Butterflies at Khao Soi Dao

At the end of April 2009 I spent a few days at Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary in Chantaburi province. I was hoping to see any of the specialities of the site: Eastern Green Magpie, Blue-rumped Pitta, Siamese Partridge and Rufous-throated Fulvetta.

Unhappily I failed to get even a sniff of any of these birds and after rereading Charles Davies’s trip report it seems that one must get higher up the mountain for these birds.

Well, apart from no sign of any of those birds birding was good. Blue-winged Pitta was absurdly common and easy to see – I saw at least 10 different birds well. Other nice species that I saw were a male Banded Kingfisher, a couple of pairs of Banded Broadbills, Dusky Broadbill, Orange-breasted Trogon, 3 Pompadour Green Pigeons (lots of Thick-billed), Scaly-breasted Partridge and Black-browed Fulvetta.

Whilst I am always a birder first and foremost, what really made the trip (apart from nice accommodation and food) was the huge number of butterflies present.

I managed to creep up on only a fraction of the butterflies present as I have to get very close as I am only using a small compact digital camera (Nikon Coolpix 7600), but at one spot lots of butterflies were feeding on rotting fruit and this seemed to make them drowsy and more approachable – I guess they were getting drunk on the natural alcohol being produced as the fruit decomposed.

For those who are interested I have made a few updates on the Khao Soi Dao page of thaibirding.com, which include details of where I stayed: Khao Soi Dao and the identity of most of these butterflies. 

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