Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Khao Yai NP

After a failed effort to photograph the Chestnut-eared Buntings at the campus entrance I made 2 days ago, I decided to give up chasing these little birds and wait until the next spring to come because they have all become too difficult to get close to. One of the two families which seem to be nesting in a patch of grassland in front of the campus seemed to be pretty busy raising the chicks. I saw the male bird flying out every once in a while and coming back with a mouthful of food. However, the bird never landed close to where I can walk up to, so I just couldn't get any decent shot of him. Instead of putting some of the very few birdscape shots I've got of the bird, I think it's better to recycle some other stuffs I took but never put into this blog. So here we go with a compilation of photos I took during the trip to Thailand's first National Park, Khao Yai National Park, in October 2007.
Khao Yai National Park is the first and the most well-known national park in Thailand and is designated as the World's Heritage Site. It is located in the north-eastern part of the country, covering a large and fertile patch of evergreen forests. Every weekend, the park attracts large numbers of tourist both foreigners and Thais. It is known for its abundance of large animals including deers, elephants, wild dogs, gibbons and birds.
Along the way from my hometown, Chiang Mai, to Khao Yai, I found lots of House Sparrows inhibiting in different local gas stations. This alien species has spread very successfully throughout the country in the last few decades. Though still hasn't outnumbered the local Tree Sparrow and Plain-backed Sparrow, many birders including me still worry about its population growth.
Common Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak) is one of the commonest species of mammals that can be found at Khao Yai National Park. Commonly called the "barking deer", it has a very strange, dog's bark-like, call that can be heard from a distance. It is often found walking solely or in pairs along the roadsides.
The male's coat becomes bright rufous in good light.
Flocks of local Plain-backed Sparrows (Passer flaveolus) are often found in open areas within the park. The male bird of this species is very colourful comparing to other species of sparrows in the country, with its olive green, chestnut, black and yellow colouration. The female, on the other hand, seems to be the most plain-looking of all.
I even spotted a single female House Sparrow feeding among the flock of the Plain-backed. The species is now intruding one of the wildest parts of Thailand.
Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca leonina)

A male White-handed Gibbon (Hylobates lar)

And a female
The last group of animals that is regularly found at Khao Yai National Park is primate. Several species of monkeys and gibbons can be found easily, especially the Pig-tailed Macaque and the White-handed Gibbon. The macaques often move in gangs and stay close to the roads begging and stealing food from tourists. The gibbons, contrastingly, never come close to human. I luckily found a pair of them moving across the road by hanging over the tall trees. The male and female gibbons look very different from each other, as if they are totally different species of animal.


Phil said...

Hi Ayuwat. You live in a very beautiful part of the world which shows in that series of pictures. A lovely shot of the Pin-tailed Macaques there. I remember being surrounded by a group of gibbons looking for handouts in Malaysia and I found it a bit scary as if they would take from me whatever I had. Maybe not but i didn't wait to find out.

Stu said...

I once went to a national park in Thailand, it was on the coast near Hua Hin, I can't remember the name, not so many birds in September as I recall but unbelievably aggressive and abundant mosquitoes though.

I once got charged by monkeys by some waterfall near Kanchanburi (wrong spelling?), luckily I escaped unscathed.........

Unravel said...

Thanks Phil and Stu!
Monkeys can really become dangerous actually. In urban areas, they can be very aggressive and steal whatever people are carrying. In the forest, they more behave.

Stu> I'm not really sure but it might be the Khao Sam Roi Yod NP. Mosquitoes over there are very famous!

Ryou said...

I really like your shots of the wild animals. Pig-tailed Macaques can be very aggressive, especially the alpha male. I remember one time, a male bared its canines and threatened to chase or even harm me! The Muntjac with its golden coat is so beautiful too.

Stu said...

Hi Unravel, yes that was the place...........