by Nick Upton
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Rice paddies near Chiang Dao

Throughout the "winter" of 2006/2007 I have been receiving some good records from Neil Lawton from some rice paddies near Chiang Dao. Apparently Wire-tailed Swallow, Oriental Skylark, Grey-headed Lapwing and Yellow-legged Buttonquail are all regular; species which don't seem to make it onto very many trip reports. Here are the directions he sent me.

"Leave Malee's heading back into Chiang Dao town, continuing across the new by-pass, at the junction with the main Chaing Mai/Fang road, take a right towards Chiang Mai and into Chiang Dao, about 1km along this road in Chiang Dao you will see the 7/11 on your right, about 50m before this on the left is a single flashing traffic light with a left hand turn, take this turn, continuing along the road for about 2km crossing the river and eventually reaching the rice fields, there is usually somewhere just before the start of the paddies to park a car. Ahead you will see the paddies with small hills on the other side, you should have parked just before a cross roads with a dirt track to the left and a small road to the righ. The area around this junction and the buildings just off the dirt track to the left are the best place to see Wire-tailed Swallows, maybe they nest somewhere here. Then it is just a matter of exploring dirt tracks and working your way across the paddies using the bunds, staying out of any fields which contain crops."

With its close proximity to Doi Chiang Dao and Malee's, which remains well-visited by birders, this location is surely worth a morning or an afternoon to observe some excellent open-country species.

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Below is a list of some of the best birds that are known to have been seen at this location.

Japanese Quail - male in 2005 which stayed faithfull to a small dry paddie for several weeks often showing well.
Barred and Yellow-legged Buttonquail
Grey-headed Lapwing - up to 50 present oct-march at least, best looked for in bare fields.
Painted Snipe - three birds seen.
Pintail and Common Snipe - common.
Pied Harrier
Common Kestrel
Black-shouldered Kite
Rufous-winged Buzzard - in scrub at paddies edge.
Siberian Rubythroat
Lanceolated Warbler
Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler
Thick-billed and Dusky Warblers
Long-tailed Shrike
Richard's, Paddyfield and Red-throated Pipits
Oriental Skylark

Plus usual open country birds and common passage waders.

This message has also been posted on the forums (Chiang Dao rice paddies) where comments or questions about this location can be left.

Nick Upton, 23rd February 2007.
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Related Pages: Doi Chiang Dao National Park , Doi Chiang Dao Checklist newsletter -
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