February 23, 2020. Birding from a blind at Khao Yai National Park
This is Day 7.2 of a 19-day birding tour of Thailand; it was a private group arranged through Field Guides, adhering to their typical itinerary. The pictures in this post are just some of the many Thailand pictures I’ve uploaded to GreatBirdPic.com. Check out the site before you leave: see the Latest Pics uploaded by our members or read the About GPB to find out more about the site. You are welcome to join if you enjoy bird photography.
We gathered together for another of Wat’s delicious lunches in this beautiful pagoda in the center of the park.
The wide open area around the pagoda gave us a great views of the park, and even though it was getting toward that slower afternoon birding time, we still caught some good looks of a couple birds in the vicinity. A Dollar bird (so named for the coin-shaped mark on its wings when flying):
After lunch we took off to our first use of a blind during the trip. Most of the blinds we encountered, like this one, had black mesh strung up between poles set in the ground. The mesh was like a curtain, extending up about 5 feet. The mesh was pretty tightly woven so the birds couldn’t see us and slits were cut through the mesh every 3 feet. The slits allowed us to look through the mesh and we could point our cameras through it. Our small lunch/snack chairs were set out in front of each slit for us. Here’s what we looked like on our side of the blind:
Even though it looks like you can see through the mesh, it was “solid” enough that it hid our presence from the birds. These blinds were not just set up for us, but could be used by any birding group coming through. In fact a couple of times during the trip we had to wait for one group to finish up their viewing in a blind before we could get in. When we did get in and get ourselves settled, Chaing would sprinkle live mealworms on the logs and ground about 20-30 feet from us. Since this was more or less a “permanent” blind the birds knew the routine – as soon as we settled down and got quiet they showed up for a free meal! Our first visitor was a Puff-throated Babbler:
We left the blind and went up by the visitor center where we took a quick walk on a nature trail. One of the more interesting birds seen was the Black-crested Bulbul. Although we had seen them before, the sub-species in this area have an orange throat (the others we had previously seen had black throats):
Our final bird of the day was a new kind of sunbird for us – a Van Hasselt’s Sunbird (also known as a Purple Sunbird in some regions). Van Hasselt was a 19th century Dutch/German Ornithologist who studied birds in the Indonesia area. This bird was named in his honor. Here is a male catching some rays.
The next day we explored some other areas of Khao Yai National Park and used some more blinds, which I’ll cover in the next post HERE.
For you overachievers here are the Ebird checklists for that portion of our trip:
Glad you found GreatBirdPics.com. Check out the site before you leave: see the Latest Pics uploaded by our members or read the About GPB to find out more about the site. You are welcome to join if you enjoy bird photography.