so many fantastic birds present at Krung Ching the list of
highlights is considerable. This is probably the best place
in Thailand to see many species including Diard's Trogon,
Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Malaysian
Rail Babbler, Lesser Fish Eagle and many other southern specialities.
which are scarce or difficult to find in other places are
common here. Green Broadbill is very common and easy to find
as is Black-and-yellow Broadbill. Banded Pitta is frequently
seen at Krung Ching and both Maroon Woodpecker and Fulvous-chested
Jungle Flycatcher are common.
presence of these excellent species suggests, the quality
of the habitat is a highlight in itself and it is also home
to White-crowned Hornbill, Great Argus, Maroon-breasted Philentoma,
Buffy Fish Owl, Javan Frogmouth and
hanging around the Research station will allow birders to see many
species of Hornbill, Bat Hawk, Javan Frogmouth and Black-thighed Falconet
to mention a few, but by moving around many more species can be found.
number of flowering trees here allow good views of many Bulbuls,
Flowerpeckers and Spiderhunters, with most of the southern
specialities being fairly easy to find.
Station : Some
birders spend the whole day in and around the research station,
and many excellent species can be found in this way. A stake-out
for Bat Hawk and Javan Frogmouth exists behind a shed where
tools and vehicles are kept, just after the turning which
goes down a steep slope. The Frogmouth sits in a tree slightly
to the right of this shed and can be seen at close quarters.
The Bat Hawks nest in a large distant tree and can be viewed
through a telescope when at the nest. The staff at the research
station are happy to spend a few minutes helping visiting
birders locate both
of these species.
Hornbills can be encountered around here too. Rhinoceros Hornbill
regularly comes to feed on nearby trees and is quite a fabulous
sight. The rare Wrinkled Hornbill sometimes passes by in small
flocks and Wreathed Hornbills often fly overhead. Plenty of
smaller birds frequently show up here also; Collared Falconet
is a much photographed highlight which can usually be seen
perched on bare branches; Brown and Gold-whiskered Barbets
are often found in the larger trees and Long-billed Spiderhunter
is usually easy to see feeding on flowering ornamental trees.
track runs down a steep slope from the accommodation at the research
centre into a river valley. Down here there is a circular, paved
trail which can be a great place to see Babblers, with Short-tailed
Babbler being particularly numerous on my visit. Next to the river
is a small shelter which is a good place to have lunch and is a
stake-out for Kingfishers.
crosses this river and goes through some excellent lowland forest
where a number of highly sought-after species have been seen including
Rail-babbler, Garnet and Giant Pittas, Short-toed Coucal and Rufous-tailed
Shama. When I visited in March 2003 I also saw Bushy-crested and
White-crowned Hornbills in this area. Probably the worst aspect
of this trail is the fact that it is infested by leeches; I was
covered in them by the time I got out of the forest here and my
socks saturated in blood - leech socks would be very helpful!
Waterfall : Many
Whiskered Treeswifts can be seen as one walks down the road towards
this waterfall, and Orange-backed Flowerpecker is frequent in the
smaller trees. However, the main reason to visit this waterfall
is to find Chestnut-naped Forktail which is frequently observed
at the base of the waterfall. Look carefully as it can be surprisingly
easy to miss! Mornings and late afternoons are the best time to
see this species as sometimes visitors play in the water here during
the day; not a bad idea when it gets very hot!
two viewpoints, where there are shelters in rather a poor
state of repair, provide some of the birding highlights of
the Wildlife Sanctuary as well as views across some very beautiful
forest. Hornbills can often be seen flying over the forest,
with Helmeted and Rhinoceros Hornbills being regularly seen
and providing a fantastic sight. I had a lot of success with
Woodpeckers at these locations in 2003, seeing Buff-rumped,
Buff-necked and Olive-backed Woodpeckers within a few minutes
of each other.
Lots of other southern specialities can be found feeding in
trees in these areas with Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler,
numerous Bulbuls, Minivets and the rather unspectacular Brown
Fulvetta all occurring. The first of the two viewpoints provides
the best vistas across the forest making it a good place to
look out for soaring raptors, Blyth's and Wallace's Hawk Eagles
being the regional specialities.
short trail runs from the back of this forest temple, along a small
stream which leads to a small pond and eventually to a village. There
is some nice forest along here and it is quite moist, attracting many
exciting lowland specialist species such as Temminck's Sunbird, Chestnut-rumped
Babbler, Spotted Fantail and Little Bronze Cuckoo. Some birdwatchers
have been lucky enough to find Malaysian Rail-babbler along here and
there have been a few reports of Daird's Trogon from the small pond,
but I'm not sure how reliable these are as they came from local youngsters.
However, this is certainly a good spot to sit and wait for birds to
come down to drink.