Share our Experience of Birding and Photography
 A three day trip to Khao Luang Krung Ching NP and Baan Bang Phat mangroves with Paul Carter of Zimbabwe.
Paul is an experienced birder who had been neglecting his birding due to his passion for surfing. The surf report was bad for a few days so we decided to take him on a short trip to a couple of destinations he had never visited.

Evening Before

We drove to a hotel in Phang Nga town in order to allow us a later start to the next day. We visited Sa Nang Manora Forest Park to listen out for owls but the stream was very noisy and we heard nothing.
      Golden-bellied Gerygone   Streak-breasted Woodpecker
Day 1

A leisurely start got us to the mangrove walkway at Baan Bang Phat at 7am.  A group of Oriental White-eye welcomed us on to the walkway and we had fun trying to get a Golden-bellied Gerygone to come down low for a photograph.

The first bird we saw under the mangrove canopy was a Streak-breasted Woodpecker. We didn’t have a recording of its call but Paul had the bright idea of using another woodpecker call to lure it in. I tried Laced Woodpecker as it is closely related. Sure enough, it came straight in and great views were had.
A Pied Fantail was seen feeding near the ground and a pair of Mangrove Whistler came in when called. A thin high note was heard and it turned out to be a call of the local speciality, the Copper-throated Sunbird. A male, the first of three seen, came in and sat for us.
Ashy Drongo                   Ashy Tailorbird
On the walk back out we had brief views of a Mangrove Pitta. A group of noisy Ashy Drongo chased each other around while a family of Ashy Tailorbird gleaned for insects. An Arctic Warbler and a pair of Ruby-cheeked Sunbird were seen. Also heard was a Ruddy Kingfisher.

As we returned to the car some Rufous-bellied Swallow were feeding over the car park.

The next three hours were spent driving to Krung Ching. On arriving we went straight in to the main trail to the waterfall.

There was some commotion at the entrance to the trail near the floor and after a couple of minutes a pair of Grey-throated Babbler showed themselves. The trail was quiet and all we saw on the way to the “basketball court” were some Grey-headed Babbler and a Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher.

Further along the trail a pair of Wallace's Hawk-eagle flew into the trees above us. They hadn’t seen us and we had some rare close views. Soon after, it started raining heavily which put an end to the birding.

Back at the campsite at the HQ we saw a Chestnut-naped Forktail crossing from one stream to another.

After dinner at the resort we drove back to the park to look for owls. We decided to try our luck on the entrance road and soon heard a Sunda Scops Owl calling. It refused to move and we couldn’t find it. A little further up the road we heard a Blyth's Frogmouth which did respond to call and come and sit out in the open but rather high up.

A Brown Wood-Owl was heard near the gate but was distant.
                                                                               Chestnut-naped Forktail        Wallace's Hawk-eagle 
Oriental White-eye
Mangrove Whistler
Copper-throated Sunbird
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird
Rufous-bellied Swallow
Grey-headed Babbler
Grey-throated Babbler
Blyth's Frogmouth 

Day 2

Again we hit the trail first thing. Our intention was to have a go at both the Great Argus and the Rail Babbler. We had spent some time a few months ago finding a Great Argus’s lek and had set up a hide from where we had seen it a few times. Early morning was the best time as it called every few minutes. The Rail Babbler was best seen from the main trail in the afternoon so we knew we were in for a long day.

As we were putting our equipment together a pair of Blyth's Hawk-Eagle were flying around the camp site.

We heard a Diard's Trogon as we entered the trail but could not see it. Along the trail a Black-capped Babbler was calling and hopped towards us. Moustached Babbler and Scaly-crowned Babbler were seen on the way up too. A Maroon Woodpecker was flying around the steep part of the slope. At the top a White-crowned Forktail flew down the path towards us, saw us very late, slammed on the brakes and did a u-turn back up the path.

At the “basketball court” we had a painful 15 minutes calling in some Banded Broadbill. A little further down we had fun photographing Fluffy-backed Tit-Babbler and Black-throated Babbler as they tried to out-shout each other.

We next moved off the trail into the forest towards the Great Argus lek. Our bird was calling but only sporadically. We could see from a distance that the lek was untidy which meant it was no longer displaying. We waited around for a while and although it was within fifty metres at times we couldn’t see it. We will have to wait until January or February before it spends much time at the lek again.
                                                                               Rufous-collared Kingfisher    Scarlet-rumped Trogon
In the area we did get some great views of Scarlet-rumped Trogon and heard an Orange-breasted Trogon nearby.

In the area we did get some great views of Scarlet-rumped Trogon and heard an Orange-breasted Trogon nearby.

As Games walked around a corner she disturbed a male Rufous-collared Kingfisher which sat very still for us until a troop of Pig-tailed Macaque started throwing chunks of trees at us from the canopy.

Over lunch at Sala 2 a group of Yellow-bellied Warbler were seen.

A bird wave passed by twice which included Violet Cuckoo, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Raffles' Malkoha, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Grey-bellied Bulbul and Crimson Sunbird. 

We walked the trail for the next hour or two listening out for the Rail-Babbler but unusually it didn’t show.

As we were leaving, a troup of very noisy Black Hornbill called from both sides of us but also didn’t show. A pair of Green Broadbill did however sit nicely for us.

A group of six or seven White-crowned Hornbill were spotted flying below us at sala 1 and were seen perching in a tree further down the trail.

In the failing light on the way out we heard Red-bearded Bee-eater, Banded Pitta and Fulvous-chested Jungle-flycatcher.

We came across a bat highway. Every twenty seconds or so a bat or two would come out the same spot in the forest and dash over the path. Paul played chicken with them by standing right in their path. We all had a good laugh as they flicked away from him just inches from his nose. He actually got some good photos of them by aiming his camera at the spot they were coming out from and hitting the shutter button when he saw one coming.

That evening we were all exhausted after our eleven hour stint in the forest and decided not to return for night birds but instead to have a look around the resort. Good thing too. We heard a faint warbling sound coming down off the hill and chased a White-fronted Scops Owl along the road for a few hundred metres. We couldn’t get onto it but we will try again next time we visit.
Moustached Babbler
Scaly-crowned Babbler
Black-throated Babbler
Fluffy-backed Tit-Babbler
Champagne Mushroom
Burmese Striped Squirrel
 Asian Black-spined Toad
Green Broadbill 
                                                                  Rufous-fronted Babbler    Yellow-rumped Flycatcher


Day 3

We decided on birding some more open areas today. A lot of the trees around the resort were in fruit so we spent the first couple of hours there. A Banded Kingfisher was calling nearby but couldn’t be enticed out. Black-and-yellow Broadbill came in and showed well. A pair of Vernal Hanging Parrot came through as did a pair of the passage migrant Yellow-rumped Flycatcher.

An assortment of the common forest edge Bulbuls were around, seven species were counted in all. Similarly, four species of forest edge Babblers were seen with the only one of note being a group of Rufous-fronted Babbler. Each time we tried to leave, something else would show up, including Lesser Green Leafbird, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Hill Blue Flycatcher, Dark-throated Oriole and Ruby-cheeked Sunbird.
For the last hour of our stay we walked the park entrance road from the gate down to the “bus stop”. It was fairly quiet but we managed to see Rufous Piculet, Brown Barbet, Crested Serpent-eagle, Black-thighed Falconet, Purple-naped Sunbird, Little Spiderhunter, Yellow-eared Spiderhunter, Rufous-tailed Tailorbird and Lesser Cuckooshrike.
It was only a short trip but we’d had a lot of fun and we’ll take Paul out again when he’s next in the country.
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike 
Rufous Piculet
Dark-throated Oriole
Krung Ching Trip List
Great Argus
Rufous Piculet
Maroon Woodpecker
Golden-whiskered Barbet
Blue-eared Barbet
Red-throated Barbet
Brown Barbet
Black Hornbill
White-crowned Hornbill
Diard's Trogon
Scarlet-rumped Trogon
Orange-breasted Trogon
Banded Kingfisher
Rufous-collared Kingfisher
Red-bearded Bee-eater
Banded Bay Cuckoo
Violet Cuckoo
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha
Raffles' Malkoha
Greater Coucal
Vernal Hanging Parrot
Silver-rumped Spinetail
White-fronted Scops Owl
Sunda Scops Owl
Brown Wood-Owl
Blyth's Frogmouth
Common Emerald Dove
Crested Serpent-eagle
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
Wallace's Hawk-eagle
Black-thighed Falconet
Banded Pitta
Green Broadbill
Banded Broadbill
Black-and-yellow Broadbill
Golden-bellied Gerygone
Lesser Green Leafbird
Asian Fairy-bluebird
Dark-throated Oriole
Lesser Cuckooshrike
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
Black-naped Monarch
Asian Paradise-flycatcher
Common Iora
Fulvous-chested Jungle-flycatcher
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher
Hill Blue Flycatcher
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher
White-rumped Shama
Chestnut-naped Forktail
White-crowned Forktail
Black-headed Bulbul
Black-crested Bulbul
Grey-bellied Bulbul
Stripe-throated Bulbul
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Asian Red-eyed Bulbul
Spectacled Bulbul
Buff-vented Bulbul
Grey-cheeked Bulbul
Hairy-backed Bulbul
Common Tailorbird
Dark-necked Tailorbird
Abbott's Babbler
Moustached Babbler
Scaly-crowned Babbler
Puff-throated Babbler
Black-capped Babbler
Pin-striped Tit-Babbler
Fluffy-backed Tit-babbler
Rufous-fronted Babbler
Grey-throated Babbler
Grey-headed Babbler
Black-throated Babbler
Chestnut-winged Babbler
Yellow-bellied Warbler
Purple-naped Sunbird
Crimson Sunbird
Little Spiderhunter
Yellow-eared Spiderhunter
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird
Baan Bang Phat Trip List
Streak-breasted Woodpecker
Common Goldenback
Ruddy Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher
Spotted Dove
Common Sandpiper
Brahminy Kite
Mangrove Pitta
Golden-bellied Gerygone
Mangrove Whistler
Large-billed Crow
Black-hooded Oriole
Pied Fantail
Ashy Drongo
Oriental Magpie Robin
Common Myna
Pacific Swallow
Rufous-bellied Swallow
Oriental White-eye
Dark-necked Tailorbird
Ashy Tailorbird
Arctic Warbler
Brown-throated Sunbird
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird
Copper-throated Sunbird
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Miss Punjapa Phetsri (aka Games)
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