This year I have decided to consolidate trip reports into a monthly digest since often there is little of particular interest to report on specific days out.
My first trip out was on 7th January 2019 when I accompanied my wife who had some business in Khao Kho. I managed to spend an hour at the sometimes productive Sri Dit Waterfall. A popular tourist haunt so it can be noisy! Luck was with me and despite a fair few tourists I managed to find a Blue Whistling Thrush deep in the shadows along the river bank.
The following day I completed my first planned birding trip to Tat Mok NP. A nice day out with few people but also few birds showing. A couple of spots on the upper reaches of the stream did however produce some good photo opportunities, with decent images of a male Blue Rock Thrush, Slaty-backed Forktail and Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher being obtained.
A week later on the 15th January 2019 I returned to Tat Mok NP where the weather was fine and the birding a little better. Photo opportunities were also good and I bagged a close-up of a male Red Junglefowl, Grey Wagtail, White-rumped Sharma and a rare one for me, an Oriental Turtle Dove, that came down to drink in the stream.
On 25th January I was joined by a friend from the UK and we travelled to Nam Nao NP for my first visit of the year. Conditions were ideal, cool, dry and sunny. The birds didn’t disappoint either with a few lifers recorded by me including a Common Green Magpie, White-crowned Forktail and Red Headed Trogon. Some great photo opportunities were provided by flocks of White-crested Laughingthrush that approached very close, even pecking around our feet on one occasion.
The next day I took my friend to Tat Mok NP and had my best ever days birding there. Again some lifers turned up! Top bird was probably a Silver Pheasant that provided some superb close-up views, but a pair of nesting Wreathed Hornbill were also spectacular if a little distant. Finally some brief glimpses of a Heart Spotted Woodpecker and good views of a Greater Flameback along with a Hill Blue Flycatcher completed a very memorable day.
My final trip out in January saw me return to Tat Mok NP on the 29th. This was primarily to watch the Wreathed Hornbill nesting. It was another beautiful day and I got to watch the Hornbill preparing their nest site again. I also managed a new species when a Pale-legged Warbler turned up as I was having lunch. A brief sighting of a Crested Serpent Eagle was my first view of this species this year and a huge flock of Hill Myna were seen flying around near the waterfall car-park.
A great months birding and photography with 12 species added to my Thailand life list. Overall I recorded a total of 104 species during the month from my trips and garden lists.