We left Doi Ang Khang after breakfast and headed down to the lowlands where it was decidedly warmer, following a narrow road to a very special site. Here we got the day off to a flyer with a flock of 20+ Spot-winged Grosbeaks feeding in a large tree. The surrounding area also had a few Pin-tailed Green-pigeons, White-capped and Plumbeous Water-redstarts, Yellow-vented and Plain Flowerpeckers, Olive-backed Pipit, Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher, Black-headed and Black-crested Bulbuls and a few other common species. Then we drove up into the wonderful hills of Doi Lang full of optimism, as several very special birds have been seen here recently. Our immediate priority was to find Giant Nuthatch which had eluded us so far – and sure enough after a bit of a search we found a vocal bird calling from a large pine tree on the slope below us. It was really good to be able to look down on it and admire it properly! Then we drove on to a small feeding station that been set up by some Thai photographers and put out some mealworms. Within seconds we had a few Silver-eared Laughingthrushes out in the open just 12 feet away from us, along with White-gorgeted Flycatcher, female Siberian Rubythroat and a male Large Niltava as well.
|Siberian Rubythroat - female|
A Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher also put in an appearance as well, but when a pair of Spot-breasted Laughingthrushes showed up we only had eyes for them. A notoriously elusive and nigh on invisible species to catch a glimpse of elsewhere, here we were with two of them giving eye-ball popping views within touching distance.
With nothing else on offer we walked back out to the road and amazingly a couple of us got a glimpse of a Rusty-naped Pitta in the shadows but unfortunately it disappeared. A few minutes later we got a call and raced back to the feeding station, where we had just missed another Rusty-naped Pitta…! What was going on? So we sat down and waited patiently and sure enough this skulking bird reappeared at the far side of the feeding area but remained within the safety of the foliage. But we still had crippling views. Anyway, having left again we decided to give it another crack and this time the pitta came out into the open right in front of us. How lucky were we..?
So that left us the rest of the afternoon to bird the ridge road and we picked up yet more goodies with pride of place going to a pair of Spot-breasted Parrotbills feeding on an open hillside. We also had Grey-capped Woodpecker, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, Blyth’s Shrike-babbler, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Buff-throated and Bianchi’s Warblers, Davison’s Leaf-warbler, a flock of Black-throated Tits, and ended with a Crested Bunting. What a day!