Notes From The Jacuzzi: North Thailand

halftwo

Wird Batcher
Well it seems we missed out on the volcano!

Now north of Chiang Rai (which is almost as far north as you can go in Thailand) where we appear to have the resort to ourselves! So the pool & jacuzzi are ours.

The good news Larry is: the Japanese white eyes are still here: there's loads of the little beauts!
This morning I flushed a Pitta. Utv of a probable Rusty naped. Grrr.

So as the temp climbed I retreated back to the pool. Now yesterday I saw just one raptor - Shikra. So today's raptor mega-fest was unexpected.

First a Grey-faced buzzard. Then at 11:15 everything was up: suddenly two Crested serpent eagles and a Mountain hawk eagle shared airspace, then two aquila eagles (I know!) were with a Crested goshawk: I think Tawny or Steppe - but not enough to clinch the id. One was chasing the other!
It gets better: male Pied harrier gets up, soars & goes overhead! Fantastic!
Next five Black bazas up together - great birds.
I thought it had finished & was having a swim when TWO ad. male AMUR FALCONS were above & insect catching: superb!

OK a question: should the swiftlets here & now all be Indochinese?

So: later hot on the Pitta trail: in fact very hot & insecty on the Pitta trail. Again I flushed two birds from the same bit of dense undergrowth. This time I got nothing on either! At least the first I got a green mantle & wing and a blue rump. Yesterday at the lake nearby I had cracking views of a Blue-eared kingfisher. And upslope a pair of Indian cuckoos.

From the hotel Blue throated barbets sing out and a rather obliging Indochinese cuckoo-shrike singing from a dead tree could be scoped from our balcony. Nice.

Koels call out: which is wierd as they're out of range in Robson. Striated and Barn swallows are swanning around, Purple sunbird is the default sunbird, which is nice, and Sooty-headed and Red-whiskered bulbuls the common species here. Lesser whistling duck fly past at dusk. A Greater yellownape landed just in sight yesterday.

One and a haf ticks on the Pitta trail today: male Siberian blue robin (I've not seen an adult male before) and a Yellow-vented warbler. A Buff-breasted babbler and White rumped shamas added variety.

Anyway - gotta go - room service has just arrived.
 

rockfowl

Mark Andrews
Nice - Enjoy and good luck with the old hopping jewels!

Black Baza and Pied Harrier :eek!: Doesn't get better :t:
 
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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
A few years ago I had back trouble and developed the concept of supine birding, and while on a conference in Nepal claimed I was doing vultures surveys from the pool, but hats off for a stunning array of raptors from the pool!

Great stuff!

Mike

PS top title too
 

John Barber

Well-known member
H,

I had intended to tell you that I'd seen the Ring Ouzel at Rostherne - but after reading your report on the wonders of Asia, I think I'll just keep quiet !!

No sign of Falco Subbuteo yet, but at least the weather is lovely.

Incidentally, the last time this volcano erupted that's causing all the problems in Europe - during the 19th century - it apparently lasted for two years. So it might be a good idea to stock up on the suntan lotion !
 
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halftwo

Wird Batcher
Three Megas in a Morning

Thanks for the replies folks: more to follow: it appears that we now have to share the resort with five others - crowded or what?

This morning along my usual route & no sight nor sound of the Pitta - didn't have time to be disappointed though: a knocking sound from a bamboo stand had me creeping up on it.
Now you know the rule: if something's pecking intently ignore all else and home in. That's a rule, OK?

So, there was the culprit: chipping chunks from a bamboo stem as thick as your leg: only a bird with perhaps the smallest range within Thailand: PALE-HEADED WOODPECKER! What a corker. Later it was drumming - and on bamboo that's loud!

The Blue-eared kingfishers gave a good show and I headed back. Great iora & Asian brown fly, plus a Shama at a nest hole - in bamboo. The White-throated fantails are building, the Bronzed drongos are feeding young: it's all happening.

So, one tick in & I'm nearly back at the hotel. Now you've remembered the rule? OK. So, along the road I hear a quiet peck, peck-peck. But things were happening all around. But the rule, the rule! Oh, sod it; I looked around me: THERE IT WAS : LONG-TAILED BROADBILL!!! About ten yards off, right in the open, looking at my gobsmacked face! For several seconds we watched each other, then off it went. I managed to miss them everywhere else so that was a real turn up.

But the peck, peck pecking was still right beside me. Concentrate. There: a tiny movement: WHITE-BROWED PICULET, looking much better than the illustrations - fantastic! This was at about 5 yards at eye level! Soon it too was away into cover and I floated back to the resort.

Now a question for you White-eye experts: I have seen what I'm fairly confident are Japanese white eyes - small flocks of fours or fives. But also there are Oriental w-e nesting here (above the jacuzzi, in fact.)(meantime the nesting OWE foage alone, hardly surprisingly!)
Now the problem I have is that the OWE do not have any trace of yellow keels as they're supposed: & I've had the scope at the nest from close range. Believe me when I tell you this. They do have yellow fore-crowns - they can only be OWE.
Now the Japanese w-e I can't for the life of me see the supposedly obvious yellow loral stripe - but they do have greenish fore-crowns: in fact when I saw the first I was confused & kept looking for the chestnut flanks as I thought they must be C-f w-e!! Confusion!
So, are the JWE still here as the OWE nest - and why do neither look like they ought????

Anyway...last night & again as I write, a large fat lizard thing calls a loud "jik daw" with the latter note stressed. We thought it was hunting geckos on our outside wall. It's about 9 or so inches long & really chubby. Any ideas?

Back on the trail this pm. & the Pale headed woodies gave excellent views as they chased around. Later a Laced woodpecker was drumming & a flight view was the better of it. A Ruby-cheeked sunbird shone in the gloom & a Racket-tailed treepie & Green-billed malkoha added to the general list, as did a Lineated barbet.

Strangely today no raptors - but the weather's changed - now thundering & raining.

Gotta go again - dinner time.B :)
 

DMW

Well-known member
Anyway...last night & again as I write, a large fat lizard thing calls a loud "jik daw" with the latter note stressed. We thought it was hunting geckos on our outside wall. It's about 9 or so inches long & really chubby. Any ideas?

Sounds like a Tokay Gecko.

Isn't Long-tailed Broadbill wonderful! It may just be the world's best bird.
 
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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
I had Tokay Geckos at my accommodation in Doi Chiang Dao a few years ago. What I loved was the was that after a few loud bursts it finishes with an embarrassed-sounding "tok-Kaaay - tok-Kaay tok-Kaay . . . owrl".

Cheers
Mike
 

joannec

Well-known member
Good stuff H and glad you're enjoying yourself............these birds are only a dream for me! With you away for an indeterminate amount of time it'll give us rural English garden listers time to catch up.;)
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
United Kingdom
Great stuff H - glad you missed the crap in BKK. Pale-headed Wood - good find!! Wish I was there rather than here.....
 

halftwo

Wird Batcher
[FONT=&quot]HI all,

Thanks for the info re Tokay Gecko - sounds right. I'll look up that link later. Hope to be heading to Doi Ang - have a hire car booked for three days tomorrow.
But no info re White-eyes, nor Swiftlets. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]file:///C:/Users/Dilli/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.gif[/FONT][FONT=&quot]On the White-eye front I've taken Japanese off the list pending any further info: just not entirely happy with the id.

So, whenever I go on my little jaunts, as I'm usually stuck for days in places rarely birded, I usually find something out of range, and today was no exception.

Before I start on today's forays: I forgot to mention that on the first day I saw both Long-tailed & Burmese shrikes: the latter a tick - in fact the former almost one too, as , for the life of me I don't recall seeing one before - though I know it's on! Also a small colony of Baya weavers nearby.

And so to today. I found some better habitat a little further away: which is great as the Law of Diminishing Returns was beggining to apply to the Pitta trail.
First up a perched Oriental honey buzzard. Yellow bellied warblers next. Now the out-of ranger: Grey-cheeked fulvetta: I've seen two now (and, a Brown-cheeked): Robson says 900m+. I'm at 500m.

It turned into a Babbler day: next a couple of skulking Grey-throated just giving good enough views. Right on their tails another Long-tailed broadbill ! Yes, one of the best ever (though Whitehead's beats it in my book.)

But down by the stream something incomming fast & calling, happened to stop briefly in a tree right by me: SPECKLED PICULET! That's all three on my list now. Another Laced woody next and a Blue-naped monarch: common I know but such good birds, eh? This place is Shama city: I've never seen so many as here. continued........

[/FONT]
 

halftwo

Wird Batcher
cont.... More Babblers: Pin-striped & Buff-breasted and the first of two Asian paradise flycatchers - nice. Up slope were a pair of Drongo cuckoos: another cracking bird. There was a under-wing stripe visible on one bird as it flew - not mentioned in text - like the edge of the coverts were white-tipped (anyone recall seeing this?) And do I remember something about ssp. split - square tailed & forked? - these did look rather square - but tails are deceptive).

Both Black-headed & Black-crested bulbuls today. By a lake a probable Thick-billed warbler stayed typically in dense cover, but the Blue-eared kingfisher with a fish gave great views. At last I've been in Thailand long enough to begin to recognise (& ignore) common birds: this time a Common iora singing ended the morning.

At the jacuzzi the Oriental white-eye young are out of the nest, but again no raptors today. The poolside tiles are so hot that the feral pigeons coming to drink have a comical hop & skip as their feet begin to fry!

Back at the same spot this pm (vv hot) and a trio of Spot-necked babblers along the stream gave glimpses enough to id. A tytleri (?) Barn swallow amongst the normally coloured ones was odd. A fantastic male Scarlet minivet chasing his mate in sunset light was just superb. But the day wasn't done.

A Rufous treepie preceded the final babbler - a roadside rustle & suddenly a Chestnut-capped babbler was feet away - a really nice bird. Up on power cables a Chestnut headed bee-eater hunting insects, then a pigeon (green type) flew past. So damned difficult to get to grips with.

Two Racket-tailed treepies, a Blue-throated flycatcher, a Red-throated fly and another BN Monarch together with Oriental white-eyes and a phyllosc too shy to id. almost ended the day's birding. But as I got to the exact spot where I saw it yesterday, the White-browed piculet flew slowly across the road in front of me and landed in plain view!

As the bats came out just before dark, and thunder clouds gathered a flock of about 35 drongos were hawking in a crowd, permanently airborne. A Crested goshawk came past the balcony.
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Hoorray for H!

Think the swiftlets should be Indochinese, but don't think many if any people split them from Himalayan, and doubt anyone knows where all the Himalayans might be in the spring. Don't know if OWE up there should always have yellow keel or not. You'll have to ask someone more zosteropidologically minded. Why don't birds look like they should, even in well birded areas? They are naughty, that's why. Grey-cheeked Fulvetta has been split by some (most?) into about 4. Think yours should be Yunnan F, but better check that. Think there should be only one sp of Drongo Cuckoo in Thailand as they're split so far, so no need to walk miles into the forest only to get thoroughly lost under a tree looking up at something invisible going pee pee pee pee pee pee pee when you'd rather be in a jacuzzi. Isn't Yellow-vented Warbler surely the best phyllosc?

Gripped by the woodie and the Amur Falcon. and looking forward to being gripped some more :t:.
 
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halftwo

Wird Batcher
Hoorray for H!

Think the swiftlets should be Indochinese, but don't think many if any people split them from Himalayan, and doubt anyone knows where all the Himalayans might be in the spring Grey-cheeked Fulvetta has been split by some (most?) into about 4. Think yours should be Yunnan F, but better check that.
Gripped by the woodie and the Amur Falcon. and looking forward to being gripped some more :t:.

Thanks Larry. Are you home yet? Will have to do some checking when I get home.

This am two ticks: Streaked spiderhunter & Silver-breasted broadbill.
Then the hire car arrived & I went to see the Mekong river & Lao People's Rep.
As I got there dozens of Small pratincoles & Plain martins were flying around - both ticks. Two more Speckled piculets picking & a sum plum Chinese pond heron.

This evening about 15 miles from here I stumbled across a mega in a lovely bit of open forest & she sat and let me study her: CHESTNUT-BELLIED ROCK THRUSH!!!

Gotta be quick - byee
 

rockfowl

Mark Andrews
Two fantastic Broadbill lifers then, not sure which is best, the Disney created Long-tailed or the spanking pocket dynamite in Silver-breasted, Mmmmm!
 

halftwo

Wird Batcher
Two fantastic Broadbill lifers then, not sure which is best, the Disney created Long-tailed or the spanking pocket dynamite in Silver-breasted, Mmmmm!

Deffo the LTB: though the SBB was great.

Forgot to mention: Pied stonechat on return & female Pied harrier on the way out.
I've a big milestone coming up - which I will talk about tomorrow.

Seems the tinternet here will only allow a limited amount of input - hence the brevity. And time constraints...yadayadayada.
 
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