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A Report from

Khao Yai 26-27/10/03,

Peter Ericsson

Mark Robbins, expert on North and South American birds. Simon Thompson, bird tour company owner and full time guide, plus Roger their close friend and associate were on they way to Bhutan after having been invited to do some research there. On their way they asked if I could take them birding to Khao Yai as two of them never had been to Thailand before. Actually, for Mark it was a first time visit to Asia.

I picked them up at the airport before lunch and while having a refreshing drink we had our first birds. A flock of Openbills were soaring overhead not too far from the airport. We promptly set off for Khao Yai but dropped by Maharat Boys Home where I take boy's birdwatching regularly. Here we had some interesting encounters with new birds for the two. Bronze-winged Jacana with young was feeding in the pond. Coppersmith Barbets were perched in the treetops filling the bins with plenty of color.  A Black-naped Kingfisher faithfully kept to its perch in search for food. Several Red-throated Flycatchers kept calling and at times dropping to the ground for an insect. Then our eyes fell on a passing wet season migrant, the Ferruginous Flycatcher. Great little bird!

Ferruginous Flycatcher
Ferruginous Flycatcher

There were several more common birds around and our one hour stop was well worth it.

We drove strait to Juladit resort outside Khao Yai National Park. Here we managed to see several Red-breasted Parakeets before we headed up into the park. We entered the park at 4pm and did our first stop at the first look out.

Soon the regular birds started inviting us to the park. Beautifully colored Blue-winged Leaf-birds appeared (a sure winner), Black-crested Bulbuls, Spangled Drongos snatched insects in the air, and a Thick-billed Flowerpecker swiftly flew by, as did buzzing Vernal Hanging Parakeets. Then the strong wing beats of a pair of Great Hornbills filled the air. These very experienced birders (each with a life list of between 3-4000 birds, were in awe at this 'king of the forest'.)

We continued to WangJumpee and quietly walked down to the stream in hope of seeing some Slaty-backed Forktails. Sure enough, a pair was feeding on the boulders in the middle of the stream. Plenty of leeches also manifested themselves as this is still the rainy season.

We drove around the park a bit and finished up with a consumptous dinner at headquarters.

Following day we rose to a nice breakfast buffet and entered the park as it opened up at 6.00 am.

We did a couple of stops but pretty soon went for the road that leads to the radar station at Khao Kaew. Here we patiently drove and walked up and down.

A splendid male Silver Pheasant took everyone's attention. Though it is so large and strikingly white, it still can be hard to see.  Orange-breasted Trogon was also seen here as was Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike, Greater Flameback and Puff-throated Bulbuls. Banded Kingfisher was calling but not seen.

A bit further up the road (by the 3 small bridges) we had good views of Asian Emerald Cuckoo, Dark-sided FC, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, a rare male Siberian Thrush, Oriental White-eyes, Blyth's Leaf Warbler and a pair of Wreathed Hornbills.

Female Asian Emerald Cuckoo

Half an hour before lunch we decided to put on leech socks and enter the famous trail 6. Quiet, oh so quiet but then, as of out of no where, birds started to show. Eventually we had Red-headed Trogon, Banded Broadbill, White-crested and Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrushes, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler, Hill-blue FC, Besra (juvenile) White-bellied Yuhinna, Black-throated Sunbird, Great Iora, Sulphur-breasted Warbler, Laced Woodpecker etc etc.

We left the park at 4pm and drove strait to the hotel where some tired but satisfied souls crashed out for the night before  their real adventure of birding in Bhutan would begin the following day. A nice introduction to birding in tropical Asia.

If you need help, advice or company while here you can reach me at

Peter Ericsson

 1.  Asian Emerald Cuckoo
 2.  Asian Koel
 3.  Green-billed Malkoha
 4.  Paddyfield Pipit
 5.  Richard's Pipit
 6.  Siberian Stonechat
 7.  Dark-necked Tailorbird
 8.  Brown Shrike
 9.  Javan Pond Heron
10. Chinese Pond Heron
11. Little Egret
12. Cattle Egret
13. Great Egret
14. Little Cormorant
15. White-breasted Waterhen
16. Bronze-winged Jacana
17. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
18. Magpie Robin
19. White-rumped Shama
20. Coppersmith Barbet
21. Moustached Barbet
22. Streak-eared Bulbul
23. Black-crested Bulbul
24. Stripe-throated Bulbul
25. Grey-eyed Bulbul
26. Black-headed Bulbul
27. Puff-throated Bulbul
28. Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike
29. Great Eared Nightjar
30 .Striped Tit Babbler
31. Abbott's Babbler
32. Puff-throated Babbler (Heard)
33. Black Drongo
34. Ashy Drongo
35. Spangled Drongo
36. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
37. Ashy Minivet
38. Scarlet Minivet
39. Thick-billed Flowerpecker
40. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
41. Buff-bellied Flowerpecker
42. Asian Palm Swift
43. House Swift
44. Barn Swallow
45. Ashy Woodswallow
46. Brown Needletail
47. Blue-tailed Bee-eater
48. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
49. Blue-bearded Bee-eater
50. Oriental White Eye
51. Shikra
52. Besra
53. Japanese Sparrowhawk
54. Scaly-breasted Partridge (Heard)
55. Blue-winged Leafbird
56. White-bellied Yuhinna
57. Great Iora
58. Olive-backed Sunbird
59. Brown-throated Sunbird
60. Black-throated Sunbird
61. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird
62. Asian Brown Flycatcher
63. Ferrugionous Flycatcher
64. Red-throated Flycatcher
65. Hill Blue Flycatcher
66. Pied Fantail
67. Black-naped Monarch
68. Red-headed Trogon
69. Orange-breasted Trogon
70. White-browed Scimitar Babbler
71. Large Scimitar Babbler (Heard)
72. Banded Broadbill
73. Vernal Hanging Parakeet
74. Red-breasted Parakeet
75. Mountain Imperial Pigeon
76. Zebra Dove
77. Spotted Dove
78. Red Turtle Dove
79. Rock Dove
80. Common Myna
81. White-vented Myna
82. Indian Roller
83. Large-billed Crow
84. Hill Myna
85. Black-collared Starling
86. Common Kingfisher
87. White-throated Kingfisher
88. Black-capped Kingfisher
89. Banded Kingfisher (Heard)
90. Greater Flameback
91. Laced Woodpecker
92. Indian Roller
93. Green Magpie
94. Slaty-backed Forktail
95. Yellow-browed Warbler
96. Blyth's Leaf Warbler
97. Sulphur-breasted Warbler
98. Great Hornbill
99. Wreathed Hornbill
100. Blue Rock Thrush
101. Siberian Thrush (male)
102. White-crested Laughingthrush
103. Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush
104. Asian Fairy Bluebird
105. Black-naped Oriole


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