Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Doi Angkang: Aug 22-23

Just being too lazy to write about birds from Doi Angkang trip two weeks ago. As I have said before, it rained most of the time and we couldn't go out birding so much, but we surprisingly got several interesting species within a very short period of time. We arrived Doi Angkang quite late in the afternoon. We stopped at the first viewpoint and got some swallows including Striated Swallow (Hirundo striolata) and the winter visitor Red-rumped Swallow (H. daurica) and Barn Swallow (H. rustica). Few Ashy Wood-Swallows (Artamus fuscus) were also perching on a very artistically beautiful dead tree. Near the car park we saw two Chestnut-capped Babblers (Timalia pileata) moving around in dense grass. It is quite common here at Doi Angkang, though relatively uncommon elsewhere. One of the bird was carrying a long dry grass, which supposed to be used for nest-building. Along the road we found one juvenile Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus) perching on a dead tree before flying out as we tried to approach it. A noisy group of White-browed Scimitar-Babbler (Pomatorhinus schisticeps) mixed with White-browed Laughingthrush (Garrulax sannio) was also seen in a plum garden along the road too.
A Chestnut-capped Babbler carrying a dry grass preparing for its nest.
A juvenile Striated Swallow; Note its orange beak.

A worn Red-rumped Swallow; Note rufous nuchal collar.

In the evening we spent time birding around the checkpoint at Doi Angkang-Fang junction. Here we found 2 pairs of Long-tailed Minivet (Pericrocotus ethologus) moving together along the pine trees. A Japanese Tit (Parus minor) and a Chestnut-vented Nuthatch (Sitta nagaensis) were also feeding together with the minivets. A surprise was a pair of Spot-winged Grosbeak (Mycerobas melanozanthos) male and female which appeared at dusk. The male bird perched on a pine tree and gave a strange call which somewhat reminds me of a laughingthrush. Before dark, there was a nice bird-wave moving around in low bushes, which included 10+ Silver-eared Mesia mixed with Blue-winged Siva and a beautiful male Verditer Flycatcher. The next day we didn't go birding anywhere since it rained so hard, so we decided to leave after 12. Along the way back we also got a pair of Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch (Sitta castanea) feeding in a deciduous forest near Ban Arunothai village. They were the subspecies S.c.tonkinensis of NW Thailand, which has very dark chestnut underparts. Before leaving Ban Arunothai area, also we saw a lone Rufous-winged Buzzard (Butastor liventer) perching on a dead tree along the roadside. This guy was quite cooperative so I could finally managed to get some good shots of this species. In all we got over 70 species in only two days of birding! This should satisfy my hunger in birding for quite a while.

A male Long-tailed Minivet
Rufous-winged Buzzard, a raptor of open deciduous forest.

Oriental White-Eyes move fastly in small groups.

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