Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Doi Lang

Hodgson's Frogmouth
simply stunning

Chestnut-headed Tesia

Himalayan Bluetail
Blue-fronted Redstart
Three full days were spent birding at Doi Lang Feb 28th-Mar 2nd, time was spent visiting the various photo stakeouts as well as walks along the road, and despite it being a weekend we virtually had the place to ourselves. The birding was excellent and the highlights were many, a few which where especially memorable included a Hodgson's Frogmouth sat on a nest right next to the road, a Chestnut-headed Tesia which fed at the roadside inches from our feet, a stunning male Himalayan Bluetail, several dazzling male Sapphire Flycatchers, a Blue-fronted Redstart and two Fire-tailed Sunbirds.

Three Rufous-throated Partridge were seen feeding around the army camp, with many others heard calling from within the forest. Early one morning a Spot-bellied Eagle Owl was flushed from roadside trees and raptors included a Mountain Hawk Eagle, two Black Baza and an Oriental Hobby. Several Grey Treepie were seen and heard and up to 5 Slender-billed and 4 Maroon Oriole were noted. Apart from several Blue-whistling Thrush the only other thrush seen was a male Grey-winged Blackbird.
Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher
White-gorgeted Flycatcher
Ultramine Flycatcher
Flycatchers were very much in evidence with two Rufous-gorgeted, male Slaty-backed, 2 White-gorgeted, 5 Little Pied, male Ultramarine, Slaty-blue and 3 Sapphire Flycatcher, 5 Large Niltava and 3 Rufous-bellied Niltava noted.

Orange-flanked Bush Robin
White-tailed Robin
A great selection of chats and robins were also seen including two Siberian Rubythroats, 2 Orange-flanked Bush Robin, 10 Himalayan Bluetail, 2 Golden Bush Robin, 2 White-bellied Redstart and a very tame female White-tailed Robin. Two Giant Nuthatch were present in pines on the western side including a very vocal and obliging male, two Hume's Treecreepers were also seen and Yellow-cheeked Tits were seen daily. There was a good scattering of Crested Finchbill and Brown-breasted Bulbul on both sides of the mountain.
Hill Prinia
Hill Prinia was also fairly common as were phylloscopus warblers which included Buff-throated, Buff-barred, Pallas's, Hume's and very many Davidson's.
Silver-eared Laughingthrush
Scarlet-faced Liocichla

White-browed Laughingthrush
Both Silver-eared Laughingthrush and Scarlet-faced Liocichla were fairly common and at least one group of White-browed Laughingthrush were seen most days.
Rusty-cheeked Scimiter Babbler
Rusty-cheeked and White-browed Scimiter Babblers were common and other babblers included Chestnut-capped, Golden and Blyth's Shrike Babbler. Several small groups of Blue-tailed Minla were noted and on the higher parts of the mountain Whiskered Yuhina were relatively easy to find, as were Spectacled Barwing and our final morning we did well for parrotbills with two Spot-breasted and up to 20 Grey-headed showing well. Finch's included several Common Rosefinch and a male Spot-winged Grosbeaks. Chestnut Bunting were fairly common in open scrubby hillsides with up 50 seen and at least 20 Little Buntings were feeding in fields near one of the army checkpoints.

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