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Having heard rumors of nesting and fledging birds in Sri Phang Nga, I decided to make use of an extra day off to visit the park with my family to find out whether or not there was substance to these rumors.

We started the day in Tung Chalee, a substation of Sri Phang Nga National Park. I was there a few days previously and found a fruiting tree in back. Although there was still plenty of unripe fruit on the tree, nearly half of the fruit was missing, either eaten or fallen off the tree since I first discovered it back in January. I was hoping that the tree would be hosting some of special species such as broadbills, barbets and bulbuls.

We arrived at around 9 AM due to traffic along Route 4 and by then the heat was on and bird activity was muted. Two Orange Headed Thrush were found in the boughs of the tree, along with Thick billed Pigeon, Yellow vented Flowerpecker and Black naped Oriole. Black crested Bulbul and Buff Vented Bulbul were the only bulbul species around.

A Black and Yellow Broadbill was heard in the distance and after I tracked it down, I was pleased to find that there was not one but three birds in the tree, as well as a newly constructed nest! The birds were happy on their perch and after 20 minutes it was clear they weren’t going to move so I gave up trying to get a better photo and moved on.

Near the dry riverbed I saw a flash of pink and green and found a family of Red bearded Bee Eaters with two young! The adult birds were busy foraging while the two youngsters whined and complained. I opted not to use playback for fear it would stress the already frayed nerves of these stellar parents, but at the same time I so badly wanted a good photo of the birds.

Lucky for me, a bug few near and attracted one of the parents to a branch nearby and I was able to get a working photo of this dazzling beauty.

In front of the station we found an Olive backed Sunbird sitting comfy in a nest.

On the trail around the station we encountered a mother Red Junglefowl with a brood of 11 chicks. These were once completely wild birds which “adopted” a semi-domesticated lifestyle after the park introduced a flock of captive-bred junglefowl into the forest back in 2012. It was good to see the birds were breeding, as hunting and poaching does take a heavy toll on their population.

From there we moved on to Sri Phang Nga National Park office.

A few days previously I had been told there was a Piculet breeding in a tree near the main office. A pair of visiting birders I chatted with over lunch told me the bird was in fact a Grey capped Woodpecker, not a Piculet. They also showed me a photo they took of a Lesser Fish Eagle in the stream above the weir. It was good to hear that this endangered bird was still around after a two-year absence.

The Grey capped Woodpecker was active and obviously had a brood of hungry mouths to feed but with a mob of Chinese photographers crowding around the base of the tree, I thought it prudent to wait a bit until the crowd dispersed before attempting to get a shot.

Sakda, a former ranger at the park called up and informed me there was a Blyth’s Frogmouth nesting in one of the trees in the area. A careful scan of the tree in question revealed a female frogmouth sitting on a nest with two little chicks. They were absolutely adorable!

After a short photo session with the two species we moved on to the waterfall where the kids were able to spend the rest of the day swimming and enjoying the wildlife in the area.

Despite spending most of the day focused on photography I was able to get 35 species on the books. Seems like birdwatching in the area is slowly recovering from the terrible floods in January and is getting better with each passing day.

One Response so far.

  1. Susan Hasell says:

    Fantastic photos of birdlife spotted! I am staying in Rawai and really want to experience spotting some birdlife. Can you advise me please? Are their local guides? Sounds like a trip to Sri Pranh Naga is worthwhile.

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