<![CDATA[                                              www.ThisOldCamera.com - Blog]]>Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:32:34 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Birding Satun, Thailand]]>Tue, 31 May 2016 10:31:10 GMThttp://birdsthatfart.com/blog/birding-satun-thailandYou can zoom in and out on this map to find the best way to get there. As you zoom in the roads will be labeled and it is easy to map out a route.
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  Satun, Thailand is all but forgotten by most birders. It is in the extreme south of Thailand. So a difficult drive from Bangkok. Phuket is the closest tourist area in the south,  this area could be visited from there.
  The area is extremely interesting to me. Strictly because it is out of the way, and not visited that often. If you want to see or photograph the Mangrove pitta (Pitta megarhyncha), Ruddy kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda)Brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera)Brahminy kite (Haliastur indus), This is the best place in Thailand I have found to see and photograph these birds.​ 
One of the highlights of this trip is to take a small boat down an inlet, and photograph the Brahminy Kite's. Beautiful to watch and to photograph. This trip there were at least 20-30 diving for food I brought, and threw in the water for them.
  Many people from Malaysia come here to see and photograph the birds. But, almost forgotten by the Thai's and other tour guides. My guess is it is too far out of the way. 

  Also I have found the pier area to be a poor birding area.  There is a pier where you can catch a ship to some of the Malaysian islands, and there is a mangrove walk way there.  If you come to this area you need to explore around the fringes of the the mangrove forests. It is well worth the effort.
 Looking at the map above, from the arrow follow Hwy. 406 all the way down until it stops. This is the main pier for the Malaysia islands. From there bird along the roads turning off of Hwy, 406, heading back to town.  There are a few other spots, but it would be very hard to get to unless you are going to stay for a few days. So I will not go into it here.

Here are a few birds I shot here in the last few days. 
Ashy tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps)
These little guys are all over the place, fun to watch and photograph.
Only in the South of Thailand.
Brahminy kite (Haliastur indus)
Beautiful to watch these guys. Before you get to the main pier to the Malaysian islands, turn right to the fishing pier. This is where the fishing boats come in to unload there catch. Pass that dock and look for the floating dock. It is plastic barrels locked together made into a dock. Ask the boat operators there for assistance.
Brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera)
Found this guy fishing off of a hight voltage wire. The bridge over the inlet made a good vantage point to get this shot. Eye Level... :)
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Brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera)
Mangrove pitta (Pitta megarhyncha)
These guys are all over the place. I can hear them calling from my hotel in town? This was taken in the mangrove forests around Satun. Very easy to see here.
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Mangrove pitta (Pitta megarhyncha)
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (Anthreptes singalensis)
Ruddy kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda)
This is the guy I came after. So very glad I FINALLY got a photograph. This is in the mangrove forests, I called in two pairs. Beautiful to watch. 
Brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera)
White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
  I saw many more birds, but seeing and photographing are two different things. Great place and great birding.

  All the best, and good birding, Gary
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<![CDATA[Birding Ao Phang Nga, N.P.]]>Wed, 25 May 2016 07:05:40 GMThttp://birdsthatfart.com/blog/birding-ao-phang-nga-npYou can zoom in and out on this map to find the best way to get there. As you zoom in the roads will be labeled and it is easy to map out a route.
  I cannot imagine what this park must of been like years ago. I bet it was amazing. Now? It is a decent park at best.  You need to time your visits just right to find the birds here.
The mangrove board walk is closed. The walkway over the small inlet is gone, making it impossible to explore the mangrove forests ( a real shame ). But, you have to make the best of it.
  Woodpeckers, Pied Hornbills, and very infrequent now is the Mangrove Pitta. Are here in  this small park.
  The mangrove forest around the park is used as a dump site by the locals, Nasty! Also the forest around the small town is being destroyed very fast. 
  To really explore this area you need a boat. I am thinking of buying a small inflatable boat and spending some tine in and around the mangrove forests here? I imagine with a boat and a few months exploring you could find some very nice wildlife here.  And get some very nice photos. I enjoy photography more than birding. I have learned to bird because I like to photograph them. 

Mangrove pitta (Pitta megarhyncha)
This is the start of the rainy season here in Thailand. These guys finally crossed the river to the park. Nice to see them here, and a treat to photograph them.
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Mangrove pitta (Pitta megarhyncha)
​Laced woodpecker (Picus vittatus) female
These guy's are a shoe in when at the park. Just spend a little time looking and they will pop up.
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Laced woodpecker (Picus vittatus) female
​Black-and-red broadbill (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos)
These guys are in the park. Hard to find for the most part. But, I found a nesting pair and called this guy in easily.
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Black-and-red broadbill (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos)
​Laced woodpecker (Picus vittatus) male
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Laced woodpecker (Picus vittatus) male
​Brown-throated sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) male
These guys are all over the park close to the palm trees.
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Brown-throated sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) male
Brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera)
​This is a resident here. Walk around in the dry season and he will turn up eventually. 
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Brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera)
Olive-winged bulbul (Pycnonotus plumosus)
​Easy to spot and take in the park.
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Olive-winged bulbul (Pycnonotus plumosus)
  This is a rather strange park. It is used as a loading dock for trips to the islands now. Rather disappointing for me to see it deteriorate into this state. 

  Safe travels and good birding, Gary
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<![CDATA[Birding Khon Kaen University]]>Tue, 24 May 2016 10:40:12 GMThttp://birdsthatfart.com/blog/birding-khon-kaen-universityYou can zoom in and out on this map to find the best way to get there. As you zoom in the roads will be labeled and it is easy to map out a route.
  This is a new location for me. There are few good spots to bird here on campus. One is the water treatment plant on campus, the other is a wooded area with a lake, third is the read beds on the lakes.
  Directions, zoom in on the map and follow Hwy. 12 until you get to the university on the right. There are two ponds on the main Hwy..  Turn right at the second red light. This is between the two lakes.  Right after the turn you can turn left and head down to the museum. To the left is a nice read bed and water area for birds. 
  Directions to the wooded area. After turning at the second red light between the lakes. Keep heading straight. About 1-2 KM. down on the right you will see a wooded area. The university uses it as a dump site. During migration there are many birds that come threw the area. There are a couple of trails that will take you into the wooded area and to a small lake. Some nice birding!
  Directions to the wast water plant. Just ask someone on campus where it is. One word of warning. Make sure you go to the office and ask permission to bird the area. They do not like you to just walk in and not ask!

Siberian rubythroat (Luscinia calliope)
I got this guy in the read beds at the second lake. 
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Siberian rubythroat (Luscinia calliope)
Siberian stonechat or Asian stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
Common as dirt in Thailand. But, very photogenic bird. Got this guy at the read bed also.
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Siberian stonechat or Asian stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
Dark-sided flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica)
Got this guy in the wooded area, I put in a water drip in the woods. And the flycatchers would come in to drink.
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Dark-sided flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica)
White-throated rock thrush (Monticola gularis)
This guy surprised me at the water drip. He came in late one evening.
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White-throated rock thrush (Monticola gularis)
Yellow-rumped flycatcher, Korean flycatcher or tricolor flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia) male
Beautiful little flycatcher. Coming in for a drink.
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Yellow-rumped flycatcher, Korean flycatcher or tricolor flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia) male
Hill blue flycatcher (Cyornis banyumas)
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Hill blue flycatcher (Cyornis banyumas)
Yellow-rumped flycatcher, Korean flycatcher or tricolor flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia) female
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Yellow-rumped flycatcher, Korean flycatcher or tricolor flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia) female
  Just a very few of the birds I saw. I was surprised at the birds coming threw. Well worth a quick look if in the area.

  Safe travels and good birding, Gary
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<![CDATA[Birding Buriram, Thailand]]>Tue, 24 May 2016 08:39:02 GMThttp://birdsthatfart.com/blog/birding-buriram-thailandYou can zoom in and out on this map to find the best way to get there. As you zoom in the roads will be labeled and it is easy to map out a route.

This is a map to the first site in Buriram. 
  Buriram is a great place, and is overlooked by most birders. I got interested in it because of my recent trip to Cambodia. I found a lake in the northern part of Cambodia with many hard to find birds. But, was turned away? I was told I needed to drive  about 300KM and get a permit to enter. Anyone familiar with Cambodia knows the score here. A pain in the ass to say the least.
  Good news is, Buriram has most all of the birds that Cambodia has and is free (no hassles what so ever)! This out standing location is broken up into two sections. The first is a lake (Huai Chorakhe Mak) just south of town. When you get to the area just ask about the Sarus crane. People will point you in the right direction. You really need to rent a pickup for this hop.
  Once you pass the park turn left on the first paved road after the gate. It will take you around the lake. At that point you are on your on. Do a little walking and exploring around the lake. It is well worth the effort. I counted about 15-20 Sarus crane at this location.

  The second location is about 35KM father down the road. It is called Sanam Bin Reservoir No Hunting Area. This is one of the best locations I have ever been to for BIF photography. The lake is positioned where in the morning you can shoot with the sun at your back over looking the marsh. And in the evening you can shoot with the sun at your back overlooking the lake. Excellent location for photography. It also has a viewing tower. Very nice location for birders.
  To get there look at the map above and zoom in until the locations are readable. Follow Rd. 219 down until you see Sanam Bin Reservoir No Hunting Area. It is right before Hwy 219 intersects Hwy. 24.
Sarus crane (Grus antigone)
These guys feed around the lake mostly. Easy to spot and fairly easy to approach and photograph. They are protected and tracked by the government. I saw and meet the group tracking them one evening. Very dedicated and nice folks.
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Sarus crane (Grus antigone)
 Sarus crane (Grus antigone)
You can get some impressive flight shots of these guys.

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Sarus crane (Grus antigone)
Asian openbill or Asian openbill stork (Anastomus oscitans
Feeding by the hundreds on the lake. Wait until they are leaving the lake, heading to there roosting site for the evening for the best flight shots.
Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Here by the hundreds at the second location. Early in the morning they are heading in to roost. Beautiful to watch and to photograph.
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Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Red avadavat, red munia or strawberry finch (Amandava amandava) 
These guys were here by the hundreds. Feeding in the fields after harvesting. 
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Red avadavat, red munia or strawberry finch (Amandava amandava)
White-browed crake (Amaurornis cinerea)
These small Crake's were easy to take. I was so glad to get a good shot of these guys.
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White-browed crake (Amaurornis cinerea)
Oriental pratincole (Glareola maldivarum)
All over the fields around the lake. I love shooting these guys.
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Oriental pratincole (Glareola maldivarum)
Fulvous-breasted woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei)
This lady was feeding her young. Great to watch and photograph.
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Fulvous-breasted woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei)
​Black-backed swamphen (Porphyrio indicus)
These guys were all over the place. Easy pickings for me as a bird photographer. A lot of fun to shoot.
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Black-backed swamphen (Porphyrio indicus)
Painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala)
All over the lake, feeding around the edges. 
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Painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala)
Chestnut munia (Lonchura atricapilla)
All over the read beds around the lake.
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Chestnut munia (Lonchura atricapilla)
  As usual these pics are just a very few of the birds I saw here. During migration there are many rare birds here. 
I saw and photographed the knob-billed duck (Sarkidiornis melanomas). Beautiful, and the bird I went after. I will post process it later and add it. Many many more hard to find birds in Thailand are here. 

​  Highly recommended, I did not see another birder at this location the 5 days I stayed here. So you can explore at your leisure and have a great time. My kind of birding. :)

  Safe travels, and good birding, Gary

  

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<![CDATA[Cameron Highlands, Malaysia]]>Wed, 16 Mar 2016 09:42:38 GMThttp://birdsthatfart.com/blog/cameron-highlands-malaysiaYou can zoom in and out on this map to find the best way to get there. As you zoom in the roads will be labeled and it is easy to map out a route
  This is a new location for me. My first time here. I stayed a total of two weeks. Mostly scouting the area. Then after a few days I started taking a few photos.
  The area is beautiful, and being at a very high elevation very cool and comfortable. This is a hot spot for the Malaysian people. They flock here by the thousands on the weekends and holidays.
Also the prices skyrocket on weekends and holidays. So if on a budget check out the holiday schedule before coming. I try to hit this place during the week. There are some good deals on hotels, and it is not very crowded. Also it is a good time for me to meet and talk to the locals.
  Cameron Highlands is huge. If you want to walk the mountain trails it is pretty easy. There are maps available at the hotels, and getting a cab is a snap. I have my own transportation so easy for me.
  So far I have found the forest park the easiest place to bird. There were no birders there the whole time I was birding. So, you need to explore the area. The best time is between 9:30 - 11:30 in the morning. You will catch waves of birds coming threw the jungle feeding close to the stream.

​Here are just a few birds I photographed while there.
  
Siberian thrush (Geokichla sibirica)
I saw both the male and female. But, this is the only good shot I got.
Mugimaki flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki)
This guy was feeding around the same area I took the Siberian thrush.
Asian brown flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris)
Feeding in a small clearing in the jungle.
Slaty-backed forktail (Enicurus schistaceus)
These guys are all over the area. Just follow a stream and you will eventually run across them.
Mountain fulvetta (Alcippe peracensis)
Fast movers, hard to get a good shot of when they are feeding.
Maroon oriole (Oriolus traillii)
​Feeding in the trees on a river bank.

Large niltava (Niltava grandis)
Easy to take. One pair was building a nest and I set out some worms and they came in to feed.
Blue nuthatch (Sitta azurea)
Fast movers and very difficult to photograph. A first for me so I was glad to get a shot.
  As usual these are the birds I photographed I saw MANY more. A great location not to be missed if birding in Malaysia.

​All the best, Gary
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<![CDATA[Bueng Boraphet, Thailand]]>Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:15:10 GMThttp://birdsthatfart.com/blog/bueng-boraphet-thailandYou can zoom in and out on this map to find the best way to get there. As you zoom in the roads will be labeled and it is easy to map out a route.

For more pics click here:  Bueng Boraphet, Thailand gallery..
  In the past few years I have given Bueng Boraphet, Thailand a bypass. Now that I have finally spent a few days here I am kicking myself for not visiting sooner. 
​  This is a great place for waterbirds in central Thailand. NOT TO BE MISSED.

  Since I am mainly a 
photographer I am going to write this up as a photographer.
  The best way to explore and experience Bueng Boraphet is by boat.
  Head to the main dock and contact a guide with a boat. The birding tour is 2 hours long and costs 1000 Baht. If possible try to arrange for a couple of days. It is well worth it IMO. Also talk to the guide and make sure he knows what you want to do and knows the birds in the park.
  From the main dock(early in the morning) to the far side of the lake, the sun is in you eyes. Very bad for photography. My suggestion is to tell the guide to head to the far side of the lake fast! Then turn around and come back slow. Giving you the opportunity to photograph the birds. If he is a good guide he will position the boat for the best shots of the birds. 

​    These guys are everywhere on the lake. Very easy to take. And a lot of fun to shoot.
They are listed as near threatened.

Oriental darter or Indian darter (Anhinga melanogaster)
560mm, ISO 1250, 1/3200, F/8
This Kingfisher is very common on the lake. Well worth the trip just for this guy.
Pied kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
560mm, F/8, 1/2500, ISO 1250
Another easy bird to take on the lake.
Eurasian coot (Fulica atra)
Here is the bird I went after. This time of the year they are easy to spot and photograph.
Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
   If you head that way it is very relaxing. A great place to unwind and eat some good food. Throw in some good birding and you cannot loose.

​  Take care and good birding, Gary
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<![CDATA[Hala-Bala wildlife reserve]]>Sat, 09 Jan 2016 10:05:50 GMThttp://birdsthatfart.com/blog/hala-bala-wildlife-reserveHead into Wang, Thailand then on to Ban Buketa, Thailand. Then ask the locals how to get to Hala-Bala. It is a very easy.
You can zoom in and out on this map to find the best way to get there. As you zoom in the roads will be labeled and it is easy to map out a route.

For more pics from this site click here:  Hala-bala, Thailand
Update: The park has a new leader and as usual the rules have changed. I am reluctant to recommend this park at this time. A real shame.

 Bala wildlife reserve is a magical birding location for me. I never get tired of spending a week or so there exploring the area. It is little more than a road running threw the reserve. You can drive threw at your leisure with little to no traffic. There are trails to explore also, but I find the road the best experience. 

  If heading into the area here are a few tips:
1: Rent a pickup and drive down on your own. Very easy to find and very easy to explore on your own ( the road is very bad in places in the park, so a P.U. is a very good choice for a rental IMO).
2: Stay in Su ngi Kolok, Thailand, It is only about 35 KM. from the park and it has all the comforts of home.
3: Plan your stay for at least 4-7 days if possible. That gives you time to get used to the area and find the fruiting trees and birding hot spots.

  Bala is by far the best forest birding location in Souther Thailand IMO. You can see species you will not see anywhere else in Thailand.

  There are concerns about safety here in the extreme south of Thailand. 
I would suggest you only drive during the day. But, do not be afraid to drive down to the park. 
Be prepared to stop and show your face at the check points along the way. They are MANY checkpoints maned by the army. But, they are very friendly and I am never intimated or frightened in any way.
I have been coming down here for years now, and have never had one problem. I even rented a place close to the border one year. 
The locals are friendly for the most part. More curious than anything else. No english is spoken here. So, it helps if you can speak a little Thai, but not necessary. If you want something just point and ask how much.

  I used to be intimidated by all the stories of murder and bombings coming out of the south. But, all the violence is directed toward the Army and Police. As far as I know no tourists have been targeted in the raids? I have asked the locals here what is up and they all tell me the same story. I am not political in the least and will not repeat it here. But, it is not the foreigners that are being targeted in the south. It is a long standing feud with the Army and Police.
  Actually when I see the murders, rapes, robberies, tourists killed in the tourist hot spots. I feel quite comfortable here. Strange

  My hobby is travel and photography. Until recently bird watching has taken a back seat to photography. As I am getting older I have invested in a very light high quality lens for photography. And, have gotten into bird watching as well as photography. So, I may start listing the birds I see in the areas I visit. Not sure yet.

  This first shot is of a Trogon I have been after for years. Always too high, or not close enough. This year in Bala, they are all over the place and very easy to take.

  
Scarlet-rumped trogon (Harpactes duvaucelii)
Taken with my new 400mm DO II lens + 1.4 T.C. and 1d mark IV camera.
I was driving down the road in Bala when this guy flew out in front of me. And landed in a tree right next to the road. Easy to take. The next day I heard and called in another one very easily.
560mm, F/5.6, 1/80, ISO 3200
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Scarlet-rumped trogon (Harpactes duvaucelii)
This guy was hunting on the road also. Very easy to take. Just throwing my lens out the window and snapping a few shots.
This is with my 500mm lens and 1.4 T.C.. The new 400mm DO II lens is a great lens, but when I need the extra focal length there is nothing that beets the 500mm IMO. Very easy to handle from a car. Excellent IS and very sharp.

Red-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis amictus)
500m + 1.4 t.c., F/7.1, 1/200, ISO 1250

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Red-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis amictus)
These little guys were around the third bridge while driving threw the park. Extremely tiny and beautiful. Very hard for me to take a photo of. They are fast movers. This is the female, the male is exceptionally beautiful. I saw him many time and got a few shots, but not any worth showing.
Temminck's sunbird (Aethopyga temminckii) female
DO II lens 400mm + 1.4 t.c., 1/320, ISO 2500, F/5.6
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Temminck's sunbird (Aethopyga temminckii) female
Here is a near threatened species.
I saw these guys coming threw at the second bridge driving threw the park. Very striking Iora. And another fast mover when they are foraging for food.

Green iora (Aegithina viridissima)
560mm, DO II lens + 1.4 t.c..
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Green iora (Aegithina viridissima)
Another near threatened species. Threatened by habitat loss.
This was at the local fruiting tree. I call it the Bulbul tree. When in bloom it is easy to take all the bulbul's here in Bala.

buff-vented bulbul (Iole olivacea)
700mm, 500 + 1.4 t.c..
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Buff-vented bulbul (Iole olivacea)
Another near threatened Bulbul, threatened by habitat loss.
Photographed at the Bulbul tree.

Grey-bellied bulbul (Pycnonotus cyaniventris)
700mm, 500 + 1.4 t.c..
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Grey-bellied bulbul (Pycnonotus cyaniventris)
Very common bird in Thailand, This was a good pic of the female so I wanted to show it.

blue-winged leafbird (Chloropsis cochinchinensis)
560mm, 400mm + 1.4 t.c..
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Blue-winged leafbird (Chloropsis cochinchinensis)
There are several woodpecker in the park. But, this year I haven't had the opportunity to photograph but one.

Buff-rumped woodpecker (Meiglyptes grammithorax)
560mm, 400mm + 1.4 T.C.. F/5.6, ISO  1250, 1/50
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Buff-rumped woodpecker (Meiglyptes grammithorax)
Caught this guy right after a pretty heavy rain shower. He was trying to dry out a little.
Crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela)

500mm lens, F/5.6, 1/320, ISO 1250
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Crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela)
I always catch this guy at the same place every year. I make a point of going to the park right before the rainy season ends. This guy shows up regularly. Beautiful bird.

Oriental dwarf kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca)
560mm, F5.6, 1/125, ISO 3200
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Oriental dwarf kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca)
  That is all I am going to show. I saw so many birds on this trip it was amazing. I need to start keeping a log and listing my sightings? Maybe in the future I will start. Now that my photography has gotten to a point that I am comfortable with it. I want to start documenting my bird sightings. 

  Safe travels, Gary
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<![CDATA[Pakarang Cape, Thailand]]>Wed, 23 Dec 2015 14:00:33 GMThttp://birdsthatfart.com/blog/pakarang-cape-thailandYou can zoom in and out on this map to find the best way to get there. As you zoom in the roads will be labeled and it is easy to map out a route.
​This is a great place and easy to find. With great 
accommodations.
Here is a shot of Pakarang Cape as the sun was setting one evening. This is overlooking the point where I bird the area. The rocks in the back ground are everywhere. When the tide is going out or coming in you can wade out to a sand bar and sit to photograph the birds coming in to rest.
  Pakarang Cape, Thailand is a small tourist spot near Thai Mueng, Thailand. Both are over flowing with Europeans  in the winter season. It is a very pricey area for Thailand. For the life of me I cannot figure out why. The scenery is nice, but I have seen better?
  
  This year I have decided to explore southern Thailand and northern Malaysia. I have spent so much time in central and northern Thailand I am ready for a change of scenery. So far I have spent about a month in Southern Thailand. From Satun, Thailand to Phangnga, Thailand. Stopping in every little cove and park I could find. Exploring and sight seeing. That is my main hobby. I am a horrible birder truth be told.  I am learning to be a birder of sorts, strictly from being around them so much. And since I like to photograph birds. Learning a little about there habits is important to some extent.

  Since photography is my hobby, I am going to write this up as a photography piece not a bird watching account.

  This area is a great place to photograph shore birds. There are several things that make it special. 
1: There are a lot of birds migrating threw this area.
2: The ocean floor is easy to walk on at low tide. Not too muddy and nasty (in most places). 
3: The sun in the early morning is at your back.

  I have read several reports that viewing birds here at high tide is the way to go. For a photographer that is the worst time to photograph birds. Not only that. But, I have seen larger ocean birds coming to the sand bars, landing for a few minutes and then heading back out to sea. 
  Try and time your visits here when the tide is going out or coming in. It is GREAT. It drives the birds onto small sand  bars. Once you see the sand bars you can wade out,  sit and photography the birds coming in. 

  Again, you need to realize that the birds I photograph, and the birds I see are two different things all together. This is just a small account of the birds I see.

These guys are common here and easy to photograph. Again I waded out to the sand bar and sat and photographed these guys coming in.
Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica),
400mm + 1.4 T.C., 1/2000, F/5.6, 560mm
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Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica)
 These guys are thick in this area. Easy to take and they are very tolerant of people.
Ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
560mm, 1/2000, ISO 1600
I mentioned I am a terrible birder. I am not sure what this is? I will get the book out and update it later.
Not extremely hard to photography. But, you need to be on your toes. 
560, ISO 1250, F/5.6, 1/2500
Another Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica). Again sitting on a rock on a sand bar as the tide was coming in.
500mm, F/5.6, 1/3200, ISO 500
Common tern (Sterna hirundo) These guys would land on the sand bars to bath and relax for a while before heading back out to the ocean. 
 Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) , These guys are everywhere. Very easy to photograph.
Terek sandpiper (Xenus cinereus
Not as numerous as the the Whimbrel, but easy to see and photograph.
Malaysian plover (Charadrius peronii)
This is the best place in Thailand to photograph this bird IMO. They are all over the beach and used to people. So you can get fairly close.
Picture
Malaysian plover (Charadrius peronii)
  These are just a very few birds I saw here. 
Great birding and a lot of fun exploring this area. 

All the best and safe travels, Gary
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<![CDATA[Birding northern Malaysia.]]>Tue, 06 Oct 2015 10:19:56 GMThttp://birdsthatfart.com/blog/birding-northern-malaysiaTaman Negara, Penang
You can zoom in and out on this map to find the best way to get there. As you zoom in the roads will be labeled and it is easy to map out a route.
  I have been in Malaysia for about a month now. Last year I visited Malaysia for a month and did not like it much. This time around I am finding it a hidden gem? Not only because of the birding. But, because of the great people and inexpensive travel. 
  Malaysia is a very nice country to visit and travel in. Also it is not  as busy as Thailand as far as birding goes. Very few birders in the parks that I have visited so far. If you are a birder, northern Malaysia is a great place to spend some time. 
 
This trip to Malaysia I made a big circle. I started in Penang, Malaysia. Then went to Fraser's Hill, Malaysia, Then to Taman Nigara Pahang, Malaysia, Then back to Thailand.
 
  I headed to Georgetown first, and visited the park on the far side of the island. Very nice! 
Georgetown is a very clean and modern city. I really enjoyed it. So much so I am headed back in a few weeks to relax and re-visit the park. Great food and great places to stay. A little pricey! But, worth every penny IMO.

  This first site in Georgetown is a great place to bird, and a GREAT place to unwind and relax for a few days. I stayed a week. My schedule was one month in Malaysia. For me a week is a huge rush.
The month time limit was because I could only get a one month visa for my pickup. What a hassle. I get a 3 month visa when entering Malaysia, but my pickup only gets one month. LOL

  A few birds from Georgetown, Taman Negara.
Stork-billed kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)
420mm, F/5.0, 1/1600
This guy was fishing as the tide was going out. Easy to take and great to watch.
Striated heron (Butorides striata)

700mm, F/6.3, 1/1000, ISO 1000
​This is the best place in S.E. Asia I have found to photograph these guys. Head out to the pier early in the morning, these guys are always around.

White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
500mm + 1.4, ISO 2500, 1/1000, F/8
Frasier's Hill, Malaysia
You can zoom in and out on this map to find the best way to get there. As you zoom in the roads will be labeled and it is easy to map out a route.
  Next I headed to Frazier's Hill, Malaysia. This place is great. I always spend more time here than I need too. A mountain retreat. Coooool and very pleasant. With allot of bird's and wildlife to see. Mostly Malaysian locals converge here for the weekend. I always go during the week. Showing up on Monday and leaving on Friday. Another kinda pricey area of Malaysia. But, well with it.

  This first pic was easy to take. These guys are all over the pace. But the lighting was extremely difficult this year. Early morning fog and smoke from Indonesia really hurt my photography. So, not a lot of pics this time.

Fire-tufted barbet (Psilopogon pyrolophus)
700mm, F5.6, 1/640, ISO 1000
Easy to take. Found these guys on top of the mountain. I put out a few meal worms and the came in to feed.
This is a juvenile male.

Large niltava (Niltava grandis)
700mm, 1/60, ISO 2000, F/5.6
This tiny flycatcher came down and landed very close to me and just watched me for about 5 minutes. Strange.

Little pied flycatcher (Ficedula westermanni)
700mm, F/5.6, ISO 2000, 1/500
Large niltava (Niltava grandis) male
700mm, F/7.1, 1/80, ISO 3200 
This is a juvenile female.
Large niltava (Niltava grandis) female
700mm, F/7.1, 1/80, ISO 3200 
These guys are a permeant fixture at Frasier's Hill, easy to take.
Long-tailed sibia (Heterophasia picaoides)
420mm, 1/250, ISO 1600, F/5.6
Another bird all over Frasier's Hill. Beautiful markings.
Chestnut-capped laughingthrush (Garrulax mitratus)

Taman Nagara Pahang, Malaysia
You can zoom in and out on this map to find the best way to get there. As you zoom in the roads will be labeled and it is easy to map out a route. Head to Gua Musang and ask where the park entrance is. It is very easy to find. And the locals speak pretty good english.
  Most of the exotic and hard to find birds are found here. This is a great park. There are several entrances to this park. My favorite is the Pahang entrance. 
There are several reasons I like this park entrance the best. It is run by the government and is kept in pristine condition. If camping the facilities are GREAT. If driving in from Gua Musang it is not a bad drive.
  Gua Musang has some good hotels, and more are on the way. Northern Malaysia is having a growing spurt. It won't be long before this area is really developed. So, my advice is to visit the area now while it is still good value for the money.
  When I first showed up there was a fruiting tree loaded with berries. I am a lucky birder.

  
This is a rare animal indeed. Extremely hard to get close to. Not a good photo, but I am happy just to see these guys and get a shot of a juvenile.

Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus)
Very difficult bird to photograph
Black hornbill (Anthracoceros malayanus)
420mm, 1/1600
Lucky I found this guy in a fruiting tree close to the ground.
Rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros)
420mm, F/5.6, 1/2500, ISO 1250
Black-capped babbler (Pellorneum capistratum)
500mm, F/4.0, 1/30, ISO 3200
Short-tailed babbler (Malacocincla malaccensis)
500mm, 1/50, ISO 3200
Ferruginous babbler (Trichastoma bicolor)
500mm, ISO 3200, 1/40, F/4.0
Garnet pitta (Erythropitta granatina)
This guy was stubborn, it took  me a few days to get a good shot. I mimicked his call and he came in. But, it took me a few hours.  
Golden-whiskered barbet (Megalaima chrysopogon)​
Got this guy in a fruiting tree in the main camping area.
Spectacled spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster)
Got this guy in a flowering tree close to the main gate. There were several feeding at the tree.
Banteng (/ˈbæntɛŋ/) (Bos javanicus)
These guys are endangered. Habitat loss. 
​Beautiful cattle.
Green broadbill (Calyptomena viridis)
This guy was feeding at a fruiting tree I was shooting at one morning. Beautiful Broadbill.
Jambu fruit dove (Ptilinopus jambu)
Luckily I had my 500mm lens + teleconverter mounted when this guy showed up. Very rare find.
Blue-crowned hanging parrot (Loriculus galgulus)
These guys were all over a fruiting tree in the park.
Prevost's squirrel (Callosciurus prevostii)Easy to take, at a fruiting tree in the park.
Blue-eared barbet (Megalaima australis)​I put my hammock up to take a nap and this guy was feeding his better half in the nest. So I laid there and snapped a few pics. 
Oriental paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone affinis)
This female and male were building a nest. Getting ready for some little ones.
  These are just a very few of the birds I see in these parks. Seeing and photographing are two different thing all together. The bird life was especially abundant at Frasier's Hill and Taman Nagara.
 
   Malaysia has a HUGE air pollution problem. Each year Indonesia burns off a huge amount land for cultivation. This year the smoke covered Malaysia and southern Thailand. I had to leave, it is a health hazard. So much so I do not recommend going to Malaysia when Indonesia is burning it's jungles. I will never visit here again at this time of the year. EXTREMELY BAD. 

  That is it for this hop. A wonderful travel experience, and some good birding thrown in for good measure.

 I am a huge fan of not being in a hurry and having your own transportation. The advantages are too many to count. 
The next time you want to go birding try flying in, renting a vehicle and exploring the area yourself, or with a local guide for a day or so. Then get serious about birding. 

  As usual if interesting in more photos from this area head over to my flickr site. HERE

  All the best and safe travels, Gary
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<![CDATA[Birding Rio Lagartos and Las Coloradas, Mexico]]>Sat, 08 Aug 2015 13:01:09 GMThttp://birdsthatfart.com/blog/birding-rio-lagartos-and-las-coloradas-mexico
  Thought I would share my birding experience in Rio Lagartos and Las Coloradas Mexico.
 I have been here for 7 days now. And leaving tomorrow. This week has passed way to quick. It is a water park for birders. A huge area of natural beauty.

A few thoughts on the area as far as birding is concerned.

1: Take at least one boat trip. Find a good guide and let him show you the water birds in the lagoon in Rio Lagartos. It is well worth the trip. About 700 pesos.  The boat-billed heron (Cochlearius cochlearius) was my favoriate. I did not get a good shot of it, but watched it for a few minutes.
2: I took one day to explore around the town. There are pelicans and Magnificent frigatebirds everywhere.
3: Make sure you rent a car before coming here. Then head out to Las Coloradas. This is where the real action begins. It is a huge salt flat. And the birding there is other worldly. Really a nice birding experence.
The thing that struck me is the size of the place. Roughly 40,000  Flamingos. Herons, quail, pelican's, every time you turn around you will see a bird.

I am not going to bore you with a long list of bird sightings. I saw most of the sought after birds here. It took me a few days to find them, but mission acomplished. 

The town is very small and relaxing. A great place to unwind and relax for a few days. I stayed at a very nice hotel for 450 pesos a night. Well worth it. Great folks here. 

My advice is be kind and supportive of the locals. After getting to know the hotel staff. They helped me with every day chores and made my life very enjoyable.

These guys are here by the thousands. Very easy to take.
Flamingos (or flamingoes)
Head out to the flats at Las Coloradas to see these guys. easy to spot and photograph.Roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja)
Another easy bird to get. Go out early in the morning and check out the small ponds in the salt flats.
Yellow-crowned night heron (Nyctanassa violate)
  Not going to get to involved with writing up an article on a list of birds here. There is plenty of info on the web. The best water bird park I have ever been to hands down. Quite amazing. And it is not visited very often. After a week here, I have not seen another birder. I have driven the salt flats in Las Coloradas and not seen another person. Amazing.

As usual if you want to see more pics of birds in this area head over to my flickr site here: Garys flickr site

All the best and good birding, Gary
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