Monday, 15 October 2012

Koh Kood, Trat Province

Pacific Swallow
Hirundo Tahitica
Koh Kood, Trat Province

We have been having a much needed rest on the idyllic island of Koh Kood; it is very close to the border with Cambodia and is somewhat overshadowed by its better known island neighbour, Koh Chang. It is very undeveloped and I imagine it has fantastic birds but I haven't made any serious attempt to get into the forests to see them. I rather fancy I saw a large owl make a crepuscular sortie from nearby shoreline forest in pursuit of prey and then it promptly returned to a dark perch. I have kayaked out into the bay these last two nights in the hope of a repeat. Alas no. What is striking is that I haven't seen a Collared Kingfisher or a White-bellied Sea eagle, two regular fixtures in Thailand's coastal waters, the latter especially in and around its many islands; no Brahminy Kites either.

Yellow-vented Bulbul
Pycnonotus goiavier
Koh Kood, Trat Province

Pacific Swallows perch on the bamboo pier next to our resort and this fellow let me get close yesterday afternoon.(Update: I have seen this species in The Philippines but have just realised it is a Thai lifer and it goes onto the list as #366!) This shot highlights the differences between it and Barn Swallow: the Pacific lacks a black breast band and has more chestnut on its head, meaning the forehead chestnut patch extends further back towards its crown and nape. It's not a bird I see much of in the Inner Gulf margins but I believe it is fairly common in Thailand's inshore waters.

The Yellow-vented Bulbuls were perched nearby, again fairly common birds in most parts of Thailand. Lots of Scarlet-backed Flowerpeckers and Common Mynas in the resort gardens. Outside in more forested areas I rather fancy we have some Arctic and Dusky Warblers and lots of Drongos. There are also lots of Jungle Crows; their distinctive "caw caw caw" sound evokes dull, grey, British autumnal weather.

On the rocks extending from our resort I have seen 3 Pacific Reef Egrets, (dark morph), 2 Little Herons and a handful of Common Sandpipers. I rather fancy the habitat would be ideal for Stork-billed Kingfisher but so far I haven't seen any. I also rather fancy this place warrants serious exploration. However we all need the rest so nothing too energetic planned. It is nice to be in a place where our little boy can run wild with other kids and the resort staff grab our daughter.

Eurasian Hoopoe
Upupa epops 
Don Tako,  Ratchaburi Province

Finally the day before we left I got set up at home and managed to photograph this Eurasian Hoopoe, the axe head bird, perched on the spars which support the roof over the bays in the driving range adjacent to our house. It's a common bird here but nevertheless very striking. Just a shame it wouldn't extend its crop.

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