Thailand 2012 May Herping – Kaeng Krachan Area

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Thailand 2012 May Herping – Kaeng Krachan Area

Post by daveo » August 17th, 2012, 11:23 pm

Trip Details
I spent three weeks in Thailand in May 2012. I found the trip reports on this forum really helpful when planning my trip and hopefully others will find my trip reports as useful. While there is a strong focus on herping, I’ve also tried to include details of the accommodation, walks, other animals etc to provide an indication of the full experience. In addition to the individual trip reports, I’ve also provided a general overview - viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13082

I’ll put some photos in the blogs but didn’t want to make it too picture heavy. I’ve also pasted a number of pictures on my Flickr account and welcome any correction of misidentified species (or in the case of the frogs – I welcome any identifications). I’ll only post herp photos on the forum but there are some mammal and invertebrate shots on Flickr for those interested in what wildlife you might see more generally.[email protected]/sets/

2 June 2012
Drive to the Resort was fairly uneventful. A few dead snakes but no live ones. With the TomTom it is a breeze but without it you would need some good maps. Resort is fantastic. A lake, small chalets, grassed areas, some ponds, some forest. AirCon, friendly staff. Minor stuff up in that they didn’t actually book me in so placed me in a house with 5 other guests. The others are Thai birders and are quite lovely and it has been good to have a chat to them.

Went for a walk – snake skin in the rafters of the garage and another in the wood shed up the back – so I’m happy. More hornbills.

Went for a long night drive – found a Green Cat Snake about 7 km south of Ban Maka. Beautiful little snake that just as I was about to leave it alone, posed beautifully in a defensive position. Some frogs and one Tockay.

IMG_0494 Green cat snake (Boiga cyanea) by daveo12, on Flickr

IMG_0502 Green cat snake (Boiga cyanea) by daveo12, on Flickr

Walk around the grounds – beautiful tarantula out – will have to try and get some better shots tomorrow night. More Tockays.

3 June 2012
Morning walk – Hoopoe, Ratchet tailed drongo, Stork billed kingfisher but no herps. Build up a sweat just strolling around the grounds at 8 in the morning.

Lovely canoe around the lake – nothing. Some sprinkles – hopefully we’ll get some good rain this afternoon to bring the snakes out.

Sat on the balcony reading a book (unknown behavior for me) and an Eclipse colouration male Crimson Sunbird came and joined me. Nowhere near as pretty as the mating colouration but a sunbird nether the less.

Ended up doing a 152 KM night drive from 6.30 PM until midnight. Storms nearby but only light sprinkle occasionally where I was but it still bought the snakes out:

1. Keeled slug eater


2. White lipped pit viper – a small one that went into a nice defensive position and hid its head at one point.

IMG_0584 White lipped pit viper (Cryptelytrops albolabris) by daveo12, on Flickr

IMG_0580 White lipped pit viper (Cryptelytrops albolabris) by daveo12, on Flickr

3. Another Keeled slug eater – stopping set off a pack of dogs from a nearby house. I could hear them getting closer and closer – of course, by this time I’m down in a ditch below road level bending down to get photos of the snake – so I can’t even see the dogs approaching – all I can do is pop up every now and then to see how close they are. Eventually they get to within 5m and I yell at them and run in their direction for a couple of steps – this sends them off into the darkness (thankfully). The stress must have gotten to them because next thing I can hear is a dog fight – which did nothing to calm my nerves.

IMG_0557 Keeled slug eater (Pareas carinatus) by daveo12, on Flickr

4. White spotted slug snake – I also ran out of memory while photographing it – just as it adopted a perfect pose – so I’m madly trying to review and delete photos while hoping it holds the pose – which it did.

IMG_0634 White spotted slug snake (Pareas margaritophurus) by daveo12, on Flickr

5. Spotted cat snake –It did this really cool behavior of vibrating its tail – you could see an evolutionary precursor to rattles coming up.

IMG_0653 Many spotted cat snake (Boiga multomaculata) by daveo12, on Flickr

IMG_0658 Many spotted cat snake (Boiga multomaculata) by daveo12, on Flickr

Not only did I find 5 snakes but all adopted fantastic poses at one point or another – so I’m doubly happy. While the temp was quite mild (26-27C) and there was only the odd sprinkle of rain, I later found out that there had been big storms nearby so am assuming this is what set the snakes moving.

Ended up driving 152kms at an ave of 24 km/h (including time stopped for photos – moving ave of 32 km/h),

4 June 2012
Went into Kaeng Krachan National Park proper. Most of the action is around the 16 KM mark and there were lots of birders here including my house mates from Ban Maka. They had seen a reticulated python on a path 500m away the day before so off I went – no luck. I drove up to the top campground – what a horrible blustery place in the wet season – glad I didn’t plan on spending any time here. Had to wait over an hour before the time for down travel.

Forest crested lizard, Calotes emma emma, Kaeng Krachan National Park

IMG_0711 by daveo12, on Flickr

Back to resort. Drove around until 9.30 – some Tockays but no snakes. Warmer than last night as well (28-30). The Tarantulas still weren’t playing but I did find the small owl and get some shots.

5 June 2012
At breakfast one of the owners(?) introduced himself and we got chatting. After telling him I was interested in snakes, he mentioned that he knew a site nearby with ‘lots of king cobras – did I want to go?’ Of course I did so soon afterwards he showed me a trail where they have some small pools to attract the birds for the bird watchers. All up it was a fairly pleasant walk of about 900m one way – but no cobras of course. I wonder how often they see any. Still an enjoyable enough way to spend the morning before heading off to Kai Sam Roi Yot National Park.

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