Friday, August 1, 2014

A few from the South in May 2014

Francesco Veronesi  and his birding friend Leonardo Beghellini had been asking me to see the Malaysian Rail Babbler for a long time. So when I got news of one showing at Krung Ching in Southern Thailand they immediately wanted to visit. Francesco is a dedicated photographer with over 3200 species in his portfolie as well as a lister and Leonardo is a global lister with over 6000 birds seen.

Along with the Babbler they gave me a list with rather difficult birds and so I was faced with both a logistic challenge as well as finding the birds. I couldn’t set a fixed itinerary since we didn’t know how long it would take to nail down the Babbler.

I flew down to Krabi in advance as I wanted to visit Satun some 4 hours drive to the South of Krabi.
I used a Honda City from Hertz which turned out to be a reliable vehicle for the entire trip.

It was interesting to see the landscape and the make up of this area as I drove through the western part of the very South. Satun has not had any influence of the violence found in the bordering provinces of Naratiwat, Yala and Pattalung and the people seemed rather relaxed.

I visited the mangrove forest as I was targeting Cinerous Tit. I have only seen Cinerous Tit on Komodo Island but that is a different subspecies. It was quite strait forward to see it inside of the grounds of the mangrove research and learning center. The birds also sang away with songs reminding me of Great Tit from my home country.

I also recorded Mangrove PItta, photographed Brown-winged Kingfisher and noted Mangrove Whistler, Golden-bellied Gerygone and Common Flameback in the mangroves.

Unfortunately I didn’t see the Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker and the Pied Triller and it wasn’t until a couple of weeks later I found out there is a boardwalk near the port itself and that is the place for these birds. Ouch! Next time!

Lodging was easy and these days most accommodation in Thailand has free WiFi, air-con and hot showers as well.

I spent one night in Krabi. Loads of Guest House style of lodging right in town. Had a simple meal at the market by the river and prepared for the days to come.


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