Friday, July 19, 2013

Butterflies @ Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand Part 1

After a long drive (about 4 hours) from Khao Yai National Park, we arrived at Samarn Birdcamp around 8 pm on 8 June. I must say the accommodation was reasonably good and comfortable considering the fact that we were quite far away from the nearest town and the home-cooked style dinner was delicious.

When the morning had broken, bird singing and chirping could be heard from our room. I woke up quite early and walked around the surrounding area. I was surprised to see a pristine Common Earl (Tanaceia julii xiphiones) flitting outside our room. 
It scooted off but stayed on the tree for a while.
Walking behind the building, I spotted this Small Palm Bob (Suastus minutus aditia) resting on a leaf. I almost gave it a miss but its size and the number of black dots on the hindwing caught my attention. Yes, it looks quite the same as The Palm Bob (Suastus gremius gremius) which can be found in Singapore.
We had a home-cooked style breakfast at the Birdcamp. At around 8 am, we jumped into the car and headed for the largest national park in the Petchaburi and Prachuab Kiri Khan provinces, Thailand - the Kaeng Krachan National Park. After paying for the entrance fees for car and foreigners, we drove through the gate and stopped at our first hunting ground, a roadside shelter. A Common Yeoman (Cirrochroa tyche mithila) was feeding furiously behind the shelter.
Not far away, a large female Common Cruiser (Vindulo erota erota) was seen resting on some leaves at a distance away from us.
She took off  and perched at a low level across a small drain - of course we seized the opportunity taking a few underside shots. 
The Orange Tailed Awl (Bibasis sena uniformis) is everywhere but shooting them needs a great deal of patience and luck.
We were driving on the tarred road for at least 10 kilometers into the park until we reached the beginning of the dirt road where we stopped to hunt for butterflies. At a pond, we saw a Common Peirrot  (Castalius rosimon rosimon). 
This rather pristine Orchid Tit (Chliaria othona othona) was found on the animal droppings along the gravel road.  
There were a few Great Nawab (Polyura eudamipps nigrobasilis) feeding on animal droppings or puddling on the damp spots of the dirt road.
We had to disturb it to flee from an oncoming vehicle. It scooted off slightly and rested on a leaf giving us good chances photographing it.
There were literally hundreds of butterflies fluttering or puddling along the gravel track.
I was lucky to find this solitary Common Albatross (Appias abina abina).
Dead butterflies,small and big were common sights along the gravel track - likely that they were run over by vehicles when they were "drunk" by their "food" on the ground. Can you recognise this dead butterfly?
Animal droppings on the dirt track attracted butterflies also - The Black Rajah (Charaxes solon sulphureus) was one of them and it seemed to be in season. We could see two of them in the picture.
I managed to isolate one of them and went for a quick shot - a moth which flew like a skipper was just besides the Black Rajah.
I am not sure if this is The Scarce Tawny Rajah (Charaxes aristogiton aristogiton) - it was too shy to mingle with the rest of the puddling butterflies, hiding away as soon as I took a shot.
The Common Nawab (Polyura athamas athamas) appeared to be abundant. You could see that it wasn't puddling at the moment this shot was taken.
A rather skittish Common Lascar (Pantoporia hordonia hordonia) kept teasing me but I gave up chasing without a good shot.
We drove further in and reached the second stream - the most exciting spot where we could find hundreds of puddling butterflies - amazingly they could congregate according to families.
Due to two overseas trip in the last few weeks, I wasn't able to update the blog regularly. I hope to clear the backlog as soon as possible.


  1. Very beautiful! As it seems to me, I have to go to Thailand one day... ;-)

    Greetings from Germany

  2. Thanks Gaby for your kind comments
    Yes, you should visit some of the National Parks in Thailand.
    In fact, there are many birds in KK Park also.