Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mae Ping National Park

Black-headed Woodpecker
Mae Ping National Park
by Michael Rooney


video

On Tuesday and Wednesday (November 13th and 14th), we spent two full days birding and butterfly watching in Mae Ping National Park mostly along the Thung Kik campsite road. On both days birding was often slow but over the two days we did manage to see most of the key species, one of the commonest birds was the stunning Black-headed Woodpecker, with around 25 noted on both days and many more heard. Grey-headed Parakeets were also fairly common on both days, especially along the first two kilometers of the road with around 20 noted, though getting good views was very difficult as birds zipped through the trees at a hundred miles an hour. Also seen along the Thung Kik road on the first day included two White-bellied Woodpeckers, Lesser Yellownape, Greater Flameback, two Red Junglefowl, three Thick-billed Green Pigeon, five Oriental Turtle Dove, two Rufous Treepie, three Red-billed Blue Magpie, several White-crowned Laughingthrush and three Black-winged Cuckooshrike. Mid day we spent a couple of hours at the campsite and track beyond, where two Burmese Shrikes, an Oriental Honey Buzzard and a Oriental Hobby were seen. Mid afternoon we decided to check out the Kor Luang Waterfall, though birding here was poor roadside birds on the way included three Rufous-winged Buzzard, a Collared Falconet and a group of four Crab Eating Mongoose crossed the road.    

Kor Luang Waterfall
Mae Ping National Park

Wednesday morning we were back in the park by dawn, just after the HQ three Red Junglefowl quickly crossed the track. We spent the entire day birding the Thung Kik Road and the side track to the Padam Padeang Ranger Station, a similar mix of birds to the previous day were noted, with a few additions, three Black Baza were in a dead tree at the start of the road, with a fourth a little further along and five Collared Flaconet were huddled together on a dead tree. Not far from here a group of around 15 Common Woodshrike were seen, along with a similar sized group further along the track. Three Burmese Nuthatch were seen at two stops and three Greater Yellownape were amongst a mixed group of woodpeckers which included two White-bellied Woodpeckers. Once again several Red-billed Blue Magpie and Rufous Treepie were seen along with good numbers of White-crowned Laughingthrush.

Tung Kik Campsite Road
Mae Ping National Park

Collared Falconet
Mae Ping National Park
by Michael Rooney
Additional species noted over the two days included Linneated Barbet, Banded Bay Cuckoo, Green-billed Malkoha, Blue-winged Leafbird, Greater and Lesser-racket Tailed DrongoBlack-hooded Oriole, Black-naped Monarch (very common), Velvet-fronted Nuthatch and Rufescent Prinia.

Mae Ping was also an excellent site for invertebrates with at least a dozen species of grasshoppers and crickets recorded and 60-70 species of butterflies including a bewildering number of blues.

Long Horn Grasshopper
Conocephalus melaenus
Mae Ping National Park
Blue Admiral
Mae Ping National Park




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