Saturday, March 24, 2012
Shortly after first light on Thursday morning I was on the naturetrail which starts opposite the wildlife sanctuary HQ at Chiang Dao, the start of this trail has been a regular stakeout for Rusty-napped Pitta for at least 15 years (though seems to be much harder to see here in recent years) and for Hooded Pitta later in the year. Despite spending four hours on the trail, once again there was no sign of any pittas. Long stretches of the trail were bird free, there was just enough birds present to maintain interest. A pair of Streaked Wren Babblers were present on limestone near the start of the trail and two partridges almost certainly Scaly-breasted quickly ran away. Two Siberian Blue Robins and an Asian Stubtail were noted in a gully which runs along the side of the trail and in bamboo near the summit, several Hill Blue Flycatchers, White-rumped Shamas and an obliging Bamboo Woodpecker were present. On the walk back down towards the cave a group of Lesser-necklaced Laughinghtrush were present in bamboo along with at least three Grey-crowned Warblers. There was plenty of birds around the quieter parts of the cave area, including a Sulphur-breasted Warbler, two Asian-barred Owlets, Violet Cuckoo and two Asian Brown Flycatchers. Also recorded during the morning were Emerald Ground Dove, Linneated Barbet, Great Iora, Red Junglefowl, Buff-breasted babbler, Rufescent Prinia, Yellow-bellied Warber, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Black-throated and Ruby Cheeked Sunbird.