Sunday, November 18, 2012

Umphang Road again...

After a very early start, having been woken up at 4.20am by the other guests in my cheap and cheerful resort in Umphang, I headed to the main area of birding interest for dawn, starting at the Shrine Viewpoint and finishing mid afternoon at KM 116 (see Dave Sargeant's site description here).

There was quite a lot of activity again today, with birds making the most of the abundant supply of fruit currently available throughout the forest. Species not seen yesterday but picked up today included Great and Blue-throated Barbets, a single male Grey-chinned Minivet in a mixed flock which also included a Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike and a Speckled PiculateRufous-browed and Little Pied Flycatchers were added to the trip list and Phylloscs were again well-represented and included two additional species in the form of Yellow-vented and Two-barred Greenish Warblers.

EDIT, 22nd Nov:  I had not realised, until Dave Sargeant pointed out to me, that Yellow-vented warbler is a very good record for Thailand.  The species is rare here and seemingly a much wanted bird by Thai listers (I don't keep a Thai list).  Apparently the Umphang Road has been mooted a a potential site for the species, so I'm pleased to have confirmed that it is indeed found there. 

Great Barbet

I found a mixed group of Black-throated and White-necked Laughingthrushes (the former not seen yesterday), a mobile a mobile group of six Eye-browed Thrushes were my first of the winter, as were two Grey-backed Shrikes. Other notables were a small flock of Black Bulbuls, a single White-throated Bulbul and a very skulking Slaty-bellied Tesia.  On the way back towards Mae Sot I stopped at about KM 108 (?) where the road runs along a ridge-top offering views over the forest-clad mountains to the north west - I spent about 45 minutes scanning this area in the hope of connecting with some hornbills but only managed to add a male Pale-blue Flycatcher.

Perhaps the highlight of the day was the fact that I had two Yellow-throated Marten encounters, involving three animals - the first, early in the morning was very brief but very close (six metres), whilst the second involved a single Marten crossing the road at 2.30pm whilst I was parked up photographing a Striated Yuhina flock.

Striated Yuhina

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