Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pitta Hunt

I decided this morning that over the next few days I would revisit all the sites around Wat Tham Pha Plong, Chiang Dao were I have previously seen Blue and Rusty-naped Pitta. This morning I started birding along the recently cleared north fence trail, returning via the gully trail, despite ideal looking habitat and a good time of year I failed to hear or see any. At the start of the trail a Grey-backed Shrike was present and was presumably the same bird which has been in this area all winter, also here were two Grey-crowned Warblers and a Ruby-cheeked Sunbird. Along the fence trail were several White-rumped ShamasHill Blue FlycatchersYellow-bellied Warblers, a pair of Hainan Blue Flycatchers, Maroon Oriole and a White-browed Piculet.

As I dropped down in to the gully trail I surprised a male and three female Silver Pheasant, which in complete contrast to the tame bird at the temple quickly ran up the slope opposite and vanished. Along the gully the resident pair of White-crowned Forktails were present and two raucous Green Magpies also showed well. Whilst heading back down the temple steps a huge flock of at least 80 Spangled Drongos flew over and a pair of Streaked Wren Babblers were on their usual limestone outcrop. Also seen or heard on the morning walk were two Lesser Yellownape, Bay Woodpecker, three Violet Cuckoo, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Great Iora, Siberian Blue Robin, Buff-breasted BabblerOmei Warbler and Purple-naped Sunbird.

A good number of raptors were noted over the garden during the late morning/early afternoon with two or three Oriental Honey Buzzards, four Shikra, three Crested Serpent Eagle and single Crested Goshawk and Rufous-winged Buzzard.

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