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A Report from

Limestone Wren-Babbler in Thailand , Napothera crispifrons,

Gary and Marlene Babic


The Limestone Wren-Babbler, Napothera crispifrons, is a locally common bird of central Thailand. However, the habitat where the birds are found is limestone crags, and therefore there are few accessible sites. This brief report gives details about one such site, at a Buddhist temple (wat) near Khao Yai national park. 

Wat Tumphaphothisat (often combined into one word) is located off Route 2, the main road between Saraburi (100 km north of Bangkok) and Khao Yai National Park. The attached map shows the location. From Saraburi, travel east until approx km 128 where there is a U-turn bridge; take this bridge and return back towards Saraburi, making an immediate left turn off Rte 2 from the exit ramp. From Khao Yai, bear left off the main road as you approach the power plant at km 129. Just after the U-turn bridge rejoins the main road, turn left. This road is signposted "wattumphaphothisat". Follow this road 2 km to an intersection and turn left. The intersection has a blinking light and a school on the corner. Follow this left turn for 8 km and it leads directly into the temple.       

After going through the temple's entry gate, there are two narrow bridges and then you will reach the temple itself. Bear to the right and park behind the temple. Do not be surprised if there are many barking dogs in the temple grounds; they seem to be harmless but very noisy. Follow the paved concrete path towards the obvious mountain behind the temple. After climbing a few steps and going through a housing area for monks, you will reach a split in the path. Most of the arrows point right but go left. Almost immediately you start climbing very steep steps. Near the top of the steps you will see a series of small buildings and a large bell. This is the prime area for the Limestone Wren-Babbler. It has a loud call, and appears to respond to "pishing". The local race is calcicola, with a brown cheek patch.

We visited this location several times before seeing the bird. We were only successful at 7:15AM. If coming from Khao Yai, this means leaving there at approx 6AM.

Please remember that this wat is an active temple. The monks graciously allow visitors. However, please show respect to the monks and to this holy place. A small donation is also appreciated.

Map of Area (pdf 65kB)


Many thanks to Peter Ericsson for his help in locating this site.


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