Saturday, December 28, 2013

Baan Songnok, Kaeng Krachan December 2013

Kalij Pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos)-F
This was our third visit to Kaeng Krachan and this time we stayed at Baan Songnok (GPS 12.84689 deg N 19.57989 deg E), Auntie Aek runs this homestay with her daughter, "X". As it was a short stay we thought we would just take advantage of the waterhole and hides in their gardens.

Kalij Pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos)
Scaly-breasted Partridge (Arborophila chloropus)
The first morning at the blind we were in luck and saw the Kilaj Pheasant, male and female, the Scaly-breasted Partridge, Taiga Flycatcher and Black-naped Monarch and big flocks of Red Junglefowls. After lunch the smaller birds came, the Siberian Blue Robin, Hill Blue Flycatcher, Babblers with the highlight of the Slaty-legged Crake being the last visitor of the day for their evening bath.
Black-naped Monarch  (Hypothymis azurea)
Slaty-legged Crake (Rallina eurizonoides)

It was good easy birding at Baan Songnok and in addition to having good views of some hard to see babblers we could take  coffee breaks when it was quiet.  We enjoyed their hospitality and the good Thai food that X cooked, she also gave us a complimentary ride to Lung Sin's waterhole and blind for a morning stakeout where we found the visiting birds were similar species found at Baan Songnok.  In between our visits to the hides, we took walks in the gardens and the surrounding area.  Our short stay produced 38 species with 4 lifers.  Auntie Aek recommended that the mountain in April will have more interesting birds as they will be breeding so another trip at that time?

Hill Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis banyumas)-F
Hill Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis banyumas)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Doi Inthanon re-visited November 2013

Rufous-throated Partridge
This was our second visit to Doi Inthanon and as the first visit had been in April it was to check the birds in a different season this time.
As before, our guide Uthai, from Chiang Mai Birding picked us from the hotel in Chiang mai early in the morning and headed for the Mae Hia ricefields where some migrant Red Avadavats had been seen there but we only managed several very fleeting views. We did see many others including Pied Bushchats, EasternStonechat, Indochinese Bush Lark, White Wagtail and many Munias and Black-collared Starlings.
Our next stop was Ob Khan National Park which is still in the process of being established. We stayed only a couple of hours and saw Rosy Minivet, Ashy Drongo, Black-hooded Oriole and both Grey and White Wagtails.
We continued to Li town and checked into our guesthouse, had lunch and headed straight to Mae Ping to look for the woodpeckers. Unfortunately it was not our day, although we did hear many, we only managed a very poor view of a Black-headed Woodpecker. We tried again the following morning before going to Inthanon but again, it was not to be.
Ashy-throated Warbler
Arriving at Inthanon, within 1 hour or so we had excellent views of a Plumbeous Redstart, a White-capped Redstart and a Slaty-backed Forktail. So it was off to dinner feeling very satisfied with our day. For the next 2 ½ days we enjoyed the cool weather and saw many birds, the highlights being the Rufous-bellied Niltava, Small Niltava, Grey-throated Babbler, Mrs Gould's Sunbird, Rufous-throated Partridge, Eurasian Woodcock, Ashy-throated Warbler and White-headed Bulbul.
All too soon it was time to leave and head back to Chiang mai, with a quick stop at Mae Hia, and again, apart from some glimpses of the Red Avadavats it was very quiet.
After a relaxing night in our hotel it was on the plane home. We saw 84 species with 12 lifers.

Grey-throated Babbler
Rufous-bellied Niltava

Eurasian Woodcock

Small Niltava

Plumbeous Redstart