February 24, 2020. Khao Yai National Park and a Closeup of a Long-tailed Broadbill
This is Day 8.1 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.
Today was such a busy day it will take three entries to cover it all – here’s the first one. We were up early (around 5 AM) so we could get to the gates just as they opened (and to hopefully avoid another elephant traffic jam). Before leaving the hotel I had a few minutes to walk around the grounds and came across this beautiful little Buddhist shrine:
Looking back at the Ballos Hotel at dawn (you can see some of the gang getting ready to board the vans. It was the nicest place we stayed at outside of Bangkok:
Our first sight this morning after entering the gates at Khao Yai National Park was not a bird but a Pigtail Monkey, sitting in a flowering tree eating some breakfast.
Nearby, feeding in the same tree was a Vernal Hanging-parrot. True to its name, it was hanging as it ate.
Just over on the next branch was a Hair-crested Drongo, so named for the long “hairs” that flow off the top of its head (which you can’t see here).
We continued our drive up toward the top of Khao Yai and had a beautiful view of the Thai hillside along the way.
From our birding spot by the viewpoint and fire station we were able to observe several birds we had spotted before and some Lifers that morning. Our first one was a pair of Golden-fronted Leafbirds high up on a snag.
A Brown-rumped Minivet was a Lifer for most of us.
Although we had seen it before on the trip, this was a great look at a Brown Shrike.
Another Lifer was this Large Cuckoo-hawk. So named because it looks very similar to a hawk, the Shikra, when flying and landing.
At our next stop we took a little hike down he power lines, where we saw another Ashy Drongo (or White-faced Drongo).
As we observed the Drongo a beautiful Long-tailed Broadbill flew in right next to it.
As we moved toward the pair of perched birds the Ashy Drongo flew off but the Long-tailed Broadbill stayed – for a long time! Such a beautiful bird with those stunning blues and yellows, it was happy to sit on the wire while we snapped away below. Even our guide Dave was amazed that it stayed there so long. Here are a couple pics while it posed:
All this bird watching made us hungry so we took off toward the campgrounds for lunch. As we got off the vans we couldn’t help but notice this Barking Deer lying down right next to one of the campers’ tent.
Before heading to lunch a quick stop at the “comfort station”. A common sight in many countries, here’s what the men’s room looked like. After you’re done, dip the bowl in the cistern and pour the water down the hole. Then on to lunch!
After lunch (using a liberal amount of hand sanitizer before eating) we were off again to another bird blind and then lastly, a short drive to see Thailand’s national bird. You can see the next part of Day 8 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.