This trip report Tat Mok NP Phetchabun covers visits on the 5th and 14th March 2018. With the hot season approaching daytime temperatures are starting to head towards the 40C mark and birding and photography are difficult for the birds and the photographer. The area is dry and there was evidence of recent forest fires.
On both visits good views and photo ops of Crested Serpent Eagle were again obtained. I also briefly saw a male Red Jungle Fowl and Emerald Dove both of which although common are rarely seen(often heard in case of RJF). During a stop for lunch at the first campsite on the second visit I had good views of a Besra, two Grey-faced Buzzards and an Oriental Honey Buzzard along with a Dusky Warbler who was hanging out around the toilet block!
Lots of birds were calling if not visible and I identified both Moustached Barbet and Green-legged Partridge by their distinctive calls.
On the 5th March I also had a close encounter with a Large Sambar stag who seemed none to pleased to see me.
As always I birded the access road and campsite areas on both occasions although I did take a run down the dirt road to the viewpoint were I saw several White-rumped Sharma on my latest visit. I did not venture up to the far extreme of the access road because on 5th March I found several large hardwood trees had fallen across the track in strong windy conditions. These had only been partially cleared by the staff.
Once again I was left feeling frustrated that I did not get many photo opportunities, with a combination of poor/harsh light and birds simply hidden in dark canopy contributing to this. However I still believe Tat Mok NP Phetchabun holds some hidden gems and given the lack of visitors and bargin entrance price(100baht) I shall return again in the not too distant future.
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.
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.