Friday, December 13, 2013

Doi Lang and White-tailed Rubythroat

Early Wednesday morning myself, Kurt (my brother-in-law) and Uthai from Chiang Mai Birding headed to Doi Lang for a couple of days birding, we camped on the mountain by the army camp, the weather was mild, mostly overcast, with periodic low cloud and light patchy rain. Leaving at 5am and taking the western  route up from Fang, we were birding by 640am. An excellent list of species was noted over the two days, best bird was a very surprising Thai tick for me. Whilst scoping up a small group of Crested Buntings feeding on seed at the side of the road, a male White-tailed Rubythroat hopped into view. White-tailed Rubythroat is apparently a rare bird in Thailand, though possibly under recorded as ringing especially around Chiang Saen has recorded a few in recent years. After a minute or two the bird disappeared back into the roadside grass and despite waiting another 30 minutes never reappeared.  

Spot-breasted Parrotbill
 Most of the Doi Lang specialties were seen included 6 Rufous-throated Partridge feeding by the main army camp on Wednesday evening, with many others heard calling, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Rusty-naped Pitta one calling just before the first army checkpoint, 2 White-gorgeted Flycatcher, Slaty-blue Flycatcher, male Sapphire FlycatcherGolden Bush Robin, White-tailed Robin, 2 Giant Nuthatch, 12 Black-throated Tit, 20 Crested Finchbill, 15 Brown-breasted Bulbul, Chestnut-headed Tesia, 6 Scarlet-faced Liocichla, Black-eared Shrike Babbler, 8 Whiskered Yuhina, 6 Long-tailed Sibia and 2 Spot-breasted Parrotbill.

Female Himilayan Bluetail
Male Himilayan Bluetail
Male Chesnut-bellied Rock Thrush
An impressive list of high altitude and other scarce species were also seen  including 4 Mountain Bamboo Partridge, 2 Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Stripe-breasted woodpecker, White-browed Piculet, 5 Speckled Piculet, 2 Lesser Yellownape, 6 Greater Yellownape, 5 Bay Woodpecker, 2 Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, 2 Little Pied Flycatcher, 3 Large, 2 Small and 3 Rufous-bellied Niltava, c20 Himilayan Bluetail, 4 White-bellied Redstart, 4 Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, 6 Yellow-cheeked Tit, 3 Slaty-bellied Tesia, 4 Buff-throated, 2 Buff-barred and 30 Pallas's leaf Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, 2 Bianchi's Warbler, 10 White-browed Laughingthrush, 8 White-necked Laughingthrush, 4 Rusty-cheeked Scimiter Babbler, 2 Pygmy Wren Babbler, 5 Golden Babbler,  c20 Spectacled Barwing, 4 Rufous-backed Sibia, 100 Gould's Sunbird, 60 Common Rosefinch, 30 Crested, 10 Little, 5 Chesnut and a single Yellow-breasted Bunting.
Dark-backed Sibia
Common species recorded included Golden-throated, Blue-throated and Great Barbet, Lesser Coucal, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Oriental Turtle Dove, Emerald Ground Dove, Eastern Buzzard, Mountain Hawk EaglePeregrine, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Grey-backed and Long-tailed Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Grey Treepie, Maroon Oriole, Large Cuckooshrike, Long-tailed, Short-billed and Grey-chinned Minivet, Yellow-bellied and White-throated Fantail, Northern White-crowned Forktail, Grey Bushchat, Striated, Mountain and Black Bulbul, Mountain Tailorbird, Claudia's, Hume's and Davidson's Leaf Warber, Chestnut-flanked White-eye, Marten's and Grey-crowned Warbler, Silver-eared Lughingthrush, Chestnut-capped and Yellow-eyed Babbler, Blue-winged Minla, Grey-cheeked and Rufous-winged Fulvetta and Dark-backed Sibia.   

The department of national parks have put up a number of signs in Thai and English forbidding the use of tapes, photography of nesting birds and feeding, these rules were widely ignored during our visit, with numerous feeding areas in operation and some appalling use of tapes, at a photographers stakeout for Chestnut-headed Tesia tapes were being played from dawn to dusk over the two days we were there. Elsewhere parts of the mountain echoed to the taped calls of Rusty-naped Pitta and Spot-breasted Laughingthrush

Species seen by other birders whilst we were there included several Hume's Pheasant, male Scarlet Finch and Ultramine Flycatcher.      
Doi Lang west side
View into Burma from Doi Lang east side


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