Sunday, July 28, 2013

Butterflies and Other Critters@Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand Part 4

Continue from my last post. 

We decided to explore the surrounding areas of the park on 11 June as we had to leave for the airport around noon (note : a 3-hour drive from the Samarn Birdcamp to Don Mueang Airport cost us 3000 Baht).   
There were quite a number of Pygmy Grass Blues (Zizula hylax) flitting around a grass patch just outside Birdcamp site.
I think this is a male Golden Birdwing (Troides aeacus aeacus)- he was fluttering at the ground level.
We walked towards the main gate of the KK Park. Along the way, we managed to spot some butterflies and critters. This is a Lemon Pansy (Junonia lemonias lemonias).
The Common Yeoman (Cirrochroa tyche mithila) was rather alert and active at first. But it got used to our presence and stayed on the leaf for a while.
The Zebra Blue (Leptotes plinius) flew past me and rested on a twig. I approached closer and snapped a few shots from a difficult angle.
A patch of grassland down a slope just outside the KK Park entrance was our main hunting ground. I could only manage one shot of this female Red Lacewing (Cethosia biblis perakana) whereas the male was too shy to come closer to me.
This is a Common Palmfly (Elymnias hypermnestra) but I am not sure which subspecies this is.
Again, we encountered quite a number of Plain Blue Crows (Eupolea modesta modesta) here.
On a closer look, I think this is a female Wanderer (Pareronia anais anais).
I am not sure what this lycaenid is - it just perched in front of me and scooted off as soon as I took a quick shot.
The Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus) was rather common here.
Let me show some non-butterfly shots also. This small dragonfly was shot outside our room in the early morning on 9 June. But I have no idea what it is.
This beautiful damselfly appeared at Stream 2 on 10 June.
This brilliantly coloured shield bug seemed to be abundant around the Birdcamp area.
The was shot outside the KK Park entrance but it looks different from the above species.
A very small but beautiful beetle attracted my attention.
And big and ugly one also came along.
A few beautiful lantern bugs were found on some tree trunks at a campsite area.
Finally, let me post a couple of owls that the Birdcamp driver spotted near Stream 2 on 10 June. They stayed quite still high on the tree, oblivious to our presence and noise.  

After lunch at the Birdcamp, we were on our way to airport. We  must thank Mr Yano again for being our guide in this trip. If you love nature and a butterfly or a bird photographer and watcher looking for rich floral and fauna biodiversity, Kaeng Krachan National Park is definitely a good choice - I will visit KK Park again in the near future.   

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Butterflies @ Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand Part 3

Continued from last post.

Due to work commitment, Mr Yano had to head back to Bangkok on the evening of 9 June. But with the special arrangement with the owner of the accommodation, BJ and I were able to venture deep into the park on 10 June - this time we went further up to the mountain on a four-wheel drive.

Shortly after a heavy breakfast, we were at the  main gate. We instructed the driver to stop at the shelter where we saw a few Awls zipping a round. This is the White Banded Awl (Hasora taminatus malayana). 
There were many Orange Tailed Awls (Bibasis sena uniformis) along the road side but getting a good shot was difficult.
Just like the first day, our next stop was at the pond area where we encountered more butterflies. This is The Club Silverline (Spindasis syama terana) at the entrance to a side trail towards the pond. 
The Black Veined Sergeant (Athyma ranga obsolescens) was "intoxicated" by a big poo.
I snapped its undersides while it was flapping its wings constantly.
The Lesser Helen (Papilio prexaspes prexaspes) came to join in the food fest as well.
At least two Orange Tailed Awls (Bibasis sena uniformis)  were nearby.
At the pond, I saw a Siamese Raven (Papilio castor mahadeva) sunbathing under the morning sun.
It took off and settled on another perch.
There were a few butterfly-puddling sites at the end of the tarred road. This The Red-spot Sawtooth (Prioneris philonome) was extremely active - I could not get any closer for a better shot.
A Black Rajah (Charaxes solon sulphureus) was staring at an ant.
The Tailed Jay (Graphium agamemnon agamemnon) was puddling under the hot sun. 
The Common Castor (Ariadne merione taperstrina) never stayed still while siphoning nutrient solution from the soil.
A white subapical spot on both sides of the forewings added certainty to this individual as The Common Castor.
Along the vehicle dirt track, we saw many puddling butterflies congregating in groups. This time I tried to shoot as many different species as possible. 

Firstly, there were many Line Blue lycaenids. This is The Dark-based Line Blue (Prosotas gracilis ni)
Another Prosotas species, this may be the Tailess Line Blue (P. dubiosa lumpura).
 The Great Orange Tip (Hebomoia glaucippe glaucippe) was abundant.
We spent sometime at Stream 2 looking for something new for us to shoot. The butterfly at the foreground is The Vined Jay (Graphium chironides malayanum) - but we just could not isolate it from the puddling group.
There were plenty of Marbled Maps (Cyrestis cocles earli) puddling in groups. A lonely specimen like this was a rare sight.
In fact, I found it easier to shoot those perching-butterflies such as this Knight (Labadea martha martha).
The Great Marquis (Euthalia dunya dunya) was resting in a shade along a forested trail near Stream 2.
While savouring the spectacle of hundreds of fluttering and puddling butterflies at Stream 2, my eyes were drawn to some open-winged butterflies on leaves. Yes, at last, I managed to get a better shot of a male open-winged Yellow Orange Tip (Ixias pyrene verna).
A short video clip taken at Stream 2 (sorry, the video does not seem to work, will get it fixed)
video
While walking from Stream 2 to Stream 3, I noticed a well-camouflaged butterfly feeding on the ground. I went closer and took a few shots. What a nice and unique colour combination on the wings, this is The Lavender Count (Cynitia cocytus cocytus).
This is one of The Lesser Zebras (Graphium macareus indochinensis) which got "drunk" by a fresh big pool of elephant dune.
My first shot of the Form-catilla of the Lemon Emigrant (Catopsilia pomona pomona) as I have never seen it in Singapore.
Just like the day before, we didn't hang around at Stream 3 for long. We proceeded to the dam where we had our packet lunch there. While waiting the time for us to move up to the hill, we spotted a few butterflies.

I guess this is the The Vagrant (Vagrans sinha sinha), it came down for a short while before it disappeared completely.
This Small Leopard (Phalanta alcippe alcippoides) kept flapping its wings. I was lucky to have captured this shot at the right moment.
The Red-spot  Marquis (Euthalia recta monilis) kept coming back  to perch at the same spot but rather far away. 
Finally, the time had come (2 pm) for our vehicle to go further up until we reached the last campsite. Fewer butterflies were seen along the way while we made our ascend. However, I managed to take a few shots of this alert Brown Awl (Badamia exclamationis) when we at the campsite.

The Chocolate Tiger (Parantica melaneus plataniston) was a common species here.
This is a male White-spot Beak (Libythea narina rohini). It seemed to be abundant up at the hill.
Once again, we alighted at Stream 2 while we were on our way out of the park. This Little Map (Cyrestis themire themire) posed in front of me.
An upperside shot of another specimen.
Amongst the a group of butterflies, one of them attracted my attention - Les from Butterflycircle helped me to identify this to be the Burmese Puffin (Appias lalassis lalassis).
It was another fruitful day for us; we managed to add many new butterfly species to our photo collection. Yes, we must thank the nice weather as it remained good until we came back late in the afternoon.

In my next post, I will feature some butterfly and non-butterfly shots taken outside the KK Park.