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Monday, 12 February 2018

Thailand 2018 - 12th February

Khao Yai & Airport Drive

(Just a quick note that pictures will be added from today, and have already been inputted for our first day, (Spoony day) the 23rd January.
Sadly our last day in Thailand, and at last a great nights sleep was had, and if it wasn't for Ian being with me, I think I would've stayed put in bed, not that we were cuddling at any point.......I promise!! However we were at the entrance gates to the NP for 06.30 and headed straight for the Wang Jumpee trail, as this looked an excellent looking trail for Pheasants and Pittas. 

No such luck with these today although a Blue Pitta was heard distantly. In fact the trail for the first hour was very quiet, and yielded only a Black-and-Buff Woodpecker and a couple of other nice bits. A Barred Cuckoo Dove was calling but remained in situ. 

It wasn't until our last ditch attempt at a Banded Kingfisher that things hotted up. Near to the stream close to the car after a long walk with little success, I gave the recording a quick blast, and straight away a superb Banded Kingfisher flew in and perched near to us. It seemed oblivious to our shuffling around and sudden panic, which was just as well as we made a bit of noise trying to negotiate vines and the crunchiest of leaves. It did however eventually fly off, leaving us to find a pair of Slaty-backed Forktails on the river, but what a way to end our time at Khao Yai NP. Our list of goodies here was very impressive.

We made our way back to the hotel where our last lifer of the trip was seen from our room balcony, a small flock of Rose-breasted Parakeets. We made the most of the luxurious hotel and wished we had stayed here for the three nights. We left late morning bound for the airport, finding a perched Rufous-winged Buzzard along the way. After a monstrous KFC we still had a few hours spare, and with neither of us too fussed about heading for the Limestone Wren-babblers (seen previously in 2013) we opted for a tour through the countryside which proved to be very good. Our first pull in put us onto a superb breeding-plumaged Asian Golden Weaver (plus a few more seen elsewhere), and several fields held many Waders, Egrets, Wagtails and much more, so all in all a fitting end to a bird filled trip.

Highlights for the day are as follows:

Banded Kingfisher (L) - 1
Alstrom's Warbler - 1
Slaty-backed Forktail - 2
Asian Golden Weaver - 5
Long-toed Stint - 1
Little Ringed Plover - 3
Pin-tailed Snipe - 1
Common Snipe - 3
Eastern Yellow Wagtail - 20
Red-throated Pipit - 1
Rose-breasted Parakeet (L) - 3
Black-and-Buff Woodpecker - 1
Greater Flameback - 3
Blue-winged Leafbird - 2
Rufous-winged Buzzard - 1
Eastern Marsh Harrier - 1

We dropped the car off having clocked 2579 miles and having seen a respectable 439 species of bird, plus six heard only, and 156 lifers.

The trip had been a complete success, not one thing went wrong, most of our targets were seen and on the mammal front, it couldn't have got much better, although the elusive Clouded Leopard stayed that way, but who could forget the King Cobra that partially made up for this. A huge thanks to Ian (and Jake for the first 8 days) for a very enjoyable and successful trip, and no doubt the trio will be out in full swing in the near future.

Black-and-Buff Woodpecker at Khao Yai NP

Banded Kingfisher at Khao Yai NP

Slaty-backed Forktail at Khao Yai NP