Kuala Lumpur, April 12, 2001
We ended the Thailand portion of our trip in Krabi, a town about 1000km south of Bangkok. The heat and humidity were pretty intense but the birding and socializing were ideal. We hired a boat in Krabi to see some of the rare mangrove species, and we also reunited with a terrific Anglo-American couple who are on a two year birding trip around Europe and South-east Asia. It was a real treat for us to bird with them during the day and chill with them in the evening.
After spending some time in Krabi we hired a car and drove to Khao Nor Chuchi. This is home to the famous Gurney’s Pitta, an extremely rare bird - only twenty three are known to exist in the wild, so it’s a real prize to see one. Despite our best efforts, we dipped on this one. We did, however, spend several hours a day sitting motionless on the jungle floor. First we had to avoid the army of giant ants, then we did our best to ignore the mixture of flies and mosquitoes that were buzzing and biting. Of course, the ants, flies and mosquitoes were no match for the heat - it was insanely hot even at seven o’clock in the morning. At times like this you begin to wonder how painful climbing the corporate ladder can really be. Anyway, we did manage to see some great birds and if we hadn’t had to catch a flight to Malaysia we might still be there, cross-legged and dehydrated, hoping for a brief sighting of truly a rare gem.