I normally do not plan any birding trips in June since the weather is very unpredictable with a good chance of rain and thunder. However this year, with some very unseasonable and not unpleasant weather, plus a couple of visitors who asked if I would like to accompany them birding, I decided to give it a go.
In the end I made three trips to Tat Mok NP and an overnight stay at Nam Nao NP which allowed two days birding there.
Staying Overnight at Nam Nao National Park Phetchabun Thailand
Staying overnight at Nam Nao National Park
proved an interesting and worthwhile experience. I was unsure exactly what the accommodation would be like but was pleasantly surprised to find that the two bed-roomed bungalow I was staying in was more than adequate.
All bungalows are set in the forest and nicely spaced out.
I would describe the unit as clean and basic. There were two double rooms and a toilet/bathroom. Towels and bedding were included along with a TV, fridge and hot water boiler. The bathroom also had a hot water shower.
The mid-week discounted price was 700Baht for the unit which could sleep up to 4 people since all the beds were single.
Because Nam Nao does not have any nearby shops or restaurants it is a case of taking your own supplies or hoping that the on site shop(s) are open and can supply your needs. One shop does do basic cooked meals as well as drinks, snacks and other stuff including leech socks! The staff do not speak English so a little basic Thai would be useful.
Birding Nam Nao NP on 6th and 7th June 2019
Over the two days the birding was quite good with all the usual forest birds present. I even managed a couple of new species, several Siamese Firebacks and a Bay Woodpecker. While sitting outside the bungalow produced several forest dwellers including a Red-headed Trogon and Common Green Magpie. The park was quite wet, in fact it rained a couple of times during my stay, so leeches were very active and made for uncomfortable birding on the jungle trails.
Access to the small loop trail behind HQ remains blocked with a fallen tree.
In an attempt to avoid the leeches my friend and I spent most of the time birding around the accommodation and HQ area. But even here we both picked up some unwanted companions!
Visits to Tat Mok National Park Phetchabun Thailand
I visited Tat Mok National Park Phetchabun
three times in June. Once on my own and twice with a visiting birder who is on holiday locally. Birding was quite good overall although the only new species I recorded was a Green Peafowl. I suspect this bird is captive bred/released since it was wandering round near the park HQ.
I did however also record Grey-headed Parakeet(last seen here 2017) and a new species for my park list, a Red-headed Trogon.
There was plenty of activity around fruiting trees on the campgrounds and other areas with Moustached Barbets and Asian Fairy Bluebirds present in large numbers.
Overall I am pleased I visited Nam Nao off-season and stayed overnight. The accommodation was OK and I shall certainly use it again in the cool season. Birding was probably a bit slow by winter standards but some new species and a few decent images made up for this. The park was very quiet although works on the campgrounds and roads continue.
Tat Mok was also pleasant enough and nice to see some birds I hadn’t seen for a while. There were also plenty of fruiting trees, that were accessible. Work continues on the first section of the access road before the HQ area where large trucks are ferrying in earth to reinforce land slips. Care is needed here when driving and birding!
Both the visiting birders/photographers I hosted really enjoyed their respective visits, neither had been birding in Thailand before. I too enjoyed their company and picked up some useful tips on photography as well.
If you would like to accompany me on future birding day trips
please read this article.