Trip Report-Tat Mok National Park Phetchabun Thailand

Chinese Pond Heron
Chinese Pond Heron

This trip report  covers a visit to Tat Mok National Park Phetchabun on 13th February 2018. First a little background about the park.

Background.

Tat Mok NP is one of the lesser known parks in Thailand, where it is primarily known, among the large bird of prey from thailandlocals, for it’s waterfalls which are reached on foot after a 19km drive from the entrance gate. However the dense and diverse forests that cover the area are also rich in bird and mammal life. Starting from the Pa Sak valley floor(SE entrance) the hills rise to around 2500′. The park also physically adjoins the better know Nam Nao NP.

Birding is quite difficult in Tat Mok, or at least seeing the birds is difficult, as there are few side tracks leading away from the paved access road. Fortunately the park has few visitors in the week and it is quite possible to get some reasonable results just using the access road.

I find the most productive section is from the 2nd viewpoint(5km) up to and including the campsites which can be found around 10km from the entrance. There is also a visitor centre near the campgrounds and bungalows for hire,  although I have yet to find any food on offer here! So visitors need to go prepared for this.

The area around the campground(if unoccupied) can be quite productive for smaller birds, although I saw yesterday that they are extending the camping area and have destroyed some habitat near the small stream that was a great place to watch birds whilst you took a leisurely lunch in the shelters there. Hopefully when finished this will be replanted!

Visit to Tat Mok National Park 13th February 2018

My visit Tat Mok National Park on 13th February 2018 was a very pleasant day out. I entered around 9am and left around 4pm. I have found that there is little advantage being on site earlier.

Highlight of my day was coming across two Crested Serpent Eagle on a tree high above the access road. These birds provided some great views and photographs before flying off together. My best bird was probably a female Violet Cuckoo that I spotted feeding near the road. I also ticked  Chestnut-headed Bee-eater off my life list. Mostly, birds that I actually saw, were common, including Ashy Drongo’s, Bulbuls, Orioles, a Shikra, a Golden-fronted Leaf-bird and hosts of Asian Fairy Bluebirds.

Surprisingly, for Tat Mok, I did not see any Barbets.

You can view my birding check-list for the day on e-Bird

Directions to Tat Mok

The entrance to Tat Mok NP is gained from rural road 2275(SE of Phetchabun City) near it’s junction with rural route 2271 which itself leads into Phetchabun. Entrance fees are 100 Baht for foreigners and 30 Baht per vehicle.

Birding Pals

I am a Thailand based BirdingPal. If you would like to visit my patch(or Tat Mok) for a day birding/photographing birds with me please use the form to make initial contact.

Please note that BirdingPal, of which I am a member, makes an annual $10 charge for membership, you have to pay this fee to purchase a “pass phrase” so you can contact me. My services are free and I receive no payments from the BirdingPal organisation.