Trip Report: Kow Yai (Thailand), January 1999

Peter Ericsson, Thailand;

Arrived at the park 6.30. Only 2 hours drive from Bangkok. Still dark and air cool. First bird was Red Junglefowl, a pair on the road. Did trail 6.

Attention was given to a Chinese Pond Heron at the top of the tree by Gong Gaaw. Hoped for something different. In the trail, were immediately greeted by Puff-throated Bulbul. A Barking Deer took off from behind a tree as we passed by. Next occurrence was a small party of Pileated Gibbons in the canopy, good views. Beautiful animal. Heard Green-eared and Moustached Barbet much throughout our walk but never saw one along the trail. Searched for Banded Kingfisher and Broadbills but to no avail. Kept walking and walking, rather undulating trail. Forest became less dense after passing fork in trail. Ground dwelling birds flew up at times but no clear sight. Big gathering of Drongos, Ashy and Hairy-crested, were feeding in a red flowering tree. Started to wish for the end of the trail as very few birds were around, then my eyes fell on the back silhouette of a female Red-headed Trogon. What a reward when feeling like giving up. Photographed the bird. Side view. Walked through grassland praying no hungry tiger would be around. Eerie feeling knowing them to be in the area. Nothing at watchtower. Heard the sounds of the wings of a Wreathed Hornbill, looked up and had perfect view of a single bird crossing the open grasslands.

Heard the shrill call of a Common Flameback then saw it flying in the distance. Along road, saw many Prinias and Grass warblers. Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike brightened up our day before we had lunch at headquarters. Oh yes, a visit to Wang Jumbee produced Pied Hornbill, White-crested Laughingthrushes, Green-eared Barbet and Stripe-throated Bulbul. A Slaty-backed Forktail along with a Grey Wagtail were hopping about by the stream.

A female Blue flycatcher (Hill Blue ?) with a harsh "tick" gave full display along road-side. A flock of Barred Cuckoo-Doves held our attention. Lots of Leaf-Warblers and small Brown and Red-throated Flycatchers.

Delicious lunch of Kowpat bai kapow and curry and off to the visitor center. There are 2 stuffed tigers there now. Both shot around headquarters while attacking humans. Off to campground. Lots of people but fruiting fig trees at camp 2 attracted many little birds. Highlight: Chestnut-flanked White-eye, Yellow-vented Flowerpecker and Verditer Flycatcher. Also a Grey-headed Shrike gave clear sights and was photographed around campground. Up above a pair of Changeable Hawk-eagle passed by. Mountain Imperial Pigeon were heard throughout our entire walk in forest. Great Hornbill flashed by, and Hill Myna was frequently encountered. A smaller mammal were swimming in one of the streams, Mongoose-like. Took the road to Prachinburi home. Were held up by an enormous male Elephant blocking the road while feeding along the roadside. Plenty of short-tailed (pig-tailed) Macaques were seen. All in all a rewarding trip.

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This page served with permission of the author by Urs Geiser;; February 8, 1999