Visit your favourite destinations
|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
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 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)
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.
Birds seen and heard:
Crested Serpent-Eagle Heard
Scaly-breasted Partridge Heard
Mountain Imperial Pigeon
Vernal Hanging Parakeet
Asian Emerald Cuckoo
Asian Barred Owlet
Large-tailed Nightjar Heard
Oriental Pied Hornbill
Blue-eared Barbet Heard
Coppersmith Barbet Heard
Banded Broadbill Heard
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Asian Fairly Bluebird
Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Little Pied Flycatcher
Little Spiderhunter Heard
The Birds of Thailand
A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia