Birding at Ban Song Nok - near Kaeng Krachan

08 Jan 2015 14:10 - 08 Jan 2015 17:52 #2633 by wildambience
wildambience created the topic: Birding at Ban Song Nok - near Kaeng Krachan
A few kilometres from Kaeng Krachan's main entrance gate, is a private garden and guesthouse called 'Ban Song Nok' ( there is a fork in the road about one kilometre before the entrance gate - take the right-hand fork and follow for about 4km until you see the sign for 'Ban Song Nok' on the left). The owners have setup an excellent blind to watch birds come in to drink and bathe at a small man-made waterhole. As the site is popular with birders, you might have to make a booking as they only allow a few people at any one time to minimize disturbance. They charge 200THB per person and I think you can stay as long as you want, although the first and last two hours of the day are usually best for birds. Make sure you are well-prepared for mosquitoes!

Here's a short video of birds at the waterhole - vimeo.com/116227411

The small waterhole is the main attraction for birds here, so it's generally better in times of dry weather. I visited late one afternoon in December 2014 and saw about 15 species in less than two hours but I'm sure on some days you could see almost double that.

Interesting species that can be seen here include: Kalij Pheasant, Bar-backed Partridge, Scaly-breasted Partridge, Slaty-legged Crake, Red-legged Crake,
Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, Orange-headed Thrush, and Siberian Blue Robin.

Here are some links with more details on this site -

www.phuketbirdwatching.com/site-review-baan-song-nok/

www.thaibirding.com/locations/west/kk.htm#bansongnok

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08 Jan 2015 14:14 - 08 Jan 2015 16:53 #2634 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Birding at Ban Song Nok - near Kaeng Krachan
If you're hoping to photograph the birds, make sure you take a tripod and your camera can handle high iso (3200+) as it can be quite dark around the waterhole when the birds are active early and late in the day.

I shot these at ISO6400 on a Canon 6D with a Tamron 150-600 f6.3 lens.

Siberian Blue Robin (Male) Luscinia cyane


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08 Jan 2015 14:15 - 08 Jan 2015 16:53 #2635 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Birding at Ban Song Nok - near Kaeng Krachan
Blue Whistling Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus)

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08 Jan 2015 14:16 - 08 Jan 2015 16:53 #2636 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Birding at Ban Song Nok - near Kaeng Krachan
White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus)


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08 Jan 2015 14:17 - 08 Jan 2015 16:53 #2637 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Birding at Ban Song Nok - near Kaeng Krachan
Orange-headed Thrush (Geokichla citrina)


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08 Jan 2015 14:18 - 08 Jan 2015 16:54 #2638 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Birding at Ban Song Nok - near Kaeng Krachan
Black-naped Monarch (male) · Hypothymis azurea


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08 Jan 2015 14:19 - 08 Jan 2015 16:54 #2639 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Birding at Ban Song Nok - near Kaeng Krachan
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae)


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08 Jan 2015 17:21 #2641 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Birding at Ban Song Nok - near Kaeng Krachan
Great shots, and ISO 6400! High ISO shooting is something I shy away from (am yet to master it) but you seem to have mastered it thoroughly there!

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08 Jan 2015 20:25 #2642 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Birding at Ban Song Nok - near Kaeng Krachan
Great selection of birds!
I've heard that the story behind some of these bird hides (not sure if that includes the one you've visited, but I think I read that there are more) is that poachers originally created these small pools to catch birds for trade. Luckily these poachers have found out that there was money (perhaps even more) to be made by renting these spots out to bird photographers.
Hopefully this type of ecotourism helps reducing the poaching and encourage the (ex-)poachers to preserve instead of catch/ kill.

It would definitely be interesting to find these type of solutions to the poaching problems in the many parks of Thailand. Using the knowledge and experience of the poachers for ecotourism and help them to get an income without having to turn to illegal activities.

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10 Jan 2015 18:02 #2650 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Birding at Ban Song Nok - near Kaeng Krachan

onflipflops wrote: I've heard that the story behind some of these bird hides (not sure if that includes the one you've visited, but I think I read that there are more) is that poachers originally created these small pools to catch birds for trade. Luckily these poachers have found out that there was money (perhaps even more) to be made by renting these spots out to bird photographers.


I think that is true for at least one of two of the other sites that you can visit near KK. I didn't mention them earlier as I don't know the exact location - one is called Lung Sin Waterhole which is really just a small puddle like the one at Ban Song Nok, but another excellent birding spot. As mentioned on www.thaibirding.com/locations/west/kk.htm you can speak to the owner of Ban Maka (Gan) or Samarn at Samarn Bird Camp about how to arrange a visit.

onflipflops wrote: It would definitely be interesting to find these type of solutions to the poaching problems in the many parks of Thailand. Using the knowledge and experience of the poachers for ecotourism and help them to get an income without having to turn to illegal activities.


Absolutely a great idea - I'm happy to pay a small fee to access these excellent sites for bird photography that I would not have otherwise known about or have the opportunity to see so many species of wild birds so close, behaving naturally. I think this solution could work well for some areas which get a steady flow of visiting birders such as the fringes of the more popular national parks.

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