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Peter Ericsson | profile | all galleries >> Tripreports! >> Central Thailand Dec/Jan 2015-16 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Central Thailand Dec/Jan 2015-16

Central Thailand 20th Dec – 2nd of Jan 2-106
Tour operator: Birding2Asia
Tour leader and guide: Peter Ericsson
Participants: Steve, Peilin and Sierra Glassman

This trip was always going to be different. I normally wouldn’t accept a request over Christmas and this one also included New Year’s. However, circumstances made it possible for me to have a different Season all together this year.

Peilin and Steve Glassman from California love to take their daughter, Sierra, 10, to far flung places where birds are found. After they had spent 1 week in Taiwan they asked for a 13 day tour of Central Thailand stating that their daughter was the only real birder. Wow! Since when have I had the privilege to mentor such a young person in the field of birding?

21th Dec. I picked up the team at Dom Muang airport which was as jam packed with travelers and traffic as ever. It was virtually impossible to find parking.

We then whisked off to our hotel near Suwanaphum airport where we could leave some luggage to be picked up later on before leaving the country.

22st Crazy traffic as usual but we arrived at the fish ponds by the Ancient City in Samut Prakan after having sampled some Thai breakfast ‘outside’ of a 7-11 convenience store (most folks prefer inside)!

The ponds on the right hand side of the trail no longer have water. According to the locals the owner of the land, big industrialists, are planning to develop it. On the left side the ponds were still filled with water and slowly we started to add one species after the other. The site is good for White-browed Crake and Striated Warbler, species otherwise not often seen on a trip in Central Thailand except for at Beung Borapet 3 hours North of Bangkok.

There were thousands of Brown-headed Gulls at Bangpoo and fun time both photographing and feeding them, the latter a common practice by the locals. We also visited a permanent hide in the hinterlands where we saw some shorebirds.

A 3 hour drive to Khao Yai had us arrive in time for Red-breasted Parakeets coming in to their communal roosts. The area is rapidly being developed with high end enterprises as Bangkokians are seeking refuge from the stress and heat of Bangkok in greater numbers than ever.

23nd The gates open at 6 am and we soon found ourselves at the 1st lookout inside of Khao Yai National Park. The vantage point is very good and one can spend a long time enjoying the bird activity in the early morning.

Khao Yai has a lot of different habitat/birding spots and throughout the day we explored most of them. I had great fun showing Sierra the local birds and both mom and dad were right in with her with their enthusiasm. Everything was new to them and greatly appreciated. We did see Siamese Fireback but not Silver Pheasant as a landslide had made it impossible to drive up to Khao Kaew radar station.

Best sighting for the day otherwise goes to the huge male elephant walking ahead of us on the road while driving back. Thankfully it ventured off the road after 10 minutes and we could go on to our hotel.

Peilin and Steve simply loved the Thai food and it was a lot of fun for me to come up with the best combinations for our meals. Thankfully I have been here long enough to know where the good food is!

24rd Another morning at KY. Breakfast at the local breakfast stall by the road is not only about food but blending in with the culture and the life of the people of Thailand. Anyone that has been with me here knows the great ambiance it has in the early morning hour as the birds wake up.

This day we had some fantastic views of Great Hornbills with their swooshing wing beats. We watched the birds at length as they fed in a fruiting fig tree.

After another sumptuous lunch we drove to Nakon Sawan, near Beung Borpet. Here we found another lovely restaurant and Steve and Peilin were able to have Thai traditional massage on the room.
25th. Early morning at Beung Borapet where we met up w
Sierra and Peter
Sierra and Peter
Peter and Sierra
Peter and Sierra
Sierra, Peilin and Steve Glassman
Sierra, Peilin and Steve Glassman
Coot
Coot
Purple Heron
Purple Heron
Yellow Bittern
Yellow Bittern
Chinese Egret
Chinese Egret
Pheasant-tailed Jacana
Pheasant-tailed Jacana
Oriental Darter
Oriental Darter
Sanderling
Sanderling
Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank
White-throated Kingfisher
White-throated Kingfisher
Western Osprey
Western Osprey
Grey Peacock Pheasant
Grey Peacock Pheasant
Kalij Pheasant
Kalij Pheasant
Bar-backed Partridge
Bar-backed Partridge
Rufous-throated Partridge
Rufous-throated Partridge
Slaty-legged Crake
Slaty-legged Crake
Pied Hornbill
Pied Hornbill
Great Hornbill
Great Hornbill
Great Hornbill
Great Hornbill
Great Hornbill
Great Hornbill
Hair-crested Drongo
Hair-crested Drongo
Drongo Cuckoo
Drongo Cuckoo
Ashy Drongo
Ashy Drongo
Grey Treepie
Grey Treepie
White-necked Laughingthrush
White-necked Laughingthrush
Black-throated Laughingthrush
Black-throated Laughingthrush
Asian Pied Starling
Asian Pied Starling
Orange-breasted Trogon
Orange-breasted Trogon
Orange-breasted Trogon
Orange-breasted Trogon
Red-headed Trogon
Red-headed Trogon
Red-headed Trogon, male
Red-headed Trogon, male
Grey-eyed Bulbul
Grey-eyed Bulbul
Grey-eyed Bulbul
Grey-eyed Bulbul
Brown-rumped Minivet
Brown-rumped Minivet
Striated Warbler
Striated Warbler
Black-throated Sunbird
Black-throated Sunbird
Yellow-bellied Prinia
Yellow-bellied Prinia
Sultan's Tit
Sultan's Tit
Ahlstrom's Warbler
Ahlstrom's Warbler
Siberian Blue Robin
Siberian Blue Robin
Citrine Wagtail
Citrine Wagtail