European Bee-eaters - Greece 2019

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Thailand 2018 - 25th January

Kaeng Krachan NP

Let’s get the negative news out the way first. Yet again, after much searching we failed to find the Ratchet-tailed Treepie today, however this led to a fantastic array of birds to be found, some of which are rarely seen in this NP, or even Thailand itself.

After a rubbish nights sleep we arrived at first light at the stream crossing, and up until 9am we birded between all the streams. After many hours trawling through the field guide and glaring at the Broadbill page, today we were finally rewarded with the stunning Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, all four of them that showed very nicely. A Banded Kingfisher was heard distantly and couldn’t be enticed in, but another star of the morning in the form of a Streak-breasted Woodpecker was found.

After this great start, we ascended again with our eyes glued to the road, and just as well as a Grey Peacock Pheasant was found, and instead of typically running off, kept to the verge of the road and showed good enough for a few minutes, however trying to photograph it hanging outside the window whilst trying to control an automatic car was more painful then successful. Anyway this was a massive result and carried on the good luck theme of the day.

We arrived at KM 27.5 and slowly walked uphill but mainly concentrated our efforts around this spot. Despite our efforts there was no Treepie, so we made our way up to the upper Campsite and had some lunch. Whilst eating a trio of lifers were on show (strange as I spent a whole day here four years ago)  that included Mountain & Ashy Bulbul and Striated Yuhina.

It seemed at this point that our luck from this morning was starting to dwindle, but once arrived near the Tor Tip Waterfall parking area we stumbled across a superb group of White-handed Gibbons with some showing off their tree swinging techniques. It was from this point that it all went a bit crazy. After deciding not to visit the falls we slowly walked back up to the car stopping at a set of trees, where quickly a superb Raffles’s Malkoha appeared, showed nicely before disappearing, and straight after from the same tree a stunning Chestnut-breasted Malkoha appeared. Two mega skulky birds in a matter of minutes was brilliant, as were the four male Crimson Sunbirds that also appeared. A crazy ten minutes.

Our final bit of luck came when we arrived back at the KM 27.5 marker now very late on. This came in the form of a flock of nine Tickell’s Brown Hornbills, yet another superb addition to our already impressive day list. Still no Treepie, but if we’d seen it yesterday we may not have seen all of this stuff today.

No real dramas today apart from Ian discovering a hungry leach on his leg whilst having a shower.

Highlights for the day are as follows, with lifers shown by (L):

Grey Peacock Pheasant (L) - 1
Crested Goshawk - 1
Mountain Imperial Pigeon - 2
Thick-billed Green Pigeon - 8
Green-billed Malkoha - 2
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (L) - 1
Raffles’s Malkoha (L) - 1
Oriental Pied Hornbill - 12
Tickell’s Brown Hornbill (L) - 9
White-browed Piculet - 1
Speckled Piculet (L) - 1
Streak-breasted Woodpecker (L) - 1
Black-and-Yellow Broadbill (L) - 4
White-throated Fantail - 2
Asian Fairy Bluebird - 10
Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike - 1
Eyebrowed Thrush - 1
Dark-sided Flycatcher - 3
Mountain Bulbul (L) - 2
Ashy Bulbul (L) - 1
Sulphur-breasted Warbler - 5
Golden Babbler - 2
Buff-breasted Babbler (L) - 1
Collared Babbler - 3
Striated Yuhina (L) - 5
Olive-backed Sunbird - 1
Black-throated Sunbird (L) - 4
Crimson Sunbird (L) - 4
Streaked Spiderhunter - 2

Black-and-Yellow Broadbill at KK. The smallest Broadbill on our route, 
but certainly one of the best lookers.

Streak-breasted Woodpecker at KK Stream Crossings
(phone-scoped by Jake)

Grey Peacock Pheasant at KK 22

Eyebrowed Thrush at KK 27.5

White-handed Gibbons near Tor Tip Waterfall

Raffle's Malkoha near Tor Tip Waterfall
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha near Tor Tip Waterfall -
photo taken by Jake

Crimson Sunbird near Tor Tip Waterfall

Near to stream crossings

View from KK 34