Friday, January 16, 2009

Birding at Kaeng Krachan National Park - 16/1/2009

Birding at Panoenthung

Yesterday Khun Chai our van driver assist us to made the arrangement for a 4WD pick up transfer from A & B Resort to Panoenthung. It cost us 1,800 Baht per day. Since the journey is another 30 mins from Barn Krang Campsite, we need to push off at 5am (local time). We are blessed to have Khun Piak as our 4WD pick up driver. He is also a birder beside offer 4WD transportation to Panoenthung.
We have a quick toilet stop at Barn Krang campsite. It was pitch darkness. I'm glad that I packed along my new bright small torch. As I walked to the toilet I heard owl calls.. I suspect is the presence of the Brown Hawk Owl.

We continue the journey then. Along the way we met up with Orange Headed Thrush sub-spp of innotata , White-Throated Rock Thrush (lifer), Lesser Mousedeer. As we about to reached to the summit... suddenly kun piak step on the break very hard.. that really makes some of my teammates really have to hold on tight. Well actually Kun Piak spotted a Bar-Backed Partridge. However before I could hold up my binoculars this small Partridge disappear within second.. :-(

General visitors would go to the summit view point for admiring sun-rise. As there are big crowds at summit Khun Piak just before 2 km to the summit he gave us a 1st taste of birding at Panoenthung, while waiting for the day sunrise's admirer vehicle to ascend. Here we stop for our breakfast. As usual we extend our asian hospitality to our driver... Well my vocabulary in thai is very limited... I said.. "Khun Piak.. kin aar han chow aaah."

Khun Piak seems to like a local bird guide for us. He said... SSSsssh... White Hooded Babbler somewhere... I heard another melodious babbler call... He confirmed it as the White-Browed Scimitar Babbler.

This is at Panoenthung.
It is indeed cold here. I wore my newly bought long-sleeve t-shirt that cost me only 100Baht in additional to that I also wear 2 layer of jackets. This is a candid shot courtesy from one of our teammates Mr Lean. We were admiring at a few Moustached Barbet (lifer) and suddenly I spotted a Great Barbet.. OOOh that makes me jump for joy for this good look at the Great Barbet that comes with so many colours.. We also have 2 Great Hornbill flock in to feed at the same fruiting tree as the Barbet.
This is another look of the summit.After the 3rd streams from Barn Krang the jeep track is only meant for a single vehicle to pass through. This means that certain hours are mean for vehicles to ascend and descend.
This is the camp ground.
Today is friday still weekday the camping ground will be full of tents during weekend.
There are a few trails around Panoenthung Scenic Point.

Why the general visitor takes the effort to come here ?

To get a feel of the "Sea Fog"
A few Flavescent Bulbul came by.. But the Great Barbet.. Moustached Barbet is a better sightings.
Hahh.. See I really saw the Great Barbet.. Well the fruiting tree is very far..
A few of us try the trail near the scenic point.. nothing much except Black Crested Bulbul...
We aim with hope to look out for the Rachet-Tailed Treepie that can be only spotted at Kaeng Krachan's summit. However no chance...
Lunch at that only food stall at the summit allows us to admired a Rachet-Tailed Treepie's Photograph hang up on the wall. There is a Leopard photo hang on the wall as well.. Huh... did I hear it correctly this Leopard was at this big tree apposite the food stall here...
After lunch Khun Piak drop us a few spot to look out for birds. I heard a woodpecker busy pecking on a bamboo. It took me a while to search for where is this sound originate from as the sound seems to echo here and there.. I also secretly wish that it would be the Bamboo Woodpecker. I still waiting for my great lucky day to have a good look at them rather then a small glimpse that day when I bird with Gloria and Tim back in Malaysia.

Anyhow this time this I have a good look at the White-Browed Piculet. Dusky Warbler here seems to more abundance than the my neighbouring Myna back at home.
I noticed a fruiting tree a few Barbet came. Moustached Barbet and Blue Throated Barbet..

They told me just after I left this spot A Great Barbet also drop by... AAAARRRH... I should have waited little bit longer..

A sudden bird waves came. This Ashy Bulbul interest me. Another lifer for me cause this is a different sub-spp from Malaysia.
I trek down a little bit more.. as I alone suddenly I saw one ground bird leisurely cross the path.. OOOPs Partridge.. The 1st Partridge let out a loud screeching sound as it notice my presence. Actually I was quite far from it.. I waited in silence then the second bird came.. and I hope there is a 3rd bird just like the Scally Breasted Partridge... Huh.. I could not believe my eyes.. true enough a 3rd bird came by and I just to press the shutter..the thought of would it be a good shots is the last thing in my mind.

My other teammates catch up with me later and they asked me why I was dancing for joy then.. I told them I saw 3 Bar-Backed Partridges and I managed to takes some photos as well..

I told khun Piak..."Khun Susan heen liew sam nork Bar-Backed Partridges.... tai root" and I nod my head.. I show him the photos. He also express joy. Having Khun Piak as our driver as he is also a birder seems let me feel that he is just a part of the team.
Finally I have a good look at the Black-Winged Cuckoo Shrike (lifer).

A flock of Rosy Minivet flock in, I only managed to take the photo of the female.
I do recall to look at the rump ... yup not a fiery..
A few White-Browed Scimitar Babbler came to look out for food here..

Today I can consider myself a very lucky .... OOOH thank you Lord for allow me to see another spp of ground bird...

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