NAM NAO NATIONAL PARK.APRIL 2013


Nam Nao was one of the missed national park that I wanted to visit.About 1 hour from Lom Sak, it s a national park not difficult to reach.Firstly, I took a bus from Rangsit station to Lom Sak, that takes between 6 or 7 hours.I arrived at Lom Sak around 3 in the morning.Afterwards,I had to wait 2 more hours to get another bus heading to Khong Khaeng.After driving 40 km the bus dropped me in Nam Nao National Park.It was 6 o’clock in the morning and I didn t  almost sleep all night.At that time it s pretty cold there.I paied 40 baths entrance fee and I walked for half an hour towards the headquarters.

Nam Nao National Park

Pines are around this area and the possibility to spot interesting birds clearly is high.I took my binoculars and started to explore it while I was walking.Near the headquarters I could see some interesting species like the noisy White-crested Laughingthrush that flew in a mixed flock.Lesser-necklaced Laughingthrush was another good bird to see flying with them.Once in the visitor center, I spot a couple of Red-billed Blue Magpie flying across the road.This is a quite conspicuous and noisy bird that is common in some national parks.

White-crested Laughingthrush

The park is not too crowded with hordes of thais as many other national parks ( at least that weekend ).There were only 2 tents in the campsite !!  There are 2 stalls where you can eat and food is quite cheap.There is a nice veranda with a nice view just beside the visitor center where you can eat while doing birdwatching.

After taking breakfast,I was excited to explore the trails that start at the back of the campsite.Around the campsite I saw Scarlet Minivets quite often and I could take this nice picture of this bird.

Scarlet Minivet

A Black-throated Laughingthrush appeared just a few meters from the campsite,at the beginning of the trail.I followed the first trail trying to spot the Blue Pitta but I wasn’t lucky enough.After that I followed the second trail along the river.This is one of the best places in Thailand to spot the Silver Pheasant, but after spending 2 hours along this trail I couldn t get a glimpse of this beautiful but shy bird.However,I saw a Chinese Pond Heron and a White-crowned Forktail along this trail,on the river.I heard Blue-throated Barbet frequently along this area.When coming back,near the campsite I had an excellent view of a red-headed Trogon just 1 meter in front of me !!! I could see the male firstly and after the female close to him.

Namnao9

I took a rest for a while in my tent and around 11 o clock I decided to walk back along the river once again.On the other side of the river,just a few hundred meters from the beginning of the second trail,I spotted a Bar-backed Partridge moving around.Afterwards a couple of Greater Flameback were flying around.White-crowned Forktail was seen again moving among the rocks.Black-hooded Oriole and White-rumped Shama made its presence along the trail as well.One of the most remarkable birds that I saw here was a Black Bulbul,flying in a mixed flock with other species of birds and an Asian-Paradise Flycatcher flying across the river.Bulbuls are common here,as everywhere in Thailand,and Puff-throated and Stripe-throated Bulbuls are encountered easily along this trail.Green-billed Malkoha is another bird that I could see skulking among the leaves.I couldn’t see the Silver Pheasant but I found a feather of this amazing bird along the trail.

Once we already walked for 3 hours more I came back to the campsite.On the tree beside the visitor center, bulbuls and leafbirds were seen on it.Orange-bellied Leafbird is an stunning bird that looks quite common around the visitor center and the headquarters.Blue-winged Leafbird is another bird that I frequently saw around this area.

 At 2 pm I went to the headquarters to check around and I was astonished by the presence of Velvet-fronted Nuthatch in a flock of 6 or 7 individuals.Grey-capped Pigmy Woodpecker was on a tree beside the headquarters house.Walking towards the bungalows I could see a Small Minivet and when coming back to the visitor center Blue Magpie appeared again around 5 o’clock.

I was exhausted, willing to sleep 12 hours at least.The trip until the national park paid its toll to me.I fell asleep very quickly.

I woke up at 6 o’clock full of energy and determined to find the Silver Pheasant along the river.Red-headed Trogon was perched on a stick in the campsite.I approached to take a picture but there was not enough light to take a  nice one.The bird flew away and went with the female that was perched on an electric wire.The day was foggy in the first hour,and bird activity look lower than the day before.I spent 3 hours going further the junction to the second and third trail heading the fourth trail but no sign of the stunning Silver Pheasant.When I was coming back an elephant was eating bamboo just 10 meters from the trail !!

 

I had to come back to Bangkok.Time was running out,so I packed my tent and I went to the main highway to wait for the bus.I wanted to check Dong Paek but It was pretty hot,so I gave up.

I missed the opportunity to check other trails ( 2 and 3 ) and Dong Paek trail but I felt pretty satisfied about what I saw.I needed more days to explore this beautiful national park but I had to work on Monday.Anyway, I had an excellent impression of the park and I am willing to come back in  a near future with more time to explore it in depth !!!

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