by Nick Upton
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Thailand Leaf Warbler Tour, 3rd-17th December 2016
  Bird Watching Trips:
If you need help organizing a bird watching trip to Thailand, take a look at the suggested itineraries for ideas on creating a tailor-made trip and contact me for advice: Thailand bird tours.
Nick Robinson contacted me with an unusual and difficult goal, to photograph as many of Thailand's Leaf Warblers as possible as part of a quest to document all of the world's Leaf Warblers. Planning the trip around locations where we could not only find these birds but have a good chance of photographing them resulted in a 14 day itinerary which made the most of the excellent birding to be found around the country as well as maximizing our chances of photographing up to 20 species of Phylloscopus.
We used a Toyota Viga 2-wheel drive which was comfortable and coped with all road conditions well from high speeds on occasionally pot-holed highways to narrow dirt tracks and steep, decaying roads.


Good food was served in the restaurants of all the places we stayed in and several lunches were eaten in local restaurants where tasty dishes are always available. However, Nick found the options rather limited for vegetarians, indeed, Thai food is very heavily based around meat and fish dishes and the variety of vegetarian options is extremely limited on Thai menus. However, scanning the menus to see what ingredients are available and then asking the staff to cook them in the manner of one of the dishes on the menu will always be catered for if you ask politely.

There are 7/11 convenience stores in every small town where snacks and drinks can be bought as well as toasted sandwiches/coffee for early breakfasts.
All the places we stayed in were simple, but comfortable and clean local hotels and guesthouses. All accommodation had air conditioning and private bathroom with heated showers and complimentary bottled water. We made one last-minute change to our itinerary and stayed in a hotel in Lopburi that was previously unknown to me - I would not stay there again!

Notes on Finding Birds
Forest birding is always tricky, and at times can be extremely difficult, requiring a lot of patience. However, on this trip birding in the forest was not at its hardest and although patience was needed, this patience was rewarded with regular sightings of wonderful birds. At times things became slow, but this is to be expected, and it did not usually take too long before we found a feeding flock of small birds or were on the track of something exciting that was calling nearby.

Birding in the wetlands is always very rewarding and armed with the knowledge of where to find particular species we had some exceptional birding in these habitats even though windy weather hampered things a little.
Field Guides
1. Birds of Southeast Asia by Craig Robson
2. Guide to the Birds of Thailand by Philip D. Round & Boonsong Lekagul
Leaf Warblers

Huay Teung Tao: Greenish Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler
Doi Ang Kang: Hume's Leaf Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Yellow-streaked Warbler, Greenish Warbler
Doi Lang West (Doi San Ju): Buff-throated Warbler, Hume's Leaf Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Blyth's Leaf Warbler, Claudia's Leaf Warbler, Chinese Leaf Warbler, Pallas's Leaf Warbler, Davison's Leaf Warbler
Doi Lang East: Davison's Leaf Warbler, Buff-barred Warbler, Hume's Leaf Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler
Thatorn Rice Fields: Dusky Warbler
Chiang Saen: Dusky Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Greenish Warbler
Fang Hot Springs: Yellow-browed Warbler, Greenish Warbler
Doi Inthanon: Ashy-throated Warbler, Davison's Leaf Warbler, Chinese Leaf Warbler, Buff-barred Warbler, Pallas's Leaf Warbler, Hume's Leaf Warbler, Blyth's Leaf Warbler, Claudia's Leaf Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler
Mae Ping: Radde's Warbler, Yellow-steaked Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Greenish Warbler
Taksin Maharat: Two-barred Warbler, Radde's Warbler, Hume's Leaf Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Sulphur-breasted Warbler, Claudia's Leaf Warbler
Pak Thale/Laem Pak Bia: Dusky Warbler
Kaeng Krachan: Yellow-browed Warbler, Sakhalin Leaf Warbler, Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, Sulphur-breasted Warbler, Two-barred Warbler, Radde's Warbler, Eastern Crowned Warbler (Leader only)

Other Birding Highlights

Huay Teung Tao: Siberian Rubythroat, Red Avadavat, Lesser Coucal, Black Baza
Doi Ang Kang: Black-breasted Thrush, White-tailed Robin, White-browed Laughingthrush
Doi Lang West (Doi San Ju): Mrs Hume's Pheasant, Mountain Bamboo Partridge, Giant Nuthatch, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Spot-breasted Parrotbill, Crested Bunting, Crested Finchbill, Siberian Rubythroat, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Oriental Hobby, Common Swift, Sapphire Flycatcher, Himalayan Cutia, Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher, Indochinese Cuckooshrike, Slaty-blue Flycatcher, Aberrant Bush Warbler
Doi Lang East: Scarlet-faced Liochichla, Bamboo Woodpecker, Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Red-billed Scimitar Babbler, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Little Bunting, Collared Babbler, Spectacled Barwing, Himalayan Bluetail, Whiskered Yuhina, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Long-tailed Broadbill
Thatorn Rice Fields: Black-headed Bunting, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Horsfield's (Australasian) Bushlark, Pied Harrier, Amur Falcon, Japanese Quail, Small Buttonquail, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Red-throated Pipit, Citrine Wagtail, Green Sandpiper, Eurasian Wryneck
Chiang Saen: Baer's Pochard, Pied Harrier, Grey-headed Lapwing, Burmese Shrike, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Baikal Bush Warbler, Blyth's Reed Warbler, Siberian Rubythroat, Red-billed Starling
Fang Hot Springs: Spot-winged Starling, Spot-winged Grosbeak, White-capped Water Redstart, Amur Falcon
Doi Inthanon: Dark-sided Thrush, Pygmy Wren Babbler, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, White-browed Shortwing, Northern White-crowned Forktail, Collared Falconet, Black-headed Woodpecker, Large Niltava, Small Niltava, Black-backed Forktail, Slaty-backed Forktail, Plumbeous Redstart, Yellow-browed Tit, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, White-headed Bulbul, Rufous-throated Partridge
Mae Ping: White-bellied Woodpecker, Black-headed Woodpecker, Grey-headed Parakeet, Blossom-headed Parakeet, Black Baza, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon
Taksin Maharat: White-throated Bulbul, Olive Bulbul
Lopburi Rice Fields: Western Marsh Harrier, Pied Harrier, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Green Sandpiper
Wat Praphuttabaht Noi: Limestone Wren Babbler
Pak Thale/Laem Pak Bia: Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Far Eastern Curlew, Nordmann's Greenshank, Asian Dowitcher, Milky Stork, Malaysian Plover, Chinese Egret, White-faced (Swinhoe's) Plover, Rosy Starling, White-shouldered Starling, Great Knot, Slender-billed Gull
Petchaburi Rice Fields: Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler, Watercock, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Oriental Darter, Eurasian Wryneck, Grey-headed Lapwing
Kaeng Krachan: Black-thighed Falconet, Orange-breasted Trogon, Great Eared Nightjar, Kalij Pheasant, Siberian Blue Robin, Collared Babbler, Great Hornbill, Sultan Tit, Black-and-red Broadbill, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Eyebrowed Thrush
Birding Diary

Huay Tueng Tao
Leaving the Amora Tapae Hotel after a great breakfast at 6.30am we drove the short distance to Chiang Mai's outskirts to Huay Tueng Tao for a short morning's birding before heading further to Doi Ang Kang. I had hoped to find our first Dusky Warbler of the trip around the lake but the water level was very high and there was virtually no emergent vegetation for a photographable Dusky Warbler. However, we did get some nice shots of a male Red Avadavat and our first Siberian Rubythroat which we spotted as it sat singing in the early morning sunshine.

Our first leaf warbler of the trip turned out to be a Greenish Warbler which we heard calling in some small trees and allowed Nick to get a few decent shots for an early success. Lesser Coucals swarming themselves in the morning sun were also nice as were a group of Indochinese Bushlarks and 3 Black Bazas overhead. Activity levels were surprisingly low so after and hour and half we strolled back to the car stopping to photograph a Taiga Flycatcher and a Yellow-browed Warbler - not the best of photos but there would be plenty more chances at this common winter visitor.
Yellow-browed Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)
Doi Ang Kang
We got to Doi Ang Kang in time for lunch at Ban Luang Resort where we found the expected Yellow-browed and Hume's Leaf Warblers and although we photographed both, they were a little too high in the trees and with hard midday sunlight they were never going to be the best shots. We had more luck at the army camp at Ban Nor Lae though where, after a patient wait, we got great views of 2 Yellow-streaked Warblers which repeatedly showed themselves, although the bright light made them tricky to photograph. A female Daurian Redstart, several Grey Bushchats and a collection of Bulbuls also provided some interest - Brown-breasted, Red-whiskered, Sooty-headed & Flavescent Bulbuls.
This area is one in which I was also hoping to find Buff-throated Warbler and although we heard a couple calling from the grassland across the border in Myanmar call playback would not encourage them to perform nicely for us and our cameras. Still, as we moved through a stand of pine trees we disturbed a small group of Olive-backed Pipits which perched conveniently in the trees and we also found a noisy Japanese Tit, several Hume's Leaf Warblers and a photogenic Yellow-browed Warbler on a nice mossy branch as well as an agitated Taiga Flycatcher.

Although we found some of the birds we were looking for, the numbers of people were building up rapidly. We had expected this as it was the beginning of a public holiday weekend but we were a little surprised just how many people were packed into the camp site at our next stop. The place was heaving and we barely found a space to park the vehicle. Regardless of the number of people around I still felt we had a chance of finding Buff-throated Warbler in a grassy area until we found that the grass had recently been cut. Still, the pines nearby held several Hume's Leaf Warblers and while we watched a group of White-browed Laughingthrushes one of the warblers came down low enough to photograph while a Golden-throated Barbet feeding on some fruits was untroubled by the noise from the campsite.

Unfortunately, this area, which used to have a stand of mature pines, had been desecrated by the Thai National Parks authority in order to concrete over the area for a "visitor centre". Earlier in the year I had found a Giant Nuthatch nest there but now this tree had been cut down. Giant Nuthatch is a globally endangered species and prefers to nest in very mature pine trees, of which there is a limited supply. The clueless attitude displayed here, in order to extort money out of visitors but not to give them more value, can only be condemned and serves to illustrate the problems faced by conservationists in Asia where the very authorities who are supposed to protect wildlife are utterly clueless and divert money that should be used for conservation towards building projects that destroy habitat. It should be noted that these building projects have large budgets whereby nobody notices if some of the money "disappears". Read more about this poorly conceived development here - Destruction of a Giant Nuthatch nesting site.

As the day drew on it was time for us to visit our last spot for the day in the King's Project. Huge numbers of people were visiting the project but the photo stakeout near the bamboo farm was quiet with just a couple of other photographers present. We were not disappointed with a beautiful male Black-breasted Thrush appearing as well as a male White-tailed Robin, both birds that are very hard to see in Thailand under normal conditions. These were joined by a male Hill Blue Flycatcher and a female Rufous-bellied Niltava which lurked around in the background. As we were leaving we added Black-crested and Mountain Bulbuls to our list before making the journey to Thatorn to escape the crowds that were amassing on the mountain in preparation for the long weekend.

On arrival at our accommodation at Thatorn, after dark, we had a look for the calling Collared Scops Owls and Barn Owls that we could hear but they kept eluding us and hunger drove us towards the restaurant where we enjoyed a good dinner and Thai beer.
Yellow-streaked Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)

Yellow-browed Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)

Hume's Leaf Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)
Doi Lang East
The poor quality of the road up the East side of Doi Lang, from Thatorn, meant that we spent our time here away from the crowds. Our main targets here were Davison's and Buff-barred Leaf Warblers, both of which are usually abundant in the higher areas and can usually be photographed in low trees. Apart from these two species there were a lot of other good birds to be found and short day here provided us with many exciting species.
Patching of the worst ruts with soil had made driving up the mountain a little easier than the previous year although it would still not be possible (or permitted by the border police) to drive it in a saloon car. At our first stop we came across a flock of some really good birds, although it took a fair bit of patience before we actually saw any of them; Lesser Yellownape, Collared Babbler, Red-billed Scimitar Babbler, Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker and after a lot of effort, a female Bamboo Woodpecker. Along with these there were a large group of Long-tailed Broadbills, at least 30 and probably many more; quite a sight. During this excitement we also had chances to photograph Hume's Leaf Warbler and Yellow-browed Warbler, although neither would provide the best shots.

A little further up the mountain we stopped in a small area of rice fields where we added a few raptors - Grey-faced Buzzard, Crested Goshawk, Eastern Buzzard and Oriental Honey-buzzard - as well as Oriental Turtle Dove, Grey-backed Shrike, Olive-backed Pipit and a single Little Bunting, a fairly rare bird these days.

Once we reached the upper checkpoint expectations for some nice photographs were high and of course we did not have to wait long for Dark-backed Sibia, Silver-eared Laughingthrush, Spectacled Barwing and Scarlet-faced Liocichla to appear and eat fruit from the feeding station. A couple of colourful Whiskered Yuhinas posed in the sunshine for us too but it was Leaf Warblers that we were after and unusually for this spot they were in short supply. Every year the weather conditions are different and this year a late and extended wet season had resulted in a late migration and perhaps just a year when northern migrants would be thin on the ground. However, Davison's Leaf Warbler is resident on the highest mountains in Northern Thailand and the song of one individual gave his presence away to us and he came in very close allowing us to get some decent photos. The bird can be seen singing in the photo to the right. This spot is also a good one for wintering Buff-barred Leaf Warbler, which is quite responsive to call playback, so with a little effort we were able to get close to a couple of these birds and get some pretty good photos - in the photo on the right the distinctive white undertail with black border can be seen which allows this species to be identified even without seeing the distinctive buff (or orange) wing bars.
Buff-barred Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)

Davison's Leaf Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)
Most of our time was spent just hanging around a short stretch of road waiting to see what turned up and after giving itself away with a few notes it did not take us long to get good views of Chestnut-headed Tesia, a really colourful little bird, and further species that we enjoyed included lots of colourful Mrs Gould's Sunbird, Bianchi's Warbler and Himalayan Bluetail.

Thatorn Rice Fields
After having lunch we opted to head down the mountain and head out into the rice fields close to Thatorn. The only Phylloscopus we expected to see in this area was Dusky Warbler and although we did eventually see one along a river it was too distant and poorly lit to photograph. However, birding did prove to be extremely productive here and we spent much of our time walking around some damp stubble fields that held many species. One of the first birds we found was a Thai rarity, Black-headed Bunting, and a group of 10 birds was unprecedented in Thailand; smaller numbers of Yellow-breasted Buntings were also found scattered around the stubble and flying overhead. Time spent in the rice stubble revealed good numbers of Horsfield's Bushlark, Oriental Skylark and Red-throated Pipit as well as smaller numbers of Richard's & Paddyfield Pipits along with a couple of Bluethroats and we flushed a pair of Japanese Quail, a species that had not been sighted in Thailand for some years. Some of the wetter fields held Citrine Wagtail, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper and Black-collared Starling but it was in the stubble fields that we saw our first Pied and Eastern Marsh Harriers of the trip. As the light began to fade we headed towards a stretch of river where we saw thousands of White Wagtails collecting before heading off to roost elsewhere and an adult male Amur Falcon flew low above us before we walked back to the vehicle in half light. Even on the way out, though, we added another good bird to our list - Small Buttonquail, caught in the headlights!

Doi Lang West - aka Doi San Ju
This side of the mountain has a lot of variety in habitat and a huge number of good birds to be found; almost certainly Northern Thailand's premier birding site. With this in mind, and a large number of Phylloscopus species to be seen, we made a couple of visits to this side of the mountain. We had a lot of success on the road as we drove up the mountain with point blank views of a stunning male Mrs Hume's Pheasant shortly after spotting an Oriental Hobby perched on top of a large pine tree and further along we came across Mountain Bamboo Partridge for a nice start. We spent our time looking for the key birds of Doi Lang but always with one eye on Leaf Warblers. Having missed Buff-throated Warbler at Doi Ang Kang due to the crowds we were keen to make sure we found them here but first we were treated to awesome views of a pair of Spot-breasted Parrotbill. Yellow-browed and Hume's Leaf Warblers were seen high up in trees and after hearing Buff-throated Warbler we tracked it down to the top of a pine tree. Over the course of the next hour or so we got ever increasingly good views of this species culminating in many great photo opportunities adding Hill Prinia, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Rufescent Prinia, Mrs Gould's Sunbird and a few others along the way.

We spent much of our time hanging around being rewarded with a number of flocks of birds which included Grey-headed Parrotbill, Rufous-backed Sibia, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, Dark-backed Sibia, Blue-winged Minla, Grey-chinned Minivet and Indochinese Cuckooshrike. Another one of the key birds of Doi Lang is Giant Nuthatch and we were able to get good views of this species after a number of brief sightings.

Chinese Leaf Warbler is a scarce "winter" visitor to Thailand but I knew of a regular spot for it and with a little "encouragement" we heard the diagnostic call which is similar to that of a Sunbird. We had plenty of chances with this bird as it frequented the same spot during the course of our visit but due to poor light and bad luck we never got really good photos of it here. However, while messing around with this species we came across a few Claudia's Leaf Warblers, getting a few decent shots, and then I heard the call of a Blyth's Leaf Warbler which we located quickly and got exactly the sort of photos we were hoping for.

Buff-throated Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)

Blyth's Leaf Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)
A couple of times we also heard Pallas's Leaf Warblers and although they reacted quite well to call playback this only lasted briefly and while Nick was able to get some decent shots, they never came close enough for either of us to get top quality photographs. The birding generally on this side of Doi Lang was excellent with activity all day long allowing us to make an excursion up the road for Crested Finchbill where we also saw Brown-breasted Bulbul, Common Rosefinch, Crested Bunting and Maroon Oriole. Success breeds success and in finding these birds quickly and in the middle of the day we were able to go back to attempt to photograph Chinese Leaf Warbler again and while waiting another flock of birds came along, this time containing a group of 5 Himalayan Cutias, a really beautiful bird indeed. Add to this sightings of Black-throated Bushtit, Sapphire Flycatcher, Pale Blue Flycatcher, Asian Stubtail, Marten's Warbler, Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher and a whole host of commoner species and it is clear to see what a great location this is, certainly one which we enjoyed a lot.

Chiang Saen
From our base at Thatorn we took a day trip to the Chiang Saen area, primarily to witness the large number of Harriers that come to roost at Yonok wetlands, but also because there would be the chance to find a wide range of species that would probably not be seen elsewhere on the trip and in particular the possibility of finding a Baer's Pochard lured us there for a day. We started our day at Nam Kam reserve where many rarities for Thailand have been found and we were to see two such species; Red-billed Starling and Blyth's Reed Warbler. The Red-billed Starlings flew past us at close range so that we could see their red bills and other plumage features; there was a group of six of them. The Blyth's Reed Warbler fed in a tree before dropping into some reeds and answering our call playback with snippets of its song and approaching us quite closely for a brief moment.

Another highlight here was a Baikal Bush Warbler which we saw very well. This is not a rare visitor to Thailand but rather tough to see so the clear views we obtained were very nice indeed. Other early sightings we made here included a Rufous-winged Buzzard, Lineated Barbet, Black-collared Starling, Siberian Rubythroat and Green Sandpiper. Although we knew that this was never going to be our best day for Phylloscopus we did obtain our only photos of the trip of Dusky Warbler; my photos were so-so but Nick got better of this abundant but tricky-to-see-well bird.

Much of the rest of the day was spent around Chiang Saen lake where we added lots of birds to our list, Eurasian Coot, Great Cormorant, Lesser Whistling Duck, a couple of beautiful Burmese Shrikes, Purple Heron, two Grey-headed Lapwings, Northern Pintail, Indian Spot-billed Duck to name just a few and after some searching we found a few diving ducks, a couple of Tufted Duck, a few Ferruginous Pochard and one bird which after much scrutiny turned out to be a female Baer's Pochard. I should put one caveat on that which is that we were observing from quite some distance and from that range I could not rule out a hybrid which seem to be quite frequent. However, even at long range it exhibited all the plumage features one would expect at this time of year from this species. With this success we moved on to nearby Yonok wetlands, seeing impressive numbers of Grey-headed Swamphen but failing to lure out any of the calling Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler out into view. However, the real show was about to begin with a few Eastern Marsh Harriers appearing soon followed by the first adult male Pied Harriers - wonderful birds. Over the course of the next hour we watched as birds approached from all sides and the numbers built up into a huge circling flock with around 250-300 birds coming in: incredible.

Dusky Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)
While the numbers were special, the real treat for me was a juvenile Hen Harrier which alighted on the ground quite close by. I was first drawn to this bird by its plumage which seemed paler on top than juvenile Pied Harrier and seemed to exhibit the correct underwing pattern too. When this bird was on the ground I was able to observe it through a 'scope and confirm identification through the distinctive face pattern. This bird was photographed by others on the same day. As the light faded the birds continued to come in while we were leaving, giving us a real talking point on the journey back to our accommodation where we had another great dinner.

Fang Hot Springs
We spent a morning here primarily to see Spot-winged Grosbeak, of which we saw a flock of around 20 or so birds, but we found some other nice species too starting with the striking White-capped Water Redstart at the stream. While we were watching the Grosbeaks we saw a strange looking bird fly past high up in the air and it was not until I spotted it within a flock of Chestnut-tailed Starlings, feeding in a flowering tree, that I realized it was a Spot-winged Starling, another rare bird in Thailand and only the second time I had seen this species. Other birds in the area included Red-rumped Swallow, Blue Rockthrush, Grey Wagtail and White Wagtail but as we were thinking about walking around the site a little a bird flew in and landed on a rock - a juvenile Amur Falcon! This scarce passage migrant just sat on the rock for 20 minutes or more allowing us to get quite close and obtain some really nice photos.

Doi Inthanon National Park
Spending two and half days on Thailand's tallest mountain gave us plenty of time to find many of its speciality species as well as some really fantastic opportunities to photograph Leaf Warblers. Our first morning was spent entirely on the summit of the mountain where although things started a little slowly we were treated to constant bird activity with wave after wave of small birds passing by, in many cases extremely closely. Our first Phylloscopus that we photographed really well was Davison's, with several of them in a feeding flock that contained Chestnut-tailed Minla, Green-tailed Sunbird, Mrs Gould's Sunbird, Rufous-winged Fulvetta and Ashy-throated Warbler. Of course with so many close encounters with lovely birds we spent a lot of time photographing everything within range.

A layer of cloud cover which had ruined our chances of Speckled Woodpigeon suddenly became our friend, creating a diffuse light that was great for photography where usually harsh light makes things difficult after about 9am. Because of this we were able to get really nice photos of Ashy-throated Warbler, a species restricted to the summit of Doi Inthanon in Thailand, and Buff-barred Warbler, both feeding on nectar. We found a few Blyth's Leaf Warblers too but only got poor photos, however, Nick managed to get some nice shots of Claudia's Leaf Warbler. We managed to find time to look for the summit specialities too finding Rufous-throated Partridge, Dark-sided Thrush, Pygmy Wren Babbler, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, White-browed Shortwing, Northern White-crowned Forktail and even Yellow-browed Tit. We enjoyed some of the best birding either of us had ever experienced at the summit of Doi Inthanon. I visit this site very frequently and it is always a pleasure, but this was definitely my best experience ever up there and getting a nice shot of a scarce Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker while lots of selfie-toting tourists stood close-by, oblivious to the bird, only made it more memorable.

Of course there is a lot more to Doi Inthanon than just the summit and we made stops lower down for Black-backed Forktail, Collared Falconet and Black-headed Woodpecker as well as visiting Watcharithan waterfall where we saw Slaty-backed Forktail. Another excursion at Km 37.5 found us both Small and Large Niltavas as well as great views of Slaty-bellied Tesia and several flocks of small birds containing Yellow-cheeked Tit, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Davison's Leaf Warbler, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta and Grey-chinned Minivet. A walk along the trail at Km 34.5 was quieter than expected but we saw our only White-headed Bulbuls of the trip feeding on top of a flowering tree and this is always a good place to get close to Hume's Treecreeper. At one point we got extremely excited when we thought we were looking at Purple Cochoa but it turned out to be a Large Niltava, in bad light at a funny angle; I know that many records of Purple Cochoa from Doi Inthanon have been similar mistakes, sometimes one sees what one wants to see but I am glad we realized our mistake in time. In the previous year several Chinese Leaf Warblers had wintered in this area but despite much effort we only got brief and distant views of this bird here although Clicking Shrike Babbler was a lovely bird to see.

With time running out in which to find Chinese Leaf Warbler we tried birding a completely different spot where we found likely looking habitat of bamboo scrub among forest patches. There were plenty of birds including Yellow-cheeked Tits and Grey-chinned Minivets as well as lots of Hume's Leaf Warblers and briefly a Pallas's Leaf Warbler. A couple of Wedge-tailed Green Pigeons in some pine trees showed well for us and it was very strange to suddenly be surrounded by a flock of sheep marching along the road! We heard and briefly saw another Chinese Leaf Warbler but were becoming resigned to failing in our efforts to get better photos of this one when another began calling nearby. This time call playback lured the bird out into the open a few times and despite our best efforts to overexpose the photos we eventually got some decent shots of this target species after which is was time for us to move on to our next location.

Mae Ping National Park
This dry dipterocarp woodland site represented a real change of habitat for us and the chance to see many species that specialize in this type of forest. Although both Radde's and Yellow-streaked Warblers are fairly abundant at this site at this time of year, they were never going to be easy to photograph given the nature of the habitat but Mae Ping made a nice stop on our way southwards. We spent an afternoon and a morning here and although we did see many of the birds we were hoping to find, things were quite a lot quieter than expected. However, we did see quite a few Yellow-streaked Warblers in the ground layer of the forest and several Radde's Warblers too, although it proved too difficult to photograph them. These two species look extremely similar in the field but luckily they were calling frequently allowing us to identify them.

Ashy-throated Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)

Buff-barred Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)

Davison's Leaf Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)

Chinese Leaf Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)
Usually Mae Ping is really good for a variety of Woodpecker species but strangely we did not see many this time. Having said that we got a number of really good views of the magnificent White-bellied Woodpecker, several groups of Black-headed Woodpeckers as well as Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker. Other interesting species seen here were Grey-headed Parakeet, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon and numerous groups of Rufescent Prinias with the odd Brown Prinia with them but we spent a lot of time trying to get photos of Yellow-streaked Warbler which we completely failed to do - oh well, those photos we got at Doi Ang Kang became even more precious after this experience. With things getting hot and the birding being quiet and difficult we left at around 10am and headed towards our next site - Taksin Maharat National Park near Tak.

Taksin Maharat National Park
This national park in Western Thailand does not usually get many visitors and is not on the normal birding trail with just a few listers visiting to "tick" White-throated Bulbul and Olive Bulbul, two species with restricted world ranges and easily seen here. We spent an afternoon and a morning here hoping to find one of Thailand's rarest Phylloscopus; Yellow-vented Warbler; but access to the forest is a little limited here and large numbers of Thai campers, here for the public holiday, made birding a bit tricky. However, birding along the road to the Giant Krabak tree trail gave us some interesting birds including good views of Scarlet Minivet, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Hume's Leaf Warbler, Blue-throated Barbet and one of the site spcialities, Olive Bulbul. However, there was no sign of Yellow-vented Warbler! A flock of small birds gave us some excitement with a very showy White-bellied Erpornis and a couple of lovely Sulphur-breasted Warblers, our first of the trip, but although they displayed quite well they were very backlit preventing us from getting the photos we craved.
We decided that the best way to find a bird like Yellow-vented Warbler was to just njoy the birding and look for the targets that we knew we could find and hope that it would turn up along the way. With this in mind we spent most of the remainder of the afternoon on the rather steep Krabak Tree trail. The tree itself is quite impressive and we got good views of several White-throated Bulbul about halfway down the trail. Several flocks of small birds passed through including good numbers of Claudia's Leaf Warbler and a couple of Sulphur-breasted Warblers along with a leg-ringed White-bellied Erpornis and an unusually confiding Alstrom's Warbler. But still no Yellow-vented Warbler! The walk up and down the trail was extremely hot and humid so birding gave us plenty of excuses to stop along the way, seeing species such as Black-throated Sunbird, Yellow-bellied Warbler, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher and Asian Fairy Bluebird but as the side of the hill became shady in the late afternoon bird activity dropped off and we sought out other spots that remained in the sun but only came up with common species. A nice pizza in Tak set us up nicely for the next morning though!

Our second attempt at Taksin Maharat provided us with more Leaf Warbler encounters in the early morning sunshine in the more open areas with more Hume's, Yellow-browed and some really nice photo opportunities of Radde's Warbler as it spent time calling and flitting from bush to bush. This was excellent as it was another Phylloscopus for our photographed list and one that was to prove elusive at all the other potential sites for it due to various reasons. We also got decent views of a calling Two-barred Warbler in the same sunny spot but there would be better chances to study this species later in the trip. Olive Bulbul proved fairly abundant and we saw this species more or less every corner of the national park that we got into and we added Streaked Spiderhunter, Plain Flowerpecker and Flavescent Bulbul to the list of birds we saw at Taksin Maharat but as the morning proceeded it became obvious that we were not going to get lucky with Yellow-vented Warbler. This was a little disappointing but finding this species was always a bit of a long shot as it is very seldom seen by birders in Thailand, however, Taksin Maharat is in the best part of the country to find one and there are more records from here than any other location in the country. However, we were still happy having got photos of Radde's Warbler and seen two range restricted species - Olive & White-throated Bulbuls.
Claudia's Leaf Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)

Radde's Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)
Lopburi Rice Fields
The next site we had planned was Bueng Boraphet so we headed off in the late morning to get there in time for some afternoon birding. However, we made good time on our journey and decided to continue beyond this site in order that we did not have to get up so very early the next day. We decided to stay in Lopburi, using to book some accommodation in advance. On the drive towards Lopburi I spotted some rice fields that looked good for birds so we spent the remainder of the afternoon here.

As soon as we got out of the car we could see large numbers of common open country birds; Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Asian Pied Starling, White-vented Myna, Plain Prinia, Scaly-breasted Munia, Asian Openbill; as well as small numbers of Indian Roller, Black-winged Kite and a wonderful male Pied Harrier. A little drive into the rice fields and we found a few nice, damp fields which were full of birds including Grey-headed Swamphen, Bronze-winged & Pheasant-tailed Jacanas, Long-toed Stint, Little Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper and a single Green Sandpiper. This was also the right habitat for us to see Eastern Yellow Wagtail in good numbers as well as several Red-throated Pipits which we managed to get good views of before they flew away to roost. We scanned for the male Pied Harrier spotting it at closer range as well as a female Eastern Marsh Harrier before I got a brief view of what seemed like a male Western Marsh Harrier dropping into the vegetation. He must have caught something because we waited for quite some time before taking off again and confirming his identity; this is a real rarity in Thailand, particularly this far south. A very nice way to end the day.

Wat PraPhuttabaht Noi
It did not take long to get here from Lopburi and our only real target was the resident population of Limestone Wren Babbler. Arriving around 7am it did not take long for us to find a couple of these birds foraging around the base of a staircase and treating us to some really excellent, close-up views. Here resides the calcicola subspecies which is endemic to central Thailand and split by the Handbook of the Birds of the World as Rufous Limestone-babbler Turdinus calcicola. After enjoying the Babblers and getting some really good photos we took a short walk around seeing Common Iora, Lineated Barbet, Blue Rockthrush, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Two-barred Warbler and a number of other common species before making the journey towards Petchaburi.
Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale
We spent an afternoon and a morning at this site which once again produced the goods with a whole load of top birds. We were not after Phylloscopus here, just interested in enjoying the huge flocks of shorebirds in the area and we obtained really nice views of all the specialities - the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmann's Greenshank, Far Eastern Curlew and Asian Dowitcher. Of course we also saw large numbers of commoner shorebirds and enjoyed getting close enough to photograph Curlew Sandpiper, Temminck's Stint, Spotted Redshank, Great Knot, Marsh Sandpiper, Long-toed Stint, Lesser Sand Plover, Broad-billed Sandpiper and many more with a really nice surprise of a lovely Milky Stork sitting alongside Painted Storks for comparison of plumage and size.

Our boat trip got us really good views of several Chinese Egrets as well as Malaysian Plover and a pair of White-faced Plovers on the sand spit. It was a good place to spend a few hours with good numbers of Great Crested Tern, Caspian Tern and Greater Sand Plover too as well as a few Pacific Reef Egrets.

This site is undoubtedly one of the best shorebird sites in the world and we enjoyed lots of great views of all the key species but there is more than just waterbirds here and at a freshwater pool we found a rarity; a juvenile Rosy Starling. This bird took a bath in the pool and spent a long time preening on a nearby bush while other birds that came to bathe included Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Wood Sandpiper, Indochinese Bushlark and some lovely Plain-backed Sparrows finishing with Indian Nightjar - this is always a great location.

Petchaburi Rice Fields
A couple of afternoon visits here turned up a lot of good birds as always. The combination of rice fields, fish ponds, ditches, hedgerows and scrubby areas create a wide diversity of habitats which are home to a wide range of birds including a Dusky Warbler which allowed us to photograph it. As well as common species such as Asian Openbill, Indian Roller, Baya Weaver, Great Egret, Eastern Cattle Egret and suchlike we also found scarcer birds including Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler, Oriental Darter, Greater Spotted Eagle and Chestnut-capped Babbler. We really enjoyed the birding here but we were keen to get back to chasing the last few Leaf Warblers on our target list at nearby Kaeng Krachan, although sites like this are always nice for breaking up the routine of forest birding.
  Birdwatching Trips To Northern & Central Thailand:
The Nothern mountains & Kaeng Krachan national park together with a multitude of
shorebirds in the Gulf of Thailand at Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale will always form the basis of a North/Central Thailand birding trip.

The wetlands are superb between November-late March but the forests are best visited December to July; there are always good birds to be seen.

Contact me to arrange a trip and/or to discuss the best birdwatching options for you:
Kaeng Krachan
This site is always exciting for birding with a huge park list and lots of really stunning birds. Unfortunately for us the weather really closed in during our stay making things extremely hard. This unseasonal weather was very irritating and did cause us to miss some of our expected targets, however, as normal even in the worst of conditions Kaeng Krachan served up some good birds.

In the lowlands we had our best birding with species including Orange-breasted Trogon, Black-and-red Broadbill, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Black-thighed Falconet and Great Hornbill as well as many commoner birds. Around Km 9 and Ban Krang campsite we were able to catch up with some Phylloscopus warblers although in the grey conditions they were more difficult to see and photograph than normal but we lured in several Yellow-browed Warblers and eventually a good view of Two-barred Warbler after struggling to get them into view at Ban Maka where we stayed. This area is also where we hope to get to grips with a couple of tricky birds; Sakhalin Leaf Warbler was split from Pale-legged Leaf Warbler several years ago and its wintering habits are still poorly understood. Many have considered the two birds unidentifiable in the field but having had lots of opportunity to study both it is not particularly difficult to separate them on call and even structure with some behavioural traits giving clues to their identity.
In the gardens of Ban Maka it did not take us long to find a calling Sakhalin Leaf Warbler and in fact we found 3 or 4 of these birds. However, due to the poor light conditions and active nature of the birds it was really difficult to get good photos. I managed this reasonable shot that can be seen on the right and Nick managed a little better. We also found one or two Sakhalin Leaf Warblers in the lower areas of the national park but their calls were matched in equal numbers there by Pale-legged Leaf warbler which we managed to see briefly on two occasions but failed to get even poor photos. Although I cannot claim it as a fact it seems to me that Sakhalin Leaf Warblers choose more open patches of forest to winter in and more readily climb high in the trees whereas Pale-legged seems to prefer area with dense undergrowth and keep lower to the ground.

One bird which caused some confusion was a Two-barred Leaf Warbler which announced itself by call but on first view it seemed to only have one wing bar. This made me have second thoughts, perhaps it could be Greenish Warbler? However, further calling confirmed that indeed it was Two-barred and on closer scrutiny a very small trace of the first wing bar could be seen; in this heavily worn plumage it is easy to make a mistake.

Some of the weather we had was truly awful but one by one we found some nice birds with Oriental Pied Hornbills checking out a nest hole, Sultan Tits foraging for caterpillars, Green-eared Barbet feeding on fruits and a host of Bulbuls and smaller birds including a very co-operative Yellow-vented Flowerpecker. Our luck with the weather changed on the last day and we saw a lot of our best birds then, which was very predictable, including a superb encounter with a male Crimson Sunbird which was feeding on a flower close to us for some time. While we were enjoying this, a flock of small birds passed by containing Rufous-fronted Babbler, Pin-striped Tit Babbler and another of our targets: Sulphur-breasted Warbler. Typically for a Phylloscopus although we were able to see it, we struggled to get any photos, snapping away at the moving object up in the sunlit leaves hoping for the best. I did not get anything usable but when we looked at the back of Nick's camera he had captured the bird quite nicely. Also in the flock was an Eastern Crowned Warbler, normally a fairly common bird here but the first one we encountered due to the weather, but unfortunately its appearance was brief and it was only I that saw it properly.

Normally I see a lot of good birds in the higher altitudes too but this is where we really suffered with our time up there being more or less a complete washout, fortunately we had seen many of the birds that live there earlier in our trip.

Sakhalin Leaf Warbler
(Photo by Nick Upton)
Some More Trip Reports
Ban Song Nok
One of our afternoons at Kaeng Krachan was spent at the hide in the garden of Ban Song Nok; Auntie Ek briefed us on the birds which had been regularly appearing so we had a good idea of what to expect but once again the overcast weather hampered things. However, as usual it was excellent for photography with a parade of handsome Red Junglefowl, several species of Bulbul, Puff-throated Babbler and very good views of Taiga Flycatcher. A female Kalij Pheasant was superb too, coming close enough that we were able to focus on getting head shots of this species but the biggest prize was a stunning male Siberian Blue Robin coming to bathe towards the end of the afternoon after at least ten other Siberian Blue Robins of varying plumages.

With the Leaf Warblers seen at these final sites it took our total to 17 species, with most of these photographed making this trip a success and we were also successful in balancing our Phylloscopus quest with general birding, seeing a wide range of really good birds in a wide range of habitats.
More photographs from this trip can be seen here - Photographic Trip Report from a Recent Trip - Northern Thailand
Nick Upton (
 Species list with sites and notes
Huay Tueng Tao: HTT
Doi Ang Kang: DAK
Doi Lang: DL
Thatorn Rice Fields: TRF
Chiang Saen: CS
Fang Hot Springs: FHS
Doi Inthanon: DI
Mae Ping: MP
Taksin Maharat: TM
Lopburi Rice Fields: LRF
Wat PraPhuttabaht Noi: WPN
Petchaburi Rice Fields: PRF
Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale: LPB/PT
Kaeng Krachan: KK
Ban Song Nok: BSN

1. Lesser Whistling Duck: CS, PRF.
2. Cotton Pygmy Goose:
3. Indian Spot-billed Duck
: CS.
4. Northern Pintail: CS.
5. Garganey: CS.
6. Baer's Pochard: 1f 'scoped at CS.
7. Ferruginous Duck: A few at CS.
8. Tufted Duck: A few at CS.
9. Japanese Quail: A pair flushed from rice stubble, TRF.
10. Rufous-throated Partridge: Summit, DI.
11. Mountain Bamboo Partridge: DL.
12. Red Junglefowl:
13. Kalij Pheasant: 1f at BSN.
14. Mrs Hume's Pheasant: 1m, DL.
14. Little Grebe: CS, PRF, LPB/PT.
15. Milky Stork: 1 at LPB/PT.
16. Painted Stork: LPB/PT.
17. Asian Openbill: CS, PRF, LRF.
18. Black-headed Ibis: Wat Khao Takrao.
19. Yellow Bittern: CS, LRF, PRF.
20. Cinnamon Bittern: PRF.
21. Black-crowned Night Heron: CS, LPB/PT.
22. Striated Heron: LPB/PT.
23. Chinese Pond Heron: Common and seen at many sites.
24. Javan Pond Heron: Known to be common at LPB/PT & PRF but inseperable from Chinese Pond Heron in non-breeding plumage.
25. Eastern Cattle Egret: Common.
26. Grey Heron: CS, LPB/PT, PRF.
27. Purple Heron: CS, LRF, PRF.
28. (Eastern) Great Egret: CS, LPF, PRF & LPB/PT.
29. Intermediate Egret: Fairly common at LPB/PT & PRF.
30. Little Egret: Very widespread.
31. Pacific Reef Egret: A few at LPB sand spit.
32. Chinese Egret: A few at LPB sand spit.
33. Little Cormorant: PRF, LPB/PT.
34. Indian Cormorant: Fairly common at PRF, LPB/PT.
35. Great Cormorant: A few at CS.
36. Oriental Darter: A few at PRF.
37. Western Osprey: 1 at CS.
38. Black-winged Kite: PRF & LRF.
39. Oriental Honey-buzzard: DL.
40. Black Baza: 3 at HTT; a few at MP.
41. Crested Serpent Eagle: TM & KK.
42. Greater Spotted Eagle: 1 at PRF.

43. Crested Goshawk: DL, KK.
44. Shikra: MP.
45. Western Marsh Harrier: 1m at LPRF.
46. Eastern Marsh Harrier: Large numbers at CS; a few at TRF, LRP & PRF.
47. Hen Harrier: 1j at CS.
48. Pied Harrier: Large numbers at CS; a few at TRF & LRF.
49. Brahminy Kite: PRF & LPB/PT.
50. Rufous-winged Buzzard: 1 at Nam Kam, CS.
51. Grey-faced Buzzard: DL.
52. Eastern Buzzard: DL.
53. White-breasted Waterhen:
54. Ruddy-breasted Crake: PRF.
55. Watercock: 1 at PRF.
56. Grey-headed Swamphen: Many at CS & LRF.
57. Common Moorhen: A few at CS, PRF & LRF.
58. Eurasian Coot: Large numbers at CS.
59. Small Buttonquail: 1 at TRF.
60. Black-winged Stilt: Common in wetlands.
61. Pied Avocet: 12 at LPB.
62. Grey-headed Lapwing:
A few at CS, TRF & PRF.
63. Red-wattled Lapwing: Seen at many locations.
64. Pacific Golden Plover: LPB/PT.
65. Grey Plover: LPB/PT.
66. Little Ringed Plover: TRF & LPB/PT.
67a. Kentish Plover: Fairly common at PT & LPB.
67b. White-faced Plover: 2 at LPB sand spit.
68. Malaysian Plover: A few at LPB sand spit.
69. Lesser Sand Plover: Common at LPB/PT.
70. Greater Sand Plover: A few at LPB/PT.
71. Greater Painted-snipe: A few at LPB.
72. Bronze-winged Jacana: CS, LPF & PRF.
73. Pheasant-tailed Jacana: LPF & PRF.
74. Pintail Snipe: A few at LPB.
75. Common Snipe: A few at PRF.
76. Asian Dowitcher: 3 at LPB/PT.
77. (Eastern) Black-tailed Godwit: Large numbers at LPB/PT.
78. Bar-tailed Godwit: Fairly common at LPB/PT.
79. Whimbrel: LPB/PT.
80. Eurasian Curlew: 800+ at LPB/PT.
81. Far Eastern Curlew: 2 at LPB/PT.
82. Spotted Redshank: Common at LPB/PT.
83. Common Redshank: LPB/PT.
84. Marsh Sandpiper: Very common at LPB/PT.
85. Common Greenshank: Fairly common at LPB/PT.
86. Nordmann's Greenshank: 12 at LPB/PT.
87. Green Sandpiper: CS & TRF.
88. Wood Sandpiper:
Fairly common at TRF, CS, LRF, PRF & LPB/PT.
89. Terek Sandpiper: A few at LPB/PT.
90. Common Sandpiper: CS, TRF, PRF & LPB/PT.
91. Ruddy Turnstone: 4 at LPB/PT.
92. Great Knot: Large numbers at LPB/PT.
93. Red Knot: 8 at LPB/PT.
94. Ruff:
A few at LPB/PT.
95. Broad-billed Sandpiper:
Fairly common at LPB/PT.
96. Curlew Sandpiper:
Very common at LPB/PT.
97. Temminck's Stint:
A few at LPB/PT.
98. Long-toed Stint:
99. Spoon-billed Sandpiper:
4 seen well at LPB/PT.
100. Red-necked Stint:
Very common at LPB/PT.
101. Sanderling:
A few at PT & LPB.
102. Dunlin: 1 at LPB/PT.
103. Red-necked Phalarope: LPB/PT.
104 Slender-billed Gull: 2 at LPB/PT.
105. Brown-headed Gull: Common at LPB/PT.
106. Gull-billed Tern: Fairly common at LPB/PT.
107. Caspian Tern: Fairly common at LPB/PT.
108. Greater Crested Tern: LPB/PT.
109. Little Tern: Common at LPB/PT.
110. Common Tern: Common at LPB/PT.
111. Whiskered Tern: Common at LPB/PT.
112. White-winged Tern: A few at LPB/PT.

113. Rock/Feral Pigeon
114. Oriental Turtle Dove: A few at DL.
115. Red Collared Dove: Common in open country.
116. Spotted Dove: Common in open country.
117. Common Emerald Dove: KK & BSN.
118. Zebra Dove: Common in open country.

119. Pink-necked Green Pigeon: A few at PRF.
120. Thick-billed Green Pigeon: KK.
121. Yellow-footed Green Pigeon: A few at MP.
122. Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon: A few at DI.
123. Mountain Imperial Pigeon: A few at Km27-30, KK.
124. Greater Coucal: Abundant.
125. Lesser Coucal: TRF & CS.
126. Green-billed Malkoha: A few at CS, TM & KK.
127. Asian Koel: A few at PRF & LPB/PT.
128. Banded Bay Cuckoo: TM.
129. Plaintive Cuckoo: CS & PRF.
130. Asian Drongo Cuckoo: Km 9, KK.
131. Asian Barred Owlet: TM & WPN.
132. Spotted Owlet: 1 at DI.
133. Great Eared Nightjar: 1 at KK.
134. Indian Nightjar: A few at LPB/PT.
135. Large-tailed Nightjar: A few at KK.
136. Crested Treeswift: 2 at MP.
137. Himalayan Swiftlet: DL.
138. Pale-rumped (Germain's) Swiftlet: Very common at PRF & LPB/PT.
139. Asian Palm Swift: Seen at all locations.
140. Common Swift: 1 at DL, seen well with Cook's & Dark-rumped Swifts ruled out on plumage features from below & above.
141. Cook's Swift: Common at DL.
142. House Swift: TRF.
143. Orange-breasted Trogon: KK.
144. Indian Roller: PRF & KK .
145. Oriental Dollarbird: A few at KK.
146. White-throated Kingfisher: Most open country sites.
147: Black-capped Kingfisher: A few at LPB/PT.
148. Collared Kingfisher: LPB/PT.
149. Common Kingfisher: TRF, PRF, CS & LPB/PT.
150. Green Bee-eater: PRF.
151. Blue-tailed Bee-eater: A few at PRF & LPB/PT.
152. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater: KK.
153. Eurasian Hoopoe: A few at WPN.
154. Great Hornbill: KK.
155. Oriental Pied Hornbill: Fairly common at KK.
156. Great Barbet: TM & DL.
157. Lineated Barbet: MP, DI & WPN.
158. Green-eared Barbet: A few at Km 9, KK.
159. Golden-throated Barbet: DAK, DL, DI.
160. Blue-throated Barbet: TM, DAK, DL & KK.
161. Blue-eared Barbet: TM & FHS.
162. Coppersmith Barbet: FHS & WPN.
163. Eurasian Wryneck: TRF & PRF.
164. Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker: Several at MP.
165. Stripe-breasted Woodpecker: DL, DAK & DI.
166. White-bellied Woodpecker: 2 at MP.
167. Greater Yellownape: A few at Km 9, KK.
168. Black-headed Woodpecker: 2 at Km 13, DI.
169. Common Flameback: A few at KK.
170. Greater Flameback: A few at MP & KK.
171. Bamboo Woodpecker: DL.
172. Collared Falconet: 6 at Km 13, DI.
173. Black-thighed Falconet: 2 at Km 9, KK.
174. Amur Falcon: 1j at FHS; 1ad TRF.
175. Oriental Hobby: 1at DL.
176a. Peregrine Falcon peregrinator: 1 at DL.
177b. Peregrine Falcon japonensis: 1 at CS.
178. Grey-headed Parakeet: MP.
179. Blossom-headed Parakeet: A few at MP.
180. Black-and-red Broadbill:
2 at KK.
181. Long-tailed Broadbill: A large flock at DL.
182. Black-and-yellow Broadbill: KK.

183. Golden-bellied Gerygone: LPB/PT.
184. Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike: KK.
185. Large Woodshrike: A few, MP.
186. Common Woodshrike: A few, MP.
187. Ashy Woodswallow: Many sites.
188. Common Iora: WPN & KK.
189. Great Iora: KK.
190. Large Cuckooshrike: Dl & MP.
191. Indochinese Cuckooshrike: DL & MP.
192a. Black-winged Cuckooshrike avensis: DL & KK.
192b. Black-winged Cuckooshrike melaschistos: TM.
193. Rosy Minivet: TM.
194. Swinhoe's Minivet:
A few at KK.
195. Small Minivet: MP.
196. Grey-chinned Minivet rubrolimbatus: DL, DAK & DI.
197. Long-tailed Minivet: DL & DI.
198. Short-billed Minivet: A few at DI.
199. Scarlet Minivet: DL, TM & KK.
200a. Brown Shrike confusus: Common in open country.
200b. Brown Shrike lucionensis: 1 at DAK.
201. Burmese Shrike: CS & MP.
202a. Long-tailed Shrike tricolor: A few CS & TRF.
202b. Long-tailed Shrike longicaudatus: All open areas in North.
203. Grey-backed Shrike: DL.
204. White-bellied Erpornis: TM, DI, KK.
205. Blyth's Shrike-babbler: DL, DI & TM.
206. Clicking Shrike-babbler: DI.
207. Slender-billed Oriole: TM & DL.
208. Black-naped Oriole: Many locations.
209. Black-hooded Oriole: BSN.
210. Maroon Oriole: DL.
211a. Black Drongo cathoercus: Fairly common.
211b. Black Drongo thai: A few, MP.
212a. Ashy Drongo leucogenis: WPN, TM & KK.
213b. Ashy Drongo mouhoti: KY & KK.
213c. Ashy Drongo salangensis: 1 at TM.
213d. Ashy Drongo hopwoodi: A few at DAK.

214. Bronzed Drongo: TM & KK.
215. Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo: TM & DI.
216. Hair-crested Drongo: Most forest sites.
217a. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo paradiseus: Fairly common at KY, KLC & KK.
217b. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo rangoonensis: Lower areas of DI.
218. White-throated Fantail: DI.
219. Malaysian Pied Fantail: LPB/PT & PRF.
220. Black-naped Monarch: TM, BSN & KK.
221. Eurasian Jay leucotis: 2 at FHS.
222. Rufous Treepie: A few at Inthanon Highland Resort.
223. Grey Treepie: DL.
224. Racket-tailed Treepie: CS & KK.
225. Eastern Jungle Crow: LRF, PRF & LPB/PT.
226. Yellow-bellied Fantail: DL & DI.
227. Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher: DI, KK & TM.
228. Yellow-browed Tit: A few at summit, DI.
229. Sultan Tit: Seen a few times at KK.
230. Japanese Tit: DL, DAK & DI.
231. Yellow-cheeked Tit: DL & DI.
232. Horsfield's Bushlark: A few at TRF.
233. Indochinese Bushlark: HTT, PRF & LPB/PT.
234. Oriental Skylark: Many at TRF.
235. Crested Finchbill: DL.
236. Striated Bulbul:
DL & DI.
237. Black-headed Bulbul:
A few at DI, TM & KK.
238. Black-crested Bulbul: TM & KK.
239. Red-whiskered Bulbul: Common in North.
240. Brown-breasted Bulbul: A few at DAK & DL.
241a. Sooty-headed Bulbul klossi: Common in North.
241b. Sooty-headed Bulbul thais: A few at BSN.
242. Stripe-throated Bulbul: KK, TM & BSN.
243. Flavescent Bulbul: DL, DAK & DI.
244. Yellow-vented Bulbul: A few at PRF.
245. Streak-eared Bulbul: Common in open country & forest edge.
246. White-throated Bulbul: A few at TM.
247. Puff-throated Bulbul:
2 at DI.
248. Ochraceous Bulbul:
Common at KK.
249a. Olive Bulbul
viridescens: Fairly common at TM.
249b. Baker's Bulbul
cinnamomeoventris: Common at KK (previously ssp of Grey-eyed Bulbul, but probably better split as Baker's Bulbul rather than within Olive Bulbul).
250. Mountain Bulbul:
Fairly common DI, DL & DAK.
251. Ashy Bulbul hildebrandi: Fairly common DI, DL & DAK.
252. Black Bulbul concolor: DI & DL.
253. White-headed Bulbul: At Km 24.5, DI, only.
254a. Barn Swallow guttaralis: Seen every day.
254b. Barn Swallow tytleri: A few at CS.
255. Asian House Martin: A few at TM.
256. Red-rumped Swallow: A few at KK.
257. Striated Swallow: Several at FHS.
258. Pygmy Wren-babbler: Summit, DI.
259. Yellow-bellied Warbler: TM.
260. Mountain Tailorbird: DI & DL.
261. Aberrant Bush Warbler: A few, DL.
262. Slaty-bellied Tesia: A few, Km 37.5, DI.
263. Chestnut-headed Tesia: 1 at DL.
264. Asian Stubtail: 1 at DL.
265. Black-throated Bushtit: A small flock at DL.
266. Dusky Warbler: TRF, CS & PRF.
267. Buff-throated Warbler: Several, DL.
268. Yellow-streaked Warbler: A few, DAK & MP.
269. Radde's Warbler: A few at TM, MP & KK.
270. Buff-barred Warbler: A few at DL & DI.
271. Ashy-throated Leaf Warbler: Summit, DI.
272. Chinese Leaf Warbler: DL & DI.
273. Pallas's Leaf Warbler: DL & DI.
274. Yellow-browed Warbler: Common at most sites.
275. Hume's Leaf Warbler mandellii: Fairly common, DAK, DL & DI.
276. Greenish Warbler: HTT, CS, FHS, TM, DAK & MP.
277. Two-barred Warbler: A few at TM & KK.
278. Pale-legged Leaf Warbler: A few at KK.
279. Sakhalin Leaf Warbler: Several at KK, Ban Maka & BSN.
280. Blyth's Leaf Warbler: DL & DI.
281. Claudia's Leaf Warbler: DL, DI & TM.
282. Davison's Leaf Warbler: Common at DL & DI.
283. Sulphur-breasted Warbler: A few at TM & KK.
284. Grey-crowned Warbler: A few at DL & DI.
285. Bianchi's Warbler: DL.
286. Marten's Warbler: DL, DI & TM.
287. Alstrom's Warbler: 1 at TM.
288. Chestnut-crowned Warbler: DL & DI.
289. Oriental Reed Warbler: A few at PRF & LPB/PT.
290. Black-browed Reed Warbler: PRF.
291. Blyth's Reed Warbler:
1 seen well and id on call/song at CS.
292. Thick-billed Warbler: MP & KK.
293. Baikal Bush Warbler: 1 seen well at CS.
294. Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler: 1 at PRF.
295. Zitting Cisticola: A few at LPB/PT & PRF.
296. Golden-headed Cisticola: A few at HTT.
276. Brown Prinia: A few at MP.
287. Hill Prinia: A few at DL & DI.
299. Rufescent Prinia: DL & MP.
300. Grey-breasted Prinia: DL.
301. Yellow-bellied Prinia: CS & PRF .
302a. Plain Prinia blanfordi: A few at TRF.
302b. Plain Prinia herberti: LRF, PRF & LPB/PT.
303. Common Tailorbird: FHS, CS, WPN & LPB/PT.
304. Dark-necked Tailorbird: KK.
305. Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler: A few at DL.
306. White-browed Scimitar Babbler: DL.
307. Red-billed Scimitar Babbler:
A few at DL.
308. Grey-throated Babbler:
309 Rufous-fronted Babbler:
A few at KK.
310. Golden Babbler:
DL & DI.
311. Pin-striped Tit Babbler: TM & KK.
312. Chestnut-capped Babbler: HTT.
313. Rufous-winged Fulvetta: Summit DI.
314. Brown-cheeked Fulvetta: BSN.
315. Yunnan (Grey-cheeked) Fulvetta: DL, DAK & DI.
316. Limestone Wren Babbler calcicola: A few at WPN.
317. Collared (White-hooded) Babbler: DL & KK.
318. Abbott's Babbler: 2 at BSN.
319. Puff-throated Babbler: A few at BSN.
320. White-crested Laughingthrush: MP.
321. Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush: BSN.
322. Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush: BSN.
323. White-browed Laughingthrush: DAK & DL.
324. Silver-eared Laughingthrush: Several at DL & DI.
325. Himalayan Cutia: A flock of 5 at DL.
326. Blue-winged Minla: DL & DI.
327. Bar-throated (Chestnut-tailed) Minla: Common at summit DI.
328. Scarlet-faced Liocichla: DL.
329. Spectacled Barwing: DAK, DL & DI.
330. Silver-eared Mesia: DL.
331. Rufous-backed Sibia: DL & DI.
332. Dark-backed Sibia: Common at DAK, DL & DI.
333. Pale-billed (Lesser Rufous-headed) Parrotbill: A few at DL.
334. Grey-headed Parrotbill: A large flock at DL.
335. Spot-breasted Parrotbill: DL.
336. Striated Yuhina: DL.
337. Whiskered Yuhina: A few at DL.
338. Japanese White-eye: A few at FHS.
339. Oriental White-eye: DAK, TM & DI.
340. Chestnut-flanked White-eye: DAK, DI & DL.
341. Asian Fairy Bluebird: Fairly common at TM.
342. Chestnut-vented Nuthatch: Fairly common DI, DAK & DL.
343. Burmese Nuthatch: A few at MP.
344. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch: DL, TM & KK.
345. Giant Nuthatch: A few at DL.
346. Hume's Treecreeper: A few at DI.
347. Spot-winged Starling: 1 at FHS.
348. Common Hill Myna:
A few at KK.
349. Great (White-vented) Myna: Common in open country.
350. Common Myna: Common in open country & urban areas.
351. Red-billed Starling: A small flock at CS.
352. Black-collared Starling: Common at TRF & CS.
353. Pied Myna (Asian Pied Starling): Common at PRf & LPB/PT.
354. White-shouldered Starling: A few at LPB rubbish tip.
355. Chestnut-tailed Starling nemoricola: TRF, CS & FHS.
356. Rosy Starling: 1j at LPB rubbish dump.
357. Dark-sided Thrush: Summit, DI.
358. Black-breasted Thrush: 1m at DAK.
359. Eyebrowed Thrush: 1 at Km 9, KK.
360. Oriental Magpie Robin: Common in open/urban areas.
361. White-rumped Shama: WPN, BSN, KK & Ban Maka.
362. Asian Brown Flycatcher: WPN, MP & KK.
363. White-gorgetted Flycatcher: A few at DL.
364. Hainan Blue Flycatcher: KK.
365. Pale Blue Flycatcher: 1m at DL.
366. Hill Blue Flycatcher: DAK & TM.
367. Tickell's Blue Flycatcher: BSN.
368. Chinese Blue Flycatcher: 1m at BSN.
369. Rufous-bellied Niltava: 1m at DL; 1f at DAK.
370. Large Niltava: DL & DI.
371. Small Niltava: DI.
372. Verditer Flycatcher: DL, TM & KK.
373. White-browed Shortwing: Summit DI.
374. Siberian Blue Robin: 10+ at BSN.
375. Bluethroat kobdensis: 1 at TRF.
376. Siberian Rubythroat: HTT, DL, TRF & CS.
377. White-tailed Robin: 1m at DAK.
378. Himalayan Bluetail: 2f at DL.
379. Black-backed Forktail: 2 at DI.
380. Slaty-backed Forktail: 2 at DI.
381. (Northern) White-crowned Forktail indicus: 1 at summit DI.
382a. Blue Whistlingthrush caeruleus: A few at DL & DI.
382b. Blue Whistlingthrush eugenei: A few at DL, DI & WPN.
383. Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher: A few at DL.
384. Taiga Flycatcher: Common.
385. Snowy-browed Flycatcher: Summit DI.
386. Little Pied Flycatcher: DL & DI.
387. Slaty-blue Flycatcher: 1f at DL.
388. Sapphire Flycatcher: 1 at DL.
389. Daurian Redstart: 1f at DAK.
390. Plumbeous Water Redstart: DI.
391. White-capped Redstart: 1 at FHS.
392. Blue Rockthrush pandoo: A couple at FHS.
393. Chestnut-bellied Rockthrush: 1f at DL
394. Siberian Stonechat przewalski: 1 at DAK.
395. Stejneger's Stonechat: Common in open country.
396. Pied Bushchat: TRF & CS.
397. Grey Bushchat: DL & DAK.
398. Blue-winged Leafbird: Several at TM & KK.
399. Golden-fronted Leafbird: FHS & MP.
400. Orange-bellied Leafbird: DL, DAK & DI.
401 Thick-billed Flowerpecker: FHS & MP.
402. Yellow-vented Flowerpecker: KK.
403. Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker: A few at summit DI.
404. Plain Flowerpecker:
405. Fire-breasted Flowerpecker: Summit DI.
406. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker: Ban Maka, WPN & KK.
407. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird: KK.
408. Brown-throated Sunbird: 1 at PRF.
409. Purple Sunbird: DAK & Inthanon Highland Resort.
410. Olive-backed Sunbird: Common.
411. Mrs Gould's Sunbird: DL, DI & DAK.
412. Green-tailed Sunbird angkaensis: Summit DI.
413. Black-throated Sunbird: TM.
414. Crimson Sunbird: A pair, KK.
415. Little Spiderhunter: Ban Maka .
416. Streaked Spiderhunter: DAK & DL.
417. House Sparrow: TRF, PRF & LPB/PT.
418. Plain-backed Sparrow: PRF & LPB/PT.
419. Eurasian Tree Sparrow: Common.
420. Asian Golden Weaver: PRF.
421. Streaked Weaver: PRF.
422. Baya Weaver: TRF & PRF.
423. Red Avadavat: A pair, HTT.
424. White-rumped Munia: PRF.
425. Scaly-breasted Munia: Most open country sites.
426. Chestnut Munia: A few at LPB/PT.
427. Eastern Yellow Wagtail: Several at LRF & LPB/PT.
428. Citrine Wagtail: TRF.
429. Grey Wagtail: FHS, DI, TM & KK.
430. White Wagtail leucopsis: Huge numbers at TRF & CS.
431. Olive-backed Pipit: DAK, DL & DI.
432. Red-throated Pipit: TRF.
433. Richard's Pipit: TRF & LPB/PT.
434. Paddyfield Pipit: TRF & LPB/PT.
435. Spot-winged Grosbeak: A flock at FHS.
436. Common Rosefinch: A few, DL.
437. Crested Bunting: A few at DL.
438. Little Bunting: 1at DL.
439. Yellow-breasted Bunting: A few at TRF.
440. Black-headed Bunting: At least 10 at TRF.
Nick Upton can be contacted at
More information on Huay Tueng Tao
More information on Doi Ang Kang
More information on Thatorn Ricefields
More Information on Doi Inthanon
More information on Wat Praputtabaht Noi
More information on Pak Thale/Laem Pak Bia
More Information on Petchaburi Rice Fields
More information on Kaeng Krachan
More information on Ban Maka
If you are interested in arranging a bird watching tour you can see some suggested itineraries here - Birdwatching Trips - and you can contact me at the above email address to discuss the best options.

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