We have BEEN. TO. THAILAND. We started off somewhere in the middle, drove all the way south, drove to both the eastern and western sides, and then drove all the way north. We’ve seen so many parts of this country it’s hard to keep them all straight! After only 24 days in Thailand we had seen 490 species and visited some of the most obscure little towns in the process. Although a little back-blogged, here’s an update from 24 days in.
Phase II Timeline (Febuary 10 – 21):
- After leaving the South, Ross pulled another all nighter to drive back up to central Thailand to Pak Thale to find Nordmann’s Greenshank, a rare shorebird that we dipped on earlier in the trip.
- We then drove to another National Park, Khao Yai, where we saw Austen’s hornbill late in the evening from a beautiful vantage point overlooking the grassland and forest. The next morning was Ross’s 26th birthday! Yay! His birthday present this year was Banded Kingfisher and 11 Silver Pheasants!
- We left Khao Yai after 1 ½ days and drove to a little Bhuddist temple built into a limestone wall to find the Limestone Wren Babblers that are specific to that exact habitat.
- We then travelled to Mae Wong National Park and had a very successful 2 days birding the park.
- Next on the tour-de-national-parks was Mae Ping National park, a dry dipterocarp forest great for finding woodpeckers. We only spent a few hours in this park before heading off again but successfully located two different species of woodpecker, Black-headed Woodpecker and White-bellied Woodpecker.
- We arrived in the city of Fang laaaaate on February 16 (which was a minor miracle because we had a very narrow encounter with running out of gas while on our way.) We woke up early the next morning because Ross was determined to find two specific birds that live in the upper elevations, Mrs Hume’s Pheasant and Giant Nuthatch. The morning was a success as we easily had both species and we also met a Swedish birder named Bengt in the process. The three of us birded together the rest of the morning, stumbling upon a Hodgen’s Frogmouth nest!
- We spent the next 2 days birding with Bengt, driving up the Thaton side of the mountain together so we could get Fire-tailed Sunbird – a bird found on the slope dividing Thailand and Myanmar.
- We left Thaton and drove to Chaing Saen to do, you guessed it, more birding. One highlight from this was visiting one of the largest Harrier roosts in the world with great views of Pied and Eastern Marsh Harriers flying in for the night.
- From Chiang Saen we stopped at one of the king’s royal projects which has a small wild flock of Green Peafowl that like to hang around the area.
- We then arrived in Chiang Dao where we spent the majority of the time on a gulley trail veering off the side of another Bhuddist temple looking for birds skulking around the ground.
After all of that we headed up to Doi Inthanon to finish out our trip, but that park deserves it’s own blog post so I’ll save that for later!
Here’s a few other bird photos from the north! Enjoy!