Thursday, 11 December 2014

11th December 2014 Chong Yen, Mae Wong NP

We walked down the first few kilometres of the road early in the morning where we saw an obliging Collared Owlet and a feeding flock of Pompadour Green-Pigeons. Just as we were making our way through the tall primary forest we heard the loud 'tok tok' call of the Rufous-necked Hornbill. We had absolutely no view from the primary forest, but from the direction of the call, we thought it might be visible from a viewpoint a couple of kilometres back up the road. We dashed back and every time it stopped calling, it was easy to imitate it that would start it calling again. Disaster struck when we were around just 200m short of the viewpoint when we heard the loud 'whosh' of Hornbills taking flight. Unbelievably a Thai lady birder had just ambled down to the viewpoint, oblivious to the calls, and seen what was in fact the pair of Hornbills fly away down the valley - it was her first morning at Chong Yen! As we were virtually back at the campsite we decided to try the Old Umphang Road until midday and again saw some memorable species including a pair of Eye-browed Wren-Babbler, a male Red-headed Trogon, a male Small Niltava and a male Siberian Thrush that had found the small berries to its liking. It had been our intention to leave Mae Wong National Park on this day, but we were really enjoying birding here and felt we were getting closer to seeing Rufous-necked Hornbill, so we decided to stay but because the rooms were fully booked we came to an arrangement with Annan to hire a tent and bedding and as we had run out of bread and bananas he was happy to cook an evening meal for us that he had offered every night since we had arrived for the princely sum of £1 each! The meal was a plate of mildly spicy vegetables and rice and even included shrimps. The friendly participants of a works camping outing supplemented our meals with hot Thai curry, Coca-Cola and then whisky! The evening was made even better by the appearance of 3 Great Eared Nightjars flying back and forth high over the campsite - I still remember Martyn Kenefick describing them as Hen Harrier-sized Nightjars from one of his trips to Thailand back in the 1980s. We then made another unsuccessful night-drive hoping to see or hear the Oriental Bay Owl before calling it a night retiring to the hard floor of the tent!

Pompadour Green Pigeon 10
Mountain Imperial Pigeon 10
Green-billed Malkoha 2
Mountain Scops Owl h
Collared Owlet 1
Great Eared Nightjar 3
Red-headed Trogon 1
Rufous-necked Hornbill h
Large Cuckooshrike 1
Ashy Minivet 2
Slender-billed Oriole 1
Maroon Oriole 1
Hair-crested Drongo 20
Grey Treepie 2
Yellow-cheeked Tit 4
Red-whiskered Bulbul 2
Red-rumped Swallow 6
Radde's Warbler 1
Eye-browed Wren-Babbler 2
White-necked Laughingthrush 2
Black-throated Laughingthrush 6
Silver-eared Mesia 8
Chestnut-flanked White-eye 6
Siberian Thrush 1 male
White-rumped Shama 1
Small Niltava 1 male
Blue Whistling Thrush 2
Taiga Flycatcher 3
Blue Rock Thrush 1
Black-throated Sunbird 1
Streaked Spiderhunter 3
White-rumped Munia 6

View from the road near Chong Yen, Mae Wong NP
Collared Owlet near Chong Yen, Mae Wong NP

Male Maroon Oriole near Chong Yen, Mae Wong NP
Chestnut-flanked White-eye near Chong Yen, Mae Wong NP
Male Small Niltava  near Chong Yen, Mae Wong NP
Male Red-headed Trogon near Chong Yen, Mae Wong NP

Radde's Warbler at Chong Yen, Mae Wong NP
Chong Yen campsite in Mae Wong NP
Sunset from Chong Yen campsite in Mae Wong NP