During my second weekend in Khao Yai I received near royal treatment in Green Leaf and on Mr. Nine’s wildlife watching tours. Since he didn’t have to make an effort and speak English to me, we chatted away in Thai about the wildlife of Khao Yai and his life as a guide.
I went on two day tours with Mr. Nine and during these two days we spotted a phenomenal number of bird species: Greater coucal, Blue-Bearded bee-eater, a flock of Whreathed hornbills, a highly sought after Banded kingfisher (male and female), Orange-Breasted trogon, Greater flameback woodpecker, a small flock of Pied Oriental hornbills, Blue-winged leafbird, Black-crested bulbul, Collared scops-owl, Abbot babler, Shikra, Serpent Crested Eagle, Green-Billed malcoha, a pair of Great hornbills, Sprangled or Hair-Crested drongo, Blue-Eared barbet, Mustashed barbet, Javan heron, Lapwing, Black eagle, Veriditer flycatcher, Little-pied flycatcher, Red- throated flycatcher, Creat-Eared nightjar and White-Breasted waterhen.
In terms of mammals we spotted the usual species: Asian Elephant, White-Handed Gibbon, Black Giant Squirrel, Red-Bellied Squirrel, Sambar, Barking Deer and Pig-tailed Macaque. Unfortunately, even though we did travel to the radar station where the solders have been feeding Yellow-throated martens, we did not see any of them. Mr. Nine seemed to think that the solders no longer fed the martens. The most unexpected and therefore exciting sighting was a Golden Jackal running across the road in front of our car. He was in good view for only a couple of minutes and it was dark, so photography was unfortunately out of the question.
Reptiles were abundant in the park this year and we have spotted a few interesting species including Water Monitor, Reticulated Python, and Crocodile. The Crocodiles, it appears were introduced into Khao Yai. These animals have been bred in captivity and do not seem to belong to any particular species of native crocodiles – they are an odd mix.
Later this year I am planning to visit Khao Yai during the rainy season to see the amazing variety of reptiles, amphibians and insects that emerge during the wet weather.