub
239. Oriental Reed Warbler – several seen well at MB
240. Striated Grassbird – several at MB
241. Zitting Cisticola – seen in coastal scrub
242. Common Tailorbird – many
243. Dark-necked Tailorbird – several seen at KK
244. Plain Prinia – several seen in scrub
245. Gray-breasted Prinia – 4 outside entrance to KK
246. Yellow-bellied Prinia – 2 at MB
247. Asian Fairy-bluebird – many in forest
248. Asian Brown Flycatcher – a few
249. Dark-sided Flycatcher – 2 at KK
250. Brown-streaked Flycatcher – 1 at KK
251. Taiga Flycatcher – many
252. Blue-white Flycatcher – 3 seen at KK (passage migrant seldom seen)
253. Verditer Flycatcher – seen only once at KK (where did they go?_
254. Hainan Blue Flycatcher – a pair at 2nd stream KK
255. Hill-blue Flycatcher – once at KK
256. Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher – a pair at BSN, KK
257. Siberian Blue Robin – 2 at Bahn Songnok, KK
258. Oriental Magpie Robin – many
259. White-rumped Shama – many
260. White-crowned Forktail – 1 at trail 6 KY
261. Siberian Stonechat – common in suitable habitat
262. Blue Rock Thrush – seen on 3 occasions
263. White-throated Rock-Thrush – 1 seen well at KY
264. Blue Whistling Thrush – 3 at KY
265. Siberian Thrush – 2 males at KK (rare passage migrant)
266. Eye-browed Thrush – flock of 30 perched in a tree at KK
267. White’s Thrush – 1 along the road at KK
268. White-crested Laughingthrush – 2 flocks at KY
269. Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush – several seen at KK
270. Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush – several seen at KK
271. Black-throated Laughingthrush – heard singing at KY
272. Abbott’s Babbler – 1 seen at KY
273. Puff-throated Babbler – seen well twice at KK and KLC
274. Large Scimitar-Babbler – 2 seen well at BSN
275. White-browed Scimitar-Babbler – 4 seen at BSN and KK
276. Rufous-fronted Babbler – 2 seen well, commonly heard at KK
277. Striped Tit Babbler – seen daily at KK
278. Golden Babbler – heard on higher ground at KK
279. White-browed Shrike-Babbler – a pair seen well at KK
280. White-hooded (collared) Babbler – one flock seen at roadside KK
281. Brown-cheeked Fulvetta – seen well at BSN
282. White-bellied Yuhinna – 2 in mixed flock at KY
283. Oriental White-eye – flock in mangroves at BP
284. Japanese White-eye – flock at KK
285. Golden-crested Myna – 2 in flight at KK
286. Hill Myna – several at KK and KY
287. White-vented Myna – many
288. Common Myna – many
289. Vinous-breasted Starling – a pair in scrub at Petburi
290. Black-collared Starling – several at MANN
291. Asian Pied Starling – many
292. Chestnut-tailed Starling – 1 at MANN
293. Blue-winged Leafbird – seen 3 times at KK and KY
294. Golden-fronted Leafbird – seen on 3 days at KK
295. Orange-bellied Leafbird – once at KK
296. Thick-billed Flowerpecker – 1 at KY
297. Yellow-vented Flowerpecker – 1 at KK, 1 at KY
298. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker – a few
299. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird – twice at KK, once at KY
300. Olive-backed Sunbird – a few
301. Purple Sunbird – 1 at Khao Lookchang
302. Brown-throated Sunbird – twice seen
303. Little Spiderhunter – 1 KK, 1 KY
304. Streaked Spiderhunter – a few at KK
305. Black-throated Sunbird – a few at KK
306. Chestnut (black-headed) Munia – 6 at wetlands Petburi
307. Scaly-breasted Munia – many
308. White-rumped Munia – 4 at KK
309. Baya Weaver – 2 seen
310. Asian Golden Weaver – seen on 3 occasions
311. Paddyfield Pipit – several
312. Eurasian Tree Sparrow – many
3013. House Sparrow – seen once
314. Plain-backed Sparrow – seen twice
315. Pin-tailed Parrotfinch – 3 seen at KK
316. Gray Wagtail – several at KK
317. Yellow Wagtail – flocks in flight over fields


All images from the trip itself.


Isaac Grant and Peter Shen
Isaac Grant and Peter Shen
Isaac Grant
Isaac Grant
Spotted Owlet
Spotted Owlet
Rufous-winged Buzzard and Shikra
Rufous-winged Buzzard and Shikra
Collared Scops Owl
Collared Scops Owl
Siberian Thrush
Siberian Thrush
Red-bearded Bee-eater
Red-bearded Bee-eater
Large Scimitar Babbler
Large Scimitar Babbler
Scaly-breasted Partridge
Scaly-breasted Partridge
Drongo Cuckoo
Drongo Cuckoo
Silver Pheasent
Silver Pheasent
Great Hornbill
Great Hornbill
Orange-breasted Trogon
Orange-breasted Trogon