The unusual weather that has been a feature of this “dry” season continues in Thailand and overcast skies and mist at Kaeng Krachan were encountered over the last few days which made the general levels of activity lower than would be expected. However, what was lost in bird activity we made up for with quality birds. The wet weather seems to have fooled some species into thinking the wet season is arriving and that it is time to breed, meaning that we were able to get good sightings of a number of exciting species that are usually hard to find outside of the breeding season.
Silver-breasted Broadbill and Black-and-red Broadbill were both very much appreciated by the group who were traveling with me and neither was really expected at this time of the year.
Some other excellent birds that we found were a pair of Bamboo Woodpeckers, Black-and-buff Woodpeckers, Black-throated Laughingthrush, Collared Babbler, Red-headed Trogon and Ratchet-tailed Treepie at Km 27.5 as well as Great Hornbills and White-handed Gibbons in a fruiting tree in the same area.
The White-fronted Scops Owls are still roosting in the same spot near stream 2 and two Tickell’s Brown Hornbill nests were also active in the same area (as they are in most years); we also found Black-and-yellow Broadbill in the same area.
Staying at Ban Maka provided a few interesting sightings too with Oriental Pied Hornbill coming to the bananas at the feeder next to the restaurant as well as a female White-shouldered Starling on a flowering tree and an Orange-headed Thrush hanging around the restaurant.
Also in the garden at Ban Maka were a pair of Black-hooded Orioles busy making a nest, which made obtaining excellent views very easy indeed, and a Stripe-throated Bulbul nest right next to the restaurant – be careful not to disturb it please!
So, despite less than optimal weather Kaeng Krachan is still providing birders with some great sightings right now; other interesting species that we saw in three days included Drongo Cuckoo, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Hainan Blue Flycatcher, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Golden-crested Myna, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle and Orange-breasted Trogon; the bird spectacular at Lung Sin hide also contributed to a very memorable few days at Kaeng Krachan.
Birding can be difficult at Kaeng Krachan; if you need someone to help you find the birds you want to see there contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org.