Doi Suthep-Pui: 25 September 2011


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25 September 2011.
Cool. mostly cloudy and dry.
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park.

With Steve Tibbett. This late afternoon trip was aimed primarily at trying to actually see a Mountain Scops Owl on Doi Pui - given the usual wet season proviso that a quick retreat to Chiang Mai might be required if the weather proved unsuitable.

Flash Spotted Flat
Flash Spotted Flat

Straight Treebrown
Straight Treebrown

On the drive up we noted the ominous depositing of long concrete poles along the road right up to the park office and camping area at the top. These would appear to be an upcoming project to run electricity up and over the mountain which is sure to have a poor impact on the forest along this small mountain road, which will no doubt be cleared to allow the poles and wires to be erected, not to mention the eyesore of power lines through the forest after the event.

Arrived at the upper road section of Doi Pui around 15:00 and walked the upper road to the summit area. Despite the weather being quite helpful, finding any birds at all proved to be difficult; and embarrassingly, in an hour's walk to the summit we only actually saw three birds. In the sunny spells a few butterflies were active which provided at least something animated and natural to identify. Around the summit a few loose flocks contained the usual collection of Blyth's Shrike-babbler, Davison's Leaf Warbler and Yellow-cheeked Tit, plus an couple of early Hume's Leaf Warblers.

By 18:00 we returned to parking/campsite area to wait for dusk. A few Bronzed Drongo, Ashy Drongo and a Verditer Flycatcher were catching flying insects above the campsite. At dusk, pulled out the torches and walked the road listening for owls. Mountain Scops Owl were, as usual, very common by voice, and we managed to pin down one individual to a close, dense canopy, but as usual this owl remained firmly hidden in the foliage, refusing to come out. Why is this species so difficult to see? Within a few other stops along the road we heard Collared Scops Owl, Asian Barred Owlet, Collared Owlet and a probable Brown Hawk-Owl.

Species List

  Common Name Count
  Mountain Scops Owl 20
  Collared Scops Owl 3
  Asian Barred Owlet 1
  Asian Palm Swift 1
  House Swift 10
  Great Barbet 2
  Blue-throated Barbet 5
  Brown Shrike 1
  Blyth's Shrike-babbler 6
  Ashy Drongo 1
  Bronzed Drongo 6
  Black-naped Monarch 1
  Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher 2
  Yellow-cheeked Tit 2
  Mountain Bulbul 3
  Hume's Leaf Warbler 2
  Davison's Leaf Warbler 5
  White-browed Scimitar Babbler 2
  Yunnan Fulvetta 8
  Buff-breasted Babbler 2
  Velvet-fronted Nuthatch 2
  Little Pied Flycatcher 2
  Verditer Flycatcher 2
  Orange-bellied Leafbird 2
  Plain Flowerpecker 2
  Black-throated Sunbird 2
  Streaked Spiderhunter 1