: I arrived late on the 12th in Bangkok, exchanged money
and got a taxi to Soi Kasem One off of Sukhumvit. Best deal for
taxis is to pay for the fare at the airport- follow the signs to
the taxi service (named that or something along those lines) instead
of bargaining with individual drivers in the airport. There are
several guest houses and small hotels on this quiet street strategically
located near the skytrain (nice public rail transport good for avoiding
quite bad Bangkok traffic). Here as elsewhere during this trip,
most hotels were full!- especially those mentioned in the Lonely
Planet guide. If you can, I strongly recommend making reservations
in advance: Bangkok
Hotel Reservations. Nevertheless I found a room here
at a sizable hotel on the corner for $18. Room was acceptable but
nothing to speak of. The hotel did have a 24 restaurant though-
nice to be able to eat breakfast at 4:30 AM before birding at dawn.
: Muang Boran fish ponds-see map with directions at Muang
Boran Fishponds. I arranged a ride to the Muang Boran
fishponds with a taxi at 5AM. With little traffic, we got there
in about an hour. Make sure the taxi takes you to the first cement
bridge over the canal on the left after the Chinese wharehouse-
this is an obvious, large Chinese structure located after the entrance
to the Muang Boran park- you don’t want to go to the park
At the bridge,
there are mototaxis that can take you to the second mototaxi stop
(perhaps show them the map from Thaibirding.com). If walking (or
driving) from the bridge, continue straight past several food stalls
with large apartment buildings on the left. Take a left where the
large apartment buildings end. Stay on this road, following it when
it makes a 90 degree turn to the right. At this point it passes
an empty lot on the right with a marshy area behind a fence on the
left. Follow this until a mototaxi stop is reached- several guys
with motorcycles should be hanging out here. Take a right here!
Go to end of road, there is a small wooden plank or bridge on the
left. Cross this and you will be on the main track into the fishponds.
There are small stores along this road where drinks, etc. can be
bought. Be careful of the sun and bring water while birding the
were pretty good for marsh birds, Reed Warblers and open country
stuff. This was a great place for my first morning birding in Asia
and many of these species I saw only at this site. Common
Koels were calling all over the place. At dawn, many birds
became active and they were all new! This place was especially good
for Rails and skulking marsh birds- I saw several White-browed
Crakes, one Ruddy-breasted Crake,
a few Watercocks, White-breasted
Waterhen, Cinnamon and Yellow
Bitterns, and more. I saw no Kingfishers here. Be aware that
locals still hunt birds here as well. I heard some shooting and
ran into two guys who were trapping Waterhens.
After a morning
of very satisfying birding, I got a taxi to the closest skytrain
terminal (On Nut), got back to my hotel, had lunch and was off to
Park. Despite it being 1PM, the birding was pretty
good for common stuff and the park very pleasant. Good spot to hit
for a few hours- would be especially nice in the morning. This place
was especially good for seeing Coppersmith
After the park,
I had to get back out to the airport for my evening flight to Krabi
in the south. Flew One Two Go! Airways- bought my ticket online
before leaving the States. Arrived Krabi 9:30P.M. Either bats or
nightjars were catching bugs by the lights of the airport. Shared
a taxi into town and met up with Gail Schacter with whom I had previously
communicated with about birding together. After some delicious curried
noodles at the waterfront, I slept soundly until 5:30AM.
: Thanks to Gail for booking a mangrove boat trip with
Mr. Dai through the Chan Phen travel agency, we were off around
7AM into the nearby mangroves. I think we paid $35 for a 4-5 hour
boat ride. Despite Mr. Dai’s concerted efforts to whistle
in Mangrove Pitta and Mangrove Blue Fly, we dipped on those and
saw few birds overall. This may have been due to it being low tide.
Mr Dai said Feb. was better for these as well as Ruddy Kingfisher.
Nevertheless, we saw some cool birds and the scenery was beautiful.
This was especially good for Kingfishers with good looks at several
Collared and Common
Kingfishers. Our best bird was probably Oriental
Hobby - pair at the limestone outcropping. Chan Phen travel
Agency was very helpful for this trip and other things-. Ask for
Mr. Dong- he speaks English and was very good to us.
we taxied it to the Morakot resort located just outside of KNC.
Trip takes about an hour and few birds are seen in the landscape
converted to rubber tree and oil palm plantations. Most birders
visiting KNC stay at the Morakot and with good reason. KNC is only
800 meters up the road, birding at the Morakot is not bad (especially
around riparian growth in back that sometimes has Red and Black
Broadbill), and the women who run the place are very sweet and accommodating.
They usually know where some birds are and can take you to the entrance
to a track leading to a Spotted Wood Owl roost. Bungalows are also
clean and comfortable with two bottles of drinking water provided
daily. Their restaurant is also good with breakfast available at
5:30AM. Check their birdlog for latest Gurney’s Pitta sightings.
we birded the pond in the back for the rest of the afternoon seeing
several Bulbuls, Flowerpeckers, Sunbirds and beautiful Blue-eared
Kingfisher as our best species. The grounds were especially
good for Purple-throated Sunbird and
the tiny Orange-bellied Flowerpecker.
We tried a bit of owling down the road getting close to but not
seeing Collared Scops Owl.
: Breakfast at 5:30AM and our first bird was Great-eared
Nightjar flying around above the trees and calling. We had
these every morning here- they are really big! At dawn we waited
at the entrance to KNC to see birds at the edge of the forest which
ended up being in vain for there was almost nothing! We then made
our way into the reserve, found a gulley off of B detailed in the
logbook and waited and watched for the star of KNC; Gurney’s
Pitta. Interesting sounding birds called here and there nearby,
nothing came in to imitations, and no Gurney’s was heard nor
seen after two hours. Birding along the B trail, I managed to get
a few species out of a quickly moving mixed flock that was mostly
hidden by the foliage. Further up B is excellent primary forest.
By the time we got there, things were pretty quiet and we saw nothing.
After lunch at the restaurant just outside of the KNC entrance,
we walked the boardwalk through peat forest to the crystal pool
along with several other non-birding visitors. Once again almost
no birds. Walking back along the A trail/road we had Yellow-bellied
Warbler in the bamboo. We tried the U trail later on in the
afternoon, waiting at gulleys there but no sign of Gurney’s.
I did manage to whistle in a Moustached Hawk
Cuckoo though. Thank goodness! A bird and a good one at that
responding and showing well! We heard a few of these during our
stay at KNC along the B trail as well.
: Another 5:30AM breakfast and we were off to the U trail.
Lots of gulley waiting to no avail but a few other birds here and
there. Pretty sure I heard Red-bearded Bee-eater near the start
of the U trail but could not find them. We walked back along the
n(?) and q(?) trails to the main road. There was some bird activity
along here but birds were very tough to see in the secondary forest.
Best sp. was probably Puff-backed Bulbul
of which we saw several. Walking back along the road I also had
Raffles Malkoha with a mixed flock.
we birded the main road past the U trail, hitting the intersection
with the H trail. There was some nice forest here with a few birds-
best was Whiskered Treeswift. Would
probably be good in the morning.
: We heard that on the previous day, another guy had seen
Gurney’s at the first gulley on B just after dawn. So, along
with a German birder named Benedict, we quietly watched the gulley
for an hour after dawn without luck, then spent some time over at
the gulley off the B trail from our first day. No Gurney’s
but did get Red-billed Malkoha here.
After lunch we headed back to Krabi for some estuary birding.
So, no Gurney’s
this time- not even heard and not so much else seen either. I would
visit here again to get Gurney’s probably hiring Yothin for
the day, but would visit Malaysia for the other Sundaic species
In Krabi we
got a boat guy to take us to the river mouth for a few hours. I
think we paid about $20. It was low tide so shorebirds were scattered
and thus not ideal conditions but was still good. Although we couldn’t
find Nordmann’s Greenshank, we got Chinese
Egret and saw lots of other shorebirds including lots of
Terek Sandpiper, both Sand
Plovers (mostly Lessers), and several Bar-tailed
Godwits. Also got one Greater crested
Tern and saw several Brahminy Kites.
Flew back to
Bangkok that evening and stayed at a youth hostel in Sukhumvit.
It was somewhat loud and not so great.
: Managed to communicate with a taxi driver that we wanted
to hire him for the morning to take us to the Khok
Kham salt pans near Samut Sakhorn for about $35. Following
the directions from Thaibirding.com, despite feeling lost, we were
on track and made it to Mr. Tiis birding Center. Although he wasn’t
there, the salt pans were close by and we didn’t have far
to drive before we found some birds. Shorebirding here was great!
We were very lucky to get on Spoon-billed
Sandpiper almost right away! It was just about the first
bird we saw with excellent looks at the bill. After momentarily
scanning through some of the other birds present, we tried to find
the Spoon-billed again to no avail and never saw one again for the
rest of the day! Considering ourselves very fortunate, Gail and
I enjoyed watching a good variety of other palearctic shorebirds
with Marsh Sandpiper being especially
common. There were also lots of Black-winged
Stilts, Common Greenshank, Red-necked
and Temminck’s Stint and a few
Curlew Sandpipers! I was very pleased
to get this one as I had always missed it as a vagrant in North
America. We also had loads of Yellow Wagtails
here and several Herons flying overheard amongst other birds. Before
we left, flocks of hundreds of Shorebirds were flying by, most of
them Plover species.
Our next stop was Khao
Yai. We had the taxi drop us at the bus terminal and
bought tickets to Chom Thong. Bus was very comfortable for the 2
hour ride, picking up Asian open-billed Stork
and Red-collared Dove along the way.
After lunch in Chom Thong, we got on the Saengthaew for Khao Yai.
A Saengthaew is a very common form of public transport in Thailand
in the form of a converted truck with seating similar to that found
in army troop transports. They charge very little and stop often.
The one in Chom Thong for Khao Yai leaves from the north side of
the main road through town road near a pedestrian bridge 500 meters
(?) west of the bus stop from Bangkok.
Gail got off
at the Green Leaf guest house and I continued on to the entrance
of the park. Although it’s best to have ones own transport
for this big park, if you like to walk a lot and hitch rides, you
can do it on your own. I hitched a couple of rides to get to the
Pha Kluay Mai campground picking up Oriental
Pied Hornbill along the way from the back of a pickup. Although
I brought my own tent, you can rent tents here as well as ground
mats and sleeping bags. It’s nice during the week but during
the weekend, it gets very crowded with barely room to set up a tent.
Rental might cost $10 while camping costs $1-$2. There is also a
restaurant here serving tasty, cheap food and also offers up views
of good birds and animals out back. It’s amazing. One can
sit at a table sipping a cold soda while watching a Coral-billed
Ground Cuckoo, Orange-headed Thrush
or other nice bird. The first bird I saw here was the Ground Cuckoo.
Nothing like starting and ending the day with two excellent species;
Spoon-billed Sand and Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo. Over the next
few days, I repeatedly saw two Ground Cuckoos
here, Orange-headed Thrush, Siberian
Blue Robin, and Red Jungle Fowl
as well as macaques, Sambar deer and a huge 2 meter long Water Monitor.
It pays to keep checking into the forest here with bins as the birds
can often be hidden back in the shade of the understory.
: Like most of my mornings at Khao Yai, I started birding
pre dawn hearing 4 species of Owls. These were Collared Owlet, Collared
and Mountain Scops Owls and Brown Hawk Owl. I had these every morning
along the road that heads from the campground towards the HQ. Collared
Scop I had in trees at the campground, especially near the start
of the waterfall trail. Despite many attempts I never saw any of
these Owls! At least Great Eared Nightjar
was easy to see as it flew over the campground every night.
My first morning
was particularly good with many lifers. I started at the top of
the incline along the road towards the HQ, birding towards the campground
with much of my time spent watching a couple of fruiting figs. I
had good looks at 3 sp. of Barbets, several Oriental
Pied Hornbills, Thick-billed Pigeons,
several Asian Fairy Bluebirds, a few
Bulbul species, Blue-winged Leafbirds,
Scarlet Minivets, Mountain
Imperial Pigeon, and more. One of my best birds was a female
Banded Kingfisher whistled in at the
top of the incline. In voice, looks and behavior, it reminded me
somewhat of Barred Puffbird from the Choco bioregion.
After a productive
couple of hours at the fig trees, I ate a quick breakfast at the
restaurant, seeing two Ground Cuckoos
in the process then headed up the waterfall trail. Birding was somewhat
slow but fine with the type of mixed flock I became very familiar
with at Khao Yai containing Swinhoes,
Rosy and Scarlet
Minivets, Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrikes,
many White-bellied Yuhinas and Phylloscopus
species, Chestnut-flanked White eye,
Gray-headed Canary Flycatcher, Ashy
Drongo, Black-winged Cuckooshrike,
and several noisy and ever present Puff-throated
and Black-crested Bulbuls. Along the
stream, Gray Wagtails were more regular
than Slaty backed Forktails which were
very shy. Also had a few Great Hornbills
in flight along this trail and eventually made it to the waterfall
(kind of a long walk while birding). During lunch at the waterfall
restaurant, I met a local guide with a client from Philadelphia.
They were very helpful with bird gen. and gave me a ride back to
the visitors center. The prize at the visitors center was seeding
bamboo near the river that held at least four Pin-tailed
Parrotfinches amongst the many White-rumped
Munias. There was also a snag near the bamboo used by Greater
Flamebacks! Along the river I had my first of many Taiga
Flycatchers; once I learned the short dry trilling sound
they made, I realized how common they were just about everywhere
I went. That afternoon, I walked a bit of the B trail hoping for
Pheasants. The B trail (as it is named on Thaibirding.com, the trail
to Wang Jumpee at Khao Yai) is steep in some spots but not too bad.
Had Red-headed Trogon near the start
of the trail, Abbott’s Babbler,
and good mixed flocks before turning back to hitch back to the campground.
: Birded some of the waterfall trail from the campsite
this morning, best birds being Large Scimitar
Babbler in bamboo, Red-headed Trogon,
Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo, Great
Hornbill and Shikra from the
top of the waterfall- one can walk out onto nearly the top of the
waterfall (be careful!) in the dry season to scan the canopy of
the surrounding forest. Things were fairly quiet by the time I did
this- it might be pretty good in the morning. On the way back, a
guy named Gordon showed me a Blue-bearded
Bee-eater. Ended up being my only one for the trip- thanks
For the afternoon,
I hit the B trail again but was foiled in my attempt at Pheasants
and Pittas by a huge group of loud Thai students.
1/21 : This morning, I walked to the other campground
seeing quite a few birds there with best being Rufous
Woodpecker and another H. Hawk Cuckoo.
Here I met a Thai birder and with a couple friends of his drove
over to the B trail. We did the loop from the visitors center to
the mo sing reservoir but no dice with Pheasants nor Pittas although
we traversed some excellent habitat. We had much mixed flock activity
and good looks at Hill Blue Flycatchers,
Orange-headed Thrush, White-rumped
Shama, and then White-crested
and Lesser-necklaced Laughthrushes
in the second growth as we descended towards the reservoir.
After an iced
coffee and lunch, I walked along the main road towards the watchtower,
taking my time in the midday heat. Saw some good stuff along the
way such as Emerald Dove, Yellow-vented
Flowerpecker, then several Red-whiskered
Bulbuls in a flowering tree at the parking area for the watchtower.
Heading to the watchtower paid off with looks at a pair of Wreathed
Hornbills but not much else although it’s probably
really good early in the morning. The watchtower is located in an
open grassy area with views of a pond and nearby forest- a scope
is necessary here.
On my way back,
I picked up Scaly-breasted Partridge
at the Wang Jumpee trail.
: For my last morning at Khao Yai, I decided to give the
Pheasants and Pittas along trail B another try. Once again I started
predawn on the road near the campground hearing but not seeing 4
Owl species. In the mist of dawn, though, I saw a huge (what other
size do they come in) bull Asian Elephant exit the forest about
70 meters up the road. No longer feeling like walking to the second
campground, I quickly walked back to my campground and hitched a
ride to the HQ which is about 3 ks from the reservoir. My luck was
especially good for mammals this morning with good looks at Asian
Golden Cat at this spot and White-handed Gibbon in forest along
the road (heard many of these daily). Birding along the road was
pretty good- managed to spish up Bright-headed
Cisticola and my only Siberian Rubythroat
of the trip along the way. Birding the B trail from the reservoir
was good with much activity but no new birds. At the visitors center
an early lunch was heightened by adult Rufous-bellied
Eagle and Crested Goshawk soaring
the waterfall trail behind the visitors center for a bit without
much success in the heat of the afternoon, then hitched back to
Managed to then
eventually catch a ride to Prachin Buri. This is a city on the south
side of Khao Yai definitely located off the tourist trail. The road
through Khao Yai to Prachin Buri passes through a lot of wild habitat
with no one although a fair bit of the forest looked secondary in
I spent the
rest of the afternoon travelling from P.B. to Bangkok then on to
Chiang Mai by overnight bus. The bus was fairly comfortable and
cost probably about $16.
: I arrived Chiang Mai about 6AM, meeting with Gail for
breakfast then we were off to the Huay Krong Krai royal project
for Green Peafowl. This is located
within an hours drive north of Chiang Mai on the road to Chiang
Rai- the entrance is well signed and on the right side of the road.
The Peafowl are located in the “zoo” which is composed
of several outdoor cages holding a small variety of native birds
and mammals. We saw a few wild Green Peafowl hanging out near the
caged ones and had some other good birds too. I would have liked
to have birded this site early in the morning as there was a lot
of deciduous forest here (not sure at what time the place opens,
it is also possible to camp). The dam provided a good vantage point
for looking into the canopy as well as for scanning the skies; we
had good looks at soaring Rufous-winged Buzzard,
Black Baza, and Crested
Serpent Eagle here. Along a nature trail here we had Asian
barred Owlet, Hainan Blue and
Tickell’s Blue Flycatchers, H.
Hawk Cuckoo, White-runped Shama
and other birds. Overall a really cool spot with many visiting Thai
tourists. I would love to spend the whole day or camp out here sometime.
Much of the rest of the day was spent making travel arrangements
in Chiang Mai, then heading over to Chong Thom- the gateway to Doi
Inthanon. Chong Thom is located about 2 hours from Chiang Mai by
bus and has almost no available accomodation. There were two guesthouses
that were full and despite language barriers I eventually somehow
managed to get a room on the main road across from the wat here
with help from friendly locals.
: Hired a taxi predawn to take me to the K13 area of Doi
Inthanon (DI from now on) for deciduous forest birding.
Things were fairly quiet at dawn but picked up some good birds such
as Blue Whistling Thrush, Blue-throated
Fly, Red-billed Blue Magpie,
a mixed flock of G.R. tailed Drongo,
Green Magpie, and Laughingthrushes.
Also managed to get Black-headed Woodpecker
(Yes!) but missed White-rumped Falconet. While scanning for the
Falconet, picked up my only Collared Falconets
of the trip, saw Rufous-winged Buzzard,
and also a nice flock of Chestnut-tailed Starlings.
a ride uphill with a friendly Hmong guy. He taught me how to say
hello in Hmong. It’s something like “Ngyaow Jhong”.
He dropped me near the famous birding center of Mr. Daeng who did
thankfully have accommodation. He has two rooms; one for each Cochoa
found in Thailand. I stayed in the Purple which did not, however,
give me any luck finding it. He has special rates for birders- take
note that these are very basic rooms. Mr. Daeng was friendly and
helpful with birding info. and also showed me Dark-sided
Thrush that visited the outflow from his kitchen. Also had
good looks at Sib. Blue Robin here.
Collared and Mountain Scops Owls called each night- managed to get
a fleeting glimpse at Collared Scops Owl.
I spent the
afternoon walking uphill, then hitching a ride to checkpoint two
for excellent birding along the main road. It was especially good
at two ravines maybe 500 meters after the checkpoint. There was
a quite a bit of mixed flock activity even though it was the afternoon
and I saw quite a few of the expected mountain specialties. Best
or at least favorite bird was probably Silver-eared
: Gail and I had arranged for a car with driver today.
We started our birding at the summit boardwalk. Things were pretty
quiet with Ashy-throated Warblers,
Rufous-winged Fulvettas and Chestnut-tailed
Minlas providing most of the activity. We managed to see
Green-tailed and beautiful Mrs.
Gould’s Sunbird and Rufous-throated
Partridge, but no Shortwings, nor Snowy-browed Fly.
Picked up Ashy
Wood Pigeon perched in a roadside tree on our way down to
the food stalls next to the nature trail entrance. Only bird behind
the kitchen was Blue Whistling Thrush.
37k Jeep track, we had Golden-throated Barbet
on a snag and Spectacled Barwing at
the start, and some mixed flock activity inside with best bird being
Golden Babbler amongst the many Gray-cheeked
We briefly stopped at the 34.5k track and picked up Mountain
Tailorbird and Chestnut-fronted Shrike
Babbler, also seeing White-browed Shrike
Babbler (pretty common on DI).
A stop at Siriphum
falls got us White-capped and Plumbeous
Redstarts with many Chestnut-flanked
White-eyes in the trees. A brief stop at the campground (which
looked very nice) yielded lots of Common Rosefinches
and Great Tits but not much else. Black-tailed
Crake hasn’t been seen a couple of years here.
Got in a bit
of birding across the road from Mr. Daeng’s before dark seeing
Pied Bushchat, Olive-backed
Pipit and Gray-backed Shrike amongst
: My last morning at DI was mostly spent at the 37k jeep
track (located just after 2nd checkpoint, entrance not so obvious).
Although there were many intriguing birds calling and the forest
beautiful, I didn’t see much that was new. Best birds were
Red-headed Trogon, Slaty-bellied
Tesia, Gray-throated Babbler
and Maroon Oriole high up in the canopy.
A walk down
the 34.5 k track got me Long-tailed Minivet
in a nice mixed flock where the pines started.
I spent the
afternoon travelling back to Chiang Mai where I spent the night
hearing Asian Barred Owlet in the Taipae gate area.
: I bussed it to Chiang Dao (first bus leaves 5:30AM),
hiring a mototaxi to take me the rest of the 5ks to Mallee’s
Nature Lovers bungalows. I arrived here about 7AM and promptly began
birding the surrounding area from the rooftop. It was great birding
with lots of birds easier to see than other places in Thailand.
Of the places I visited, I would spend more time in the Doi
Chiang Dao area as this was probably my best birding
overall. While seated on the roof I got good looks at Great,
Blue-throated and Coppersmith
Barbets, many Himalayan Swiflets,
Orange-fronted Leafbirds, Asian
Fairy Bluebirds, a few Bulbuls,
Olive-backed and Black-throated
Sunbirds, and many other species. Malee’s roof provided
good digiscoping opps as well.
I spent most
of the rest of this day birding the nature trail, the temple steps
and briefly checked out the gulley trail. The nature trail was pretty
steep in spots, passing through broadleaved forest, eventually reaching
an area with lots of bamboo. No Pittas but did see Gray-throated
Babbler in the first gulley, then had Greater
Yellownape and Green Magpies
with Greater-necklaced Laughingthrush
along the trail. Also managed to take care of my permit for the
: Through Malee I hired a pickup and driver for about $50
to take me up to the Den Ya kat substation on Doi Chiang Dao. You
get the car and driver from 5AM until 5PM and have to arrange this
at least a day in advance. You also have to get the permit at least
a day in advance- get in from the forestry office (open until 4PM)-
from Malee’s up the road towards the temple taking a right
on an uphill road. It costs 250 baht.
We made it to
the Giant Nuthatch site at dawn; a fairly cold dawn it was too so
be prepared- cold enough for a sweater and light jacket or fleece.
The driver knew some of the spots for the Nuthatch and the Pheasant
and was at times a bit over eager to point out birds but was friendly.
The spot we tried for the Nuthatch was past the checkpoint at a
spot along the road where there were tall pines including some tall
snags. First bird seen was the Giant Nuthatch!-
one calling to another from the top of a snag. It gave an abrupt
piping call. Predawn, we heard Collared Owlet, Mountain Scops Owl
and probably Hodgson’s Frogmouth here. Birding was very good
along this road in excellent pine and broadleaved forest with grassy
understory. Dipped on the Pheasant but great birding nonetheless
highlights being Long-tailed and Silver-breasted
Broadbills in broadleaved forest. In a gulley between the
Nuthatch site and the checkpoint, I saw Rufous-bellied
Niltava, Large Cuckooshrike,
and got excellent looks at a Blue Pitta!-
was especially pleased with this as I had given up on Pittas this
trip. I saw it because I scanned the gulley with my bins. Never
would have seen it otherwise as it was quiet and inactive.
In the understory,
had a good look at Rusty-cheeked and
White-browed S-Babblers. These were
travelling with White-hooded Babblers,G.R-t
Drongo and Eur. Jays. Also had
brief looks at Russet Bush Warbler
and mixed flocks with many Gray-headed Parrotbills.
The area around
the DYK substation had flocks of Olive-backed
Pipits, Chestnut Buntings, Gray-backed
Shrike, Gray Bushchat, Mountain
Imperial Pigeon, and Slaty-backed Flycatcher
at the start of the trail. Along the trail, there was good mixed
flock activity- one huge flock had at least 15 species (including
pair of Giant Nuthatch) and must have
held 70 birds at least. All flocks of small birds in the mountains
appeared to be led by Lesser R-T Drongo,Velvet-fronted
Nuthatch was very common here.
The road below
the checkpoint also goes through good habitat- had good mixed flocks
near the village as well with loads of birds in flowering trees-
lots of Bulbuls and Drongos,
especially Black Bulbul. Heard a Few
Forktails along the stream but didn’t get looks at them. In
a level area of the road that passed through nice Dipterocarp
forest with bamboo understory, had Pin-tailed
Parrotfinches in seeding bamboo. Also had Silver-breasted
Broadbill and Pin-tailed Green Pigeon
here. Would probably be worth it to bird the lower part of the road
for a morning as well.
As has been
mentioned in other reports, the road definitely requires four-wheel
drive (or dirtbike would be fine).
: For my last morning birding in Thailand, I did the gulley
trail and temple steps. Gulley was slow but got good looks at Asian
Stubtail, White-crowned Forktail and
Buff-throated Babbler. Had good mixed
flocks on the steps with many Brown-cheeked
Fulvettas and eventually wonderful Speckled
Piculet! Area behind the monk’s kitchen had Black-throated
Laughingthrush and nice male Sib. Blue
Robin hanging out near the outflow from the kitchen (building
just before steps start). This spot probably attracts other good
birds too- maybe even Pittas. Also got Streaked
Wren Babbler at the first shelter going up the steps and
Bay Woodpecker perched atop a distant
snag, calling in the morning. A great last day of birding in Thailand-
can’t wait to go back!