Wednesday, January 10, 2007
What an unusual way to end the old year and to begin the new! Birding at Lampakbia and Kaengkrachan. Kim Chua, an oldtime friend from Singapore whom I initially met at the mangroves of Pasiris park, came up with his family. Both of our families agreed to let us go, God bless them!
Target bird for Kim was Nordmann’s Greenshank, Giant Pitta, Bar-backed Partridge and a few odds and ends.
Lampakbia was a delight as usual. Full of waders of all sorts as well as open country birds. In a flock of 300 Great Knots with some Red mixed in we found a few Nordmann’s. These are such neat looking birds and once learned not really to be confused with Common. After a couple of hours in the area getting our heart’s content we had a sumptuous meal by the beach.
Kaengkrachan was totally packed out with New Year’s revelers and we were denied entry to the park. Instead of giving up we went to the first checkpoint from where one can pay the entry fee as well. Same story, entry denied.
Waited awhile until the chief of the park came around, explained the situation and allowed us in to where the sealed road becomes a dirt road. Atleast we had fun looking at some more common smaller birds along the roadside.
There is a smaller resort about 1 km before the checkpoint where we camped out for the night. While dining the news of bombs going off in Bangkok came on TV. Whoever was behind it seemed to achieve their goal as most people in Bangkok went home after that.
There is a lot of power in fear something realized not only by terrorists but also big governments and used in manipulating the masses.
Following morning we were let in. Arrived at Bahnkrahng early on to see A LOT of vehicles start their drive up to Panernthung for sunrise. In Thailand people love waterfalls as well as seeing the sunrise. I guess many want to see the sun come up giving light and a new day and that would be symbolic of a New and better Year.
We quickly started our birding around km 16-17. As usual it was quiet and much more heard then seen. We used tape to see if we would get any feedback from the Giant Pitta seen around here last year. After crossing the stream and finding the trail that goes inside the forest we stayed put for awhile trying our luck. No Giant Pitta to be seen but instead a Blue Pitta came foraging for a couple of minutes to give good views.
Later, a Giant Pitta did respond once but was never to be seen. Perhaps it came to have a look at us and decided against an appearance?
Out on the road I heard something scratching the ground. Only 2 meters from me a Bar-backed Partridge suddenly froze in its tracts. This was Kim’s second lifer and he was very delighted. Other birds seen in here was Tickelli’s Hornbill (Brown), Sulphur-breasted, Plain-tailed and Pale-legged Warbler (lifer for Kim).
Around noon we headed out of the park and had another delicious meal at Gang Pet restaurant by the dam. Best food around!