A work retreat near Khao Yai gave me a welcome break from the hubbub of Bangkok city life last week, and a few avian highlights.
Driving along a quiet country road near my accommodation I came across a Barred Buttonquail with a half-grown chick crossing the road - when a vehicle came in the opposite direction the adult ran for cover but I was surprised to see the chick take to the wing to avoid an untimely demise.
The grounds of my accommodation hosted several Red-breasted Parakeets and Spangled Drongos each morning, but the main birding highlight was the journey back to Bangkok with a detour into Khao Yai National Park for a few hours.
Even a short trip to KYNP can produce some exceptional wildlife, with the highlights in my three hours being a male Siamese Fireback and a male Silver Pheasant feeding together on the Radar Road, with a Blue Pitta calling at the same spot. I also heard a further two Blue Pittas, plus a Hooded Pitta elsewhere on the same road.
The park also offered Great, Wreathed and Oriental Pied Hornbills, and I may have heard the contact calls of Austen's Brown Hornbill (my Khao Yai bogey bird!).
One other highlight in the park was a close encounter of the needletail kind, with a Brown Needletail passing so low and fast overhead as it departed its drinking pool that I could hear the air whizzing through its wings.