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A Report from

19 days hardcore birding in Southern Thailand 16/4 - 4/5 2002,


Eirik Grønningsæter, Kjetil Schjølberg, Kolbjørn Schjølberg (19/4-25/4)

General stuff:

The great thing about Thailand is that it is (in western standards) a cheap country to live in.  Not only cheap, but it is also a quite developed country, and standards of living are thus not very different from the west.

Currency:  The currency in Thailand is Baht (B), and at the moment 100B is about 20 Norwegian kroner or 2,5 US$.  We bought all the Baht we needed in Norway before departure, but this isn't necessary when there are plenty of exchange offices in all towns.  Visa and ATM cards is also accepted in most places in towns.  In towns, it is also easy to use minibanks.

Vaccines:  There are at least two different forms of malaria in the country.  One in the north-east and another one in central and southern parts of the country.  We were only travelling south of Bankok and used Klorokinphosfat as anti malaria drug.  Gammaglobulin is also important.  But ask your doctor well in advance before departure when vaccinations necessary for the destination changes from time to time.  Some imodium against diarrhoea is always good to have (isn't it Kjetil?).

Living:  A room with fan at a medium standard hotel typically costs 300-400B/night.  You get a restaurant dinner including softdrinks for about 120B.  Food is generally good, most often it includes slices of pork (fat) or chicken with rice. Bread is difficult to find, as is something to have on the bread.  Without deasent camping equipment, we found it difficult to find good food in the stores when we were "hamstring" for tenting away from civilization for a while (Kang Kra Chan).  Only cans of tuna, corn, bags of potato chips and peanuts were our food variety for 4 days.  My advice for you, if you plan staying away from restaurants:  Bring some cooking equipment and enough gas for the whole trip!  We had the equipment but not the gas, and we didn't find any gas either..and so we lived on chips and tuna for some days.  

Getting around:  As we hired a car for the whole trip ourselves, I should be careful giving to many tips about travelling without one.  But on our trip, we met several birders that used public transportation to get around, and they didn't seem to have any problem with getting to the right places that way (of course, we didn't meet the ones that didn't make it to the right destinations.)  Public transportation is very cheap, but the busses can be a little bit overcrowded from time to time.  To the places where it seems difficult to use public transportation, you can easily hitchhike for a few Bath with one of the very numerous mopeds.

Carhire:  We pre-booked a car over the internet at Budget car rental service.  We chose to do this just to be sure we got a car in good shape and also to avoid wasting time trying to find a car at all.  Something you should not worry about!  At the Phuket airport there are plenty of people who wants to hire you a car, thus getting one doesn't seem to be a problem.  I don't know the standards of these cars, but several of the "salesmen" promised us a 4wd car for 800B a day all insurance and free kilometre included.  The one we hired were a airconditioned 4wd Suzuki Caribbean SJ for 1250B a day, all insurance and free kilometre included.  Petrol price was about 15,95B/ltr.  Budget Car rental you will find just across the street for the parking area at the Phuket airport, about 300m to walk from the arriving hall at the airport.

Roads and Traffic:  In Thailand it is left side driving, something which can make some interesting situations for Europeans. However, when you get used to this there isn't really a problem driving in this country.  No rules without exceptions of course:  I've heard Bankok is a bit of challenge-so we stayed clear of this town.  At the countryside the traffic is fairly civilized, but keep good distance to the overloaded truck which always is in front of you-they have a habit of breaking their axels because of extreme loads!  In towns there are of course plenty of mopeds, and they are coming on all sides of the car, but just remember to do slow turns and don't do anything unexcpected like sudden turns.  Wouldn't recommend to drive after dark the first day in this country.  If something happens, you have to pay blood money to the family of the injured.  Something which can be quite excpensive once they see you are a foreigner, even though the accident wasn't really your fault.  

Maps:  There are plenty of maps which are easy to get in all towns, unfortunately many of these are quite inaccurate.  We bought ours at Bankok airport: Phuket, southern Thailand from periplus Travel Maps 1:1000 000.  This map was sufficient enough for the southern parts, but it doesn't cover the area to Khao Sam Roi Yot NP and Kaeng Krachan NP.  We also used Thailand from World Country Map 1:2000 000.  This map also cover the northern parts of the country as well as the neighbouring countries.  A local map over the Krabi province we brought from home, and couldn't find in the stores at Bankok airport. This map also covered Ko phi phi and proved accurate for the area it covered.  Krabi 1:30000 from Guide Maps.  Probably made by a birder since it have "Save the Gurney's pitta" in huge letters on it.

Weather:  April and May is said to be the hottest time of the year.  We experienced temperatures mostly around 30-35 celsius, and only in midday (12-2pm) did we sometimes feel it was unpleasant.  But it is very humid, at our stay mostly around 80-90%, and this helps you feel a little bit "soaked" from time to time. 

The Peninsular Thailand isn't as much affected by the monsoon as the rest of the country.  For the rest of the country, the rainy season usually starts during May some time, and lasts into November.  At our stay, the typical weather was blue skies and sunny weather until about 3pm, when some heavy thundershowers came across and lasted for one-two hours.  After this, birding were usually excellent!

The light comes at about 6am and sunset was about 6.30pm.    

Photographing:  Buy some fast film, or better, take with you a strong flash since it is very dark in the rainforest.  I found bird photographing generally difficult when most of the birds stayed high up in the canopy and those staying at ground were mostly skulkers.

If you have been caught by the "digital birding wave" you will certainly have an advantage in the rainforest.  Bad light conditions, colourful birds and just a magnificent array of sound impressions is some of the jungle atmosphere worth capture on film which isn't that easy to do with a photo lens.

Plenty of photo stores in towns like Krabi and Phuket.  I didn't check the film prices myself, but have heard they are reasonably cheap.

Insects:  There is as mentioned malaria in the country, and a few other biting insects, so some insect repellent should be unnecessary to say that is advice to bring.  Actually it isn't that easy to find a good one when you are in Thailand.  Also in the rainforests-blood leaches is numerous.  Especially in more humid parts of the season.  In places like Khao Nor Chuchii and Kan Kra Chan, it is unavoidable to get sucked on!  So long pants and maybe leach socks (which you can buy at Merakot resort, Khao Nor Chuchii) are advisable.  The leaches do you no harm and they don't hurt, but it is a little uncomfortable when your sock get soaked in blood because of the leaches' highly anti-coagulating spit.      

Birds:  As we don't know which birds which is really hard to get, I have made all bird names stated as uncommon in "A guide to the Birds of Thailand" Lekagul B. and Round P.D. 1991 in bold letters.

Animals:  I tried to list some of the animals we saw, but the only id-guide we used was: "A photographing guide to Mammals of Thailand & South-East Asia"  Charles M. Francis 2001.  We also used "A photographic guide to snakes and other reptiles of Thailand & South-East Asia" Merel J.Cox, Peter Paul Van Dijk, Jarujin Nabhitabhata and Kumthorn Thirakhupt 1998.  Both these guides cover just the most common animals and reptiles and isn't the best books if you are really into these things.  But from a birdwatchers view, they are practical, light and easy to carry and they give you a clue of what you see on your way.  But because of this, all the animals listed should be read with some cautiousness when the id almost never is 100% certain but rather as close as we got with our "library".


M=male, F=female, Ad=adult, Juv.=juvenile, HQ=headquarters

Most used words of the trip:

KJS: Oi oi oi- ka e ta!?!/ Oi oi oi-whats that!?!
EIG's respond: I hakje peiling/I have no clue.


KJS: Oi oi oi-ny art!!! For en værsting!/Oi oi oi-new twitch!!! What a bird! (and then quikly followed by "Bring me the scope!" said in rather hysterical way...)
EIG's respond: Korr hæn?? og så etter en heller lang pause: "I ser'n! oi-oi oi, for en fuggel!/Where?? and then after a rather long break: I've got it! oi-oi oi, what a bird!


Monday 15/4:  At 1240 pm we left Oslo, Gardermoen with SAS to Copenhagen (1h 10min),      Denmark  where we changed airline to Thai air.  Flew the 8 hour flight to Bankok, then we flew from Bankok to Phuket (50 min) where we arrived on schedule1120 am 16/4 local time   After just 30 minutes we had picked up our prebooked Suzuki 4wd car.

Tuesday 16/4:  A flying lizard over the main road near Phuket were the first real sign to us that this was not Norway, great!  Drove 180km south on Hwy 4 to a small (5 km long) rainforest stretch roadside just 10 km north of Krabi, birded there 3-4pm before a heavy thundershower hit us.  Drove to Krabi and had dinner at Malee restaurant for 200B/person before we checked in at Grand Tower Hotel in downtown Krabi for 300B/night for a room with fan.  Nice, clean and cheap, and is highly recommendable. 

Had an evening walk along the piers hoping to find Mr Dai, and added a few species to the triplist.

Wednesday 17/4: Went up at 0600 am, hoping to find Mr.Dai again.  Didn't find him, so after about 40 minutes we gave up and drove the 1 hour drive to Khao Nor Chuchi (KNC).  Used the rest of the day birding along the main road all the way up to the coffee plantation and the summit.  Tried for a short session of spotlighting along the main road up to the summit without any luck.  Only two Slow Lorises (some kind of a monkey) were the result.  Rented a tent with madrasses and pillows at Merakot Resort for 100B/night.  Gurney's vs Norwegians 1-0.

Thursday 18/4:  Khao Nor Chuchi all day.  Up at 6am, birded A-trail, Crystal pool and B-trail in the morning.  Main road and a quick visit on U-trail in the afternoon.   Tried spotlighting up to the summit again without seeing anything except for one Large tailed nightjar. Gurney's vs Norwegians 2-0.

Friday 19/4:  Birded around Merakot resort from 9am-10.30am. A short detour to Krabi downtown where we let off two Swedes before we drove two hours to Phuket for picking up Kolbjørn who arrived from Abu Dhabi, UAE for his third visit to KNC to twitch the Gurney's Pitta.  Was his luck to change?  Wasted 50 minutes at the airport waiting for each other, KOS outside and KJS and myself inside..The drive back to KNC included a 30min. stop at the small rainforest area 10 km north of Krabi in bad light conditions.  Gurney's vs Norwegians 3-0.

20/4:  All day in KNC.  Got a good stakeout for Gurney's on B-trail from the Swedes as payment for the ride, but not a single pip hit our ears.  B,C and D-trail 6am-2pm.  U-trail 3.30 until dusk at about 6.30pm.  Gurney's vs Norwegians 4-0.

21/4:  KNC all day. Tried the good stake out on B-trail in the morning, Q and U in the afternoon.  Starting to get quite frustrated when Gurney's slipped away again..According to a nice English guy, Jean, we were struck by the Gurney's fever.

Tried some spotlighting along the main road again to the summit and coffee plantation, saw large tailed nightjar, the regular pair of Javan frogmouth! and heard a Brown hawk owl.  Also saw a huge spider sitting in the tree just below the Javan frogmouths.  Thanks a lot to the British Birdquest tourgroup for lending us some tapes.  Gurney's vs Norwegians 5-0.

22/4:  U-trail and B-trail 5.40-12.30.  Apparently we got a new hotspot for the Gurney's at U-trail, tried for it, but of course no sign of the jewel for us.  Our temper started to increase seriously and we gave up the Gurney's pitta, and decided to leave KNC without the big G on our list.Hit the road towards Krabi with the company of an English birder, Jean.

In Krabi we found a tourist office just across the street for the floating restaurant where we could book Mr. Dai.  When we heard he charged 800B/hour pr.person we didn't book him.  Found a boatman at the pier who seemed to have some clue on birds for 600B for the boat for 3 hours.  High tide, so we went first to the sandbanks to check out the waders then into the mangroves where the boatman showed us spots for Brown winged kingfisher and Mangrove Pitta (heard in the distance).  After this, birded the mangroves and mudflats from 2pm-5pm. We used rest of the daylight in the garden of Krabi Maritime Hotel.  Had originally planned to go to Phuket and Ko Phi Phi, but freaked out about the Gurney's and the Gurney's fever lead us to KNC again.Night at Merakot resort in rented tents (which hadn't been put down yet, the staff probably knew us too well).  Gurney's vs Norwegians 6-0.

23/4:  Decided that this morning was our last chance to get the Gurney's.  Finally we got our first safe observations of the species.  Heard a pair calling in the morning at U32, then we got some information from Mr.Yothin (the local guide) and changed our mind and decided to stay for the evening and the next morning.  Followed Yothins' instructions and  went to the first gully at Q-trail in the evening.  Heard a male Gurney's calling, got a glimpse of a Gurney's female (I just saw a shadow and was certainly not satisfied enough to twitch the bird, KOS got a glimpse of a Banded Pitta as well and one other heard calling up the hill, and finally we all enjoyed prolonged excellent views of a male Hooded Pitta jumping just 10m from where we sat cramped .together.

As far as Gurney's is concerned, we were reasonably satisfied with the evening.  But Yothin gave even more info (very expensive ones he said, but for us it was free. Honestly, I think he felt a bit sorry for us).  Gurney's vs Norwegians 7-0,5.

24/4:  Followed Yothin's advice and headed for U35 at 6am.  Heard a Gurney's male calling while it moved along the trail at about 8am, we decided to go after the bird and KOS and KJS saw the male sitting in the open on a log across the trail for a few seconds!  Myself being three meters behind didn't even catch a glimpse-the temper increased seriously and rest of the Thailand trip was certainly threatened to become a Khao Nor Chuchi trip ...When we thought it was easier to see this shy bird alone rather than in a group, KOS and KJS left the trail and I was left alone with the frustration.  After 1.5 hours waiting I finally realized that the battle was lost and decided to go back to the others.  Walked very slowly past the hotspots, and then I saw a shadow between the trees at U30, saw immediately that it was a pitta and I thought I saw something blue on it as well.  Grabbing my bins faster than ever.  With my mind expecting to see a male Hooded pitta, a million tons of bricks left my shoulders when  I realized I was watching a male Gurney's pitta sitting in a ray of sunlight.  The head was just incredible blue!  I watched the bird in my bins for about two seconds before it jumped behind a tree in nice pitta manners, and never showed it self again.

We left KNC immediately towards Krabi for some lunch and then birded the Krabi Maritime Hotel garden from 2.30pm-4pm, then the small rainforest area 10 km north of Krabi again from 4.30pm-6pm before driving to Phuket.

Stayed at Budget Hotel in Phu-Ket downtown for 230B pr. room with fan.

Gurney's vs Norwegians 7-1,5!

25/4:  Satisfied with the previous day's Gurney's view, KOS left us and headed back home to Abu Dhabi.  KJS, Jean and myself caught a boat from Pier 3, 8.30am for a two hours boat trip to Ko Phi Phi.  Birded/relaxed at Ko Phi Phi from 11am-2.30pm when we headed back to Phu-Ket.  Jean left Ko Phi Phi 1pm to Krabi and was continuing to Malaysia.  Got the three target species from the boat, Black naped tern, Christmas frigatebird and Pied Imperial Pigeon.  KJS and I started the drive northwards.  Drove on Hwy 4 120km in the dark and havy rain to Ta Kuapa and found a roadside hotel, Extra Hotel situated behind the Esso Station and stayed there for 360B with a fan.

26/4:  Started the 600km drive north along Hwy 4 from Ta Kuapa towards the wetland area Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park at 8.30 am.  Stopped for some roadside birds on route, and got the trip's only Lesser Coucal about 150 km north of Ta Kuapa.  Birded on the road from Hwy 4 into KSRY NP and around the Headquarter (HQ) from 5pm until dusk at about 6.30pm.  After dinner, we went for some nightspotting along the main road.  2 Asian Barred Owlet, 3+ Indian nightjars and a Slow Loris were the result.  Stayed at HQ for about 300B pr. room with a fan.

27/4:  Birded on the beach and the trails around the head quarters in the morning 7-10am and found several Malaysian plovers.  Then birded along the main road out to Hwy 4 until 1pm.  Drove to the lake and wetland area of Kao Sam Roi Yot NP and had some excellent birding until 6pm with lots of crakes, bitterns and jacanas.  Drove to Kang Kra Chan National Park Head Quarters where we pitched up the tent we got for free by Jean as payment for giving him a lift to Krabi and Phuket.  Didn't pay any charge for the camping.

28/4:  Woke up and shaked my shoes as usual, jumped a few centimeters when a huge toad came out of it-I was just happy it wasn't some angry snake or something! HQ to Km36 in Kang Kra Chan NP.  Real excellent birding in huge rainforest.   Camped in tent for free at the rangers' area at Km30.  Tried some night spotting and saw a probable Black Panther at Km33, quite large animal with long tail and shiny black fur running away from us in the cars' headlights.  Didn't really get a grip of the animal when it was running on the edge of the road, and we only saw it for about 3 seconds before it jumped into the forest and disappeared.  Actually it isn't that many alternatives for an animal of that size, but the views were too vague to be 100% certain on the animal's id.

29/4:  After yesterday's toad experience, I started the day by shaking my shoes again.

And this time a huge beetle came out of it!  Birded in Kang Kra Chan NP all day.  Km30-32 in the morning, trail at Km27 midday and Km17-19 from 3.30pm until dusk.  KJS phsyked out and we drove 120km one way for a burger at Kentucky Fried Chicken, then we spent the night at the only hotel we could find, a luxury Golf country resort for 1200B with air con.  KJS paid it all.

30/4:  HQ to Km36 10.30am and all day.  Jumped halve a meter in the air, when a lightning hit a tree just 50m from us during the regular afternoon thundershowers.  Camped at the rangers' place at Km30 again.

1/5:  Kang Kra Chan NP all day.  Km30-36 6.30am-2pm, and Km17-19 from 3.30-6pm. Heavy rain in the evening session.  KJS got some stomach problem during the night, probably due to one of the MANY cans of tuna.

2/5:  Birded Km15-19 from 6.15-8.30am before we started the 840km drive to Krabi.  Checked in at Black Tower Hotel in Krabi at about 8.30pm.  Came across a huge King Cobra (3 m) on the road just north of Takuapa.  Unfortunately the snake was just run over by a car and was already dead when we saw it.  But still it was an impressive sight, King Cobras is quite a rare sight dead or alive.

3/5:  Due to the already mentioned stomach problems, we had a quiet day as far as bird watching is concerned.  Went out to Krabi mudflats with a boatman (for 550B for two hours) to check out the waders.  I don't know if it was because of the high tide or if it's to late in the season, but all we could see were a few Greater sandplovers and two Terek sandpipers.  We therefore returned after just half an hour (payed 300B to the boatman) and relaxed at the hotel.  Birded in the Krabi Maritime Hotel garden from 3.30-5.30pm.  Stayed another night at Tower Hotel.

4/5:  Due to some beer drinking and nightlife in Krabi the previous evening, we slept in and didn't have time to go for a last try for the Ruddy kingfisher in the mangroves as planned-Stupid!  Had to leave Krabi at 1pm and headed for Phuket airport where we returned the car and flew home via Bankok and Stockholm with Thai air before arriving Oslo with SAS 9.30am 5/5 after 19 awesome days in the rainforest in Southern Thailand.

Krabi mangroves

Above all this place is famous for its mangrove species like Mangrove pitta, Brown winged and Ruddy kingfisher and the hard to get Masked finfoot.

Out at the mudflats and the wader roost, you can in winter and early spring get a lot of waders with Nordman's greenshank and Chinese egret as the top birds.  We didn't see either the egret nor the shank, but Chinese egret were apparently seen in late April. 

For getting out in the Mangroves you probably want to hire the famous local guide Mr.Dai.  I've read in some trip report that he is easy to find at the piers in the evenings and early mornings with his silver coloured hair and brown shirts.  But we didn't see him once.  If you are looking for him, don't ask the question:  Are you Mr.Dai?  Because then everyone will answer you yes.  But rather ask if they know where you can find him.  One way of booking Mr.Dai is to go to the tourist office just across the street from the floating restaurant (which is easy to see once you are in downtown Krabi), and they will book him for you.  This cost 800B pr.person pr.hour.  You need at least 2 hours for a mangrove trip.  Another way to book Mr.Dai is to get any of the numerous boatmen to take you to Mr.Dai's home and book him in personal yourself.  You probably get a better prize, and the boat trip to Mr.Dai's place cost you about 150B.  But going out with Mr.Dai isn't a must if you don't really need to see the Masked finfoot.  And you certainly don't need him for the wader roost.  Going out with one of the other boatmen at the pier is much cheaper, and if you show the pictures of the birds you want to see you can actually get a lot of high quality birding for a lot less money.  But if you have the money-I would definite go with Mr.Dai.  

The wader roost:  You hire a boatman at the pier, and you go out to the right at the river.  About 20min boat drive one way.  Just show the picture of a wader to the captain and he knows where you want to go.  Typical prize for a boat for one hour is 300B.  If you want to go in the mangroves, you go to left up the river towards two steep mountain peaks situated at the riverside. 

How to get there: From Phuket, you follow Hwy 4 south.  It is well signed posted to Krabi and it takes you about 2.5 hours from the Phuket airport (about 200km).  Using public transport is no problem between these two places, with numerous departures from both Phuket and Krabi.  In Krabi you just follow the main road until you get to the floating restaurant and downtown Krabi.  Krabi downtown is quite small, so you can't really miss it.

Krabi Maritime Hotel

This is also a very good place for a lot of the Mangrove species.  Actually we didn't see any species at the mangrove boat-trip that we didn't see in the garden.  Brown winged kingfisher, Mangrove pitta (at least 4 different birds heard calling) and Cinnamon bittern are just some of the birds you can get.  In the garden, there is a big pond, and we saw at least two Brown winged kingfishers at this site.  Birding in the garden wasn't any problem for us, but if you see someone who looks a bit official, it's always polite to ask.

How to get there:  If you are in downtown Krabi and looking out over the river. You just look upwards the river to the left, and you will see two steep "mountain" peaks about 1.5km away.  These peaks are actually the garden edge and you can see the roof of the huge hotel just below these peaks.  Just follow the main road (411) upwards along the river for about 1,5-2km from Krabi downtown and you will see the hotel on your right hand side (riverside).

Birds in Krabi Maritime Hotell Garden, Mudflats and Krabi Mangrove:

Chinese Pond-Heron: ( Daily, common.)

Great Egret:                 (15 at the mudflats and 2 in the garden on 22/4)

Pacific Reef Egret:        (1 dark morph sitting on the fish farming fences almost out at the  mudflats  22/4).   

Little Egret:                  (Common)

Little Heron:                 (Daily in small numbers)

Yellow Bittern: (1 ad. in the garden-pond 24/4, 1 there 3/5)

Cinnamon Bittern:        (1 ind. in the garden-pond 24/4)

Black eared Kite:         (1 seen soaring over downtown Krabi 16/4)

Brahminy Kite: (Common, and often seen over the river from downtown Krabi)

White Bellied Sea-Eagle:  (1 ad. roosting in a dead tree at the mudflats 22/4, 1 ad flew towards the mudflats over the garden 24/4)  

White Breasted Waterhen:  (1 in the garden 22/4, only seen by KOS)

Grey Plover:                (1 at the mudflats 22/4, KOS only)

Pacific Golden Plover: (15 at the mudflats 22/4)

Lesser Sand-Plover:     (Only two out of a flock of total 150 sand-plovers in the distance were identified to this species at the mudflats 22/4, also 2 there 3/5)

Greater Sand-Plovers: (1 out of the above-mentioned flock were identified to this species 22/4, with at least 10 there 3/5)

Curlew:                        (2 on the mudflats of ssp. Orientalis 22/4) 

Whimbrel:                    (1 seen from the piers in downtown Krabi 16/4 by KJS only, about 40 at the mudflats 22/4)

Black-tailed Godwit:    (1 at the mudflats 22/4)

Bar-tailed Godwit:       (5 at the mudflats 22/4)

Redshank:                    (15 at the mudflats 22/4)

Greenshank:                 (10 at the mudlats 22/4)

Common sandpiper:     (Daily, small numbers.)

Terek sandpiper:          (About 60 at the mudflats 22/4, with only 1 there 3/5)

Turnstone:                    (5 ad. at the mudflats 22/4)

Curlew sandpiper:        (2 at the mudflats 22/4)

Great Knot:                  (5 at the mudflats 22/4)

Little tern:                     (1-2 at the mudflats 22/4)

Spotted Dove:              (1 singing in the garden 22/4, 3+  in the garden 24/4)

Zebra Dove:                 (4 just at the car-parking in the garden 3/5)

Feral Pigeon                 (3 in flight in the mangroves with 2 in the garden 22/4)

Common Koel:            (1 from the boat trip in the mangroves 22/4, 3 heard calling around the garden 24/4, 1 heard in the garden 3/5)

Green-billed Malkoha: (1 in the garden 24/4)

Greater Coucal:            (Common in the garden and mangroves)

Brown-winged Kingfisher:  (3 from the mangrove boat trip and 1 in the garden-pond on 22/4, 1 seen hunting at the Mangrove-edge just on the opposite side of the river for the floating restaurant in downtown Krabi 24/4, and 1 in the garden pond again 3/5.  Seemed quite common from the garden and inwards in the mangrove system)

White-throated Kingfisher:  (1 in the garden 24/4)

Blue-throated Bee-eater: (1 seen from the garden 22/4 by KOS only, 1 there 24/4)

Dollarbird:                    (1 seen from the mangrove boat trip hunting from a dead tree just inside for the Hotel garden)

Coppersmith Barbet:    (2 seen from the mangrove boat trip 22/4, 1 at the car parking in the garden 24/4)

Common Flameback:   (2 M in the garden 24/4)

Mangrove Pitta:        (1 M heard calling in the distance from the mangrove boat trip about  600m upstream from the hotel garden 22/4, also 1M+1 F heard calling quite close (70m) from the Hotel garden 22/4, 1 M heard quite far away from the garden 24/4, 2 M heard singing from the garden also quite far away 3/5.  This species seems easy to hear, but difficult to see when there is most often a lot of mud and water between you and the bird when you try to approach it.  The two birds we tried imitating didn't respond to my imitation at all.  But maybe my imitation was too bad, and a record player would have made a difference.)

House Swift:                (3 seen from the mangrove boat trip 22/4, 10 over the garden 3/5)

Asian Palm-Swift:         (Probably common, but very few were checked.  30 3/5 in the garden is one number noted)

Pacific swallow:           (Very common)

Striated Swallow        (Birds of the red and striped race badia, or Striated swallow which                              many treat as a separate species from Red rumped Swallow, were  common in the garden)

Ashy Drongo:              (1 in the garden 24/4, 1 there 3/5)

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo: (1 on the mangrove boat trip 22/4, 1 in the garden 22/4 and 3-4 in the garden 24/4)

Large-billed Crow:       (1 in downtown Krabi 24/4)

Arctic warbler: (1 in the garden 22/4)

Common Tailorbird:     (3 in the mangroves 22/4, 5 in the garden 24/4, 3 in the garden 3/5)

Ashy Tailorbird:           (2 in the mangroves 22/4)

Oriental Magpie-robin (3 from the boat trip 22/4, 1 in the garden 24/4)

Pied Fantail:                 (1 in the mangroves 22/4, 1 in the garden 24/4)

Brown Shrike:              (1 in the garden 22/4, 1 there 24/4)

Tiger Shrike:                (1 in the garden 22/4, 1 ad.M there 24/4 and also 1 there 3/5)

Phillipine Glossy starling: (3 ad.+1juv. in the garden 24/4)

Common Myna:           (Common)

White-vented Myna:    (1 in the garden 22/4 seen by KOS only)

Olive-backed Sunbird: (1 M in the garden 24/4)

Crimson Sunbird:         (1 pair with the female willingly posing for the camera in the garden 3/5 made some nice pictures)

Eurasian Tree-Sparrow:  (Common around downtown Krabi)

Scaly-breasted Munia: (1 nest building adult in the garden 3/5)

Animals & Reptiles:

Long tailed Macaque:   (A flock of 10 seen 22/4 down at the hotel harbour in the garden and About 15 seen on the mudflats opposite to the Floating restaurant 24/4)

Beautiful tree squirrel sp.(At least 2 seen in the garden 24/4 looked like the same species)

Water Monitor:            (1 of these giants seen on the mudflat opposite to the Floating restaurant 24/4, and sadly at least 3 seen dead in the water in the mangroves 22/4, probably because the locals hit them with their propellas. This is one of the worlds largest lizards (>321cm!), and they are indeed an impressive sight). 

Rainforest stretch north of Krabi

This is just a small (about 5km long) forest with some good old trees left.  It's probably not too long before the whole area has become a plantation, but until then it's worth a visit.  Here you can get a lot of the more common rainforest species which is actually hard to get in the real rainforest due to dense vegetation, and we did get a lot of species we didn't see anywhere else on the trip.  Worth mentioning is:  Banded kingfisher, Forest wagtail, Green iora, Thick billed pigeon, Banded bay cuckoo and Brown barbet.

How to get there:  Just follow Hwy 4 for about 10 km north of Krabi.  You will then see some tall, old forest coming up roadside.  Just stop anywhere on Hwy 4 along this old forest stretch, and do some birding.  This is the only really old forest you will see close to the road along the Highway 4 from Phuket to Krabi, so it isn't to hard to find.  We found the northern part of the forest stretch to produce the best birding.

Birds seen at this locality:

Thick billed Pigeon:      (2 M+3 seen in the northern parts 24/4)

Vernal Hanging Parrot: (At least 10 seen in the northern part 24/4)

Indian Cuckoo:            (1 heard 24/4, KOS only)

Banded Bay Cuckoo: (The trip's only bird was seen perching in a dead tree 24/4 in northern parts of the forest)

Banded Kingfisher:       (1 F 16/4 was one of only two birds seen on the trip. We flushed it from the ground, and got some excellent views with the telescope when the  bird perched just 25m away  from us)

Coppersmith Barbet:    (1-2 in the northern part 24/4)

Brown Barbet: (Only a few seen during the trip, 1-2 in the northern part 24/4)

House Swift:                (About 10 seen hunting over the forest 24/4)

Forest Wagtail: (Except for Kaeng Kra Chan, this was the only place we saw this bird, 1 seen well by KJS 16/4-I only saw the shadow when it flew away)

Bar-winged Flycatcher shrike:  (1M+3 16/4, 1-2M 24/4)

Green Iora:                (At least 1 M seen in the northern part 24/4 was the trip's only one)

Lesser Green Leafbird: (1F 24/4)

Black headed Bulbul:   (2 16/4, about 5 24/4)

Black crested Bulbul:   (1 M 24/4 in the northern part)

Stripe throated Bulbul: (1 seen 24/4 by KJS only)

Yellow vented Bulbul:  ( 2 in the northern part 24/4)

Red eyed Bulbul:          (10 seen 16/4, and 25 seen 24/4)

Greater Racket tailed Drongo: (1 in the northern part 24/4)

Asian Fairy bluebird:    (1 F flew by in the northern part 24/4)

Large billed Crow:       (1 seen in the distance 16/4, and 1 24/4)

Asian Paradise Flycatcher: (1 heard 24/4 by KOS only)

Brown Shrike:              (1 seen in the northern part 24/4)

Oriental Magpie robin: (1 M 16/4)

Asian Brown Flycatcher: (1 16/4)

Common Myna:           (10 seen 16/4)

Olive backed Sunbird: (2 seen 24/4)

Crimson Sunbird:         (1 M in a fruiting tree 19/4)

Yellow breasted Flowerpecker: (2 seen 19/4)

Thick billed Flowerpecker: (1 F+1 juv. seen in the northern part 24/4)

Animals and reptiles:

Himalayan Striped Squirrel: (1 of this really small squirrels was seen running down a branch  in the northern part 24/4)

Khao Nor Chuchii

This is the area to go if you want to see Gurney's pitta. But you must hurry, when there is virtually no protection at all of the forest or the pitta.  And there is continously small scale deforestation and hunting going on by the locals.  It is a small lowland rainforest area and it's sadly to say-if no one buy the area and give some money to the locals, the Gurney's is probably extinct within ten years from now.  The Thai-government will certainly not do it.  So if you are loaded with money, do something about it!  Status on the world's population in 2002 for this species according to Mr. Yothin was 12 pairs+3 birds.

In this place you can either hire a bungalow or rent a tent at Merakot Resort.  There you can also buy food and drinks.  It's quite inexpensive and the staff is very helpful giving information about stakeouts for different species.  From the resort, it is 1km to the trails where most of the birding is done.  You get a trail map at the Resort reception. 

Birding in the area is quite difficult, you see few birds and they are often high up in the trees.  We always carried a telescope, and without this we would have missed a lot of species.  Although you see few birds, the ones you get are often of good quality.  For instance Black magpie, Pin tailed parrotfinch, Gurney's pitta, Banded pitta, Hooded pitta, Blue winged pitta and Javan frogmouth just to have mentioned some.

There is one really good local guide for the area.  That is Mr.Yothin.  He often come around the resort, but the staff at the  Merakot reception can also contact him for you.  One hitch is that he is quite excpensive.  150 US$  for one whole day, a few hours nights potting included, a little bit less if you find your one Gurney's.  But some of the species you will get with this guy is Gould's frogmouth, Javan frogmouth, Spotted wood owl, Rufous collared kingfisher, Gurney's pitta and White headed munia.  There is a lot of bad rumours going around about Mr.Yothin, but to us he seemed like a very nice and helpful guy with a good sense of humour.

NB! The trails are closed from 1th of May to 31th of August for protecting the breeding places for the Gurney's pitta.  Playing Gurney's pitta sound is also prohibited in Khao Nor Chuchii.

And without walking on the trails, you will experience some real difficulties seeing the big G.  You can however be lucky and hear the male's call from the main road-we heard a male just before the entrance to Q-trail.

How to get there:  From Krabi to Khao Nor Chuchii it is about 43km or one hour drive. There has been real difficulties finding this place before, but this has become much easier the last two years thanks to making Crystal pool a tourist attraction.  From Krabi you just follow Hwy 4 south towards Trang until you get to Klong Thom.  In a traffic light junction you then take left on road 4038 and follow this 250m, then turn right on a road where among many signs says Crystal pool.  Drive about 8 km on this road, then turn right when you see sign to "Crystal pool" and a small one that says "Merakot resort 7,5km".  It is all black top road except for the last four kilometres, but 4wd drive is not necessary unless you want to drive up to the coffee plantation.  You spend the night at Merakot Resort which is nice, unexpensive and clean.

Birds seen in KNC:

Chinese Pond Heron:   (1 in flight 17/4, 1 18/4)

Shikra:                         (1 F flew by the Resort early morning 19/4, seen by EIG only)

Crested Honey Buzzard: (1 18/4)

Crested Serpent Eagle: (At least one local pair could bee seen and heard daily over the trails)

Spotted dove:              (1 singing in the resorts camping ground 20/4)

Indian Cuckoo (3 heard singing 20/4, 3 heard 23/4, 1 heard on U-trail 24/4)

Drongo Cuckoo           (Once you learned the song of this species, you will realize it's a quite common.  3 singing 20/4, 2 heard 21/4, 1 heard 23/4)

Plaintive Cuckoo:         (2 singing 21/4, 2 singing 22/4, 2+  23/4)

Green billed Malkoha: (1 seen at the pond opposite to the resort 17/4)

Greater Coucal:           (2 along the main road 20/4, 1 heard 21/4)

Collared Scops Owl:    (1 heard from the resort's camping ground 22/4 by KOS and KJS only.  This was the only one of this kind during the trip)

Brown Hawk Owl:       (1 heard but not seen, despite my imitation, at the Coffee plantation  21/4)

Javan Frogmouth:     (A famous local pair of this cryptic species has a territory around the Coffee plantation.  Unfortunately they rarely sing by their own, so you  need tape recordings to get this species.  Just play the sound at the main road at the coffee plantation with a really huge dead tree in the  middle of it.  We heard the birds quite immediately and soon we spotlighted the pair in a huge tree on the left side of the road when  going upwards.  The coffee plantation is about 45minutes walk from the resort) 

Large tailed Nightjar: (Daily from 18/4 onwards with 2-4ind.  Just walk 300 meter on the  main road to the first rubber tree plantation at dusk about 1830pm. And you will hear their hollow chonk-chonk song quite soon and see them hunting over the road)

Blue eared Kingfisher: (1 seen in flight only when it past us at the pond opposite to the  resort 17/4)

White breasted Kingfisher: (2 seen on a wire near the resort when leaving KNC 19/4)

Blue throated Bee-eater: (4 seen over the entrance to U-trail by KJS and KOS only when I  was chasing my Gurney's pitta 24/4)

Gold whiskered Barbet: (1 perched for a short time in the huge dead tree at the coffee  plantation 17/4)

Red throated Barbet:    (1 18/4 at Crystal Pool was the first one to bee identified.  But once we  learned the sound we had about 10 birds daily)

Blue eared Barbet:       (1 next to the coffee plantation 17/4)

Red crowned Barbet:   (2 heard U-trail 23/4)

Maroon Woodpecker: (1 seen briefly at a clearing almost at the summit next to the coffee plantation 17/4)

Blue winged Pitta:        (1 M was holding a territory around the pond opposite to the resort, and   made a nice breakfast concert almost daily during our stay.  We did never see it though)

Hooded Pitta:              (2 M heard at the entrance to U-trail 22/4, Prolonged excellent views of  a male foraging just 15m from were we sat cramped together 150m  upstream the first gully at Q-trail, Q-15? on 23/4.  It is also a pair holding territory at the coffee plantation, but we never saw this one)

Banded Pitta:               (1 heard at the start of  coffee plantation 17/4, 1 heard early on A-trail 18/4, 1 heard at U-40 21/4, 1-2M heard at the first gully at Q-trail and  KOS also saw a female there about 150m upstream from the first gully 23/4.  As for all the Pittas, it is crucial to learn the calls if you want to have the slightest chance of seeing one.)

Gurney's Pitta: (This species was the reason for visiting KNC, and was surely one of the main reason for going to Thailand at all.  The safest spot at U-22 where many a birdwatcher has fulfilled his dream seemed useless during our stay.  The Gurney's hadn't been seen here since February.

But the Gurney's more or less walking the same route two or three times a day, so if you find out where they call, you can go there early morning or in  the evening and be patient and quiet.  One of the reasons we used about 5 hours waiting each day for 8 days before we got a glimpse of the bird was probably because we were three together and probably made too much noise and movements for the birds.  So after 8 days hard Pitta search, these were our observations: 1 M heard from the main road at the entrance to Q-trail 21/4, 1 pair heard U-32, 1 M heard and 1 F seen briefly by KJS only 150 m upstream at the first gully at Q-trail 23/4, and finally 1 M seen 8:30am at U-37 by KJS and KOS and at U-35 at 9:55am by EIG 24/4-mission completed!  It seemed that the safest spot for the Gurney's during our stay were U-35-U38 in two small gullies there. And also at the very start of B-trail and 100m inwards on this trail.  Especially the area just after the stream seemed  like a hotspot.  But the territories probably changes a bit from year to year, and so does the hotspots as well. If your time is limited, I would suggest you to hire Mr.Yothin-He knows where the jewels are.

Edible Swiftlet: (Edible and Black nest Swiftlet is almost impossible to separate in the  field, but we felt fairly comfortable with at least a few out of about 100  Swiftlets that were hunting over KNC 17/4, and also 10 on 24/4 are  noted)

Asian Palm Swift:  (2 over KNC 17/4, 5+ 18/4 are the only ones noted, but probably underestimated)

Grey rumped Treeswift (1 seen hunting and perching at the Coffee plantation 17/4)

Whiskered Treeswift:   (1 seen perching in the big dead tree at the coffee plantation 17/4)

Pacific Swallow:           (Seen almost daily around the resort)

Bar winged Flycatcher shrike: (1 at the summit 17/4 was the only one noted in KNC)

Large Wood shrike:     (2 near the coffee plantation 18/4)

Common Iora:             (1 F near the summit 17/4)

Blue winged Leafbird: (1 near Crystal Pool on 18/4)

Black headed Bulbul:   (Common, especially around the resort)

Black crested Bulbul:   (3-4 along the main road after entrance to U-trail 18/4)

Yellow vented Bulbul: (Daily with about 5 birds in the bushes around the resort)

Stripe throated Bulbul: (Also daily with about 5 birds in the bushes next to the resort)

Olive winged Bulbul:    (Daily with 2-5 birds in the bushes at the resort)

Cream-vented Bulbul: (4 at the main road just after entrance to Q-trail 17/4)

Ochraceous Bulbul:      (2 at Crystal Pool 18/4, 1 at the start of D-trail near Crystal Pool 20/4,  5 at Q-trail 23/4)

Buff vented Bulbul:       (1 18/4)

Streaked Bulbul:          (2 18/4)

Black Magpie:           (1 heard and briefly seen at U-22 evening 18/4, 1 seen well and another heard at the same spot on C-trail 20/4)

Puff throated Babbler: (2 18/4, 1 seen at the pond opposite to the resort 20/4 by KOS and KJS  only, 2 heard at Q-trail 23/4)

Black capped Babbler: (2 passing silently on U-22 while we had our evening session searching for G.Pitta 20/4, 1 at B-trail 22/4, 2 at U-36 23/4)

Short tailed Babbler:    (1 seen at dusk at U-10 20/4, 2 birds seen at B-trail 21/4)

Abbot's Babbler:         (1 pair alarming at C-trail 20/4)

Rufous fronted Babbler: (1 at main road between entrance to Q and H-trail 18/4)

Chestnut winged Babbler: (1 at B-trail 21/4, 3 at Q-trail 23/4)

Arctic Warbler:            (Almost daily  1-5 ind.)

Rufescent Prinia:          (5 at the rubber plantation just before the junction to Crystal Pool 17/4)

Common Tailorbird:     (1 heard 21/4)

Dark necked Tailorbird: (1 seen at the pond next to the resort 20/4 by KJS and KOS only)

Siberian Blue Robin:     (From the 20th  onwards, small numbers 1-3 daily, with one male  showing brilliantly down to 3m at Q-trail will forever stick on my mind)

Oriental Magpie Robin: (Common around the Resort's camping ground)

White rumped Shama: (Daily 1-10 birds at different sites)

Asian Brown Flycatcher: (1 at the Coffee plantation 17/4, 1 at D-trail 20/4)

Ferruginous Flycatcher: (1 near the summit 17/4, 1 hunting at a forest clearing at C-trail 20/4)

Yellow rumped Flycatcher: (2 F along the main road 17/4)

Black naped Monarch: (1 pair along the main road 17/4, 2 at U-trail 21/4)

Rufous winged Flycatcher: (1 M at U-36 21/4)

Asian Paradise Flycatcher: (Daily in small numbers, also a few white morphs.  1 M at the  summit 17/4 and 18/4, 1 M at U-36 20/4)

Brown Shrike:              (Seen a few days around the Resort)

Tiger Shrike:                (1 M at the coffee plantation 18/4, 1 M at the start of D-trail near  Crystal Pool 20/4)

Common Myna:           (A few seen around the resort almost daily)

Brown throated Sunbird: (1 par 17/4, 1 M at pond next to the resort 19/4 by EIG only, 1 at U-trail 22/4)  

Ruby cheeked Sunbird: (2 17/4)

Purple naped Sunbird: (1 M 21/4)

Little Spiderhunter:       (Daily 5-15 at different sites)

Grey breasted Spiderhunter: (4-5 B-trail 18/4, 1 21/4)

Yellow breasted Flowerpecker: (1 at Crystal Pool 18/4)

Orange bellied Flowerpecker: (1 pair at the resort 17/4, at least 10 Crystal Pool 18/4)

Scarlet backed Flowerpecker: (Common in the area. At least 15 A-trail and Crystal Pool 18/4 just to mention one number)

Oriental White-eye:      (Common all days)

Pin tailed Parrotfinch: (1 flock of 1 M and 5 F/juv were foraging in a flowering Bamboo  bush on B-trail just 100 m before the junction to C-trail 18/4 and 20/4)

White rumped Munia: (Together with the Parrotfinches, at least 3 seen 18/4 and 20/4)

White bellied Munia:    (Together with the Parrotfinches, 4 18/4 and 2 seen there 20/4)

Oriole sp.                    (One of the yellow ones seen shortly close to the summit 19/4)

Animals and reptiles:

Slow Loris:                  (On 17/4 during the night spotting we got the eyeshining of one sitting in a tree at the junction to Crystal Pool and another one of this handsome primate sitting on a top of a palm tree in a garden close to the resort)

Javan Mongoose:         (1 of these otter like animals seen crossing the road at the resort 17/4, 2 seen at the pond opposite to the resort 18/4)

Plantain Squirrel:          (1 seen near the first rubber plantation 17/4)

Beautiful Tree squirrel sp. (About 5-10 seen every day, all looked grey brown all over- Plantain?)

Bengal, or Clouded Monitor: (1-2 of  this almost 2m long lizard seen daily in the forest at  different localities)

Malayan Pit Viper:       (1 found dead on the road close to the entrance to Q-trail 24/4.  KNC is supposed to be a really good place to see many species of snakes, especially when walking on the trails.  Unfortunately we probably made too much noise walking two and three together, so the snakes were frightened away.  Other birdwatchers walking alone saw snakes almost every day)

Rat snake sp.               (2 seen dead on the main road 19/4)

Scorpion sp.                (1 thick and about 15cm black one seen crossing the road at the rubber plantation in the evening 19/4, it performed well for some photos)

Ko Phi Phi

This is an island just south-east of Phuket.  As we generally avoid all kinds of crowds, we decided just to take a day trip and not spend the night at this popular backpacker place.  And so, we were on the island from 11am-2:30pm when the boat left back to Phuket.  The time on the island were mostly spent relaxing, e-mailing and eating, and so we saw very few birds on the island itself.  However there are certain advantages about having more time on the place.  You can then book one of the many boatmen and let him drive you out to the Frigatebird Island which you pass in the distance on your way out to Phi Phi from Phuket.  You will then, at least in the winter time, get both Lesser, Christmas and with some luck Greater Frigatebird very close.  Apart from the frigatebirds, the reason to go to this place is to see Pied Imperial Pigeon and Black naped Tern.  We got all three target species from the boat trip when we were passing the neighbouring island Ko Phi Phi Ley.  

I have also been told that if you walk out to left side tip of the bay you arrive at in Ko Phi Phi, the Frigates will pass reasonable close in the evenings and you don't need to hire a boat.

When it comes to Pied Imperial Pigeon, there is also a safe spot only 30 minutes with a boat from Krabi,  I'm  not sure exactly where this is.  But if you ask one of the numerous boatmen at Krabi piers, some of them probably know the place.

How to get there:  From Phuket, the boat leaves at 8:30am from Pier 3.  You buy the ticket at the dock and a round trip cost you about 400B.  Be alert on your way out, as the boat only pass Frigatebird Island (a huge quite slim rock rising up from the sea just south of Phi Phi Ley) and the outside of Ko Phi Phi Ley on the way out and it takes a more "bird hostile" route back.

You can also take a boat from Krabi downtown.  It is cheaper and not as far to go, and you don't need to spend a night in Phuket, but I'm not certain if this boat pass the Frigatebird Island or Phi Phi Ley-I actually doubt it.  So if you plan to just take a day trip, I would recommend you to take the boat from Phuket.  As Pier 3 isn't the easiest to find, I recommend you to get a free city map in one of the town's fancy hotels.

You can also book the tickets in advance, and be picked up at your hotel by the boat company before departure.

Birds seen at Ko Phi Phi 25/4-02

Christmas Frigatebird:  (1 F passing quite close to the boat on the way back.  As far as I know, this species only breeds with about 1100 pairs on Christmas Island north of Australia)

Great Frigatebird ?:      (1 was almost certainly of this species,  but passing a bit too far away  on the way out to be 100% certain)

Frigatebird sp. :            ( From the boat, we saw at least 30 hanging over Frigatebird Island, but they were too far away to be identified)

Brahminy Kite  (4 ad+1 imm. seen from the boat around Phi Phi Ley)

White bellied Sea eagle: (1 ad over Phi Phi Ley, and one nest on a small island on the way  out)

Pacific Golden Plover: (about 10 at the mudflats just before docking in Phuket on the way back)

Whimbrel:                    (5 seen from the boat in Phuket harbour)

Great crested Tern:  (2 seen from the boat sitting on a float mark on the way back)

Lesser crested Tern:   (4 seen sitting on the same float mark as the Great crested ones on the way out)

Gull billed Tern:            (1 ad. passing our boat on the way back)

Common Tern: (At least 3 seen hunting on our way back)

Black naped Tern:    (About 50 seen around Ko Phi Phi Ley, with many cliff nesting ones there seen on the way out)

Little Tern:                   (3 seen on the way out)

White winged Tern:      (About 60 seen in the harbour area, mostly adults)

Bridled Tern:                (About 50 seen from the boat in open waters, with most of the birds quite far away)

Feral Dove:                  (5 in flight in Phuket harbour)

Pied Imperial Pigeon:   (2 in flight together seen from the boat when passing Phi Phi Ley on the way out)

Pacific Swallow:           (About 20 flying around in the Phuket harbour area)

Greater Racket tailed Drongo: (1 at Ko Phi Phi)

Common Myna:           (20 at Phi Phi)

Dollarbird:                   (1 seen high up in the hillside at Phi Phi behind the beach restaurants)

Greater Coucal:           (1 heard at Phi Phi)

Brown throated Sunbird:  (1 M at Phi Phi)

Khao Sam Roi Yot (mountain) National Park

This is a beautiful huge wetland area situated on the foothill of a nice limestone mountain ridge.  This was the first coastal park in Thailand, and was opened in 1966.  Many people just go to KSRY NP headquarters, but the really good wetland and bird areas you actually find  20km further north on Hwy 4.  At the headquarters, there is a really good beach for Malaysian plovers.  Only about 1 km to walk from the headquarters.  Also along the road from Hwy 4 in to the headquarters there is really good birding in the fish/shrimp ponds and rice? fields.  We had plenty of Oriental pratingcoles, different kinds of bee-eaters,  Long tailed shrikes, Chestnut munias, Yellow breasted buntings and we also saw Oriental skylark, Fulvous breasted woodpecker and Indian nightjars here.  In the trees just behind the camping ground near the headquarters, a Brown fish owl usually comes out in the evenings.  But of course, we didn't see it though.

The area 20km further north also has a nature study center and a small boardwalk with good views over the lake, which is just excellent for bitterns and jacanas.  This area is known as Sam Roi Yot marsh area and stretches all the way from the headquarters to this place and then some.  About 3km before the study center there is some swamps along the road, this is an excellent place to look for rails and crakes.  Here we got Ruddy breasted crake, White broad crake, Slaty breasted rail, Greater painted snipe and Cotton pygmy goose among other great species.

As for all national parks in Thailand, it cost you 200B pr person in entrance fee to the KSYR NP.  Some parks also take money

How to get there: The park is situated in the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan and is about 4 hours drive on Hwy 4 south of Bankok (63 km south of Hua Hin).  Coming from the south:  Drive Hwy 4 36 km past Prachuap Khiri Khan. And about 7 km north of Kui Buri, you turn right at km 285,5 at the not very obvious sign to Khao Sam Roi Yot NP.  More obvious is a small temple at the right side of Hwy 4 (going north) just at the entrance of this road.  Then do the birding along the road the 13 km it takes to get to the entrance and headquarters.

Sam Roi Yot marsh:  As I don't remember the excact road this is quite unaccurate info: Drive out to the Hwy 4 again and go north for about 20km almost to Pran Buri.  Then take a black top road to the right towards Ban Sam Roi Yot (no signs as I remember).  And you just follow this road for about 10 km until you see the study center.  We didn't find the way and drove past it, we then just took a small road that went towards the mountains.  This road went through some farmlands and by asking locals in sign language we found the study center quite easy.  You also get a bad map at the head quarters/visitor center.        

Airconditioned busses depart from Bankok's southern bus terminal every 30 min. from 4am-11pm to Pranburi.  From there you can hire a pick up truck or motor cycle taxi for the approximately 50 km to the head quarters.

Birds seen in Khao Sam Roi Yot:

Little Cormorant:          (About 100 27/4 in the marsh area)

Grey Heron:                 (2 seen around HQ-area 26/4, also 2 there 27/4)

Purple Heron:              (2 in the HQ-area 26/4, about 40 seen 27/4)

Chinese Pond Heron:   (About 150 26/4, and 250 27/4)

Little Heron:                 (3 around the HQ-area the evening 26/4)

Cattle Egret:                 (5 26/4 and about 40 flying over HQ-area in the morning 27/4 probably coming from their night roost)

Great White Egret:       (40 27/4)

Chinese Egret? (1 with a long down curved bill was almost certainly of this species.   Despite good views of the bird, we didn't feel totally certain of it not being a white morph Pacific Reef Egret.  It was foraging in a pond just north of the HQ in the evening 26/4)

Little Egret:                  (About 350 27/4, most of them in the morning flying over HQ)

Black Bittern:               (1 flew over our car when parking at the HQ in the KSRY-marsh area)

Yellow Bittern: (40 27/4)

Cinnamon Bittern:        (4 at different sites on the way between Hwy 4 and HQ 27/4)

Cotton Pygmy Goose: (1 F seen in the swamp about 3km before HQ at KSRY-marsh 27/4)

Lesser Whistling Duck: (2+2 at KSRY marsh and 3 in the ricefields between HQ and Hwy 4 27/4)

Black Shouldered Kite: (4 at different sites 27/4)

Crested Goshawk:       (1 seen soaring over HQ 27/4)

Sparrowhawk sp.        (1 seen very briefly at HQ 27/4)

Crested Honey Buzzard: (1 soaring over the mountain behind the HQ 27/4)

Crested Serpent Eagle: (1 chasing the Sea-Eagle at HQ 27/4)

Barred Button Quail:    (1 walking slowly in front of our car at the beach at HQ 26/4 was an  excellent view, 3-4 nearly killed by a cat when they were landing in a bush between HQ and Hwy 4 27/4 was also a good observation)

Ruddy breasted Crake: (a total of 4 seen in the swamp at the bridge about 3km from HQ at  KSRY marsh 27/4)

Slaty breasted Rail:      (1 seen at the same spot as the above mentioned species 27/4)

White browed Crake: (At least 5 different birds gave all excellent views at the same swamp  as mentioned above 27/4)

White breasted Waterhen: (1 roadside just at the entance of  KSRY NP 26/4, 2 seen in KSRY marsh 27/4)

Common Moorhen:      (1 26/4, about 400 in KSRY marsh 27/4)

Purple Swamphen:       (About 50 both ad and juv. at KSRY marsh 27/4)

Pheasent tailed Jacana:  (At least 40 both ad. and juv. at KSRY marsh 27/4)

Bronze winged Jacana:  (2 seen in the fish farms between Hwy 4 and KSRY NP, at least 100  27/4, with most of them in KSRY marsh)

Red wattled Lapwing: (1 26/4, and about 30 27/4)

Pacific Golden Plover: (1 seen in a dried fish pond between Hwy 4 and KSRY NP 27/4)

Malaysian Plover:     (3 M and 4 F seen at the beach just at the HQ at KSRY NP.  Just follow the 1 km road which starts next to the HQ straight down to the beach.  The birds were foraging on the dry parts of the beach)

Lesser Sand Plover:  (About 20 on the beach 27/4)

Greater Sand Plover: (2 on the beach 26/4, about 10 there 27/4)

Greenshank:             (4 at the HQ area 26/4, and 5 seen 27/4)

Redshank:                (1 seen near the HQ 26/4)

Wood Sandpiper:        (8 seen in the HQ area 27/4)

Common Sandpiper:    (10 in HQ area 27/4)

Long toed Stint:           (4 seen in a dried shrimp pond between Hwy 4 and HQ 27/4)

Greater Painted Snipe: (1 pair of this enigmatic species gave excellent views when they  were sleeping in the swamp about 3 km before HQ at KSRY marsh  27/4)

Oriental Pratingcole:     (About 50 in one flock along the road between Hwy 4 and HQ 26/4, and a total of 100 including one with a young along the same road 27/4)

Black winged Stilt:       (5 26/4 and about 50 27/4)

Little Tern:                   (About 150 at the beach at the HQ 27/4)

Feral Pigeon:                (10 27/4)

Red Turtle Dove:         (About 15 in total seen along the road between HQ and Hwy 4 27/4)

Zebra Dove:                (10 seen at the road near the swamp area at KSRY marsh 27/4)

Spotted Dove:             (10 seen 26/4, and 20 seen 27/4)

Plaintive Cuckoo:         (1 heard at the HQ in the morning 27/4)

Green billed Malkoha: (1 seen behind the HQ in KSRY marsh 27/4 by KJS only)

Greater Coucal:           (2 heard at the HQ in KSRY marsh)

Asian Barred Owlet:    (2 seen sitting on electrical wires when night spotting along the main road 26/4)

Large tailed Nightjar: (1-2 heard at KSRY NP HQ 26/4)

Indian Nightjar:            (At least 3 seen hunting and singing about 5km from the HQ towards  Hwy 4 in the evening 26/4)

Pied Kingfisher:            (1 near the HQ 26/4, 5 at different sites 27/4)

Common Kingfisher:    (1 near the HQ 26/4, 2 27/4)

White throated Kingfisher: (1 27/4)

Collared Kingfisher:      (8 scattered around on wires near a river about 3km north of the HQ 26/4)

Blue tailed Bee-eater:   (About 20 along the road between HQ and Hwy 4 26/4, and 6 there 27/4)

Green Bee-eater:         (15 along the road between HQ and Hwy 4 26/4, and about 50 there 27/4)

Blue throated Bee-eater: (1 seen on a wire along the road between HQ and Hwy 4 27/4)

Indian Roller:               (A total of 20 on different localities 27/4)

Fulvous breasted Woodpecker: (1 seen in a distance in a garden along the road between HQ  and Hwy 4 27/4)

Asian Palm Swift:         (About 100 27/4)

Barn Swallow:  (About 15 on 26/4 and about 50 in total 27/4)

Pacific Swallow:           (40 26/4 and 150+ 27/4)

Sand Martin:                (4 seen hunting over a dried shrimp pond 27/4)

Oriental Skylark:      (2 seen together in a dried out shrimp pond along the road between HQ and Hwy 4 27/4)

Paddyfield Pipit:           (About 10 around the HQ on 26/4, and at least 6 along the road HQ-  Hwy 4 on different spots 27/4.  This is by many treated as a separate species of Richard's Pipit A.novaeseelandiae which is only a winter visitor to Thailand)

Yellow Wagtail:           (5 26/4.  At least 15 at different spots along the road HQ-Hwy 4 27/4.  All of ssp. M.f.angarensis)

Common Iora: (1 F with an young at the HQ early morning 27/4)

Streak eared Bulbul:     (4 around the HQ 26/4, and 10 there 27/4)

Sooty headed Bulbul: (2 with yellow under tail coverts near the swamp at KSRY marsh 27/4,  this is far south of their distribution according to Birds of Thailand)

Ashy Drongo:              (1 along the road HQ-Hwy 4 26/4)

Large billed Crow:       (15 at different sites 27/4)

Puff throated Babbler: (1 heard at HQ at KSRY marsh 27/4)

Flyeater:                      (2 at the HQ at KSRY NP 27/4)

Dusky Warbler:           (1 at the HQ 26/4, and at least 2 there 27/4)

Great Reed Warbler:    (At least 20 seen in the reeds especially along the road HQ-Hwy 4 on 27/4. This eastern form is sometimes split from the Eurasian form to an own species, Oriental Reed Warbler A.Orientalis)

Black browed Reed Warbler: (At least 10 seen in the reeds along the road HQ-Hwy 4 27/4)

Zitting cisticola: (2 around the HQ 26/4, about 40 on different locations 27/4)

Plain Prinia:                  (1 along the road HQ-Hwy 4 of the ssp. P.i.herberti 27/4)

Bluethroat:                   (1 F foraging in a dried shrimp pond along the road HQ-Hwy 4 27/4)

Oriental Magpie Robin: (Seen both days in the park)

Pied Fantail:                 (3 seen around the HQ at KSRY NP 27/4)

Ashy Woodswallow:    (6 on the wires along the road HQ-Hwy 4 26/4, and 2 there 27/4)

Brown Shrike:              (2 26/4, and about 35 27/4)

Long tailed Shrike:       (5 M of this nice species were seen along the road HQ-Hwy 4 27/4)

Asian Pied Starling:      (5 and 1 at a nest along the road HQ-Hwy 4 26/4, and about 40 seen  27/4)

Common Myna:           (Seen both days)

White vented Myna:     (About 200 in total 27/4)

Tree Sparrow:             (5 seen around some settlements in the KSRY marsh 27/4)

Plain backed Sparrow: (1 M and 3 F seen along the road HQ-Hwy 4 27/4)

Scaly breasted Munia: (10 seen along the road HQ-Hwy 4 26/4, about 20 seen there mixed  together with Chestnu Munias 27/4)

Chestnut Munia:       (At least 5 seen in reed bed along the road HQ-Hwy 4, and about 40 seen along this road 27/4)

Yellow breasted Bunting: (About 50 in one flock along the road HQ-Hwy 4 26/4, and about 100 counted there 27/4)

Harrier sp.                   (Two seen in the evening 27/4 in a distance from the road HQ-Hwy 4,  at least one of these looked very much like a female Hen harrier with large white rump, broad wings and tail.  Hen harrier is a real rarity in Thailand so we didn't really dare to clinch the id.  The other one was just too far away)

Animals and reptiles:

Slow Loris:                  (1 seen up in the hillside near the HQ when nights spotting 26/4, their eye-shining really gives them away)

Long tailed Macaque: (4 seen around the HQ area 26/4, and 2 seen at the camping ground in the morning 27/4)

Dusky Langur:              (A flock of 6 seen around the HQ both 26th and 27/4)

Bengal, or Clouded Monitor: (1 seen passing the road at the Check point 26/4)

Kaeng Kra Chan National Park

This is Thailand's largest national park, and was certainly the highlight of the trip.  This is really old primary rainforest in steep hills and mountains.  I have never felt so small and so much like an unimportant piece in nature any time before.  This gives you a real wildlife experience with some unforgettable scenery.  One small road is going into to the park and from the checkpoint there is 36km to the end.  There are no food stores available in the park, so you have to buy everything in advance.  Nearest food store you can find is about 1 km from the Head quarters.  At the Head quarters you can get a free map and you also find a restaurant and camping ground here.  This is also the place where you buy your entrance tickets: 200B pr. person and 30B for the car, and then a little bit extra  In the park you can find two camping grounds with simple toilets, one at km16 and one at km30.  Start counting the kilometres from the checkpoint, Ban Krang substation, which is about 30km from the HQ and visitor center.  Because it is difficult to reach this area without your own car, you find very few people except for nature enthusiasts here.  Many thai-birders come here in the weekends, but in the weekdays you basically have the park all by your self. 

We found the birding here very interesting, and a lot of those species which really depend on huge old forest like the Great and Wreathed hornbill we found here.  There are also lots of woodpeckers and some real interesting wildlife such as Asian elephant, Black giant squirrel, White handed gibbons, Dusky langurs and chances to get Black panther and Tiger.  Butterflies are in thousands, and comes in all different colours and shapes-some as big as the birds.

We found the area around km30 very good for birding, at the viewpoint at km32 we saw Great and Wreathed Hornbill and we also saw the Rachet tail treepie here.  A species that was discovered in Thailand as late as 1991 exactly at this place, and Kaeng Kra Chan is the only place you can see this bird in Thailand as far as I know.  This is the higher parts of the road, and because the road goes along very steep hills you'll find the treetop species in eyelevel.  This makes birding in the higher parts very interesting.  Most people goes birding from km15 to km19, this is probably because you can get here without a 4wd vehicle.  Something you certainly need from km19 and onwards.  The lower part (km15-km19) is very good for woodpeckers and is also supposed to be good for broadbills even though we only saw silver breasted broadbill here.  At the first gully after km16, Blue pittas are numerous.  We heard a male here, and spoke to a South African guy that had seen 8 Blue pittas together at this spot.   

How to get there:  The head quarters is approximately a 2.5 hours drive from Bankok.  Coming from the north:  Drive Hwy 4 to the north end of Cha am (don't turn off Hwy 4 to Cha am), then you turn right at signs to Kaeng Krachan NP and Kaeng Krachan Country club and resort.  Then you just follow the signs either to Kaeng Krachan NP or Kaeng Krachan Country club and resort.  After passing (3km) the country club and a few shops you take a left follow sign to the national park or Kaeng Krachan dam, then you just follow the road straight until you get to the head quarters.  From the head quarters and into to the area you just follow signs towards Tor tip waterfall.  Tor tip waterfall is situated at the end of a steep trail starting from km36.   

Birds seen in Kang Krachan NP:

Chinese Pond Heron:   (Seen almost daily in small numbers)

Great Egret:                 (1 at KK Dam at the HQ in the morning 28/4 before entering the NP)

Little Egret:                  (1 at km15 30/4, and 2 in flight at km16 2/5)

Crested Goshawk        (2 seen 28/4)

Besra                         (1 passed close and then perched in a tree at the camping ground at  Km15 the evening 1/5)

Crested Honeybuzzard: (Came across a good migration at km28 with at least 51 birds

migrating between 10:30 and 10:50am 29/4, daily in small numbers all the other days)

Crested Serpent Eagle: (The only one seen in this park was soaring at km32 1/5)

Black thighed Falconet: (1 in the afternoon seen perching high up in a dead tree at Km18 29/4  was the only one the whole trip)

Red Junglefowl:            (1 F on the road at about  Km10 28/4 was the first wild one of the trip.   Seen daily in small numbers from Km15-Km19)

White breasted Waterhen: (Common in the lower parts of the park, Km15-Km19)

Red wattled Lapwing: (2 pairs breeding in the road at about Km10 seen 28/4, 30/4 and 2/5)

Mountain Imperial Pigeon: (Common around the viewpoint at Km32 with peak count of 15 birds 29/4, singles seen Km30-Km36)

Barred Cuckoo Dove: (1 M seen at about Km31 28/4.  According to the bird book, this is far south of its normal distribution)

Little Cuckoo Dove: (1 M at Km23 1/5 gave good views.  Also far south of its normal distribution according to the book)

Emerald Dove: (Common around Km18-Km21, but very shy and difficult to get good  views of without a telescope)

Spotted Dove:             (2 heard singing in the Golf resort's garden the morning 30/4)

Vernal Hanging Parrot: (3 at Km30 29/4, 2 at Km31 30/4 and 5 at Km30 1/5)

Common Koel:            (1 heard 28/4)

Green billed Malkoha: (4 seen around Km30 in the morning 29/4)

Chestnut breasted Malkoha: (1 at Km30 28/4)

Greater Coucal:           (Common from the Checkpoint until Km16)

Large tailed Nightjar:    (2 seen on the road about 5km from the checkpoint towards HQ 29/4)

Banded Kingfisher:       (1 M seen and heard at the small car parking at Km27)

White throated Kingfisher: (4 seen at the camping at HQ 28/4, 5 between HQ and Checkpoint 30/4 and about 5 there 2/5)

Blue bearded Bee-eater: (1 almost hit our car and then perched in some bushes next to the road gave extremely good views at Km19 30/4)

Dollarbird:                   (2 seen at Km17 29/4)

Brown Hornbill:         (1 pair seen and 2 birds heard at a fruiting tree at Km28 30/4)

Wreathed Hornbill:   (This was my first meeting with a hornbill ever, and the "swooshing" in

its wings and the size of this bird when it landed in a tree just above my head will certainly stand out as one of the highlights of the trip and made me a big hornbill fan.  1 pair at Km31 28/4, 1 seen deep down in the valley at Km32 29/4, and 1 pair + 1 seen flying over the valley at Km34 1/5)     

Oriental Pied Hornbill: (When we were stopping to take some pictures of some elephant dung  near the salt lick, a flock of 6 of these birds were flying around in the fruiting trees 2/5 and was the last new species we got in Thailand on this trip)

Great Hornbill:          (Sitting at the viewpoint at Km32 30/4 watching for hornbills can be rewarding.  One bird gliding along the hillside with the endless huge rainforest of KK NP as a background painting made a fantastic setting and was certainly one of the highlights of the trip.  When you think of that these huge birds are cave nesting, it makes you realize the "healthiness" and the age of the forest they require to live in1 pair seen courtshipping each other in the valley next to the viewpoint at Km32 1/5 was also a great experience)

Great Barbet:               (1 at Km30 29/4 and 3 there 30/4)

Green eared Barbet:     (6 seen around Km30 29/4, 2 seen between Km15-19 2/5)

Red throated Barbet:    (5 heard 28/4 and 1 heard 29/4)

Blue throated Barbet:  (Daily 5-15 birds)

Blue eared Barbet:       (1 at Km33 30/4 and 2 seen 1/5)

Greater Flameback:     (3 M seen in the lower parts of the park 28/4)

Common Flameback:   (1 M seen at Km30 in the morning 29/4)

Greater Flameback:     (1 seen at Km18 1/5)

Lesser Yellownape:      (1 at Km17 and 4 at Km10 29/4, 1 at about Km18 1/5)

White bellied Woodpecker: (1 seen in flight only at Km18)

Black and Buff Woodpecker: (1 gave excellent views at Km32 29/4)

Silver breasted Woodpecker: (1 pair building a nest over the road at Km35 gave really nice  views, also 1 seen at Km19 29/4)

Rusty naped Pitta:     (1 M seen well on the ground by KJS and in flight only by EIG when it flew after the female down the hillside, the female was seen in flight only.  This big surprise happened at Km33 30/4.  This is far south of the species normal distribution according to the birdbook)

Blue Pitta:                    (1 M seen perching in some bushes just before the Rusty naped Pitta at about Km33 30/4, 1 F seen at Km34 1/5, 1 M heard in the first gully after Km16 2/5 which is supposed to be a hotspot for this species)

Asian Palm Swift:         (5 seen 28/4 by KJS only, 2 seen 30/4 and 3 seen 1/5)

Pacific Swift:                (Were common all days in the higher parts of the park, about 300 30/4 is one number noted)

Brown Swift:                (1-3 birds seen at about Km10 29/4, 1 at Km33 30/4, 4 seen at Km32 1/5)

Forest Wagtail:             (This species were common from Km19-Km27, 4 seen 28/4, 15+ 29/4, 6 30/4, 3 from Km15-Km19 1/5 and finally 10 seen when driving out of the park 2/5)

Bar winged Flycatchershrike: (2 seen 28/4, 1M + 1 1/5)

Large Woodshrike:      (3 seen 28/4)

Scarlet Minivet:            (1 F and 3M seen at about Km33 28/4, 3 at Km30 29/4, 1M seen 30/4, 1 pair + 1M seen from Km30-34 at 1/5)

Greater Green Leafbird: (1M singing at Km32 30/4)

Blue winged Leafbird:  (Seen every day 5-10 birds)

Black crested Bulbul: (Seen every day with 10-30 birds)

Stripe throated Bulbul: (5 seen 29/4, and 1 seen 2/5 by KJS only)

Flavescent Bulbul:        (Common around the higher parts, Km30-36, with 5-10 birds seen every day.  This is far south of its normal distribution according to the birdbook)

Ochraceous Bulbul:      (Seen almost daily in small numbers)

Puff throated Bulbul:     (About 15 seen between Km16-18 the morning of 2/5.  This is far south of its distribution according to the birdbook)

Buff vented Bulbul:       (1 seen 30/4)

Mountain Bulbul:          (1 seen 28/4, again far south of its distribution)

Ashy Bulbul:                 (2 at about Km30, identification characters seen by KJS only-the species is not supposed to be distributed here according to the birdbook)

Greater Racket tailed Drongo: (1 at Km10 29/4)

Lesser Racket tailed Drongo: (3 at Km27 29/4, 1 at Km17 1/5 and 2 between Km15-19 on 2/5)

Hair crested Drongo:    (1 seen brooding on a nest hanging over the road several days at about Km15, the only others seen were 3 at about Km2 2/5)

Asian Fairy bluebird:    (About 10 seen in the higher parts 28/4, after this only 1 M seen around Km30 every day)

Green Magpie:             (At least 2 seen at Km17 30/4)

Grey Treepie:               (1 seen at Km30 29/4, this is far south of its normal distribution according to the book)

Racket tailed Treepie: (1 sitting high up in the trees at Km34 30/4 was the only one on the trip)

Ratchet tailed Treepie: (1 seen at the viewpoint at Km32 29/4 was actually one of the first birds seen this morning, we watched it jumping around in the trees just ten meters from us for a minute before it disappeared down the hill and into the forest.  This is the only place you can get this species in Thailand as far as I now, and it wasn't discovered here before 1991)

Velvet fronted Nuthatch: (10 seen 28/4 and 1 seen 1/5)

Puff throated Babbler: (2 heard 28/4 and about 10 heard 2/5 between Km16-Km18)

Buff breasted Babbler: (1 seen at Km31 1/5)

White browed Scimitar Babbler: (1 seen at Km33 28/4,

Rufous fronted Babbler: (2 seen 28/4, 4 seen 29/4, 1 1/5 and about 10 heard Km16-Km18 2/5)

Stripe Tit Babbler:        (1 seen in the morning 1/5)

Black throated Laughingthrush: (1 seen at Km32 1/5, identification characters seen by KJS  only, this is south of its normal distribution according to the bird book)

White crested Laughingthrush: (3 seen at Km32 1/5)

Brown cheeked Fulvetta: (2 seen 28/4, 10 seen 30/4 and about 20 seen 1/5, all between Km30-35)

White bellied Yuhina: (3 seen 29/4 at Km27)

Yellow bellied Warbler: (1 seen 29/4 at Km27, 3 seen 30/4 and 3 seen 1/5)

Pale legged Leaf Warbler: (1 at Km30 29/4, 1 30/4 at about Km34 and 1 1/5)

Common Tailorbird:     (1 F seen 29/4, 2 30/4, 5 seen 1/5 and about 5 seen 2/5)

Dark necked Tailorbird: (1M seen 29/4 and 1M seen 1/5)

Oriental Magpie Robin: (Seen in the lower parts in small numbers almost daily)

White rumped Shama: (Seen daily 2-10 birds)

Asian Brown Flycatcher: (1 seen 29/4)

Grey headed Flycatcher: (1 seen 1/5)

Hill Blue Flycatcher:     (1M singing at Km36 28/4 and 2 seen 1/5)

White throated Fantail: (1 at Km30 28/4, 1 at Km30 29/4 and 3 seen Km30-33 1/5.  This is far south of its normal distribution according to the bird book)

Black naped Monarch: (1 F seen 28/4)

Asian Paradise Flycatcher: (Seen daily in small numbers, with one white morph at Km28 1/5 worth mentioning)

Tiger Shrike:                (1 pair seen 28/4, 1M at Km22 29/4, 1 seen 30/4 and 2 seen 1/5)

Brown Shrike:              (1M seen 30/4 and 2 seen 1/5)

Ashy Woodswallow:    (1 seen 29/4 and 3 seen on the wires on the road between HQ and checkpoint 30/4)

Asian Pied Starling:      (1 seen 28/4)

Common Myna:           (Seen on a few dates just outside the park)

Hill Myna:                 (2 seen perching in a dead tree at Km17 the morning 2/5)

Black throated Sunbird: (1M and a 1F seen at Km32 29/4, 1M seen at Km32 1/5.  This is not  within its normal distribution according to the birdbook)

Streaked Spiderhunter: (1 at Km27 29/4 and 1 seen 1/5. This is a bit south of its normal distribution)

Yellow vented Flowerpecker: (1 seen at Km32 30/4)

Oriental White-eye:      (Seen daily, but one yellow morph seen 1/5 was the only one of this morph seen during the whole trip)

Tree Sparrow:              (2 seen near the HQ 28/4)

Plain backed Sparrow: (1 singing male seen along the main road just were it meets the Kaeng Krachan Dam at 30/4)

Scaly breasted Munia: (1M seen at the HQ 30/4 and 4 seen at about Km33 1/5)

Laced or Streak breasted Woodpecker: (1 seen at view point Km32 29/4)

Greater or Lesser necklaced Laughing Trush: (4 seen at Km16 2/5)

Banded/Crimson winged/Checker throated Woodpecker: (1 seen flying by at view point at Km32)

Animals and reptiles:

Dusky Langur: (Several small flocks seen daily both in the higher and lower parts of the park)

White handed Gibbons: (2-3 flocks of about 10 animals each made the rainforest sing every

day, most common in the higher parts of the park.  Especially the morning 29/4 when a flock were passing right over our tent was an excellent alarm clock and one of my personal highlights of the trip)

Leopard?                     (One black form, Black Panther, probably seen when night spotting in the evening 28/4-see Itinerary)

Asian Elephant:            (Never saw the animal itself, but a lot of dung on the main road from about Km5-Km16 showed that this is probably a good place for it. Wild Asian Elephant has become quite rare and is absolutely worth trying for)

Black Giant Squirrel: (1 seen high up in a tree from the view point at Km32 1/5 was a nice experience, and surely it was a giant!)

Beautiful tree squirrel sp.: (Several seen daily, most of them probably Plantain squirrels)

Himalayan Striped Squirrel: (1-5 seen daily, especially in the higher parts of the park)

Tree frog sp.                (At the camping at Km30, their chorus started every evening)

Land crab:                   (Common from Km15-Km18)

Snake sp.:                    (1 seen passing in front of our car at 28/4 1,5-2m long was shiny silvery grey, and another over the road was all black and about 1m in length was seen 2/5)

Total trip list:

1   Little Grebe                                    (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

2   Little Cormorant                             (Phalacrocorax niger)

3   Christmas Frigatebird                     (Fregata andrewsi)

4   Grey Heron                                    (Ardea cinerea)

5   Purple Heron                                  (Ardea purpurea)

6   Chinese Pond Heron                      (Ardeola bacchus)

7   Cattle Egret                                    (Bubulcus ibis)

8   Pacific Reef Egret                           (Egretta sacra)

9   Great Egret                                    (Egretta alba)

10  Little Egret                                    (Egretta garzetta)

11  Little Heron                                   (Butorides Striatus)

12  Black Bittern                                 (Dupetor flavicollis)

13  Black crowned Night Heron          (Nycticorax nycticorax)

14  Yellow Bittern                               (Ixobrychus sinensis)

15  Cinnamon Bittern                           (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus)

16  Cotton Pygmy Goose                    (Nettapus coromandelianus)

17  Lesser Whistling Duck                   (Dendrocygna javanica)

18  Black shouldered Kite                   (Elanus Caeruleus)

19  Black eared Kite                           (Milvus migrans lineatus)

20  Brahminy Kite                               (Haliastur indus)

21  Crested Goshawk                         (Accipiter trivirgatus)

22  Shikra                                           (Accipiter badius)

23  Besra                                           (Accipiter virgatus)

24  Crested Honey Buzzard                 (Pernis ptilorhynchus)

25  White bellied Sea Eagle                 (Haliaetus leucogaster)

26  Crested Serpent Eagle                   (Spilornis cheela)

27  Black thighed Falconet                  (Microhierax fringillarius)

28  Peregrine Falcon                         (Falco peregrinus japonensis?) 

29  Red Junglefowl                              (Gallus gallus)

30  Barred Buttonquail             (Turnix tanki)

31  Slaty breasted Rail             (Rallus striatus)

32  Ruddy breasted Crake                  (Porzana fusca)

33  White browed Crake                  (Porzana cinerea)     

34  White breasted Waterhen              (Amaurornis phoenicurus)

35  Common Moorhen                        (Gallinula chloropus)

36  Purple Swamphen                         (Porphyrio porphyrio)

37  Pheasent tailed Jacana                   (Hydrophasianus chirurgus)

38  Bronze winged Jacana                   (Metopidius indicus)

39  Red wattled Lapwing                     (Vanellus indicus)

40  Grey Plover                                   (Pluvialis squatarola)

41  Pacific Golden Plover                    (Pluvialis fulva)

42  Malaysian Plover                       (Charadrius peronii)

43  Lesser Sand Plover                       (Charadrius mongolus)

44  Greater Sand Plover                      (Charardrius leschenaultii)

45  Eurasian Curlew                            (Numenius arquata orientalis)

46  Whimbrel                                      (Numenius phaeopus)

47  Black tailed Godwit                       (Limosa limosa)

48  Bar tailed Godwit                          (Limosa lapponica)

49  Common Redshank                       (Tringa tetanus)

50  Common Greenshank                    (Tringa nebularia)

51  Wood Sandpiper                           (Tringa glareola)

52  Common Sandpiper                      (Actitis hypoleucos)

53  Terek Sandpiper                           (Xenus cinereus)

54  Ruddy Turnstone                           (Arenaria interpres)

55  Long toed Stint                              (Calidris subminuta)

56  Curlew Sandpiper                         (Calidris ferruginea)

57  Great Knot                                    (Calidris tenuirostris)

58  Greater Painted Snipe                    (Rostratula benghalensis)

59  Oriental Pratincole                         (Glareola maldivarum)

60  Black winged Stilt                          (Himantopus himantopus)

61  Great crested Tern                     (Sterna bergii)

62  Lesser crested Tern                   (Sterna bengalensis)

63  Gull billed Tern                              (Gelochelidon nilotica)

64  Common Tern                               (Sterna hirudo)

65  Black naped Tern                       (Sterna sumatrana)

66  Little Tern                                     (Sterna albifrons)

67  White winged Tern                        (Chlidonias leucopterus)

68  Bridled Tern                                (Sterna anaethetus)

69  Thick billed Pigeon                        (Treron curvirostra)

70  Pied Imperial Pigeon                      (Ducula bicolor)

71  Mountain Imperial Pigeon              (Ducula badia)

72  Rock Pigeon                                 (Columba livia)

73  Barred Cuckoo Dove                    (Macropygia unchali)

74  Little Cuckoo Dove                    (Macropygia ruficeps)

75  Red Turtle Dove                            (Strptopelia tranquebarica)

76  Spotted Dove                                (Streptopelia chinensis)

77  Zebra Dove                                   (Geopelia striata)

78  Emerald Dove                               (Chalcophaps indica)

79  Vernal Hanging Parrot                   (Loriculus vernalis)

80  Indian Cuckoo                              (Cuculus micropterus)

81  Banded Bay Cuckoo                   (Cacomantis sonneratii)          

82  Plaintive Cuckoo                           (Cacomantis merulinus)

83  Drongo Cuckoo                            (Surniculus lugubris)

84  Common Koel                              (Eudynamys scolopacea)

85  Gree billed Malkoha                      (Phaenicophaeus tristis)

86  Chestnut breasted Malkoha           (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris)

87  Greater Coucal                              (Cenropus sinensis)

88  Lesser Coucal                               (Centropus bengalensis)

89  Brown Hawk Owl                         (Ninox scutulata)

90  Collared Scops Owl                      (Otus lempiji)

91  Asian Barred Owlet                       (Glaucidium cuculoides)

92  Javan Frogmouth                        (Batrachostomus javensis)

93  Large tailed Nightjar                      (Caprimulgus macrurus)

94  Indian Nightjar                              (Caprimulgus asiaticus)

95  Pied Kingfisher                              (Ceryle rudis)

96  Common Kingfisher                       (Alcedo attis)

97  Blue eared Kingfisher                (Alcedo meninting)

98  Banded Kingfisher                         (Lacedo pulchella)

99  Brown winged Kingfisher           (Halcyon amauroptera)

100 White throated Kingfisher             (Hacyon smyrnesis)

101 Collared Kingfisher                       (Halcyon chloris)

102 Blue tailed Bee-eater                    (Merops philippinus)

103 Green Bee-eater                           (Merops orientalis)

104 Blue throated Bee-eater                (Merops viridis)

105 Blue bearded Bee-eater                (Nyctornis athertoni)

106 Indian Roller                                 (Coracias benghalensis)

107 Dollarbird                                     (Eurystomus orientalis)

108 Brown Hornbill                           (Ptilolaemus tickelli)           

109 Wreathed Hornbill                     (Rhyticeros undulates)

110 Oriental Pied Hornbill                   (Anthracocerus albirostris)

111 Great Hornbill                            (Buceros bicornis)

112 Great Barbet                                (Megalaima virens)

113 Green eared Barbet                      (Megalaima faiostricta)

114 Gold whiskered Barbet                 (Megalaima chrysopogon)

115 Red throated Barbet                     (Megalaima mystacophanos)

116 Blue throated Barbet                    (Megalaima asiatica)

117 Blue eared Barbet                        (Megalaima australis)

118 Coppersmith Barbet                     (Megalaima haemacephala)

119 Brown Barbet                              (Calorhamphus fuliginosus)

120 Greater Flameback                       (Chrysocolaptes lucidus)

121 Common Flameback                    (Dinopium javanense)

122 Greater Yellownape                     (Picus flavinucha)

123 Lesser Yellownape                       (Picus chlorolophus)

124 Maroon Woodpecker                  (Blythipicus rubiginosus)

125 White bellied Woodpecker        (Dryocopus javensis feddeni)

126 Black and Buff Woodpecker     (Meiglyptes jugularis)

127 Fulvous breasted Woodpecker (Picoides macei)

128 Silver breasted Broadbill               (Serilophus lunatus)

129 Rusty naped Pitta                      (Pitta oatesi)

130 Blue winged Pitta                          (Pitta moluccensis)

131 Mangrove Pitta                          (Pitta megarhyncha)

132 Hooded Pitta                        (Pitta sordida)

133 Blue Pitta                                (Pitta cyanea)

134 Banded Pitta                         (Pitta guajana)

135 Gurney's Pitta                      (Pitta gurneyi)

136 Edible nest Swiftlet                 (Aerodramus fuciphagus)

137 Asian Palm Swift                    (Cypsiurus blasiensis)

138 Pacific Swift                           (Apus pacificus)

139 House Swift                            (Apus affinis)

140 Brown Needletail                    (Hirundapus giganteus)

141 Grey rumped Treeswift           (Hemiprocne longipennis)

142 Whiskered Treeswift               (Hemiprocne comata)

143 Sand Martin                           (Riparia riparia)

144 Barn Swallow                         (Hirundo rustica)

145 Pacific Swallow                      (Hirundo tahitica)

146 Striated Swallow                    (Hirundo striolata) 

147 Oriental Skylark                  (Alauda gulgula)

148 Richard's Pipit                        (Anthus novaeseelandiae)

149 Paddyfield Pipit                      (Anthus rufulus/malayensis)

150 Yellow Wagtail                       (Motacilla flava angarensis)

151 Forest Wagtail                        (Dendronanthus indicus)

152 Bar winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus picatus)

153 Large Woodshrike                  (Tephrodornis virgatus)

154 Scarlet Minivet                       (Pericrocotus flammeus)

155 Green Iora                            (Aegithina viridissima)

156 Common Iora                         (Aegithina tiphia)

157 Lesser Green Leafbird            (Chloropsis cyanopogon)

158 Greater Green Leafbird           (Chloropsis sonnerati)

159 Blue winged Leafbird              (Chloropsis cochinchinensis)

160 Black headed Bulbul               (Pycnonotus atriceps)

161 Black crested Bulbul               (Pycnonotus melanicterus)

162 Sooty headed Bulbul               (Pycnonotus aurigaster)

163 Stripe throated Bulbul             (Pycnonotus finlaysoni)

164 Flavescent Bulbul                    (Pycnonotus flavescens)

165 Yellow vented Bulbul              (Pycnonotus goiavier)

166 Olive winged Bulbul                (Pycnonotus plumosus)

167 Streak eared Bulbul                (Pycnonotus blanfordi)

168 Cream vented Bulbul           (Pycnonotus simplex)

169 Red eyed Bulbul                     (Pycnonotus brunneus)

170 Puff throated Bulbul                (Criniger pallidus)

171 Ochraceous Bulbul                 (Criniger ochraceus)

172 Buff vented Bulbul                  (Hypsipetes charlottae)

173 Mountain Bulbul                     (Hypsipetes mcclellandii)

174 Streaked Bulbul                      (Hypsipetes malaccensis)

175 Ashy Bulbul                            (Hypsipetes flavalia)

176 Black Drongo                         (Dicrurus macrocercus)

177 Ashy Drongo                          (Dicrurus leucophaeus)

178 Lesser Racket tailed Drongo (Dicrurus remifer)

179 Hair crested Drongo               (Dicrurus hottentottus)

180 Greater Racket tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)

181 Asian Fairy-bluebird               (Irena puella)

182 Green Magpie                        (Cissa chinensis)

183 Grey Treepie                          (Dendrocitta formosae)

184 Black Magpie                      (Platysmurus leucopterus)

185 Racket tailed Treepie              (Crypsirina temia)

186 Ratchet tailed Treepie         (Temnurus temnurus)

187 Large billed Crow                   (Corvus macrorhynchos)

188 Velvet fronted Nuthatch          (Sitta frontalis)

189 Puff throated Babbler              (Pellorneum ruficeps)

190 Black capped Babbler            (Pellorneum capistratum)

191 Buff breasted Babbler             (Trichastoma tickelli)

192 Short tailed Babbler                (Trichastoma malaccense)

193 Abbott's Babbler                    (Trichastoma abbotti)

194 White browed Scimitar Babbler    (Pomatorhinus schisticeps)

195 Rufous fronted Babbler           (Stachyris rufifrons)

196 Chestnut winged Babbler        (Stachyris erythroptera)

197 Striped Tit Babbler                 (Macronous gularis)

198 White crested Laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus)

199 Black throated Laughingthrush (Garrulax chinensis)

200 Brown cheeked Fulvetta         (Alcippe poioicephala)

201 White bellied Yuhina               (Yuhina zantholeuca)

202 Flyeater                                  (Gerygone suphurea)

203 Yellow bellied Warbler           (Abroscopus supercillaris)

204 Dusky warbler                        (Phylloscopus fuscatus)

205 Pale legged Leaf Warbler        (Phylloscopus tenellipes)

206 Arctic Warbler                       (Phylloscopus borealis)

207 Great Reed Warbler               (Acrocephalus arundinaceus)

208 Black browed Reed Warbler  (Acricephalus bistrigiceps)

209 Zitting Cisticola                       (Cisticola juncidis)

210 Rufescent Prinia                      (Prinia rufescens)

211 Plain Prinia                             (Prinia inornata herberti)

212 Common Tailorbird                (Orthotomus sutorius)

213 Dark necked Tailorbird           (Orthonomus atroghularis)

214 Ashy Tailorbird                       (Orthonomus sepium)

215 Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

216 Siberia Blue Robin                  (Luscinia cyane)

217 Oriental Magpie Robin            (Copsychus saularis)

218 White rumped Shama             (Copsychus malabaricus)

219 Ferruginous Flycatcher        (Muscicapa ferruginea)

220 Asian Brown Flycatcher          (Muscicapa dauurica)

221 Yellow rumped Flycatcher      (Ficedula zanthopygia)

222 Grey headed Flycatcher          (Culicicapa ceyloensis)

223 Hill Blue Flycatcher                 (Cyornis banyumas)

224 White throated Fantail             (Rhipidura albicollis)

225 Pied Fantail                            (Rhipidura javanica)

226 Black naped Monarch            (Hypothymis azurea)

227 Rufous winged Flycatcher       (Philenthoma pyrhopterum)

228 Asian Paradise Flycatcher       (Terpsiphone paradisi)

229 Brown Shrike                         (Lanius cristatus)

230 Tiger Shrike                            (Lanius tigrinus)

231 Long tailed Shrike                   (Lanius schach)

232 Ashy Wood-swallow              (Artamus fuscus)

233 Phillipine Glossy Starling         (Aplonis panayensis)

234 Asian Pied Starling                  (Sturnus contra)

235 Common Myna                      (Acridotheres tristis)

236 White vented Myna                (Acridotheres javanicus)

237 Hill Myna                             (Gracula religiosa)

238  Brown throated Sunbird         (Anthreptes malacensis)

239 Ruby cheeked Sunbird            (Anthreptes singalensis)

240 Olive backed Sunbird             (Nectarina jugularis)

241 Black throated Sunbird           (Aethopyga saturata)

242 Crimson Sunbird                     (Aethopyga siparaja)

243 Little Spiderhunter                  (Arachnothera longirostra)

244 Grey breasted Spiderhunter    (Arachnothera affinis)

245 Streaked Spiderhunter            (Arachnothera magna)

246 Yellow breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus maculatus)

247 Thick billed Flowerpecker      (Dicaeum agile)

248 Yellow vented Flowerpecker (Dicaeum chrysorrheum)

249 Orange bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum melanoxanthum)

250 Scarlet backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum)

251 Oriental White eye                  (Zosterops palpebrosus)

252 Eurasian Tree Sparrow           (Passer montanus)

253 Plain backed Sparrow            (Passer flaveolus)

254 Pin tailed Parrotfinch           (Erythrura prasina)

255 White rumped Munia              (Lonchura striata)

256 White bellied Munia                (Lonchura leucogastra)

257 Scaly breasted Munia             (Lonchura punctulata)

258 Chestnut Munia                   (Lonchura malcca)

259 Yellow breasted Bunting         (Emberiza aureola)

260 Harrier sp.                              (Circus sp.)

261 Oriole sp.                               (Oriolus sp.)

262 Greater/Lesser neclaced Laughingthrush (Garrulax monileger/pectoralis)

263 Banded/Crimson winged/Checker throated Woodpecker (Picus miniaceus/puniceus/mentalis)

264 Laced/Streak breasted Woodpecker (Picus vittatus/viridanus)

Eirik Grønningsæter, August 2002


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