Thursday, January 28, 2016

North Thailand Trip - Day 3 San Ju Point Part 1

Our plan today is to explore the Eastern Slope of Doi Lang. Not too long ago, Eastern & Western Slope are link and we are allowed to bird at both side without the need to detour to East Gate to access the Eastern Slope. Heavy military presence today means we have to travel additional near to 200km to visit the other side of the national park. 
Chiang Rai Market
As usual, we stop by a market to get breakfast and lunch.
Chiang Rai Market, Thai noodle
These noodle will be our lunch for today.
Chiang Rai Market
The people here are all very friendly. We also get some dessert and as with most Asean countries, palm sugar is one of the main ingredients.
Chiang Rai Market

Chiang Rai Market, pan cake
We have pan cake & 'you tiao' for breakfast.
Doi Lang, Eastern Slope
We arrived at the East Gate slightly early at 6.55am
Doi Lang, Eastern Slope
We arrived at the paddy field after driving about 10 mins from the gate.
Doi Lang, Eastern Slope
We saw some swallow & long tail shrike.
Doi Lang, Sun Ju View Point
We stop at Sun Ju View Point for some nice view. The mountain at the background is Myanmar. We are again so close to the Thai-Myanmar border.
Pine cone
As we move higher, more pine tree are seen and is a good area to look for nuthatch.
cherry blossom
Cherry blossom is blooming and form a very beautiful pink canopy.
Doi Lang, Thailand

Doi Lang, Thailand

Doi Lang, Thailand
More scenic view with the insanely blue sky.
egg plant
Saw these 'mini watermelon' kind of egg plant on the road side. I have no idea of the actual name.
Doi Lang, Thailand
We stop at this check point for coffee break and there are some nice bird around here too... (to be continued.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cutia The North Thailand Star Bird - Day 2 Part 2

We continue our birding at Doi Lang after lunch and the first bird that we saw is this Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus).
Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus)
This Long-Tailed Shrike (Lanius schach) that perch in the open is like welcome us back to Doi Lang.
Long-Tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)
So as this Spot-breasted Parrotbill (Paradoxornis guttaticollis) that announce his presence with very loud call.
Spot-breasted Parrotbill (Paradoxornis guttaticollis)
 A pair of Grey Bush Chat (Saxicola ferreus) with the male on the higher perch.
Grey Bush Chat (Saxicola ferreus)
This Hill Prinia (Prinia atrogularis) make a quick appearance before disappear into thick vegetation.
Hill Prinia (Prinia atrogularis)
We also saw this Rusty Cheeked Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus erythrogenys) flippinf dry leaf searching for food.
Rusty Cheeked Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus erythrogenys)
Siberian Ruby Throat (Luscinia calliope) that with a very bright throat.
Siberian Ruby Throat (Luscinia calliope)
During this migratory period, one of the very common bird at the North Thailand is this Rufous Gorgeted Flycatcher (Ficedula strophiata).
Rufous Gorgeted Flycatcher (Ficedula strophiata)
While we on the way back to Fang, this Mrs. Hume's Pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae) about to call it a day too. We just in time to see them cross the road.
Mrs. Hume's Pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae)
The sun is setting when we finally leave Doi Lang. Another very fruitful day at Doi Lang!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Cutia The North Thailand Star Bird - Day 2

We off to Doi Lang on Day 2 before sun rise so that we will arrive our sestination when the birds are most active.
Fang, Thailand
We stop by at a convenient store to grab some snacks and drinks. Just realised that Chinese New Year is coming soon. The Chinese New Year greetings appear on some of the bottled drinks in this Land of Smile!
Chinese New Year
Just in time to see this shy Mountain Bamboo Partridge (Bambusicola fytchii) feeding under the vegetation.
Mountain Bamboo Partridge (Bambusicola fytchii)
Another great sight at Doi Lang is the presence of large conifers plants including this pine tree.
Pine tree
We stop by a fruiting tree that attracted lots of birds. One of them is the Red-crowned Barbet (Megalaima rafflesii)
Red-crowned Barbet (Megalaima rafflesii)
Another bird species that worth mentioning is this Cutia (Cutia nipalensis). What a big surprise to see this bird here. When you try to look for them, they are no where to be found. Thanks for this fruiting tree and they make a quick appearance before they are gone again.
Cutia (Cutia nipalensis)
One of the must see sun bird when coming to North Thailand is this Mrs. Gould's Sunbird Sunbird (Aethopyga gouldiae)
Mrs. Gould's Sunbird Sunbird (Aethopyga gouldiae)
Another "star" bird of this trip is this Ultramarine Flycatcher (Ficedula superciliaris). This bird return to the same spot that I first saw it last year!
Ultramarine Flycatcher (Ficedula superciliaris)
We spent another few minutes with this flycatcher before we head for lunch just outside the national park.
Papaya salad, Thailand

Fried rice, Thailand
We have papaya salad & fried rice. Is certainly an enjoyable experience birding at this wonderful place. We will continue our birding later in the afternoon... (to be continued)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

2016 North Thailand Trip - Day 1

Ever since I first visited Chiang Mai few years ago, visit this part of Thailand during their winter has become my annual affair. The weather here during winter is just what I like the most. Not too cold, people here are friendly, good food and of course lots of nice place to visit!
Chiang Mai Airport, Thailand
Chiang Mai International Airport provide direct access to North Thailand hence cut down at least 8 hours of travel time by road from Bangkok.
Khao Soi, Thailand Curry Noodle
After we left airport, Khao Soi (Thailand's curry noodle) is the first thing is what we are after! Available only at North Thailand, how can we not have it for lunch.
Khao Soi, Thailand Curry Noodle
 I have Khao Soi Gai, chicken curry noodle. The noodle also come with beef and pork.
Wire-tailed swallow (Hirundo smithii)
Doi Ang Khang is our next destination after our lunch. We stop by an canal and saw my 1st bird of our trip - Wire-tailed swallow (Hirundo smithii) This is also my lifer or new species of bird that I have not seen before. Guess is a good start of my birding in 2016.
Thailand, temple
 One of the many temple that we saw along the way...
Doi Ang Khang, Chiang Mai
We were greeted by this beautiful lady in traditional attire at the entrance of the Doi Ang Khang Royal Agriculture Station.
Cherry blossom, Thailand
 Cherry blossom is at full bloom!
Cherry blossom, Thailand
Japan is one of the country to visit to experience Cheery Blossom blooming but not the only one. Thailand is another country that one should not miss during this period.
Doi Ang Khang Royal Agriculture Station, Thailand

Doi Ang Khang Royal Agriculture Station, Thailand
 Lots of other flower & plants in the garden too!
Cherry blossom, Thailand
What a beautiful background to have couple shots!
Red-throated flycatcher (Ficedula albicilla)
While in the garden, this Red-throated flycatcher (Ficedula albicilla) trying to get my attention. From branch to branch and sing quite loud too.
Slaty-blue Flycatcher (ficedula Hodgsonii)
 This Slaty-blue Flycatcher (Ficedula Hodgsonii) quietly perch at a corner.
Grey wagtail
At times the garden was quite crowded, that did not stop this Grey wagtail from finding food on the grass.
Market, Doi Ang Khang, Thailand
 We cross over to the market just beside the garden.
Market, Doi Ang Khang, Thailand
This is one good place to buy all kind of nuts & preserved fruits. I bought my almond nuts from here too.
Market, Doi Ang Khang, Thailand
 Wine of special flavor is available for those who wants to try something different.
Doi Ang Khang, Thailand, Chiang Mai
We leave Doi Ang Khang just when the sun is setting. Doi Ang Khang, what a beautiful place to visit and re-visit again.