Doi Lang: 19 March 2014

I stayed overnight in Fang and drove up to Doi Lang again on the morning of March 19. It was still quite cool in the morning and birds were very vocal along the way. The fire near the first Hodgson’s Frogmouth’s nest has already gone, so I was also relieved.

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Sunrise over a dam at the foothill of San Ju area

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Oriental Turtle Dove was regularly seen along the way.

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Male Hodgson’s Frogmouth at nest

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Male Stejneger’s Stonechat in breeding plumage. I don’t see this migrant taxon very often on high mountains.

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Singing male Burmese Shrike in breeding plumage(?). The plumage forms of this species is still little known.

Despite the birds being vocal, I didn’t see as many birds as I expected. Apart from the birds in the photos above, there were Olive-backed Pipits and some distant Phylloscopus warblers flitting around.

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Then I finally came across flocks of Mrs Hume’s Pheasant once again. In total, 9 individuals, 3 males and 6 females, were found on that morning! However, the photos that I took on the day before were much better for the male. At least, one of the females were extremely close and allowed me to get some decent shots while it was crossing the road.

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Female White-bellied Redstart

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Hill Prinia in breeding plumage

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A very obliging Spot-breasted Parrotbill

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Another nest of the Hodgson’s Frogmouth

I stopped at one of the photography stakeouts where many birds were showing extremely well. The first bird that showed up was a very tame female White-bellied Redstart. It is normally a devilishly shy bird, but once being fed with meal worms, it can become unbelievably tame just like this one. Then after a while came a pair of Hill Prinias and a pair of Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babblers. A tame Spot-breasted Parrotbill also showed up nearby but it wasn’t one of the visitors at the stakeout. Another nest of the Hodgson’s Frogmouth was also located in the same area. Just like the former nest, only the male bird was seen sitting on the nest.

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You can clearly see how tame it was!

Next to the photography stakeout, there was a blooming Erythrina subumbrans which attracted lots of birds including some really interesting species like the Grey-headed Parrotbill, Spot-breasted Parrotbill, White-browed Laughingthrush, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler and Brown-breasted Bulbul.

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Ashy Drongo

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White-browed Laughingthrush

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The same Spot-breasted Parrotbill also visited the flowering tree.

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At least 3 Grey-headed Parrotbills constantly visited the tree every 15-20 minutes.

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The same pair of Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-babbler at the stakeout also visited the flowering tree.

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It was the first time for me to see Brown-breasted Bulbul at Doi Lang. A single bird came with a flock of Sooty-headed Bulbuls.

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A view from Doi San Ju viewpoint

I also visited Pha Hom Pok military base camp around noon and birds were similar to the day before, so I decided to leave and headed back to Chiang Mai. Overall, it was definitely a successful trip with incredibly many pheasants seen. Even with all the heat, smoke and ashes from the forest fire that was roaming the mountains, Doi Lang still continued to be one of Thailand’s birding paradises.

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