KRUN CHING AND SRI PHAN NGA.MAY 2013

Krung Ching is the most convenient alternative for those who would like to visit Hala Bala, probably the best national park in southern Thailand, and they cannot do it  due to political conflicts in that area. Krun Ching is located near Nakhon Sri Tammarat,  at 50 km from the town Tha Sala .It hosts more than   250 species of bird, and most of the important bird  highlights found in Hala Bala are found here as well.

I took a trip with bcst.I get into a van from Victory Monument and spent more than 12 hours to get there.We stopped for a while near Nakhon Sri Tammarat, next to some rice fields.We spotted some common birds like Indian Roller,Common Myna,Large-billed Crow,White-rumped Munia and Germain Swiftlet and some interesting grassland species, like Yellow-bellied Prinia.

We arrived in Krun Ching in the morning.We stopped at the check point and we started to walk to find species of birds.On a tall tree we spotted the superb Black-and-yellow Broadbill. However it was too far to take a decent picture.Another interesting birds to see were a Red-billed and a Raffle’s Malkoha. Dark-throated Oriole, Drongo Cuckoo, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Dark-necked Tailorbird, Ochraceous Bulbul,Grey-breasted Spiderhunter and Great Racket-tailed Drongo were seen as well along the road.Brownbarbet23Brown Barbet

Once we arrived in the headquarters we stopped in front of the tree beside the main office.We were waiting for a while for some nice birds to see.According to me the most beautiful bulbul in Thailand, the Scaly-breasted Bulbul,made its appearance.It’s a gorgeous bird with black and white ” scales” on the chest and belly found only in southern Thailand.

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Lesser Green Leafbird

The Red- throated  Barbet was another magnificent bird to see in that tree, as well as the Spectacled Spiderhunter with its large billed and its unmistakable spectacled eye.Another birds found only in the southern part of Thailand, Brown Barbet,Red-eyed Bulbul, Spectacled Bulbul  and Green Iora, popped up.Germain Swiftlet,Silver-rumped Needletail, Lesser and Greater Green Leafbird, Blue-winged Leafbird, Brown-streaked Flycatcher, Brown-throated Sunbird, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird and Orange-bellied Flowerpecker were another nice additions worth to mention.

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Red-throated Barbet

By 2 o’clock we started to walk along the birding trail for 2 km.We didn’t see anything worth to mention but we heard many interesting species of birds, like a Malayan Banded Pitta calling,a Little Spiderhunter,a Grey-breasted Spiderhunter and many different types of babblers, like Grey-throated Babbler,Pin-striped Tit Babbler,Chestnut-winged Babbler,Black-capped Babbler and Abbott’s Babbler.

Once we came back we visited the view point late afternoon.A Wallace-hawk Eagle was nesting on a tree and by 5 o’clock an impressive Masked Civet crossed the road.

At night we walked through the camping area with a spotlight checking for owls.The most  interesting to see was a Slow Loris feeding on a tree.

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Slow Loris

Next morning we organized 3 groups.One group went to the trail, the other one wait for the birds in front of the tree beside the office and the other one went to the view point, next to the last bus stop, where you can have splendid views of the two valleys.I decided to spend my time mainly with the last group.We spotted Green Broadbill, Dark-throated Oriole, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Spectacled Bulbul, Streak-throated Bulbul, Thick-billed Green Pigeon, Honey Buzzard Eagle and the Wallace-Hawk Eagle nesting on a tree.

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Red-eyed Bulbul

The other group saw a Black Hornbill, White-crowned Hornbill, Black-bellied Malkoha and Buff-rumped Woodpecker along the trail.

I was willing to see one of the highlights of this area, the Rufous-collared Kingfisher.While sitting in front of the tree,some fellow birdwatchers called me very excited.They told me that a Rufous-collared Kingfisher was heard near the main road.I run up for a few hundred meters and they pointed its location.It was hidden among the leaves and i couldn’t see it clearly.But after walking a few meters farther we could heard and see clearly an individual of a Rufous-collared Kingfisher calling from a branch.I had a great view of this stunning bird but due to the cloudy day and the poor conditions of light i couldn’t take a great picture and video.Indeed, most pf the picture that i took in Krun Ching had some noise because of that.My camera only perform well in good daylight conditions, that’s why I am planning to buy a professional camera in a near future.

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Rufous-collared Kingfisher

Next day we head to Sri Phan Nga National Park,at the western side of Peninsular Thailand.While we had two cloudy days in Krun Ching, rain was prominent in Sri Phang Nga.Once we arrived, we only could do some birdwatching a few hours before the rain started again.

At night we explored the camping area, where we found a beautiful  mangrove snake,with its colorful yellow and black stripes, on a branch but no signs of owls. Afterwards we went to sleep.Around 11 o’clock a fellow birdwatcher enter into our room shouting ” Buffy Fish Owl !!! Buffy Fish Owl !!! ” I woke up wondering if i was dreaming or it was real.I splashed some water in my face and I followed him.The guard told us that he saw it on a tree, above the ranger’s house.He pointed it with the spotlight and i got astonished !!! A large owl that flew away when he saw us  with such an enormous wings!!  It’s one of  the largest owl that i’ve ever seen !!!!

Next day we walked early in the morning along the trail.We found some interesting babblers ( Abbott’s Babbler and Chestnut-winged Babbler ) ,Great Hornbill, Chestnut-backed Forktail, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Common Iora, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Emerald Dove,Red-eyed Bulbul, Ochraceous Bulbul, Stripe-throated Bulbul and a Wiskered Treeswift perched on a branch.Finally we arrived near the weir.We sat on a bench waiting for the superb Banded Kingfisher, but maybe because of the rainy season this gorgeous bird moved to another part of the river.The group didn’t dare to continue along the small trail following the stream where i saw the Banded Pitta 2 months ago, because it was fully loaded of water and it was a bit risky to cross the stream.

Half an hour later, rain came again and the van run to pick up us.A fellow birdwatcher told us that he heard a Hooded Pitta at the beginning of the trail.

We had lunch, arrange our stuff and we headed to Bangkok.We stopped near Chumpon, where there is the largest colony of  Vinous-breasted Starling in Thailand.

We arrived around 1 am in Victory Monument.Next day I had to work.

Extremely tiring but very rewarding adventure !!! See you soon my friends with more pictures and adventures… next time in Khao Yai !!

RUFOUS-COLLARED KINGFISHER

This is a video of a Rufous-collared Kingfisher taken in Krung Chin National Park.This beautiful bird was perched and calling near the main road to the headquarters, 100 m before the headquarters.It remained perched for at least 10 minutes.

Rufous-collared Kingfisher is a species of Kingfisher found in Myanmar,peninsular Thailand,Malaysia,Indonesia and Brunei.It inhabits closed-canopy forest,in the middle stratum and understorey of lowland and hill forest up to 1,500 m.It has a green crown,blue head stripes,rufous collar and breast and blue above.They usually sit motionless for long spells.

KRUNG CHING AND SRI PHANG NGA BIRD CHECKLIST.MAY 2013

Barred Buttonquail
Grey-capped Pigmy Woodpecker
Buff-rumped Woodpecker
Golden-whiskered Barbet
Blue-eared Barbet
Red-throated Barbet
Brown Barbet
Great Hornbill
Black Hornbill
White-crowned Hornbill
Wreathed Hornbill
Brown-winged Kingfisher
White-throated Kingfisher
Collared  Kingfisher
Rufous-collared Kingfisher
Red-bearded Bee-eater
Greater Coucal
Drongo Cuckoo
Asian Koel
Black-bellied Malkoha
Green-billed Malkoha
Raffles’ s Malkoha
Red-billed Malkoha
Glossy Swiftlet
Germain’ s Swiftlet
Silver-rumped Needletail
Whiskered Treeswift
Buffy Fish Owl
Brown Wood Owl
Spotted Dove
Thick-billed Green Pigeon
Emerald Dove
Oriental Honey-buzzard
White-bellied Sea-Eagle
Crested Goshawk
Crested Serpent-Eagle
Wallace’s Hawk Eagle
Little Heron
Asian Openbill
Malayan Banded Pitta
Hooded Pitta
Blue-winged Pitta
Mangrove Pitta
Black-and-yellow Broadbill
Green Broadbill
Greater Green Leafbird
Lesser Green Leafbird
Blue-winged Leafbird
Asian Fairy Bluebird
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Large-billed Crow
Drak-throated Oriole
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
Pied Fantail
Common Iora
Green Iora
Black-naped Monarch
Asian Paradise-Flycatcher
Large Woodshrike
Brown-streaked Flycatcher
Verditer Flycatcher
Oriental Magpie Robin
White-rumped Shama
Chestnut-naped Forktail
Asian Glossy Starling
Common Myna
Rufous-bellied Swallow
Pacific Swallow
Black-headed Bulbul
Black-crested Bulbul
Scaly-breasted Bulbul
Stripe-throated Bulbul
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Streak-eared Bulbul
Cream-vented Bulbul
Red-eyed Bulbul
Spectacled Bulbul
Grey-eyed Bulbul
Ochraceous Bulbul
Grey-cheeked Bulbul
Yellow-bellied Bulbul
Hairy-backed Bulbul
Streaked Bulbul
Golden-bellied Gerygone
Common Tailorbird
Dark-necked Tailorbird
Ashy Tailorbird
Abbott’s  Babbler
Black-capped Babbler
Moustached Babbler
Striped Tit Babbler
Grey-throated Babbler
Chestnut-winged Babbler
White-bellied Yuhina ( Erpornes )
Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker
Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
Scarlet-backed  Flowerpecker
Brown-throated Sunbird
Ruby-cheeked  Sunbird
Purple-naped Sunbird
Olive-backed Sunbird
Little Spiderhunter
Spectacled Spiderhunter
Grey-breasted Spiderhunter
Paddyfield Pipit
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
White-rumped Munia

Birds seen by me and all the members of bcst.

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

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Couple of Asian Golden Weaver nesting.

After spending a great time in Kaeng Krachan it was time to come back to Bangkok.On the way back,I saw some nests hanging on a tree, beside a rice field.I stopped and i could see a considerable number of Asian Golden Weaver nesting and moving around.I could capture this beautiful scene of this cute couple of weavers looking at each other.The male was very  busy going up and down picking up some little branches  and making a truly piece of handicraft to lure the female.

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Asian Golden Weaver nesting

As soon as I get out of the car the weavers flew away.So i decided to take pictures from the car and approach with it as close as I could.

Asian Golden Weaver,Ploceus Hypoxanthus ,is a species of weaver that it’s found in most of Southeast Asia.It inhabits marshes,grasslands,reeds and rice paddies.It sometimes form colonies.Its population is declining rapidly and it’s listed as Near-threatened species.The main threatens are loss of habitat ( conversion of wetland habitat to agriculture ) and persecution ( commonly trapped in Java ).In Thailand it is local and uncommon in the north, north-east and central regions.

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Male of Asian Golden Weaver

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Asian Golden Weaver nests

Another group of weavers were nesting on a rice field at the other side of the road.There were a mixed flock of Asian Golden Weavers and Streaked Weavers.The latter were making nests on the rice crops, as you can see in the pictures.Their nests deserved as well to be called an authentic marvel of engineering.

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Streaked Weaver

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Streaked weaver nests

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Streaked Weaver nest

Streaked Weaver, Ploceus Manyar, is a widespread species of weaver found in South and Southeast Asia.It’s similar to Baya Weaver but with streaked underparts.It nests in small colonies,in most cases in in reed beds near water bodies.It’s classified as Least Concern.

That’s was the cherry on the cake of an excellent trip into the wild !! “Au revoir” my followers !!!

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them” H.Matisse