What a year that was, 2021 ... So a year of living alone, very little birding, no job and drinking too much !! Finally, in December I did manage to get away up to Doi Lang in Chiang Mai for a week with a couple of good friends. The birding wasn't too great, but the chance to get away was well appreciated.
Day 1. The first day was spent on the West Side. First stop was for the magnificent Hume's Pheasant, which didn't show, but there were plenty of other good birds around. I managed to take a bit of video footage of a few species, too. I have recently been making (or at least trying to) videos for my YouTube channel, but my camera is a bit too old for videography and the focal tracking is just awful.. Anyway, you can check out my attempt at videoing the Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Spot-breasted Parrotbill and others here.
Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler
So a bit further along the trail we met up with an old friend in the Spot-breasted Parrotbill... a real regular but always great to see. Other birds of note for the day were Common Rosefinch, Slaty-blue Flycatcher, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch and Grey-backed Shrike.
Day 2. So off to the East side today. We managed to get in earlier than the now enforced 8 am (It's a wonder what a bottle of whiskey will get you!!) The army checkpoint at the top was really quiet and pretty devoid of birds apart from Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Himalayan Bluetail and various Phylloscopus Warblers. I know I could have birded longer for more results, but my aim on this trip was hide video so we headed up to the San Ju viewpoint. The weather was cool, the views spectacular and the birding just fine.
Now no one can be disappointed with this.... A superb male Blue-fronted Redstart. and video to boot!!
And this super cool White-headed Bulbul.
Day 3. Back to the West Side for today, the last day. Hume's Pheasant again was a no show (This was my first trip of not seeing it) but plenty of other good birds. Grey Bushchats, Japanese Tits giving me a little video footage.
Further down the road the super cute Black-throated Tit posed for a while and then one of my photographic nemeses. The superb Spectacled Barwing.. I have seen this bird many times but this was the first time I've ever got a half-decent shot of it. Not a great shot, but I'm happy for now.
Other good birds were Chestnut-Bellied Rock Thrush, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Brown-breasted Bulbul, and Streaked Spiderhunter among others. Not a great total for me over the three days, but that wasn't my intention for this trip. The main goal was to try to get some good or half-decent video footage.
Please take a moment to take a look at some of my Doi Lang trip videos here :
I know they are not great and I have consigned myself to the fact that I really need to buy a new camera body. Well, I hope to be back at Doi Lang soon with a new camera for some more Thaibirdspot adventures. If anyone would like to join me on a trip, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org