Monday, August 23, 2010

Kaeng Krachan National Park Day 3 - 25th May 2010

Kaeng Krachan Birding Holiday Day 3

Prime birding spots at Kaeng Krachan National Park are :-
a) Barn Krang Campsite (KM15) trek up to cross stream 1, 2 and 3. If there is still time permit explore the well carve nature trail near the camp site

b) Panoen Tung Campsite KM30. (1,207 meter asl)
Due to the narrow jeep track, vehicles heading up are restricted at 5:30am – 7:30am and 13:00pm – 15:00pm. Timetable for vehicles heading down are at 9:00am – 10am and 16:00pm – 17:00pm.
Visitors that do not stay in any of the Kaeng Krachan National Park’s accommodation need to leave and pass the park entrance before dark. Visitors that have their accommodation inside the park are not allowed to roamed around after dark. This is due to many wild animals such as Wild Elephants are more fierce and active at night. For safety sake, the Park Authority impose the curfew rule to it’s visitors after dark.

A normal saloon car or van can safely land you to Barn Krang Campsite with careful manoeuvre. However 4WD is required for assessing Panoen Tung campsite due to 3 streams to cross from Barn Krang Campsite. During raining season the streams could suddenly swell up. In this situation it will pose difficulties/dangerous to any 4WD.

Today we hire Khun Piak the local nature guide with his 4WD to fetch us to Panoen Tung Campsite. Apparently he is one and the only local guide. He is also interested in bird-watching. Having him around as our chauffer to Panoen Tung, it makes us feel that we are interacting with a friend who have the same interest. Beside being a walking field guide himself, he also carry along birds and mammals field guides. He earned his living by fetching birders as well as normal tourist to admire the morning “sea of fog” at Panoen Tung. He told us during peak seasons (winter) everyday he is fully booked. Anyhow his preference is to fetch birders. Since he is the one and only local nature guide, his booking can be made with the help of your accommodation owner.

FYI Panoen Tung for bird-watching activities it is best to avoid Sat, Sun and public holiday.

Khun Piak arrived at our chalet doorstep about 30 mins earlier. It is norm for him to be earlier to wait for his clients. However I feel that “ooh no I’ve yet to change from my pyjamas….” .

Unlike my previous visit during winter, I notice that the journey to Panoen Tung campsite is not chilling cold even I sat on back of Khun Piak’s truck like vehicle. The journey is as rough and bumpy as before. A few times we nearly felt off from our seat.

Khun Piak would normally stops at a few strategic place before the last destination of KM30 to allow his client to have the chance to look out for White-Browed Scimitar Babbler, Hornbill fly pass and etc...

While trying to look out for birds, I notice a small forest crab crawling on the track.
We stopped a little while to look at long-tailed broadbill nesting activities. Nearby we noticed 2 cute short-nosed fruitbats clutching together.
Sightings of Blue-Throated Barbet seems to a guarantee at this higher altitude.
Something fells on the track like raindrops. Hei...wonder is these the act of Hornbill feeding activities? It looks like an edible fruits, however it seems that only the macaque are interested on this.
We reached KM30 station safely though. This time of the year there is no sight of any camps. During winter KM30 Panoen Tung campsite is full of tents.

Just incase you miss to see the Rachet-tailed Treepie. There is a photo of if inside the restaurant.
This Leopard was photograph by one of the Thai birder. They told us that one "auspicious day" this Leopard was noticed resting on the big tree in front of the restaurant. There are few photographs of this majestic mammals hangs on the restaurant wall to commemorate the very moment.
One can easily spot the Flasvescent Bulbul, Blue-Throated Barbet and Ochraceous Bubul at Panoen Tung campsite restaurant. Sharing with you the series of birds that I could freeze it’s moments.

Noticed another Long Tailed broadbill nesting activities. Nest building are done by both female and male.
The bird will get the nesting materials somewhere, would not fly directly to the nesting spot.
They will perched at some spot nearby for awhile. Will have at least 2 stop-over, each stop-over is getting nearer to the nest. They need to be cautions of any predators around.
This is how broadbill weave it's nest.
We have to hide behind some bushes to peep into this individual. This Green Magpie came many rounds bathing and foraging.

Another pose of Blue-Throated Barbet. Actually this fruiting tree attracted a few Blue-Throated Barbet.
Mam mentioned to us that she saw a flock of small birds waves of a plain looking bird. Since it is a lifer for even to my Thai birder friend, it is then worth for us to look out for. We look out and OOOPs another lifer. The Burmese Yuhina.
It was quite disappointing cause n the midst of our good birding day, our afternoon session have to ended earlier due to heavy downpour.

Birds heard and saw for the day
Red Jungle Fowl –male, Bay Woodpecker (L), Great Barbet, Blue-Throated Barbet, Moustached Barbet, Green-Eared Barbet, Moustached Barbet, Great Hornbill, Orange Breasted Trogon, Black-Backed Kingfisher (L), Greate Coucal, Emeral Dove, Little Cuckoo Dove, Red Waltted Lapwing, Blue Pitta (H,L) – call (peru-whit, peru-whit), Greater Green Leabird, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Long-Tailed Broadbill, Rachet-Tailed Treepie (L), Black-Naped Monarch –female, White Rumped Sharma, Flavescent Bulbul,Ochraceous Bulbul, Ashy Bulbul, Buff-Vented Bulbul – juvenile, Dark Throated Tailorbird, flock of Oriental White Eye, Black-Throated Laughingthrush (L), White Hooded Babbler, Burmese Yuhina (L), Streaked Spiderhunter, Little spiderhunter, Ruby-Cheeked Sunbird.

Mammals sighted
Spectacled Leaf Macaque

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