Doi Suthep-Pui: 3 October 2011






3 October 2011.
Cool, cloudy and foggy at higher levels, with light rain later.
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park.

With Steve Tibbett. This late afternoon trip was a repeat of last week's attempt of trying to actually see Mountain Scops Owl. Arrived at the upper road section of Doi Pui around 15:00. The first stop was the short walk to the old stupa where the wind and cloud put-paid to any chance of birds, so walked the upper road to the summit area. The storms of the last few months have taken their toll on trees around the summit area with many uprooted and some even snapped in half. In contrast to last week, bird activity - no doubt due to the cool, damp conditions - was even lower if at all possible. The walk to the summit gave us only Ashy Bulbul, Blyth's Shrike-babbler and Hill Blue Flycatcher. The weather didn't seem to deter the cicadas though which, as ever on Doi Pui, were deafening.

Moore's Spotted Flat
Moore's Spotted Flat

Red Lacewing
Red Lacewing

Despite the summit area shrouded in low cloud we found a few birds of interest including migrant Taiga Flycatcher and Martens's Warbler.

By 17:30 walked to the parking/campsite area to wait for dusk, but the generally windy conditions on this side of the mountain made us change plan and head down hill by car. The initial stops at the stupa and the view point produced no owls calling after dark - which given the abundance the previous week was highly surprising, so must have been due to the damp weather. As a last chance we parked at the lower reaches of the upper forest and almost immediately had three Mountain Scops Owl calling. At this point, a light rain started to fall, but given the response of a close owl we persevered and eventually had one spotlighted at pretty close range. A nice reward for the perseverance over the years of actually trying to see this species. A couple of things we learned concerning seeing Mountain Scops; firstly the bird has to be interested in playback and actually move. Invariably they simple sit and call no matter what. Secondly the voice is rather ventriloquial - all three times we relocated the bird it was sitting appreciably lower in the canopy than expected from the voice.

For the rest, a pretty mediocre list.

Species List

  Common Name Count
  Mountain Scops Owl 3
  Asian Barred Owlet 1
  House Swift 3
  Blue-throated Barbet 2
  Ashy Drongo 2
  Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher 2
  Black-crested Bulbul 3
  Mountain Bulbul 2
  Ashy Bulbul 3
  Davison's Leaf Warbler 1
  Martens's Warbler 1
  White-browed Scimitar Babbler 1
  Yunnan Fulvetta 4
  Buff-breasted Babbler 3
  Velvet-fronted Nuthatch 2
  Taiga Flycatcher 1
  Hill Blue Flycatcher 2