Done the South so now a start on the North

23 Mar 2017 10:33 #4321 by Robby L
Replied by Robby L on topic Done the South so now a start on the North


We Continued up the road from Doi Sam Muan which led round the back of Chaing Dao and arrived at the headquarters to be told there was no camp ground there but we could camp at a grassy place outside the Temple and use the temple toilets, I wanted to get the use of power to charge my lap top battery so we decided to bunk up at one of the many places with rooms for rent, first we tried Malee’s which is mentioned on several web sites but she wanted 800B for a room for the night which is somewhat out of our budget range so we looked around and ended up in a basic room with outside toilet and the luxury of a hot water shower at this place for 250B.



In what was left of the afternoon I went up to the temple and walked, climbed, up the 500 plus steps to the monks quarters but failed to see any of the birds that I had read were there. Next morning I drove up to what is called the check point trail which leads up a stream, not a great deal of birdlife about but did get a photo of a White-crowned Forktail which made the walk worthwhile.



Taica Flycatcher

On getting back to where we stayed I decided to pack up what little we had unloaded and head up to Den Ya Kat camp ground which is a high level ranger station. A permit is needed for this trip which is 18KM over a quite rough road, we got there without having to use 4WD but in the wet it would probably be impassable.



Large Cuckooshrike

Set up camp in a good size camp ground with just adequate Thai style toilets and had a wander up a new firebreak past a small lake seeing a few birds but not getting many photos. Next morning I went a fair way up what is called the sumit trail seeing more people than birds for it is a track that, as the name suggests, leads to the summit with camps in between and is popular with those wanting to climb a mountain.



Large Hawk Cuckoo.

Next day it was up the firebreaks again up as far as they had been cut getting photos of a male Mrs Humes Phesant which is one of the iconic birds of the area, unfortunately missed a photo of the female which I saw at the same time it saw me. I headed down just as the clearing gang arrived and hung around the small lake or large pond where the newly cut firebreak starts, there are two more smaller ponds up a gully above the lake this is where the water supply comes from and I went up there several time and got photos of different birds every time. There are also water tanks at the bottom corner of the lake one of which is overflowing and this is where some birds were going to bathe.



Male Mrs Hume's Pheasant.

General

Power is by solar arey with lights in the toilets and staff are friendly so should be no problem to get batteries charged. Anyone wishing to go up there should note that it will be closed at the end of March to open again in November this is because of the fire risk and then the wet season. There were gangs there cutting and clearing the firebreaks in preparation for the fire season

Birds Tempel and check point trail

White crowned forktail
Grey Wagtail
White-rumped Sharma
Black-crested Bulbul
Taica Flycatcher
Sooty-headed Bulbul

Birds Den Ya Kat

Large Hawk Cuckoo
Mountain Imperial Pigeon
Ashy Drongo
Bronzed Drongo
Burmese Shrike
Great Tit
Greater Flameback
Greater Yellownape
Grey-headed Parotbill
Hoopoe
Large Cuckooshrike
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo
Long-tailed Broadbill
Orange-bellied Leafbird
Maroon Oriole
Mrs Humes Pheasent
Oriental Turtle Dove
Streaked Spiderhunter
Stripe-breasted Woodpecker
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Verditer Flycatcher
Yellow-breasted Bunting

RIP 2018 - Robby will always be remembered for his sharing of his trips and knowledge. Missed by all.
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25 Mar 2017 07:58 #4325 by Paul T
Replied by Paul T on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
I have never heard of many of these places - I need to get out more :+)

Sweet photos!

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25 Mar 2017 13:30 #4327 by Robby L
Replied by Robby L on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
Doi Ang Khang

This is not a national park but none the less is a known bird spot and well worth a visit.



Striated Swallows

After stocking up at Chaing Dao and missing out Pha Deang NP because there was a large group of school kids filling up the camp ground we arrived fairly late and had a look at the camping grounds and the army camp then had a feed at one of the restaurants at the King Project where there were Striated Swallows roosting in a building across the road from the King Project gate. We then put up the tent at the camp ground with the intention of moving in the morning for the toilets had no running water and no power.



In the morning we packed up early and set up our tent and camp at the army camp where camping is free, they have good toilets which unfortunately are also lacking running water, there is power for charging batteries at the coffee and drinks shop.
I then went for a walk down what is called the ridge trail which starts 300m beyond the 21KM mark up the road from the army camp seeing some good birds and getting good photos of 2 new species.



Brown-breasted Bulbul

Next morning we had planned to go up to a lookout point then walk up a trail along a high ridge, this proved to be a bit of a waste of time as there were very few birds to be seen and even less that I could get a photo of.

We then went for a drive up the road to the Burma border and to several villages where the main crop is strawberrys with flowers and vegetables grown as well. Back to camp for lunch then I had a look at what is called the Mae Phur Valley Trail which follows a stream down to where a wide firebreak has been cut up a ridge I climbed a little way up this firebreak and saw more birds than I had seen walking down the trail.



Burmese Shrike


On the morning before we left I went back to the 21km trail and walked down a branch that goes to the right, it goes through thick forest then sidles round a steep face. There is also a branch to the right off this track which probably leads to a ridge and high point but as we had to pack up and leave I did not attempt it. On the way back the sun was behind me so gave a better look at things, in a small gap in the forest I saw several small birds and a small flock of laughingthrush but the only birds that would stay still long enough for photos were Grey-cheeked Fulvetta and a Specticaled Barwing. Farther back on the main trail there is a small patch of grass and birds were all around so I didn’t know which way to look but I was fortunate to get some photos of Silver-eared Mesia, and Scarlet-faced Liocichla a bird I had hoped to see but up this time had missed out on, but for some strange reason all the photos I took that morning are not on the camera card, a big disappointment.



Rufous-backed Sibia

General

There are several resorts in the area as well as some houses to rent, mains power everywhere and shops and resteraunts although the prices are high compared to in town. A travelling shop goes round every day stopping at the army base it has frest meat, fish and vegies so no need to take much food if you are doing your own cooking. The 21.3 Km trail was by far the best place I went.

Birds

Striated Swallow
Sooty-headed Bulbul
Mrs Goulds Sunbird
Brown Shrike
Brown-breasted bulbul
Red-eared Bulbul
Ashy Drongo
Asian-brown Flycatcher
Blyth’s Shrike Babbler
Bronzed Drongo
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta
Chestnut Bunting
Dark-backed Sibia
Flavescent Bulbul
Great Tit
Grey Bushchat
Long-tailed Shrike
Mountain Bulbul
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Verditer Flycatcher
Rufous-backed Sibia

RIP 2018 - Robby will always be remembered for his sharing of his trips and knowledge. Missed by all.

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14 Apr 2017 10:37 #4347 by Robby L
Replied by Robby L on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
Doi Pha Hom Pok national park



After refeuling and stocking up at Fang we set up camp at Fang Hot Springs where there are 4 spacious camp grounds with good toilets but only cold water showers, we set up camp in camp ground D beside a small lake and I went for a short explore up the water supply pipeline.
Next morning we drove up what is the west side road to the Burma border stopping at several place where we saw birds, being a Sunday there were a lot of people about mainly looking for birds, not a lot of photos that day but learnt a bit about the place, knowledge that was put to good use the next 2 days when I went up again.

It takes about an hour to drive up as far as you are allowed to go from either Fang township or the hot springs. The first part of the road goes through villages and fields of onions and garlic then through orange orchards then once past national park sign steeply up ito the forest till a ridge top is reached where the forest changes to pines and roadside scrub. This is where the majority of the birding is done particularly in the area around this sign.



There are several places where someone has been ignoring the sign and feeding birds, each place seems to have a specialty group of birds and I spent most of my time at 3 of those places where I got most of my photos.



Spot-breasted Parrotbill

General

There are hot pools where you can go to bathe both outside and private in small huts, several good looking houses for rent with air con and a place popular with locals and kids where they can play in the water of a stream. In the hot spring area there is a guyser that spouts about every half hour and a pool where it is possible to boil eggs, little ratten bskets are sold in local shops to put the eggs in. Restaurant and shop on site as well as an informative visitor center, all signs are in Thai and good English. Entry fee is 300 B but this covers the whole park which includes the next 2 places where we intend to camp, a worthwhile place to visit from a bird point of view or just to wander around a well kept park.



Birds Hot springs and west side of road

Silver-eared Laughingthrush
White-browed Laughingthrush
Black-crested Bulbul
Chestnut-capped Babbler
Dark-backed Sibia
Flavescent Bulbul
Gient Nuthatch
Great Tit
Greater Cowcal
Grey Bushchat
Hill Prinia
Hill-blue Flycatcher
Little Cuckoo Dove
Little Pied Flycatcher
Long-tailed Shrike
Oriental White-eye
Raddes Warbler
Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher
Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler
Siberian Ruby-throat
Slaty-blue Flycatcher
Spot-breasted Parrotbill
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon
White-bellied Redstart
White-gorgeted Flycatcher
Yellow-browed Warbler



White-browed Laughingthrush

Keiw Lom



Fueled and stocked up again in Fang before heading up to this camp ground which claims to be the highest in Thailand but Doi Muan would be slightly higher. We set up the tent in one of the 3 large camp grounds, lots of birds around the camp ground including a Nuthatch bouncing around on the pine trees, this turned out to be a Chestnut-vented Nuthatch a bird I haven’t seen before, after getting some photos I headed up to explore towards the summit of what is the second highest mountain in Thailand which I intended to climb next day. It was calm when we set up camp but not long after dark the wind started and continued all night the next day and the next.



Chestnut-vented Nuthatch

Headed up the hill as planned but saw very little bird life, much more around the camp. When I got back down we went for a drive back down the road to a junction that was signposted to lead to what is called the A frames camp ground, this proved to be a good concrete road, a better alternative than the rough road we went up. The A frames camp is apparantely closed but a farther 6KM down the road there are 2 other camp grounds one at this place and the other which is very nicely kept at the Royal residence which is also Ranger station No 4. Ying liked the look of the place and we decided to move there the next day, 4am next morning it started to rain and with the wind driving it horizontally into the camp everything outside the tent got nicely wet. Fortunately it stopped around 9am and we packed up a slightly damp camp and headed down.



Silver-eared Laughingthrush

Birds

Chestnut-vented Nuthatch
Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush
Chestnut-headed Bee Eater
Flavesvent Bulbul
Golden-throared Barbet
Great Tit
Grey Wagtail
Hill Prinia
Little-pied Flycatcher
Mountain Bulbul
Olive-backed Pipit
Rufous Treepie
Scarlet Minivet
Silver-eared Laughingthrush
Sooty-headed Bulbul
Warbler

Royal Residence Camp ground



This is 12KM down the road from the junction and has good toilets and a 3 bedroom house with all mad cons, TV, hot water and air con for rent at 2000b per night this must be booked in advance and VIP’s get priority, food can even be cooked for you if you wish. After setting up camp I drove up and down the road a bit to explore and saw a pair of Mountain Bamboo Partridge on the side of the road then farther down feeding on a red flame tree Red-billed Simiatar Babbler, Rufous Treepie and a Maroon Oriole.



Mountain-bamboo Partridge.

Next morning after a slightly windy night we drove back to the flame tree but very little activity this morning. Farther up the road at what is called the Royal Pavilion there were other flame trees and the one of these was very popular with the birds including something I didn’t recognize but after going through the book I identified it as a Spot-winged Grosbeak, there were quite a number of these, mostly female but I did see one male.



Female Spot-winged Crosbeak.

Evening it was back to the other flame tree between the 16 and 17km markers and several other species including Great barbet, Golden-throated Barbet, Orange-bellied Leafbird and Little Cuckoo-dove put in an appearance.



Great Barbet.

General

This place would make a great base for anyone wanting to visit the mountain and the east side road, mains power with plenty of battery charging and lights at night. The flame trees and opportunities along the road give a great range of species without having to climb a hill or even leave the vehicle. The road is concrete most of the way except for a couple of KM at the bottom which is in the process of being concreted and although up and down and round about is easy access for even a small car while the other road needs high clearance and in places 4WD. From the junction up to Kiew Lom is also quite easy car access with concrete on the steep bits. If you go there take a tow rope, strop or chain for it is quite possible there may be fallen trees across the road, we encountered 2 which we had to hitch on to and tow out of the way, a machete is also a useful thing to carry.



One of the 2 fallen trees we had to shift.


Birds

Spot-winged Grosbeak
Slender-billed Oriole
Mountain Bamboo Partridge
Ashy Drongo
Ashy Wood Swallow
Roufous Treepie
Maroon Oriole
Sooty-headed Bulbul
Flavescent Bulbul
Great Barbet
Orange-bellied Leafbird
Golden-throated Barbet
Spangled Drongo
Grey Wagtail
Little Cuckoo-Dove
Streaked Spiderhunter
Long-tailed Shrike
Common Rosefinch
Red-headed Bunting
Slaty-backed Forktail
Mrs Goulds Sunbird



Slender-billed Oriole.

Doi Lang

This is the East side of the same road and access is up road 1314 to a check point where ID is required to continue up the hill. We did a day trip up this road from the Royal Residence camp ground to have a look before commiting ourselves to a move to the camp ground. Again very windy at the camp ground and farther up what is quite a rough road. At the top check point we were told we could continue to a lookout point but to go no farther, there is an army camp farther up where we were told visitors are not welcome and that if anyone arrives there the person at the check point will be in trouble and the road is likely to be closed at the check point. Very little bird activity probably because of the wind so we decided not to camp there and stayed at the Royal Residence.

RIP 2018 - Robby will always be remembered for his sharing of his trips and knowledge. Missed by all.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Paul T

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30 Apr 2017 15:40 #4384 by Robby L
Replied by Robby L on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
Tat Mok NP revisited


We had promised Ying’s sister’s 2 girls we would take them on a trip in the school holidays and Tat Mok was first of the 4 parks I planned to visit with them. We had told them there was a small river there where they could swim and they were keen to get in the water. After we had set up camp I went with them to look at the swimming hole only to see a Reticulated Python already in residence, that put a quick end of the swimming ambitions.



There was still the waterfall I could take them to so we headed up there the next morning to walk the track to the falls. First thing we saw was a forktail sitting on the first bridge across the stream.



Slaty-backed Forktail

We were to see several of these birds on the way up and back including one that had a nest in a hollow log in the stream. It had a beak full of insects to feed the young in the nest but was reluctant to enter the hollow log when we were there, flitting back and forward then when we moved on it hopped along the track in front of us till it was satisfied we were no longer a threat, it then flew back up the stream presumably to carry on feeding it’s brood.



Yellow-rumped Flycatcher

There were many stream crossings on the way up and back, most could be negotiated by carefully stepping on dry rocks and once by walking across a large fallen tree.



The waterfall itself was OK as waterfalls go and behind it there is an extensive area of cliffs a great habitat for Serow which are said to be present in the park.



I managed to sneak away the next morning before the girls woke and went for a walk to the conservation and nursery area spotting a deer on the track unfortunately it was too quick for me to get a photo. When I got back to camp I took the girls for a drive to this area then back to the main road for ice creams.
I had time in the early mornings and evenings to do a bit of looking around for birds and got some reasonable photos including a new species for me a Black-throated Laughingthrush.



Black-throated Laughingthrush

Birds

Ashy Woodswallow
Asian-brown Flycatcher
Asian Fairy Bluebird
Black-headed Bulbul
Black-naped Oriole
Black-throated Laughingthrush
Bronzed Drongo
Chinese Pond Heron
Common Iora
Crimson Sunbird
Dollarbird
Emerald Dove
Golden-fronted Leafbird
Green-billed Malkoha
Grey-eyed Bulbul
Mountain Bulbul
Moustached Barbet
Olive-backed Sunbird
Pinstripe Tit Babbler
Radde’s Warbler
Red-eared Bulbul
Slaty-backed Forktail
Sooty-headed Bulbul
Spangled Drongo
Streak-eared Bulbul
Streaked Spiderhunter
Stripe-throated Bulbul
Taica Flycatcher
Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon
White-rumped Sharma
White-throated Kingfisher
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher

RIP 2018 - Robby will always be remembered for his sharing of his trips and knowledge. Missed by all.

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01 May 2017 21:10 #4385 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
Swimming with any reticulated python under 4m long is fine.
But I understand that was impossible to explain to your nieces, haha. To most people snakes and danger are inseparable. Resulting in so many unnecessary casualties amongst snakes.

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