Thursday, 30 January 2014

Partridges, Pygmies & Blossoms

After a full English breakfast we headed back to the summit of Doi Inthanon, making a stop on the way to successfully locate a pair of Speckled Woodpigeons. There were crowds of people here this morning to see the sunrise and photograph themselves next to patches of frost, and that is something of a major rarity here! Despite all of these people we found a group of 4 Rufous-throated Partridges feeding in the leaf litter behind the restaurant – and they were absolutely unconcerned by our presence. 

Rufous-throated Partridge

Buoyed by our success and the warmth of the sun we walked down to the boardwalk and kept our run of good fortune going as we found a Dark-sided Thrush feeding in a relatively open area below us, a very close male White-browed Shortwing and a male Snowy-browed Flycatcher.

Dark-sided Thrush

So we left here and went down to the checkpoint where yesterdays stake-out had swapped a Lesser Shortwing for a Pygmy Wren-babbler ( ! ) that appeared from underneath a car parked right next to the feeding station and quickly grabbed a mealworm before disappearing. A Pygmy Wren-babbler hopping along the tarmac – truly surreal and bizarre! A bunch of Grey-cheeked Fulvettas were also out in the open right in front of us and were joined by a single Grey-throated Babbler giving excellent views. This is another skulker that you can sometimes struggle to see. 

Grey-throted Babbler

A short walk along the trail failed to produce anything new so we went down to Mr Daeng’s for lunch and was very pleased to see another Dark-sided Thrush feeding right out in the open below us.

Following another tasty gastronomic delight we returned to the same trail and finally found a singing Small Niltava before returning to the minibus and dropping down to the base of the mountain. A short walk and some Chestnut-tailed Starlings and Little Green Bee-eaters later, and we were scoping several parties of Blossom-headed Parakeets perching in the treetops to round off another successful day.

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