Share our Experience of Birding and Photography

Day 0


Evening pick-up at Phuket airport and transfer to Thai Muang beach.

Red-legged Crake

Day 1


We started off at the marshes and paddyfields at Thai Muang where we found a good assortment of open area birds such as Eastern Marsh Harrier, Brahminy Kite and Yellow Bittern. All the usual Egrets were present along with a few common waders.

After, we moved back to the beach to look for Spotted Wood-Owls at their day roost. Two birds were found and Anton got some good footage of one of them. In a nearby fruiting tree were some Lineated Barbets, Vernal Hanging Parrots and Black-naped Orioles.

On the way back to the rooms we found a Grey-faced Buzzard perching in a tree and a pair of Eurasian Hoopoes shared a another tree with a pair of Common Flamebacks. A couple of migrating Pacific Swifts flew over.

We started North with a drive to Chumphon where we had intended to look for the Starlings which over-winter there but it rained all afternoon and evening. The only birds of note seen were Japanese Sparrowhawk and Vinous-breasted Starling. 
Day 2
             Lesser Chevrotain               Indochinese Ground Squirrel             Grey-bellied Squirrel
The next morning it was still raining so we drove straight up to the resort outside Kaeng Krachan where we were to spend the next three nights.

After a brief look around the gardens we went to one of the local water holes for some photography and videoing. As we were setting up our gear a Red-legged Crake came in to bathe but we were too slow to get any shots. The other highlights were Red Junglefowl, Large Scimitar Babbler, Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, Hill Blue Flycatcher and Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher 

Green-legged Partridge
Red Jungle-Fowl
Grey-headed Woodpecker
Large Scimitar Babbler

Day 3


We spent a full day exploring various areas of the main track through Kaeng Krachan.

On the drive in we startled a Crested Serpent Eagle from its perch and found a group of Thick-billed Green Pigeons warming themselves in the early sun.

At Baan Krang campsite we found a pair of Blue-bearded Bee-eaters hawking for bees and a Greater Flameback posed well for the cameras.

At the streams we called an Orange-breasted Trogon into view. A group of Sultan Tits followed us along the track and a noisy flock of Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush and Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush passed through. We found a bird wave of smaller birds including Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Plain-tailed Warbler and Blue-winged Leafbird.

We spent the last couple of hours up at the top of the mountain where a Mountain Hawk Eagle was circling overhead. The usual Blue-throated Barbets and Blyth’s Flycatcher-Shrike supplied the music. Brown-backed Needletails hunted over some trees. A white-browed Scimitar Babbler gave us brief v


Day 4


A day in the hides.

The morning was busy with larger birds coming in to feed on the Chompoo (Rose Apples) the farmer had put down. A male Kalij Pheasant came in for a couple of minutes but the area was dominated by White-crowned Laughingthrushes and Necklaced Laughingthrushes. Five different species of squirrels ran around feeding and a Lesser Oriental Chevrotain (Mouse-Deer) visited from time to time.

During our lunch break at the resort we had a Black-hooded Oriole pass through the garden. We heard an Asian barred Owlet calling from some bamboo and managed to find it after a few minutes. A Verditer Flycatcher was around as were a few Taiga Flycatchers.

We returned after lunch to find that the afternoon was primarily about bathing rather than feeding. A succession of birds came and queued for a splash in the water, some queued more patiently than others.  It was fun watching the various bathing techniques. Most make their way to the water’s edge before flapping around a little in the water then alighting on a branch to preen. The Black-naped Monarchs dive into the water and fly back to their perch in one movement. The last birds to come in were the Red-Legged Crakes. They take their time when having a bath, sitting in the water and plunging their heads in time after time. They share the water with no-one, not even others of the same species. Other birds to visit included Common Emerald Dove, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Racket-tailed Treepie and a few common Bulbuls and Babblers.

After dinner we went and found a Large-tailed Nightjar on a post. We managed to get very close and got some excellent photos.


Day 5


Today we were to drive down South again but we spent a couple of hours back at the first water hole before leaving. The only new bird for us was a pair of Green-legged Partridge which looked fairly nervous and only stayed around for a couple of minutes.

We arrived at the Khao Sok reservoir pier in the early afternoon and took a boat out to the floating bungalows at Khlong Mon.  On the way there we looked around for birds and managed to see Western Osprey, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Black-capped Kingfisher and the surprise of the day were a pair of Bat Hawks at dusk. 

After dinner we took the boat out for a night safari and found a few Buffy Fish-Owls and a Grey Nightjar. A couple of Sambar deer were seen at the water’s edge.


Day 6


We took the boat out again at dawn and found some White-handed Gibbons feeding in a fruit tree. We had some luck with the Hornbills too. We had good views of Bushy-crested Hornbill, Great Hornbill and Oriental Pied Hornbill.

After breakfast we took the boat back to the car and drove over to Khao Luang Krung Ching NP where we had a couple of hours birding before nightfall. We spent the time on the road near the entrance gate. There were storms brewing nearby and it seemed to keep the birds quiet. We saw Raffle’s Malkoha, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Verditer Flycatcher, Banded Woodpecker and Swinhoe’s Minivet.


Day 7


We got onto the main waterfall trail by 7am and spent the morning birding the trail as far as sala 2. At the start of the trail we found Rufous-winged Philentoma, Grey-throated Babbler and Grey-headed Babbler.

In one of the more open areas formed by the March storms a Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle swooped to pick up a lizard and perched nearby to eat it. A pair of Buff-rumped Woodpeckers were excavating a hole in a dead tree trunk.

We heard a Scarlet-rumped Trogon calling and managed to get onto it and get some good photos. Also seen but more difficult to photograph was a Rufous Piculet, a Maroon Woodpecker, a Green Broadbill and two pairs of Fluffy-backed Tit-Babblers.

Near sala 2 we set up the hide and tried to call in the Rail-Babbler. We had no luck but tried again after lunch, moving the hide to a darker, leafier stretch of the trail. This time an adult came in and slowly walked down the trail towards the hide. Anton got some great footage and was very pleased as this was his top target bird.

A Chinese Blue Flycatcher showed well around the sala and as we walked out of the forest we had good views of a White-crowned Forktail looking for insects on the trail. A Red-bearded Bee-eater sat nicely for us too.

Our last stop was to look for some overwintering Blue-Winged Pittas. One bird responded to our call but was elusive and was only seen in flight. As we left a flock of seventeen Wreathed Hornbills flew over.


Day 8


                      Rail Babbler                           Wallace's Hawk-Eagle               Scarlet-rumped Trogon
The morning was spent on the entrance road and around the HQ area of Krung Ching.

In the gate area we called in a Plaintive Cuckoo. We had brief views of a male Banded Kingfisher and much better looks at Banded Broadbill and Dusky Broadbill. A Dark-throated Oriole showed well too. A mixed group of Swinhoe’s Minivet and Fiery Minivet stayed high in the treetops.

As we walked down into the HQ area we found a Lesser Fish Eagle perching on an open branch.

After lunch we drove to KNC and spent a typically poor two hours birding on one of the trails. At dusk we went to the hot springs to look for Blyth’s Frogmouth. We heard two birds calling but they would not show themselves. We did though find a couple of Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatchers and a Large-tailed Nightjar.


Day 9


We walked the A-D-C-B loop of trails hoping to see some Pittas. The trails were a mess with the wooden walkways in disarray and the forest trails covered in fallen trees. We got close to a Banded Pitta but didn’t get to see it. In the open area around the Emerald pool a pair of Black Baza were active. The forest was quiet but we got Cream-vented Bulbul and Scaly-crowned Babbler.

In the afternoon we took a longtail boat around the Krabi mangroves and river mouth. At the mangroves we found plenty of Brown-winged Kingfishers, Collared Kingfishers and Black-capped Kingfishers. Out at the river mouth we found three Chinese Egrets and an array of waders including Terek Sandpiper, Eurasian Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit and Common Greenshank. Little Terns, Common Terns and Lesser Crested Terns sat on the poles.


Day 10


First thing we went to Queen’s park in Phang Nga. There was a huge flock of Pink-necked Green Pigeons in a fruiting tree. Rufous-bellied Swallows flew overhead. When we got back to the car there were monkey paw prints all over the bonnet and we found that the monkeys had helped themselves to the glass out of the wing mirrors. Naughty monkeys!

We next went to Bang Phat mangroves. On the way we stopped off to look in the unused shrimp ponds where we found some Little-ringed Plovers. In the field were a mixed group of Great Myna and Jungle Myna.  Blue-tailed Bee-eaters sat on the telephone lines.

The mangroves were rather quieter than usual but we found some Mangrove Whistlers, some Oriental White-eyes and a Ruby-cheeked Sunbird.

We had more luck at the Phang Nga Mangrove Park where two Black-and-Red Broadbills came out. They completed the set of five broadbills we had been after.

As we parked up for lunch we heard a Blue Whistling Thrush calling and got it out in the open.

In the afternoon we had a couple of hours at Muang Mai where we had a look around the lakes and open areas. In the lake area there were Little Grebe, a Grey Heron, Common Redshanks, Wood Sandpipers and many Egrets .

In the more open grassy areas we found a Grey-headed Lapwing among the Red-wattled Lapwings. Also there were Pin-tailed Snipe, Asian Koel and Black Baza.

After finishing up the bird list and the accounts we dropped Anton and Veronica at a hotel they had booked into for the last couple of days of their holiday. It had been a very enjoyable trip. Anton had got lots of good footage and has already signed up with friends to join us again in June 2012 on one of our Pitta Tours.

Black-capped Kingfisher
Lesser Necklaced Laughing-Thrush
Racket-tailed Treepie
Siberian Blue Robin
White-crowned Laughing-Thrush
Large-tailed Nightjar
Puff-throated Babbler
Black-naped Monarch
Common Emerald Dove
Black-headed Bulbul
Black-crested Bulbul
Lesser Fish-Eagle
Chinese Egret
Dusky Langur
White-handed Gibbon
Trip List
Green-legged Partridge Arborophila chloropus
Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus
Kalij Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans
Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis
Striated Heron Butorides striata
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Great Egret Ardea alba
Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes
Little Cormorant Microcarbo niger
Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Black Baza Aviceda leuphotes
Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus
Bat Hawk Macheiramphus alcinus
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
Lesser Fish Eagle Icthyophaga humilis
Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela
Eastern Marsh Harrier Circus spilonotus
Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis
Grey-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus
Mountain Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus nipalensis
Wallace's Hawk-eagle Nisaetus nanus
Red-legged Crake Rallina fasciata
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus
Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Pin-tailed Snipe Gallinago stenura
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
Common Redshank Tringa totanus
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis
Little Tern Sternula albifrons
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Rock Dove Columba livia
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis
Common Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica
Zebra Dove Geopelia striata
Pink-necked Green Pigeon Treron vernans
Thick-billed Green Pigeon Treron curvirostra
Vernal Hanging Parrot Loriculus vernalis
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis
Raffles's Malkoha Rhinortha chlorophaea
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha Phaenicophaeus curvirostris
Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis
Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus
Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii
Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus
Buffy Fish Owl Ketupa ketupu
Spotted Wood Owl Strix seloputo
Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides
Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka
Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus
Grey-rumped Treeswift Hemiprocne longipennis
Whiskered Treeswift Hemiprocne comata
Black-nest Swiftlet Aerodramus maximus
Germain's Swiftlet Aerodramus germani
Brown-backed Needletail Hirundapus giganteus
Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis
Pacific Swift Apus pacificus
Scarlet-rumped Trogon Harpactes duvaucelii
Orange-breasted Trogon Harpactes oreskios
Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis
Banded Kingfisher Lacedo pulchella
Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis
Brown-winged Kingfisher Pelargopsis amauroptera
White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata
Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Red-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis amictus
Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni
Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops leschenaulti
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
Bushy-crested Hornbill Anorrhinus galeritus
Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris
Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis
Wreathed Hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus
Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata
Red-throated Barbet Megalaima mystacophanos
Blue-throated Barbet Megalaima asiatica
Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala
Rufous Piculet Sasia abnormis
Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus
Banded Woodpecker Chrysophlegma miniaceum
Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus
Common Flameback Dinopium javanense
Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus
Maroon Woodpecker Blythipicus rubiginosus
Buff-rumped Woodpecker Meiglyptes tristis
Green Broadbill Calyptomena viridis
Black-and-Red Broadbill Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos
Banded Broadbill Eurylaimus javanicus
Black-and-yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus ochromalus
Dusky Broadbill Corydon sumatranus
Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis
Golden-bellied Gerygone Gerygone sulphurea
Rufous-winged Philentoma Philentoma pyrhoptera
Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
Green Iora Aegithina viridissima
Black-winged Cuckooshrike Coracina melaschistos
Lesser Cuckooshrike Coracina fimbriata
Swinhoe's Minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis
Fiery Minivet Pericrocotus igneus
Mangrove Whistler Pachycephala cinerea
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
Blyth's Shrike-babbler Pteruthius aeralatus
Dark-throated Oriole Oriolus xanthonotus
Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis
Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus
Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus
Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus
Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus
Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica
Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea
Asian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi
Racket-tailed Treepie Crypsirina temia
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
Rail-Babbler Eupetes macrocerus
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis
Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea
Black-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus atriceps
Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus flaviventris
Stripe-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus finlaysoni
Flavescent Bulbul Pycnonotus flavescens
Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier
Streak-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus blanfordi
Cream-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus simplex
Spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus erythropthalmos
Puff-throated Bulbul Alophoixus pallidus
Ochraceous Bulbul Alophoixus ochraceus
Hairy-backed Bulbul Tricholestes criniger
Grey-eyed Bulbul Iole propinqua
Buff-vented Bulbul Iole olivacea
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica
Rufous-bellied Swallow Cecropis badia
Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis
Two-barred Warbler Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus
Pale-legged Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus tenellipes
Plain-tailed Warbler Seicercus soror
Rufescent Prinia Prinia rufescens
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius
Dark-necked Tailorbird Orthotomus atrogularis
Large Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus hypoleucos
White-browed Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus schisticeps
Grey-throated Babbler Stachyris nigriceps
Grey-headed Babbler Stachyris poliocephala
Chestnut-winged Babbler Stachyris erythroptera
Buff-chested Babbler Stachyridopsis ambigua
Pin-striped Tit-Babbler Macronus gularis
Fluffy-backed Tit-babbler Macronus ptilosus
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe poioicephala
Abbott's Babbler Malacocincla abbotti
Moustached Babbler Malacopteron magnirostre
Scaly-crowned Babbler Malacopteron cinereum
Puff-throated Babbler Pellorneum ruficeps
White-crested Laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus
Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax monileger
Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax pectoralis
Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis
Asian Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis
Great Myna Acridotheres grandis
Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
Vinous-breasted Starling Acridotheres burmannicus
Blue Whistling Thrush Myophonus caeruleus
Siberian Blue Robin Luscinia cyane
White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus
White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher Rhinomyias olivaceus
Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica
Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla
Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus
Hill Blue Flycatcher Cyornis banyumas
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher Cyornis tickelliae
Chinese Blue Flycatcher Cyornis glaucicomans
Lesser Green Leafbird Chloropsis cyanopogon
Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis
Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons
Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus maculatus
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis
Brown-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis
Purple-naped Sunbird Hypogramma hypogrammicum
Olive-backed Sunbird Cinnyris jugularis
Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra
Grey-breasted Spiderhunter Arachnothera modesta
Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata
Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus
Miss Punjapa Phetsri (aka Games)
Site owner and guide.