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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Doi Inthanon 12-15/3/06,
Just two days after the Kaengkrachan trip I was on my way to Chiang Mai. I had gotten a free ticket from Airasia and thought I’d finally arrange for a visit to Doi Chiang Dao. Just because I live in Thailand doesn’t mean I can go wherever I want at any given time and this mountain has eluded me for years do to the need for 4-wheel drive and time consuming drive up the mountain.
I tried to find a car to rent but found out that all the regular cheap Suzuki Carribean 4-wheel drives offered by so many car rentals were no longer available. Only through Budget could I rent one but at 45US$/day it was out of my range. Instead I figured I’d have a go at the Chestnut Thrushes reported from Doi Inthanon. This year had an influx of Thrushes on many a Northern mountain peak but I hadn’t had a chance to visit yet. I was a bit concerned that the birds would still be there but also had other target species in mind, which made me, feel optimistic. I didn’t waste much time upon arrival. I got my car from www.northwheels.com and drove strait to the summit of Doi Inthanon.
I got there a bit before lunchtime and went strait for the rangers kitchen. The Rufous-throated Partridges are regular here along with other birds.
I Thai photographer was there showing me all the shots he just had taken of Chestnut Thrush and Grey-sided Thrush. It didn’t take me long to have cripping views of both these species. Both of them being lifers.
My next target bird was Fire-capped Tit. This bird is annual at the peach orchard not far from the campground. I visited the orchard atleast 3 times and managed to dip on the birds each time. Instead I connected with a Yellow-streaked Warbler, a bird I hadn’t ticked off before. In all labor there is profit, the saying goes.
Another target bird was Speckled Wood Pigeon. I had word that they come out to sun in the tall trees around km 42.5. Sure enough, early next morning a flock of them showed real well. Lifer #4. I took it kind of easy not working on a long list of things but strolling around in the bog, enjoying the Green-tailed Sunbirds and Chestnut-tailed Minlas at the summit. I had heard of a Blue-fronted Redstart showing at around km 42 but couldn’t find any. Instead a female Northern Goshawk, another new bird, flew across the road.
I did a bit of birding at the jeep track and along the road but didn’t see anything outstanding. Instead I decided to have a go at the low levels. I was looking for Grey-headed Parakeets sometimes seen at km 13. In the afternoon around 4:15 walking along the dry streambed a pair of White-rumped Falcons flew in unison inbetween the treetops. Couldn’t see them perch but this was a positive sign, as these birds hadn’t been reported from the area for 3 years.
I returned to the same area on the following morning but didn’t see the Falcons or the Parakeets. Instead, I finally laid my eyes on a Black-backed Forktail in the stream. I don’t know how many times I have checked this area for this bird and finally it paid off. 6 lifers had put my Thai list to 694. Not that numbers is that important but a sweet 700 sure would feel good!
Pictures are found at