Thaksin Maharat and Mae Ping: 2-3 June 2012


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2-3 June 2012.
Warm and humid. Partly cloudy. Rain showers.
Thaksin Maharat National Park and Mae Ping National Park.

1 Jun. With Richard and Kaori Carden. This trip was a simple weekend jaunt for Richard to try for a handful of target species not picked up on previous trips. For others, just an excuse to go birding. An on time pick-up at Chiang Mai airport, and we were on our way. heading south toward Tak, where we arrived around 20:30. Checked into the Andaman Resort near the Mae Sot junction. As the restaurant not functioning in the evening we ate at the closest restaurant heading into town.

Leopard Lacewing
Leopard Lacewing

Spotted Angle
Spotted Angle - female

Leopard Lacewing
unidentified Hummingbird Hawk-Moth

2 Jun. An early start to drive to the entrance at Thaksin Maharat shortly after opening. The low cloud didn't look particularly enticing for birding as it appeared rain would start imminently. Our first stop was at the viewing platform overlooking the valley. Although windy and cool within a few minutes we'd heard both Olive Bulbul and White-throated Bulbul, but neither seen. Due to the windy conditions we decided to try to trail leading down to the valley with the Big Tree at the end of the road.

Both bulbuls were again vocal and by descending the trail good views of both Olive Bulbul and White-throated Bulbul were had, although the latter were decidedly flighty in the canopy and hardly coming to rest. With the two targets located we decided to check out the Big Tree and the valley below. This included a walk up the trail toward the Pang Ah Noi Waterfall, where in addition to numerous tiger leeches we had Blue Pitta, Spot-necked Babbler and Banded Kingfisher - all unfortunately heard only. Surprisingly the weather cleared and the sun was out. After the slog back up the trail to the car parking area we had a quick once around the scenic drive before heading into Tak for a late breakfast and subsequently moving on to Li. Having checked in to our accommodation we headed straight into Mae Ping National park, arriving around 14:30. As the weather was pretty warm bird activity was minimal. By the late afternoon we found ourselves at Thung Kik with a few calling Chinese Francolin. At dusk we returned to the forest to listen for night birds. At this time of year it's not dark until well after 19:00, when the first calling birds we heard were Oriental Scops Owl. Heading straight into the forest our initial attempts at spot-lighting were unsuccessful; due mainly to the amount of foliage in the wet season. However, with perseverance we had good views of a perched Oriental Scops Owl. Several others were calling nearby, as well as Brown Hawk-Owl.

3 Jun. A couple of Indochinese Bush Lark encountered en route to the park was a good omen. All morning spent on a stop/park/walk along the Thung Gig road. Activity being better early morning we encountered good numbers of woodpeckers, including Great Slaty Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Lesser Yellownape, Common Flameback and Black-headed Woodpecker.

However, the highlight of the morning was a pair of Collared Falconet found after much searching. Not too many possibilities for bird photography, but some butterflies encountered in the early morning sun. Around 12:00 drove back to Chiang Mai airport.

Species List

  Mae Ping Count   Thaksin Maharat Count
  Chinese Francolin 5   Common Emerald Dove 1
  Red Junglefowl 1   Large Hawk-Cuckoo 1
  Shikra 2   Banded Kingfisher 1
  Rufous-winged Buzzard 1   Great Barbet 4
  Changeable Hawk-Eagle 1   Blue-throated Barbet 4
  Collared Falconet 2   Blue Pitta 1
  Barred Buttonquail 2   Scarlet Minivet 2
  Spotted Dove 4   Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo 1
  Greater Coucal 1   Grey Treepie 4
  Green-billed Malkoha 2   Black-crested Bulbul 4
  Banded Bay Cuckoo 1   Sooty-headed Bulbul 10
  Large Hawk-Cuckoo 2   White-throated Bulbul 12
  Oriental Scops Owl 4   Olive Bulbul 6
  Asian Barred Owlet 1   Yellow-bellied Warbler 2
  Brown Hawk-Owl 3   Grey-throated Babbler 1
  Crested Treeswift 1   Spot-necked Babbler 1
  Indian Roller 3   Brown-cheeked Fulvetta 6
  Blue-bearded Bee-eater 2   Pied Bush Chat 1
  Great Barbet 2   Hill Blue Flycatcher 2
  Lineated Barbet 12      
  Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker 5      
  White-bellied Woodpecker 6      
  Greater Yellownape 1      
  Lesser Yellownape 2      
  Black-headed Woodpecker 15      
  Common Flameback 3      
  Great Slaty Woodpecker 10      
  Common Iora 8      
  Large Cuckooshrike 10      
  Scarlet Minivet 2      
  Black-hooded Oriole 6      
  Ashy Drongo 2      
  Hair-crested Drongo 6      
  Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 4      
  Eurasian Jay 1      
  Rufous Treepie 5      
  Eastern Jungle Crow 2      
  Black-crested Bulbul 4      
  Red-whiskered Bulbul 2      
  Sooty-headed Bulbul 15      
  Rufescent Prinia 6      
  Common Tailorbird 2      
  Pin-striped Tit-Babbler 4      
  Puff-throated Babbler 4      
  White-crested Laughingthrush 10      
  Burmese Nuthatch 5      
  Velvet-fronted Nuthatch 2      
  White-rumped Shama 1      
  Golden-fronted Leafbird 10      
  Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker 5