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A Report from

Thailand, Khao Yai 19-21/09/02,

Peter Ericsson

Martin Daniel, a British birder presently living in  Singapore and myself just visited Khao Yai National park for a couple of days.  This may be the most 'risky' time, weather wise, but though we saw little of the sun, we were spared any heavy downpours.

We stayed at the Juladit resort some 3 minutes drive outside the park. Good air-conditioned rooms with hot water, big beds and a hearty breakfast buffet included. I tried booking the room through the Internet but failed. Walk in price was cheaper then online at 980 Baht/room. Same room in another building on the hotel grounds was 750/night.  (Didn't have any time to bird around the  hotel  except for half an hour at noon on our 3rd day. Saw Red-breasted Parakeets and Yellow-rumped Flycatcher as well as Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrikes).

On our first day in the park we had 57 species. Second day added another 20 while the 3rd day's morning only yielded another 4. All in all, we say 105 species during our 3 days whereof 81 were within the park boundaries.

We walked trail 6 at two different times. Very muddy, undulating and rather demanding energy wise.

Best birds in here were a White-crowned Forktail in the stream. Male Hill Blue Flycatcher perched in full view. Red-headed Trogon as well as Orange-breasted Trogons within a minute of each other. I have seldom seen the two species so close together but actually had the same phenomenon happen twice  at different locations this time. Abbott's Babbler is easy in here.

Flocks of White-crested Laughingthrushes mixed with Black-throated and on one occasion a Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush were encountered on frequent occasions all over the park. Their sudden outbursts of cackling and chatters is a sure attention grabber.

White-browed Scimitar-Babbler were seen a number of times and always along with other species.

Driving down Khao Kaew viewpoint towards dusk yielded a party of 5 Silver Pheasants crossing the road. While trying to stake out  Siamese Fireback (failed attempt) a Scaly-breasted Partridge crossed the road. (This bird was also seen on the nature trail behind visitor center).

Greater Flameback, Greater Yellownape and Laced Woodpecker were all seen within 10 minutes at Pah Kloay Mai campground.  Black and Buff Woodpeckers, more uncommon, were seen feeding in a  smaller tree by Lumtaklong stream next to the visitor centre.

Pied Hornbills were seen many times while Wreathed was seen only once. Three individuals slowly flying overhead. Great Hornbills were seen perched as well as flying low between tree tops.

Best raptor was a perched Crested Goshawk while a Besra trying to snatch a Grew Wagtail from the ground gave a rapid appearance.

A Dark-sided Flycatcher was feeding next to a restaurant at the campground. An Asian Brown Flycatcher were present as well and so gave a good opportunity to compare the two species. A pair of Blue-eared Kingfishers were feeding at the Lamtaklong stream.

Khao Yai now prides itself in a newly opened campground by the old golfcourse. Very large with several buildings included. More like a landscaped park with modern facilities. Sadly, many large trees had died along a watershed at this area. Don't know if it was caused by redirected water causing flooding or simply a way of 'nature showing its displeasure', but it was a sore sight.

One extra ordinary appearance came from a 'road running' Porcupine. This nocturnal animal somehow had found its way out on the road in the morning. It kept running for a couple of hundred meters before entering the forest again. Other mammals were, singing Gibbons, Sambar and Barking Deer, plus several species of Squirrels.

We met someone who said he had seen about 20 Wild dogs at the gold course. And met another man who has been camera trapping wildlife who said that an estimated 12 tigers still thrive in the park.

The following is an account of the birds we saw in the park.

Great Hornbill

Greater Yellownape

Asian Pied Hornbill

Laced Woodpecker

Wreathed Hornbill

Greater Flameback

Orange-breasted Trogon

Black-buff Woodpecker

Red-headed Trogon

Green-eared Barbet

Long-tailed Broadbill  Heard only

Moustached Barbet

Banded Broadbill  Heard only

Coppersmith Barbet

White-throated Kingfisher

Emerald Dove

Blue-eared Kingfisher

Rock Pigeon

Common Kingfisher       (migrant)

Spotted Dove

White-crested Laughingthrush

Mountain Imperial Pigeon

Black-throated Laughingthrush

Thick-billed Pigeon

Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush

Barn Swallow

Asian Fairy Bluebird      (abundant)

Brown Needletail

Hill Myna          (common)

Asian Palm Swift

Scarlet Minivet

Ashy Wood Swallow

Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike

Grey-eyed Bulbul Heard only

Blue-winged Leaf-bird

Black-crested Bulbul

Asian Paradise Flycatcher

Red-whiskered Bulbul

Black-naped Monarch

Stripe-throated Bulbul

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher    (passing migrant)

Puff-throated Bulbul

Dark-sided Flycatcher


Asian Brown Flycatcher

Japanese Sparrowhawk

Grey-headed Flycatcher Heard only

Crested Goshawk

Hill blue Flycatcher

Oriental Honey Buzzard

Brown Shrike   (migrant)

Green Magpie

Long-tailed Shrike  (a surprise juvenile at campground)

Striped Tit Babbler Heard only

Eastern Crowned Warbler   (migrant)

Puff-throated Babbler Heard only

Arctic Warbler     (migrant)

Abbott's Babbler   (common)

Blue Rock Thrush  (migrant)

Grey Wagtail    (migrant)

Silver Pheasant

Ashy Drongo

Scaly-breasted Partridge

Hairy-crested Drongo

White-browed Scimitar-Babbler

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

Black-naped Oriole  (migrant, juvenile)

Bronzed Drongo

Vernal Hanging Parakeet

Chinese Pond-Heron    (migrant)

White-rumped Shama

Red-wattled Lapwing

Oriental White-eye

Collared Owlet Heard only

Buff-bellied Flowerpecker

Greater Coucal

Blue-winged Leafbird

Green-billed Malkoha (common)

Blue-beared Bee-eater   (on road to Khao Kaew)

White-crowned Forktail

Junglefowl (surprisingly not seen, only heard)

The following is what we saw outside the park and on our way back to Bangkok.

Red-breasted Parakeet


Common Iora

Common Myna

Scaly-breasted Munia

White-vented Myna

Lineated Barbet

Zebra Dove

Asian Pied Starling

Asian Barred Owlet Heard only

Black-collared Starling

Black-shouldered Kite

Olive-backed Sunbird

Little Ringed Plover  (migrant)

Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Golden Pacific Plover  (migrant)

Little Egret

Oriental Pratincole   (migrant)

Great Egret

Long-toed Stint     (migrant)

Black-winged Stilt

Wood Sandpiper   (migrant)

Little Cormorant

Common Snipe   (atleast 20 in a field, migrant)

  All in all,  a rewarding few days and while Martin ended up with 20 new birds to his list, I had to settle for many 'repeats'. We had many good looks at the birds and enjoyed every moment of our time together.

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