Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Umphang Road

With work taking me to the Thai-Myanmar border for a few days I decided to spend the weekend birding the road between Mae Sot and Umphang, which passes through Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary.  This is in effect a repeat of my trip in August.

After leaving Mae Sot at 5.45am for the slow journey to the key birding areas, my first notable bird was an Eastern Buzzard (ssp japonicus)  hunting on the ridge at approximately KM 105. From there I drove on and parked just before KM 116 and worked my way to KM 118 without too much avian interest - the best being a couple of parties of White-necked Laughingthrushes.

Further on around the Park HQ there was a lot of activity, but mainly from a few common species - Oriental White-eye, Striated Yuhina (no sign of Burmese Yuhina!) and Mountain Bulbul.  There are currently large amounts of fruit all over the forest so birds are feeding actively but are not concentrated in particular areas.  Notable species today included Golden-throated Barbet a couple of times, a group of six Brown Needletails, Collared Owlet (2 heard), a single Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon and two other Green Pig spp, a worn female Oriental Honey Buzzard (there's a lesson for me on this birds ID here), a male Orange-bellied Leafbird, single Brown Shrike, several Bronzed Drongos and a couple of large flocks of Spangled Drongos, both Grey Treepie and Maroon Oriole heard only, and a single White-browed Fantail seen. Flycatchers included several Hill Blue, a single male Hainan Blue , a couple of Verditers. Compared with my visit in August, Forktails were very thin on the ground with only one White-crowned Forktail heard and none seen.

Phylloscs included Radde's, Claudia's, Davison's and Yellow-browed, whilst I watched and listened to one Seicerus warbler for a prolonged period and have concluded that it was a Marten's. I also picked up several Silver-eared Mesias and Laughingthrushes along the way.

Golden-throated Barbet

Mountain Bulbul

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