The excitement started when I saw the Siamese Fireback posted on by one of the Thai bird guides, Sompong Paan Nuamsawat; I sent him a message and asked few questions and we decided to just search for it. It was a struggle to find were he found the Firebacks though there are a lot of photgraphs posted on Facebook. I just had to find the right person to talk in knowing more about the location and the area. There were websites but the information seemed to be focused more on snales and reptiles since Sakaerat Environmental Research Station is focused on snakes especially the King Cobra.
I was able to get hold of the mobile number of the previous director of the station in which he told me that he already retired just few months ago, but talking to him gave us more hope in finding the Firebacks. We started our journey at 5:00 a.m. and it was a long way to go as we saw the road going to Sakaerat. The GPS app on my phone led us to backroads and places that we never have been for living in Thailand eleven years. we reached the station at about 11:00 a.m. and the chances of finding the Firebacks can be bad since they appear ealy morning and in the afternoon when the temperature is cooler. As we hiked up the paved main trail, Arpha saw the birds in the thick forest and then they were gone before i could even see them.
We continued hiking up deep into the forest, trees were huge and vegetation in the forest is just so healthy even for animals to live. As we reached the end of the forest we decided to go back down hoping to find then at the areas where they are usually found. Though there were other birds showing up, we just have to go for our target bird or else we will miss them. We found them at the right place and it was getting dark, we took some photographs and it was really impossible to get the right exposure.
We came back the next morning at 5:00 a.m. and we reached the station at 5:30 a.m. and then we had to hike up again for thirty miuntes so we could have some daylight as we take better photographs. We saw two Doles on the way up and other birds, we just kept on until I found them on the road. We gorged ourselves or their beauty and took about two thousand photographs just to be sure we have the right photographs.
Sakaerat Environmental Research Station, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
Nikon D500 + Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR
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