Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thailand Nov-Dec 08: 1st Dec - Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park

Attracted by the thought of a hot tub after the back-aching drive north as much as by the possibility of Spot-winged Grosbeaks, we headed for what is sometimes referred to in reports as Mae Fang Hot Springs. When we arrived the park was rather deserted, but we eventually found some very helpful staff who let us have a chalet for half price - the tourist exodus has some advantages!

In the early morning we walked upriver to a small dam about a kilometer upstream from headquarters. The forest here was quite lively, with a flock of about 20 grosbeaks giving brief flight views overhead, and a small party of calling Mountain Bamboo Partridges on the road.

The partridges were very wary and this blurred picture of a male was the only one I got.

The river was quite productive too, with Plumbeous Water Redstart, Slaty-backed Forktail, Blue Whistling Thrush and White-capped Water Redstart. The latter was nesting in the dam area.

This Grey-backed Shrike was feeding on insects being disturbed by a large bonfire. It was too wary to allow close approach.

Several Grey-eyed Bulbuls gave away their presence by nasal calls reminiscent of Finsch's Bulbul.

A Blue Rock Thrush hung around the hot springs area.

As did a fine male Golden-fronted Leafbird.

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