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Friday, 2 March 2018

Thailand Day 21 Dark-sided Thrush

We made our second visit to the summit first this morning and this time we connected with Dark-sided Thrush! 

  If we wanted to see Dark-sided Thrush, while we were in Doi Inthanon National Park, we had to get on that boardwalk up at the summit as early as possible. A lift from a Danish birding couple, Frank and Ozil from our digs, got us up there for 07.00 and there were already people there! In the next hour, we were the only ones on the boardwalk and the first birds we saw were the usual crowed we  got when we were here two days ago. Red-flanked Bluetail, and White-browed Flycatcher and Shortwing were, like before, showing at close range. Martin decided to sit and wait on the boardwalk in an area that looked the ideal habitat for the Dark-sided Thrush while I continued further down the and got a Eye-browed Thrush in bad light.
  It wasn't long until I got the shout from Martin and I ran up towards him. sharp eyed Frank had the Dark-sided Thrush in the very spot where Martin was looking! In the next twenty minutes we all observed the thrush only a few meters away from us giving us brief but good views when it came out into the open. It spent most of it's time in one spot digging deeper into a hole foraging for food. The crowds were starting to arrive and the thrush moved on deeper into the undergrowth where we lost it. I knew that there was goin to be 100s of people coming down very shortly and decided to return to the road and left the others on the boardwalk.

Dark-sided Thrush disappearing deeper into a hole that it's dug with it's long bill 

  For the next hour I went looking for Claudia's Leaf Warbler but all I could find were both Blyth's Laef and Ashy-throated Warbler singing all over the shop. Martin, Frank and Ouzil came out into the hot sun to tell me that they had 2 Dark-sided Thrushes together on the boardwalk!
  Non of us had breakfast this morning and it was now past mid-day. So we made our ways to the rangers station that is looked after by the military who have a radar station at the summit. As it was so hot we relaxed on the balcony that overlooks secondary forest edge while we got stuck into our pork satee. An Eyed-browed Thrush was feeding on berries and one of the soldiers threw some rice out from the balcony and immediately 2 Dark-sided sibia and Chestnut Laughingthrush came in. While we were trying to get photos of the thrush, Frank quietly said 'Partridge!' We looked down below us and there were 4 Rufus-throated Partridge feeding on the rice. Cracking birds! I made my way out to the car park and there were both male Chestnut-bellied and Blue Rock Thrush singing on the masts of the radar station.

Female Green-tailed Sunbird

There were up to 4 Rufus-throated Partridge being fed out the back of the rangers station. A few years back these partridges were fed behind the toilets at the shops but they stopped doing it and the partridge were no longer seen there. It looks like they've moved just up road where they are now fed everyday. 

The partridge were being fed just behind the building at the rangers station and to the right is where both species of rock thrushes were singing

 It was now 16.00 and we were ready to return to Mr Daeng's for somethin to eat! All this walking and relaxing makes you so hungry. As we approached the car, I saw a thrush sized bird in the corner of my eye fly into the shade and lifting my bins it was an Eye-browed Thrush, so I thought. It quickly moved on with two other birds. It wasn't long until Martin relocated the thrushes in a berry tree in the main square of the shop area just above all the visitors walking around and being very noisy! We noted that the thrushes lacked the buff on the sides and thought that they could be Grey-sided Thrush. As I ain't done any homework , I didn't know what I was looking for. They looked like Eye-browed Thrush with no buff on the flanks and when we got home Martin confirmed that we observed 5 Grey-sided Thrush and they are regular up at the summit. something else we didn't know about.


In one tree we had a flock of 5 Grey-sided Thrush in the shop area just above the heads of the visitors. It was great to observe these stunning thrushes at close range. 

The tree where the thrushes hang out next to the shops. They must favour this area as they have got used to the 100s of people that visit every day!


Blyth's Leaf Warbler were in good numbers singing all over the shop!

Also good numbers of Ashy-throated Warbler

Dark-backed Sibia

Chestnut-tailed Minla

Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush

A very large froghopper?? Any ideas?

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