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Huai Kha Khaeng Trip Report - August 2014

16 Sep 2014 11:15 - 16 Sep 2014 11:15 #2314 by jonathanbkk
Replied by jonathanbkk on topic Huai Kha Khaeng Trip Report - August 2014
Young Bull still allowed to hang out with the female herd at Haw Nok Yeung. Too bad they were very far off in the distance and were scared back into the forest by road work. Love to see the color changes on them take effect and the set of horns

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16 Sep 2014 12:12 - 16 Sep 2014 13:17 #2315 by jonathanbkk
Replied by jonathanbkk on topic Huai Kha Khaeng Trip Report - August 2014
Also to note I cant help myself and managed to get another 4 day weekend to get back to HKK and investigate more of the park this weekend

This time I have asked in advance to have more flexibility in the park around the towers and roads, I haven't heard back if I will be approved or not but will update more here

I am also bringing a new toy, I recently purchased a Quad Copter with a GoPro camera to work on basic flight filming of the national parks of Thailand. I recently tested it at Lumphini park and will be bringing it this weekend to see what I can do.

Here is a quick video I shot before being asked by security not to fly. I suppose the rangers of HKK might stop me as well but I will take the risk and bring it

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16 Sep 2014 12:38 #2316 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Huai Kha Khaeng Trip Report - August 2014
Nice shots Jonathan!
Especially the handsome young bull.
And great video of Lumpini.
I've recently seen the wedding photographers in Khao Yai are using these quad copters. I did not pay close attention, but I suppose it is to make a 'making of ' video, or perhaps a video invitation for the wedding.
I've also heard somebody tried it at the salt licks near the Nong Pak Chi parking lot to film a herd of elephants. I believe that was with ranger permission. But the elephants don't like it!
I think it is great for scenery but maybe not for wildlife, unless you stay high enough, but with the wide angle of a GoPro that even changes an elephant into a tiny dot...

Interested to hear if you get more permissions. Though, the towers should not be too much of a problem.
I would be more interested to get permission for areas deeper in the reserve. Khao Nang Rum, or Khao Ban Dai (no idea how to write this, haha).
I haven't tried, but will in the future.

Enjoy your time in HKK!

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16 Sep 2014 13:17 #2319 by Paul T
Replied by Paul T on topic Huai Kha Khaeng Trip Report - August 2014
Looking good Jonathan!

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22 Sep 2014 18:46 - 22 Sep 2014 19:57 #2335 by jonathanbkk
Replied by jonathanbkk on topic Huai Kha Khaeng Trip Report - August 2014
Well for my Sept Trip back unfortunately it wasnt nearly as productive as the August one but I still enjoy every minute of being in HKK

I did manage to find some great tiger markings on the roads near the headquarters. Recently they have come along the Home of the Tiger trail to the surprise of the rangers. Apparently there was a recent night time conflict between two tigers that was loud enough to be herd from the campgrounds as well.

My first shot was a great scuff/scrape in the center of the road, I am assuming done the night before. Now I have giant hands that can palm a basketball so I am assuming this to be a male. I also found the tree he scratched and could smell his spray



Second one was much more amazing to me, I went early to Ton Peung tower arriving at roughly 7am and traced the road for any recent tiger activity but noted nothing new. This track was done after I arrived and I was startled to see it happen about 200 meters from the tower some time between 7-1pm! Very exciting to know a Tiger was in the area, and I am also wondering if this is why I saw absolutely nothing even with the new 1st floor blind upgrades (very nice work by the way onflipflops!)



The Quad Copter work I put in seems to have worked out very well, once I edit it I will post a link here but pleased at its potential and the GPS on board seems to work just fine with tree cover around which was my concern.

Had a very nice walk today through Khao Hin Daeng which is looking about as green as it ever will at the moment. It had rained the night before and I was hoping to have the luck on Saturday that a group of students had with their Ranger who happened upon a Leopard in the fig tree about half way down the trail....no such luck for me.

The only decent shot I managed to get was I am assuming to be as a Changeable Hawk Eagle (Nisaetus limnaeetus)

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22 Sep 2014 23:55 #2340 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Huai Kha Khaeng Trip Report - August 2014
Wooow!
Makes me want to go back straight away.
That scrape looks awesome. But I can imagine that finding a fresh pug mark at a spot you walked by just shortly before is even more exciting.
Again that track. Hmmm, next time I just park my car on the track and wait till it walks by, haha. Actually I expect this to be more likely to happen than it walking out in the open in front of the towers. It would not be a smart move for a predator to walk clearly visible out in the open. Watch any house cat that gets on the move early evening. If it can, it will avoid walking out in the open with no cover. With so much forest cover, why would it walk out into the grass. Unless it wants to cross the river, or attacks prey in the clearing.

How ironic that the rangers are surprised that tigers enter the Home of the Tiger area, haha.
And a leopard in a fig tree. They just make these stories up to make us return ;). I was wondering how arboreal the leopards are here in Thailand. BTW Has anybody ever heard of a Asiatic Leopard dragging a prey into a tree like they do in Africa?

Glad to hear you liked my work at the tower.
And not to forget: Fantastic shot of the Hawk-Eagle! Good work!

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23 Sep 2014 07:47 - 23 Sep 2014 09:09 #2343 by jonathanbkk
Replied by jonathanbkk on topic Huai Kha Khaeng Trip Report - August 2014
Below is the YouTube link of my test flights and my first time test editing with my GoPro attached to a Quad Copter


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23 Sep 2014 09:09 #2344 by Paul T
Replied by Paul T on topic Huai Kha Khaeng Trip Report - August 2014
How cool is that!!!

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23 Sep 2014 11:34 #2345 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Huai Kha Khaeng Trip Report - August 2014
Great video!
It moves really smooth.
Makes me want to have one too, haha.

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23 Sep 2014 13:19 #2346 by jonathanbkk
Replied by jonathanbkk on topic Huai Kha Khaeng Trip Report - August 2014
Oh I should mention to change your YouTube settings to 1080 HD for maximum effect

I want to get it up to Khao Yai with some of the larger trees flying bottom to top as well as if I can get it in flight at some of the waterfalls. Imagine if you had used it on your sleeping bears or maybe gibbons? Probably not the best idea :)

I have two new antennas arriving this week which will give me a range of over 2km. This flight I was too shy to go anywhere beyond 1km but in theory I could fly down the river with the copter out of view but using the GoPro to fly it FPV on the attached monitor.

Stability comes from the Gimbal and GPS calculations the heli makes with satellites. You can literally let go of the controls to work the camera and it will hold its position very steady.

I also want to test in Pang Sida, to see better whats past the top of the mountain. I have heard there may be a grassland out there somewhere possibly

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