23 February – 5 March 2003

Gruff Dodd, 2 Clos Tawe, Barri, Bro Morgannwg, Cymru/Wales;

Introduction and strategy

Our first visit to Thailand was long overdue, and the biggest problem facing us on this trip, especially given the short amount of time available, was deciding which sites to visit. We eventually decided to concentrate on just a handful of sites in the north of the country, centred in the historical city of Chiang Mai. This allowed me to spend enough time on finding the key species in these areas, while avoiding moving around too often, which suited Sara just fine.

We also fitted in a day in the Bangkok area on our last day, which took away any worries about connection problems with our flights from Chiang Mai (a good decision in hindsight as this got cancelled and we got moved onto a later flight), as well as allowing me a chance for Spoon-billed Sandpiper, high on my "most-wanted" list. If I had been able to extend the trip to a full 2 weeks, I would have spent the additional time at Khao Yai, but that will have to wait for a future trip.

I was delighted with how the trip worked out. Thanks to my excellent local guides I managed to see a large number of my target birds, including such wonderful species as Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Green Cochoa, Purple Cochoa, Jerdon’s Bushchat and Giant Nuthatch, as well as a host of other species. The pace of the trip was just right, with minimal time spent on travelling, and the standard of food and accommodation was excellent throughout.

The only thing I might change if I was visiting again was the timing of the trip. Even though my trip was only some 10 days long, bird activity declined noticeably throughout this period, with Doi Inthanon being much harder work in the first week of March than at the end of February. This was confirmed by the other birders we met – the Canadian group found the km 37.5 jeep track so productive on their first visit in mid-February that they spent the whole day covering just a few hundred metres, and amassed a big list of birds. In contrast it was almost birdless on 5 March, although given that about the only birds we saw here in three hours were a pair of Purple Cochoas, we couldn’t complain too much! If I was visiting again, however, I’d probably go perhaps a month earlier to be sure of seeing as many birds as possible.

Overall a highly enjoyable trip, and it’s now just a matter of when we’ll return to enjoy some more of the country’s birds and hospitality.


First and foremost, huge thanks to my two guides, Rachen Charoennugul and Kamol Komolphalin, as well as Kamol’s wife Patcharee who organised the trip so well on our behalf. Thanks also to John and Nollie van der Woude, Kingsley and Sharon, and the Canadian family (didn’t get their names) who we kept meeting at most sites we visited, and who were such good company throughout.

Finally thanks to those who provided advice and assistance before the trip – Tony Ball, Andrew Merewether, Paul Bamford, Suppalak Klabdee, Malcolm Roxby, Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua and Andy Adcock,

Getting there

We flew from London Heathrow (LHR) direct to Bangkok (BKK) with British Airways. The flights were booked on-line through E-bookers ( tel 0870 010 7000) and cost a rather hefty UKP 556 each including taxes –more expensive than I had expected, but the cheapest I could find despite a lot of searching.

The flight times were as follows:
Depart LHR 21.02.03 21:20, arrive BKK 22.02.03 15:40
Depart BKK 05.03.03 23:45, arrive LHR 06.03.03 05:40

We then took an internal flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (CNX) with Thai Airways, at a very reasonable rate of UKP 72 each for a return flight. I originally booked the flights via Thai’s web site (, but then realised that tickets would only be sent to addresses within Thailand, or picked up at their booking office, neither of which was convenient. I therefore phoned their UK office (tel 0870 6060 911), who picked up the reservation and issued the tickets from London.

Flights times were as follows:
22.02.03 – Depart BKK 19:30, arrive CNX 20:40
04.03.03 – Depart CNX 19:30, arrive BKK 20:40 

In the event, we arrived at Chiang Mai airport on 04.03 to find that our flight had been cancelled, however we were moved onto their 21:00 without any fuss.

Travelling around

I had arranged local bird guides with 4WD transport for most of the trip, although 4WD only really seemed necessary for the trip up Doi Chiang Dao. For the three days I was without a guide, I booked a hire car through a local Chiang Mai company called North Wheels (e-mail -, web site –

The car, a Toyota saloon, cost THB 1,170 (UKP 18) per day including unlimited mileage and all insurance, which was pretty good value. A small 4WD Suzuki Caribian was even cheaper (THB 800 per day), but we opted for a little more comfort given that we didn’t need the 4WD for that part of the trip. The only down side with the car was that it didn’t have air conditioning, but it wasn’t as much of a problem as we’d thought it would be.

Driving around was generally very easy – the roads were of very good quality, and signposting was in both English and Thai. Traffic was also lighter than we’d expected, and even driving through Chiang Mai itself was pretty straightforward. The one thing you have to look out for are the numerous motorbikes, scooters and tuk-tuks everywhere. One of these ran into the back of us near Chiang Saen, damaging our bumper, although no-one got hurt. Getting his name and address was, however, tricky given not only the language barrier but the different alphabet!

North Wheels got a bit upset with me when I returned the car, as apparently I should have immediately phoned them to report the accident before either I or the other driver left the scene – quite how I was supposed to do this in the middle of the countryside with the language barrier problems was a mystery, but I haven’t heard any more from them about this subsequently.

Another thing to look out for is the variation in the spelling of place names in English – Thai does not seem to be transliterated consistently into the Roman alphabet. Thus, for example, you may also see Chiang Mai spelled as Chiengmai or Chiengmei, Tha Ton as Taton, Ta Don etc.

Finally, on a couple of occasions we took a tuk-tuk (three-wheeled motorbike taxi) around Chiang Mai – probably not the safest form of transport, but great fun!

Bird Guides

Given the relatively little time we had for the trip, I decided to hire a local guide for part of my stay. I organised this through a Thai-based company called Nature Trails (web-site - contact Patcharee Komolphalin on or, tel +66 2735 0644, fax +66 2735 0638
My guide in the north was Rachen Charoennugul - Rachen guided me for the first five days, at Doi Inthanon and at Doi Chiang Dao, and again for two days at Doi Inthanon at the end. In between, I did a three day trip to Chiang Saen, Tha Ton and Doi Ang Khang on my own. Patcharee’s husband Kamol Komolphalin was my guide for one day, my last, in the Bangkok area.
Both Rachen and Kamol were excellent guides, knowing the local sites very well, and being familiar with the birds, including the local specialities. I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending either of them for future visiting birders, and will use Nature Trails again on any future trips I make to Thailand.
In addition to guiding, both Rachen and Kamol provided their own transport, and took care of all the administrative arrangements, permits etc. Patcharee also booked our accommodation for us at Doi Chiang Dao.
I paid Nature Trails a total of THB 36,700 (UKP 565) – this covered 8 days guiding, vehicle hire, fuel, packed lunches and park entrance fees, as well as two nights accommodation at Doi Chiang Dao, which I felt was good value.

Costs & Money

The local currency is the Thai Baht (THB), although some businesses quote in US Dollars (USD). The approximate exchange rate against sterling (UKP) at the time of my visit (which I have used in translating costs throughout this report) was as follows:

Credit cards were accepted widely throughout, and I also made use of ATM machines which were easy to find, in Chiang Mai at least

Petrol was extremely cheap by UK standards, around THB 17 (UKP 0.26) per litre. It cost THB 200 (UKP 3) per person to enter Doi Inthanon N.P. and to climb Doi Chiang Dao, plus another THB 50 (UKP 0.77) per vehicle. Food was also cheap – a meal for the two of us, including drinks normally costed between THB 500 - 600 (UKP 8 - 9) per night, even in the Hotel Empress and the Angkhang Resort. Lunch in restaurants was often buffet-style, and superb value – all you could eat for THB 100 (UKP 1.50) per head was normal.

The total cost of the trip is estimated at UKP 2,320 for 2 people (UKP 1,160 each), made up as follows:

Accommodation and food

We stayed at the following places (cost per couple includes the share of the guide’s cost where applicable), and breakfast was inclusive in all cases:
Hotel Empress, 199 Chiang Klan Road, Chiang Mai. Tel +66 (53) 270240, fax +66 (53) 272467, e-mail Cost - USD 34 (UKP 23) per double room including breakfast. Booked on the internet via a company called Asian Trails (e-mail, website who were very helpful and efficient.
This was a total bargain for a superbly comfortable 4 star hotel, but far from unusual – the price of hotel accommodation seems to be extremely cheap generally compared with Europe. There was also a very good restaurant, where two of us could eat well, with cocktails, for about THB 500 (UKP 8) per night.
If you are here purely on a birding trip, you might be better advised to stay nearer Doi Inthanon (e.g. the new Inthanon Resort) and save yourself the hour’s drive to the park each morning – the park opens at 06:00. However if, like me, you are accompanied by a non-birding spouse, staying in Chiang Mai itself may be a better compromise. 
I have to admit that it was very pleasant returning to the Empress with its air-con rooms, swimming pool, leisure club etc after a hard day’s birding!
Hotel Empress, Chiang Mai.
24.02.03 Hotel Empress, Chiang Mai.
Malee’s Nature Lovers Bungalows, Chiang Dao. Tel/fax +66 (53) 456426, e-mail Not sure of the cost – included in the fee we paid Nature Trails. 
Everyone who birds Doi Chiang Dao stays here – very pleasant place with comfortable but not luxurious bungalows, great and cheap food and nice gardens. It is also very near Chiang Dao monastery and the forestry department offices where you get your permits to visit the mountain. The owner, Malee Keratitaweesuk is a real star and will look after you really well.
Malee’s Nature Lovers Bungalows, Chiang Dao.
27.02.03 Hotel Empress, Chiang Mai.
28.02.03 Angkhang Nature Resort, Doi Ang Khang. Tel +66 (53) 450110, fax +66 (53) 450120 e-mail, website Cost – THB 2,041 (UKP 31) per night for double room including breakfast. Excellent restaurant, with dinner for two costing about THB 600 (UKP 9) per night.

A wonderful place to stay – lovely rooms and a great setting. Highly recommended

01.03.03 Angkhang Nature Resort, Doi Ang Khang.
Hotel Empress, Chiang Mai.
03.03.03 Hotel Empress, Chiang Mai.
04.03.03 Comfort Suites Airport, 88/117 Viphavadee-Rangsit Road, Don Muang, Bangkok. Tel +66 (2) 552 89219, fax +66 (2) 552 8920, e-mail Cost – THB 1,400 (UKP 22) per double room per night, breakfast extra. Free airport shuttle included.

Booked on the internet through Hotel Thailand (e-mail, website Comfortable enough hotel, although not in the same league as the Empress, however very conveniently located near Bangkok International Airport and pretty good value.


Red tape

Minimal. Be careful with your speed while driving as traffic police are apparently widespread and keen. We passed through a few roadblocks, but were just waved through. Be aware that a departure tax of THB 500 per head is payable in cash on departure – check in first, then pay the tax at the booth near passport control before proceeding to the departure lounge.

One last warning – don’t even think about messing about with drugs of any kind in Thailand – there is a total zero-tolerance policy including use of the death penalty in effect. To that end, be especially careful not to leave your bags unattended at the airport.


Very pleasant– this is the middle of the dry season in Thailand, and we enjoyed warm sunny days throughout. Thanks to the altitude at the key sites it rarely got too hot to keep birding, although activity died off quite badly after perhaps 10:30, picking up again at around 16:00, and it was much hotter lower down. It was very cold early morning at the summit of Doi Inthanon. Dawn was at around 06:00 and dusk around 18:30.

Health, safety & annoyances

Before visiting we made sure we were up to date with the usual jabs – tetanus, polio, typhoid, yellow fever, hepatitis, meningitis and diphtheria. Malaria is present in some of the border areas with Laos and Myanmar, but given the low risk of infection, we decided to forego taking anti-malarials, basically because of the side-effects I usually suffer.

In any case, Dengue Fever is a more likely health risk, against which there is no available vaccine, so we instead concentrated on avoiding getting bitten. This is especially important as the latter disease is, apparently, transmitted by day-flying mozzies, whereas the Malaria-bearing mozzies are more of an evening / night-time problem. In the event, we had very few problems with insects, although I did get bitten a few times by something at Doi Inthanon.

Otherwise, we had very few problems, and felt safe throughout. Be aware, however, that there is a drug smuggling problem in the area, especially those sites that are near the Myanmar border such as Doi Angkhang, and an Australian birder was tragically shot and killed in this area a few years ago. There have also been instances of attacks on Western tourists in Chiang Mai, but given the size of the city and the sheer numbers of tourists visiting, this must be a very small risk, probably no more than in any other big city. Just be sensible about where you go after dark.



Thailand is fortunate in having 2 excellent field guides available, namely:
I took both, and found them both useful, but you won’t go far wrong with either one on it’s own. Other books taken along included:

A good site guide to Thailand would be very welcome – almost every birder I met and all the trip reports I read seemed to visit the same standard sites (as did we) – Doi Inthanon, Doi Chiang Dao, Doi Ang Khang, Tha Ton etc, whereas there must be a lot of other great sites which are worth visiting. For example, the large Mae Ping N.P. is very good for birding, according to Rachen, but I could only find one report of anyone having visited there. Similarly there are large protected areas such as Doi Luang and Doi Khun Tham N.P.’s about which I could find no information at all. Given the sheer number of foreign birders visiting Thailand each year, not to mention the growing popularity of birding among Thai birders, such a guide is surely long overdue.

Sound recordings

There were other recordings, available, e.g. by Tony Ball, but I already had recordings for most of these species on the Scharringa CD-Rom

Trip reports:

These were primarily obtained from the usual sources: A few others were purchased from Steve Whitehouse’s FBRIS service.

Web sites



Sites visited were as follows:
23.02.03 Doi Inthanon – km 14, km 21, km 38, km 37.5 jeep track, km 34.5 track, Ban Pha Mon (km 23.5)
24.02.03 Doi Inthanon – Hmong village (km 30), km 39, km 44, summit area including summit marsh, Mae Pan (Huai Sai Luang), km 35, km 34.5 track
25.02.03 a.m. - Mae Hia, drive to Chiang Dao via Chiang Mai sports complex, Huai Tung Tao and Mae Taeng irrigation project. 

p.m. - Chiang Dao - temple area, checkpoint 1 (Pong creek)

26.02.03 Doi Chiang Dao – ascent, Den Ya Khat area, descent
27.02.03 a.m. - Chiang Dao – new road (past checkpoint 1)

p.m. - drive back to Chiang Mai via Mae Taeng, Huai Tung Tao

28.02.03 a.m. - Huai Hong Krai, drive to Chiang Saen, Chiang Saen Lake

p.m. – Mekong River (Rim Khong Restaurant), drive to Tha Ton, Tha Ton area, drive to Doi Ang Khang

01.03.03 Doi Ang Khang – orchard, exit to Trekkers Route, Ban Luang, orchard, exit to Trekkers Route
02.03.03 a.m. - Doi Ang Khang – exit to Trekkers Route

p.m. – drive to Chiang Mai, visit to Bo Sang craft village

03.03.03 Doi Inthanon – km 13 area, km 24.5, km 26, km 33, km 37.5 jeep track, km 34.5 track. Drive back to Chiang Mai via Mae Hia
04.03.03 Doi Inthanon – summit marsh, km 37.5 jeep track, drive to Chiang Mai airport for flight to Bangkok
05.03.03 Samut Sakhon, Khok Kham saltpans, Wat near Don Muang, Bangkok, Kamphaeng Saen Kasetsart University Campus, return to Bangkok for flight home


Details of these sites are given in the Daily Account section. Please note that in respect of references to sites at Doi Inthanon, unless otherwise stated, any reference to the left or right hand sides of the road assume that you are climbing the mountain rather than descending it.

Daily account

Sunday 23 February 2003

Having arrived safely at the hotel last night, my guide Rachen met me at my hotel at 06:00, and we headed off to the famous Doi Inthanon National Park for the day. We arrived at the park at around 07:00, and a quick roadside stop at around km 14 produced my first lifer of the trip, a stunning White-crested Laughingthrush – strangely it was to be the only one I saw on the trip. A Eurasian Jay was also seen here, the local white-faced form looking very different from those in the UK.
We made a further stop for some hirundines at km 21, near the turn off to Vachiratharan Waterfall, which produced a Crested Treeswift among the numerous Red-rumped Swallows and the only Purple Sunbird of the trip in the bare branches of a roadside tree. Both Black-crested Bulbul and Common Iora were heard but not seen here. About 1 km further along, Rachen heard a Velvet-breasted Nuthatch calling, and although it proved elusive at first, flying backwards and forwards across the road, we soon got good views of it feeding. Ashy Drongo was also seen nearby.
Trying not to get too distracted, we made progress towards our first planned stop of the day, the area around km 38, just after the second checkpoint. Park on the left here just after the junction with a tarred road to the left, which leads down towards Mae Pan and Mae Chaem.
The birding was good from the roadside here early in the morning – Flavescent Bulbuls were everywhere, and we had soon notched up some birds that proved to be common in this area – Dark-backed Sibia, Silver-eared Mesia and Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo.
We came across some Phylloscopus warblers, and managed to get good enough views of one to confirm it as a White-tailed Leaf-Warbler. Rachen showed me a good easy way to identify this from the very similar Blyth’s Leaf-Warbler – the White-tailed shows a clear thin black ‘W’ on the undertail, formed by a black line along the sides, tip and centre of the tail, contrasting with the otherwise clear white feathers – Blyth’s in contrast has a greyish undertail lacking the black ‘W’
Streaked Spiderhunter, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Black-throated Sunbird and a cracking Yellow-cheeked Tit were also seen here, before we found our hoped-for Spectacled Barwings, and then got down to some white-eye identification, eventually confirming both Oriental and Japanese White-eyes.
A new trail had been cut on the left hand side here to coincide with a recent visit by the Queen of Thailand, and a walk along here quickly produced one of the stars of the whole trip, a stunning Slaty-bellied Tesia, which responded brilliantly to tape, buzzing around us at a distance of down to a metre. Nothing much else was seen along this trail, however, so we returned to the road, crossed over, and started walking along the famous km 37.5 jeep track.
This trail was surprisingly quiet compared with the roadside, and the tall trees made viewing difficult, but quiet progress soon produced new birds, starting with a Rufous-bellied Niltava. Next up was a Grey-chinned Minivet, but in looking at the bird rather than the trail, I managed to jam my foot into a hole next to a rock, twisting it and gouging our a chunk from the inside of my ankle – very painful. Still, I managed to get onto the minivet, as well as a Striated Bulbul found shortly afterwards!
Asian Brown Flycatcher and White-browed Shrike-Babbler were also seen along this walk, as well as more Yellow-cheeked Tits, and an Eyebrowed Thrush showed well on the walk back to the road. The star bird, however, came just a few hundred metres before we got back to the road – a Green Cochoa which glided low across the road, alighted very briefly in a trackside tree, and then flew off down the hill and out of sight. Just a briefest glimpse of this star bird, but sometimes that’s all you get, and I was delighted to see it at all.
Back at the main road, we enjoyed the picnic lunch that Rachen had brought with him, then wandered down the road towards the checkpoint. A small fruiting tree right opposite the checkpoint on the left hand side (going downhill) was very productive giving great close up views of Golden-throated Barbet and Rufous-backed Sibia, as well as more Dark-backed Sibias and Japanese White-eyes.
Another co-operative phyllosc beyond the checkpoint was identified as a Two-barred Greenish Warbler, and a Yellow-browed Warbler was seen a little further along. Mountain Bulbul and Large Niltava were seen in this area, while a repeat scan of the fruiting tree on the way back to the car produced good views of a female Slaty-backed Flycatcher. Finally, a Short-billed Minivet was scoped well near the car, giving me time to get to grips with the wing pattern which is the easiest way to distinguish these similar species.
Having spent most of the day around the km 38 area, we dropped back down the mountain a few kilometres before checking out the track at km 34.5. This is on the left as you ascend – look out for a wooden sign on the junction on the left, with half a dozen small Thai and blue flags on top – turn left here, and pull over after maybe 20 metres.
The star bird here is Black-throated Parrotbill, which according to Rachen is not found elsewhere in Doi Inthanon. Walk along the first straight stretch of the track, then follow it as it turns right and twists it’s way uphill for maybe 100 metres. After this time, there is a patch of bamboo on the right hand side, maybe 20 metres wide, with a dead tree in the background – a quick burst of the tape soon produced a large flock of these inquisitive birds, although it took a little longer to get good views, as they skulked around low in the bamboo. Golden Babbler, Rufous-bellied Niltava and Rufous-winged Fulvetta were also seen here.
From here, the track levelled out and continued straight and flat for a few hundred meters. A little way along here, a group of White-necked Laughingthrushes started calling noisily at the bottom of the slops on the left, but couldn’t be attracted into view, just giving brief glimpses between the vegetation. Walking along the track produced Chestnut-crowned Warbler, a female Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler and a couple of Olive-backed Pipits, as well as another White-tailed Leaf-Warbler.
It was now starting to get late, so we decided to finish off the day at a site for water redstarts, and headed back down the mountain, stopping briefly near the HQ (km 31) for a pair of "Japanese" Buzzards soaring overhead. Near km 23, we crossed a small river, and immediately turned left, following a driveable track along the bank of the river for a few hundred metres – this area was referred to by Rachen as Ban Pha Mon. We pulled over on the side of the road at a spot where the river became visible through the vegetation from the road, and where the water dropped down through some rapids.
Some locals were down by the river but we still managed a brief look at a male White-capped Water-Redstart before it disappeared off downstream. We wandered down a short way hoping to relocate it, and instead came across a pair of Slaty-backed Forktails on rocks in the middle of the river. An Ashy Drongo and a Blue-throated Barbet were seen in nearby trees, and a Large-billed Crow flew overhead.
Eventually, the locals moved on, and the White-capped Water-Redstart immediately reappeared, giving stunning views as it fed along the water’s edge, and a Blue Whistling Thrush was also seen nearby. No sign, however, of Plumbeous Water-Redstart which are often here, so we’d have to leave that one for another day.
Back in the car, we stopped briefly at the Vachiratharan turnoff picking up Green-billed Malkoha and Asian Palm Swift, as well as a Spangled Drongo a few kilometres along, before returning to Chiang Mai very happy with my first experience of Thai birding.

Birds recorded

Doi Inthanon (km 14) – Eurasian Jay, White-crested Laughingthrush

Doi Inthanon (km 21) – Green-billed Malkoha, Asian Palm-Swift, Crested Treeswift, Spangled Drongo, Common Iora (h), Red-rumped Swallow, Black-crested Bulbul (h), Purple Sunbird

Doi Inthanon (km 22) – Ashy Drongo, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

Doi Inthanon (km 38) – Green-eared Barbet (h), Golden-throated Barbet, Short-billed Minivet, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, Large Niltava, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Flavescent Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Oriental White-eye, Japanese White-eye, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Yellow-browed Warbler, Two-barred Greenish Warbler, White-tailed Leaf-Warbler, Silver-eared Mesia, Spectacled Barwing, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Rufous-backed Sibia, Dark-backed Sibia, Black-throated Sunbird, Streaked Spiderhunter

Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) – Great Barbet (h), Collared Owlet (h), Grey-chinned Minivet, Eyebrowed Thrush, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Green Cochoa, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Striated Bulbul, Golden Babbler (h), White-browed Shrike-Babbler

Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) – Rufous-bellied Niltava, White-tailed Leaf-Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Golden Babbler, Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Black-throated Parrotbill, Olive-backed Pipit

Doi Inthanon (Ban Pha Mon) – Blue-throated Barbet, Large-billed Crow, Ashy Drongo, Blue Whistling-Thrush, White-capped Water-Redstart, Slaty-backed Forktail, Grey Wagtail

Doi Inthanon (km 31) – Common Buzzard

Monday 24 February 2003

Back to Doi Inthanon today, and another 06:00 start saw us at the park by 07:00. A brief stop around km 14 added Greater Racket-tailed Drongo to my life list, and also produced White-throated Kingfisher, but we pressed on quickly. Our aim was to reach the Hmong village (turn off near km 30) as early as possible to have a good chance of Black-tailed Crake.

To reach the site, turn right off the main road, then right again through a barrier into an area with chalets. Pass a small pond on your right, and carry on until you see a second pond with a marshy area behind on your left. The road turns sharply left here, and before the pond there is a large open area on both sides where you can park. Rachen told me that you can see the crakes feeding along the roadside here early in the morning – a Blue Whistling Thrush doing just this when we arrived got the pulse going briefly - but the best strategy we found was to walk up the hill on the left (grassy with pine trees) before the pond, and then along the slope until we were looking down over the marshy, scrubby area to the left of the pond.

We soon had stunning views of Black-tailed Crake, which was seen twice. The first time it was feeding along the footpath which crosses the scrub area from the chalet you can see on your left, and the second time it worked its way up the narrow drainage channel at the base of the hill (i.e. on the near edge of the marsh). The second time it gave particularly great views, down to maybe 10 metres.

Several Olive-backed Pipits were feeding among the pine needles around the car, and a Green Magpie which flew across in front of us was the only one for the trip. Also here were Yellow-browed Warbler and my first Grey Bushchat.

Having enjoyed watching the crake, we returned to the car, but on exiting the chalet area, rather than turning left to the main Doi Inthanon road, we turned right and carried on through the village. The road climbed up past the village, until it reached a point where it turned left, with a drop on the left to an area of cultivation and cloches on your left, and a bank on your right. Park before the bend, and look for a dead tree in the hedge on the bend directly in front of you – white in colour, and shaped rather like a candelabra.

This is apparently a favourite perch early morning for Fire-capped Tits, and in the twenty minutes or so that we spent here we had birds almost permanently in view, including a few nice males with the orange foreheads. They fed in the field behind the hedge, but would fly up whenever they got spooked – we had anything between one and twenty birds in view at any time. Also in this area were Common Rosefinches.

A little further along the road, the road levels out and there is a turn-off to your left into one of these cultivated area. A quarter of an hour of scooping this area was quite productive for some of the commoner birds – we added more rosefinches here, as well as Red-whiskered Bulbul, Pied and Grey Bushchats, Stonechat, Oriental Magpie Robin and Long-tailed Shrike.

We didn’t want to spend too long, however, as we were keen to visit the summit marsh area before it became too busy, so we returned to the main road, and followed the road up the mountain. Brief roadside stops were made when we saw something interesting – at km 39 for Verditer Flycatcher and Short-billed Minivet, and at km 44 for Brown Shrike.

On arriving at the summit, we firstly drove all the way to the car park area next to the radar tower, and at the far end of the car park, scanned the shrubby slope below us. It didn’t take long to find both Gould’s Sunbird and the stunning endemic race of Green-tailed Sunbird, restricted to just the summit area of this one mountain. Both species were active and tame and gave excellent views.

We then returned back down the hill for a few hundred metres, pulling over on the left (going down), in front of the park office, shops and toilets, where we got good looks at a Chestnut-tailed Minla. We then took the trail opposite us (denoted the Aang Ka trail) into the famous summit marsh area. This was one my favourite areas visited – good birding at a nice relaxed pace. By the way, don’t expect this to be an open marsh – it’s more of a boggy forest, with very little open area.

We heard a Pygmy Wren-Babbler calling on the way down, but couldn’t find it, before coming across a stunning male Orange-flanked Bluetail perched on the rail at the start of the boardwalk. A Snowy-browed Flycatcher was nearby, and a little further along (following the boardwalk anti-clockwise) we had good close-up views of a White-browed Shortwing. A Dark-sided Thrush was around, but wasn’t being very co-operative, just flitting out of sight under the boardwalk – non-tickable views so far.

Many phylloscs were present along a more open section of the path, and we quickly identified the hoped-for Ashy-throated Warbler, which in Thailand is restricted to the summit of DI. The boardwalk crossed a boggy area, then turned sharply left onto drier ground – just at this junction we finally managed to get good looks at a Dark-sided Thrush, and what good views they were, as the bird sat motionless at a range of just 3 or 4 metres, trusting its camouflage. Ridiculous beak!

A Blue Whistling Thrush showed even closer, if that was possible, and a little further along we found a pair of feeding Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrushes – they looked very different from those I’d seen previously in Malaysia, being less reddish and more green in colour. More Chestnut-tailed Minlas were also present here, but by this time it was late morning, and starting to get popular with tourists, so we decided to move on and return to this site later in the trip. On the way out, however, we refound the Snowy-browed Flycatcher at the sign at the start of the boardwalk, and it proved wonderfully unafraid as it flycatched around us, landing as close as a meter away.

We drove down to a lower elevation, but it had now got quite hot, and birding around km 38 was very slow. We therefore turned right here, on the road to Mae Chaem. This is a good tarred road, but after a few kilometres we turned right again, on a rough red dirt track which went off downhill at a direction of maybe 2 o’clock off the main road.

This road dropped steadily downhill for a few kilometres, before arriving at the valley bottom at an area of chalets called Mae Pan (also referred to by Rachen as Huai Sai Luang). We wandered off along the road in front of us, staying straight ahead at the junction to the right a little further along, and birded the roadside. Even at midday it was surprisingly productive here, and we soon added a number of species not seen previously, despite only walking a total of perhaps 200 metres along this road.

My first lifer here was a Plain Flowerpecker, and these were seen several times at this site. This was followed by Blue-winged Leafbird, Bronzed Drongo and Hill Blue Flycatcher, all of which I had seen in Malaysia, before the arrival of a Black-winged Cuckooshrike which showed well in the tall branches of a tree overhead. This seemed a very good area for bulbuls, with the excellent Black Bulbul being the first species seen.

Oriental White-eye, Black-throated Sunbird and Orange-bellied Leafbird were seen, followed by a Common Iora and a Verditer Flycatcher. Another flowerpecker was initially dismissed as a Plain, before a glimpse of red on the chest made us look a little more closely, and indeed it was a young Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, just starting to acquire its red breast.

At this point the bulbuls arrived in force, an Ashy Bulbul to start with, quickly followed by several Puff-throated Bulbuls and a pair of Grey-eyed Bulbuls, before a Black-crested Bulbul finished off the set. Pacific Swifts were also feeding overhead here.

By now it was mid-afternoon, and we decided to make another attempt at the White-necked Laughingthrushes at km 34.5, although Rachen brought the car to a rapid halt just before there, at around km 35 when he spotted a Collared Falconet perched on the top of a dead tree on the right hand side of the road. This species is usually found much lower down the mountain, normally around km 14, but Rachen had seen one in this km 35 area previously, so this may prove to be regular here. In any case, it was a really stunning bird, and well worth spending half an hour watching it.

Arriving at the km 34.5 track, we saw a Grey-chinned Minivet and heard a Mountain Tailorbird calling, which we tried to tape into view. It completely ignored us, but instead the tape attracted an inquisitive flock of Black-throated Parrotbills! They were in the same general area as the birds seen yesterday, but lower down the trail – look for a spot with a bamboo clump on either side of the road, with that on the left being a little lower down the hill than that on the right. The parrotbills were firstly found on the right, but then flew across the road into the left-hand clump, and so seem to range throughout this area. We counted at least 15 birds in this flock.

No sight or sound of the laughingthrushes today, so it was back to the car, where we found a small group of Grey-throated Babblers. They were calling and moving around in the dense vegetation in front of us, but getting a good look was another matter, and I eventually had to settle for numerous glimpses. A Blyth’s Leaf-Warbler was more co-operative, wrapping up another excellent day’s birding on Doi Inthanon.

Birds recorded

Doi Inthanon (km 14) - White-throated Kingfisher, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) – Black-tailed Crake, Long-tailed Shrike, Green Magpie, Blue Whistling-Thrush, Oriental Magpie-Robin, Common Stonechat, Pied Bushchat, Grey Bushchat, Fire-capped Tit, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Yellow-browed Warbler, Olive-backed Pipit, Common Rosefinch

Doi Inthanon (km 39) – Short-billed Minivet, Verditer Flycatcher, Flavescent Bulbul

Doi Inthanon (km 44) – Brown Shrike, Grey Bushchat

Doi Inthanon (summit) – Blue Whistling-Thrush, Dark-sided Thrush, White-browed Shortwing, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Orange-flanked Bluetail, Flavescent Bulbul, Ashy-throated Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Pygmy Wren-Babbler (h), Chestnut-tailed Minla, Gould's Sunbird, Green-tailed Sunbird

Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) – Pacific Swift, Blue-winged Leafbird, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Scarlet Minivet, Bronzed Drongo, Common Iora, Verditer Flycatcher, Hill Blue-Flycatcher, Black-crested Bulbul, Puff-throated Bulbul, Grey-eyed Bulbul, Ashy Bulbul, Black Bulbul, Oriental White-eye, Plain Flowerpecker, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Black-throated Sunbird

Doi Inthanon (km 35) – Collared Falconet

Doi Inthanon (km 34.5) – Grey-chinned Minivet, Mountain Tailorbird (h), Blyth's Leaf-Warbler, Grey-throated Babbler, Black-throated Parrotbill

Tuesday 25 February 2003

A change of scenery today, as we would spend the early part of the morning at the lowland site of Mae Hia – a dawn visit is essential here, as it gets very hot quite early, and stays hot all day. We drove into the main entrance of this university campus, passing a lake on our left and buildings on our right. Having passed another lake on our right, we reached a junction to the right, where we watched a Pied Bushchat and a White Wagtail of the distinctive race leucopsis.

We turned right here, passing a large grassy area on our left, and then turned left along a driveable track into the middle of this area, flushing a Black Drongo and a flock of Scaly-breasted Munias. We drove along this track until it reached a cross roads, and parked up to scan the grasslands.

The main point of interest was the large tree ahead and to the left of us, which seemed to attract a number of species while we were there. A mixed flock of Black-collared Starling and White-vented Mynas flew in to the top branches, where they were soon joined by a Streak-eared Bulbul. Rachen found a Grey-breasted Prinia feeding in the long grass at the base of the tree, while other birds seen in this area included Spangled Drongo, Fan-tailed Warbler, Red-whiskered Bulbul and Brown Shrike.

Back in the car, we turned along the track to the right, and at the end of this track we came across what was for me one of the undoubted highlights of the whole trip – a stunning Siberian Rubythroat which didn’t skulk around in low vegetation, but instead perched up on a dead twig for about ten minutes enjoying the sun. I don’t think Rachen really understood my excitement at what was, for him, probably a common winter bird, but any European birder growing up with a field guide with tantalising pictures of such rarities will fully understand my feelings of elation!

We turned right at the T-junction at the end of the rack, returning to the tarred road, where we turned left, stopping for a flock of Sooty-headed Bulbuls along the fenceline, and a lone White-breasted Waterhen in a damp field on the right. Another sudden halt as a flock of 4 Racket-tailed Treepies flew into a line of tall trees perpendicular to the road on our left and showed well.

A small pond on the left where the road curved right had good numbers of Chinese Pond-Herons roosting in the trees, and a paddock area on the left further along had a flock of Red-wattled Lapwings and several Paddyfield Pipits. A Red-breasted Flycatcher was in the bushes in front of us, a Greater Coucal flushed and flew away, and a noisy Coppersmith Barbet flew into a tall dead tree behind us.

It was now starting to get hot, and we were supposed to get back to the hotel to collect Sara, so after watching some Asian House Martins hawking over the pond and a perched Little Green Bee-eater, we returned along the tarred back to the entrance, making one last quick stop at the first big lake to look at the large flock of Lesser Whistling Ducks which we had somehow missed on the way in. We duly arrived back at the hotel only half an hour late, pretty good for me! Having collected Sara and checked out, we started on our way up to Chiang Dao, stopping several times en route.

We turned off the ring road onto Route 107 northwards, and then looked for a turn-off to the left for the Chiang Mai Sports Complex and the City Hall. At the T-junction just after the City Hall, we firstly turned left for a few hundred metres to see a Crested Treeswift which was nesting on some wires along the roadside – stunning views – Rachen sees this bird each morning on the way to work!

Then a U-turn, and back northwards to Huai Tung Tao. This area is gradually being ruined by the construction of a bypass, but may still be worth a visit, at least for the time being. The road follows a canal on the left, with numerous bridges over it – follow this canal until it ends at the construction site, where two bridges close together cross the canal. Take the second bridge, turn immediately right, and park here to walk along the canal, with fields on your left.

Only a brief visit here this morning, as it was already very hot indeed, and no new species added, with just Little Green Bee-eater, Long-tailed Shrike, Pied Bushchat and Chinese Pond Heron seen.

Back in the car we returned the way we had come, turning left at the City Hall, then left again onto Route 107 northwards. After about 50 km we reached the town of Mae Taeng, where we looked for a sign and a turning on the left for the Mae Taeng (Me Tang) Irrigation Project. This seemed like a nice area, but is probably best visited early in the morning. The main reason for our visit was that a Rosy Starling had been seen here, which would be a lifer for Rachen. We followed the main road into the project, along a canal on our left, until we reached a turn-off to the right.

We parked here and walked down the side-road, with grassy area and large trees on our right – this was where the starling had been seen. Another Thai birder was waiting at the site hoping to photograph the bird – it had apparently been seen early that morning but not since. We waited for a while here, adding Chestnut-tailed Starling to the list, in the company of Black-collared Starlings and White-vented Myna but sadly for Rachen, no Rosy Starling.

Sooty-headed Bulbul and Streak-eared Bulbul were also here, as well as Black Drongo, and a Green-billed Malkoha flew by. Eventually giving up we returned to the car and carried on into the complex, eventually arriving at the dam area, seeing Indian Roller and a possible Plain-backed Sparrow en route.

The dam area is often good for waders, but the water level was very low today, and all we found was a Common Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover. However, walking back to the car produced a Wire-tailed Swallow over the canal before the dam. Driving back out through the park we made one more stop for an Ashy Woodswallow on a roadside wire, before moving on to Chiang Dao.

We arrived here early afternoon (driving distance from Chiang Mai without stops is only c. 80 km, so maybe an hour’s drive), and booked into Malee’s Bungalows. While we were unpacking a Dutch couple wandered up and introduced themselves as John and Nollie van der Woude – we’d been in e-mail correspondence for a while before the trip, and had swapped itineraries, so I’d hoped to bump into them somewhere along the way – nice to finally meet them after all this time!

We wandered down to the eating area and had a late lunch in the shade while we waited for the temperatures to drop somewhat. Rachen and myself then walked down the road to the park HQ to organise our permits for the ascent of Doi Chiang Dao the next day. Please note that these permits must be obtained at least the day before you go up the mountain (there are two checkpoints along the way, so you are unlikely to make it up without one). The office closes at 16:00, so get to Chiang Dao in plenty of time. Also, the office is closed on Sundays, so if you plan on making the trip on a Monday, you will need to get your permits on the Saturday.

There was some bird activity around the HQ, but it was difficult to get good views of the birds. We eventually identified Blue-winged Leafbird and Scarlet Minivet, before Rachen found a Rufous-fronted Babbler in some trees to the left of the office. Could this have been a Deignan’s Babbler?!

From here we walked down the road to the temple, and slowly (very slowly, actually!) climbed the big set of steps up from the car park to the temple itself. A couple of Black-headed Bulbuls at least gave me an excuse to stop on one occasion, but birding was generally quiet. We added Puff-throated Bulbul and Dark-necked Tailorbird at the temple itself, but this was scant reward for all the effort we had made. A stunning Black-naped Monarch on the way back down was much better, however.

We walked back to Malee’s, picked up the car, and drove around to the checkpoint 1 area, at the bottom of the new road, where it crosses the Pong creek. It seems unclear whether or not you need a permit to go up this new road, but we weren’t asked for one, although as we had parked at the bottom and were just walking up, they may have concluded that we weren’t likely to go too far.

There were some nice birds in the trees around the checkpoint, including Thick-billed Flowerpecker and Asian Fairy Bluebird, and some Himalayan Swiftlets were feeding overhead . Walking up the hill a little added Black-throated Sunbird and Grey Wagtail, but a flock of green pigeons flying overhead were frustratingly not seen well enough to positively identify, although we suspected they were Pin-tailed Green Pigeons.

Back to Malee’s for an excellent dinner which we shared with John and Nollie and a group of Canadian birders. It transpired that John and Nollie didn't have a 4WD vehicle, and so were unable to make the climb up the mountain, although they had already obtained permits, so we arranged for them to come with us the next day.

Birds recorded

Mae Hia – Lesser Whistling-Duck, Coppersmith Barbet, Little Green Bee-eater, Greater Coucal, Spotted Dove, White-breasted Waterhen, Red-wattled Lapwing, Common Kestrel, Chinese Pond-Heron, Brown Shrike, Racket-tailed Treepie, Black Drongo, Spangled Drongo, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Siberian Rubythroat, Common Stonechat, Pied Bushchat, Black-collared Starling, White-vented Myna, Eurasian Swallow, Asian House-Martin, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Streak-eared Bulbul, Fan-tailed Warbler, Grey-breasted Prinia, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, White Wagtail, Paddyfield Pipit, Scaly-breasted Munia

Chiang Mai sports complex – Crested Treeswift

Huai Tung Tao – Little Green Bee-eater, Chinese Pond-Heron, Long-tailed Shrike, Pied Bushchat

Mae Taeng – Indian Roller, Green-billed Malkoha, Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Ashy Woodswallow, Black Drongo, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Black-collared Starling, White-vented Myna, Wire-tailed Swallow, Black-crested Bulbul, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Streak-eared Bulbul

Chiang Dao (temple area) – Spotted Dove, Blue-winged Leafbird, Scarlet Minivet, Black-naped Monarch, Black-headed Bulbul, Puff-throated Bulbul, Dark-necked Tailorbird, Rufous-fronted Babbler

Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1 area) - Himalayan Swiftlet, Mountain Imperial-Pigeon (h), Asian Fairy-bluebird, Ashy Drongo, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Thick-billed Flowerpecker, Black-throated Sunbird, Grey Wagtail

Wednesday 26 February 2003

A very early start this morning, as we wanted to be at the Den Ya Khat substation area as early as possible for our best chance of Giant Nuthatch. So at 05:00 Rachen, John, Nollie and I started off up the mountain, Sara having elected to spend the day chilling out at Malee’s. The first hour or so was in darkness, but we started seeing good birds as soon as it got light. A couple of White-rumped Shamas flushed across the road, but I didn’t manage to get good views of either.

This was very quickly forgotten however when we realised that a bird waking up the track ahead of us as forktail. Even better, it turned out to be Black-backed Forktail, soon joined by 2 others, apparently a male, female and immature bird. We slowly followed them for a few hundred metres up the road as they gave fantastic views, eventually flushing and flying up a creek which crossed the road.

It is difficult to explain precisely where this site was, but it was perhaps an hour from the bottom of the hill, along a stretch of road which paralleled a stream on our left. The road eventually crossed the stream at a hairpin bend, where the road doubled back sharply to the left, and climbed up the hillside.

To add to the experience, just after the forktails disappeared, a White-rumped Shama also landed on the road, and gave excellent views. We pushed on, passing the second checkpoint at about 06:30, where we took the right hand fork up the hill. As we drove around this road we entered an area of pines, and almost immediately heard a Giant Nuthatch calling.

We jumped out of the car and Rachen tried to tape in the bird. It eventually flew in, landing almost directly in line with the sun (don’t they always!), gave the briefest of views, and disappeared – not very satisfying. An Asian Barred Owlet flushed from very near to us, only Nollie managing to see it before it flew, and then started calling persistently from further down the hill.

We briefly contemplated chasing after the owl, but then decided to press on to look for better views of Giant Nuthatch, pausing briefly on arriving back at the car to watch a Slender-billed Oriole. We arrived at Den Ya Khat, to be met by flocks of Pacific Swifts and Red-rumped Swallows overhead. We parked the car by the building, and followed the trail that passed the toilets, to the left of the building, and directly back.

This track, which wound through scrubby deciduous forest was very productive, and we had soon found Black Bulbul, Crested Bunting, Sooty-capped Bulbul and Indochinese Cuckooshrike. The first of several Chestnut Buntings was seen a little further along, as well as several Maroon Orioles.

As the track climbed we started entering areas of pines (after maybe 0.75 km), and had our second Giant Nuthatch encounter, a bird calling high on the slope on our right. It stayed quite distant, however, and didn’t show, so we pressed on, adding Little Pied Flycatcher to the trip list, and Eurasian Jay to the day list.

About 1 km from the Den Ya Khat office, the track took a sharp dogleg to the right, at an area where it widened out briefly, forming a small flat open clearing with scattered pine trees and pine needles on the floor. Straight in front of us was a view over the valley to the peak of Doi Chiang Dao. Not a big area, but quite distinctive after the very narrow trail with steep drops on our left that we had been following through the pines up to now.

Rachen announced that this was the best area for the nuthatch, hit the tape, and almost immediately a Giant Nuthatch flew in right above our heads. It was soon joined by 2 others, and we enjoyed superb views of these birds directly overhead for about 10 minutes before we eventually lost them from sight – one happy Welshman, two happy Dutch birders and one relieved Thai guide!

These birds are apparently best looked for in the morning, and according to Rachen get quite difficult after about 10:30, so we were glad to have connected so soon. Incidentally, the elevation here according to John’s GPS device was a.470 metres.

Giant Nuthatch apart, these pines were very quiet – as the sun starts to warm up the slopes, most birds apparently move off down the ridge – so we turned around and made our way back to DYK. Several Chestnut Buntings were seen on the way back, and a Grey Treepie gave brief but good views in a tree ahead of us. Spangled Drongos and Maroon Orioles were seen periodically throughout the return walk, and variation was added by a pair of very co-operative White-browed Shrike-Babblers and a Hill Blue Flycatcher.

Arriving back at DYK, we enjoyed some lunch, accompanied by several phylloscs, mostly Yellow-browed Warblers, but with the usual high percentage of unidentified birds. On finishing lunch we walked slowly down the entrance road in the hope of seeing woodpeckers. On the way we noticed a small wet area on our right – a group of Canadian birders we met flushed a Hume’s Pheasant from the area behind here a few days later!

We encountered a large flock of mostly unidentified phylloscs at the start of the group of pines, at the end of the "gardens" where the track starts to climb uphill, and one was seen well enough for us to identify it as a Pale-legged Leaf-Warbler – one of the easiest to identify with it’s band of streaks across the chest.

Further along, a bird singing persistently from deep within some branches overhead was eventually tracked down and proved to be a lovely Pale Blue Flycatcher. No sign of any woodpeckers, however, just more Black Bulbuls, so it was back to the car. We refound the phyllosc flock on the way, one of which was singing, and was thus identified as a Hume’s Leaf-Warbler with the help of John’s minidisc recordings.

Back at the car we came across some minivets, and these were identified as a male Long-tailed Minivet and a female Grey-chinned Minivet. The Grey-chinned was nesting in one of the trees near the building, something we only realised due to the agitation of the male Long-tailed – could they have been a mixed breeding pair? Very curious.

Time to start the long drive back down the mountain. On the way down, shortly after the second checkpoint, Rachen saw movement in a roadside tree, and we pulled over for a look. The bird transpired to be an excellent Sapphire Flycatcher, an uncommon bird in this part of Thailand, and we also had great views of Puff-throated Babbler as a bonus bird. There was no sign of the Black-backed Forktail at the place we saw them on the way up, but just a few hundred metres further along we found a pair of Slaty-backed Forktails – obviously a good creek, and maybe worth more exploration! As we hit the lowlands around Chiang Dao village we added brown Shrike and Greater Coucal to the day tally before crashing out back at Malee’s, tired but very happy.

Birds recorded

Doi Chiang Dao (ascent) – White-rumped Shama, Black-backed Forktail, Great Tit, White Wagtail, Olive-backed Pipit

Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) – Pacific Swift, Asian Barred Owlet, Eurasian Jay, Grey Treepie, Slender-billed Oriole, Maroon Oriole, Indochinese Cuckooshrike, Grey-chinned Minivet, Long-tailed Minivet, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Spangled Drongo, Little Pied Flycatcher, Pale Blue-Flycatcher, Hill Blue-Flycatcher, Giant Nuthatch, Red-rumped Swallow, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Flavescent Bulbul, Black Bulbul, Yellow-browed Warbler, Hume's Warbler, Pale-legged Leaf-Warbler, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler (h), White-browed Shrike-Babbler, Crested Bunting, Chestnut Bunting

Doi Chiang Dao (descent) – Greater Coucal, Brown Shrike, Bronzed Drongo, Sapphire Flycatcher, Slaty-backed Forktail, Puff-throated Babbler

Thursday 27 February 2003

We decided to spend this morning exploring the new road past Pong Creek, as John and Nollie had found it very productive on the 25th. Again, an early start saw us maybe 8 km up this road at dawn, but the birding proved quite slow this morning, as the sun had not yet hit these slopes.

A good trail led off to the left from an area where we could park the car, and we spent some time along here, with little success. Several small birds were seen in the weedy margins of a field, but couldn’t be identified, until one was eventually confirmed as a Rufescent Prinia, although I think there were other species here too. Several Common Rosefinches were in the area, and we also found one mixed flock which included Yellow-browed Warbler, Common Iora and Oriental White-eye, as well as Maroon Oriole and Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike. Not much to show for a couple of hours birding, however.

Back at the car, a Grey-backed Shrike was a good find, and showed well while we ate some breakfast. We drove back downhill a few kilometres, stopping when we saw signs of activity in a large flowering tree directly in front of us. This provided much better birding, with Striated Yuhina being a lifer, stunning views of Chestnut Bunting, and many Red-whiskered and Sooty-headed Bulbul. A Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher was calling from low vegetation, eventually showing well, and while we were looking for it we added Striped Tit-Babbler to the list.

Black Bulbul and Orange-bellied Leafbird joined the birds in the flowering tree, and following the canary-flycatcher through the low scrub resulted in us finding Yellow-bellied Warbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta and Tickell’s Blue-Flycatcher, all lifers for me. A Mountain Bulbul flew in overhead, but was quickly ignored when it was joined by a Velvet-fronted Nuthatch and a Thick-billed Flowerpecker.

At that point, the bird of the morning put in an appearance – a small flock of superb White-headed Bulbuls, which landed on some dead branches overhead, and were watched flying backwards and forwards for quite some time. Great to get such good views of this rather difficult bird. While we were enjoying them, Black-crested Bulbul and Ashy Drongo were also found.

From here we returned to the checkpoint area, where we found Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Grey-eyed Bulbul. We gave the forest trail here a go, but the birding was difficult and slow here – little activity, and very difficult to see the birds as they tended to stay high up in the trees. A small flock was eventually found to contain a Little Spiderhunter and our second Striated Yuhina of the day, but we quickly gave up on this area and returned to the road.

With it being late morning, and consequently very hot, with bird activity being so low, and with tiredness starting to kick in after a succession of dawn starts, we drove back to Malee’s, stopping for a Shikra en route, collected Sara, checked out, and drove back to Chiang Mai.

A brief visit to Mae Taeng in the hope of the Rosy Starling produced White-throated Kingfisher, Black-collared Starling, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Black Drongo, Little Green Bee-eater and White-vented Myna, but nothing new, and certainly no Rosy Starling, so we pressed on.

A spell at Huai Tung Tao was more productive, however. It started slowly with just Little Green Bee-eater, Black Drongo and Common Kestrel, before we found a group of Ashy Woodswallows and an Indian Roller. Rachen found a small group of Plain-backed Sparrows in a dead tree, a bird I’d been very keen to see for some reason, and after a Pied Bushchat, we added two more lifers in the form of a Burmese Shrike and a pair of Scarlet-backed Flowerpeckers.

Red-throated Flycatchers, Streak-eared Bulbul and Red-wattled Lapwing were also seen before we arrived back at our hotel in mid-afternoon. We would be on our own for the next few days so we bit a fond farewell to Rachen, before heading off for a cool shower and a couple of hours to relax around the pool. North Wheels delivered our hire car at 18:30 (they will deliver to your hotel free of charge, but only between 08:00 and 19:00), so we were all set for our trip up north tomorrow.

Birds recorded

Chiang Dao (new road past checkpoint 1) – Orange-bellied Leafbird, Grey-backed Shrike, Maroon Oriole, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Ashy Drongo, Spangled Drongo, Common Iora, Tickell's Blue-Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Black-crested Bulbul, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Black Bulbul, White-headed Bulbul, Rufescent Prinia, Oriental White-eye, Yellow-browed Warbler, Yellow-bellied Warbler, Striped Tit-Babbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Striated Yuhina, Thick-billed Flowerpecker, Common Rosefinch, Chestnut Bunting

Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) – Shikra, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Grey-eyed Bulbul, Striated Yuhina, Little Spiderhunter

Mae Taeng – White-throated Kingfisher, Little Green Bee-eater, Black Drongo, Black-collared Starling, White-vented Myna, Sooty-headed Bulbul

Huai Tung Tao – Indian Roller, Little Green Bee-eater, Asian Koel, Red-wattled Lapwing, Common Kestrel, Burmese Shrike, Ashy Woodswallow, Black Drongo, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Pied Bushchat, Streak-eared Bulbul, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, Plain-backed Sparrow


Friday, 28 February 2003

Today’s ultimate destination was to be Doi Ang Khang, but we were going to take the long route, to check out some places along the way. The first destination was the Huai Hong Krai Royal Project near the town of Doi Saket, east of Chiang Mai. To get there, take Route 118 from the Chiang Mai ring road towards Chiang Rai, and continue past the right-hand turn into Doi Saket. 24 km from the ring road, look for a turn-off to the right into the project. Continue along this road through a checkpoint (show your bins and ask if you may proceed), and follow the main road around past some offices and work buildings until you see a lake on your right. The road continues along this lake, and then crosses over a causeway with water on both sides. Park on the right after the causeway, or continue into a parking area. The park entrance gates are just in front of you.
The only real reason to visit this area is for the wild Green Peafowl that roost in the area, usually on top of cages containing their captive brethren. Dawn is a very good time to see these, but it is important to be the first people into the park, as they quickly move off once people start arriving. Others have had success late in the afternoon as they return to roost.
I’m not sure when they open – it said 07:00 on the gate if I remember rightly, but I got there at 07:30 and it was still locked up. Maybe I was lucky in that no-one else had come to visit, because after hanging around for maybe 15 minutes, someone came up, opened the gates for me, then wandered away again. If you visit in the evening, make sure you don’t get locked in, or you’ll have to climb over the high fence to get out!
Having got in, I made my way straight ahead, passing cages with captive pheasants on my left – I’m not sure what the royal project actually does, but I didn’t particularly enjoy seeing these lovely pheasants in their small cages. The track continues along this row of cages until reaching a deer enclosure on my right – here I found a number of Green Peafowl around the adjacent peafowl cages, which slunk off through the trees, down a wooded slope and up the other side, at my approach. I was able to get some excellent views of a total of 8 of these great birds as they walked and flew off among the trees.
Having achieved my objective here, I returned to the car, seeing Red-breasted Flycatcher and Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker en route. Back in the car, we left the project and continued on our way to Chiang Rai, an easy drive of 160 km (2.5 hours). In Chiang Rai, we continued on Route 110 for 30 km to Mae Chan, where we turned right onto Route 1016 towards Chiang Saen. This town is 42 km from Mae Chan, but after 28 km we turned left towards Chiang Saen Lake.
On arriving at the lake, we turned left, and followed the shoreline towards a marshy area at the far end, where Raf Drijvers had previously found Grey-headed Lapwing. On the way, we stopped to enjoy the huge flock of thousands of Lesser Whistling Duck on the lake, and to look for something more interesting among them, possibly a Falcated Duck or Baer’s Pochard, but with no luck.
There wasn’t much around in late morning, although I added Little and Intermediate Egrets, Moorhen and Common Snipe to the trip list, and a quick visit to the other side of the lake added Burmese Shrike. Eventually I gave up and returned to the main road to complete the drive to Chiang Saen. Unfortunately, a few kilometres outside town I braked and a guy on a motorbike drove into the back of me, damaging the bumper. He spoke no English and I spoke no Thai, so getting hold of his name and address was a real challenge – even his registration number was difficult, as Thai licence plates are written using the Thai alphabet.
Eventually, I reckoned that I had as much information as I was going to get, and we pushed on the town of Chiang Saen, where we turned left at the end of the road, and followed the Mekong River north towards Golden Triangle. I was trying to find somewhere with views of some sand islands in the middle of the river, where I hoped the birds might be less disturbed than on the main banks.
Raf Drijvers mentioned such a view from a restaurant with a green roof on the right hand side of the road, and we soon found it, the Rim Khong Restaurant. As it was lunchtime, we enjoyed their excellent and cheap buffet lunch, and then while Sara relaxed with a book and a cold drink, I took my scope out to the front of the restaurant to scan the sand island opposite.
This proved quite productive – a group of about a dozen Ruddy Shelduck were easily seen, followed by good numbers of Small Pratincoles (perched and in flight) and Kentish Plovers. Unfortunately, the midday heat had generated quite a lot of heat haze, and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t turn any of the latter into a Long-billed Plover, which are also supposedly in this area.
A large flock of Spot-billed Ducks was also present on the island, as were many Spotted Redshanks, and a few Great Egrets, Grey Herons and Common Sandpiper. It was now time to drive over to Doi Ang Khang, with a scheduled stop at Tha Ton on the way. From Chiang Saen, we returned to Mae Chan, turned south onto Route 110, then very soon turned left again onto Route 1089. This is shown on my Globetrotters map as a minor road, but was in perfectly good condition, with hardly any traffic, although it isn’t even shown on the Bartholomew map! It passes through the village of Huai Hin Fon, then continues along the Myanmar border before eventually reaching the town of Tha Ton.
I must admit that I was totally undecided about how to spend my time in this part of the country, and in particular how to split my time between Tha Ton and Doi Ang Khang, where we were staying. The main prize at Tha Ton is Jerdon’s Bushchat, but not many birders seem to see it, although Christoph Moning had had great views of a male bird just south of the town in December 2002. There were other good birds that I wanted to see in the Tha Ton area, but many were also possible in the south, around Bangkok, and in particular the recent reports that I had read generally reported the Tha Ton area to be very dry this winter, with few birds.
I therefore decided to concentrate my efforts on trying to see Jerdon’s Bushchat first, and then decide on my strategy thereafter. On arriving at Tha Ton, I therefore set out about trying to find Christoph’s spot, but it proved a little hard to find. Coming into Tha Ton from the east, cross the river in the middle of town, then take the second turning to the left, following the sign for Apple’s Guest House, but turn left before reaching it. It took a little while to find the correct track, but it seemed to be the only one which headed off into the fields – the others all came to a quick end.
Follow the track along, ignoring the first turn off to the left between tall reeds, before swinging left at a corner, where the first track continues into a field. From here head southwards – you are basically looking for a tall, metal, mushroom-shaped water tower near the river. We eventually found the tower, parked nearby, and I wandered down to the river bank. Here I could see a river in the middle of the river to my right, with much elephant grass, the preferred habitat of Jerdon’s Bushchat. No luck with this bird, however, although I found a Yellow-bellied Prinia nearby, and flushed a flock of Scaly-breasted Munias.
I decided to work my way along the riverbank to the south, in the hope of a better view of the island. At that moment, I saw two other birders downstream, and walked over to see if they had had any luck. They introduced themselves as Kingsley and Sharon – ironically they were at this spot because they had met John and Nollie at Doi Ang Khang, and had been given by them a map of the site obtained from Christoph’s report which I had in turn given John and Nollie at Doi Chiang Dao! Amazing how birding works like that sometimes.
Sharon had had enough by this time and returned to find their car, while Kingsley and I continued downriver, crossing fields and ditches, before eventually finding a spot from which we could scan the island, this time up river to our left. I set up the scope, started scanning, and immediately a female Jerdon’s Bushchat just popped up into my field of view! I briefly took in the rufous breast, contrasting with a white throat, plain brown head with no supercilium and longish tail, all in about 4 seconds, before moving over for Kingsley to take a look, but unfortunately by then the bird had dropped back down, and never reappeared despite scanning for a further hour or so.
Just a brief view then, but I was extremely happy to have been lucky enough to see it at all. In many ways it resembled a female Grey Bushchat, but totally lacked any hint of a supercilium, and the white throat seemed cleaner and crisper than on the Greys that I saw, with a very sharp contrast with the rufous breast.
Kingsley and I walked back to our car, to find that John and Nollie had just arrived – small place, Thailand! Kingsley continued on to his car, while John, Nollie and I returned to the river for another try for the bushchat, but again without success. We added Pied Bushchat, Indian Roller, White-breasted Kingfisher, Little Ringed Plover, White Wagtail and Brown Shrike to our Tha Ton list, before the time came for us to push on to Doi Ang Khang – John and Nollie would stay overnight in Tha Ton and try again for the bushchat the next day.
To get to Doi Ang Khang, we continued westwards on Route 1089 to the town of Fang, where we eventually found the right hand turn we wanted, not helped by the fact that by now it was dark, our two maps showed this junction differently, and both were incorrect! In the event, it was quite well signposted, and we followed the good but very steep and twisting road up the mountain – first gear for nearly half an hour.
We eventually arrived at the very nice Angkhang Resort, which we had fortunately pre-booked as they were completely full that night. After settling in we enjoyed an excellent dinner, before retiring to the bar with Kingsley and Sharon for a couple of drinks. We also met up with the same Canadian group we’d met at Doi Chiang Dao, and swapped some information with them.
Birds recorded

Huai Hong Krai – Green Peafowl, Large Hawk-Cuckoo (h), Red-breasted Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Warbler, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker

Chiang Saen Lake – Lesser Whistling-Duck, Common Moorhen, Common Snipe, Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, Burmese Shrike, Sooty-headed Bulbul

Mekong River (Rim Khong Restaurant) – Ruddy Shelduck, Spot-billed Duck, Spotted Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Kentish Plover, Small Pratincole, Grey Heron, Great Egret

Tha Ton – Indian Roller, White-throated Kingfisher, Little Ringed Plover, Common Kestrel, Brown Shrike, Pied Bushchat, Jerdon's Bushchat, Yellow-bellied Prinia, White Wagtail, Scaly-breasted Munia

Saturday 1 March 2003

The usual dawn start saw me in the famous orchard area, where I saw soon joined by Kingsley. As you climb up from Fang towards the Angkhang Resort, this site is situated about 500 metres after the checkpoint on the right hand side – look for a broad track leading off the main road at about 2 o’clock. Park on the verge and walk in, looking for Chinese Bamboo Partridge as you go. It took a while to get a decent view of these birds, but I eventually got onto a pair scooting between bushes, and they were seen a few times subsequently.

We also found Buff-throated Warbler and Grey Bushchat here, before trying for Spot-breasted Parrotbills, which John and Nollie had seen here the day before. The site for these birds was a narrow track leading off the far left hand edge of the orchard, about 11 o’clock as you enter the orchard – follow this until you reach a small tree in the middle of the track, with the hillside sloping down from left to right ahead of you.

We hit the tape here, and almost immediately a pair of Spot-breasted Parrotbills flew into view on our right, and gradually worked their way up the slope in front of us – great views of a great bird, and very different from the comparatively tiny Black-throated Parrotbills I had seen at DI. Back in the orchard proper, we watched a Dark-backed Sibia, followed by my first Brown-breasted Bulbuls.

Going back towards the main road, we took a narrow side trail off to the left – this skirted a patch of pine trees on our right. It was a little steep, so I put my scope down for a while to check out a small bird overhead, and this turned out to be very smart Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher. A Red Junglefowl was calling from close by ahead of us, and we set off to try to track to down, but couldn’t get it to come out of hiding.

I felt a bit nervous having left my scope behind, so went back to retrieve it, only to find on my return that the Red Junglefowl had put in an appearance – typical! Back at the orchard we watched a pair of Blue-winged Minlas feeding on the ground, before deciding that we would try the next spot, the exit to the trekkers’ route.

From the orchard, continue along the road towards the Angkhang resort for maybe a further 0.5 – 1 km, (km 21.5) looking for a track at 3 o’clock on the right, with a prominent sign for the trekkers route. Park on the verge and walk in. The main track continues downhill, with a side track heading off the right, maybe 50 metres from the road – this is the same track where we found the Spot-breasted Parrotbills near the orchard.

We started off with this right-hand track, down through some dark pines, where Kingsley had seen White-tailed Robin yesterday, and he found it almost immediately again today – a great bird showing very nicely. A Hill Prinia was seen here, before we heard a shout from back up the hill – the Canadian group. We rushed up to join them, to find that they had just found a group of White-browed Laughingthrushes. While we were watching these, a Speckled Piculet arrived and started banging away on a dead stump nearby.

Time for lunch, so we all started wandering back to the cars, seeing Blue-winged Minla again on the way, before coming to an abrupt halt when Kingsley flushed a Tristram’s Bunting from the path. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get on to it properly before it moved off into the undergrowth, leaving me with just frustrating untickable views.

We hung around for a while hoping it would reappear, but eventually had to settle for Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike and Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher. Kingsley and Sharon were moving on – they were doing the same loop as us, but in reverse, so they were heading to Doi Chiang Dao then Doi Inthanon. I bid him farewell, then the Canadians and I decided to go to a site which Kingsley had told us about for water-redstarts.

From the orchard / trekkers route area, drive back towards the Angkhang resort, then take the next left (before the resort) towards Ban Luang village. The road drops down hill, and at the bottom look for a large Pepsi sign on the side of the road. Turn left here into a new bungalow complex which had just opened – looks like a very nice place to stay, and could be a good alternative to the Angkhang Resort. The people here were very friendly, and perfectly happy for us to follow the trail which led to the right of the main building, then around the back to the left top a small waterfall, where they had placed some tables and chairs.

Both White-capped Water-Redstart and Plumbeous Water-Redstart were seen on arrival, with the latter giving particularly good views. A Grey Wagtail was also seen here. I left the Canadians enjoying the birds and returned to the lodge to meet Sara for some lunch and a couple of hours of relaxing, before heading back out at around 16:00

I started again at the orchard, trying the track off to the right (where we had heard / seen the junglefowl) in the hope of seeing the flock of Red-faced Liocichlas which Kingsley had seen here the day before. Sure enough, it didn’t take long before I found one of these birds, and it gave good prolonged views.

More Buff-throated Warblers were seen in the orchard, and a brief return visit to the trekkers route produced just Grey-cheeked Fulvetta in addition to the commoner birds seen previously. Time to call it a day.

Birds recorded

Doi Ang Khang (orchard) - Mountain Bamboo-Partridge, Red Junglefowl (h), Grey-headed Woodpecker (h), Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Grey Bushchat, Great Tit, Brown-breasted Bulbul, Flavescent Bulbul, Buff-throated Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Red-faced Liocichla, Blue-winged Minla, Dark-backed Sibia, Spot-breasted Parrotbill

Doi Ang Khang (exit to Trekkers Route) - Speckled Piculet, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher, White-tailed Robin, Hill Prinia, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, White-browed Laughingthrush, Blue-winged Minla, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Tristram's Bunting

Doi Ang Khang (Ban Luang waterfall) - White-capped Water-Redstart, Plumbeous Water-Redstart, Grey Wagtail

Sunday 2 March 2003

Having spent yesterday at Doi Ang Khang, I had a choice today, to revisit some of these sites or try a return trip to Tha Ton, before driving back to Chiang Mai this afternoon. I eventually decided to stay at Doi Ang Khang, largely after talking to the Canadians who had seen both Rusty-naped Pitta and Crested Finchbill at the trekkers route yesterday. In addition, I had achieved my main objective at Tha Ton, and didn’t fancy the extra driving distance involved. Crucially, Sara understandably didn’t fancy a 05:00 start which would be needed to get to Tha Ton before it got too hot, so Doi Ang Khang it was.

I met the Canadians at the exit to the trekkers route at dawn, and we spent some time here hoping for a repeat view of the Rusty-naped Pitta which they had seen at dusk last night, but there was no sign of it. Eventually we gave up, and they very kindly took my down the main track (direct ahead from the road) to where they had seen the Crested Finchbill yesterday afternoon. I gave this area a couple of hours on and off this morning, but with no sign of the bird – it was all in shade and quite cold at that time of the morning, and the sun had still not hit these slopes by 10:00, so this site may be better in the afternoon – they had seen the finchbill at around 16:00.

I therefore headed back to the top of the track, near the junction with the orchard trail, where there was a bit of a clearing, and where the sun had hit the bushes. I had noticed during my time in Thailand that the birding seemed to be getting progressively slower and less productive as the days passed, and this seemed true again today.

It started well with two lifers, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch and Lemon-rumped Warbler, but quietened down quickly. I saw some good birds, but they were mostly repeats of birds seen here yesterday, or at DI or DCD – White-tailed Warbler, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Red-faced Liocichla (brief views), Large Niltava and Maroon Oriole.

Several Silver-eared Mesias put in an appearance, followed by a Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike, and finally a Pale Blue-Flycatcher. I had promised Sara some non-birding tourist time today, so we checked out of the hotel at around 11;00, and drove south to Chiang Mai. We stopped en route to watch some elephants (captive ones, unfortunately) relaxing in a stream and under some trees, and then took our time wandering back to Chiang Mai.

We made a brief side trip east of Chiang Mai to the craft village at Bo Sang, before Sara decided that it was way too hot for this kind of stuff, so mid-afternoon we made our way back to Chiang Mai, booked into out hotel, and crashed out by the pool for the rest of the afternoon. Not the best birding day, overall, but relaxing and enjoyable nonetheless.

Birds recorded

Doi Ang Khang (exit to Trekkers Route) – Maroon Oriole, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Large Niltava, Pale Blue-Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher (h), Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Flavescent Bulbul, Lemon-rumped Warbler, White-tailed Leaf-Warbler, Red-faced Liocichla, Silver-eared Mesia, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta

Monday 3 March 2003

Rachen was to be my guide again for the last 2 days in the north, and at 06:00 he met me for a further visit to Doi Inthanon. We hadn’t yet spent any significant time at the lower elevations, and our first destination, therefore, was the km 13 area. Look for a large pull-off on the right here, where you can park. We took the suspension bridge across the river, then took the steep trail uphill, for a total of maybe 1 km. The trail follows a ridgeline, with good views initially over a valley on your left, and subsequently switches over so that it looks down on a valley on your right. Watch our here for the numerous motorbikes travelling to and from the Korean village at the top of the trail.

The birding here was very different from that further up the mountain. First up was an Indian Roller and an Eurasian Hoopoe, followed by a Racket-tailed Treepie which flew over the car park. Having crossed the river, and started climbing the hill, we heard Lineated Barbets calling, and Rachen found them in a dead tree downhill – two birds to start with, but others kept appearing until we eventually had five birds in the same tree.

A Chestnut-belled Nuthatch was seen calling from the very top of a tree, although it was quite distant. Some Blue Magpies were calling from behind us, and eventually a pair of them drifted across from our right, and flew across the valley, landing in plain view in a tree on the other side – great birds.

As we continued to climb, Rachen spotted an Asian Barred Owlet in a tree on our right, and got it in the scope – a very co-operative bird which stayed still for ages, before the mobbing passerines finally made it move on. Eurasian Jay and Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and White-breasted Kingfisher were all seen as we continued to climb, until we reached a point, maybe 1 km from the bridge, where there was a large dead tree on the right, looking down over a steep slope to the valley below.

This tree held not one but three Collared Falconets, cracking birds, which were using it as a base for their hunting forays, and we saw one bird returning with a huge grasshopper, which it proceeded to dismantle. These were followed by two great bonus species - firstly a small flock of Grey-headed Parakeets perched in the top of a tree below us, and when we were watching them, we got onto a flock of 4 Pin-tailed Green-Pigeons perched nearby.

It started to get hot by 09:00, so we worked our way back down the hill, seeing a couple of Green-billed Malkohas on the way, and another try for Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch on the return journey brought one right in overhead. Back at the car park, a large flock of Grey-chinned Minivets flew overhead.

We made our way slowly up the mountain, trying various trails at km 24.5 and km 26, but without seeing much – the best bird was a Hill Blue-Flycatcher at km 24.5. At around km 33, a Blue Rock Thrush was seen from the roadside, and when we stopped to take a good look at it, we also found a White-headed Bulbul nearby.. Arriving at the km 38 area, I was really surprised at how much quieter it was than even a week earlier, with very little bird activity. We decided to walk the km 37.5 jeep trail, in the hope of seeing cochoas, but while we heard Purple Cochoa calling, it was too far away to see it.

We walked the track for maybe a kilometre or two, seeing a few birds along the way. The best was a cracking male Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler, and others included White-tailed Leaf-Warbler, Golden-throated Barbet, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta and Mountain Bulbul. Eventually the track came out of the trees at an overlook with views over the adjacent valley, and here we had a Crested Honey-Buzzard soaring overhead.

Rachen often sees Purple Cochoas here in May, when they are singing and easier to find, but no sign in the late morning heat, so we walked back the way we had come in, seeing Rufous-winged Fulvetta and Golden Babbler on the way. It was very hard work here, so we decided to go down to the km 34.5 track to have another attempt at the Mountain Tailorbird that had been singing here last week.

Instant success this time, with the bird showing immediately and well so, encouraged, we decided to make an attempt at the resident flock of White-necked Laughingthrushes we had heard but not seen further along the track last week. They again responded very well to tape, but were reluctant to come into view, however I eventually managed to get a brief but good view of one bird on a bare branch. Fantastic calls, though!

Just then John and Nollie wandered up, having done the Doi Ang Khang to Doi Inthanon trip via Chiang Saen in reverse to the route was had taken. They had found the Rim Khong Restaurant productive as well, seeing much the same birds as I had seen, and John thought he had seen a Long-billed Plover, although he was also unable to confirm it because of the haze.

We swapped a few notes, returning slowly to the car, where we got good views of a White-tailed Leaf-Warbler. John and Nollie had seen Indochinese Bushlarks at Mae Hia, a bird we had missed on our visit, so as the birding was so slow at Doi Inthanon Rachen and I decided to drive there to end the day.

It was swelteringly hot when we got there, but we soon found a couple of Indochinese Bushlarks. The first one wasn’t too co-operative, flushing on our approach and disappearing into long grass, but the second was seen feeding at the edge of the road, and gave great views. A Burmese Shrike was also seen on the wires here, before we gave up for the rest of the afternoon, and returned to the hotel.

Birds recorded

Doi Inthanon (km 13) – Lineated Barbet, Eurasian Hoopoe, Indian Roller, White-throated Kingfisher, Green-billed Malkoha, Grey-headed Parakeet, Asian Barred Owlet, Pin-tailed Green-Pigeon, Collared Falconet, Eurasian Jay, Blue Magpie, Racket-tailed Treepie, Grey-chinned Minivet, Spangled Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch

Doi Inthanon (km 24.5) – Hill Blue-Flycatcher, Flavescent Bulbul, Golden Babbler (h)

Doi Inthanon (km 26) – Plaintive Cuckoo (h), Asian Barred Owlet (h)

Doi Inthanon (km 33) – Blue Rock-Thrush, White-headed Bulbul

Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) – Golden-throated Barbet, Collared Owlet (h), Crested Honey-buzzard, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Purple Cochoa (h), Mountain Bulbul, White-tailed Leaf-Warbler, Golden Babbler, Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta

Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) – Mountain Tailorbird, White-tailed Leaf-Warbler, White-necked Laughingthrush

Mae Hia - Burmese Shrike, Indochinese Bushlark

Tuesday 4 March 2003

Our last day on the north, and the only area we didn’t feel we had covered adequately was the summit marsh area. In particular, we wanted to try for Rufous-throated Partridge, so we had a 05:30 start, and were at the summit area by 07:00. Unfortunately, others had arrived just before us, walking down the steps to the marsh, and presumably flushing any partridges that may have been present – they tend to like the area on the left as you go down the steps.

We gave it a little time here without sight or sound of the birds, so we instead tried another spot. This was on the other side of the road, to the left of the office and behind the small row of shops. A bird started calling here very close, maybe 5 metres away, but unfortunately on the other side of some vegetation, and try as we might we just couldn’t get it to come into view – I would have to be happy with a "heard" record.

We saw Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush here, then returned to the other side of the road and started on the summit marsh area. This time we followed the boardwalk clockwise, looking especially for Yellow-bellied Fantail. This is a common bird in this area, with most birders seeing lots of them, but we had missed it completely on our last visit, and struggled as much again this time.

Chestnut-tailed Minlas were, however, very much in evidence, and showed very well. There were loads of phylloscs around as well, and we decided to take advantage of their tameness and the relatively low vegetation to see how many we could identify. Ashy-throated Warblers were again common, and we also managed to pick out a Blyth’s Leaf-Warbler and a Greenish Warbler among them.

Other birds seen while we were looking for fantails included the usual birds at this site - Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Gould's Sunbird, Green-tailed Sunbird and Blue Whistling-Thrush, as well as Yellow-cheeked Tit and some Common Rosefinches. Then, at last, a Yellow-bellied Fantail, much smaller than other fantail species I have seen, but a real cracker, and having eluded us this long it now showed wonderfully.

More scanning of phyllosc flocks, together with occasional hits of a Collared Owlet recording, eventually produced good views of a Buff-barred Warbler, and on our way back out we found Dark-backed Sibia as well as seeing a second Yellow-bellied Fantail. We had not yet managed to find Ashy Woodpigeon, so after a quick coffee at the car, we wandered down the road a little way to scan the valley below. No luck, although we found a Two-barred Greenish-Warbler along the way.

Nest stop was km 38, where we saw a Large Niltava, and a walk along the new trail again produced Slaty-bellied Tesia at the same spot as the previous week. Rufous-winged Fulvetta and Silver-eared Mesia were here as well. We crossed over the road and started walking the km 37.5 jeep trail, but only got about 100 metres before hitting the jackpot, when Rachen spotted a bird perched on a bare branch high overhead.

It certainly looked like a cochoa, but we couldn’t tell which species as it was just a silhouette. Rachen ran back to the car to fetch his scope, and while he was away, it moved position, dropping a little lower where I could see it against a darker background, the orange underparts confirming it as a female Purple Cochoa.

There was another Purple Cochoa calling from a little further down the trail, and Rachen duly found it, a male, perched among some thick branches near the trunk. It was an amazing spot, with only the head visible initially, and I still have no idea how he found it! We watched it through the scope for some time, and as it moved position slightly we managed to see most of the upperparts – exceptionally good views of an outstanding bird.

Eventually we lost sight of it, and we had no sooner moved on down the track when John and Nollie came the other way. We quickly went back to where we had seen the bird, but couldn’t relocate it. Leaving them to look for it, we said our goodbyes and went back to the car for some lunch. The birding was terribly slow by now, although I wasn’t really bothered having scored so spectacularly with the cochoa, and after lunch we decided to try the track again to see what we could find.

After watching a Golden-throated Barbet and a Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Rachen unbelievably managed to relocate the Purple Cochoa near where we had seen it originally, and we enjoyed more great views of this superb bird. It was by now time for us to leave for the drive to the airport for our flight back to Bangkok, so we eventually started walking back to the car, and immediately ran into Kingsley and Sharon – unbelievable that both they and John and Nollie should miss this bird by just a couple of minutes!

We took them back to where we had seen the bird, but couldn’t find it again, adding just Mountain Bulbul to the list. Sadly, we couldn’t stay any longer, so we bid them farewell and made our way down the mountain and back to Chiang Mai Airport. I was delighted to hear afterwards that not only had Kingsley and Sharon eventually found the cochoa, but that by that time John and Nollie had joined them, so they all connected – great news!

At the airport we said our fond farewells to Rachen – he had been a great guide and wonderful company throughout our time in the north, and I would love the opportunity to go birding with him again one day – I can’t recommend him highly enough to any other birders visiting this area. Unfortunately, the day ended on a bit of a low, as we went to the check-in desk to find that our flight to Bangkok had been cancelled – luckily they managed to get us on another flight an hour and a half later, but we still had a boring 4 hour wait in the airport, when all we really wanted to do was get to our hotel, shower and crash out.

Birds recorded

Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) – Rufous-throated Partridge (h), Yellow-bellied Fantail, Blue Whistling-Thrush, White-browed Shortwing (h), Yellow-cheeked Tit, Buff-barred Warbler, Ashy-throated Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Two-barred Greenish Warbler, Blyth's Leaf-Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Dark-backed Sibia, Gould's Sunbird, Green-tailed Sunbird, Common Rosefinch

Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) – Golden-throated Barbet, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Large Niltava, Purple Cochoa, Mountain Bulbul, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Silver-eared Mesia, Rufous-winged Fulvetta

Wednesday 5 March 2003

Today was to be my last day in Thailand, and I was desperate to see what for me would be the bird of the trip – Spoon-billed Sandpiper, a couple of which had spent the winter at the nearby Khok Kham salt pans. Kamol Komolphalin of Nature Trails collected me from the hotel at 06:00 in a very comfortable air-conditioned minivan complete with driver, and we started on the hour-long drive to the town of Samut Sakhon.

On arriving at the town we progressed towards the Khok Kham salt pans, birding as we went. It wasn’t long before Kamol was finding me new birds – a White-breasted Waterhen in a roadside ditch was quickly followed by a lovely Ruddy-breasted Crake, feeding just a few metres from the side of the busy road. A bigger area of open water with exposed mud produced a flock of Long-toed Stints, Wood Sandpiper, Little Egret and several Little Cormorants, and a Common Tailorbird in the bushes nearby.

An open grassy area on the left held some of the commoner suburban birds – Oriental Magpie Robin, Peaceful Dove, Plain-backed Sparrow, Common and White-vented Myna, Red-collared Dove and Plain Prinia, while some Germain’s Swiftlets flew overhead. Chinese Pond-Herons were regularly seen in road-side ditches, but we couldn’t turn any into Javan Pond-Herons, which are commonly resident in the Bangkok area.

Whiskered Terns were seen hawking over a lagoon, with Olive-backed Sunbird on roadside wires, and both Collared Kingfisher and Lesser Coucal in bushes along the water’s edge. Finally, we added Streak-eared Bulbul and Common Kingfisher along this stretch.

From here we headed out of Samut Sakhon towards Khok Kham – for directions see Nick Moran’s excellent map on Arriving at the pans, we soon found another of Nature Trails’ guides with a client scoping the shorebird flocks, and walked out to join them. They immediately announced that they had found the Spoon-billed sandpiper, and I was goon gorging myself on stunning views of this unique bird – my trip was complete!

The bird showed brilliantly, at a range of maybe 50 metres, and was soon joined by a second bird. Small numbers of this species have wintered here for several years now, and it seems a fairly reliable site for this bird. According to Kamol, however, it is best looked for early in the morning, up to about 10:00, as it gets more difficult as the heat increases.

Of course, there is more to Khok Kham than the Spoon-billed Sandpipers, and I eventually dragged my eyes away to scan the rest of the shorebirds. Lesser Sand Plover was also a lifer, and other good species present included Long-toed Stint, Rufous-necked Stint, Pacific Golden-Plover, Marsh Sandpiper and Broad-billed Sandpiper among the more familiar species.

Several Yellow Wagtails, apparently of the race thunbergi, were present, and were Caspian Tern and both Intermediate and Great Egrets, and as we were leaving a flock of Brown-headed Gulls flew over. Time to head back to Bangkok, where we got caught in the city’s notorious traffic congestion, the return journey taking about 2 hours. In hindsight, it would have made more sense for Sara to have come with us, avoiding the need to return to the city late morning to collect her, but it was a bit unfair to ask her to get up at 05:00 on her last morning.

We eventually made it back to Don Muang and made a brief visit to a nearby temple along the Chaophraya river. A Brahminy Kite greeted us on arrival, and a Little Minivet was also new. Other birds seen here included Coppersmith Barbet, Indian Roller, Olive-backed Sunbird and Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, and an Asian Openbill glided overhead. Time to go back to the hotel and check out. Kamol and the driver went off for some lunch, and Sara and I enjoyed a good meal in the airport restaurant, before meeting up again at 13:30.

Our destination this afternoon was originally scheduled to be the marshes at Rangsit, but Kamol decided instead to make the journey over to the town of Kamphaeng Saen, where we visited the Kasetsart University Campus and enjoyed some very good birding. We lost about 1.5 hours of birding time getting here (Asian Openbill overhead as we drove through Bangkok), but as this coincided with the hottest part of the day, it probably wasn’t a big loss.

On entering the university campus through the main gates, we turned immediately to the left, and followed the track along until we reached a lake on the left, much of it covered in water lilies. Little Cormorant and Lesser Whistling Duck were seen here before we found the first of 4 Pheasant-tailed Jacanas on the lilies. Bronze-winged Jacana are also here, but it took a little longer to find one, and in the meantime we saw Black-crowned Night-Heron, Black-collared Starling and Red-wattled Lapwing.

We returned to the entrance gate, turned left and entered the campus proper. We followed the main road down the centre of the campus, and parking and walking periodically resulted in some good birding along the way. An Eurasian Hoopoe was followed, at last, by a confirmed Javan Pond-Heron, then Richard’s Pipits and Asian Pied Starlings feeding on the ground near some cattle sheds.

Little Green Bee-eaters were quite common in the grassy areas, while Purple Heron and Asian Koel were new for the trip. Streak-eared Bulbul, Wood Sandpiper, Black Drongo and Sooty-headed Bulbul were seen in these damp areas, and a Coppersmith Barbet gave point blank views in a dead tree. There were several Black-collared Starlings flying around, and Kamol picked out a White-shouldered Starling among them – it eventually landed in a tree a few hundred metres ahead of us, and a quiet approach resulted in very good views of this smart bird.

It was getting late, and, having found Indochinese Bushlark, Peaceful Dove and White-breasted Waterhen, we returned to the entrance gate and drove once again along the road skirting the lake, flushing several Black-crowned Night-Herons from trees along the way. Kamol was looking for Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker along this stretch, and half an hour’s patient searching eventually produced great views of one of these birds right overhead – my first woodpecker of the trip, and a lifer to finish off what had been a really great trip, before heading back to the airport.

Birds recorded

Samut Sakhon – Common Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Lesser Coucal, Germain's Swiftlet, Red Collared-Dove, Peaceful Dove, White-breasted Waterhen, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Long-toed Stint, Black-winged Stilt, Whiskered Tern, Little Cormorant, Little Egret, Chinese Pond-Heron, Brown Shrike, Oriental Magpie-Robin, Common Myna, White-vented Myna, Streak-eared Bulbul, Plain Prinia, Common Tailorbird, Olive-backed Sunbird, Plain-backed Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Khok Kham – Spotted Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Ruddy Turnstone, Rufous-necked Stint, Long-toed Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Pacific Golden-Plover, Grey Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Black-winged Stilt, Brown-headed Gull, Caspian Tern, Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Yellow Wagtail

Wat near Don Muang – Coppersmith Barbet, Indian Roller, Brahminy Kite, Chinese Pond-Heron, Asian Openbill, Little Minivet, White-vented Myna, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, Olive-backed Sunbird

Kamphaeng Saen – Lesser Whistling-Duck, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Coppersmith Barbet, Eurasian Hoopoe, Little Green Bee-eater, Plaintive Cuckoo (h), Asian Koel, Peaceful Dove, White-breasted Waterhen, Common Moorhen, Wood Sandpiper, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Bronze-winged Jacana, Red-wattled Lapwing, Little Grebe, Little Cormorant, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Javan Pond-Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Long-tailed Shrike, Black Drongo, Common Stonechat, White-shouldered Starling, Asian Pied Starling, Black-collared Starling, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Streak-eared Bulbul, Indochinese Bushlark, Richard’s Pipit

Species List

The letter 'h' denotes that the bird was heard but not seen.
  1. Rufous-throated Partridge (Arborophila rufogularis) h Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  2. Mountain Bamboo-Partridge (Bambusicola fytchii) Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3
  3. Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) h Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3
  4. Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) Huai Hong Krai 28.2
  5. Indian (Lesser) Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna javanica) Mae Hia 25.2, Chiang Saen Lake 28.2, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  6. Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) Mekong River (Rim Khong Restaurant) 28.2
  7. Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha) Mekong River (Rim Khong Restaurant) 28.2
  8. Speckled Piculet (Picumnus innominatus) Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 1.3
  9. Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei) Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  10. Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus) h Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3
  11. Great Barbet (Megalaima virens) h Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 23.2
  12. Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata) Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3
  13. Green-eared Barbet (Megalaima faiostricta) h Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2
  14. Golden-throated Barbet (Megalaima franklinii) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 3.3, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 4.3
  15. Blue-throated Barbet (Megalaima asiatica) Doi Inthanon (Ban Pha Mon) 23.2
  16. Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala) Mae Hia 25.2, Wat in Don Muang, Bangkok 5.3, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  17. Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  18. Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis) Mae Taeng 25.2, Huai Tung Tao 27.2, Tha Ton 28.2, Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3, Wat in Don Muang, Bangkok 5.3 The birds were of the race affinis also known as Burmese Roller
  19. Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) Samut Sakhon 5.3
  20. Smyrna (White-throated) Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) Doi Inthanon (km 14) 23.2, Mae Taeng 27.2, Tha Ton 28.2, Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3
  21. Collared Kingfisher (Todirhamphus chloris) Samut Sakhon 5.3
  22. Little Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis) Mae Hia 25.2, Huai Tung Tao 25.2, Mae Taeng 27.2, Huai Tung Tao 27.2, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3 The birds were of the brown-capped race ferrugeiceps
  23. Large Hawk-Cuckoo (Cuculus sparverioides) h Huai Hong Krai 28.2
  24. Plaintive Cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus) h Doi Inthanon (km 26 track) 3.3, h Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  25. Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) h Huai Tung Tao 27.2, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  26. Green-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis) Doi Inthanon (km 20) 23.2, Mae Taeng 25.2, Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3
  27. Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis) Mae Hia 25.2, Doi Chiang Dao (descent) 26.2
  28. Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis) Samut Sakhon 5.3
  29. Grey-headed Parakeet (Psittacula finschii) Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3
  30. Himalayan Swiftlet (Collocalia brevirostris) Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 25.2
  31. Germain's Swiftlet (Collocalia germani) Samut Sakhon 5.3
  32. Asian Palm-Swift (Cypsiurus balasiensis) Doi Inthanon (km 20) 23.2
  33. Pacific (Fork-tailed) Swift (Apus pacificus) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  34. Crested Treeswift (Hemiprocne coronata) Doi Inthanon (km 21) 23.2, Chiang Mai Sports Complex 25.2
  35. Collared Owlet (Glaucidium brodiei) h Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 23.2, h Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 3.3
  36. Asian Barred Owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3, h Doi Inthanon (km 26 track) 3.3
  37. Rock Dove (Pigeon) (Columba livia) towns and villages
  38. Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) Mae Hia 25.2, Chiang Dao (temple area) 25.2
  39. Red Collared-Dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica) Samut Sakhon 5.3
  40. Zebra (Peaceful) Dove (Geopelia striata) Samut Sakhon 5.3, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  41. Pin-tailed Green-Pigeon (Treron apicauda) Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3
  42. Mountain Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula badia) h Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 25.2
  43. White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) Mae Hia 25.2, Samut Sakhon 5.3, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  44. Black-tailed Crake (Amaurornis bicolor) Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2
  45. Ruddy-breasted Crake (Porzana fusca) Samut Sakhon 5.3
  46. Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) Chiang Saen Lake 28.2, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  47. Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) Chiang Saen Lake 28.2
  48. Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus) Mekong River (Rim Khong Restaurant) 28.2, Khok Kham 5.3
  49. Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) Khok Kham 5.3
  50. Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) Khok Kham 5.3, Samut Sakhon 5.3
  51. Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) Samut Sakhon 5.3, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  52. Common Sandpiper (Tringa hypoleucos) Mae Taeng 25.2, Mekong River (Rim Khong Restaurant) 28.2
  53. Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) Khok Kham 5.3
  54. Rufous-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis) Khok Kham 5.3
  55. Long-toed Stint (Calidris subminuta) Samut Sakhon 5.3, Khok Kham 5.3
  56. Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) Khok Kham 5.3
  57. Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) Khok Kham 5.3 Definitely the bird of the trip for me
  58. Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus) Khok Kham 5.3
  59. Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  60. Bronze-winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus) Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  61. Pacific Golden-Plover (Pluvialis fulva) Khok Kham 5.3
  62. Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) Khok Kham 5.3
  63. Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) Mae Taeng 25.2, Tha Ton 28.2
  64. Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) Mekong River (Rim Khong Restaurant) 28.2
  65. Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus) Khok Kham 5.3
  66. Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) Mae Hia 25.2, Huai Tung Tao 27.2, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3 The birds were of the eastern race atronuchalis
  67. Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) Khok Kham 5.3, Samut Sakhon 5.3
  68. Small Pratincole (Glareola lactea) Mekong River (Rim Khong Restaurant) 28.2
  69. Brown-headed Gull (Larus brunnicephalus) Khok Kham 5.3
  70. Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) Khok Kham 5.3
  71. Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybridus) Samut Sakhon 5.3
  72. Crested Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus) Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 3.3
  73. Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) Wat in Don Muang, Bangkok 5.3
  74. Shikra (Accipiter badius) Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 27.2
  75. Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) Doi Inthanon (km 31) 23.2. The birds were of the race japonicus, known as Japanese Buzzard
  76. Collared Falconet (Microhierax caerulescens) Doi Inthanon (km 35) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3
  77. Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) Mae Hia 25.2, Huai Tung Tao 27.2, Tha Ton 28.2
  78. Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  79. Little (Javanese) Cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger) Samut Sakhon 5.3, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  80. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) Chiang Saen Lake 28.2, Samut Sakhon 5.3
  81. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) Mekong River (Rim Khong Restaurant) 28.2, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  82. Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  83. Great Egret (Casmerodius albus) Mekong River (Rim Khong Restaurant) 28.2, Khok Kham 5.3
  84. Intermediate (Yellow-billed) Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) Chiang Saen Lake 28.2, Khok Kham 5.3
  85. Chinese Pond-Heron (Ardeola bacchus) Mae Hia 25.2, Huai Tung Tao 25.2, Samut Sakhon 5.3, Wat in Don Muang, Bangkok 5.3
  86. Javan Pond-Heron (Ardeola speciosa) Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  87. Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  88. Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) Wat in Don Muang, Bangkok 5.3, Bangkok 5.3
  89. Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella) Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 25.2
  90. Blue-winged Leafbird (Chloropsis cochinchinensis) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Chiang Dao (temple area) 25.2
  91. Orange-bellied Leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  92. Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) Doi Inthanon (km 44) 24.2, Mae Hia 25.2, Doi Chiang Dao (descent) 26.2, Tha Ton 28.2, Samut Sakhon 5.3
  93. Burmese Shrike (Lanius collurioides) Huai Tung Tao 27.2, Chiang Saen Lake 28.2, Mae Hia 3.3
  94. Rufous-backed (Long-tailed) Shrike (Lanius schach) Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2, Huai Tung Tao 25.2, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  95. Grey-backed Shrike (Lanius tephronotus) Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  96. Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) Doi Inthanon (km 14) 23.2, Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3 The birds were of the race leucotis, known as White-faced Jay
  97. Blue Magpie (Urocissa erythrorhyncha) Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3
  98. Green Magpie (Cissa chinensis) Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2
  99. Grey Treepie (Dendrocitta formosae) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  100. Racket-tailed Treepie (Crypsirina temia) Mae Hia 25.2, Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3
  101. Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos) Doi Inthanon (Ban Pha Mon) 23.2
  102. Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus) Mae Taeng 25.2, Huai Tung Tao 27.2
  103. Slender-billed Oriole (Oriolus tenuirostris) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  104. Maroon Oriole (Oriolus traillii) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 2.3
  105. Indochinese Cuckooshrike (Coracina polioptera) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  106. Black-winged Cuckooshrike (Coracina melaschistos) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2
  107. Little Minivet (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus) Wat in Don Muang, Bangkok 5.3
  108. Grey-chinned Minivet (Pericrocotus solaris) Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 24.2, Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3
  109. Long-tailed Minivet (Pericrocotus ethologus) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  110. Short-billed Minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (km 39) 24.2
  111. Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Chiang Dao (temple area) 25.2
  112. Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus picatus) Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 1.3, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 2.3
  113. Yellow-bellied Fantail (Rhipidura hypoxantha) Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  114. Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) Mae Hia 25.2, Mae Taeng 25.2, Mae Taeng 27.2, Huai Tung Tao 27.2, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  115. Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) Doi Inthanon (km 22) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (Ban Pha Mon) 23.2, Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 25.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  116. Bronzed Drongo (Dicrurus aeneus) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Doi Chiang Dao (descent) 26.2
  117. Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus remifer) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, h Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 3.3, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 4.3
  118. Spangled (Hair-crested) Drongo (Dicrurus hottentottus) Doi Inthanon (km 20) 23.2, Mae Hia 25.2, Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2, Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3
  119. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) Doi Inthanon (km 14) 24.2, Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 27.2, Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3
  120. Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea) Chiang Dao (temple area) 25.2
  121. Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) h Doi Inthanon (km 21) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  122. Blue Rock-Thrush (Monticola solitarius) Doi Inthanon (km 33) 3.3 The bird was of the eastern race philippensis
  123. Blue Whistling-Thrush (Myiophonus caeruleus) Doi Inthanon (Ban Pha Mon) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  124. Dark-sided Thrush (Zoothera marginata) Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 24.2
  125. Eyebrowed Thrush (Turdus obscurus) Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 23.2
  126. White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana) Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 24.2, h Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  127. Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica) Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 23.2
  128. Slaty-backed Flycatcher (Ficedula hodgsonii) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2
  129. Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher (Ficedula strophiata) Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3
  130. Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva) Mae Hia 25.2, Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 25.2, Huai Tung Tao 27.2, Huai Hong Krai 28.2 The birds were of the eastern race albicilla, also known as Red-throated Flycatcher
  131. Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra) Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 24.2
  132. Little Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula westermanni) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  133. Sapphire Flycatcher (Ficedula sapphira) Doi Chiang Dao (descent) 26.2
  134. Verditer Flycatcher (Muscicapa thalassina) Doi Inthanon (km 39) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2
  135. Large Niltava (Niltava grandis) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 2.3, Doi Inthanon (km 38) 4.3
  136. Rufous-bellied Niltava (Niltava sundara) Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 23.2
  137. Pale Blue-Flycatcher (Cyornis unicolor) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 2.3
  138. Hill Blue-Flycatcher (Cyornis banyumas) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, Doi Inthanon (km 24.5) 3.3
  139. Tickell's Blue-Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae) Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  140. Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis) Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 1.3, h Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 2.3
  141. Siberian Rubythroat (Luscinia calliope) Mae Hia 25.2
  142. Orange-flanked Bluetail (Bush-Robin) (Tarsiger cyanurus) Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 24.2
  143. Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis) Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2, Samut Sakhon 5.3
  144. White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus) Doi Chiang Dao (ascent) 26.2
  145. White-capped Water-Redstart (Chaimarrornis leucocephalus) Doi Inthanon (Ban Pha Mon) 23.2, Doi Ang Khang (Ban Luang waterfall) 1.3
  146. Plumbeous Water-Redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosus) Doi Ang Khang (Ban Luang waterfall) 1.3
  147. White-tailed Robin (Cinclidium leucurum) Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 1.3
  148. Black-backed Forktail (Enicurus immaculatus) Doi Chiang Dao (ascent) 26.2
  149. Slaty-backed Forktail (Enicurus schistaceus) Doi Inthanon (Ban Pha Mon) 23.2, Doi Chiang Dao (descent) 26.2
  150. Purple Cochoa (Cochoa purpurea) h Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 3.3, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 4.3
  151. Green Cochoa (Cochoa viridis) Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 23.2
  152. Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquata) Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2, Mae Hia 25.2, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3 The birds were of the eastern race stejnegeri, one of a group of races known collectively as Siberian Stonechat
  153. Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata) Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2, Mae Hia 25.2, Huai Tung Tao 25.2, Huai Tung Tao 27.2, Tha Ton 28.2
  154. Jerdon's Bushchat (Saxicola jerdoni) Tha Ton 28.2
  155. Grey Bushchat (Saxicola ferrea) Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (km 44) 24.2, Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3
  156. Chestnut-tailed Starling (Sturnus malabaricus) Mae Taeng 25.2
  157. White-shouldered Starling (Sturnus sinensis) Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  158. Asian Pied Starling (Sturnus contra) Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  159. Black-collared Starling (Sturnus nigricollis) Mae Hia 25.2, Mae Taeng 25.2, Mae Taeng 27.2, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  160. Indian (Common) Myna (Acridotheres tristis) Samut Sakhon 5.3
  161. White-vented Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) Mae Hia 25.2, Mae Taeng 25.2, Mae Taeng 27.2, Samut Sakhon 5.3, Wat in Don Muang, Bangkok 5.3
  162. Chestnut-vented Nuthatch (Sitta nagaensis) Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 2.3
  163. Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch (Sitta castanea) Doi Inthanon (km 13) 3.3
  164. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis) Doi Inthanon (km 22) 23.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  165. Giant Nuthatch (Sitta magna) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  166. Fire-capped Tit (Cephalopyrus flammiceps) Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2
  167. Great Tit (Parus major) Doi Chiang Dao (ascent) 26.2, Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3 The birds were of the eastern race cinereus, also known as Cinereous Tit
  168. Yellow-cheeked Tit (Parus spilonotus) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  169. Eurasian Swallow (Hirundo rustica) Mae Hia 25.2
  170. Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii) Mae Taeng 25.2
  171. Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica) Doi Inthanon (km 21) 23.2, Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  172. Asian House-Martin (Delichon dasypus) Mae Hia 25.2
  173. Striated Bulbul (Pycnonotus striatus) Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 23.2
  174. Black-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus atriceps) Chiang Dao (temple area) 25.2
  175. Black-crested Bulbul (Pycnonotus melanicterus) h Doi Inthanon (km 21) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Mae Taeng 25.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  176. Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2, Mae Hia 25.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  177. Brown-breasted Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthorrhous) Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3
  178. Sooty-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster) Mae Hia 25.2, Mae Taeng 25.2, Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2, Mae Taeng 27.2, Chiang Saen Lake 28.2, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  179. Flavescent Bulbul (Pycnonotus flavescens) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (km 39) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (summit) 24.2, Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 2.3, Doi Inthanon (km 24.5) 3.3
  180. Streak-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus blanfordi) Mae Hia 25.2, Mae Taeng 25.2, Huai Tung Tao 27.2, Samut Sakhon 5.3, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  181. Puff-throated Bulbul (Alophoixus pallidus) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Chiang Dao (temple area) 25.2
  182. Grey-eyed Bulbul (Iole propinqua) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 27.2
  183. Ashy Bulbul (Hemixos flavala) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2
  184. Mountain Bulbul (Hypsipetes mcclellandii) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 3.3, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 4.3
  185. Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2 The birds were of the all-dark race concolor
  186. White-headed Bulbul (Hypsipetes thompsoni) Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2, Doi Inthanon (km 33) 3.3
  187. Fan-tailed Warbler (Zitting Cisticola) (Cisticola juncidis) Mae Hia 25.2
  188. Hill Prinia (Prinia atrogularis) Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 1.3
  189. Rufescent Prinia (Prinia rufescens) Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  190. Grey-breasted Prinia (Prinia hodgsonii) Mae Hia 25.2
  191. Yellow-bellied Prinia (Prinia flaviventris) Tha Ton 28.2
  192. Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata) Samut Sakhon 5.3
  193. Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  194. Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2
  195. Slaty-bellied Tesia (Tesia olivea) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (km 38) 4.3
  196. Mountain Tailorbird (Orthotomus cuculatus) h Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 3.3
  197. Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) Samut Sakhon 5.3
  198. Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus atrogularis) Chiang Dao (temple area) 25.2
  199. Buff-throated Warbler (Phylloscopus subaffinis) Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3
  200. Buff-barred Warbler (Phylloscopus pulcher) Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  201. Ashy-throated Warbler (Phylloscopus maculipennis) Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  202. Lemon-rumped Warbler (Phylloscopus chloronotus) Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 2.3
  203. Yellow-browed (Inornate) Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2, Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2, Huai Hong Krai 28.2, Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3
  204. Hume's Warbler (Phylloscopus humei) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  205. Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides) Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  206. Two-barred Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus (trochiloides) plumbeitarsus) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  207. Pale-legged Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus tenellipes) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  208. Blyth's Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus reguloides) Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  209. White-tailed Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus davisoni) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 23.2, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 2.3, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 3.3, Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 3.3

  210. Note that the above records concern only those Phylloscopus warblers that we manage4d to positively identify to species status – for every one of these there must have been at least 10 which defied positive identification. It didn’t take long to get frustrated with trying to identify these birds, so we soon gave up on any at a range of more than a few metres, and higher than about 3 metres up! Luckily, there were enough birds around to allow us to get to grips with a fair number of species during the trip. One of the best places to grill these species was the summit marsh at Doi Inthanon, where the birds in the stunted trees were normally a lot nearer the ground than elsewhere on the mountain, giving good views.

  211. Chestnut-crowned Warbler (Seicercus castaniceps) Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 23.2, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 1.3
  212. Yellow-bellied Warbler (Abroscopus superciliaris) Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  213. White-crested Laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus) Doi Inthanon (km 14) 23.2
  214. White-necked Laughingthrush (Garrulax strepitans) Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 3.3
  215. White-browed Laughingthrush (Garrulax sannio) Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 1.3
  216. Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush (Garrulax erythrocephalus) Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3 The birds were of the very distinctive greenish race melanostigma
  217. Red-faced Liocichla (Liocichla phoenicea) Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 2.3 The birds were of the race ripponi
  218. Puff-throated Babbler (Pellorneum ruficeps) Doi Chiang Dao (descent) 26.2
  219. Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler (Pomatorhinus erythrogenys) h Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  220. Pygmy Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga pusilla) h Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 24.2
  221. Rufous-fronted Babbler (Stachyris rufifrons) Chiang Dao (temple area) 25.2
  222. Golden Babbler (Stachyris chrysaea) h Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 23.2, h Doi Inthanon (km 24.5) 3.3, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 3.3
  223. Grey-throated Babbler (Stachyris nigriceps) Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 24.2
  224. Striped Tit-Babbler (Macronous gularis) Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  225. Silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 2.3, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 4.3
  226. White-browed Shrike-Babbler (Pteruthius flaviscapis) Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 23.2, Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  227. Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler (Pteruthius aenobarbus) Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 3.3
  228. Spectacled Barwing (Actinodura ramsayi) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2
  229. Blue-winged Minla (Minla cyanouroptera) Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 1.3
  230. Chestnut-tailed Minla (Minla strigula) Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  231. Rufous-winged Fulvetta (Alcippe castaneceps) Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 3.3, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 4.3
  232. Brown-cheeked Fulvetta (Alcippe poioicephala) Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2
  233. Grey-cheeked Fulvetta (Alcippe morrisonia) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 1.3, Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 2.3, Doi Inthanon (km 37.5 jeep track) 3.3
  234. Rufous-backed Sibia (Heterophasia annectens) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2
  235. Dark-backed Sibia (Heterophasia melanoleuca) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  236. White-browed (Striated) Yuhina (Yuhina castaniceps) Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2, Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 27.2
  237. Spot-breasted Parrotbill (Paradoxornis guttaticollis) Doi Ang Khang (orchard) 1.3
  238. Black-throated Parrotbill (Paradoxornis nipalensis) Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 24.2
  239. Indochinese Bushlark (Mirafra marionae) Mae Hia 3.3, Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  240. Thick-billed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum agile) Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 25.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2 The birds were of the race modestum, known as Streak-breasted Flowerpecker
  241. Plain Flowerpecker (Dicaeum concolor) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2,
  242. Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (Dicaeum ignipectus) Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2
  243. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) Huai Tung Tao 27.2, Huai Hong Krai 28.2, Wat in Don Muang, Bangkok 5.3
  244. Yellow-bellied (Olive-backed) Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis) Samut Sakhon 5.3, Wat in Don Muang, Bangkok 5.3
  245. Purple Sunbird (Nectarinia asiatica) Doi Inthanon (km 21) 23.2
  246. Gould's Sunbird (Aethopyga gouldiae) Doi Inthanon (summit) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  247. Green-tailed Sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) Doi Inthanon (summit) 24.2, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3 The birds were of the race angkanensis, endemic to the summit area of Doi Inthanon
  248. Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (Mae Pan) 24.2, Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 25.2
  249. Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 27.2
  250. Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna) Doi Inthanon (km 38) 23.2
  251. Plain-backed Sparrow (Passer flaveolus) Huai Tung Tao 27.2, Samut Sakhon 5.3
  252. Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) Mae Hia 25.2, Samut Sakhon 5.3
  253. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) Mae Hia 25.2, Doi Chiang Dao (ascent) 26.2, Tha Ton 28.2 The birds were of the very distinctive race leucopsis, also known as Amur Wagtail
  254. Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) Khok Kham 5.3 The birds were of the race thunbergi, known as Grey-headed Wagtail
  255. Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) Doi Inthanon (Ban Pha Mon) 23.2, Chiang Dao (checkpoint 1) 25.2, Doi Ang Khang (Ban Luang waterfall) 1.3
  256. Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus) Mae Hia 25.2
  257. Richard’s Pipit (Anthus richardi) Kamphaeng Saen 5.3
  258. Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni) Doi Inthanon (km 34.5 track) 23.2, Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2, Doi Chiang Dao (ascent) 26.2
  259. Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) Mae Hia 25.2, Tha Ton 28.2
  260. Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) Doi Inthanon (Hmong village) 24.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2, Doi Inthanon (summit marsh) 4.3
  261. Crested Bunting (Melophus lathami) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2
  262. Tristram's Bunting (Emberiza tristrami) Doi Ang Khang (trekkers route exit) 1.3
  263. Chestnut Bunting (Emberiza rutila) Doi Chiang Dao (Den Ya Khat) 26.2, Doi Chiang Dao (new road) 27.2