Saturday, 5 December 2015

5th December 2015 Nam Nao National Park & Phu Hin Rong Kla

We awoke to overcast conditions and whilst walking the Nature Trail it started to rain although not before we had seen a Bamboo Woodpecker. We then drove the steep winding road up to Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park that was surprisingly busy with traffic being the King's birthday. We arrived at the entrance to the National Park to thick fog! At times we literally couldn't see across the road making driving all the more dangerous. However, we chose a place to park the car, bought three hard-boiled eggs from a stallholder there and soon set off along a track leading along a nearby ridge. The whole area seemed to be being cleared to make way for campsites but whilst we found little suitable habitat we did quickly find a male Jerdon's Bushchat being our target species for the day. Whilst the fog cleared for a matter of a few minutes we saw an overflying Dusky Crag Martin but there was no sign of any Nepal House Martins here at their only known site in Thailand. The fog soon closed-in and we called it a day driving to Phu Rhea where we checked into a pre-booked resort full of locals celebrating the King's birthday. We eat a really nice meal in a roadside red London Bus being run as a café by a Dutch man and his Thai wife - they even had HP sauce! 
Asian Openbill 1
Little Egret 2
Black-winged Kite 1
Rufous-winged Buzzard 1
Bamboo Woodpecker 1
Ashy Woodswallow 2
Large-billed Crow 2
Dusky Crag Martin 1
Red-rumped Swallow 30
Radde's Warbler 1
Pied Bush Chat 1 male
Grey Wagtail 1
White Wagtail 1

The Nature Trail at Nam Nao National Park
Bamboo Woodpecker at Nam Nao National Park
Another good Woodpecker but another dire image! It was new for me in Kaeng Krachen National Park last year.
Phu Hin Rong Kla
This interesting area of Thailand is dominated by a number of Phu most of which harbour the odd species or subspecies found nowhere else in the Country. Phu Hin Rong Kla plays host to an isolated colony of Nepal House Martin so is this the true end of the Himalayas? We should have noted the low cloud / fog covering the peak!
Phu Hin Rong Kla
During a welcome break in the low cloud / fog the ascent even looked quite Nepalese in character!
Phu Hin Rong Kla
A pea-souper - great weather for digiscoping Jerdon's Bushchat!
Male Jerdon's Bushchat at Phu Hin Rong Kla