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Photography trip!

Bird photography trip 27th July – 1st Aug, 2012

Dave Irving is a very keen bird and wildlife photographer with an impressive portfolio of images from around the world. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dave_irving/sets/
Dave was on his way to England for a visit and wanted to spend a few days in Thailand, a country he had visited before and likes a lot.

The idea was to see and photograph as many birds possible. Since it was July and the rainy season the numbers encountered would be on the low side but what does that matter if you are having fun?

Day 1. After we met up at the airport we drove strait to the province of Petchaburi where we arrived around noon. This is the birdiest province in the country with a wide range of habitats.

We started out with some reed beds next to the road and started firing away from the car. Streaked Weaver, Asian Golden Weaver and Baya Weavers were our targets.

After that a shorter drive took us to Lampakbia. Not many waders around but still managed to photograph Black-winged Stilt, Long-toed Stint, Little Ringed Plover and Lesser Sand Plover.
The common wetland birds were also in the view finder and Javan Pond Heron in breeding plumage, Cattle Egret, Little and Indian Cormorants found themselves posing for us.

Some of the more common open area birds were around: Red-wattled Lapwings, Red-collared Dove, Common and White-vented Myna, Pied Starling, Spotted and Zebra Doves.

Day 2.

The night was spent at the very nice Banmaka resort near Kaengkrachan National Park.
An arrangement with Ban Songnok had been made so we started the day at this fabulous place. Many birds were missing from the hide but there was still plenty to keep Dave busy.

Lesser and Greater Laughingthrushes, Large Scimitar Babbler, Puff-throated Babbler, Striped Tit Babbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Streak-eared, Strip-throated, Black-crested and Sooty-headed Bulbuls, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Black-naped Monarch, Magpie Robin, White-rumped Shama, Kalij Pheasant and Red Junglefowl.

In the garden there were a bunch of birds and we added: Green-eared Barbet, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker and Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker.
During lunch at Banmaka an obliging Crimson Flowerpecker kept coming to feed on nectar.
Stunning bird!

Day 3.

Today we entered Kaengkrachan National Park. It drizzled all morning so we cut it short after lunch. Never the less we managed to get pictures of Greater Yellownape, Common Flameback, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Ocraceous Bulbul, Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike and Common Iora.

The main highlite was our big target bird: White-fronted Scops Owl. It took a bit to locate the day roost and the birds were in an awkward perch but Dave got some real good shots.

Also a Banded Broadbill came pretty low and posed for a bit.

Did some birding at roadsides outside the park and added Ashy Wood Swallows to the growing collection of birds photographed.

Day 4.

Instead of going back into the rather slow birding of the forest we opted to visit an area of dry open forest by a temple.

Main target here is the Black-headed Woodpeckers. They are such great looking birds and it is fun to stalk them as they feed trying to get some decent shots.

Rufous Treepie, Lineated Barbet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Asian Barred Owlet all showed but the weather was gloomy and the pictures more on the ‘record’ side.

The afternoon turned out to be a real winner! Back to the Lampakbia and in search for a Great Thick-knee. We couldn’t find it from the car so started walking. It caught wind of us before we did and promptly flew in front of our eyes. Good opportunity for flight shots.

Then off to get shots of the colorful Painted Storks. A real rarity, Milky Stork, was found in with the Painted ones. Not too far away half a dozen Spot-billed Pelicans were feeding in the large pond.

Back to the King’s project. Amazingly so, a pair of Greater Painted Snipes were in the open.
Got some fantastic views and close range shots. Wow!

Common Redshank, Ruff and Wood Sandpiper also showed well.

In one of the ponds, a pair of Lesser Whistling Ducks calmly let us approach them.

Day 5.

Overnight stay in Bangkok and Dave generously treated me for a birthday meal with authentic pizza and imported dark beer. Thank you David!

A drive to Bangpra for our last day. The wetlands and woods surrounding the reservoir can be very birdy.

Good birds that we photographed were White-crested Laughingthrushes, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Yellow Bittern, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker and Asian Openbills.

Dave really wanted to shoot the Common Hoopoe and we managed to find several birds as we went along.

Paddyfield Pipit, Indo-chinese Bushlark, Green Bee-eater also gave opportunities.

The afternoon was spent at Muang Boran fish ponds near Bangkok.
This is a very birdy area and we managed to spend a couple of hours here before some very dark clouds followed by pouring rain took over.

Black Bittern, Long-tailed Shrike, Plain Prinia, Yellow-breasted Prinia, Pheasant-tailed Jacana made it our way before we called it quits.

All in all Dave photographed over 100 species and saw many more. We used several approaches; the car, a stationary blind and simply walking around.

It was truly enjoyable and I count it a blessing to have been out with someone like minded.

Peter

PS. The images in this gallery were taken during this trip. I didn't bother with many species as I already have many shots of them.
Lesser Whistling Tree Ducks
Lesser Whistling Tree Ducks
Milky Stork
Milky Stork
Painted Stork
Painted Stork
Painted Storks
Painted Storks
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret
Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover
Common Redshank
Common Redshank
Ruff
Ruff
Painted Snipe, fem
Painted Snipe, fem
Painted Snipe, male
Painted Snipe, male
Great Thick-knee
Great Thick-knee
Red-wattled Lapwings
Red-wattled Lapwings
White-fronted Scops Owl
White-fronted Scops Owl
Streaked Weaver
Streaked Weaver
Streaked Weaver
Streaked Weaver
Baya Weaver
Baya Weaver
Baya Weaver
Baya Weaver
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Crimson Sunbird
Crimson Sunbird
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
Plain Prinia
Plain Prinia
Yellow-breasted Prinia
Yellow-breasted Prinia
Puff-throated Babbler
Puff-throated Babbler
Stripe-throated Bulbul
Stripe-throated Bulbul
Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush
Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush
Green-eared Barbet
Green-eared Barbet
Banded Broadbills
Banded Broadbills
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
White-vented Myna, immature
White-vented Myna, immature
Greater Yellownape
Greater Yellownape
Common Flameback
Common Flameback
Black-headed Woodpecker
Black-headed Woodpecker