Monday, 26 January 2015

Doi Lang

Began the day at a lowland site where we found White-capped and Plumbeous Water-Redstarts, Slaty-backed Forktail and Striated Heron along a narrow stream, as well as a tree full of Pin-tailed Green-pigeons with a few Thick-billed Green-pigeons and Great Barbet mixed in as well. We also saw Golden-fronted Leafbird, Black-capped Kingfisher, Blue Rock Thrush and Asian Barred Owlet here as well. The main prize was a flock of Spot-winged Grosbeaks perched at the top of some tall trees and were quite active. There was also numerous Asian Fairy Bluebirds feeding in some fruiting trees with lots of Coppersmith Barbets, Thick-billed Flowerpecker and a Blue-throated Barbet. The distinctive local race of Eurasian Jay with a white face and Short-billed Minivet was also much appreciated.

Heading up into the beautiful forest of Doi Lang we had a great start with a male Ultramarine Flycatcher and a pair of Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrushes at a feeding station. Further on we quickly nailed a pair of Giant Nuthatches feeding close to the road, as well as a fine male Little Pied Flycatcher, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker and Velvet-fronted Nuthatch.

Higher up in a shady area of tall forest we visited a number of feeding stations set up by the local Thai birding community and although it was late morning we really enjoyed close views of species such as 3 separate Siberian Rubythroats, male Himalayan Bluetail, White-gorgeted Flycatcher, Large Niltava, Lesser Shortwing, with a Hume’s Treecreeper and Rufous-backed Sibia feeding in the surrounding forest. 

Himalayan Bluetail

3 different Siberian Rubythroays
Lesser Shortwing

Lesser Shortwing

White-gorgeted Flycatcher

An extremely obliging Spot-breasted Parrotbill was calling and displaying aggressively for a long time along the road and gave us unparalleled photo opportunities as well.

Spot-breasted Parrotbill

The early to mid afternoon birding session driving across the ridge and birding from the road was really quiet as it was so hot but when the temperature dropped later we picked up Sapphire Flycatcher and both Yellow-breasted and Crested Buntings which we don’t normally see on this tour – so very pleasing! Returning to the feeding station area we picked up White-browed Laughingthrush, Silver-eared Laughingthrush, White-browed Scimitar-babbler and a female Slaty-blue Flycatcher, Pallas’s Warbler and Grey-backed Shrike in the surrounding forest. At the end of the day a large number of Cook’s Swifts were streaming overhead and we had a Hume’s Warbler as well, and driving back down the mountain a Mrs Hume’s Pheasant and Yellow-throated Marten were patrolling the road in front of us to end a fantastic day.

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