Sunday, 29 November 2015

29th November 2015 Khao Yai National Park

We arrived on time early morning with Emirates, collected a car from Thai Rent-a-car and drove to the comfortable Khao Yai Cottage located just outside the National Park where we quickly checked-in, slept for an hour and then headed for the National Park at c.2pm. We spent four hours birding the Old HQ area, the Boonsong Lekagul Camp, the Pa Gluay Mai campsite and the Km33 trail in bright sunny weather. It proved an afternoon of 'what might have been' as we found a Blue Rock Thrush on the rooftops frequented by White-throated Rock Thrushes in recent winters. Despite the National Park being busy with visitors we didn't see another birder or photographer all afternoon, but perhaps for good reason, as birding proved extremely quiet. Highlights were a couple of leucogenis Ashy Drongos, an interesting-looking Brown Flycatcher and two Great Hornbills seen in flight just before dusk. We eat spaghetti in the 'Cowboy Restaurant' before returning to Khao Yai Cottage.

Asian Openbill 5
Chinese Pond Heron 1
Red-wattled Lapwing 1
Spotted Dove 2
Great Hornbill 2
Black-winged Cuckooshrike 3
Black-naped Oriole 1
Ashy Drongo 2 leucogenis
Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher 1
Common Myna 2
Asian Brown Flycatcher 1
Blue Rock Thrush 1 phillipensis

Blue Rock Thrush at the Boonsong Lekagul Camp at Khao Yai National Park
Whilst not the Rock Thrush I was hoping to see today I assume the chestnut appearing on its underparts and especially its vent would suggest this is a first-winter male M.s. philippensis that is a winter visitor to Thailand

Asian Brown Flycatcher at the Boonsong Lekagul Camp at Khao Yai National Park
Rather well-marked greyish breast-sides but I think its extensive pale lores and clean undertail-coverts eliminate the possibility of it being a sibirica Dark-sided Flycatcher that can sometimes appear very similar
Ashy Drongo at the Boonsong Lekagul Camp at Khao Yai National Park
This stunning individual of the wintering form D.l. leucogenis found at the Boonsong Lekagul camp proved the unexpected highlight of the day. Being a summer visitor to Central and Eastern China it is this form that sometimes overshoots to offshore Japan.