Doi Chiang Dao: 13 January 2012






13 January 2012.
Cool, overcast and low cloud. Light rain late morning, heavy in the afternoon.
Doi Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary.

Friday the 13th. A good day for a trip up Doi Chiang Dao? The aim of this quick visit was to investigate the state of the road following the heavy rains of the previous rainy season, in preparation for visitors the next week.

Buff-throated Warbler
Buff-throated Warbler

Grey Bush Chat
Grey Bush Chat

Chestnut-flanked White-eye
Chestnut-flanked White-eye

Oriental White-eye
Oriental White-eye

Arrived at the HQ ticket office in Chiang Dao at the opening hour of 08:00, and quickly secured the permit to drive up the mountain. Drove back toward Chiang Mai, but missed the sanctuary turnoff due to the continued upheaval of the road edges and road "repairs" that have been going on along this stretch of road for the past 10 years and still seem nowhere near complete. The drive up to DYK sub-station took just over an hour, with the road condition no worse than usual. It was however, quite evident that several land slips from the last rains have been repaired, and the road widened and graded in places.

Arrived at the campsite around 09:45 with attention immediately attracted to the flowering plum trees that a variety of white-eyes, Phylloscopus warblers and Orange-bellied Leafbird were enjoying. Parked the car adjacent to some bushes the flock was regularly visiting and spent and hour or so photographing what came close enough. Warblers included Chinese Leaf Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler and Buff-throated Warbler. A short walk around the edges produced little, so back-tracked back to the DYK sub-station in look for Giant Nuthatch. This proved short-lived and after only five minutes walking, light rain started, so returned to the vehicle. After a short break another attempt at birding - walking down hill this time - was rewarded with a group of at least 20 Long-tailed Broadbill and Maroon Oriole. However, further birding was cut short due to heavier rain, so retreated to the sub-station for lunch and to wait it out. This proved fruitless and after another hour of waiting the rain only became harder, so decided to drive down in search of dryer conditions.

This proved interesting, and just below the sub-station several pickups were now struggling for traction on the wet and muddy road. With only two wheel drive this was proving rather difficult. Glad to be going down, the road was blocked about a third of the way down with another pickup straddling the road on a seemingly innocuous incline. Very surprising what difference two hours of rain could make; turning an easily passable road into a mire that only 4x4 could cope with.

Around two thirds of the way down the rain had largely abated so walked for a couple of hours, with some good variety including Claudia's Leaf Warbler, Great Iora, Golden-fronted Leafbird and Yellow-bellied Warbler. Late afternoon return to Chiang Mai.


Species List

  Common Name Count
  Chinese Pond Heron 1
  Mountain Imperial Pigeon 2
  Greater Coucal 1
  Green-billed Malkoha 1
  Cook's Swift 40
  Great Barbet 2
  Blue-throated Barbet 4
  Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker 2
  Bay Woodpecker 1
  Long-tailed Broadbill 20
  Common Iora 1
  Great Iora 1
  Grey-chinned Minivet 10
  Scarlet Minivet 20
  White-bellied Erpornis 2
  Blyth's Shrike-babbler 4
  Maroon Oriole 2
  Ashy Drongo 2
  Hair-crested Drongo 10
  Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 2
  Black-naped Monarch 1
  Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher 1
  Japanese Tit 4
  Red-whiskered Bulbul 2
  Sooty-headed Bulbul 2
  Mountain Bulbul 1
  Black Bulbul 4
  Red-rumped Swallow 2
  Yellow-bellied Warbler 3
  Chinese Leaf Warbler 1
  Yellow-browed Warbler 20
  Claudia's Leaf Warbler 4
  Pin-striped Tit-Babbler 4
  White-crested Laughingthrush 4
  Chestnut-flanked White-eye 30
  Oriental White-eye 60
  Asian Fairy-bluebird 1
  Velvet-fronted Nuthatch 3
  White-crowned Forktail 2
  Grey Bush Chat 2
  Blue-winged Leafbird 1
  Golden-fronted Leafbird 2
  Orange-bellied Leafbird 10
  Plain Flowerpecker 2
  Mrs. Gould's Sunbird 2
  Olive-backed Pipit 10