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Peter Ericsson | profile | all galleries >> Tripreports! >> Northern Thailand 25th of Dec - 2nd of Jan 2017 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Northern Thailand 25th of Dec - 2nd of Jan 2017

Northern Thailand 25th Dec-2nd of Jan 2017
Tour leader and guide: Peter Ericsson
Participants: Steve, Peilin and Sierra Glassman from California

I was very pleased that the Glassmans wanted to do another trip in Thailand after last year’s trip in the central parts. See https://pbase.com/peterericsson/centralthailand201526

Their daughter, Sierra, now 11, is a sharp and keen young girl with an aptitude for learning and just great to be in the field with.

Both parents enjoy seeing natural wonders as well as taking pictures howbeit without the pressure of long lists etc. Sierra however keeps record of sightings and had an amazing memory for all the things we saw or heard throughout the trip. She often taking charge doing the checklist.

The timing of the trip was probably worst possible in terms of encountering crowds on some popular destinations. Still, there was plenty for us to enjoy and that kept our attention.

Both Steve and Peilin enjoy spicy Thai food very much so it was a real pleasure to serve sumptuous meals though in the end the result showed when I stood on the weight scale once back home.

Day 1. Early pick up in Chiang Mai. I had flown up the night before and picked up a large spacious Toyota Commuter van. We drove straight to the summit of Doi Inthanon where most of the ‘good birds are’. Well, as you can imagine there were hundreds and hundreds of people doing the same. Finding a parking lot was no small feature.

The mountain is a bit of a Mecca for the Thai people as it is not only scenic and tall but also plays historical role in the Kingdom. Either way, we spent the better part of the morning at the summit though some birds didn’t show as usual we did see some real good ones with Green-tailed and Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird leading the way in terms of color. Bar-throated Minlas in small busy flocks as well as Buff-barred, Ashy-throated and Blyth’s Leaf Warblers kept us entertained. Silver-eared Laughingthrushes were as obvious as usual and Dark-backed Sibias similarly so.

Some of the more cryptic birds simply didn’t show. I think they were intimidated by the cheer volume of people with accompanied noise. The bog never the less gave good views of some things and Rufous-winged Fulvettas did their best to charm keen observers.

We managed to get a table at an eatery by the trail head to Kiew Maephan. The food is so delicious in this cool setting and everyone enjoyed the sticky rice, barbecued chicken and the papaya salad.
Wherever we had a chance we took a little time for ‘cultural visits’. The local fresh market run by the hill tribes had a lot of produce for sale. Some locally produced and other things from China.
I picked up some avocadoes which is becoming more popular here now though not available year around.

We did a little birding here and there and added some more regular things. To my great surprise we were not able to get on to Slaty-bellied Tesias as they were simply not vocalizing. That was a bit of a disappointment for me.

The night was spent at Mr. Doings Homestay since we didn’t want to do the long drive down and then back up again the next day.

Day 2. Up early and starting all over at the top again. The hot coffee at the summit is probably the best in the country so we headed for the coffee shop right away.

It was a bit colder this morning and we found some frost that thrilled the hearts of many locals plus Sierra.

The main highlight was a striking Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker feeding in a flowering tree. This is a rather rare bird and often difficult to find. So half a minute of show time was good and gave us great opportunity for picture taking.

In the bog we also had great views of Rufous-throated Partridges and brief views of a male White-browed Shortwing but most of the morning was repeats from the day before.

After lunch we descended Doi Inthanon and set our sails towards Doi Chiang Dao about an hour or so North of Chiang Mai ci
Sierra and Peter
Sierra and Peter
Sierra feeling the frost at DI
Sierra feeling the frost at DI
Purple Heron
Purple Heron
Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker at DI
Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker at DI
Hume's Treecreeper at DI
Hume's Treecreeper at DI
Mrs Gould's Sunbird, female
Mrs Gould's Sunbird, female
Buff-barred Warbler
Buff-barred Warbler
White-headed Bulbul
White-headed Bulbul
Brown-breasted Bulbul
Brown-breasted Bulbul
Crested Finchbill
Crested Finchbill
White-tailed Robin
White-tailed Robin
Chestnut-flanked Whiteeye
Chestnut-flanked Whiteeye
Ultramarine Flycatcher
Ultramarine Flycatcher
Slaty-blue Flycatcher, fem
Slaty-blue Flycatcher, fem
Slaty-blue Flycatcher
Slaty-blue Flycatcher
Siberian Rubythroat
Siberian Rubythroat
Rufous-backed Sibia
Rufous-backed Sibia
Spot-breasted Parrotbill
Spot-breasted Parrotbill
Orange-bellied Leafbird
Orange-bellied Leafbird
Yellow-breasted Bunting
Yellow-breasted Bunting
Crested Bunting
Crested Bunting
Black-breasted Thrush
Black-breasted Thrush
Chestnut-bellied Rockthrush, fem
Chestnut-bellied Rockthrush, fem