Headquarters to Mo Singto
One of the best birding trails in Khao Yai. The route follows a small stream, and involves a short climb up on the drier Mo Singto ridge. Do not be discouraged by the rickety foofbridges and fallen logs in the early part of the trail. The walking gets progressively easier as you go. Many of the most exciting and secretive birds in Khao Yai have been seen along this trail. Listen for the harsh calls of the extremely shy White-crowned Forktail along the stream bed. The Mo Singto area supports as high a density of bibbons as has been recorded anywhere in the world, and, if you are lucky, you may encounter a family group.
The Lam Takhong River at Heo Suwat
Most visitors to Heo Suwat head at once for the spectacular waterfall. We bring birdwatcher walk upstream on trail for a few hundred metres, where the river is shallow. Species such as Slaty-backed Forktail and Blue Whistling Thrush are usually found feeding along the water’s edge, together with the migrant Little Heron and Grey Wagtail. Bamboo and forest trees along the water’s edge hold a variety of other species including the Yellow-bellied Warbler. On a quiet day in the dry season, many forest birds may be seen coming to the water’s edge to drink or bathe.
This area provide one of the best vantage points for seeing the larger arboreal birds, including Hornbills, Look east across the steep valley of the Lam Takhong towards the towering dipterocarp tree on the opposite bank. It is also good for observing soaring of prey. Small groups of green pigeons may often be seen feeding or loafing in roadside trees. In January, there are large numbers of red flowered Erythrina trees which attract flocks of nectar-feeding Vernal Hanging Parrots, Asian Fairy Bluebirds, Spangled Drongos and other birds. This is also generally the best area in which to look out for the scarce Golden-crested Myna. The best time to visit is in the early morning.
The Lam Takhong Bridge
This area, situated close to the Forest Dept. headquarters, is apt to be rather noisy, but nevertheless offers good roadside birding in the early morning. Look out for woodpeckers, including the diminutive Hear-spotted and the large Greater Flamback, for Scarlet Minivets, Blue-winged Leafbirds and a variety of bulbuls and other forest edge species. Both common and Blue-eared Kingfishers can sometimes be seen on the river at this point.
Grassland and open woodland
Many resident species, including Chestnut-headed Bee-Eaters, Pied Hornbill and Greater Flameback Woodpecker, together with winter visitors such as the Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike, Black-naped Oriole and Olive Tree-Pipit, are surprisingly easy to see in the immediate vicinity of the tourist bungalows. The wintering Blue Rock-Thrush may also be seen perching on a bungalow roof. Taller grass, in addition to holding Rufescent Prinias and Bright-capped Cisticolas, should be searched in early morning or evening for the wintering Siverian Rulythroat as well as for Thick billed and Blunt-winged Warblers.
The lake, overlooked by the Wildlife watching tower, is a good place for seeing Needletails, Barn Swallow, These huge swifts normally feed high over the forest during the day, but during a brief period in the early morning and evening, sweep down to the water’s surface in order to drink and bathe.