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Krung Ching Waterfall

Blyth's Hawk Eagle
(Photo by Peter Ericsson)



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 Birding Highlights

With 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.

Some species 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.

As the 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

Javan Frogmouth
(Photo by Suppalak Klabdee)
Click here for a checklist of the birds of Krung Ching
  Bird Tours : Check the suggested itineraries for ideas on creating a tailor-made birdwatching trip to Thailand: Thailand bird tours.
 Travel Information
Bala Wildlife Sanctuary  


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 Finding Birds
Simply 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. 
HQ Research Station Sirintorn Waterfall Viewpoints Temple

HQ : A 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.

Research 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.

Many 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.

Wrinkled Hornbill
(Photo by Suppalak Klabdee)

A 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.

Another trail 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!

Sirintorn 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!

Spectacled Spiderhunter
(Photos by Peter Ericsson)

Viewpoints : These 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.

Temple : A 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.   
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 Other Related Pages

Birdwatching Tours

Other Southern Thailand Birding Locations

Jan Wilczur's Bird Art: Gurney's Pitta, Banded Pitta & Rufous-collared Kingfisher

 Trip Reports

Southern Thailand, 22-31st August 2008

Krung Ching Waterfall, 26-27th August 2008


by Nick Upton

by Peter Ericsson

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