Bueng Boraphet and Mae Ping: 16-18 July 2013






16 - 18 July 2013.
Mostly dry. Overcast and warm.
Bueng Boraphet and Mae Ping National Park.

16 Jul. The impetus for this short, three day, wet season trip was a search for Jacobin Cuckoo that occurs sporadically around Bueng Boraphet area at this time of year. Drove the 500 kilometres from Chiang Mai to Nakhon Sawan, with only one surprise en route - a male Blue Peafowl by the roadside half way to Tak. Is there a feral population spreading in Thailand?

Asian Golden Weaver
Asian Golden Weaver

Great Myna
Great Myna

Jacobin Cuckoo
Jacobin Cuckoo

Checked into a hotel in town and around 16:00 went to search fields on the northern side of the lake. A wander through various scrub and lake edge produced the usual suspects such as Cinnamon Bittern, Purple Heron, Grey-headed Swamphen, Yellow Bittern, Striated Weaver and Asian Golden Weaver. Slightly more unusual were Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Chestnut Munia, Chestnut-tailed Starling, and a small green bird with a longish tail hanging out with the weavers, that eventually proved to be a Budgerigar! What's with the feral birds today?

On the return walk to the vehicle came across four very large and very male Water Buffalo blocking the track. Not being able to bypass them - the track edges adjacent to ditches and thick scrub - resorted to shouting, and throwing rocks, which made not one iota of difference. This actually made things worse, and as they started to approach the only option seemed to be to climb a tree, and feeling pretty stupid by now. Eventually they passed under the tree and no sooner had they gone 20 metres past than a motorcycle with a couple of farmers came along. Evidently these buffalo had a reputation, as the farmers stopped as well, pulled out a fire cracker and threw it at the buffalo. This made no impression whatsoever and it took a further three firecrackers for them to nonchalantly wander off the track. Descended the tree and returned to the vehicle just in time as the rain started.

17 Jul. Return to the northern shores. This time the buffalo sighted and well entrenched in the wetland mimosa and a way off. The whole morning produced a flyover Jacobin Cuckoo, further Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, a Spot-billed Pelican and a few Red Avadavat. Late morning returned to the hotel, checked out and headed to the southern shore Waterbird Park, but very disappointing due to the time of year and time of day - almost birdless other than a lone Watercock. Left 13:00 to drive the five hours to Li.


Spotted Angle
Spotted Angle

18 Jul. On arrival early at Mae Ping, overcast and a very pleasant 23°C. Most of the morning birding Thung Kik road with the usual selection of woodpeckers including Black-headed Woodpecker, Greater Yellownape and White-bellied Woodpecker.

Common Red Pierrot
Common Red Pierrot

A few other species of note including Orange-breasted Trogon and Large Woodshrike. Moved on to Kor Luang Waterfall where disappointed to find the National Park office has been improving the area by clearing out forest understorey and felling trees to create ornamental fences which will rot away within a couple of years. A lot of clearance of bamboo. A walk to the falls produced nothing ornithological of note, but some interesting butterflies were present in the area. In the heat of the day drove back to Chiang Mai.

Tawny Coster
Tawny Coster

Species List

  Bueng Boraphet Count   Mae Ping Count
  Lesser Whistling Duck 40   Crested Serpent Eagle 1
  Cotton Pygmy Goose 10   Greater Coucal 4
  Little Grebe 10   Green-billed Malkoha 1
  Asian Openbill 50   Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo 1
  Yellow Bittern 10   Large Hawk-Cuckoo 1
  Cinnamon Bittern 8   Asian Barred Owlet 2
  Black-crowned Night Heron 20   Orange-breasted Trogon 1
  Eastern Cattle Egret 10   Indian Roller 2
  Purple Heron 5   Lineated Barbet 3
  Great Egret 4   Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker 2
  Little Egret 25   White-bellied Woodpecker 2
  Spot-billed Pelican 1   Greater Yellownape 4
  Little Cormorant 5   Black-headed Woodpecker 12
  Indian Cormorant 1   Common Flameback 2
  Black-winged Kite 6   Greater Flameback 2
  White-breasted Waterhen 4   Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike 4
  Ruddy-breasted Crake 1   Large Woodshrike 3
  Watercock 2   Common Iora 2
  Grey-headed Swamphen 5   Large Cuckooshrike 5
  Black-winged Stilt 10   Scarlet Minivet 2
  Red-wattled Lapwing 4   Black-hooded Oriole 2
  Greater Painted-snipe 2   Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 6
  Pheasant-tailed Jacana 6   Black-naped Monarch 3
  Bronze-winged Jacana 1   Rufous Treepie 2
  Wood Sandpiper 6   Eastern Jungle Crow 2
  Red Turtle Dove 20   Sooty-headed Bulbul 6
  Spotted Dove 6   Stripe-throated Bulbul 2
  Zebra Dove 20   Barn Swallow 2
  Greater Coucal 10   Rufescent Prinia 10
  Lesser Coucal 3   Grey-breasted Prinia 4
  Chestnut-winged Cuckoo 4   Common Tailorbird 5
  Jacobin Cuckoo 1   Dark-necked Tailorbird 2
  Asian Koel 5   Pin-striped Tit-Babbler 10
  Plaintive Cuckoo 6   Puff-throated Babbler 5
  Asian Palm Swift 20   White-crested Laughingthrush 6
  Indian Roller 1   Common Myna 10
  White-throated Kingfisher 4   Oriental Magpie-Robin 4
  Pied Kingfisher 2   White-rumped Shama 2
  Blue-tailed Bee-eater 10   Tickell's Blue Flycatcher 3
  Freckle-breasted Woodpecker 1   Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker 4
  Ashy Woodswallow 10   Olive-backed Sunbird 4
  Common Iora 4      
  Long-tailed Shrike 6      
  Black Drongo 6      
  Malaysian Pied Fantail 10      
  Eastern Jungle Crow 2      
  Indochinese Bush Lark 2      
  Yellow-vented Bulbul 20      
  Streak-eared Bulbul 20      
  Barn Swallow 400      
  Striated Grassbird 25      
  Zitting Cisticola 10      
  Yellow-bellied Prinia 4      
  Plain Prinia 12      
  Great Myna 60      
  Common Myna 50      
  Pied Myna 40      
  Chestnut-tailed Starling 25      
  Oriental Magpie-Robin 10      
  Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker 2      
  Olive-backed Sunbird 4      
  House Sparrow 20      
  Eurasian Tree Sparrow 10      
  Asian Golden Weaver 25      
  Streaked Weaver 2      
  Baya Weaver 50      
  Red Avadavat 7      
  Scaly-breasted Munia 2      
  Chestnut Munia 7