THAILAND

In February 2002 we visited Thailand by joining a Naturetrek tour for 10 days and then extending the visit for a further four days. For the 10 day tour we were with 14 other birders but on the extension there was just Pat and I and our two friends Keith Corbett and John Wightman. Throughout we were led by Kamol Komolphalin who was a superb bird guide and a pleasure to be with. On the main tour he had the excellent logistical support of his wife Patcheree(Boo) and her assistant together with an assistant bird guide. We had three modern mini-buses with good drivers and the accommodation at all sites was excellent. In all the ground agents ( Kamol's company Nature Trails ) provided a first class and friendly service. We recorded a personal total of 305 species of birds and 16 species of mammals.

Our itinerary was:

8 Feb Depart London Heathrow with Emirates Airline for Dubai and then on to Bangkok
9 Feb Arrive Bangkok(BK) and transfer via Rangsit Marsh(RS) to Khao Yai National Park(KY)
10 Feb Khao Yai summit (900m) and higher slopes
11 Feb Khao Yai lower slopes from Viewpoint and inc. Observation Tower and night drive
12 Feb Khao Yai hotel grounds and transfer via Bangkok and Thai Airlines flight to Chiang Mai(CM)
13 Feb Doi Pui-Suthep National Park(DP)
14 Feb Summit (2500m) and higher slopes of Doi Inthanon(DI)
15 Feb Middle elevation of Doi Inthanon from helipad
16 Feb Lower elevation of Doi Inthanon inc. Varchirathan Falls and transfer to Bangkok via Thai Air
17 Feb Salt Pans of Samutsakhon and Khok Kham(SS) and on to Kaeng Krachan National Park(KK)
18 Feb Summit (900m) and slopes of Kaeng Krachan
19 Feb Lower slopes of Kaeng Krachan from campground and return to Bangkok
20 Feb Sightseeing in Bangkok
21 Feb Depart Bangkok on Emirates for Dubai and London

Sites visited:

Bangkok

We stayed at the Narai Hotel which was a good hotel and provided easy access to the expressway. Our last day was devoted to sightseeing round the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, The Temple of the Reclining Buddha, a dragonboat trip on the river and klongs(canals) and some last minute shopping at the craft centre. All birding in Bangkok was in tansit to other sites.

Rangsit Marsh

We stopped on the roadside en route to Khao Yai to overlook from a bridge part of the marsh grassland north of the highway.

Khao Yai NP

Over 2000 sq kms of hill evergreen forest which we birded from the road up to about 900m. Sadly we dipped out on Siamese Fireback and Silver Pheasant. The park has a visitor centre and camp sites. We stayed outside the park at the very pleasant Judis Khao Yai Resort. The park rangers provide night drives which are disappointing 'convoys'. Some open grazing is maintained for deer and part of this together with a lake are overlooked by an observation tower.

Chiang Mai

We birded a canalside and adjoining pastures, scrub and small marshy area at Huay Teung Tao.

Doi Pui-Suthep NP

A hill forest area close to Chiang Mai which we birded up the road and tracks as far as the army camps up to about 900m. The lower areas as far as the temple were avoided being very busy.

Doi Inthanon NP

Thailand's highest mountain with a summit over 2500m. We spent the best part of three days birding the various levels. Near the summit is a boggy area with boardwalks which is excellent for thrushes, chats, warblers and babblers. It gets busy so we got there for dawn. Lower down is excellent montane forest easily birded from the road. The bridge to the Napamaytanidol Chedi produced some good sightings and so did the trail to the Varchirathan Falls. We stayed at the very good Inthanon Paradise Resort which has bungalows in extensive grounds.

Samutsakhon and Khok Kham

A very extensive area of salt pans with good viewing of waders, gulls and terns. Spoon-billed Sandpiper is regular but the use of information from local birders is necessary to find the most likely sites in the maze of pans. Also check out the roadside dykes where we had good views of rails and crakes.

Kaeng Krachan NP

A large park of nearly 3000 sq kms of evergreen forest on the Myanmar border SW from Bangkok. The Park has a visitor centre and campsites and chalets but we stayed outside the park at the Chat Phet Resort. Consequently we had to leave two hours before dawn to get to the summit for then. It was necessary to change vehicle (from minibus to 4x4 truck) at the campsite at the first station in order to negotiate the rough terrain and cross the streams. The park has a combination of northern and peninsular birds and has a wide variety of mammals including big cats.

Birds Recorded:

Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Little Cormorant   X         X  
Grey Heron             X  
Chinese Pond Heron   X X X   X X X
Javan Pond Heron             X  
Cattle Egret               X
Great White Egret   X         X  
Intermediate Egret   X         X  
Little Egret   X         X  
Striated Heron             X  
Black-crowned Night-Heron             X  
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Asian Openbill Stork   X            
Black-shouldered Kite     X          
Black Kite             X  
Brahminy Kite             X  
Black Baza     X          
Crested Goshawk     X         X
Northern Goshawwk       X        
Shikra     X     X    
Besra     X          
Crested Honey Buzzard     X          
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Mountain Hawk Eagle     X          
Changeable Hawk Eagle     X          
Black Eagle     X     X    
Collared Falconet           X    
Black-thighed Falconet                X
Kestrel       X        
Oriental Hobby     X          
Peregrine     X          
Red Junglefowl     X         X
Grey Peacock-Pheasant               h
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Scaly-breasted Partridge     h   h      
Ferruginous Wood Partridge               h
Slaty-breasted Rail             X  
Ruddy Crake             X  
White-breasted Waterhen             X  
Bronze-winged Jacana   X            
Red-wattled Lapwing   X X         X
Grey Plover             X  
Pacific Golden Plover             X  
Little Ringed Plover             X  
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Kentish Plover             X  
Lesser Sand Plover             X  
Greater Sand Plover             X  
Redshank             X  
Greenshank             X  
Marsh Sandpiper             X  
Wood Sandpiper             X  
Common Sandpiper             X  
Ruddy Turnstone             X  
Red-necked Stint             X  
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Long-toed Stint             X  
Spoon-billed Sandpiper             X  
Curlew Sandpiper             X  
Broad-billed Sandpiper             X  
Oriental Pratincole   X            
Black-winged Stilt             X  
Brown-headed Gull             X  
Caspian Tern             X  
Gull-billed Tern             X  
Little Tern             X  
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Whiskered Tern             X  
Wedge-tailed Pigeon               X
Thick-billed Pigeon     X          
Mountain Imperial Pigeon     X     X   X
Rock Pigeon X              
Ashy Wood Pigeon           X    
Barred Cuckoo-Dove     X          
Little Cuckoo-Dove               X
Oriental Turtle Dove           X    
Red Turtle Dove     X         X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Spotted Dove     X       X X
Zebra Dove X   X       X  
Emerald Dove     X         X
Red-breasted Parakeet     X          
Vernal Hanging Parrot     X         X
Banded Bay Cuckoo               X
Plaintive Cuckoo       h        
Asian Emerald Cuckoo         X     X
Common Koel     X X   X X X
Green-billed Malkoha     X         X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo     X          
Greater Coucal     X     X   X
Brown Hawk-Owl     h          
Collared Owlet     h   h h    
Asian Barred Owlet     X     X   X
Great Eared Nightjar     X          
Large-tailed Nightjar               X
Orange-breasted Trogon     X         X
Red-headed Trogon     X         X
Common Kingfisher       X     X  
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
White-breasted Kingfisher   X         X  
Black-capped Kingfisher             X  
Collared Kingfisher             X  
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater     X          
Green Bee-eater       X     X X
Blue-bearded Bee-eater     X         X
Indian Roller     X     X X X
Dollarbird     X         X
Austen's Brown Hornbill     h          
Wreathed Hornbill     X         X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Oriental Pied Hornbill     X         X
Great Hornbill     X         X
Great Barbet         X X   X
Lineated Barbet     X          
Green-eared Barbet     X         X
Golden-throated Barbet           X   X
Blue-throated Barbet         X     X
Moustached Barbet     X          
Blue-eared Barbet               X
Coppersmith Barbet     X X       X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Wryneck       X        
Speckled Piculet         X      
White-browed Piculet           X    
Greater Flameback     X         X
Laced Woodpecker               X
Greater Yellownape     X         X
Great Slaty Woodpecker     X         X
Dusky Broadbill               X
Banded Broadbill               h
Silver-breasted Broadbill               X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Long-tailed Broadbill         X      
Blue Pitta               h
Germain's Swiftlet             X  
Himalayan Swiftlet     X     X   X
Asian Palm Swift     X     X X X
House Swift     X          
Brown Needletail     X          
Crested Tree-Swift           X    
Grey-rumped Tree-Swift               X
Whiskered Tree-Swift               X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Sand Martin     X          
Barn Swallow     X X     X X
Striated/Red-rumped Swallow     X     X   X
Asian House Martin     X     X   X
Rufous-winged Bushlark       X       X
Olive-backed Pipit           X    
Richard's Pipit       X     X  
White Wagtail (leucopsis)           X    
Grey Wagtail     X     X   X
Yellow Wagtail (macronyx)             X  
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Forest Wagtail               X
Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike     X   X X    
Common Wood Shrike               X
Large Cuckoo-Shrike           X    
Black-winged Cuckoo-Shrike     X          
Ashy Minivet     X          
Rosy Minivet     X     X   X
Grey-chinned Minivet         X X    
Long-tailed Minivet       X X      
Scarlet Minivet     X   X X   X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Common Iora     X         X
Great Iora     X         X
Golden-fronted Leafbird     X     X   X
Blue-winged Leafbird     X         X
Orange-bellied Leafbird               X
Striated Bulbul         X X    
Black-headed Bulbul     X     X    
Black-crested Bulbul     X     X   X
Red-whiskered Bulbul     X X        
Sooty-headed Bulbul       X        
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Stripe-throated Bulbul     X         X
Flavescent Bulbul         X X   X
Yellow-vented Bulbul             X  
Streak-eared Bulbul   X X       X X
Puff-throated Bulbul     X          
Ochraceous Bulbul               X
Grey-eyed Bulbul     X     X    
Buff-vented Bulbul               X
Mountain Bulbul           X   X
Ashy Bulbul     X         X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
White-headed Bulbul           X    
Black Drongo   X   X     X  
Ashy Drongo     X   X X   X
Bronzed Drongo     X     X   X
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo           X   X
Hair-crested Drongo     X         X
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo     X         X
Black-naped Oriole     X         X
Maroon Oriole           X    
Asian Fairy Bluebird     X         X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Eurasian Jay         h      
Green Magpie     X         X
Blue Magpie       X        
Grey Treepie               X
Ratchet-tailed Treepie               X
Large-billed Crow X   X       X  
Yellow-browed Tit           X    
Yellow-cheeked Tit           X    
Sultan Tit               X
Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch           X    
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch         X     X
Brown-throated Treecreeper           X    
Puff-throated Babbler         X     X
Buff-breasted Babbler         X     X
Abbott's Babbler     X          
Pygmy Wren-Babbler           X    
Rufous-fronted/Buff-chested Babbler            X   X
Golden Babbler           X    
Striped Tit-Babbler     X     X   X
White-crested Laughingthrush     X         X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush               X
Black-throated Laughingthrush     X          
Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush            X    
Rufous-winged Fulvetta           X    
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta           X    
Grey-cheeked Fulvetta         X X    
Striated Yuhina                X
White-bellied Yuhina     X          
Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler         X      
White-browed Shrike-Babbler         X X   X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Blue-winged Minla         X X    
Chestnut-tailed Minla           X    
Silver-eared Mesia         X X    
White-hooded Babbler               X
Spectacled Barwing           X    
Rufous-backed Sibia           X    
Black-backed Sibia           X    
Yellow-bellied Warbler           X    
Dusky Warbler     X X        
Radde's Warbler     X          
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Greenish Warbler           X    
Blyth's Leaf Warbler     X   X X    
White-tailed Leaf Warbler           X    
Yellow-browed Warbler     X   X X   X
Ashy-throated Warbler           X    
Orange-barred Leaf Warbler           X    
Thick-billed Warbler     h          
Grey-breasted Prinia       X        
Plain Prinia   X   X     X  
Hill Prinia           X    
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Common Tailorbird     X     X X  
Dark-necked Tailorbird     X         X
Mountain Tailorbird           X    
Slaty-breasted Tesia           h    
White-browed Shortwing           X     
Siberian Rubythroat       X        
Siberian Blue Robin     X          
Red-flanked Bluetail           X    
Oriental Magpie-Robin X X X       X X
White-rumped Shama     X         X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Plumbeous Redstart           X    
White-crowned River Chat           X    
Slaty-backed Forktail     X     X    
Stonechat     X          
Pied Bushchat     X X        
Grey Bushchat         X      
White-throated Rock Thrush               X
Blue Rock Thrush     X         X
Blue Whistling Thrush         X X    
Grey-sided Thrush           X    
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Eye-browed Thrush         X X    
Dusky Thrush           X    
Asian Brown Flycatcher     X         X
Red-breasted Flycatcher     X X       X
Little Pied Flycatcher         X X    
Slaty-backed Flycatcher           X    
Grey-headed Flycatcher     X          
Large Niltava           X    
Small Niltava           X    
Rufous-bellied Niltava         X      
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Verditer Flycatcher     X   X X   X
Pale Blue Flycatcher               X
Hainan Blue Flycatcher     X          
Blue-throated Flycatcher               X
Hill Blue Flycatcher         X      
Yellow-bellied Fantail           X    
White-throated Fantail         X X   X
Pied Fantail             X  
Black-naped Monarch               X
Brown Shrike     X X     X X
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Burmese Shrike       X        
Grey-backed Shrike     X         X
Long-tailed Shrike   X            
Ashy Wood-Swallow     X X     X X
Chestnut-tailed Starling       X        
Asian Pied Starling   X         X X
Black-collared Starling     X X   X   X
Vinous-breasted Starling               X
Common Myna X   X X     X  
White-vented Myna     X       X  
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Golden-crested Myna               X
Hill Myna     X          
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird               X
Olive-backed Sunbird     X       X X
Purple Sunbird       X   X    
Gould's Sunbird           X    
Green-tailed Sunbird           X    
Black-throated Sunbird     X   X     X
Crimson Sunbird               X
Little Spiderhunter         X X    
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
Streaked Spiderhunter         X X   X
Thick-billed Flowerpecker               X
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker       X   X    
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker           X    
Chestnut-flanked White-eye         X X    
Japanese White-eye     X X X      
Oriental White-eye             X  
Tree Sparrow X   X X     X  
Plain-backed Sparrow       X   X X  
House Sparrow X              
Species BK RS KY CM DP DI SS KK
White-rumped Munia           X    
Scaly-breasted Munia     X X        
Common Rosefinch           X    

Mammals Recorded:

Small Indian Civet, Indian Elephant(heard), Sambar, Muntjac, White-handed Gibbon, Pileated Gibbon(heard), Pig-tailed Macaque, Long-tailed Macaque, Spectacled Leaf Monkey, Banded Leaf Monkey, Siamese Hare, Black Giant Squirrel, Variable Squirrel, Grey-bellied Squirrel, Burmese Striped Squirrel, Wrinkle-lipped Bat 

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