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Northern Thailand 6-13th October, 2004
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October is not exactly a time when foreign birders flock to Thailand to fill up their bird lists. (Many migrants are not here yet and some who have arrived are still only in small numbers.) However, Rich Waldrop of the US, formerly Ecuador, was to attend an International conference in Pattaya and so asked me if I could organize a trip for him. He had been to Nepal, southern Malaysia and Khao Yai years ago so I deemed it best to go to the North to get as many new ticks as possible. We did not allow for very long stays at each site and so missed out on some normally seen birds but by incorporating more sites he would get more lifers this way. He has a list of over 4000 and added 68 from this trip. I myself had my secret wishes but had to be satisfied with one new bird: Pale-footed Bush Warbler at Doi Angkhang.

6th. Headed to Beung Borapet some 3 hours drive North of Bangkok. No surprises but a good variety of wetland birds, which included a flock of White-shouldered, and Chestnut-rumped Starlings.

In the afternoon we entered Mae Ping National Park with its fabulous dry dipterocarp forest. The main reason for going here is the Black-headed Woodpecker, a favorite of mine. It didn’t let us down but even let us see 4 birds simultaneously on one tree. A treat was to have a Changeable Hawk Eagle obligingly perched some 25 meters away. A Crow-billed Drongo was a rare sight.

We stayed at a hotel right by the T-junction at Jom Thong town. This is only a few kilometers before the entrance to Doi Inthanon and the hotel offers clean beds, hot showers and there is a nice restaurant across the road.

7th. The lower levels of Doi Inthanon was a disappointment. I prefer Mae Ping, which has the same type of forest but is more alive.

We stayed at Doi Inthanon for the day. Got most of the normal things but were set back by the news that just the day before a local hill tribe boy had tried his sling shot on the endangered Black-trailed Crakes and succeeded in killing two of them. No wonder the remaining 4 birds didn’t show up as usual. We camped for the night, as the park bungalows have to be booked in advance from Bangkok. An alternative is to use the Eco lodge run by local hill tribes a few kilometers before headquarters. Their accommodations looked better then previous years and definitely would be considered an alternative from the long drive back down to Jom Thong.

8th. We waited in earnest at the second checkpoint in the wee hours of the day. Birds often come to feed on insects that have died while being attracted to the neon lights at the checkpoint. We were not to be let down but such normally elusive specie as the Large Niltava decided to come out fully in the open. The graveled road at km 34.5 has a gulley that produced its normal Slaty-bellied Tesia. Great bird! The Summit had most of the common birds but also included Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird which was a surprise to me seeing that it is still early in the season.

In the afternoon we drove to Chiang Mai town and dropped by Mae Hia agricultural research station. Not far from here we found some Wire-tailed Swallows, which thrilled our hearts.

We proceeded to Doi Chiang Dao where we stayed at Malees guesthouse. She has built another two bungalows and is ready to take on more birders.

9th. Did the temple grounds in the morning but nothing unusual.Decided to take the scenic route to Doi Angkhang. Follow road signs to the left not far after Chiang Dao town. This road has a good number of checkpoints and is well guarded by the Thai Army. We arrived at Angkhang at noon and checked into Bahn Looang resort. This is the most price friendly resort and offers newly built bungalows. Everything else is pricey except for at Mae Pleu watershed station where accommodations are cheaper. Also possible is camping and a number of Thais were doing so.

Doi Angkhang is always a challenge as the birds there have been hunted out and so what remains tend to be shy end elusive. Never the less, so many species are not found else where and being surrounded with unfamiliar calls is a thrill. This was my first time to have very good looks of Crested Finchbills, a specialty of the mountain. My only lifer came here as mentioned above. We did dip on some other things but still felt we had a worthwhile visit.

10th. Drove to Chiang Mai but passed by Mae Taang Irrigation project where we enjoyed some lowland birds. This included Wire-tailed Swallows and Sand Martins feeding over the flowing waters.

11th. Stayed at Prince Hotel in town, which is of good standard and comes at 600 Baht for a double room. The night market is only 10 minutes walk away and I had the local specialty, Khao Suay for dinner.

12th. Visited Huay Krong Krai some 20 minutes drive out of town. Immediately picked up a flock of Green Peafowls as well as an Asian Barred Owlet.

Then we started the long drive to Khao Yai. Tried for Limestone Wren Babbler at a temple but failed. We got a room at a resort to the right, right before the park gates. Very spacious and inexpensive.

13th. Khao Yai has undergone a major face-lift as far as infra structure goes. Over a million annual visitors makes the park very attractive for tourism. Still, birding is as good as ever and the vast majority of visitors are seldom seen on any of the trails.

Slaty-backed Forktails were feeding at Wang Jumpee. No Pheasants at the radar station. We found a flowering tree at Pah Gluai Mai campsite, which held Thick-billed, Buff-rumped, and Yellow-vented Flowerpeckers. That night we stayed in a tent in pleasant temperatures.

After a morning in the park we headed to Khok Kham at Samut Sakorn where we had a good variety of waders. Terek Sandpiper, Broad-billed SP, Great Knots etc. (No Spoon-billed SP has been seen yet this season).

Peter Ericsson
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 Birds seen with Location
Green Peafowl - early morning at Huay Klong Kray, CM
Lesser Whistling Duck - wetlands outside BKK and Beung Borapet
Grey-capped Woodpecker - a pair at Mae Ping
Rufous Woodpecker - fleeting glimpse of one at Mae Ping
Laced Woodpecker - pair, trail 6, KY
Black-headed Woodpecker - several at Mae Ping
Common Flameback - DI
Greater Flameback - KY
Lineated Barbet - Mae Ping
Green-eared Barbet - campground KY
Golden-throated Barbet - Doi Angkhang, DI
Blue-throated Barbet - common at temple Doi Chiang Dao
Blue-eared Barbet - fig tree at campground KY
Coppersmith Barbet - Beung Borapet
Pied Hornbill - Khao Yai
Hoopoe - woodlands Saraburi
Orange-breasted Trogon - temple Doi Chiang Dao and radar road KY
Indian Roller - common
White-throated Kingfisher - common
Black-capped Kingfisher - widespread
Blue-bearded Bee-eater - DAK and KY
Green Bee-eater - Beung Borapet, Mae Hia
Blue-tailed Bee-eater - Beung Borapet
Plaintive Cuckoo - Beung Borapet
Green-billed Malkoha - Mae Ping, DI, KY
Greater Coucal - common
Vernal Hanging Parakeet - KY
Himalayan Swiftlet - Angkhang, KY
Asian Palm Swift - common
Pacific Swift - Angkhang
House Swift - Chiang Dao
Crested Treeswift - DI
Asian Barred Owlet - Huay Klong Kray, CM
Rock Pigeon - common
Spotted Dove - common
Zebra Dove - common
Red Collared Dove - Mae Hia
Barred Cuckoo Dove - trail 21.5 Doi Angkhang
Mountain Imperial Pigeon - Angkhang, KY
White-breasted Waterhen - Beung Borapet
Purple Swamphen - Beung Borapet
Common Redshank - Khok Kham
Marsh Sandpiper - Khok Kham
Wood Sandpiper - Khok Kham, Mae Taang
Terek Sandpiper - Khok Kham
Ruddy Turnstone - Khok Kham
Great Knot - Khok Kham
Rufous-necked Stint - Khok Kham
Long-toed Stint - Khok Kham
Curlew Sandpiper - Khok Kham
Broad-billed Sandpiper - Khok Kham
Pheasent-tailed Jacana - Beung Borapet
Bronze-winged Jacana - Beung Borapet
Black-winged Stilt - Khok Kham
Pacific Golden Plover - Khok Kham
Little Ringed Plover - Khok Kham
Kentish Plover - Khok Kham
Lesser Sand Plover - Khok Kham
Greater Sand Plover - Khok Kham
Red-wattled Lapwing - common
Whiskered Tern - Khok Kham
Collared Falconet - DI flying overhead
Black-shouldered Kite - common
Crested Goshawk - one at KY
Common Buzzard - DI
Changable Hawk Eagle - one perched at Mae Ping
Common Kestrel - female at KY
Little Cormorant - Khok Kham, Beung Borapet
Little Egret - common
Great Egret - common
Cattle Egret - common
Chinese Pond Heron
Javan Pond Heron
Little Heron - KY, Khok Kham
Asian Openbill - common along the highway out of BKK
Asian Fairy Bluebird - common in mixed decidious forests
Blue-winged Leafbird - Chiang Dao, KY
Brown Shrike - common
Long-tailed Shrike - not hard
Grey-backed Shrike - one going down Angkhang
Eurasian Jay - DI

Rufous Treepie - Mae Ping
Grey Treepie - several at Angkhang
Ashy Woodswallow - common
Black-naped Oriole - many sites
Black-hooded Oriole - Mae Ping, Chiang Dao
Indochinese Cuckooshrike - DI
Black-winged Cuckoshrike - KY
Ashy Minivet - single bird at KY
Grey-chinned Minivet - Angkhang
Short-billed Minivet - DI
Scarlet Minivet - DI
Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike - DI
Yellow-bellied Fantail - common summit of DI
White-throated Fantail - Jeeptrack DI, Angkhang
Black Drongo - common
Ashy Drongo - common
Bronzed Drongo - common in forest
Crow-billed Drongo - Mae Ping
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo - Angkhang, KY
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo - common lowland forest
Black-naped Monarch - DI, KY
Asian Paradise Flycatcher - Chiang Dao
Common Iora - common in parks, secondary growth
Blue Rock Thrush - common
Blue Whistling Thrush - Chiang Dao
White-browed Shortwing - the bog at DI
Asian Brown Flycatcher - widespread
Red-throated Flycatcher - widespread
Little Pied Flycatcher - DI, KY
Verditer Flycatcher - Angkhang
Large Niltava - checkpoint 2, DI
Blue-throated Flycatcher - DI
Hill Blue Flycatcher - KY, DI
Grey-headed Flycatcerh - Chiang Dao
Siberian Blue Robin - trail 6, KY
Oriental Magpie Robin - common
White-rumped Shama - KY, Chiang Dao, Mae Ping
Slaty-backed Forktail - Wang Jumpee KY
Common Stonechat - common
Pied Bushchat - common in fields in the North
Grey Bushchat - common Angkhang
Hill Myna - KY
White-vented Myna - common
Common Myna - common
B lack-collared Starling - Beung Borapet, Mae Hia Mae Taang
Asian Pied Starling - Beung Borapet
White-shouldered Starling - Beung Borapet
Chestnut-tailed Starling - Beung Borapet
Chestnut-vented Nuthatch - DI, Angkhang
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch - DI
Great Tit - Angkhang
Yellow-cheeked Tit - DI
Sand Martin - Mae Taang
Barn Swallow - common
Pacific Swallow
Wire-tailed Swallow - Mae Taang, Mae Hia
Striated Swallow - common in North
Crested Finchbill - 4 birds at trail 21.5 km Angkhang
Striated Bulbul - DI, Angkhang
Black-headed Bulbul - several places
Black-crested Bulbul - common
Red-whiskered Bulbul - common Angkhang and around Chiang Mai
Brown-breasted Bulbul - many at Angkhang
Sooty-headed Bulbul - common
Stripe-throated Bulbul - KY
Flavescent Bulbul - common DI. Angkhang
Streak-eared Bulbul - Beung Borapet
Puff-throated Bulbul - KY
Grey-eyed Bulbul - KY
Ashy Bulbul - radar road KY
Mountain Bulbul - DI, Angkhang
Black Bulbul - Angkhang, flock of 20 birds
Hill Prinia - DI, Angkhang
Rufescent Prinia - Mae Ping
Grey-breasted Prinia - Chiang Dao
Plain Prinia - common
Oriental White Eye - KY
Japanese White Eye - Chiang Dao
Slaty-bellied Tesia - km 34 DI
Pale-footed Bush Warbler - ridge Angkhang
Oriental Reed Warbler - Beung Borapet
Mountain Tailorbird - DI
Common Tailorbird - common
Dark-necked Tailorbird- common
Orange-barred Leaf Warlber - DI
Ashy-throated Warbler - common DI
Yellow-browed Warbler - common
Two-barred Warbler - one at KY
White-tailed Leaf Warbler - DI, Angkhang
Sulphur-breasted Warbler - KY
Grey-crowned Warbler - Angkhang, low in trees
Plain-tailed Warbler - trail 6 KY
White-crested Laughingthrush - KY
Black-throated Laughingthrush - KY
White-browed Laughingthrush - Angkhang
Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush - DI, Angkhang
Abbott's Babbler - KY
Puff-throated Babbler - Chiang Dao
White-browed Scimitar Babbler - Angkhang, KY
Golden Babbler - DI
Grey-throated Babbler - DI
Striped Tit Babbler - common
Silver-eared Mesia - DI, Angkhang
Spectacled Barwing - DI, Angkhang
Blue-winged Minla - DI
Chestnut-tailed Minla - common summit DI
Rufous-winged Fulvetta - common DI
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta - Chiang Dao
Grey-cheeked Fulvetta - DI, Angkhang
Dark-backed Sibia - DI, Angkhang
Rufous-backed Sibia - DI, Angkhang
White-bellied Yuhinna - KY
Thick-billed Flowerpcker - campground KY
Buff-vented Flowerpecker - KY
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker
Plain Flowerpecker - Chiang Dao
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker - KY
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird - Chiang Dao
Purple-naped Sunbird - Chiang Dao
Olive-backed Sunbird - common
Mrs. Gould's Sunbird - DI, Angkhang
Green-tailed Sunbird - summint DI
Little Spiderhunter - KY, Chiang Dao
Streaked Spiderhunter - Chiang Dao
House Sparrow - Mae Taang
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
White Wagtail - common
Grey Wagtail - common
Yellow Wagtail - Khok Kham
Richard's Pipit - Mae Taang
Paddyfield Pipit - Mae Hia
Olive-backed Pipit - Angkhang
White-rumped Munia
Scaly-breasted Munia - grasslands
Peter Ericsson can be contacted at
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