Mae Ping National Park: 27-30 September 2011






27-30 September 2011.
Some rain, generally overcast and warm.
Mae Ping National Park.

27 Sept. With Steve Tibbett. This third, extended, visit to Mae Ping was aimed at furthering knowledge of the birds of the area, exploring sections not previously visited, and targeting some of the rarer species known to be present in the park but not found on earlier visits. As usual we were the only visitors to the park. Left Chiang Mai early, but in trying a new route south ended up lost on some new, barricaded section of road, and didn't end up at Mae Ping till after 10:00. The overcast weather was good for keeping bird activity going, and along the Thung Kik road a number of the usual suspects were recorded in the late morning, including Great Slaty Woodpecker, Black-headed Woodpecker, Burmese Nuthatch and Rufous Treepie. The biggest surprise was a couple of Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, a species not previously recorded here.

By late afternoon we had worked our way to the Thung Kik campsite, only to find the road to the nature trail closed, presumably due to flooding and track conditions. Made do with birding around the campsite where we added Collared Falconet and Eurasian Hoopoe. In the late afternoon retraced our steps back as far as the Mae Ping HQ, but saw little, mainly due to the damp, overcast and cool conditions. Overnight in Li town.

28 Sept. Overnight rain eased, but light rain continued all morning making birding slow. Initially we tried the Thung Kik road, but with increasing rain decided to head lower to the Ko Luang Waterfall area to check lowland forest there. Unfortunately little change with regard to the weather and in the rain there was little bird activity, but we did find Hainan Blue Flycatcher and Yellow-bellied Warbler. During the morning truck loads of local hill tribes entered the forest to perform their daily rape of the park resources. After lunch headed back uphill and tried walking a couple of the access tracks into dipterocarp forest branching off the main road. Little seen, probably due to the intermittent rain. Later afternoon we returned to the Thung Kik road and with ceasing rain had some good views of Yellow-footed Pigeon plus a number of rarer species including Common Hill Myna, Forest Wagtail and Great Barbet. Overnight again in Li where we discovered a local fish restaurant with, surprisingly, a menu in English.

29 Sept. Little overnight rain and a beautiful blue sky and dry conditions to start the day. First stop was a walk along a forest track off the main road, at the lower end of the forest before Kor, but surprisingly little was seen. Tried a long walk on a similar track further back toward the HQ which produced the same result. All in all quite an unproductive session, so headed to the Ko Luang Waterfall forest and a further couple of hours here produced almost no birds. In the afternoon we walked the track to the Padam-Padeang ranger station off the Thung Kik road, first opening the checkpoint barrier ourselves as the guard was asleep. This was a lot better with a good selection of expected species plus the addition of Common Woodshrike to the trip list. Late afternoon along the further end of the Thung Kik road but little of note. A pleasant, dry, day, but no species of note. Overnight in Li.

Great Nawab
Great Nawab

Eurasian Hoopoe
Eurasian Hoopoe

Unidentified caterpillar
Unidentified caterpillar







30 Sept. On the drive in, stopped just outside the park gate where a Blue-winged Pitta flew over the road. Good weather again, so returned to the Padam-Padeang access track, spending a few hours here. Highlight was a Golden Jackal at close range which didn't seem too perturbed by our presence. The rest of the day was spent along the Thung Kik road with some migrants noted such as Arctic Warbler, Thick-billed Warbler and Taiga Flycatcher. Left the area around 15:00 (again opening the barrier for the sleeping guard) and headed back to a flooded Chiang Mai. An interesting trip, adding several species to the Mae Ping list apparently, but none of the difficult targets found.

Species List

  Species Count
  Chinese Francolin 1
  Chinese Pond Heron 1
  Black Baza 8
  Black-winged Kite 1
  Crested Goshawk 1
  Rufous-winged Buzzard 3
  Collared Falconet 1
  Rock Dove 6
  Spotted Dove 10
  Yellow-footed Green Pigeon 25
  Lesser Coucal 1
  Banded Bay Cuckoo 3
  Plaintive Cuckoo 1
  Indian Cuckoo 3
  Asian Barred Owlet 2
  Crested Treeswift 10
  Cook's Swift 3
  House Swift 12
  Indian Roller 2
  Blue-bearded Bee-eater 5
  Blue-tailed Bee-eater 10
  Great Barbet 2
  Lineated Barbet 20
  Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker 8
  White-bellied Woodpecker 10
  Greater Yellownape 6
  Black-headed Woodpecker 30
  Common Flameback 20
  Greater Flameback 2
  Great Slaty Woodpecker 6
  Blue-winged Pitta 2
  Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike 8
  Large Woodshrike 8
  Common Woodshrike 12
  Ashy Woodswallow 2
  Common Iora 6
  Large Cuckooshrike 30
  Scarlet Minivet 6
  Brown Shrike 3
  White-bellied Erpornis 4
  Black-naped Oriole 10
  Black-hooded Oriole 14
  Ashy Drongo 6
  Bronzed Drongo 2
  Hair-crested Drongo 4
  Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 10
  Black-naped Monarch 50
  Blyth's Paradise Flycatcher 4
  Red-billed Blue Magpie 10
  Rufous Treepie 20
  Eastern Jungle Crow 12
  Black-headed Bulbul 4
  Black-crested Bulbul 10
  Red-whiskered Bulbul 2
  Sooty-headed Bulbul 30
  Stripe-throated Bulbul 1
  Streak-eared Bulbul 6
  Grey-eyed Bulbul 2
  Barn Swallow 2
  Striated Swallow 30
  Yellow-bellied Warbler 6
  Arctic Warbler 1
  Eastern Crowned Warbler 1
  Thick-billed Warbler 1
  Rufescent Prinia 20
  Common Tailorbird 6
  Dark-necked Tailorbird 1
  Pin-striped Tit-Babbler 10
  Puff-throated Babbler 1
  White-crested Laughingthrush 50
  Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush 10
  Burmese Nuthatch 10
  Velvet-fronted Nuthatch 20
  Common Hill Myna 2
  Common Myna 4
  Oriental Magpie-Robin 2
  White-rumped Shama 6
  Stejneger's Stonechat 1
  Pied Bush Chat 1
  Asian Brown Flycatcher 4
  Hainan Blue Flycatcher 5
  Tickell's Blue Flycatcher 2
  Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher 1
  Blue-winged Leafbird 2
  Golden-fronted Leafbird 20
  Plain Flowerpecker 20
  Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker 3
  Ruby-cheeked Sunbird 5
  Olive-backed Sunbird 2
  Plain-backed Sparrow 10
  Forest Wagtail 1
  Grey Wagtail 1