Two trips to Lampakbia and Kaengkrachan Jan/Feb 2010
Lampakbia and Kaengkrachan 28th Jan Ė 1st Feb 2010
By Peter Ericsson
Tony and Pat from England wanted a costumized trip to Lampakbia and Kaengkrachan.
Their goals and purposes for the trip was to find Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Blue-bearded Bee-eater and Red-bearded Bee-eater.
Tony and Pat has since long been trying to see all the Bee-eaters of the world
and prior to this trip had seen 24 of the existing 28.
Now, having these birds as target did not stop them from enjoying all the
birds that came their way. We saw a little over 200 species which was a decent count
for the time spent. Besides, Tony and Pat has an avid interst in butterflies and Kaengkrachan is the perfect place for butterfly enthusiasts.
Day 1. Banbahktaley and Lampakbia. We managed to see all the specialties early on: Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmannís Greenshank, White-faced Plover, Malaysian Plover and Chinese Egret.
This gave us time to bird some fields and hinterlands. The day count ended up with 95 species seen.
Day 2. This day was spent at and around Bankrang. This area has both secondary and primary forest. After having searched for the the Blue-bearded Bee-eater all day the time to lay our eyes on this precious jewel arrived in the late afternoon. Both Tony and Pat made sure to get long looks and pictures of this their 25th Bee-eater.
Other good birds for the day were: Golden-crested Myna (the maleís golden head glistering wonderfully in the sun), Great, Pied and Rusty-cheeked Hornbill,
Great Iora, Orange-breasted Trogon and Greater Yellownape, Crested Serpent Eagle.
Day 3. The day was spent around Panern Thung and further on towards the end of the road in search of Red-bearded Bee-eater. The later is present in the park but not seen very often outside of breeding season.
The avifauna is a bit different up here and many new species were seen: Streaked Spiderhunter, Great Barbet, Blue-throated Barbet, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler,
White-browed Shrike-Babbler, Besra and Collared Falconet being some of them.
Day 3. We started out by visiting a blind where we had cracking views of a pair of
Silver Pheasents, Scaly-breasted Partridges, Greater and Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrushes and more. We then moved into the park again and walked the more
prime area between the 1 and 3rd stream. This time Great Slaty Woodpecker (the largest Woodpecker in the Old World) showed very well. An odd couple consisting of
Greater Flameback and Maroon Woodpecker were flying around together making a racket. Very different calls. Once they were seen on a trunk doing a pendulum sideway motion opposing each other. Very interesting!
Sultans Tit was a warmly welcomed addition. Little Cuckoo Dove a surprise. Asian Barred Owlet showed well. Other good birds were Green-eared and Blue-eared Barbets and Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters.
Broadbills and Pittas were not calling during our time at KK and it wasnít until late in the evening we could our first and only Broadbills. A family group of Dusky Broadbills made themselves known. They are very loud and respond well to playback.
Day 5. We only had the morning so decided to go back up the mountain in search of the missing Bee-eater. The sea of cloud in the mountains are simply gorgeous. Many locals go up in the early morning to catch this spectacle. Great Hornbills were on the move this morning and I counted 9 birds feeding in one tree.
We did add some new birds for the trip: Greater Leafbird, Yellow-bellied Warbler,
Golden Babbler, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Black-throated Sunbird, Black-throated Sunbird and Bay Woodpecker. We didnít manage to find the Bee-eater but Tony and Pat stayed in good spirits saying: ĎIt gives us good reason to plan another trip somewhere elseí.
Before we left BanMaka Resort we saw a splendid Hooded Oriole and then we started our journey to Tony and Patís choice of resort near Khao Samroiyot for the following week.
Lampakbia and Kaengkrachan 4-6th of Feb 2010.
Roland and Desi was in Thailand for a vacation. They had an agreement that a few days would be spent for birding and a few for other things. As is the situation with so
many couples the man is a passionate birder and the women on the contrary.
In Roland and Desiís case they had worked out a great solution and even though not being a birder, Desi, showed great interest in the natural world and had a real aptitude for learning.
Day 1. We started out with a short visit to the Kingís project at Lampakbia. The number of birds in here is almost overwhelming. Waders, waterbirds, terns, gulls, crakes, reed warblers, starlings being a few of them. Also a great place for huge Monitor Lizzards feeding in the well stocked fish ponds.
This morning we managed to see no less then 4 Spoon-billed Sandpipers. What a sight! Thailand is so blessed to have these threatened birds visiting annually.
Plenty of other interesting waders around as well: Long-toed Stints, Great Knots, Broad-billed Sandpipers, Greater and Lesser Sand Plovers etc.
Then off for the lovely boat ride through the mangroves with our boatman Mr Daeng.
White-faced Plover didnít disappoint as it is quite territorial and reliable.
Chinese Egret, Malaysian Plover, Greater and Lesser Crested Terns were other good birds.
Day 2. The lower part of the park from the entrance to km 18 was to be our area for the day. A flock of 8 Golden-headed Mynas perched in a bare tree was a definite highlight. Great Hornbills feeding on figs another. We saw many of the more common birds and they kept Roland and Desi quite busy as just about everything was
new to them.
Day 3. It started with a Common Palm Civet only 5 meters in front of us along the road. Then a Leopard Cat crossing the road. A Wreathed Hornbill in flight only 15 meters in front of us at the summit was a great experience. A flock of Pacific Swifts and some Brown-backed Needletails entertained in the sky.
Dusky Leaf Monkeys and White-handed Gibbons were our companions on this wilderness adventure.
A pair of Grey-headed Lapwings on the dirt road was a surprise.
A male Rusty-necked Hornbill (Brown Hornbill) feeding figs to his mate inside the nesting hole was a terrific experience.
Hearing a Moustached Hawk Cuckoo in the middle of the day and then having the bird come in for views after playback was another major highlight.
A male Banded Kingfisher called and gave views after some searching around.
A slow drive along the 1st stream and much to our surprise/delight a young male elephant revealed itself less then 10meters away. We were happy we were inside the car. The elephant didnít seem too happy to see us but decided to turn around and go back into the stream where he lumbered along.
On the way back to Bangkok we visited a field and saw Greater Spotted Eagle, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Oriental Pratincoles Indo-Chinese Bushlark and more.
All in all 165 species were seen!