Share our Experience of Birding and Photography
 
 

Khao Sok National Park

 
Provides not only good birding on forest trails but a chance to bird for raptors, Hornbills and Kingfishers from the comfort of a longtail boat.
 
         
           Helmeted Hornbill                   White-crowned Hornbill                     Great Hornbill

 

HQ area

The HQ area and the trails leading from it offer limited birding as the fruiting trees around the HQ are very tall making it difficult to get good views of the birds. One of the trails runs along a steep slope at the edge of a river and the other runs through degraded forest for the first kilometre or two and is popular with tourists. We do though sometimes visit the area to look for the Rufous-Collared and Banded Kingfishers which can be found here. Around the HQ it is possible to see a good selection of Bulbuls, Barbets, Flowerpeckers and Sunbirds.
 
         
            Crimson Sunbird                 Grey-breasted Spiderhunter                    Hooded Pitta
 

 

Logging Trail

Much better birding can be found on the old logging trail which runs from the Takua Pa – Surat Thani road to the reservoir. Along this trail we frequently find good birds such as White-bellied Munia, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Hooded Pitta, Orange-breasted Trogon, Bamboo Woodpecker and Fluffy-backed Tit-Babbler.
 
         
            Oriental Hobby                      White-bellied Sea Eagle                     Lesser Fish Eagle

 

Reservoir

The highlight of the park for birders and other naturalists is the Ratchaprapa Reservoir. What we like to do here is to take a longtail boat from the pier in the afternoon and spend a few hours birding the snags (dead trees) in the lake and the fruiting trees on the lakes edge. On the snags we find an excellent array of raptors including Grey-headed Fish-Eagle, Lesser Fish-Eagle, Oriental Hobby and Western Osprey.  On the smaller snags we look for Stork-billed Kingfishers, Black-capped Kingfishers and Blue-eared Kingfishers. In fruiting trees and flying over the lake we can see up to six species of Hornbill including White-Crowned, Bushy-crested, Wreathed and Helmeted.
 
         
                 Bat Hawk                                 Western Osprey                        Wreathed Hornbill

We then proceed to the Khlong Saeng area of the lake to check in at the floating bungalows. At dusk there is a chance of seeing Bat Hawks hunting low over the forest. After dinner we go out on a night safari on the boat looking for night birds like Buffy Fish Owl and Grey Nightjar. We often find mammals at the water’s edge. Elephant, Gaur, Bear, Deer and Pigs have all been seen in the area.

Before breakfast we take the boat out again to look for mammals and after breakfast head back to the pier picking up a few more birds along the way.
 
      
 
 
Miss Punjapa Phetsri (aka Games)
Site owner and guide.  
 
Rufous-collared Kingfisher-female 
 
 
 
Rufous-collared Kingfisher-Male 
 
 
 
Stork-billed Kingfisher
 
 
 
Black-capped Kingfisher
 
 
 
Oriental Scops-Owl
 
 
 
Crested Serpent Eagle
 
 
 
Crested Goshawk-Juvenile
 
 
 
Lesser Fish Eagle