Saturday, March 8, 2014

A trip to Nam Pong NP, Khon Kaen

Location: Lower reaches of Nam Pong NP, Khon Kaen environs
Date: Saturday, 08 March, 2014
Areas visited: Medium-sized pond, forested pond
 
So, my first 'proper' trip of the season ... armed with top gps on my phone (thanks, Paul), and a repaired ring flash at a staggering cost of 12,000 baht!!! (thanks, Canon!), I was ready to go. I decided to go to a new place: a pond with a stream, which showed up on Google Maps. It was only 51 kms away and, what seemed, in good forested area of Nam Pong, albeit the lower reaches. I arrived early, as usual, and was shocked at the fact that there was no stream at all (though there was clearly a cut presumably created during the rainy season). I was then shocked again by the numbers of workers there chopping down and burning everything in sight (right up to the edge of one area of the pond. Fortunately, the pond was there ... seemingly entertaining a family of snail pickers. They were wading slowly all around the pond. Unperturbed, I continued around the people-free area of the pond. There were plenty of odonates flitting around, but all common. Finally, I noticed something a little different in the shape of a female, Macrodiplax cora. It was only the second location I had found the species. However, only a solitary female was present. I moved on and eventually I noticed an enormous male Gomphidae in the distance. I managed to get a few record shots before it shot off rapidly ... I searched for hours to find another, circling the pond several times, as well as searching deeping into the trees and scrub. I managed to spot two females of the same species high up in the tree canopy. Again, I only managed record shots. When I returned home, I discovered it was Sinictinogomphus clavatus phaleratus, a species that had been recorded in Khon Kaen previously. Still, it is a new record for me and I WILL return in a few weeks hopefully to get decent shots this time.
 
My best photos of the day: