Monday, September 17, 2012

Khao Sok National Park - a tale of many bulbuls

We stayed at Our Jungle Lodge, absorbing the sounds of the rainforest and enjoying some hot and spicy cuisine. From our riverside tree house we watched Blue-eared Kingfishers zipping past and distant gibbons calling. We took one day out to do a proper day’s birding and ventured into Khao Sok National Park. A large fruiting tree at the visitor centre was alive with feeding Scaly-breasted Bulbuls, Yellow-bellied Bulbuls and a Thick-billed Spiderhunter. Taking the main trail (other trails appeared to be closed for the wet season) started off with a Great Iora in the mid-canopy and an Oriental Magpie Robin in open understory. Venturing further revealed plenty of bamboo and an associated speciality – an adult Bamboo Woodpecker with two juveniles and a White-browed Piculet. 

Typically, bird activity came in waves with small mixed flocks moving through followed by quieter periods with apparently deserted areas of forest.  Every bird was new to me but particular highlights were the Orange-breasted Trogon, a pair of Chestnut-breasted Malkohas, and a distant calling Great Argus. Sadly no pittas or hornbills were seen though a Helmeted Hornbill was heard calling. Species observed included: Little Spiderhunter, Olive-backed Sunbird, Crimson Sunbird, Red-eyed Bulbul, Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike, Rufous-winged Philentoma, White-bellied Yuhina, Blue-winged Leafbird, Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker,  White-rumped Shama, White-bellied Munia, Purple-naped Sunbird, Grey-bellied Bulbul, Brown-breasted Fulvetta, Abbot’s Babbler, Puff-throated Babbler, Rufescent Prinia, Maroon Woodpecker, Grey-rumped Treeswift, Coppersmith Barbet, Raffles’s Malkoha, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Rufous-fronted Babbler. 

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