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× The park is the third largest in Thailand. It covers an area of 300 square kilometers, including tropical seasonal forests and grasslands. Its altitude mostly ranges from 400–1,000 m above sea level. There are 3,000 species of plants, 320 species of birds, and 67 species of mammals, recording in this, Thailand's most famous National Park.

Southern Khao Yai/Nakhon Nayok advice

01 May 2014 08:37 #1943 by NN
Replied by NN on topic Southern Khao Yai/Nakhon Nayok advice
The big dam in NN is fed by the Heaw Narok fall. There is a track part of the way and with water levels being so low at the moment it may be possible to walk right through to the falls. This area should be in a good state and not accessible to poachers. I wonder if it would be a good time to see wildlife, as they would be attracted to the water.

Any tips for shooting birds of prey? What sort or terrain/vantage point should I be looking for? There is a large hawk around my house, but it's very good at hiding in trees.

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01 May 2014 18:25 #1951 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Southern Khao Yai/Nakhon Nayok advice
I've always been interested to trek to the bottom of the Haew Narok Falls. Still, never took the time to do it.
That area sure has Wreathed Hornbills, but it doesn't always make them easy to find. All you have to do is finding fruiting figs...

For sure wildlife gets attracted by the rivers, but still it will be hard to see it, rivers are long ;).
I have heard gibbons in that valley below the falls, not often though, I rarely visit these falls in the morning. But it's a good sign, gibbons need quality forest.
Other mammals I've seen, but above the falls are Dholes, Smooth-coated Otters, Black Giant Squirrel, Wild Boar, Elephant, and N.Pig-tailed Macaques, Sambar, & Muntjac.

Not sure if I can give any tips on photographing birds of prey. It depends on the species which habitat they prefer. Many species like to perch on branches that give them a good perspective on the surroundings and possible prey which usually offers a good opportunity for a picture, but some indeed choose to hide.
One tip in general for bird photography; if you do find a perched bird and would like to photograph the take-off, wait till it poops. Often birds poop just before they take off so that's the sign to press the button with your camera set at shooting as many images per second as possible.
It doesn't always work, but quite often it does.

And about the vantage point, that depends quite a bit on the available light. Mid-day the skies get blown out easily so it's better to be at a higher point to be on eye-level with the birds preferably with vegetation in the background. In the mornings and late afternoons it's better for shooting birds in flight against a blue sky. Due to the lower contrast you won't get a silhouette against a blown-out white sky. So this is nice to shoot eagles circling in the air. During midday when the sky is too bright I always overexpose a few stops to at least get detail in the bird to see what species it is, but as an image it is worthless.
Other than that I'm afraid you just have to find them first, and adjust your settings to the situation.

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08 May 2014 16:22 - 08 May 2014 16:39 #1973 by NN
Replied by NN on topic Southern Khao Yai/Nakhon Nayok advice

I'm still outweighing the cons and the pros for my next buy. Versatile zoomlens or sharper fixed focal length... Very difficult decision.

In the vdo below one of the guys has a Tokina 2.8 with a 1.4 teleconverter, all which was well under $1,000 and gives him a 420mm F4 lens. A 2x converter would give 600 at around 5.6? Besides the cost, the lower F stop and lightweight makes it an interesting option.

Edit: After posting I checked the weight, it seems the lens is actually heavier than the Tamron 150 - 600.

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