Doi Lang: 9-10 June 2012


Thailand


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Overview

Dates:
Weather:
Locality:

9-10 June 2012.
Cool and wet with low cloud. Rain showers, some heavy.
Doi Lang.

8 Jun. With Dave Gandy. This, Dave's first trip to Doi Lang, targeted reconnaissance and some previously unseen species. As always at this time of year, there was a risk of rain washing out roads and birding, but a risk worth taking. Left Chiang Mai after 18:00, and headed to Thaton arriving just after 21:00.

Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler
Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler

9 June. A rather early start, hoping to get into the field and score some early birds, was somewhat unsuccessful as low cloud and rain showers combined to frustrate the birding. We worked our way up the mountain, but were unable to stop anywhere lower down due to the poor weather.

Common Hill Sailor
Common Sailor

Just below the camp site we were surprised by a large, newly erected, bamboo and barbed wire barrier, across the road. Fearing a road closure or landslide we were saved, despite the early hour, by a local removing the obstruction and waving us up the mountain. It was rather unclear what the barrier was for. Roaming buffalo? Our first stop was just above the campsite where, in the wet and gloom, a pair of Scarlet-faced Liocichla were found.

Large Niltava
Large Niltava

Scarlet-faced Liocichla
Scarlet-faced Liocichla

Silver-eared Laughingthrush
Silver-eared Laughingthrush

Moving a little higher, a walk in the forest produced almost nothing. Continuing to dodge showers, we moved to the upper army camp, where we off-loaded some bananas for the guys to feed the birds behind the camp, for which they were very grateful - both the birds and the army guys. For the rest of the morning we birded various spots between the camp and summit finding Whiskered Yuhina and Crimson-breasted Woodpecker. At one point we had to clear a tree fall completely blocking the road, which required a fair amount of work with the machete. Up at the Km 39 viewpoint we tried for various open area species, usually present, without any success. A distinct lack of bulbuls in the wet season. Up at the summit, no sooner had we arrived than rain started which forced us to retreat lower where the weather was decidedly better by midday. Spent most of afternoon working spots on the way down, with Black-throated Bushtit, Lesser Shortwing, Pygmy Wren-babbler, Slaty-bellied Tesia and Spectacled Barwing. During the afternoon rain descended progressively lower, following us back to Thaton around 18:30.

10 Jun. A slightly later start at 05:30. Damp, drizzle and low cloud did not look promising. Headed up the hill with fog and visibility getting worse and visibility below the camp site no more than 50 metres. We'd planned some earlier stops but nothing possible until we encountered the first clear weather above the upper army camp, so decided to try the top and work down. However, we arrived at the viewpoint at Km 39 to strong wind, cloud, rain and a temperature of only 17 degrees - so gave up that idea and headed downward again. For most of the morning worked several stretches back to the army camp but birding slow with only a couple new species added; White-tailed Robin and Yellow-browed Tit. At the army camp stopped to investigate what our bananas were attracting, and found them popular with Scarlet-faced Liocichla, Spectacled Barwing and Silver-eared Laughingthrush. A pair of Large Niltava provided good photo opportunities.

Spectacled Barwing
Spectacled Barwing

Birds generally thin on ground so descended to lower levels where we were surprised to find the lower slopes still in cloud but at least clear when we arrived at the large bridge, where we spent the final half hour, which included a group of close-up Buff-chested Babbler. At midday left for Chiang Mai.

Buff-chested Babbler
Buff-chested Babbler

Species List

  Doi Lang Count
  Rufous-throated Partridge 5
  Red Junglefowl 5
  Spotted Dove 1
  Greater Coucal 3
  Plaintive Cuckoo 1
  Large Hawk-Cuckoo 2
  Cook's Swift 60
  Red-headed Trogon 1
  White-throated Kingfisher 4
  Blue-bearded Bee-eater 2
  Great Barbet 1
  Golden-throated Barbet 2
  Blue-throated Barbet 5
  White-browed Piculet 1
  Crimson-breasted Woodpecker 1
  Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike 2
  Large Cuckooshrike 6
  Grey-chinned Minivet 1
  Long-tailed Shrike 5
  White-bellied Erpornis 1
  Blyth's Shrike-babbler 4
  Black-eared Shrike-Babbler 4
  Maroon Oriole 1
  Ashy Drongo 2
  Bronzed Drongo 2
  Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 1
  White-throated Fantail 8
  Grey Treepie 6
  Yellow-bellied Fantail 10
  Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher 4
  Yellow-cheeked Tit 10
  Yellow-browed Tit 4
  Sooty-headed Bulbul 10
  Flavescent Bulbul 10
  Grey-eyed Bulbul 1
  Mountain Bulbul 5
  Barn Swallow 4
  Pygmy Wren-babbler 6
  Mountain Tailorbird 4
  Slaty-bellied Tesia 6
  Black-throated Bushtit 16
  Davison's Leaf Warbler 12
  Chestnut-crowned Warbler 3
  Hill Prinia 6
  Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler 3
  White-browed Scimitar Babbler 2
  Grey-throated Babbler 2
  Buff-chested Babbler 6
  Golden Babbler 2
  Pin-striped Tit-Babbler 3
  Rufous-winged Fulvetta 20
  Yunnan Fulvetta 40
  Puff-throated Babbler 2
  Silver-eared Laughingthrush 6
  Scarlet-faced Liocichla 8
  Spectacled Barwing 5
  Dark-backed Sibia 20
  Whiskered Yuhina 10
  Oriental White-eye 3
  Blue Whistling Thrush 1
  Lesser Shortwing 15
  Oriental Magpie-Robin 1
  White-rumped Shama 2
  White-tailed Robin 1
  Slaty-backed Forktail 1
  Grey Bush Chat 3
  Little Pied Flycatcher 8
  Verditer Flycatcher 1
  Hill Blue Flycatcher 6
  Large Niltava 12
  Plain Flowerpecker 5
  Fire-breasted Flowerpecker 10
  Black-throated Sunbird 10
  Streaked Spiderhunter 4
  White-rumped Munia 5