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A Report from

Kaengkrachan 3-4/02/2,

Peter Ericsson

September 2000, I was able to visit Kaengkrachan for a daytrip with Steve Goodbred from the US. Chances so had it that Steve was coming through Thailand again while on a business trip. This time he was able to alot 2 nights and 2  days to more fully discover the beauties that lies within the park.

We drove to the park and arrived late evening for a wonderful dinner at Gaengpet reataurant just before visitor center. Here the food is superb and clean simple rooms can be rented for 300Baht/night.

Paperwork for the park can now be processed at 6 am during weekends. No longer in advance though.

We arrived at Bahnkrahng, km 15, a little after 7 and started birding. The White-throated Rock-Thrush that obligingly has taken to a few planted trees by visitor center was still there, inspite of having been photographed by a huge range of photographers. A colorful and uncommon visitor. We stayed around this area  for awhile and amongst many other things saw, Greater-necklaced Laughingthrushes, Green Magpie, Pied Hornbill, Black-naped Orioles, Fairy Bluebird, Rosy Minivets, Common Flameback and Crested Treeswifts. This area around lower campground is always teeming with birds and a good place to start before entering the more closed forest at km 16-18. Once in here things slowed down and not much happened except for a pair of unique Grew-buff Woodpeckers. This is a southern bird that is another sample of what can 'pop up' in this remarkable habitat zone of western central Thailand. Another sample was a female Asian Emerald Cuckoo high in the canopy. We then went up to km 28 and had lunch. Quiet all around so decided to head down the old jeep trail in search for Chestnut-naped Forktails supposedly to be found in the streams down below. On the way down Steve spotted a pair of lovely Long-tailed Broadbills high in the treetops. Well done. We dipped on the Forktail but found vigour and inspiration again after having foot bathed in the clear waters of a stream. Outside of breeding season the park seem quite quiet with less birds calling and it called for some sharp eyes to 'draw out' and identify any movement.

On the way back up, we had a most remarkable birdwave with the following in it: Yellow-bellied Warbler, Sulphur-breated Warbler, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler, Spot-necked Babbler, Black-naped Monarch, White-bellied Yuhinna, White-tailed Flycatcher (a real rarity and my only lifebird) Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Silver-breasted Drongo, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch and Lesser Ratchet-tailed Drongo.

We then headed for the viewpoint at km 31 and enjoyed a 'tourist free' afternoon. So easy to spot birds up here and at the same time take in the breathtaking views of rolling mountain peaks, covered in green mass. Good birds here were: Grey Treepie, Great Hornbill, White-browed Shrike-Babbler, Blue-throated Barbet, Vernal Hanging Parakeet, Himalayan Swiftlet, Great Barbet, Large Wood-Shrike, Black-throated Sunbird, Grey-chinned Minivets, Slender-billed Oriole etc.

Campground at km 30 was filling up for the weekend but we got a nice spot and settled for the evening.

Next morning added Yellow-vented Pigeon, Thick-billed Pigeon and Mountain Bulbuls plus more but we decided to go back down to km 28 as it was rather crowded on the top. Still quiet at 28 so we went down the track again. This time a pair of Bay Woodpeckers appeared deep in the forest. A smaller wave consisting of White-hooded Babbler, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, White-browed Scimitar Babbler and Green Magpie came through. A flock of around 100 Treron Pigeons took off from a tree but in general it was quiet. Ashy Bulbul and Orange-bellied Leafbird hung around the small carpark and also entertained with musical songs.

Afternoon was spent down between km 16-18 and we added some very spectacular birds.

A flock of 4 Crested Jays, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Lesser Yellownape, was Steve's reward for daring to enter the woods on his own. Meanwhile I picked up Streak-breasted Woodpecker and had clear views of Bar-backed Partridges.

All in all we saw or heard 123 species. Steve got 21 life birds and I myself added one.

We were both very pleased with the outcome and hope to be back again.

Peter Ericsson

Birds seen and heard:
Little Egret
Pond Heron
White-breasted Waterhen                                                                        
Crested Goshawk
Japanese Sparrowhawk
Crested Serpent-Eagle  Heard
Red Junglefowl
Grey Peacock-Pheasant
Bar-backed Partridge
Red-wattled Lapwing
Scaly-breasted Partridge  Heard
Yellow-vented Pigeon  
Thick-billed Pigeon
Emerald Dove
Mountain Imperial Pigeon
Vernal Hanging Parakeet
Asian Emerald Cuckoo
Green-billed Malkoha
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha
Greater Coucal
Asian Barred Owlet
Large-tailed Nightjar Heard
Orange-brested Trogon
Red-headed Trogon
Common Kingfisher
White-throated Kingfisher
Cheastnut-headed Bee-eater
Indian Roller
Wreathed Hornbill
Great Hornbill
Oriental Pied Hornbill
Great Barbet
Green-eared Barbet
Blue-eared Barbet  Heard
Blue-throated Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet Heard
Streak-breasted Woodpecker
Greater Yellownape
Lesser Yellownape
Common Flameback
Greater Flameback
Grey-buff Woodpecker
Bay Woodpecker
Heart-spotted Woodpecker
Banded Broadbill Heard
Silver-breasted Broadbill
Long-tailed Broadbill
Himalayan Swiftlet
Asian Palm-Swift
Brown Needletail
Crested Treeswift
Barn Swallow
Grey wagtail
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
Large Wood-shrike
Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike
Ashy Minivet
Rosy Minivet
Grey-chinned Minivet
Scarlet Minivet
Golden-fronted Leafbird
Blue-winged Leafbird
Orange-bellied Leafbird
Black-crested Bulbul
Stripe-throated Bulbul
Flavescent Bulbul
Ochraceous Bulbul
Buff-vented Bulbul
Mountain Bulbul
Ashy Bulbul
Ashy Drongo
Bronzed Drongo
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo
Hair-crested Drongo
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Black-naped Oriole
Slender-billed Oriole
Asian Fairly Bluebird
Crested Jay
Green Magpie
Grey Treepie
Ratched-tailed Treepie
Sultan Tit
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Puff-throated Babbler
White-browed Scimitar-Babbler
Rufous-fronted Babbler
Spot-necked Babbler
White-hooded Babbler
Striped Tit-Babbler
White-crested Laughingthrush
Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush
White-bellied Yuhina
Golden-spectacled Warbler
Radde's Warbler
Inornate Warbler
Sulfur-breasted Warbler
Dark-necked Tailorbird
White-rumped Shama
White-throated Rock-Thrush
Blue Rock-Thrush
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Verditer Flycatcher
Red-throated Flycatcher
Little Pied Flycatcher
White-tailed Flycatcher 
Hainan Blue Flycatcher
Blue-throated Flycatcher
Grey-headed Flycatcher
Black-naped Monarch
Asian Paradise-flycatcher
Common Myna
Hill Myna
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird
Olive-backed Sunbird
Black-throated Sunbird
Little Spiderhunter Heard
Streaked Spiderhunter
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker

The Birds of Thailand
Craig Robson: Buy from

  • At last, the quality of field guides for the Far East has caught up with those of Europe and America. Craig Robson's "Birds of Thailand" is a tour de force...950 mouth watering species all beautifully illustrated and expertly described, each with its own distribution map. The natural riches of Thailand make it an ever more popular birding destination and this indispensible guide will set the standard there for years to come.

A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia
Craig Robson: Buy from or

  • A new flexi-cover edition of this superb and influential book is now available (UK) making it far more useful in the field. The birds of South-East Asia details the identification, voice, breeding, status, habitat and distribution of the 1250 species and distinctive sub-species of the region covering Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, West Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. The illustrations are excellent and Craig Robson's text reflects his position as one of the foremost ornithological authorities of S.E.Asia. Indispensable for anyone visiting the area.

Peter Ericsson

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