Doi Lang: 15-19 August 2011


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15-19 August 2011.
Cool, mostly overcast with a few sunny intervals. Heavy rain most afternoons.
Doi Lang.

15 August. With Mick Davies. Still very heavy rains across northern Thailand this month, so we were tempting fate a little to try a trip into the mountains. Arrived at Thaton and met up late morning. Immediately headed up Doi Lang, half expecting at the military checkpoint to be told the road had washed out or was closed. Surprisingly, despite the exceptional rain the past few months, we were informed the road was OK, so proceeded to drive to the higher reaches of the road. Certainly the road continues to deteriorate, and is no longer passable to a saloon car. Even with the high clearance 4x4 the bottom was crunched once. In the wet a 4x4 highly preferable. The weather remained fine all day, and we were able to work different altitudes up to the top. Past the military camp at the top it was necessary to clear fallen branches with a machete in a few places. Not much traffic up here at this time of year! A couple of good bird waves provided the most interesting species, but star of the list must surely have been Pin-tailed Parrotfinch at mid elevations. A new species for Doi Lang? Other good species for the day included Forest Wagtail, Black-eared Shrike-babbler and Black-throated Bushtit. Back in Thaton before dark to find accommodation at the Chankasem Guesthouse by the river, which continues to be suspect in quality, but food fine. As usual at night, several owl species calling around town, with Eastern Barn Owl, Asian Barred Owlet and Collared Scops Owl.

Doi Lang
Doi Lang cloud

16 August. First bird of the day was a rather unexpected Crimson Sunbird in the garden. With the fine weather all day we worked many altitudes, mostly concentrating on the top section. Some early migrants included Forest Wagtail and Dark-sided Flycatcher.

Large-eyed False Cobra
Large-eyed False Cobra

Being the wet season, many of the forest skulkers are much easier to encounter, with Rusty-naped Pitta, Pygmy Wren-babbler, Lesser Shortwing, Chestnut-headed Tesia and White-tailed Robin vocalising. At mid elevations a small group of Grey-headed Parakeet was notable. With the sun out a few interesting butterflies were encountered such as Striped Judy, Red Lacewing, and the common, at these altitudes, Golden Sapphire.

Golden Sapphire
Golden Sapphire

17 August. The first bird encountered on the road, just after the checkpoint was a stunning male Silver Pheasant. Further up, the usual collection of Mountain Bamboo Partridge. With the cloudy weather and cool temperatures, birding was slow, and by the time we arrived at top rain had started, so headed downhill but the progressively heavier rain forced us to the lowlands almost back at Thaton. In the last hour, with the rain finally receding, worked lower areas but saw little. Clearing skies and a starry night.

18 August. Pretty much a repeat of yesterday with heavy afternoon rain.

19 August. Primarily worked mid elevations. In open forest, in an area not generally looked at, encountered good numbers of White-necked Laughingthrush and a few Spot-throated Babbler. With heavy rain starting around 11:00 left the area and drove back to Chiang Mai.

Species List

  Common Name Count
  Chinese Francolin 2
  Rufous-throated Partridge 10
  Mountain Bamboo Partridge 30
  Red Junglefowl 8
  Silver Pheasant 1
  Crested Serpent Eagle 2
  Mountain Hawk-Eagle 2
  Rufous Turtle Dove 5
  Spotted Dove 10
  Mountain Imperial Pigeon 20
  Vernal Hanging Parrot 1
  Grey-headed Parakeet 6
  Greater Coucal 2
  Green-billed Malkoha 2
  Large Hawk-Cuckoo 3
  Collared Owlet 7
  Himalayan Swiftlet 6
  Cook's Swift 200
  Great Barbet 10
  Golden-throated Barbet 10
  Blue-throated Barbet 10
  Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker 5
  Stripe-breasted Woodpecker 5
  Crimson-breasted Woodpecker 1
  Bay Woodpecker 10
  Rusty-naped Pitta 3
  Large Cuckooshrike 15
  Black-winged Cuckooshrike 2
  Grey-chinned Minivet 30
  Short-billed Minivet 4
  Scarlet Minivet 10
  Burmese Shrike 1
  Long-tailed Shrike 4
  Black-eared Shrike-babbler 4
  Maroon Oriole 3
  Ashy Drongo 12
  Bronzed Drongo 2
  Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo 1
  White-throated Fantail 10
  Grey Treepie 30
  Yellow-bellied Fantail 20
  Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher 4
  Yellow-cheeked Tit 5
  Yellow-browed Tit 4
  Crested Finchbill 40
  Red-whiskered Bulbul 60
  Brown-breasted Bulbul 2
  Sooty-headed Bulbul 60
  Flavescent Bulbul 50
  Mountain Bulbul 20
  Black Bulbul 4
  Barn Swallow 10
  Pygmy Wren-babbler 12
  Chestnut-headed Tesia 4
  Yellow-bellied Warbler 6
  Mountain Tailorbird 4
  Black-throated Bushtit 20
  Davison's Leaf Warbler 100
  Chestnut-crowned Warbler 4
  Hill Prinia 20
  Rufescent Prinia 10
  Common Tailorbird 1
  Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler 3
  White-browed Scimitar Babbler 12
  Grey-throated Babbler 4
  Golden Babbler 20
  Pin-striped Tit-Babbler 15
  Rufous-winged Fulvetta 30
  Yunnan Fulvetta 100
  Spot-throated Babbler 3
  White-necked Laughingthrush 20
  Silver-eared Laughingthrush 30
  Blue-winged Minla 30
  Scarlet-faced Liocichla 10
  Spectacled Barwing 10
  Silver-eared Mesia 14
  Rufous-backed Sibia 10
  Dark-backed Sibia 20
  Grey-headed Parrotbill 60
  Whiskered Yuhina 30
  Oriental White-eye 30
  Chestnut-vented Nuthatch 12
  Velvet-fronted Nuthatch 5
  Lesser Shortwing 3
  Oriental Magpie-Robin 3
  White-tailed Robin 1
  Slaty-backed Forktail 1
  Northern White-crowned Forktail 3
  Pied Bush Chat 1
  Grey Bush Chat 2
  Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush 2
  Dark-sided Flycatcher 3
  Asian Brown Flycatcher 1
  Little Pied Flycatcher 3
  Hill Blue Flycatcher 10
  Large Niltava 1
  Orange-bellied Leafbird 15
  Plain Flowerpecker 25
  Mrs. Gould's Sunbird 10
  Black-throated Sunbird 6
  Streaked Spiderhunter 4
  Pin-tailed Parrotfinch 6
  White-rumped Munia 30
  Forest Wagtail 1
  Grey Wagtail 4
  Olive-backed Pipit 2