KAENG KRACHAN.NESTING TIME


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Black-naped Monarch

Kaeng Krachan is the birdiest site of Thailand.This superb national park host more than 400 species of birds and 57 species of mammals.It’s the largest national park in Thailand and it’s located only 3 hours from Bangkok, and 30 kilometers from Petchaburi town.May is the best month to see many species nesting, especially Broadbills.

To get there I went to Victory Monument.From there i took a van to Kaeng Krachan town.It took around 3 hours.Once there, stuff of Samarn Camp were waiting for me.They picked me up and they rode for 20 kilometers to Samarn Camp.There are some bungalows ( about 1000 bath/night ) plus a camping area and you can rent a tent once there.Mr. Samarn is probably the best source of information of the birds of Kaeng Krachang, knowing their location, nesting time and anything you want to know about birds.

I slept in my own tent and I woke up, as usually, at 5 am.I rented a car for one day ( 1600 baths /day ) and i head to the national park.I paid 200 bath entrance fee ( they didn’t want to apply the discount ) and we rode along a paved road that changes to a rough road.After a few kilometers we started to see some interested birds.About km.10 we saw Great Hornbill, Ashy Drongo, Black-naped Oriole and Golden-crested Myna.Blue-winged Pitta was heard here.

Afterwards, we rode for 5 more km until we reached Bang Krang Campsite.Just beside the camping,on the stream, the superb Black and Red Broadbill was nesting there.It’s one of the most beautiful broadbills I’ve ever seen( the first time i saw it was in Borneo ).There were a male and a female making their nest, picking up some small branches and coming back to their nest quite often.They were perched on the same 2 branches before entering inside their nest.I spent almost half hour observing this magnificent birds.I took some pictures but the light was not good enough.

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Black-and-red Broadbill

But we had to continue to observe more birds, so we continued our trip.We passed the first 2 streams and on the left side we could see a nest of Rufous Woodpecker and another one of  Streak-breasted Woodpecker.We stopped at km.27 where we had great views of a Red-bearded Barbet going and coming back to its nest.It’s another lovely bird to see that feeds mainly on insects.A few hundreds of meters farther we found a Black-naped Monarch hatching its eggs.It was so quiet that i could take that beautiful photo that i post at the beginning of the post.

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Red-bearded Bee-eater

Another bird seen in that area, nesting in a tree beside the road, was the stunning Long-tailed Broadbill.It’s a bird that looks like a cartoon.They were very busy and they were flying quite fast.So I couldn’ t take a great photo of this gorgeous bird.Red-headed Trogon flew across the road and went into a tree, near the nest of the broadbill. Blue-throated Barbet was another bird  nesting here ,located in a hole of a trunk.

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Blue-throated Barbet

Finally we arrived in Panoeng Thung at 11 o’clock.We ate lunch and we went to check this area.On the trees beside the toilets, we could spot a huge Great Barbet, a Greater Green Leafbird and a lovely female White-browed Shrike Babbler.The latter is a cute bird with a big black eye gray head and whitish underparts.In front of the campsite area we spotted a Black-throated Laughingthrush hatching its eggs.It remained motionless even in front of our presence.Around the banana trees, Streaked Spiderhunters were easily seen flying around.On the top of the trees, we spotted Grey-chinned and Scarlet Minivets and a Velvet-fronted Nuthatch moving along a trunk.

At 2 pm we came back to km 27.On the way, we found an individual of  Banded Langur on the left side of the road.Afterwards, we took a look to the nest of the Long-tailed Broadbill and a few meters farther the rare Ratchet-tailed Treepie made its appearance.Indeed it’s not a beautiful bird; it’s a black bird with a saw-like tail.But this is the only place in Thailand where can be seen so i was very glad to see this very uncommon bird.Walking a few meters more, on the left side of the road, we found a nest of Banded Kingfisher on a tree.After waiting for a while the female appeared and perched on a branch.The noisy Common Green Magpie flew across the road and a Black-throated Sunbird was another nice addition.It was really a great day,not only for the amount of birds seen but also  for seeing most of them nesting !!

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Long-tailed Broadbill

It started to rain at 4 pm and we decided to went back.on the way, we saw a nest of  Banded Broadbill and another one of Dusky Broadbill,near the first stream.

We arrived at Bang Krang at 5 pm and i decided to spent the night there.Next day i woke up at 6am and i went straight to see the couple of Black-and-red Broabill on the stream.After taking some pictures,I crossed the stream towards the Youth camp were I spotted a Great Flameback early morning. Afterwards I went on the first kilometers of the road near Bang Krang.I saw a nest of Silver-breasted Broadbill on the second stream.I walked into the forest near the stream and i located a pair of Silver-breasted Broadbill, when a Collared Owlet flew away.On the same area i saw a couple of White-fronted Scops Owl on the other side of the stream, at 10 o’clock.They remained motionless for a long time, and i could take a video and some photos of this marvelous owl.

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White-fronted Scops Owl

I followed the first stream, where i could find a nest of the superb Black-backed Kingfisher.I waited for a while keeping a safe distance from the nest.At 11 o’clock this colorful and beautiful kingfisher flew and perched into a branch.It remained there for a few minutes before disappeared on the stream.I felt like i did a good job and i went back to the campsite very satisfied !

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Black-backed Kingfisher

I went by car to Samarn Camp and Mr. Samarn brought me to Bangkok.On the way,we stopped to take some nice pictures of Asian Golden Weaver,another gorgeous bird nesting on the rice fields, near Petchaburi.

What can I say of this excellent trip : As good as it gets !! My next trip was to Krung Ching National Park, on the last weekend of May !! See you soon my friends !!

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