But this is a birding blog and on the road into the Park we spotted this Large Tailed Nightjar which was nesting on the ground in the leaf litter along the edge. Although the bird is a master of camouflage the give-away was its eyes reflected in our headlights before dawn. The photo below was taken with fill-in flash from some distance away for minimum disturbance.
Brown Hawk Owls are much more common and this was the next bird we saw. A little easier to photo this time as the light was improving.
The Black and Buff Woodpecker below is quite different, much smaller with more sober colouring, but just as attractive and very nice to see. These birds sometimes nest in bamboo, which grows extremely large in this climate. There is actually a Bamboo Woodpecker species which we also saw but did not manage to photo. It was quite a plain green bird with a typical red woodpecker head.
Other Birds of the Forest
I was extremely fortunate however to get close to this very imposing looking Large Scimitar Babbler (below) which had seemingly found a food scource close to the Reserve headquarters. That's quite a beak on such a handsome and very aptly named bird.
Ban Makaa, Bang Song Nok and Soong Lin
Bang Song Nok (Local Waterhole with hides)
At Bang Song Nok both Greater and Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrushes were present in considerable numbers, many in family groups with seemingly fully fledged young still attached to their parent birds, with much mutual preening and feeding going on.
Perhaps the star of the show for me though was the enigmatic and graceful Bay Banded Cuckoo (below). This is a stunner, one of those birds that really grabs your attention. Not brightly coloured but one with a powerful presence. It's a bit like a cross between a wryneck and a falcon and quite literally took my breath away, a great sighting.
A brief visit by a Siberian Robin allowed me to snatch a couple of quick shots, but neither as good as I would have liked. never mind it's a good record of a nice little bird.
I don't remember where I took the next shot of a White Rumped Sharma but it's a nice shot of this very common bird.
I complete this blog with a few of the better photographs which hope do justice to the natural beauty of the birds of Kaeng Krachan.