THAILAND

Birdwatching in Thailand is an amazing experience that I highly recommend.There are many national parks where to visit and the infrastructures are quite good.

Birds are plentiful not only in national parks. Spotted Dove,  Zebra Dove, Red Turtle Dove, Collared Kingfisher,  Coppersmith Barbet, Pacific Swallow,  Sooty-headed Bulbul, Common Tailorbird,Common Iora, Oriental Magpie Robin, Pied Fantail, Common Myna, Black-collared starling, Olive-backed Sunbird and  Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker  are found in most of Thailand.

In cultivation areas are usually seen  Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Long-tailed Bee-eater, Black Drongo, Plaintive Cuckoo, Common Koel, Greater Coucal, Plain Prinia,Yellow vented Bulbul and Scaly-breasted Munia.White-throated kingfisher is also usually seen on this areas and on electric wires in all Thailand.Long-tailed Shrike and Brown Shrike usually perches on exposed places looking for insects to hunt.

Others,as the Oriental Pied Hornbill, Dollarbird, Indian Roller and the Common Flameback are quite common in forest areas. Black-capped kingfisher,is quite common in marshes, swamps and some forests. Pied Kingfisher is only common in lakes and larger rivers.

Khao Yai National Park is one of the best national parks in Asia. Located near Bangkok this national park is one of the best asian national parks. Wildlife is plentiful and you can see many animals in any season you like.There are lots of mammals as wild elephants, tigers, macaques, gibbons, Giant Squirels, porcupines, civets and deers.

In one day visit you can see hornbills, barbets,kingfishers, trogons, bee-eaters,magpies, woodpeckers and if you are lucky you can see a pitta foraging on the ground.Another great family are broadbills that sometimes are easy to spot.

Along the road you can spot many awesome birds as the Great Hornbill, the most beautiful and the second largest hornbill in Asia. Its size is more than 1.2o meters long and it has a huge yellow bill and casque.It s quite common in Khao Yai but it s an endangered species for habitat loss. I´ve frequently seen it from the main road on distant trees.

Red Junglefowl is frequently seen near the roads and Siamese Fireback, a superb bird, sometimes appear late afternoon.Green-billed Malkohas are seen foraging on leaves near the road many times. Emerald Dove  sometimes walked on the sides of the road and fly very fast when been seen.

Another stunning bird seen along the road is the Red Headed Trogon .But the best trogon i´ve ever seen is the Orange breasted Trogon.The vast array of colours that you can appreciate makes you impossible unforgive this five stars bird !!!!

Another excellent area to see birds is around the campground area.There are many fruiting trees and the forest is very near. Blue-winged Leafbird,Verditer Flycatcher and many kind of bulbuls, as Black-crested Bulbul and Streak-eared Bulbul, are easily seen at different hours.Long tailed Minivets are frequently seen in the morning. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Brown-throated Sunbird and Scarlet-backed Flowerpeckers are common visitors as well. I also saw many barbets eating on the fruiting trees as Lineated Barbets, Moustached Barbet and  this Blue eared Barbet that i took this picture.

At the forest edge near the campground there are other good birds to watch out.Once i spotted an awesome Blue and White Flycatcher perched on a branch for a long time while birdwatchers were taking nice pictures of this great bird.Once i saw a Collared Owlet, staring at me, in early afternoon.In another visit I could spot a couple  of  Banded Kingfisher at this area.The male is very colourful and displays a beautiful crest if necessary.These birds you can find them perching on branches and not near the water.

Another amazing bird that you can spot many times is the Green Magpie.I usually see it near the main station and along the trails in the afternoon.

One of my favourite birds is the Long tailed Broadbill.This birds usually appears in mixed flocks and you can see it better when nesting.This broadbill was the first that i saw in Thailand.I saw it inside the forest mixed in flocks around    3 pm.It was an awesome view and it remained still for a long time on a dead trunk.Other places that i could see it again were on the forest edge, near the campground, and along the road, moving around its nest in a near tree.

In Khao Yai I spotted many other interesting birds as  Wreathed Hornbill, Plain Pouched Hornbill, Red throated Barbet, Lineated Barbet,  Blue winged Pitta, Oriental scops Owl, Esmerald Dove, Pompadour Pigeon, Thick-billed Pigeon, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Blossom headed Parakeet, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Green billed Malkoha, Large Tailed Nightjar, White Crested Laughingthrush, White browed Scimitar Babbler, Blue Beared Bee-eater, Blue Rock Thrush, White Rumped Shama, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Long tailed Minivet, Blue winged Leafbird, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Puff Throated Bulbul, Ochraceous Bulbul, Black crested Bulbul, Ashy Drongo, Greater racket-tailed Drongo, Hair-crested Drongo, Bronzed Drongo, Black naped Oriole, Black-naped Monarch, Hill Myna, and Ruby-cheeked Sunbird.

Doi Inthanon National Park is another superb park.Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand and this national park hosts many  families of birds not seen in other parts of Thailand.

The stunning Green tailed Sunbird is easy to watch at the garden of  the  highest station.This bird is seen licking nectar on the flowers of  this area.Other birds easily seen around this station are the Rufuous-winged Fulvetta, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, White browed Shortwing and the Lesser Shortwing.

One of my favourite birds is the Silver-eared Mesia,shown below,easily seen at lower altitudes and sometimes on cultivation areas.

The Daurian Redstart was a challenge for my to find it.I was unlucky many times until fortunately i could spot one of these gems in a cultivation land.It was a shocking experience to get a glance of this bird !!!

Large Niltava is another lovely bird that i found inside the forest.The male is dark blue with a shinning blue crown on the head.White bellied Yuhina is a very common bird that you can meet along the trails.Striated Yuhina are seen in many different habitats.Black-headed Sibia and Rufuous Backed Sibia are normally spotted at middle elevations. Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush and Black -throated Laughingthrush are common as well and very conspicous on scrub.Little Pied Flycatchers are common and usually seen on electric wires.

Blue-Whistling Thrush, Plumbeous Redstart and River Chat are seen on streams or along the rivers.

My disappointment was not spotting the great Green Cochoa.I passed along the Cochoa´s trail many times and i couldn t get a glimpse of this beautiful bird.

Other Interesting birds are Rufuous-bellied Niltava, Chestnut Crowned Warbbler,Spectacled Barwing, Great Tit, Yellow cheeked Tit, Purple Cochoa, Cutia, Chestnut tailed Minla, Hill Blue Flycatcher, Hainan Blue Flycatcher,  Black Bulbul,White-headead Bulbul, Great Barbet,Golden Throated Barbet, Rosy Minivet, Grey chinned Minvet,Red billed Blue Magpie, Crimson Sunbird and Gould´s Sunbird.

Kaeng Krachan National Park is the largest and wildest national park of Thailand.There are about 400 species of birds and 57 species of mammals.It s one of the few places where inhabit some tigers and leopards, as well as  gaurs, elephants, bantengs, serows,wild boars,Dusky and Banded  langurs,White-handed gibbon,Malayan Tapir and Fea´s Muntjac.

There are 7 species of broadbills in this park ( 50 % of world broadbill species !! ).From April to June  is the best time to see broadbills while nesting.

Firstly,in the first meters of the forest  track i met a Lesser Yellownape. The lovely Sultan Tit was on the sides of the track and appeared many times.This black and yellow bird has a conspicous yellow crest on its head.Halfway, it was a single but awesome Silver Broadbill , see below, on the left side of the track.It was my second broadbill seen in Thailand and i cannot find words to describe the beauty of this bird !!!!!

A Dusky Broadbill was inside its huge nest and i got delighted when it showed its curious face with a wide pink bill on the hole of the nest.Green Broadbill was impossible to locate it and the other broadbills didn t appear at this time.

Around the same area a Dusky Langur was laying on a middle branch. However I got impressed by the view of a small Brown Hornbill on the top of a relatively distant tree.Its small size,brownish plumage,dull yellow bill and its bluish  orbital around the eyes is unmistakable.

Raquet Tailed Treepie is one of the most famous birds in this park and is usually located in higher elevations,at the end of this trail,but i wasn´t luck to find it.

Mae Wong National Park is another good national park.It´s located on the west of Thailand,near Nakorn Sawan.There are many bird species found only arouend this area as Rufous-necked Hornbill,Burmese Yuhina,Rusty-capped Fulvetta and other ineteresting birds as Crested Kingfisher,Mountain Scops Owl,Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler,Great Barbet, Golden-Throted Barbet,Orange-bellied Leafbird,Speckled Pickulet and Maroon Oriole.

On my first day,I wake up very early and i got impressed about a few individuals of  Red-billed Blue Magpie near the campsite area.This bird is common here and it´s  good worth to see.

Streaked Spiderhunter is  a common bird along the road.I also went through the trial to the highest elevation but i wasn´t luck to find the splendorous Rufous-Backed Hornbill.

Someone told me a good place to spot the Crested KingFisher is around the campground,but I couldn´t find it.

I spotted many other birds that i already described in other national parks.

I experienced Thailand as a tourist and as a foreigner living there.I highly recommend this country for its nature, friendly people,and excellent food !!! Hope to see you soon !!!