This birding tour is to the best spots for Northern Thailand. It combines all habitats and altitudes for most of the birds found here. Although the list of species is very impressive I only included the list of birds I have seen here in the itinerary. I am sure we will spot species I have yet to spot as it happens more often than not. The accommodations are clean and comfortable and they will do an early breakfast for us with delicious food. We will take a lunch with us prepared by the kitchen at the bungalows. Dinner will be several dishes of delicious Thai food.
We will meet you his morning at 6:00 AM in Chiang Mai and travel 40 minutes to the area for birding at Chiantg Dao.
After arriving at the birding area in Chiang Dao we bird the tall forest here has Orange-breasted Trogon, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Dark-necked Tailorbird, Puff-throated Bulbul, Two-barred Greenish Warbler and others. Along the temple steps we may see the Streaked Wren-Babbler, Sultan Tit, Asian Barred Owlet, Speckled Piculet, and Asian Paradise Flycatcher,. More open areas, and scanning from the temple, might produce Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Brown-backed Needletail, Scarlet Minivet, Violet Cuckoo, Blue-throated Barbet, Great Barbet, Blue-winged Leafbird, Orange-bellied Leafbird or Asian Fairy Bluebird.
We then have lunch then on to Fang and Thaton for the evening. (2 hour drive). Herer we will check into your bungalow with hot shower, air conditioning and western style toilet. We then enjoy a nice Thai food dinner. The Crimson Sunbird makes the area at the bungalows their home.(L,D)
This morning we have breakfast at 5 AM and depart for San Ju on the Western sloop of Doi Lang. . This area is the preferred habitat of Mrs. Hume's Pheasant and Mountain Bamboo Partridge, which are seen regularly. From here to the army checkpoint at 35.1 the habitat is a mixture of open dense grassland with stands of scattered oak and pine. The undergrowth supports the White-bellied Redstart, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, White-browed Laughingthrush, Aberrant Bush Warbler and Grey-crowned Warbler. Larger pines should be checked for Giant Nuthatch, and the oaks for Sapphire Flycatcher, Himalayan Cutia and Rufous-backed Sibia among others. Odd rarities have turned up, such as Scarlet Finch, White-gorgeted Flycatcher, Velvet fronted and Giant Nuthatch, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Slaty-blue Flycatcher, Silver-eared Laughingthrush and Rufous-bellied Niltava. The forest edge and open grassland around the Army Camp, and for a kilometre or so after, can be good for buntings, with Little Bunting, Crested Bunting and Chestnut Bunting, Brown Bush Warbler and Pale-footed Bush Warbler in winter. Crested Finchbill and Brown-breasted Bulbul occur seasonally and Mountain Bamboo Partridge is often at field edges. The Spot-breasted and Grey-headed Parrotbill, Siberian Rubythroat, Blue-breasted flycatcher, Small Niltava, Grey-headed Pigmy Woodpecker, Spot-breasted and lesser Yellownape woodpecker. . On the way back down the mountain we make 2 stops where these are often seen.
Return to the bungalows for the evening. (B,L,D)
This morning we have breakfast at 5 AM and depart for the Eastern sloop of Doi Lang. Most of this road is not paved so we will need to hire a covered pick-up to take the dirt road, it will be bumpy but well worth the trip as the rarest birds found in Thailand are here.
The road passes various areas of open and closed evergreen forest and, although some sections are rather steep, anywhere along here is worthy of inspection. The Asian Jungle fowl may be seen many times on the road if front of us. Rufous-throated Partridge can often be heard, and other possibilities include Eyebrowed Wren-Babbler, Aberrant Bush Warbler, Large Niltava, Fire-capped Tit, Red-headed Trogon, Himalayan Bluetail, Yunnan Fulvetta and White-necked Laughingthrush to name but a few. In cold winters migrant thrushes could include Eyebrowed Thrush, Chestnut Thrush and Black-breasted Thrush. Just before the upper army camp tall evergreen forest with many epiphytes and lichens start to appear and look good. Around here can be good for Golden Babbler, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, White-headed Bulbul and Chestnut-headed Tesia.
We then travel on to the Army Camp near the summit where they feed the birds with rice scraps and fruit, so that several species are confiding and easily photographed behind the camp, including (Red-faced) Scarlet-faced Liocichla, Himalayan Bluetail, Dark-backed Sibia, Silver-eared Laughingthrush, White-bellied Redstart, Red-tailed Laughingthrush, Ultramarine Flycatcher and often Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, White-bellied Redstart. Blue-fronted Robin, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Ultramarine Flycatcher, White-browed Laughiingthrush Occasionally Rufous-throated Partridge wanders through the area. As these local birds consume a fair amount of food throughout the day it's a welcome gesture to bring a large bunch of bananas to assist the army staff to feed them.
Immediately after the army camp the road descends a fairly steep slope and then continues, more or less on the level, for a couple of kilometers. It is well worth walking this section as most of the area's specialties have been found her from time to time, including Black-throated Bushtit, Yellow-browed Tit, Crested Finchbill, Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Long-tailed Sibia, Whiskered Yuhina and Crimson-breasted Woodpecker. Forest understorey species include Chestnut-headed Tesia, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Lesser Shortwing, White-tailed Robin and, very rarely Spotted Elachura. Also White's Thrush, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler and Grey-headed Parrotbill. It's a good area for Bay Woodpecker and Rusty-naped Pitta.
Return to the bungalows on the same road spotting birds along the way. (B,L,D)
This morning we have breakfast at 6:30 AM and depart for Chiang Mai. We travel to the first Army check point we passed yesterday and bird there. We then turn left on paved road and follow the base os Doi Lang and spot lower level birds at and altitude of 1800 meters and lower. There are many species here not found at the higher altitudes on Doi Lang or the birds a lower altitudes like in Chiang Mai and Chiang Dao.
Species along here include Greater Coucal, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Ashy-throated Woodswallow, Striated Swallow and Barn Swallow, with the occasional Blue Rock Thrush on rocky outcrops. Large areas of bamboo are also found which have some of the more skulking species such as Puff-throated Babbler. Other species possible include Shikra, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Puff-throated Babbler, and Buff-chested Babbler. Mountain Scops Owl and Large-tailed Nightjar.
These areas are often good for flycatchers and warblers such as Little Pied Flycatcher, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Davison's Leaf Warbler and the occasional Claudia's Leaf Warbler, Maroon Oriole, Great Barbet, White-rumped Munia, Hill Blue Flycatcher, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Streaked Spiderhunter, Black Bulbul and Ashy Drongo. Others, less regularly seen, include Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Grey-headed Parakeet and Pin-tailed Parrotfinch. Long-tailed Shrike, Pied Bush Chat and Grey Bush Chat.
Return to Chiang Mai and your hotel. (B,L)
End tour, this is a private tour.