Sunday, February 5, 2012

30th January 2012 - Orange-breasted Trogons and Sultan Tits

Orange-breasted Trogon Kaeng Krachan National Park
by Paul Lee

Sultan Tit
by Paul Lee
An early start saw us arrive at dawn at Bang Krang campsite Kaeng Krachan National Parkm, as we got out of the car a Large-tailed Nightjar was calling, several noisy Oriental Pied Hornbills called from adjacent trees and the first of several Red Junglefowl called from the forest. The rest of the morning was spent birding the track from the campsite to beyond the third stream, an excellent range of species being noted.

Orange-breasted Trogon is perhaps the most widespread and commonest of the trogons in Thailand but normally only seen in ones or twos, by the end of the morning we had, had excellent views of at least seven and heard another four or five. We also had a similar experience with Sultan Tit, seeing three or four groups totalling around a dozen birds, i have never failed to see this species here in more than half a dozen visits, Kaeng Krachan must be one of the most reliable sites in Thailand for the worlds largest tit. Other noteworthy species seen included three Tickell's Brown Hornbills, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, three Black-thighed Falconets, a stunning white morph Asian Paradise Flycatcher and Pale-legged Leaf Warbler. Typically for dense tropical forest several species were heard but not seen including many Scaly-breasted Partridge, Great Slaty Woodpecker and a Blue Pitta. Also along the track we entertained by several groups of Dusky Langurs and for much of the morning we could hear the mournful song of gibbons.

We took a late lunch at the canteen at the campsite and sat watching the many birds flying in out of a nearby fruiting tree, which included a good selection of bulbuls and a very obliging Thick-billed Green Pigeon. By the end of our visit we had managed to see or hear a respectable 70 species. As rain began to fall, mid afternoon we headed back to Cha-am driving though a tremendous thunder storm and torrential rain. The checklist was later completed over a glass or two of Thai rum at a beach front restaurant.

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