Tuesday, January 16, 2007
It finally worked out for me to bring my wife, kids and fellow co-worker to Panernthung, Kaenkrachan National Park for an overnight stay. The cooler weather and promised sea of cloud formed in the early morning enveloping the forest and surrounding peaks was what determined this trip.
First stop after a rather lengthy drive was the 2nd stream at km 16.
It isn't really butterfly season yet but there were enough dancing flowers around to excite little eyes!
The transparent fish in the stream were very happy for a handout of bread crumps.
Kids asked: 'How did the fish get up here?' 'They stayed on the mountain after Noah's ark was stranded in the Flood and the waters receded, is what the Bible teaches us' was my reply.
Seeing it was Sunday the campground at Panernthung was not crowded. We chose our spot
with some great views overlooking the rolling mountains leading into Myanmar.
Up here one can sense the vastness of Creation and how it was meant to be 'once upon a time' before man started messing it up.
The afternoon was spent playing, birding, eating, relaxing, talking and enjoying our wonderful setting. The only thing that spoiled our total peace was a gang of young men camping out near to us. They had been told not to sing, play guitar or tape players by the rangers. Instead they resorted to talking, giggling and insane laughther througout the night. A real 'Devil's pest' in the middle of God's Garden.
Some of the birds seen in the area were Wreathed and Great Hornbill. Great and Blue-throated Barbets (see pic), Radde's Warbler,White-browed Scimitar Babbler (see pic), White-browed Shrike-Babbler, Cheastnut-headed Bee-eater (see pic), Oriental Honey Buzzard etc.
The Mountain Scops Owl kept calling for hours but inspite of repeated playback wouldn't come in for a show. Still need to see this bird.
The next morning we drove down the bumby and dusty road with our van. No other vans up here, only 4 WD's. On the way out we bumbed into Pinit and Nang leading a group of foreign birders.
Back at the Dam we stopped for a picknick lunch and headed to Chaosumran beach at Petburi. Kids got to play in the ocean, walk in the sand and smell the sea. Me? Had a cold drink and enjoyed the Common Terns feeding nearby.
Then we drove to Lampakbia Mangrove reserach station. Lots of birds in here as they don't use pesticides. These good sized birds caught everyone's attention.