Khon Kaen birding

When: November 2015            Weather: cool to warm28C

Nikon P900

Khon Kaen…Khon what?  That was my reaction also when I was first invited to speak at a meeting in Khon Kaen, Thailand, about 400km north east of Bangkok, in the province of I-san.  As I always do when I’m going to somewhere new, I will check out the local birding sites….but when I keyed in Khon Kaen birding, the recommended places were national parks far out from the city….and there really wasn’t very much written about birding in Khon Kaen itself…But google maps showed that there was quite a lot of greenery around the Centara Hotel where my conference was being held so I brought my trusty P900 along…just in case….and I’m so glad I did!

DSCN1612The back of the Centara Hotel in Khon Kaen where I stayed..this is the small road behind it which leads to the Bueng Thung Sang Lakes…

DSCN1622The view from my hotel room of the small road in the forefround leading to the Bueng Thung Sang lakes, about 1km away, 20 min walk.

DSCN0989As dawn broke, I walked along the access road…

DSCN0971the waterways were pretty

DSCN0965Dawn over Khon Kaen

DSCN1022the lake was beautifully lit in the soft early morning light….

DSCN1348well kept paths skirted the many fishing ponds and lakes…birding was very easy too as the path is elevated and many of the trees and bushes at the waterside are at eye level….so on to the birds…

DSCN1496the most prolific birds there were the stone chats…males females or different colourations….

DSCN1564stone chat

DSCN1480orange breasted stone chat

DSCN1471this one played hide and seek with me..flying from tree to tree and making me follow him…

DSCN1077another one…

DSCN1103and another…

Walking along the lakes as far as I could go, it was simply an unexpectedly pleasant place and the  birdlife was a bonus…

DSCN1109reeds lining the water

DSCN1325this junction yielded lots of birds….that’s the Centara hotel in the background

DSCN1181the next most common bird to appear was the zebra or barred ground or peaceful dove….

DSCN1460it was everywhere….here blinking..and looking a bit dodo-like

DSCN1461and very amenable to being photographed

DSCN1595forked tail drongo

DSCN1400drongos in a flock

DSCN1296fishing rigs in the early morning light

DSCN1306plain prinia

DSCN1303plain prinia complaining

DSCN1292prinia from another angle and with different light

DSCN1343thai architecture in the distance

DSCN1057a shy brown shrike

DSCN1326nice views

DSCN1352a common sandpiper

DSCN1374common sandpiper

DSCN1377a phylloscopus warbler, I’m told….by my bird experts Nishant and Richard…

DSCN1549the last bird of the morning and my favourite…the streak-eared bulbul

DSCN1548deserving of one more shot…

DSCN1606and walking back to the hotel, there were pretty flowers and bugs…

DSCN1607papaya trees

DSCN1608banana trees…

DSCN1127what an unexpected find this was!

Sometimes in my birding travels, I expend a lot of effort to get to a place which can disappoint so it’s a double pleasure when I was just trying my luck at this place next to my hotel…..don’t miss it if you are ever in Khon Kaen!




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