Friday, August 27, 2010

Doi Inthanon: 20-22 Aug 2010 I

As I've said before in the earlier post that last week I've been on a 3-day trip to one of the most well-known birding spots in Thailand, Doi Inthanon, which also holds the highest peak of Thailand as well. Although the weather had been awful for weeks, we luckily got periods of sunlight especially during the first two days. We found much more birds than I expected. There were lots of fruiting trees and we got many interesting species by just sitting in one place. The trees at Km.34.5 attracted many beautiful babblers like the Rufous-backed Sibia, Silver-eared Mesia, White-browed Shrike-babbler and Silver-eared Laughingthrush, as well as the Blue-throated and Golden-throated Barbet.

Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra)

White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana)

However, the highlights of our trip were actually at the highest summit. In the midst of the famous Ang Ka trail, we enjoyed shooting photos of these wee colourful birds, specifically found in this ancient cloud forest, the Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra) and White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana). These birds were tamed by the photographers who offered them lots and lots of mealworms. The last few months was the high season for photographing birds at Doi Inthanon and more than 20 bird photographers visited the place almost daily. These birds began to learn that whenever they hear human sound, it's time for food. It's a great news for birders and bird photographers, but many people including me begin to worry that they might also be in danger as hunters can catch them easily.

(Top) Grey-cheeked Fulvetta (From left to right) 1-4. Grey-cheeked Fulvettas and a male Yellow-cheeked Tit feeding on leftover rice 5. A young Yellow-bellied Fantail 6-7. Some tame Grey-cheeked Fulvettas 8. Mountain Bulbul

One of the main places where we focused on was the 2nd Checkpoint of the park. Although there were not so many moths around, there was an acceptable number of small birds. We put out some leftover rice on a mossy artificial stump and watched few Grey-cheeked Fulvettas and a male Yellow-cheeked Tit came down and eat. Other birds that we found around the checkpoint included Yellow-bellied and White-throated Fantail, Mountail Bulbul, Mountain Tailorbird, Chestnut-crowned Warbler and White-tailed Robin.
Some beautiful landscape with extraordinary evening light before sunset after the rain.

To finish this entry, the above black and red bird is a male Short-billed Minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris) which we found perching on the roadside around Km.34. Female bird has red parts replaced with yellow. The last four pics are some kind of wasp which were feeding on this bright yellow flowers at Mr.Daeng restaurant, the true Inthanon's Bird Centre. We also stayed in a small guesthouse in his place for two nights.


Stu said...

Nice shots again of some interesting species and beautiful skies too.........

I get all my Varied Tit/Nuthatch shots from birds tempted by food but then again they aren't hunted here in Hokkaido.......

Phil said...

A very colourful selection of good shots Ayuwat. That minivet is so glossy, bothe red and the dark grey/black. Like you I would be worried that feeding the birds just to photograph makes them vulnerable to predators (including man) but I guess in that luxuriant habitat many of them would be difficult to see?

Unravel said...

Thanks a lot Stu and Phil!
Thai birders are actually jealous of Japanese birders since there's almost no hunting over there. There's a story of one rare bird which was tamed by photographers and it was later shot by local teenagers.

Ryou said...

The bright white brows of the male Flycatcher and Shortwing are really fascinating! I also like your shot of the three birds on the tree stump with the birdwatcher in the background. Such good pictures!