Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Pitta and Forktail

Rusty-naped Pitta
(hopefully Fred has some much better photos)
For the final few days of Fed and Marian's trip to Thailand we visited Mae Wong National Park, between November 20th and 23rd. Despite our visit co-coinciding with a weekend, which saw the Chong Yen Campsite packed to overflowing with campers and resurfacing and widening of the road up to Chong Yen, we saw some excellent birds. We arranged through one of the park rangers to visit two of the feeding stations/blinds, near the Chong Yen Campsite. Initially on our first visit it was very quite, but before long a few birds started to appeared with Buff-breasted Babbler and White-tailed Robin being the first, followed a little while later by a Rusty-naped Pitta which spent the next forty minutes feeding in the open down to a few feet, giving amazing views and allowing Fred to take very many photos. This was followed a few minutes later by a Northern White-crowned Forktail which also fed right in front of the blind, though we had seen Northern White-crowned Forktail on previous trips, views had always been brief and fleeting. Other birds to appear included a Blue-whistling Thrush, two Spot-necked Babbler, two Streaked Wren Babbler, several Silver-eared Laughingthush and Hill Blue Flycatcher.
Spot-necked Babbler

Male and female White-tailed Robin
We also visited another blind near the campsite, were Rufous-throated Partridge were seen, along with Rufous-bellied Niltava, White-tailed Robin and a Rufous-browed Flycatcher. When not busy, time was also spent birding around the campsite, along the Umphang trail and back along the road. Along the Umphang trail we found a very large mixed species feeding flock, which included good numbers of Silver-eared Mesia, several Blue-winged Minla and in the undergrowth additional pairs of Spot-necked Babbler and Streaked Wren Babbler. Birds around the campsite included a pair of Yellow-cheeked Tit and several very obliging Grey-chinned Minivet.
White-necked Laughingthrush
Numerous Bay Woodpeckers were heard back along the road, but only one was seen briefly, whilst a Green Cochoa called repeatedly from road side trees but frustratingly failed to show. Among the numerous Ashy, Mountain and Flasvecent Bulbul, three Olive Bulbul were seen, a dull but fairly localized Thai species. Several large and very noisy groups of White-necked Laughingthrush were noted, along with several Black-throated.  

White-browed Scimiter Babbler
Very few raptors were seen, but these did include nice views of a Mountain Hawk-eagle, an Eastern Buzzard and a pair of Oriental Hobby which showed well in a roadside tree two consecutive mornings. Whilst heading down the mountain late one afternoon a group of nine Kalij Pheasant crossed the road, in front of the van and a stop at an area of scrub and bamboo produced a couple of White-browed Scimiter Babbler, two Bamboo Woodpecker, two pairs of Great Hornbill and a group of Collared Babbler
Golden-throated Babbler
Additional species recorded during our visit included: Barred and Little Cuckoo-dove, Lesser Coucal, Red-headed Trogon, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Golden-throated Barbet, Speckled and White-browed Piculet, Short-billed Minivet, Maroon Oriole, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Grey Treepie, Chinese Leaf Warbler, hundreds of Oriental and Chestnut-flanked White-eye, Marten's Warbler, Rufous-fronted and Golden Babbler, Blue-winged Minla, Straited Yuhina, Golden-crested and Common Hill Myna and Mrs Gould's Sunbird.  

Once again thanks to Fred Rowe for the use of his photos. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Neil, Great to see the Rusty-naped Pitta is still showing at Mae Wong - I will be visiting Thailand for the 1st 2 weeks of Feb and my main aim is to see this species. Hope it is still showing!