Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Birding at Doi Inthanon, North Thailand - 4th day

13/1/2008 - The final day of birding at Doi Inthanon

I thought that we can escapee the cold as we shift from EGAT at KM30 to the Karen Eco-Lodge at KM26 last night. Towards to the late night till to the early morning the cold breeze is indeed let me able to experienced what is the meaning of COLD. Office and Data Center air-con coldness is nothing compare to the real coldness at that Doi. Due to Karen Eco-Lodge do not have the facilities of hot shower many of my friends skip bath, but I did have a brief quick bath with 3 scoops of water to wash hair and 2 scoops of water with little body foam. Finish off with 2 scoops of water to rinse off. Every scoops of water indeed a real struggle that makes me keeps mumbling "AAARGh.... Coooold". Anyway after the struggle inside the bath room it makes me feels good and smells good.. :-)

VERY.. cooooold... through out the night, I keeps wonder when is 5am cause due to the coldness I could not have a good rest even though I'm very tired. At last 5am arrived, this morning I have to skip bath even though is my normal routine after I jump out from bed.

Breakfast with only a Cup of thai instant noodles is very yummy. Thai instant noodles taste more better than those from Malaysia.: -) After that we pack our gears and head back to KM30. We wish to have a glimpse of the Black Tailed Crake near a small marsh lake near the campsite. As we are aware that Crake normally is a very shy bird, each one of us choose our own corner to try our luck. I and a few choose to stand near the bird hide. If the cold breeze is unbearable the hide can shed it away. We wait and wait... we have a lone blue flycatcher appears not far from me. Scan it with my binoculars. Me, Mam, Siew Ping, Kim and Lam determined it is the Hill Blue Flycatcher. Still no activities near the marsh yet. Waiting for bird who do not understand what is appointment is really an agony.
This is the marsh land all our eyes are set to this little place, waiting for any movements around this spot. We have no sign of Crake but we have Olive Backed Pipit. :-( Anyway that would gives us all the reason to comes back to Doi Inthanon cause in Birding lifers cannot be keeps pouring. A few young children in their hand a few bunch of flowers keeps pestering us to buy from them. This young children can speak very good American English, therefore don't bully them. They just want to earn some pocket monies. A bunch of flowers is only 10baht. Uncle B bought a bunch of flowers from them and he then hand this flowers to me. As of today this bunch of flowers are in my house living hall.

We then head to Royal Project to try our luck having in mind to met up the Common Rosefinch. Setting goals for able to tick this spp and that spp is norm but able to see them is another stories. That morning I realised that Agricultural Royal Project is indeed very huge.
Coincidentally we bird near Ling's Farm that morning. That site can gives us a good view on the valley with rows and rows of vegetables plots. Mam our thai birder friend met some farmers and as they exchange some greetings she asked about the Daurian Redstart, a good quality migrants that we wish to tick. That farmer replied Daurian Redstart oooh is actually now at my farm..you come.. come.. We all rush from all directions to Daurian Redstart. The farmers normally would spread some seeds as an offering to the bird. Daurian Redstart would linger at his farm until the migrant season is over. He mentioned that it has been a few years already that this same Daurian Redstart would be wintering at his farm. A few of my friends use the tree trunk to hide of their present. I sat on the ground with less movements to view and takes it's photos. This bird I realised behave alittle bit cautions of it's surrounding as we try to aim for a better pictures. Someone in our group says.. let try with no flash/lower down the flash as to not to scared it.
While waiting for the Daurian Redstart to appear to feeds again, I noticed Olive Backed Pipit and some warbler. None of my friends bother them cause everyone wish to have a better glance of the Daurian Redstart. I point my lens to one of the character (The Olive Backed Pipit).
Everyone is with good smile on their face as we never could expect to be able to tick Daurian Redstart. At about 11am we head down to KM26 to check out. The weather is a bit warm now. Now in the daylight I have a better looks at this small kampung type of accommodation that we spend a night. Inside this hut, it lay 2 very big hand made hard mattress. Each mattress can fits 3 person laying down like corpse. The bathroom and toilet is attached outside of this hut. The rental of this hut is not cheap, 1000Baht per night.
This is one of the van that we hire together with it's driver for our birding trips. Very cozy van and the drivers is a very skillful driver.
After I have settled the bill at Karen Eco-Lodge we head down to KM14 - Doi Inthanon National Park Information Center, overlooking the Mae Klang river on the left. The road passes through open dry dipterocarp forest. Aim to hunt for the Collared Falconet by scanning on those tress as show at the picture below. This is my second time stop-over at this spot, we scan on every tree tops to look out for a bird like the Black-Thighed Falconet. We sighted no Falconet :-(
This is how they keeps this national park clean. This is how the maintenace worker do their jobs. They use hand to pick up any unwanted rubbish. I was quite impress on their attitudes towards their jobs.
The information centre at KM14 is worthwhile to walk in. The poster of Birdlife at Doi Inthanon inform us that at the top those are the amount of birds that can be found years back as the times past the amount of birds is at the bottom chart. Well birdlifes gone due to habitat lost is one of the factors. :-(

Here we sighted a Grey Headed Canary Flycatcher.
2 lovers bird - Black Crested Bulbul keeping each other company.
A flock of Eurasian Jay. This bird perched very high.
We also sighted Orange-Fronted Leafbird, Coppersmith Barbet.
I can conclude that Doi Inthanon is indeed a must place to go for every birders, here is the foothill of the himalayan range. Bird life here is very different from what Malaysia can offer. I would come back again Doi Inthanon and hopes to be able to pick up more lifers.
If you are planning for a birding trips to Doi Inthanon, do click on the url link below.

No comments: