- Checklist (Khao Yai National Park) 25 species
- Checklist (Wan-Ree resort)
The last full day in Khao Yai national park was mainly spent in two different habitats, jungle and grassland. The grassland session gave seven new species for the trip: Pied Kingfisher, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Red-rumped Swallow, Richard's Pipit, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Ashy Drongo and Dark-sided Flycatcher.
However, the bird species of the day was no less than Siberian Blue Robin. We managed to see two birds at close range during a walk in the jungle somewhere in Khao Yai. The walk was not as good as the one we did near the national park centre yesterday, but the Robin was more than enough to satisfy me. One of the birds was a male in full breeding plumage, and was giving great views when feeding on the ground near a small stream. The other bird was a duller female or 1st winter.
The afternoon was spent birding near the lodge. No new species were recorded, but immense views of both Two-barred Warbler and Taiga Flycatcher made the day complete in terms of Siberian dream birds back home in Norway.
My head was not too bright when Foxy Fossøy jumped in my bed and woke me up way too early. I suppose the poker avec (pretty poor Thai whisky) the night before had something to do with it? Anyway, we rose and shone over breakfast, and entered the tempting forests surroundig us. Before being picked up by minibuses to go the the heart of the national park, I managed to ticks off three new lifers; Chinese Pond-heron, Red-whiskered Bulbul and Black-browed Reed Warbler.
The first Hornbills, Great Hornbill and Wreathed Hornbill, on the trip were recorded, but the highlights of the day were two Flycatchers, namely Blue-throated Flycatcher and Hill Blue Flycatcher. We saw two of the latter and about five different Blue-throated. Stunning birds!
The impressive woodland near the national park centre was up for exploration. We hired a guide, and went for a four hour walk in the forest. The soundscape made me rater frustrated, not even knowing if the sounds came from an insect, amphibium, bird or mammal! Our guide claimed quite a few species by sound, but I only "accepted" the ones I could confirm myself.
Other new trip species during the day: Red-wattled Lapwing, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Lesser Coucal, Greater Flameback, Asian Palm Swift, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Black-naped Oriole, Large-billed Crow, White-crested Laughingthrush, Blue Rock Thrush and Black-throated Sunbird.
We saw and photographed several mammals and reptiles during the day, but I have not yet identified these properly. After the sun had set we went to a cave where a species of bat had its day roost. At a specific time in the evening they flew out of their cave to go hunting. What an experience. Just minutes after the first bats came out thousands followed. A warm breeze came out of the cave because of the air movement the bats created. The smell was not too toothsome, but the impressive amount of bats coming out made us forget whatever other stuff we were about to think. Apparently at least two million bats flew out every evening. The session lasted for about half an hour. That is a lot of bats every second! We also saw a bird of prey hunting for the freshly woken bats, but the light was poor and we did not claim anything (but we suspected it was a Bat Hawk).
The flight from Europe went well, and we were met with moist and heat on arrival in Bankok. "We" were a dozen animal ecology students and two supervisors going on a two (and three for some) week trip to experience an unfamiliar biotope as part of our studies. We were met at the airport by local drivers that took us directly out of Bankok, and northwards to the monsoon forests of Khao Yai.
Roadside birding between Bankok airport and Khao Yai was probably nothing to brag about, but I actually got 12 new species during the trip. Personal highlights were Crested Honey-Buzzard, Common Koel, Dollarbird, Indian Roller and White-vented Myna.
When we arrived the national park of Khao Yai, we checked into the nice bungalows at Wan Ree Resort, where we were about to stay for three nights. The early arrival in thailand made us able to do quite a bit of birding around the resort during the afternoon. Highlights were Black Baza, Shikra, Besra, Red-breasted Parakeet, White-throated Kingfisher, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Coppersmith Barbet, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Blue Magpie, Red-throated Flycatcher, Oriental Magpie Robin, Asian Brown Flycatcher and Brown Shrike.