Sunday, March 15, 2009

Friday 13th March

Adult Asian Brown Flycatcher

Suan Rot Fai after work, but not much of any note - four ABFs, two Taigas and little else.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

White-rumped Charmer

Suan Rot Fai from 0630-0830, good numbers of BLACK-NAPED ORIOLES (15+), plus some winterers hanging on - BROWN SHRIKE (2), ASIAN BROWN FLY (2), TAIGA FLY (3), BLACK-CAPPED KINGFISHER (1), COMMON KINGFISHER (1). Yellow-browed Warblers seem to have left, or at least shut up, Blue-tailed Bee-eaters absent. Best bits of the morning - my first full breeding plumaged Pond Heron (Chinese) of the year, running into some Thai birders (sporting astronomical telescopes) who showed me an Olive-backed Sunbird nest, and the surprise of coming across a fine male WHITE-RUMPED SHARMA, presumably escaped from nearby Chatuchak Market (or to put it another way: "as likely to be wild as a Siberian Thrush in Norfolk in March") .

When I got home I received an SMS from Charles Davies, who spent the morning watching a showy Rusty-naped Pitta on top of Doi Inthanon...gripped!

Chinese Pond Heron in breeding plumage

Monday, March 2, 2009

24th February - Doi Inthanon

Whilst in Chiang Mai last week I managed to cut myself loose for a day on Doi Inthanon - Thailand's highest mountain, though this is something of a sad reflection on Thailand's topography, as the "Mountain" is more of a foothill really, at less that 2,600 m.a.s.l....and you can DRIVE to the top of it!

Actually this makes it great for birding as it is super-easy to be on the peak for dawn, which is exactly where I was, shivering...I kind of forgot that this was 1000 km north of, and 2.5km higher than sweaty Bangkok. The birding was great however, with a pair of DARK-SIDED THRUSHES seen in the dawn gloom, and SNOWY-BROWED FLYCATCHER and YELLOW-BELLIED FANTAIL seen on my first circuit of the Peak Bog (a curious sphagnum bog surrounded by epiphyte laden trees that look like they should be harbouring a Hobbit). My second and third circuits of the bog produced some rather slow, but rewarding birding, with excellent views of two separate EYE-BROWED THRUSHES, a small party of GREY-SIDED THRUSHES, and a RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL.

Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Peak Bog, DI

Checks of the trails at KM 37.5 and 34 were rather disappointing (Green Cochoa had been reported from the latter on the 20-22nd but all I managed was WHITE-GORGETED FLYCATCHER on the former, and SILVER-EARED MESIA on the latter), however ample reward was found at Mr Daeng's Cafe where I enjoyed lunch and a Coke whilst watching another DARK-SIDED THRUSH, female RUFOUS-BELLIED NILTAVA, LESSER SHORTWING and HILL BLUE FLYCATCHER.

Mr Daeng's Dark-sided Thrush - a classic Zoothera, secretive and skulking... which is why I took this photo from Mr Daeng's cafe whilst eating my lunch and talking loudly on the phone to my office!

Female Rufous-bellied Niltava - I wasn't familiar with this plumage, and didn't have a fieldguide with me...what to do? I was able to check the ID by isung my iPhone to go on-line and look at photos on Oriental Bird Images!