After loading the luggage into our minibus we set off towards Doi Ang Khang, a journey of almost 3 hours. A few Indian Rollers, a Rufous-winged Buzzard, Striated Swallow and a flock of Fork-tailed Swifts were the only birds of note before the road began to wind its way up into the mountains. We made a quick rest stop alongside the road and had a brief Black-throated Sunbird and a Hair-crested Drongo before continuing ever higher. At the Chinese Cemetery we spent a pleasant couple of hours in the late afternoon sunshine. First up was a pair of Large Cuckooshrikes, followed by Chestnut-flanked White-eye, a stunning male Mrs Gould’s Sunbird and a White-browed Laughingthrush showed briefly. Further along the road we found the first of several Yellow-browed Warblers to be seen today, as well as Himalayan Swiftlet, White-throated Fantail, Hill Prinia, Grey Bushchat, Japanese Tit, Ashy and Bronzed Drongos and a Long-tailed Shrike. A bit more perseverance was necessary to get decent views of a White-browed Scimitar-babbler, and even more for Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-babbler. Our bulbul list began to grow with Sooty-headed, Brown-breasted and Himalayan Black Bulbuls seen well, along with a Red-whiskered as well. At the rubbish dump we also had Silver-eared Laughingthrush, and whilst trying to tease out a male Siberian Rubythroat that did show to some of us, also picked up a few Olive-backed Pipits. So not a bad start at all and with news of a few goodies to stake out tomorrow we retired to bed eager for the next day to come quickly….
Sunday, 20 January 2013
Thailand - at last!
A quick walk around the hotel this morning in a very pleasant temperature resulted in some decent birds to kickstart the tour. I think pride of place goes to a small group of Java Sparrows knocking about in a dead tree. Although not native to Thailand they have been here for many years and probably what we in the UK would term a Category C species. Nice! Several Asian Koels were around and pretty vocal, whilst Common and White-vented Mynas, Zebra Dove, Spotted Dove, Red Collared-dove and Common Iora were all more expected. A male Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker lent a touch of exotic to proceedings before it was time to head inside, have breakfast and finish packing. A walkway took us into the airport and an almost uneventful flight got us to Chiang Mai just before midday.