Huay Tueng Tao: 24 April 2012






24 April 2012.
Hot and cloudless.
Huay Tueng Tao.

24 Apr. Yet another scorching day with little prospect of rain on the horizon. Not exactly the best time for birding, so this quick visit to Huay Tuenng Tao was undertaken in the heat of the day with the main aim of photographing butterflies; hot, sunny weather in the dry season usually being ideal. Didn't arrive at Huay Tueng Tao until about 13:00, and with the temperature touching 40 degrees headed for the small stream and weir at the base of the track up Doi Pui at the rear. Unfortunately the initial impression was not good. Usually here, puddling butterflies are quite numerous but other than a few skippers and blues nothing in the way of any puddling activity. Undetered, started a short walk up the river, where the first bird seen was Black-backed Forktail. On closer inspection a few butterflies included Great Evening Brown, Burmese Bushblue, Common Imperial and the always-impressive Orchid Tit.

Burmese Bushblue
Burmese Bushblue

Common Indian Crow
Common Indian Crow

Orchid Tit
Orchid Tit

Common Imperial
Common Imperial

After an hour or so here started along the main trail through the forest. Not too much in the way of butterflies, with all the small tributaries completely dry. However a few interesting birds such as Blyth's Paradise Flycatcher, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Blue-throated Bee-eater, and a surprise in the form of a pair of Violet Cuckoo at close range vocalising well. Eventually walked as far as the Buddha shrine, where a Thick-billed Warbler was singing. Nothing much new on the return walk. All-in-all not a bad collection of birds and butterflies given the heat of the day.

2 May. With Gerry Brett, and an early start to arrive before the checkpoint staff at 06:30. Despite the early start still rather hot. We parked near the Buddha shrine and first scanned the lake edge, to no avail, for Wire-tailed Swallow. We spent about three hours walking a loop along the western shore, through the open woodland and paddy edges as far as the Doi Suthep-Pui checkpoint, and then back through the lower dry forest. Hardly surprising that no migrants were present other than a single Brown Shrike, but a pair of Lesser Coucal, a couple of Barred Buttonquail and Indochinese Bush Lark were unusual. Other species in the forest, infrequently seen were Racket-tailed Treepie and Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush.

Species List

  Huay Tueng Tao - 24 Apr Count
  Chinese Francolin 1
  Chinese Pond Heron 1
  Red-wattled Lapwing 1
  Spotted Dove 6
  Violet Cuckoo 2
  White-throated Kingfisher 2
  Blue-bearded Bee-eater 1
  Green Bee-eater 2
  Lineated Barbet 4
  Common Iora 1
  Brown Shrike 1
  Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 4
  Black-naped Monarch 2
  Blyth's Paradise Flycatcher 1
  Black-headed Bulbul 1
  Black-crested Bulbul 3
  Sooty-headed Bulbul 5
  Stripe-throated Bulbul 2
  Streak-eared Bulbul 4
  Thick-billed Warbler 1
  Common Tailorbird 2
  Dark-necked Tailorbird 3
  Pin-striped Tit-Babbler 5
  Pin-striped Tit-Babbler 1
  White-crested Laughingthrush 4
  Tickell's Blue Flycatcher 2
  Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker 2
  Olive-backed Sunbird 3