My head was not too bright when Foxy Fossøy jumped in my bed and woke me up way too early. I suppose the poker avec (pretty poor Thai whisky) the night before had something to do with it? Anyway, we rose and shone over breakfast, and entered the tempting forests surroundig us. Before being picked up by minibuses to go the the heart of the national park, I managed to ticks off three new lifers; Chinese Pond-heron, Red-whiskered Bulbul and Black-browed Reed Warbler.
The first Hornbills, Great Hornbill and Wreathed Hornbill, on the trip were recorded, but the highlights of the day were two Flycatchers, namely Blue-throated Flycatcher and Hill Blue Flycatcher. We saw two of the latter and about five different Blue-throated. Stunning birds!
The impressive woodland near the national park centre was up for exploration. We hired a guide, and went for a four hour walk in the forest. The soundscape made me rater frustrated, not even knowing if the sounds came from an insect, amphibium, bird or mammal! Our guide claimed quite a few species by sound, but I only "accepted" the ones I could confirm myself.
Other new trip species during the day: Red-wattled Lapwing, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Lesser Coucal, Greater Flameback, Asian Palm Swift, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Black-naped Oriole, Large-billed Crow, White-crested Laughingthrush, Blue Rock Thrush and Black-throated Sunbird.
We saw and photographed several mammals and reptiles during the day, but I have not yet identified these properly. After the sun had set we went to a cave where a species of bat had its day roost. At a specific time in the evening they flew out of their cave to go hunting. What an experience. Just minutes after the first bats came out thousands followed. A warm breeze came out of the cave because of the air movement the bats created. The smell was not too toothsome, but the impressive amount of bats coming out made us forget whatever other stuff we were about to think. Apparently at least two million bats flew out every evening. The session lasted for about half an hour. That is a lot of bats every second! We also saw a bird of prey hunting for the freshly woken bats, but the light was poor and we did not claim anything (but we suspected it was a Bat Hawk).
November 2018: Fieldwork in three IBA's in Nepal