Sunday, August 22, 2010

Kaeng Krachan National Park Day 4 - 26th May 2010

Kaeng Krachan Birding Holiday Day 4

Rain has not stopped since from last night. Rainfall throughout the night vary from slight drizzle to heavy pour. We open the chalet’s door discovered that the air is still filled with colonies of winged swarming termites. My slipper which I left outside of the chalet is full of discarded termites wings.

Just before the rainy season with the right temperatures and humidity some termites from nymphs will developed reproductive organ and wings. Then swarming will occur in big colonies. The objective for this swarming is to seek for a new site for food, shelter and to build another colonies (reproduce).

In this url there is a chart that describe the life-cycles of termites/white ants.

Back to my childhood days living in village, we do experience termites swarm some days at dusk during a sudden change of weather (hot day to rainy day). So far I have yet to encounter such a huge colonies burst as compare in Kaeng Krachan. This species that occur at Kaeng Krachan I have yet to encounter back in Malaysia.

It is a wet gloomy morning, we decided to forgo the chances of seeing Khalij Pheasant and it’s chicks at Barn SongNok. We think it will be a slim chance therefore in unison we are having in mind to get away from the dark clouds. Hoping that Barn Krang Campsite which the journey is approximately 30mins from Barn SongNok is dry and sunny. Unfortunately rains seems to following us. We take shelter at Barn Krang visitor complex cum Ranger’s office. Instead of bird-watching we watch TV. In the midst of waiting arrive a full load 4WD of visitors. Due to the heavy downpour these visitors also decided to take shelter like us. One of them who speak perfect American English told me that actually there are from Bangkok overnight at Pethchaburi. Their motives to visit Kaeng Krachan National Park is to admire the mass amount of Butterflies during this time of the year. Alas their plan cannot materialised . No butterflies will flutter in the rain. Unlike us we waited for the rain to subside they head back to Bangkok instead.

We waited for ½ day , out of boredom, I explored and noted.

Ranger’s kitchen cum weekend restaurant for visitor has being shifted. This new kitchen was build in the most eco-environment friendly that I have known. Every piece of structure material was carefully dismantle from the old kitchen. This salvage materials is then re-use to build a new kitchen at this new place. With these they prove that not every new house need to be build with new materials.

I recognise the beam, the bench the dining table, the birds photos, the table cloth.. These are not new…I remember all these do exist at the old kitchen .
The display of Asian Wild Elephants skeleton.

Wonder how old was this tortoise before it died?

Silvered Pheasant a hard to see gems at Kaeng Krachan National Park. It was photograph by a Thai bird photographer.

Dead butterflies still able to preserve its beauty…amazing.

A sudden echo of a helicopter approaching break the silence. Is the helicopter fetching a VIP? Where is the helipad? Oops why is the helicopter turn off and fly away ? Later only come to my awareness that Forestry Dept use helicopter to patrol this Largest Thailand National Park.

Finally rain stopped at about 12 noon . The Greater Flameback bird break our bird less boring day. Below these 3 photos describe how it peck and draw out a termite nymph.

We encounter a number of Forest Crab but have not sight of Crab Eating Macaque.

This Black-Backed Kingfisher with food in it’s beak is about to fly back to it’s nest to feed it’s chicks. We noted that Black-Backed Kingfisher also having the cautious behaviour. It will fly in stopover at a few spot before heading straight to the nest. The moment the next stop is fly to the nest for chicks feeding it will gives a few series of high-pitched alarming calls.

There is a boundary clearly drawn to informed every birdwatchers, bird photographers, normal visitors that no one should trespass. This is a nesting spot be cautions, respect the birds. It was written clearly not to feed the birds, practice good ethical. If not observing the rules the penalty is 1,000Baht. The Park Rangers is really serious. They do patrolling and makes sure that no one gone out of bound. Malaysia has long way to learn the seriousness of conservation like what I experience here.

Wish you success for bringing up the young ones Black-Backed Kingfisher.

You think this Crested Lizard is feeding on dry bamboo leaves. Of course no. It is aiming for the Winged Termites however the Winged Termites is with the dry bamboo leaves.

Is it a gorgeous ?

What caught my attention was this Forest crab feeding on the winged termites.

Another species of Crested Lizard. It is also feeding on Winged Termites.

Another forest crab on the trail.

This Crested Lizard is also feeding on Winged Termites.

Through my observations I did not noticed any bird swarm in to rush for the winged termites. Somehow others seems to find it as delicacies (Forest Crab and Crested Lizard).

Fungi another living organism at Kaeng Krachan National Park.

We went backed to Barn SongNok for the evening birding session. This Himalayan Stripped Squirrel is camera friendly while we are looking out for birds activities.

2 thai birders who check in last night told us that despite the rain, Kalij Pheasant do appear in a flock of (Male, Female and chicks…) …. AAArgh we make the wrong decision this morning. Well maybe we would have the chance tomorrow morning.

Birds Sighted and Heard
- Kaeng Krachan National Park
Greater Flameback – 2 male 1 female
Ochraceous Bulbul
Common Tailorbird
Black Backed Kingfisher
Red-Waltted Lapwing

- Barn SongNok
Red –Legged Crake
Puff-Throated Babbler

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