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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Thailand Day 9 Khao Yai National Park

Good numbers of Siberian Blue Robin at Khao Yai NP including this stunning male that was feeding next to my tent at Pa Gluay Mai Campsite

  Five days ago I left Bangkok and heading north east in a minivan to Khoa Yai National Park. Nearly three hours later at the town, Pak Chong, I was dropped off and immediately on arrival I was taken in a song-chee-ow, a kind of open air slow taxi, to the entrance gate at the national park. Here I payed 400 bht ($9 roughly) for the entrance fee and successfully hitch hiked to Lumtakome Campsite where I would be staying for two nights before moving just up road to the only other campsite, Pa Gluay Mai. Both sites had no internet but for 185 bht a night, you get a tent and mat. I thought I was erecting my tent in Glastonbury Fest!! It felt claustrophobic with 100s of people, vehicles and tents but not a welly in sight! I knew diddly-squat what day it was and had I arrived on the weekend but come Sunday afternoon, everyone had almost moved on. Understandably there was not much seen here but while sitting in a social area one evening, a Malaysian Porcupine, the size of a Reliant Robin, walked on by on the road directly beside me having no idea I was there and no one else saw it pass by! It was big!!

Thailand's version of Glastonbury! I just wanted to leave as soon as I arrived but the next day, there were only a handful of tents hanging out! Later at 22.30, I was awoken by a very loud speaker of the rangers telling us to be quiet! Is this a joke? It felt like I was at Butlins and was waiting for the ding-dong 'Hi Dee-Hi!!

  My first day was spent walking miles deep in the forest and not seeing much and that was the same on the second day where this time I stuck to the road. However, I did meet some Thai bird photographers with no bins! They did have a ghetto-blaster blasting out a song of both White-rumped Shama and Hainan Blue Flycatcher and as expected both showed very well. They informed me that at 17.00 you can see Asian Elephant, half a mile north after Sai Sorn Reservoir in a field west of the road. At 17.30 I observed with some 40 people at the side of the road, a lone young female Asian Elephant come from out of the forest and slowly make her way to a salt lick on the far side. For the next forty minutes she was on and off into the forest but favored the lick before disappearing for the last time deep into the trees.

This was the first sighting of the young female Asian Elephant as she walked all away across the field to the otherside

Here she got stuck into the salt lick...

...and as the sun was goin down, she disappeared back into the forest

Black-crested Bulbul

There were some 15 Vernal Hanging Parrot close to the campsite

Large flocks of Oriental Pied Hornbill were seen overhead

Grey-headed Flycatcher


Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

Greater Rattled Tailed Drongo in the forest where I also saw 2 Green Magpie and a roaming group of White-crested and Lesser-necked Laughingthrush.

Male Hainan Blue Flycatcher

Male White-rumped Shama

Barking Deer (Muntjac)

One of the roads that circles the park

Sunset over the park

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