Visit your favourite destinations
|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Doi Inthanon, 25-28th Jan 2002,
At Doi Inthanon there is a nature trail called Geo Mae Baan, at around 2000m alleviation. This trail takes you through some of the best preserved primary evergreen, broad-leaved forest in the country. It leads to a natural meadow and steep cliffs overlooking valleys and mountain peaks below.
Here the national flower of Tibet, a red blossoming Rhododendron, flourishes. Its flowers attract a myriad of Green-tailed Sunbirds, Chestnut-tailed Minlas, Chestnut-crowned Laughing Thrushes and Black-headed Sibias. If you are blessed enough you may even spot a very rare serow, a mountain dwelling goat like animal that still survives in the remote western mountains of Thailand. Having spent quite some time in these wonderful surroundings , we (8kids, 6-11 years old) and a couple of adults started heading back down the trail. This is when I had the most outstanding experience of this year's visit to Doi Inthanon. The clear and attractive call of a Brown-throated Tree-creeper penetrated the air. Having wanted to see this bird for a long time I was 'ready for a rendezvous'. Sure enough, here in the middle of a fantastic forest of tall and erect mountain dwelling tree species, a single bird kept working its way towards us. It has a peculiar habit of sort of 'dropping it's head' side ways, falling down a bit and then climbing up the same trunk again. Then off to another tree, starting all over from down below, working it's way up. Colors drap, but oh so well blended. Simply a gorgeous bird!
As much as this was the highlight of the trip it also was the greatest let down. Too my despair I discovered the film in my camera was finished and realized my other films were in the car far away!
The Summit was windy and cold. About 6 degrees Celcius, but the wind made sure that non prepared tourists barely got out of their cars before climbing back in and heading down for warmer and lower grounds. We actually found a grass patch free from the biting wind and here the highly unusual encounter with frost was a first for many of us.
This year, the military radar station opened up their doors for us (came in company with Thais) and I had a first look at what's on the 'other side of the fence'. Disappointingly there were no visiting Thrushes in sight but a very handsome Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush entertained us for almost an hour.
The road to Mae Baan waterfall was deemed driveable and so we went for an adventurous dip
in the cold waters there. The natural pool, formed by the continual dropping of cold, icy water, took our natural senses by storm as we emerged ourselves. A stream, Huay Sai Leuang, near the lodging facilities at the sub station, held both male and female Plembous Redstarts.
A River Chat was kind enough to put on a display for all the kids at the bottom of Vatchiratan waterfall on our day of arrival. Inspite of tourists being present in the fall it had decided to greet us warmly before it flew off down the cascading waters.
The famous Black-tailed Crake now has grown to 3-4 individuals, all according to Mr Daeng at the birding shop. My first Crake was viewed standing some 40 meters away, hiding in the surrounding pine trees, as Mrs. and Mr. Crake gently and quickly crossed the little path next to the small bridge in the marshy area behind campground by headquarters. Here also a Great Tit kept feeding each day and close views of Hill Prinia was a delight.
Our two days ended quickly. A long drive all the way
Birds seen in order of event at Doi Inthanon
Hill Blue Flycatcher
Blue Whistling Thrush
Golden Spectacled Warbler
Ashy Wood Pigeon
Black-tailed Crake Lifer
Brown-throated Treecreeper Lifer
Pygmy Wren Babbler
Birds heard but not seen
Asian Barred Owlet
The Birds of Thailand
A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia