Our final morning on Doi Lang saw us watching a flock of over 30 Spot-winged Grosbeaks sunning themselves on the top of some tall trees at a lowland forest. They certainly are great birds and really rather scarce in Thailand. Whilst here we also had a group of Fire-capped Tits perched in a leafless tree, and they must have been forced down to this low level by the very cold conditions. There was also a Grey-faced Buzzard perched in the sunshine and a Plumbeous Water-redstart nearby as well.
|Record shots of Spot-winged Grosbeaks|
So leaving here we drove higher in search of Giant Nuthatch and spent the next couple of hours walking along the road and at one point as we were watching some fine Rufous-backed Sibias feeding in a moss-covered tree, a pair of Himalayan Cutia appeared next to them. That really brought an adrenalin rush to proceedings and after a frantic few minutes everyone got on them and we could celebrate! Well that is definitely a scarce bird in Thailand and a great substitute for the nuthatch – or so we thought. But within a few minutes and a short walk later we had found a superb Giant Nuthatch calling from the top of a large, dead tree. Wow!
|Slaty-blue Flycatcher (female)|
So with three great birds in the bag we drove up to the stake-outs and enjoyed one last view of species such as Himalayan Bluetail, Large Niltava, Slaty-blue Flycatcher, Siberian Rubythroat, and other previously seen species. A flock also passed by with Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Golden Babbler and Yellow-bellied Fantail as well. But by now it was time to leave and we set out on the long drive back to Chiang Mai where we spent the night…..