Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Sunday 4 February 2018

Thailand 2018 - 4th February

Doi Lang (western slope)

We awoke early to ensure we were at the park entrance first in line. However, this checkpoint is now not in use, which meant we didn’t have to pay an entrance fee, but therefore meant we were unsure how many cars were in front of us. It turned out only one was and they had set up a pop-up tent and thrown some seed down for the Mrs Hume’s Pheasants. This didn’t work and after an hour nothing had emerged other then a Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler.

We drove further up to the army checkpoint but this was hardly visible due to the low cloud. Despite walking past the upper checkpoint a little further on it felt we were wasting our time as the cloud was too thick. We did luckily come across a female Crested Bunting and a male Black-breasted Thrush, a good return for the conditions. Back at the car it looked as if the weather was clearing and straight away a large flock of Bulbuls appeared, and mixed in were no less then 15 Crested Finchbills, a fantastic result. Still wanting to see the Nuthatch we waited for a short time before setting back off once the cloud had lifted, and with sunny weather and a bit of playback, two Giant Nuthatch soon appeared and showed brilliantly. Such an iconic species and a long wanted bird for me to see.

There was still lots to see and some Germans (one with a hilarious terminator accent, mixed with a German accent had us in stitches)  told us of a feeding station a little way down the road. This was one of the highlights of the trip, as one of the birds present was a gorgeous male Siberian Rubythroat that showed down to two metres. A juv/fem Slaty-Blue Flycatcher also showed well as did a Golden-throated Barbet, a long overdue trip tick having heard lots further south. Next up was a small area that an adult Ultramarine Flycatcher has taken up residence in for the winter, and this very nearly topped the Rubythroat, an awesome half hour of photography.

After watching some more birds at another feeding station (ironically next to a ‘do not feed the birds sign’) that included a male Slaty-Blue Flycatcher and two Spot-breasted Parrotbill we thought we had seen everything that is vaguely possible up here. That was until I heard an Aberrant Bush Warbler calling, and after a bit of patience, we both got good views.

Another feeding area held more goodies and before we knew it the sun was setting behind the picturesque Burmese mountains. It had been a day full of good birds and lots of laughs, but a slow drive back down the mountain close to dusk again failed to produce a Pheasant.

Highlights for the day are as follows:

Mountain Bamboo Partridge (L) - 2
Eastern Buzzard - 1
Blue-bearded Bee Eater - 2
Golden-throated Barbet (L) - 1
Stripe-breasted Woodpecker - 1
Maroon Oriole - 1
Short-billed Minivet (L) - 2
Rufous Treepie - 4
Grey-backed Shrike - 1
Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike - 5
Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush - 1
Black-breasted Thrush - 1
Siberian Rubythroat - 1
Slaty-Blue Flycatcher (L) - 2
Ultramarine Flycatcher (L) - 1
Rufous-bellied Niltava - 2
Giant Nuthatch (L) - 2
Crested Finchbill (L) - 15
Brown-breasted Bulbul (L) - 3
Aberrant Bush Warbler (L) - 1
Hill Prinia - 2
Buff-throated Warbler - 1
Silver-Eared Laughingthrush - 5
Scarlet-faced Liocichla - 2
Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler (L)  - 2
Spectacled Barwing - 5
Blue-winged Minla - 2
Spot-breasted Parrotbill (L) - 2
Common Rosefinch - 2
Crested Bunting (L) - 1

female Crested Bunting on Doi Lang

Black-breasted Thrush in dense fog.

male Siberian Rubythroat showing quite well
Crested Finchbill on Doi Lang
Giant Nuthatch supposedly in Burma according
to my GPS coordinates. Which ever country,
a mega bird!!
male Rufous-bellied Niltava on Doi Lang
Slaty-blue Flycatcher on Doi Lang
Ultramarine Flycatcher on Doi Lang - 
potential for bird of the trip!!
Golden-throated Barbet on Doi Lang
Spot-breasted Parrotbill on Doi Lang

The upper checkpoint in the fog. 
The main road on Doi Lang
Sunset over the Burmese Mountains