Thursday, 23 February 2012

Excerpt from North Thailand Diary 15th Jan 2012

Following an early morning flight to Chiang Mai we picked up the hire vehicle and drove to Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain. After dropping our luggage off at the Inthanon Highland Resort located at the base of the mountain we made our way towards this famous birding site, stopping to search for a Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker along the way. A Black-naped Monarch, Racket-tailed Treepie and Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker showed well, and a nearby flowering tree held a large flock of Chestnut-tailed Starlings. On entering the National Park we drove ever upwards, but unfortunately our progress was delayed when our vehicle was hit by a minibus. With several hours delay promised we didn’t hang around and promptly flagged down a passing truck which kindly took us several kilometres further up the mountain to Mr Daeng’s restaurant – a famous birder’s location. Having seen Japanese Tit earlier, we were eager to kick start out birding and settled down at his viewing area where after a short wait both Lesser Shortwing and Asian Stubtail appeared below us. A very close Little Spiderhunter and Black-throated Sunbird, Pallas’s Warbler, and a mixed flock of Chestnut-flanked and Japanese White-eyes were also much appreciated. After lunch we hopped into a local bus which took us right up to the summit and after buying some snacks in a shop were treated to point blank views of Silver-eared Laughingthrush and Bar-throated Minla. Then we explored the famous Summit Boardwalk across the road where the first of three Dark-sided Thrushes to be found today was observed feeding in the leaf-litter below the trail. It was pretty quiet along the boardwalk yet we found the treasure at the end of the rainbow when a Purple Cochoa was spotted perched high up in a tall tree above the trail. Leaving here totally elated we continued our good fortune with 6 Rufous-throated Hill-partridges feeding quietly in the forest understorey. From the nearby car park a burst of activity resulted in Flavescent Bulbul, Dark-backed Sibias, extremely confiding Ashy-throated and Buff-barred Leaf-warblers, as well as a single Yellow-browed Tit. Driving back down the mountain in our recently arrived vehicle we visited the campground and after a short wait a Black-tailed Crake appeared at the appointed time and gave astonishingly amazing views as it fed right out in the open just a short distance away from us. A pair of Grey Bushchats and flock of Grey-cheeked Fulvettas were also present here to round off a rather unexpectedly adventurous day’s birding.

Black-tailed Crake

No comments:

Post a Comment