Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mae Wong

Martin Daniel was on a business trip to Vietnam and decided to stop over in Bangkok
on his way home to England. Since this was Martin’s 12th trip with me in the field there were quite a narrow set of target birds.

We decided to spend the time at Mae Wong National Park some 5 hours drive North West of Bangkok. This area is part of the Western Thailand Forest Complex which stretches over a huge area.
The site is the best in the country for Rufous-necked Hornbills, Burmese Yuhinna,
Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler, White-necked Laughingthrushes and White-throated
Bulbul. Of these Martin had only seen the Hornbill.
The prime birding area is at Chong Yen which is located 1340m above sea level. Here
is a campground overlooking a forest covered valley. Main drawback with the site is
the abundance of sand flies that can be quite a bother.
Since September is right in the rain season it was a bit of a gamble to visit. Sure
enough, we had plenty of scattered showers on our way to and up the mountain but
once up we hardly felt any rain.
Best birds seen was easily a flock of 3-4 Coral-billed Scimitar Babblers right next to the roadside. Martin was elated to see these, to be, only lifers for the trip.
The bright red bill add to the birds make up which along with typical foraging
behavior of the Scimitar-Babbler make them a very attractive bird.
We also had prolonged views of a lovely White-browed Piculet feeding in bamboo.

Great little bird!

A couple of birdwaves kept us busy and a Chestnut-fronted Shrike Babbler stood out
with its attractive plumage.
We spend from 2-6pm and 6:30-14:00pm at Chong Yen.

The Grey-chinned Minivets showed well.

The male White-browed Shrike Babbler is a favorite of mine and a true indication that one is on higher ground.

Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler 4 seen
White-browed Scimitar Babbler 3 seen, many heard
Golden Babbler 3 seen
White-browed Shrike Babbler a pair seen and photographed
Chestnut-fronted Shrike Babbler 1 bird in a birdwave
Dark-backed Sibia a pair seen
Grey-chinned Fulvetta 1 seen, several heard, photographed
Silver-cheeked LT many heard
White-necked LT heard half dozen times but not seen
Grey-cheeked Minivet a pair photographed
Streaked Spiderhunter very common
Little Spiderhunter 1 seen
Black-throated Sunbird a pair at campground seen throughout
Little Cuckoo Dove several birds seen
Barred Cuckoo Dove several birds seen
Mountain Imperial Pigeon many birds seen, flock of 20
Wreathed Hornbill two flocks flying by
Rufous-necked Hornbill heard in the afternoon
Great Barbet 3 seen, heard a lot
Gold-throated Barbet 3 seen, heard a lot
Himalayan Swiftlet 20 seen
Grey Wagtail 2 seen
Grey-headed Flycatcher 2 seen
White-throated Fantail 1 seen
White-crowned Forktail 1 seen
Speckled Piculet 2 seen in wave
White-browed Piculet 1 seen and photographed
Bay WP seen twice, heard a lot
Common Flameback one flight view
Flavescent Bulbul very common
Black Bulbul 3 seen
Ashy Bulbul 1 seen
Mountain Bulbul many seen
Oriental White Eye many seen
White-bellied Yuhinna 1 seen
Changeable Hawk Eagle 1 seen
Crested Goshawk 1 seen
Grey Treepie 10 seen, many heard
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo 1 seen
Bronzed Drongo 2 seen
White-tailed Warbler 5 seen, many heard
Rufous-throated Partridge, several heard
Grey Peacock Pheasent, heard
Yellow-cheeked Tit, 4 seen, many heard

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