Hornbills and Friends – Khao Yai

Male Great Hornbill
The Majestic Great Hornbill in full flight

 

Well if you’ve been wondering what we have been up to the last few days, we have been very busy stalking hornbills in Khao Yai. If you have ever been there you would know that they are not that easy to see let alone get good photos off even though they are such an enormous bird they can still be very hard to spot as they are normally near the tops of the trees where the best fruit is and the trees are very very tall.

Anthony managed to capture them just beautifully with some fantastic in flight shots from the lookout, I wasn’t so lucky with the video but did manage to get a few snippets here and there but would have liked more of their honking sounds, they truly are something to see and the sound of their enormous wing beats is straight out of Jurassic Park.
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 View Hornbill Video here
We have also been walking and driving around the park like crazy, getting very badly leeched a few times, we are still wondering why we haven’t invested in some leech socks…..we really are slow learners. We didn’t see any bird storms this trip, in fact it was very quiet even driving around slowly we really didn’t stop much at all but did still managed to get some great photos and video so would definitely pay Khao Yai another visit in the future.
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View ‘other critters’ Video here
Some birds of Khao Yai
I have to apologise for mistaking the scorpion in the video for some type of fresh water crab???? Honestly when I saw those big nippers I just thought of a crab and wasn’t really looking at his ginormous scorpion tail…..good thing I didn’t try to help him on his way to fresh water🙄🙄🙄🙄
Some mammals of Khao Yai
We couldn’t believe we also saw the gibbons, you hear them a lot but so hard to spot and usually they sound real close but are quite far away. Anthony also got some nice photos considering the distance they were away. So we had a great time here though very tiring at times. The next few days we will be transitioning to Borneo so you might not hear much but we are desperate to see orangutans in the wild so please keep your fingers crossed.
All the best Steph and Anthony.

Khao Yai National Park

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Wow, what a day, we got up early and got out to the Khao Yai National Park  nice and early around 7am. It was such a great feeling revisiting this park as we had spent 4 days here last year.

 

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We already had a heads up as to the best places to see birds and where some of the fruiting trees are, though we are a month early this year and those particular trees aren’t fruiting just yet. But it didn’t matter as the best way to see birds is to just drive around slowly with your windows down and if you hear anything different or lots of bird chatter you just pull over a bit and put your hazard lights on and people here are very obliging and they go around you. Everyone does it here and it’s a great way to see birds as it’s more open on the roads than trying to spot them in the dense rainforest.

 


 


 


 


You get these bird storms here where all of a sudden a whole bunch of birds will just arrive and there would be maybe 6 or 8 different species of birds all hanging out together. It’s crazy and hard for Anthony to know where to point the camera because I’m so excited too and telling him what I am seeing through my binoculars so it gets a bit confusing. Of course males are the best colours so we try to focus on them( sorry girls). But this didn’t happen today but we probably weren’t in the right spot.

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The Sights and sounds of Khao Yai

It’s a fantastic park with so much variety, there’s waterfalls, rivers,  lakes, open grasslands too. Their wildlife list is incredible. Anyway the photos and video speak for themselves, we are really tired now and want to get up there just a little bit earlier as the sun was already pesky at 7 am, Enjoy.
Bye for now Steph and Anthony.

 

A visitor just outside our Digs tonight


Back to the (real) Jungle

Giant False Leaf Katydid - Pseudophyllus titan
Giant False Leaf Katydid – Pseudophyllus titan

 

Hello everyone, we had a good transition day, a leisurely taxi ride to the airport, not much traffic as it’s Sunday, what a great day to leave Bangkok. We picked up the car, no problems, we were there early but they still had the car ready for us. We arrived at our new abode the Arantakiri Resort which is only about 5 kms from the gates into the Khao Yai National Park. It’s nice surrounds here, apart from lots of dogs over the other side of the river barking alot, it is quite peaceful. We had a quick walk around, found some new dragonflies and that beautiful extra large grasshopper, what a beauty the pattern on its body is amazing, it screeched because Anthony put his hand on it and he couldn’t see what he touched,he thought there was a frog in that bush. It’s actually called a Giant False-Leaf Katydid and we always feel so lucky to stumble across these amazing creatures. I hope we never lose that feeling of awe and excitement and respect for all the critters we see, we wish that others could look at them the same way.

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A short video of our new digs and surrounds


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Some critters to greet us
On the entry road to the park there is loads of restaurants and cafes so looks like we have quite a choice for meals though our lunches we will have in the park, there is also a good array of food stalls there. We will get up early to spend as much time as we can in the park over the next 5 days, we are so excited, can’t wait,
Bye for now Steph and Anthony.

Bangkok – Benjakiti Park

Benjakiti Park, our saviour in Bangkok
Our saviour in Bangkok – Benjakiti Park

Press or click here for more info about Benjakiti Park

Well it’s our last day in Bangers, it all turned out not too badly after all. We thought we had some major catastrophe happening with the bone grafting in my implant not taking, but more grafting was done today, actually injected in which I had never heard off, but we have got a whiz bang dentist that also teaches at the University in Bangkok. He has a practice in Koh Samui and one here in Bangkok.

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 Benjakiti Park

We have been able to easily walk to the Benjakiti Park and what a surprise it was, as you can see by the photos we saw many birds , dragonflies, butterflies, lizards and that beautiful snake. It was quite busy there this morning being Saturday so we caused a little bit of interest from people probably curious as to what were taking photos of, being the only people with a huge camera. Of course we didn’t point the snake out, he was so well camouflaged and anyway ( Most people are so terrified of snakes they miss the sheer beauty of their movement). We didn’t want to cause a panic or worst case the snake gets hurt, better off to be hidden,  he was just gorgeous.
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The Golden Tree Snake or AKA Flying Snake and a couple of Lizards

 


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A collection of Dragonflies from the Park

 


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And we got some Birds
We are so glad the park is there, it kept us occupied in this sprawling concrete jungle, though we have adapted quite well, have found great eateries and good cuppachino’s, but still will be very exited to head out to our favourite national park -Khao Yai tomorrow.
We will get a taxi to the airport and pick up a hire car from there again, we probably won’t get out to the park till late afternoon but have got 5 nights there.
Bye for now Steph and Anthony.

 

 

 

 

 

From green to concrete (Jungle)

The day began with a calm Dragonfly hunt before heading to the big smoke

Well the trip to Bangers was quite eventful, all went well till we were about 70 kms away then it just got more and more congested. We think we did manage to get the best route to the airport though when going through a toll road booth we got stopped by a policeman, he wasn’t very happy with us. As you can imagine it’s not the best place to stop and they wanted Anthony out of the car, we were really distressed as we didn’t know what we had done wrong. The policeman couldn’t speak a word of English but Anthony slowly worked out that we had crossed a solid white line in the lanes leading up to the toll booths…..a very big no no. I mean what tourist would be looking at the road anyway in that absolute schamozzle coming up to toll booths, the traffic is crazy and we really have to shuffle to get in the right lane. He wanted to fine us so we were happy to pay but you could only do it at a police station, and then it either seemed too hard or maybe we will get a bill later through the hire car company but thankfully he let us go. Phew what a relief I can tell you. I took a little video as I was left in the car twiddling my thumbs,quite stressed couldn’t think of anything else to do.

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Our Drive to Bangkok and Digs

 

Shortly thereafter we had an absolute torrential downpour with thunder and lighting, couldn’t see a thing, would have taken a video but really had to be co driver, last thing we want is to be a statistic on a Bangkok highway.
Our purpose to go to the airport actually is to drop the hire car there instead of driving into the city, we had picked it up from there and it’s much better just getting a taxi into the city to our hotel for 4 days for dental treatment.
Last year we had been to Koh Samui and saw a fantastic dentist there for major dental work and  an implant each….for some bizarre reasoning we thought it would be easier having things finished off in Bangkok. When Anthony looked at the maps he thought this dental surgery was quite far from the city not realising that the city goes for ever, so don’t worry , we have learnt our mistake and any future treatment will be back in Koh Samui.🙄🙄
Our hotel tower is 32 floors and we are on floor 18, I hate high rises and not much choice, I just won’t look out the window and everything is around us so just have to chill till we can get back to nature on Sunday, all going well of course.
Bye for now
Cheers Steph and Anthony.