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Field Guides Tour Report
Thailand 2017
Jan 14, 2017 to Feb 4, 2017
Dave Stejskal. Jay VanderGaast & Uthai Treesucon

Wat's makeshift blind allowed us fantastic views of Blue Pitta this year, as shown in this image by participant Randy Siebert.

I'd been dreaming about doing the Thailand tour ever since I started with Field Guides back in 2000, so to say that I was excited to finally be assigned this trip is an understatement. And year after year of reading the reports from this tour only made me more keen to get here. After hearing how amazing everything was, from the birds, to the food, to our ground operator, my expectations were pretty high though, so I was ready for a reality check upon my arrival. But, from the moment I arrived in Bangkok, it was immediately apparent that all those wonderful things I'd heard about this tour were true, and this was destined to become a new favorite of mine. And everything over the next three weeks just reinforced that feeling--this was a truly amazing trip!

It all kicked off in Bangkok, with common species such as Coppersmith Barbet, Streak-eared Bulbul, and Plain-throated and Olive-backed sunbirds serving as part of the welcoming committee on the birdy grounds of our hotel. An initial afternoon visit to a couple of nearby temples (wats) gently eased us into the local birding scene and got us a couple of local species (Plaintive Cuckoo, Small Minivet) that we weren't to see again, before we headed south and the real show began.

Our first main birding destination was the coastal region to the south of Bangkok, where the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper was our most important target. Shortly after arriving at the salt pans at Pak Thale, we had two of these unique birds in our sights, a major trip highlight for all. The shorebird spectacle did not stop there, as we also found specialties such as Nordmann's Greenshank, Asian Dowitcher, and Broad-billed Sandpiper among the nearly 40 shorebird species we recorded in the region. Other goodies here included the first ever Black-headed Ibis and Slender-billed Gull on our Thailand tours, the second Oriental Darter we've seen here (one was seen in 2011), and the first Ferruginous Duck since 2004!

Turning inland, we spent the next few days at the incredible Kaeng Krachan National Park, and our forest birding kicked off with an almost overwhelming (in a good way) variety of wonderful SE Asian landbirds. Among the many, many highlights of our time in the upper part of the park were: incredible views of a male Gray Peacock-Pheasant; close looks at a scarce Little Cuckoo-Dove at a fruiting tree at the upper camp; our first encounters with the spectacular Great Hornbill; a beautiful Red-bearded Bee-eater perched in the subcanopy; a trio of wonderful broadbills (Long-tailed, Silver-breasted, and Black-and-yellow); the unique and very local Ratchet-tailed Treepie; striking Sultan Tits; and a great assortment of warblers, babblers, flycatchers, and bulbuls. Our day in the lower part of the park was no less exciting, with Black-thighed Falconet, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, a male Violet Cuckoo singing by the roadside, Greater and Common flamebacks showing well, one after the other, and the strangely shaped Heart-spotted Woodpecker comprising just some of the many fantastic birds that showed so well for us.

Moving on, we next headed for Khao Yai National Park northeast of Bangkok, where we continued our search for specialties of the southern half of the country. Here we enjoyed excellent looks at a pair of gorgeous Silver Pheasants feeding quietly in a bamboo-filled gully, a tiny Collared Owlet glaring down us from a perch over the road, confiding Orange-breasted Trogons, and the much shyer Red-headed Trogon, striking Banded Kingfishers perched inconspicuously in the canopy, and some close views of a pair of stunning Blue Pittas at a photographer's hide. The park was also great for large game, and a close encounter with an Indian (Asian) Elephant along the road, a Malayan Sun Bear that ran across in front of our vehicles, and the loud cries of two species of gibbons, as well as great views of White-handed Gibbon, kept things interesting and exciting. And though Thailand's national bird, the fantastic Siamese Fireback, eluded us at the park, a side trip to Sakaerat allowed us to catch up with this lovely creature.

Before we knew it, our time in the south had come to an end, and we were winging our way north to Chiang Mai and the mountain parks of the northwest. A whole new suite of birds awaited us here, and we dove in quickly at the summit of Doi Inthanon, where skulkers like Slaty-legged Crake, Dark-sided Thrush, White-browed Shortwing, and Pygmy Cupwing lurked in the shadows along the bog boardwalk, while shimmering Gould's and Green-tailed sunbirds, Yellow-cheeked Tits, Chestnut-tailed Minlas, and Silver-eared Laughingthrushes were among the brightly colored welcoming committee along the roadway. In the forests on the lower slopes we found beautiful Black-headed Woodpeckers, charming Slaty-bellied Tesias dancing in the undergrowth like little manakins, stunning Silver-eared Mesias and an inquisitive pair of Spectacled Barwings, Small and Vivid niltavas, White-capped Redstart, and all three species of forktail. And at Mr T's we enjoyed a morning on the tower with Blossom-headed Parakeets, Racket-tailed Treepies, Black-hooded Orioles, Purple Sunbird, and more before moving on to Doi Lang and Doi Ang Khang.

Doi Lang was memorable for many things, not least the lack of traffic, which Inthanon had in spades. It was also notable for the number of point-blank views of normally tough-to-see species courtesy of the numerous baiting sites set up by photographers. Siberian Rubythroat, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler, White-gorgeted, Rufous-gorgeted, Slaty-Blue, and Ultramarine flycatchers (all males!), Rufous-bellied Niltava (male!), and White-bellied Restart (male!) were among the many otherwise tricky species we saw incredibly well at these feeding stations. The scarce and very shy Hume's Pheasant was another bird lured in by photographers, and a long, silent wait in the vans resulted in unbeatable views of these gorgeous birds, too. Of course there were plenty of species that we had to find the old-fashioned way as well. And find them we did, from the very local Giant Nuthatch, to uncommon species like Long-tailed and Rufous-backed sibias, Gray-headed and Spot-breasted parrotbills, Black-throated Tit, and the striking Himalayan Cutia, which we saw for the first time ever on this tour, and boy what looks!

We finished up our tour with visits to Doi Ang Khang, where Asian Emerald Cuckoo, a daytime Hodgson's Frogmouth, and the brilliantly colored Scarlet-faced Liocichla were among the highlights, and the royal project outside of Chiang Mai where a roosting male Green Peafowl and a group of 4 close Black Bazas flying overhead were especially memorable. A last-minute walk on the lower slopes of Doi Su Thep gave us our final new bird of the trip, the ever-elusive White-necked Laughingthrush.

As always on such trips, we owe a great deal of thanks to our local operator and various other folks who help us along the way, and this is even more true on this Thailand tour. From the moment we arrived in-country, we found ourselves in the capable hands of Wat, our amazing ground operator who made sure that every aspect of this tour went as smoothly as possible. Wat's wonderful crew of Gayle, Nyung, and Took kept us well fed, providing a great assortment of tasty snacks, hot coffee, and some of the best field meals imaginable, which allowed your guides to focus on birds and not worry about meals. And our drivers, Jiang and Jun, got us around the country safely and comfortably in our plush, completely wired vans. Last but not least, Uthai's knowledge of the country's bird life, his local contacts, and his up-to-the-minute info on what was being seen where allowed us to enjoy a great selection of the marvelous avifauna of this wonderful country.

Many thanks to all of you as well, for joining us on this trip, and for playing a part in making it a success. It was a pleasure birding with all of you, and we hope to see you all in the field again someday soon.


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
LESSER WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna javanica) – The most commonly seen duck of the trip, with especially large numbers in the coastal lowlands around Laem Phak Bia.
RUDDY SHELDUCK (Tadorna ferruginea) – A trio of these handsome large ducks took wing as we emerged from the vans at the Doi Lo rice paddies, but they circled around and gave us all a great flyby view after we all managed to disembark. A rather uncommon wintering bird in Thailand, and these were a country tick for Dave.
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus coromandelianus) – A dedicated stop at some ponds en route from Kaeng Krachan to Khao Yai gave us great views of these small geese, with about 29 birds being present on the main pond. Our only other sighting was of some seen from the bus as we headed towards Sakaerat a couple of days later.

According to guide Dave Stejskal, who grabbed this image, our group had the best views ever of Hume's Pheasant among the 20 Thailand tours that he's guided.

GADWALL (Anas strepera) – Arguably the scarcest of the wintering ducks we saw was this bird, a female that was a continuing rarity among a small group of wigeon in the Laem Phak Bia region.
EURASIAN WIGEON (Anas penelope) – Eight of these ducks at Laem Phak Bia included several males in gorgeous breeding plumage.
GARGANEY (Anas querquedula) – A trio of these birds in female/eclipse plumage rested on a distant berm among a swarm of whistling-ducks as Laem Phak Bia.
FERRUGINOUS DUCK (Aythya nyroca) – Another continuing rarity, this bird was keeping company with the wigeons and Gadwall.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
FERRUGINOUS PARTRIDGE (Caloperdix oculeus) – At Kaeng Krachan. [*]
RUFOUS-THROATED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila rufogularis) – It took a second visit, and a fair bit of patience and persistence, before we finally spotted a lone partridge in the fabulous summit bog at Doi Inthanon.
SCALY-BREASTED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila chloropus) – At Kaeng Krachan.
GREEN PEAFOWL (Pavo muticus) – An early morning visit to the Huai Hong Khrai Royal Project east of Chiang Mai on our final day gave us the opportunity to see this spectacular bird, and we scored big time. First a male was seen by some as it ran away up the track ahead of us, then a short while later, Reg spotted another male sitting high up in a bare tree, and that bird allowed us long scope views as it saw and preened in the early morning sunshine.
GRAY PEACOCK-PHEASANT (Polyplectron bicalcaratum) – A very vocal species at Kaeng Krachan, but not an easy one to see, so we were pretty lucky to get the views we did. Those of us in the first truck spotted this bird feeding on the road ahead, but it dashed off as we approached. We then waited quietly, watching, and eventually the bird walked out onto the road behind the second truck, giving the whole group incredible looks at this normally shy bird.
CHINESE FRANCOLIN (Francolinus pintadeanus) – In scrubby areas around the Kaeng Krachan Country Club (KKCC). [*]
MOUNTAIN BAMBOO-PARTRIDGE (Bambusicola fytchii) – Heard several times at Doi Lang and Doi Ang Khang, but we were unlucky not to see any on the road. [*]
RED JUNGLEFOWL (Gallus gallus) – A magnificent rooster and two hens ran along the roadway in Kaeng Krachan as we rode the trucks up one morning, and a somewhat more habituated group of 15-20 fed at the forest's edge in Khao Yai. It was kind of fun to see this ancestor of our domestic chickens in the wild!
HUME'S PHEASANT (Syrmaticus humiae) – Some photographers had been baiting these uncommon pheasants along the road at Doi Lang, so we did a stakeout in the late afternoon and were rewarded with excellent long looks at a male until three martens sent it scurrying off. The next morning a cock and two hens were feeding on the same stretch of road, giving us even better views. According to Dave, these were his best views ever in 20 tours!
SILVER PHEASANT (Lophura nycthemera) – Though we saw a couple of hens along the road in Khao Yai, we had to put in some effort before we were rewarded with a male, but we eventually all had incredible views of a snowy white male feeding quietly on the forest floor in a little bamboo filled gully. Both Kathy and John chose this as their favorite bird of the trip.
SIAMESE FIREBACK (Lophura diardi) – After missing this bird at Khao Yai, we made the decision to make the long drive to Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve to find this magnificent pheasant, the national bird of Thailand. Amazing close views of at least 3 males and 4 females had us all in agreement that the long drive was worth it! Pheasant enthusiast Bill chose the fireback as his top bird of the trip.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – A few birds were on assorted ponds in the south, and a handful at the Royal Project on our final morning, including one bird on a nest. [N]
Ciconiidae (Storks)
ASIAN OPENBILL (Anastomus oscitans) – Seen only in the south, with fair numbers around the two wats we visited on our first afternoon together, and at Rangsit Marsh the next day.
PAINTED STORK (Mycteria leucocephala) – Overall not a common bird on the tour route, but we had a single flyover at Rangsit, then some great scope views of 8 birds at the duck pond at Bang Tabun.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LITTLE CORMORANT (Microcarbo niger) – The more common of the two cormorant species, with good numbers seen at most suitable sites in the south, but not seen at all in the north.
INDIAN CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) – Mostly in smaller numbers than the preceding species, with a high count of about 50 birds through our day around Laem Phak Bia.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ORIENTAL DARTER (Anhinga melanogaster) – Dave picked out a distant one among a group of cormorants and whistling-ducks on one of the ponds near Bang Tabun. Quite a scarce bird on the tour route, and I believe this was just the second time one was seen on one of our Thailand tours.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
YELLOW BITTERN (Ixobrychus sinensis) – Good scope views of a well-camouflaged bird at Wat Thian Thawai on our first afternoon, with a second one being seen briefly at Rangsit the next day.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Small numbers in suitable habitat throughout.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – Several birds at scattered wetlands through the south.
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta) – Present at all the same wetlands as the above species.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia) – Also regular at all suitable wetlands, and more likely to turn up in rice paddies than the larger Great Egret, it seemed.

We combined some fine introductory birding with visits to a couple of temples (a temple is a "wat") early in the tour. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

CHINESE EGRET (Egretta eulophotes) – A rather scarce and local species. We saw a couple of birds along the mangrove-lined channel as we boated out to the sand spit at Laem Phak Bia. Told from the similar Little Egret by its greenish legs and bushy crest.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Quite numerous throughout.
PACIFIC REEF-HERON (Egretta sacra) – A couple of dark-morph birds flew past while we birded the Laem Phak Bia sand spit.
CATTLE EGRET (EASTERN) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) – Common throughout.
CHINESE POND-HERON (Ardeola bacchus) – One of the most widespread and numerous white herons, though we didn't claim one until we got up to Kaeng Krachan. In the coastal lowlands, Javan Pond-Heron is also likely, and at this time of year, with virtually all birds being in non-breeding plumage, the two species are pretty much indistinguishable from each other.
STRIATED HERON (OLD WORLD) (Butorides striata javanica) – Single birds at Wat Phai Lom, Bang Tabun, Khao Yai, and the Royal Project near Chiang Mai.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – A couple of birds roosting in the mangroves as we boated out to the sand spit.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
BLACK-HEADED IBIS (Threskiornis melanocephalus) – Three birds at the Bang Tabun duck lake were quite a surprise, and possibly the first ones we've ever recorded on this tour.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Both our records came on our first full day in the field in the coastal lowlands south of Bangkok.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – A pair were frequenting the open grasslands at Rangsit Marsh, and posed nicely is bare trees for us. Elsewhere we saw these birds only around the KKCC.
ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis ptilorhynchus) – Surprisingly few, though at least a couple of the briefly seen raptors that got away unidentified were probably this species. We saw only two that we identified for certain, with the first at Kaeng Krachan NP showing beautifully as it sailed by directly overhead.
JERDON'S BAZA (Aviceda jerdoni) – It wasn't the best of views, but we saw a pair of these small hawks flying past and calling at the "fire station" viewpoint on our last morning at Khao Yai.
BLACK BAZA (Aviceda leuphotes) – Neither baza is guaranteed on this tour, so we were lucky to get both, and even luckier to have two encounters with this striking bird. Our first ones were a group of 5 birds that flew by as we searched for thick-knees at KKCC, and then on our final morning we had even better looks at 4 birds that flew almost directly overhead at the Royal Project east of Chiang Mai.
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE (Spilornis cheela) – The default large raptor of forested regions, and easily told by its bold white wing stripe. We saw these regularly at Kaeng Krachan NP and in the mountain parks in the north.
MOUNTAIN HAWK-EAGLE (Nisaetus nipalensis) – Fine views of this big-headed eagle as it soared past quite low on Doi Lang.
RUFOUS-BELLIED EAGLE (Lophotriorchis kienerii) – A large raptor that flushed from a roadside nest at Kaeng Krachan (at the same spot a Crested Goshawk was nesting last year) was identified as this species, but we sure would have liked a better look at it. [N]
RUFOUS-WINGED BUZZARD (Butastur liventer) – Our first pair en route to Sakaerat were pretty backlit and flew off too soon, so we were pleased to find this bird again, getting fine scope views of one in the rice paddies near the Mae Ngat Dam, and yet another at the Royal Project on our final morning.
EASTERN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus spilonotus) – Our only harrier was a rather ratty-winged male hunting over the rice paddies near the Mae Ngat Dam.
CRESTED GOSHAWK (Accipiter trivirgatus) – A couple of sightings at Kaeng Krachan, including a distant perched bird that we scoped near the KKCC, were our only sightings for the trip.
SHIKRA (Accipiter badius) – Usually the most numerous Accipiter on this tour. We saw about half a dozen, all lone individuals flying by or soaring overhead.
BESRA (Accipiter virgatus) – Some folks had a look at one of these small hawks when it flew over near the upper camp at Kaeng Krachan.
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans) – Seen one day in the coastal lowlands south of Bangkok and a couple of times near Chiang Mai, but the big event was about 80+ birds at a known roosting site where we stopped on our way from Khao Yai back to Bangkok.
BRAHMINY KITE (Haliastur indus) – Several sightings over the first three days in the coastal plains, but then not seen again afterwards.
EASTERN BUZZARD (Buteo japonicus japonicus) – A lone bird flying past at Doi Lang was the only one seen by most, though there was a very distant bird at the Doi Lo rice paddies as well. This has been split from Common Buzzard since the printing of the Thailand field guide.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
SLATY-LEGGED CRAKE (Rallina eurizonoides) – A surprise find in the summit bog at Doi Inthanon. A few folks got quick views the first day, but the bird was much friendlier the next morning, and fed out in the open unconcernedly for a long time. This may not have been the first record of this rare migrant at this site, but it was the first Uthai had seen there, and it was also a country tick, and lifer, for Dave!
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN (Amaurornis phoenicurus) – It took until the final morning for us to finally see this species, which we'd heard at several sites, but we wound up with good views of several at the Royal Project east of Chiang Mai.

Silver-breasted Broadbill, perched close by at Kaeng Krachan, allowed us some wonderful views of this subtly beautiful species. Photo by participant Randy Siebert.

RUDDY-BREASTED CRAKE (Zapornia fusca) – At Rangsit and the km 78 ponds. [*]
BLACK-TAILED CRAKE (Zapornia bicolor) – One called back at Doi Inthanon, but refused to budge from its marshy hideaway. [*]
BLACK-BACKED SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio indicus viridis) – A lone bird flushed from the marsh edge at Rangsit, and showed briefly before plopping back down into cover. Called Purple Swamphen in the book, but that species was split into 6 species, with both this type and P. poliocephalus (Gray-headed Swamphen) occurring in the country.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – A couple of birds at the Mae Taeng Irrigation Project were the only ones we saw. Called Common Moorhen in the field guide, this is a recent split from our Common Gallinule.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
INDIAN THICK-KNEE (Burhinus indicus) – A recent split from Eurasian Thick-knee, and still called by that name in the guide. Dave and Uthai bashed through an overgrown pasture near the KKCC to put up a dozen of these birds which gave us a great flyby.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – Common at several shorebird sites, including some rice paddies in the north.
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – All our birds, close to 50 of them, were in a single flock feeding in one of the flooded cells at Laem Phak Bia.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – Fairly common at several of the coastal shorebird sites, with a high count of about 50 at Pak Thale.
PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis fulva) – Fairly common at the coastal shorebird sites, with a high of 80+ birds at the Laem Pak Bia salt pans.
GRAY-HEADED LAPWING (Vanellus cinereus) – Seen on two days, with 4 birds flying past at the km 78 ponds, then great views of 11 birds at the Mae Ngat Dam rice paddies.
RED-WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus indicus atronuchalis) – That first one at Wat Phai Lom our first afternoon was pretty exciting, but we pretty quickly got accustomed to these birds as we went on to see them on more than half the days of the trip.
LESSER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius mongolus) – This was the more numerous of the two sand-plovers at the shorebird sites.
GREATER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius leschenaultii) – It's not always easy to assign sand-plovers to one or the other species, unless you can compare them side by side, as we were able to a couple of times.
MALAYSIAN PLOVER (Charadrius peronii) – Seen only on the sand spit at Laem Phak Bia, where we had good studies of a half a dozen birds.
KENTISH PLOVER (KENTISH) (Charadrius alexandrinus alexandrinus) – Quite numerous around Pak Thale and Laem Phak Bia, and we also had a single bird up north in the Doi Lo rice paddies.
KENTISH PLOVER (WHITE-FACED) (Charadrius alexandrinus dealbatus) – A lone bird of this distinctive race was on the sand spit at Laem Phak Bia.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius dubius) – Folks in the second van had a single bird at Laem Phak Bia which would have been a northern migrant. All our other sightings came in the north and were of breeding plumaged birds, presumably all resident breeders.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
BRONZE-WINGED JACANA (Metopidius indicus) – About 6 or 7 birds at the Cotton Pygmy-Goose ponds near the coast on our way to Khao Yai, and an adult (male) with recently fledged young at the Black Kite roost site.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (SIBERIAN) (Numenius phaeopus variegatus) – About 30 birds were present at Pak Thale, offering a nice size comparison between them and the two larger curlew species.
FAR EASTERN CURLEW (Numenius madagascariensis) – We counted 7 of these locally scarce curlews among the much more numerous Eurasian Curlews. It was surprisingly easy to pick these out of a flying flock by their dark underwings and overall darker appearance.
EURASIAN CURLEW (Numenius arquata) – An estimated 350 birds in one large group at Pak Thale.
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (MELANUROIDES) (Limosa limosa melanuroides) – The more numerous of the two godwit species, with decent-sized flocks at several shorebird sites along the coast.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (SIBERIAN) (Limosa lapponica baueri) – Generally scarcer than the preceding species. We had a count of about 18 birds at Pak Thale, and just a single one at Laem Phak Bia.
GREAT KNOT (Calidris tenuirostris) – Quite numerous, with an estimated 1500 birds at Laem Phak Bia.
RUFF (Calidris pugnax) – A relatively scarce winter visitor. We tallied 5 birds in total on our day around Laem Phak Bia.
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER (Calidris falcinellus) – We had some wonderful studies of this distinctive sandpiper at Pak Thale, where we counted about 60 of them, keeping company with our Spoon-billed Sandpipers.

These two Spoon-billed Sandpipers at Pak Thale were a much hoped-for prize at that site and the favorite bird of the tour for some of our group. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea) – A fairly common wintering species. About 100-150 recorded at most shorebird sites. Oddly one bird was still in full breeding plumage.
TEMMINCK'S STINT (Calidris temminckii) – We saw just a couple of these rather dull peeps at Laem Phak Bia.
LONG-TOED STINT (Calidris subminuta) – Small numbers (between 15-25) at a couple of the shorebird sites around Laem Phak Bia.
SPOON-BILLED SANDPIPER (Calidris pygmea) – YES!!! Our main target at the coastal shorebird sites, and we scored some excellent close views of two birds at Pak Thale, where David B. was the first one to pick one out. Both Reg and Tom chose this as their favorite bird of the trip.
RED-NECKED STINT (Calidris ruficollis) – The most numerous peep at most of the coastal shorebird sites.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – Just a few birds each at Pak Thale and the Laem Phak Bia sand spit.
ASIAN DOWITCHER (Limnodromus semipalmatus) – After some searching, we finally caught up with two or three of these uncommon birds in the salt pans at Laem Phak Bia.
COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago) – Several birds were flushed from various rice paddies in the north. Easily told from the next species by the white trailing edge to the wings, a feature lacking in Pin-tailed Snipe.
PIN-TAILED SNIPE (Gallinago stenura) – A couple of birds at the Mae Ngat Dam rice paddies, the first of which flushed up nice and close allowing us a good look at its wing pattern as it flew by.
TEREK SANDPIPER (Xenus cinereus) – We don't get this distinctive sandpiper every year, so the 20+ birds we found at Laem Phak Bia was a good count.
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus) – We also had a good count of these birds, with about 30 feeding together in one area at Laem Phak Bia.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – A bit of a misnomer here, as they aren't all that common. Still we saw small numbers of these on several days, including a couple in the north.
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus) – A couple of birds at the Black Kite roost site were our only ones.
SPOTTED REDSHANK (Tringa erythropus) – Marginally more numerous than the other redshank, with a high count of about 60 birds at one site at Laem Phak Bia.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – Seen in small numbers at several coastal sites.
NORDMANN'S GREENSHANK (Tringa guttifer) – Another prime shorebird target, and we finally tracked down 6 of them roosting in a huge flock of Great Knots at Laem Phak Bia, at the same site where we had out Terek SPs, dowitchers, and phalaropes. In comparison to the above species, these birds are shorter-legged and paler, with distinctly bicolored and upturned bills.
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – Quite numerous at the various shorebird sites.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – Present in small numbers at all the suitable sites, and one of the few shorebirds we also recorded up north.
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus) – Seen in small numbers at the coastal sites; about 20-40 birds at each prime spot.
Turnicidae (Buttonquail)
BARRED BUTTONQUAIL (Turnix suscitator) – We heard these birds calling in the scrub near the Kaeng Krachan Reservoir, and had okay views when they flushed, but we'd have been hard-pressed to ID them to species based solely on what we saw.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
SLENDER-BILLED GULL (Chroicocephalus genei) – A rather rare wintering bird in the country, so the one we found in a large flock of Brown-headed Gulls at Pak Thale was a nice surprise, and a country tick for Dave, I believe.
BROWN-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus) – The default gull along the coast.
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons) – This small tern was quite numerous at the coastal sites, especially so on the sand spit, where we estimated about 200 of them.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – Quite a few were present in the LAem Phak Bia region.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – This familiar large tern was also present in fair numbers at various coastal sites.
WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus) – Similar to the more numerous Whiskered Tern, but these birds have a distinctive head pattern and contrasting white rump, not to mention a different feeding behavior. We saw a few at Laem Phak Bia, then about 20 birds at the Royal Project there.

Siamese Fireback is Thailand's national bird and well worth the effort to track it down! Photo by participant Randy Siebert.

WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – One of the most numerous terns along the coast.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – Quite common in the salt pans and the sand spit at Laem Phak Bia.
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii) – A large flock of about 150 birds on the sand spit were the only ones.
LESSER CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bengalensis) – Two of these orange-billed terns were among the flock of Greaters on the sand spit.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Around cities and towns. [I]
SPECKLED WOOD-PIGEON (Columba hodgsonii) – A few birds in their usual early morning roosting tree near the summit of Doi Inthanon were our only ones.
ASHY WOOD-PIGEON (Columba pulchricollis) – One flew past just after we arrived at the summit bog on Inthanon. It was a fleeting view, but that pale head really stood out.
RED COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia tranquebarica) – Mainly in the south, where they were quite common (especially around Wat Phai Lom), but we saw at least one bird in the north, from the tower at Inthanon Nest.
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) – A common bird throughout the country, though missing from forested areas.
BARRED CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia unchall) – All of our records came from Khao Yai NP, but our only good sighting was of a bird perched on a roadside power line at the checkpoint at the top of Green Hill Road.
LITTLE CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia ruficeps) – Not a common species, and one that hadn't been seen on our tours in several years, so it was great to get such wonderful studies of a close bird in a fruiting Macaranga tree at the upper camp at Kaeng Krachan.
ASIAN EMERALD DOVE (Chalcophaps indica) – Seen mainly from the backs of the trucks as we drove the restricted road to the upper camp at Kaeng Krachan. Eventually, everyone had wonderful views of this lovely dove. The former Emerald Dove was recently split into two species, the other being Pacific Emerald Dove, which many of you have likely seen in Australia.
ZEBRA DOVE (Geopelia striata) – Called Peaceful Dove in the book, but now considered a separate species. A common bird of settled areas throughout. Though native to peninsular Thailand, populations elsewhere in the country are all apparently introduced.
PINK-NECKED PIGEON (Treron vernans) – Most of us had excellent looks at these pigeons on the grounds of the Rama Gardens. Elsewhere, there was just one distant pair scoped at Rangsit.
THICK-BILLED PIGEON (Treron curvirostra) – The most often encountered green-pigeon, with good numbers seen daily at Kaeng Krachan, and a few birds in a fruiting fig tree at Khao Yai.
YELLOW-VENTED PIGEON (Treron seimundi) – A large fruiting fig tree about halfway up to the upper camp at Kaeng Krachan attracted in a half a dozen or more of these scarce pigeons.
PIN-TAILED PIGEON (Treron apicauda) – We found these easily at Wat Tham Pha Plong, as a couple of birds were perched high above the parking area where they afforded us great scope views.
WEDGE-TAILED PIGEON (Treron sphenurus) – We may have only seen a couple, but they gave us great close views as they fed in the same Macaranga as the Little Cuckoo-Dove at Kaeng Krachan.
MOUNTAIN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula badia) – Seen in small numbers most days at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, with one pair building a nest right over the lower Green Hill Road, and seemingly not too concerned about us standing just a few feet below them. [N]
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER COUCAL (Centropus sinensis) – Common and widespread, though we heard far more than we saw.
LESSER COUCAL (Centropus bengalensis) – The only ones we saw were a couple in the grasslands around the KKCC.
RAFFLES'S MALKOHA (Rhinortha chlorophaea) – Man these were elusive, but I think most everyone had a pretty reasonable view of one or the other of a pair that played hide and seek in the canopy at Kaeng Krachan NP.
BLACK-BELLIED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus diardi) – Other than Green-billed, all the malkohas are found only at Kaeng Krachan on this tour route. [*]
GREEN-BILLED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus tristis) – A distant bird at Wat Phai Lom our first afternoon was improved upon with great close views of a pair in the lower section of Kaeng Krachan NP.
ASIAN KOEL (Eudynamys scolopaceus) – Nearly an every day bird on the trip, though far more often heard than seen. Koel calls were almost constant during the day, and we often heard them at night as well.
ASIAN EMERALD CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx maculatus) – A shimmering male gave us a warm welcome on Doi Ang Khang when he flew in and perched in a nearby bare tree for eye-popping scope views.

Panorama at Doi Ang Khang, by participant Glenda Brown.

VIOLET CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus) – This cuckoo is seen on less than 50% of our tours, and even when it is seen, it is rarely seen perched, so we were incredibly lucky to scope that beautiful male in a roadside tree at Kaeng Krachan!
BANDED BAY CUCKOO (Cacomantis sonneratii) – Heard often, but seldom seen, though we did get scope views of a calling bird from the bridge in the lower section of Kaeng Krachan.
PLAINTIVE CUCKOO (Cacomantis merulinus) – Only in the Bangkok region. We had our first, a juvenile, perched on a stake among a large number of Barn Swallows along the Chao Phraya River at Wat Thian Thawai, then saw and heard several others at Wat Phai Lom and Rangsit, but had no other records after those first two days.
FORK-TAILED DRONGO-CUCKOO (Surniculus dicruroides) – Drongo Cuckoo (as it is in the field guide) has recently been split into three species, two of which occur in Thailand, though the differences between them are subtle at best. A drongo-cuckoo that was singing at Wat Tham Pha Plong was only determined to be this species after it flew, showing us its obviously forked tail.
SQUARE-TAILED DRONGO-CUCKOO (Surniculus lugubris) – We scoped this cuckoo near the stream crossings at the lower end of Kaeng Krachan NP.
LARGE HAWK-CUCKOO (Hierococcyx sparverioides) – Heard at several sites in the north. [*]
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
BARN OWL (Tyto alba) – We heard the distinctive rasp of this owl a couple of times during owling outings up north. [*]
Strigidae (Owls)
MOUNTAIN SCOPS-OWL (Otus spilocephalus) – All the ones we heard at Doi Ang Khang were too far away from the road for us to be able to lure them in. [*]
COLLARED SCOPS-OWL (Otus lettia) – One turned up briefly above our cabins at KKCC, but not everyone was around to see it, but in the end we all got great looks at one on an owling excursion at Doi Ang Khang.
ORIENTAL SCOPS-OWL (WALDEN'S) (Otus sunia modestus) – This one took a while to warm up, but once it got going, it stood its ground and we wound up walking away from it in the end.
COLLARED OWLET (Glaucidium brodiei brodiei) – Heard pretty regularly at most of the forested sites, though we only saw one. That one showed very well, though, as it glowered down at us as it sat over the road at Khao Yai NP. This is the go-to Glaucidium for stirring up angry mobs of Passerines here.
ASIAN BARRED OWLET (Glaucidium cuculoides) – A common voice at many of our hotels. We had excellent studies of one along the road in the lower section of Kaeng Krachan NP, and another tried to interrupt us as we attempted to get eyes on a Tickell's Blue-Flycatcher at the King's Project
SPOTTED OWLET (Athene brama) – A long-used roost in a wat near Bangkok was still in use, and one bird peered out at us, then flew into a tree directly overhead before for a good look around before returning to its roost. Some folks also saw one on their way to dinner at our coastal hotel.
BROWN BOOBOOK (Ninox scutulata) – A pair of birds were calling from a bare treetop just outside of our hotel grounds at Khao Yai, and we even got to see them making a couple of sallies to catch flying insects that got too close. Formerly called Brown Hawk-Owl, but many of the Ninox owls have been renamed boobooks recently.
Podargidae (Frogmouths)
HODGSON'S FROGMOUTH (Batrachostomus hodgsoni) – We saved ourselves a lot of trouble at night when we tracked down a roosting bird that we'd heard calling in the late afternoon on Doi Ang Khang. It was fascinating watching the bird, a lovely rufous female, quivering back and forth like an oversized pine cone swinging in the breeze.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LARGE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus macrurus) – Decent views of this common species at KKCC one evening.
INDIAN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus asiaticus) – We also had this species at KKCC the same night, but the views weren't as good, so seeing a pair do a close flyby one evening near our hotel at Inthanon was most welcome.
Apodidae (Swifts)
HIMALAYAN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus brevirostris) – The common small swiftlet in the mountains.
GERMAIN'S SWIFTLET (Aerodramus germani) – Very similar to the above species, but restricted to the coastal plains, where we saw plenty.
COOK'S SWIFT (Apus cooki) – Especially numerous on Doi Lang, where hundreds streamed by overhead during much of our time there. Part of the 4 way split of Fork-tailed Swift.
HOUSE SWIFT (Apus nipalensis) – Some especially low ones showed very well during our lunch at the irrigation project en route to Fang.
ASIAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus balasiensis) – The most common swift of the tour, though mainly absent from the higher mountains.
Hemiprocnidae (Treeswifts)
CRESTED TREESWIFT (Hemiprocne coronata) – That roadside pair on our way north from Chiang Mai were incredibly cooperative, and so very photogenic!
Trogonidae (Trogons)
RED-HEADED TROGON (Harpactes erythrocephalus) – Folks in the second truck had a brief view of one on the way down from the upper camp at Kaeng Krachan one afternoon. Our only other ones seen were reasonably cooperative on Khao Yai, but they were nowhere near as friendly as the next species.
ORANGE-BREASTED TROGON (Harpactes oreskios) – A partially concealed male at Kaeng Krachan was a great spot by Jiang, our driver, but a roadside pair at Khao Yai was way better, posing at close range and at eye level for a lengthy photo shoot! Reg renamed this the "Mango-breasted Trogon" which is an apt description of this bird's breast color.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (Upupa epops) – A lone bird showed well in the dry scrub around the Kaeng Krachan reservoir, and a pair flew past in similar habitat near the KKCC.

Blue-throated Barbet is common in forested areas along our tour route. Photo by participant Randy Siebert.

Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
GREAT HORNBILL (Buceros bicornis) – Several sightings at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, but that bird that made that long flight across the large clearing at Khao Yai was one of the most memorable moments of the tour!
ORIENTAL PIED-HORNBILL (Anthracoceros albirostris) – Numerous in the lower section of Kaeng Krachan, and there were also quite a few around that big fruiting fig tree in Khao Yai.
WREATHED HORNBILL (Rhyticeros undulatus) – At Khao Yai. [*]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis) – These electric blue kingfishers were first seen at the Black Kite roosting site, then a couple of times at various rice paddies up north, but always only in flight.
BANDED KINGFISHER (Lacedo pulchella) – It took some persistence but we finally tracked down a pair of these stunning birds perched high in the canopy at Khao Yai. This is the species that piqued Uthai's interest in birds many years ago.
WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER (Halcyon smyrnensis) – The most memorable of our several sightings had to be that one John spotted from the tower at Inthanon Nest. That brilliant turquoise back was almost too intense to look at!
BLACK-CAPPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon pileata) – A fairly common winterer in the coastal plains and we had several nice encounters, starting with one perched over the road at Wat Phai Lom on our first afternoon.
COLLARED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus chloris) – Collared Kingfisher has recently been split into 6 species, with this SE Asian bird retaining the name. Not uncommon along the coast, primarily where mangroves were present.
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – It had been many years since we've recorded this striking kingfisher on one of our Thailand tours, so that bird hovering over the reservoir at Kaeng Krachan was a great find.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
RED-BEARDED BEE-EATER (Nyctyornis amictus) – Our one and only sighting at the end of the road at Kaeng Krachan was fantastic, though there were a few folks that wished this gorgeous bird would have hung around a little while longer. This is one of a number of peninsular species for which Kaeng Krachan marks the northern extreme of their range.
BLUE-BEARDED BEE-EATER (Nyctyornis athertoni) – Though we recorded these at several sites, none could beat that first bird along the road in the lower section of Kaeng Krachan. Perched out in the open like that, in the early morning sunlight...WOW!
GREEN BEE-EATER (Merops orientalis) – Just a couple of small flocks, one each at Laem Phak Bia and Doi Lo, but we had some nice views of this small bee-eater, with scope views of several perched on a power line at Laem Phak Bia. This and the next species are the only two species we saw that sport the elongated tail feathers bee-eaters are well-known for.
BLUE-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops philippinus) – Seen only in the Bangkok region, with particularly good scope views of our first at Wat Thian Thawai.
CHESTNUT-HEADED BEE-EATER (Merops leschenaulti) – Just another stunningly beautiful bee-eater. This was the most often-encountered species, and we had several great looks at them at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
INDIAN ROLLER (Coracias benghalensis) – Recorded regularly at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, and a pair were fixtures around our cabins at Inthanon as well. Brilliant in flight, but quite muted in coloration when perched, and a fair bit darker than the book has them depicted.
DOLLARBIRD (Eurystomus orientalis) – Though it should be more widespread, it seems that we usually get this bird only at Kaeng Krachan and that was certainly the case this year.
Megalaimidae (Asian Barbets)
COPPERSMITH BARBET (Psilopogon haemacephalus) – One of the first birds to welcome us at Rama Gardens and a constant companion in disturbed habitats throughout the tour.
BLUE-EARED BARBET (Psilopogon duvaucelii) – A common voice in the forests at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, and we saw plenty too, including great views of a bird excavating a nest in a dead tree at the upper camp at Kaeng Krachan. [N]

This Chestnut-tailed Starling at Laem Pak Bia was apparently investigating a potential nest hole, providing us with great looks. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

GREAT BARBET (Psilopogon virens) – Another common voice, this one in forested habitats throughout, though we saw relatively few. Our first views of a pair on our first morning at Kaeng Krachan were the best by far.
GREEN-EARED BARBET (Psilopogon faiostrictus) – We heard this one several times before we saw our first and only ones at pretty much our last opportunity-- on our way out of Khao Yai at the "fire station" viewpoint.
LINEATED BARBET (Psilopogon lineatus) – Also heard far more often than seen, though we saw this one a little more often, and had several nice looks, including good scope views from the tower at Inthanon Nest.
GOLDEN-THROATED BARBET (Psilopogon franklinii) – Pretty common in forested regions of the north, with our first ones giving good scope studies on the lower slopes of Doi Inthanon.
MOUSTACHED BARBET (Psilopogon incognitus) – One near the end of the road at Kaeng Krachan posed nicely for some great scope views.
BLUE-THROATED BARBET (Psilopogon asiaticus) – After the Coppersmith, this was the most often seen barbet on the tour. Seems common in forested areas throughout.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
SPECKLED PICULET (Picumnus innominatus) – This one proved a little tricky, but we all had good views of this tiny woodpecker before we left Kaeng Krachan.
WHITE-BROWED PICULET (Sasia ochracea) – We recorded quite a few of these at Kaeng Krachan, but most kept well out of sight. At least one played nice though, and gave us all a look as it fed low in some roadside bamboo.
GRAY-CAPPED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos canicapillus) – I was a bit surprised at how shy and inconspicuous most of these Asian woodpeckers were. This was one of the few exceptions, and we saw this small woodpecker regularly in the mountains of the north, including one male that spent a long time working on a nest hole on Doi Lang.
STRIPE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos atratus) – This was the next most commonly seen woodpecker in the north, and often seen with the similar Gray-capped, though this one is larger and has conspicuous red undertail coverts.
LESSER YELLOWNAPE (Picus chlorolophus) – Our second day up on Doi Lang netted us a handful of new species, including super looks at a cooperative pair of these beauties.
GREATER YELLOWNAPE (Picus flavinucha) – We heard several in the north, none of which showed itself, so our lone view was of a rather flighty bird along Green Hill Road at Khao Yai.
LACED WOODPECKER (Picus vittatus) – The first one along Green Hill Road was a bit shy and managed to elude a few folks, but I think everyone got a nice view of another that flew past at eye level as we stood on the elephant-proof bridge at Khao Yai.
BLACK-HEADED WOODPECKER (Picus erythropygius) – These were kind of flighty, but eventually settled down on a bare tree that we could scope. There were four of these handsome birds altogether, and they were a highlight of a quiet morning in the dry dipterocarp forest at the bast of Doi Inthanon.
GRAY-HEADED WOODPECKER (BLACK-NAPED) (Picus canus hessei) – Our one and only turned up at about the same time as all the flamebacks in the lower section of Kaeng Krachan. We all managed a good view despite all the other distractions.
COMMON FLAMEBACK (Dinopium javanense) – A pair of these large woodpeckers flew in while we were watching a pair of Greater Flamebacks along the road at Kaeng Krachan giving us a great opportunity to compare these two similar birds side by side. This species has darker eyes and black on the back of its neck. Though we heard others, this was our only sighting.
BLACK-AND-BUFF WOODPECKER (Meiglyptes jugularis) – We had nice views of a pair of these striking little woodpeckers along Green Hill Road at Khao Yai.
GREATER FLAMEBACK (Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus) – First seen at Kaeng Krachan alongside the Common Flamebacks, though we did have a few more encounters with this one at Khao Yai, too.
BAY WOODPECKER (Blythipicus pyrrhotis) – We sure heard this one a lot, on pretty much every mountain we visited, but it sure was a bear to see well. We had a reasonably good flyby at our lunch spot near the upper camp at Kaeng Krachan, and another pretty good look at a couple that flew across a clearing at Doi Lang, but we never really got one perched.
HEART-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Hemicircus canente) – A pair at Kaeng Krachan turned up right overhead as we were preparing to enjoy our picnic lunch one day. We did get scope views for some, though I don't think any of us got to see the heart-shaped spots. But what a distinctive shape, and an equally distinctive flight shape with its incredibly short tail and tall crest. I was really psyched to see this bird, one that I'd long wanted to meet, so I was pretty happy with the sighting.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FALCONET (Microhierax caerulescens) – One of our big finds in the dry forest at the foot of Doi Inthanon. We initially saw just one pair perched in a dead tree near the road, but more and more just seemed to appear out of nowhere, with no one actually seeing where they were coming from, until there were seven of them up there together. Two short of Uthai's record, but a good count still.
BLACK-THIGHED FALCONET (Microhierax fringillarius) – This one has apparently gotten tough at Kaeng Krachan, so it was a great start to our day to see one fly over than perch in the distance It got better to, as the bird moved to a much closer perch, even if it was a little too backlit for good photos.
EURASIAN KESTREL (Falco tinnunculus) – A lone bird at the bat cave at Khao Yai, and another during a bathroom break on the way to Doi Ang Khang.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – A distant bird soaring over some rocky cliffs was seen from the parking lot of the large waterfall at Doi Inthanon.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (Psittacula krameri) – Sadly a pair of these escaped cage birds may have forced out the Alexandrine Parakeets that used to frequent Wat Thian Thawai. [I]
BLOSSOM-HEADED PARAKEET (Psittacula roseata) – We had at least 25 of these beautiful parrots near Mr T's, with many of them teed up in the top of bare trees for some wonderful scope studies.

This assemblage of Collared Falconets was a terrific find at Doi Inthanon. Photo by participant Randy Siebert.

RED-BREASTED PARAKEET (Psittacula alexandri) – Excellent views in the late afternoon light along the entrance road at Sakaerat beat out the okay but backlit looks at some more the next morning at our hotel grounds. We also had a lone bird among the Blossom-headed Parakeets at Mr T's.
VERNAL HANGING-PARROT (Loriculus vernalis) – "Vern" was pretty common at both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, though mostly seen as they hurtled past overhead. Luckily we did manage some pretty decent scope views of them a couple of times as well.
Eurylaimidae (Asian and Grauer's Broadbills)
LONG-TAILED BROADBILL (Psarisomus dalhousiae) – We recorded these fancy birds on 6 days, which is especially good when you consider that on a trip Uthai led in December, they failed to record any of this species! Our best sighting was of some 30 birds along Green Hill Road in Khao Yai, though we also saw them at Kaeng Krachan and on Doi Su Thep on our final afternoon.
SILVER-BREASTED BROADBILL (Serilophus lunatus) – Superb close views of a few birds perched quietly along the roadside at Kaeng Krachan were the first of several records (5 days) on the trip.
BLACK-AND-YELLOW BROADBILL (Eurylaimus ochromalus) – We worked pretty hard for this brilliant little bird, but finally nailed some awesome scope views in the upper part of Kaeng Krachan.
Pittidae (Pittas)
EARED PITTA (Hydrornis phayrei) – Heard at Khao Yai. [*]
BLUE PITTA (Hydrornis cyaneus) – When we learned of a pair of these shy birds coming into a photographer's feeding station at Khao Yai, the ever-resourceful Wat erected a makeshift blind for the whole group and we all enjoyed fantastic looks at these gorgeous birds. The female was relatively bold and gave us several good looks, but the magnificent male was quite a bit more furtive, though he, too eventually stuck around long enough for all to soak in his stunning colors. Randy and Marilynne both chose it as their favorite bird of the tour.
Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
GOLDEN-BELLIED GERYGONE (Gerygone sulphurea) – Seen only in the mangroves in the Laem Pak Bia region, but there were plenty of them there.
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
LARGE WOODSHRIKE (Tephrodornis virgatus) – John spotted the only one most folks saw at the amusingly named Wang Jumpi trailhead in Khao Yai, and we all had good scope views as it sang from a high canopy perch. Several folks also saw one on our final afternoon along the jeep track on Doi Su Thep.
BAR-WINGED FLYCATCHER-SHRIKE (Hemipus picatus) – A common member of bird waves in many of the forested areas we visited.
Artamidae (Woodswallows)
ASHY WOODSWALLOW (Artamus fuscus) – After our initial encounter at Wat Phai Lom on our first afternoon, we went on to see this bird regularly throughout.
Aegithinidae (Ioras)
COMMON IORA (Aegithina tiphia) – It wasn't that common really, but we did see a few of these in the south, with our first coming that first afternoon at Wat Thian Thawai.
GREAT IORA (Aegithina lafresnayei) – More a bird of undisturbed forest than the Common Iora. and the only one we saw was in just such forest at Kaeng Krachan.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
SMALL MINIVET (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus) – A few of us saw a small flock on the hotel grounds before the official start of the tour. Subsequently our only other encounter was of a few birds at Wat Phai Lom on our first afternoon.
GRAY-CHINNED MINIVET (Pericrocotus solaris) – A few sightings in the north included a rather oddly-plumaged bird on a nest at Doi Inthanon. [N]
SHORT-BILLED MINIVET (Pericrocotus brevirostris) – Similar to the next species, but Long-tailed favors pines while this species prefers broad leaf forests. Voice is probably the best way to separate them. We ran into these several times in the northern mountains.
LONG-TAILED MINIVET (Pericrocotus ethologus) – After our first sighting on Doi Inthanon, we went on to see this common species daily.
SCARLET MINIVET (Pericrocotus speciosus) – The most widespread of the minivets, and easily identified if you get a decent look at the distinctive wing pattern. This one gave us numerous great looks, including a pair doing a spectacular aerial chase at Doi Ang Khang.
ASHY MINIVET (Pericrocotus divaricatus) – This migrant was in short supply this year, and we saw just two singles, a lone bird at Kaeng Krachan, and another lone bird amidst a flock of Brown-rumped Minivets at Khao Yai.
BROWN-RUMPED MINIVET (Pericrocotus cantonensis) – The only one of the three migrant minivets that was around in good numbers. We had quite a few big flocks of these at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai. Called Swinhoe's Minivet in the field guide.
LARGE CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina macei) – A distant bird in the dry forest at the base of Doi Inthanon eluded a few folks. Unfortunately, we never saw another, though we heard a couple on Doi Lang .
BLACK-WINGED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Lalage melaschistos) – Pretty widespread, and seen regularly with bird waves in the south, and heard a few times in the north.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
BROWN SHRIKE (Lanius cristatus) – We encountered moe of these shrikes than all three of the other species combined.
BURMESE SHRIKE (Lanius collurioides) – We had a pretty good showing from these gorgeous shrikes. First we found one in the dry scrub next to the Kaeng Krachan reservoir, another was seen at the Black Kite roost site, and a third one in the rice paddies near Tha Ton.
LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanius schach) – Fairly common in Doi Lang and Doi Ang Khang, with a total of 8 birds seen over our 4 days in the region.
GRAY-BACKED SHRIKE (Lanius tephronotus) – A single bird each on Doi Lang and Doi Ang Khang, with the first giving us especially nice views as it sat up over the road.

Coppersmith Barbet is a common species along our itinerary. Photo by participant Reggie David.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BLYTH'S SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius aeralatus) – In the south we saw just one pair near the upper camp at Kaeng Krachan, but once we got up north, we ran into this bird pretty much daily. Recent taxonomic changes have resulted in the shrike-babblers finding a home in the vireo family, and this species was split off from White-browed Shrike-Babbler.
CLICKING SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius intermedius) – Formerly called Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler. We had superb views of a single bird on the lower slopes of Doi Inthanon, then even better views of another Doi Ang Khang. One would think a better name could be found for this beautiful bird; I didn't hear anything particularly clicking about their calls.
WHITE-BELLIED ERPORNIS (Erpornis zantholeuca) – Formerly called White-bellied Yuhina, but recently was moved into the Vireonidae and underwent a name change. We had a few encounters with these birds, and I think everyone saw one at some point, though I don't believe we ever had a single sighting that was good for everyone. Pretty elusive overall this trip.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
BLACK-NAPED ORIOLE (Oriolus chinensis) – Most of our sightings came at Kaeng Krachan, including a sleeping bird near our cabins after dark for some, but we did have a couple of sightings in the north as well.
BLACK-HOODED ORIOLE (Oriolus xanthornus) – A bird of dry Dipterocarp forest, and we had great views of a couple in such habitat on the lower slopes of Doi Inthanon and from the tower at Inthanon Nest.
MAROON ORIOLE (Oriolus traillii) – Our first encounter was with a gorgeous male along the Mae Chaem road on Doi Inthanon, though it didn't stick around long and was missed by a few folks. We went on to record this oriole almost daily through the rest of the trip, though they remained somewhat slippery until we finally nailed some great scope views of a singing bird on Doi Ang Khang.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
BLACK DRONGO (Dicrurus macrocercus) – The common drongo of open habitats throughout.
ASHY DRONGO (Dicrurus leucophaeus) – This had to be the most numerous drongo recorded on the trip, and there were very few days that we missed it. Most were the slaty-gray resident birds, though we also saw a good number of the pale-grey, white-faced migrant form.
BRONZED DRONGO (Dicrurus aeneus) – This small species was not uncommon in forested habitats throughout.
LESSER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus remifer) – Mush more difficult to see than the similar Greater, and more restricted to good quality upland forest. Most of us had decent views of this species when one flew overhead as we birded the road at Doi Lang. Others caught up with it on Doi Ang Khang.
HAIR-CRESTED DRONGO (Dicrurus hottentottus) – Another common species, easily told by the inward curling tail tips. Our first view of a bird in great light and out in the open habitat along the Chao Phraya River on our first afternoon was among our best.
GREATER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus paradiseus) – Pretty spectacular with those long tail feathers! Though most of our records came from the south, we also had several sightings of this drongo in the north.
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
MALAYSIAN PIED-FANTAIL (Rhipidura javanica) – Pretty common in the coastal lowlands around Bangkok, including on the grounds of our city hotel, but unrecorded after we left Kaeng Krachan.
WHITE-THROATED FANTAIL (Rhipidura albicollis) – I was a bit surprised at how scarce this species was. We only had a couple of records of it, once at Kaeng Krachan, once at Inthanon, but some of us, me included, saw neither one.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Hypothymis azurea) – Quite common, especially in the south, where we had numerous views of this brilliant bird.
BLYTH'S PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone affinis) – Our only sighting was of a male along the trail to the Haew Narok Waterfall in Khao Yai, though there were a few of us that missed it.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
EURASIAN JAY (WHITE-FACED) (Garrulus glandarius leucotis) – Pairs were seen twice, first in low elevation forest at Doi Inthanon, then again at the peafowl site near Chiang Mai. For those familiar with this species from Europe, this subspecies is a dramatically different-looking bird.
RED-BILLED BLUE-MAGPIE (Urocissa erythroryncha) – Best seen on the grounds of our Inthanon hotel, where several flew by the cabins on a couple of occasions.
COMMON GREEN-MAGPIE (Cissa chinensis) – Heard at three sites, but we couldn't get one to show. [*]
RUFOUS TREEPIE (Dendrocitta vagabunda) – We started off with good scope views of a pair perched in a nearby tree as we looked for thick-knees near the Kaeng Krachan Country Club. Later we saw them fairly regularly in the grounds of our Inthanon hotel.
GRAY TREEPIE (Dendrocitta formosae) – A couple of birds flew past on Doi Lang, at the front end of a nice feeding flock at our first stop on our first morning up there. Though we heard others over the next few days, we had no further sightings.
RACKET-TAILED TREEPIE (Crypsirina temia) – As we boated along the canal towards the sand spit at Laem Pak Bia, a pair of these did a short flight over the mangroves, and a few folks in the first boat had brief views. Much better were the ones we spotted from the viewing tower at Inthanon Nest.
RATCHET-TAILED TREEPIE (Temnurus temnurus) – After missing this bird and a few other specialties of the higher parts of Kaeng Krachan on our first day, we made a second trip up to the upper camp, and this time were rewarded with some great views of a roadside pair, though even those didn't come easy!
LARGE-BILLED CROW (Corvus macrorhynchos) – Pretty common throughout. Apparently we had two different subspecies, the nominate form in the north, and levaillantii in the south, worth noting as this species may be due for some taxonomic revision and is likely to be split into several species.
Alaudidae (Larks)
INDOCHINESE BUSHLARK (Mirafra erythrocephala) – At least 3 birds showed wonderfully in the dry scrub alongside the Kaeng Krachan reservoir.
ORIENTAL SKYLARK (Alauda gulgula) – We finally nailed down this species in some rice paddies near the Mae Ngat Dam on our way up to Fang, and had excellent scope views of a close bird.

Dark-necked Tailorbird, photographed at Kaeng Krachan by participant Randy Siebert.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – A few birds each at Rangsit and the Black Kite roosting site.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – By far the most numerous swallow, with good numbers recorded on all but a few days.
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – Very local in the country, and our only ones were a pair that we scoped along the canal at our lunch spot at the Mae Taeng Irrigation Project.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – A handful of birds among the other swallows at Rangsit, with a couple showing quite well. Otherwise seen only at the Khao Yai bat cave, where there were plenty identified by voice, but it was too dark to really see them well.
STRIATED SWALLOW (Cecropis striolata) – Seen a couple of times in the north, with very good views from the tower at Inthanon Nest, especially when one pair did a close fly past at eye level.
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
GRAY-HEADED CANARY-FLYCATCHER (Culicicapa ceylonensis) – Very common in forested habitats throughout, and seen regularly with bird waves, though far more were heard than actually seen.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
SULTAN TIT (Melanochlora sultanea) – Nice looks at these snazzy tits a couple of times at Kaeng Krachan, though I'm sure we all would have liked them to stick around a little longer.
JAPANESE TIT (Parus minor nubicolus) – Until fairly recently, this was lumped in with Great Tit. We had these pretty regularly in the north, often together with the next species.
YELLOW-CHEEKED TIT (Machlolophus spilonotus) – We first saw these gorgeous birds our first morning up on Doi Inthanon, then recorded them almost daily for the rest of the trip.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BLACK-THROATED TIT (Aegithalos concinnus) – I nice surprise on our second morning on Doi Lang was finding a trio of these scarce birds along the road, and getting superb views as they came in close to investigate our owl calls. Apparently it is the race talifuensis that occurs here, though the field guide depicts race pulchellus. Online information seems to suggest some uncertainty about the distribution of some of these subspecies.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
CHESTNUT-VENTED NUTHATCH (Sitta nagaensis) – Commonly seen in the north, especially in pines. On one morning we had all three nuthatch species together in a flock on Doi Lang.
VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH (Sitta frontalis) – This lovely nuthatch was seen regularly in the north, though our first sighting near the upper camp at Kaeng Krachan was the only record in the south.
GIANT NUTHATCH (Sitta magna) – A Doi Lang specialty, and we had great studies of this large nuthatch on both of our visits to the park.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
HUME'S TREECREEPER (Certhia manipurensis shanensis) – Great looks at a couple on Doi Inthanon. I think we were all taken aback not only by this species' very long tail, but also the song, which is more reminiscent of an Ovenbird than any other Certhia I'm familiar with!
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
CRESTED FINCHBILL (Spizixos canifrons) – One of our final bulbuls, this handsome species posed nicely for us shortly after we arrived at our lodging on Doi Ang Khang.
BLACK-HEADED BULBUL (Pycnonotus atriceps) – Pretty common at Kaeng Krachan, but not recorded anywhere else.
STRIATED BULBUL (Pycnonotus striatus) – Just a few sightings in the north, with our best coming at Doi Ang Khang, where a couple of birds sat up for us just after our encounter with the finchbills.
BLACK-CRESTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus flaviventris) – Numerous almost everywhere, and only missed on a couple of days. We probably saw at least a couple of different subspecies of similar looking forms, and also had great studies of the distinctive red-throated subspecies johnsoni at Khao Yai.
RED-WHISKERED BULBUL (Pycnonotus jocosus) – Quite scarce now in the south, due in large part to the cage bird trade, though we did see a single bird at Rangsit Marsh. Still quite common in the north, and seen almost daily there.
BROWN-BREASTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus xanthorrhous) – There were sure a bunch of these foraging in the garbage along with all the horses on Doi Ang Khang, but we really didn't run into many anywhere else.
SOOTY-HEADED BULBUL (Pycnonotus aurigaster) – Though there are two distinct plumage types of this species in Thailand, all are birds were in the north, where it is the red-vented subspecies klossi that occurs.
STRIPE-THROATED BULBUL (Pycnonotus finlaysoni) – Seen mainly at Khao Yai, where we had them daily, though our first were seen in the lower section of Kaeng Krachan.
FLAVESCENT BULBUL (Pycnonotus flavescens) – A common highland species, and we recorded them pretty much throughout the country.
YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus goiavier) – Most numerous at Rangsit Marsh, where we saw 20+ birds, but many folks' first encounter was right on the grounds of our Bangkok hotel. Outside of the Bangkok region, a single bird in a large clearing at Khao Yai seemed a bit unusual.
STREAK-EARED BULBUL (Pycnonotus blanfordi) – Another common bird on the grounds of our Bangkok hotel, and we also saw them pretty regularly in disturbed habitats throughout.
PUFF-THROATED BULBUL (Alophoixus pallidus) – Primarily seen at Khao Yai, where it was quite common, though we also saw these a few times in the north.

We retreated to the van to watch this Indian Elephant approach closely, a great sighting at Khao Yai. Video clip by guide Dave Stejskal.
OCHRACEOUS BULBUL (Alophoixus ochraceus) – Quite similar to Puff-throated, though has a less pronounced crest and a less puffy throat. Replaces Ochraceous in the south, from Kaeng Krachan (where we saw plenty) down through Peninsular Thailand.
GRAY-EYED BULBUL (Iole propinqua) – Like the two preceding species, this and the similar Buff-vented Bulbul are also a species pair with similar non-overlapping (on our tour route at least) distributions. Though we heard these birds a lot from Khao Yai northwards, I think for most of us the only sightings were at Khao Yai.
BUFF-VENTED BULBUL (Iole olivacea) – Common at Kaeng Krachan, though it always trips the Ebird filters when you enter this species for the park.
BLACK BULBUL (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) – We bumped into these birds a few times in the north, with all our birds belonging to the resident, all black form, concolor.
WHITE-HEADED BULBUL (Hypsipetes thompsoni) – The sparsity of appropriate flowering trees in the northern highlands meant that there were few of these birds about, and our only record was of a flock of 5 birds that flew over during one of our morning coffee breaks on the lower slopes of Doi Inthanon.
ASHY BULBUL (Hemixos flavala) – This attractive bulbul showed up regularly throughout the tour.
MOUNTAIN BULBUL (Ixos mcclellandii) – As the name suggests, this is a bird of upland forests, and it was pretty common in the appropriate zone throughout.
Pnoepygidae (Cupwings)
PYGMY CUPWING (Pnoepyga pusilla) – Called Pygmy Wren-Babbler in the field guide. This tiny bird can be pretty elusive, but we found a vocal and reasonably friendly pair at the summit bog on Doi Inthanon, and I believe everyone had decent views of this tricky bird.
Cettiidae (Bush-Warblers and Allies)
SLATY-BELLIED TESIA (Tesia olivea) – There was a lot of love for these little birds, and several folks chose them in their top 3 birds of the tour. That was partly due to the fact that they were so well-behaved along the Jeep Track at Doi Inthanon, perching out in the open several times, and looking very much like manakins.
YELLOW-BELLIED WARBLER (Abroscopus superciliaris) – Nice views of this bamboo specialist a couple of times in the upper section of Kaeng Krachan.
MOUNTAIN TAILORBIRD (Phyllergates cucullatus) – A common bird, by voice at least, in montane forests in the north. We did have several good views of these little guys, too.
ABERRANT BUSH-WARBLER (Horornis flavolivaceus) – We had just a few glimpses of a very uncooperative bird in roadside scrub on Doi Lang.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
DUSKY WARBLER (Phylloscopus fuscatus) – Decent views if this skulker at Rangsit and the peafowl site, at least.
BUFF-THROATED WARBLER (Phylloscopus subaffinis) – A lone bird along the roadside on Doi Lang was probably the only one for most of us.
YELLOW-STREAKED WARBLER (Phylloscopus armandii) – Our only one was at the military checkpoint at the Burmese border on Doi Ang Khang.
RADDE'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus schwarzi) – Other than the lone bird at the viewpoint on our last morning at Khao Yai, I don't remember running into this species anywhere else.
BUFF-BARRED WARBLER (Phylloscopus pulcher) – Fairly common up at the summit bog on Doi Inthanon.
ASHY-THROATED WARBLER (Phylloscopus maculipennis) – The summit bog on Doi Inthanon is about the only place to see this bird in Thailand. It was fairly common up there, and a bit more distinctive than the book suggests.
PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus proregulus) – We had a handful of these kinglet-like warblers on Doi Lang and Ang Khang, where they were most readily picked out (as is the case with a lot of these Phylloscopus) by their distinctive call notes.
CHINESE LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus yunnanensis) – The chip note of this bird first drew our attention on Doi Lang, not because it is especially distinctive, but only because it sounded different than the call notes of all the many other leaf warblers we'd already gotten to know.
YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER (Phylloscopus inornatus) – The default Phylloscopus through much of the country. I think we only missed this species on one day down along the coast.
HUME'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus humei) – Heard regularly in the piney areas of Doi Inthanon, then seen daily on Doi Lang and Doi Ang Khang.
GREENISH WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochiloides) – One was up near the military checkpoint on Doi Lang, another was seen on Doi Ang Khang. Usually at higher elevations than the similar Two-barred Warbler, from which it is a recent split.
TWO-BARRED WARBLER (Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus) – Most of our records were at Khao Yai, though we heard a couple (sounding rather House Sparrow-like) in the north as well.
PALE-LEGGED LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus tenellipes) – One responded nicely and was seen well on the trail to Haew Narok Waterfall at Khao Yai; otherwise this species was heard only.
BLYTH'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus reguloides assamensis) – The song of this one is quite reminiscent of Common Yellowthroat, much more robust than the song of Davison's Leaf-Warbler that was also singing regularly atop Doi Inthanon.

Malaysian Plovers, photographed by participant Reggie David.

CLAUDIA'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus claudiae) – I don't recall ever hearing this species make any noise, but it's feeding behavior, very similar to Black-and-white Warbler, seems to be unique among the Phylloscopus warblers that occur here, and thus it was relatively easy to pick out. We saw this bird at Kaeng Krachan and on Doi Lang, A split from Blyth's Leaf Warbler.
DAVISON'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus davisoni) – Probably the most numerous leaf warbler in the mountains of the north. In the book this is called White-tailed Leaf-Warbler, a species which has since been split into several species.
SULPHUR-BREASTED WARBLER (Phylloscopus ricketti) – Just a few sightings with mixed flocks at Kaeng Krachan. This one is much yellower below than any of the other leaf warblers we saw.
GRAY-CROWNED WARBLER (Seicercus tephrocephalus) – This and the next two species (along with Bianchi's Warbler) were all formerly lumped together as Golden-spectacled Warbler. We heard this one on Doi Inthanon. [*]
PLAIN-TAILED WARBLER (Seicercus soror) – Seen a couple of times at Khao Yai.
MARTENS'S WARBLER (Seicercus omeiensis) – The most commonly encountered Seicercus warbler. We had this species regularly from Kaeng Krachan right up through the mountains of the north. If you know the chip of Wilson's Warbler, it's not too hard to pick this one out. I haven't yet figured out why this bird is not listed in the field guide at all.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED WARBLER (Seicercus castaniceps) – Normally a restless and super tough species to see well, but we got incredible scope views of a bird that for some reason stopped moving along the Jeep Track on Doi Inthanon.
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
THICK-BILLED WARBLER (Iduna aedon) – Good looks at a couple of these large warblers at Rangsit Marsh and in the scrub near the Kaeng Krachan Reservoir. Thereafter we only heard these birds.
BLACK-BROWED REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus bistrigiceps) – Not uncommon at Rangsit, but they were tough to get a good view of. I think most folks prevailed by the end of our morning there.
ORIENTAL REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus orientalis) – Great looks at a pair along one of the canals at Laem Pak Bia.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
STRIATED GRASSBIRD (Megalurus palustris) – Not a bird we usually get on this tour, but there were at least 3 of these huge grassbirds up and singing at the Black Kite roosting site, which we visited for the first time ever on our tours.
PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER-WARBLER (Locustella certhiola) – Another real skulker, though a few folks had decent looks at this one at Rangsit.
LANCEOLATED WARBLER (Locustella lanceolata) – A common voice in scrubby habitat at several locations in the south, but we never found one that wanted to play. [*]
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis) – Quite a few were seen at a few select sites. We saw our first ones in the dry scrub alongside the Kaeng Krachan Reservoir.
GOLDEN-HEADED CISTICOLA (Cisticola exilis) – A lone bird played pretty hard to get in a large clearing at Khao Yai, but it did show pretty well in the end.
COMMON TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus sutorius) – Seen a few times in the south, including on the hotel grounds in Bangkok for some.
DARK-NECKED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus atrogularis) – Especially nice views at Kaeng Krachan one morning when we seem to have instigated a territorial squabble and three birds came in close for some great looks.
BROWN PRINIA (Prinia polychroa) – Another species we rarely see on this tour, so it was a nice bonus to get this one after our long trek out to get the fireback.
HILL PRINIA (Prinia superciliaris) – We heard a bunch of these before we finally found one that was willing to show itself on Doi Ang Khang.
RUFESCENT PRINIA (Prinia rufescens) – While we looked for the Brown Prinia at Sakaerat, this species popped up first, causing a little confusion before we sorted it out. I don't recall seeing any others on the trip, though we did hear a few.

Kaeng Krachan provided great views of this snazzy Red-bearded Bee-eater, photographed by guide Dave Stejskal.

GRAY-BREASTED PRINIA (Prinia hodgsonii) – First seen in the scrub around the KKCC, but we had much better views of a close singing bird at one of our lunch stops in the north.
YELLOW-BELLIED PRINIA (Prinia flaviventris) – Pretty common and easy to see at Rangsit.
PLAIN PRINIA (Prinia inornata) – The most widespread prinia, and seen at a bunch of different locations throughout.
Paradoxornithidae (Parrotbills, Wrentit, and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED PARROTBILL (Psittiparus gularis) – A large group of about 30 came by at the tail end of the nice bird wave we found at our first stop on our first morning on Doi Lang. Though they moved through rather quickly, I think we all had decent looks at them before they disappeared.
SPOT-BREASTED PARROTBILL (Paradoxornis guttaticollis) – One very confiding bird sat up singing in full view along the road at Doi Lang, not long after our flock of Gray-headed Parrotbills went through.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
STRIATED YUHINA (Yuhina castaniceps) – After missing out on good looks at a flock of these on Doi Inthanon, we struck gold at a flowering tree on Doi Ang Khang, where 40-50 of them were actively feeding and showing beautifully.
CHESTNUT-FLANKED WHITE-EYE (Zosterops erythropleurus) – Only confirmed up on Doi Inthanon, where we had some great looks at a bunch of them feeding low along the boardwalk at the summit bog. The chestnut flanks aren't always that conspicuous, but we could sure see them on these birds.
ORIENTAL WHITE-EYE (Zosterops palpebrosus) – This is the brightest looking of the white-eyes here. We saw a fair number up on Doi Inthanon and Ang Khang, sometimes with some of the next species mixed in.
JAPANESE WHITE-EYE (Zosterops japonicus) – Duller than Oriental White-eye, and lacking the chestnut flanks of the similar Chestnut-flanked. We saw just a couple of these among small flocks of Oriental White-eyes up north.
EVERETT'S WHITE-EYE (Zosterops everetti) – Very gray-flanked in relation to the other species. We only encountered this one at Kaeng Krachan, where small numbers fed in a fruiting Macaranga tree along the road to the upper camp.
Timaliidae (Tree-Babblers, Scimitar-Babblers, and Allies)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BABBLER (Timalia pileata) – Heard only at Doi Lang. [*]
PIN-STRIPED TIT-BABBLER (Mixornis gularis) – The guide calls this one Striped Tit-Babbler. One of the more frequently encountered babblers on the tour, often in bird waves in forested regions throughout. A few of us even saw these while at the urinals at Wat Tham Pha Plong!
GOLDEN BABBLER (Cyanoderma chrysaeum) – Another regular member of bird waves, this warbler-like babbler was seen pretty regularly at Kaeng Krachan then again in the mountains of the north.
RUFOUS-FRONTED BABBLER (Cyanoderma rufifrons) – This one has a very similar song to the Golden Babbler, but the resemblance pretty much ends there, as this one is pretty subdued in coloration. We had fine views of this one a couple of times in the upper section of Kaeng Krachan.
WHITE-BROWED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus schisticeps) – Our first scimitar-babbler. A pair of these showed very nicely as they fed below an embankment above the road at the upper camp at Kaeng Krachan.
LARGE SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Megapomatorhinus hypoleucos) – Only a few folks stayed behind with Dave and me as we searched for firebacks at Sakaerat, and of those, I believe Tom was the only one to get on a pair of these birds that were feeding quietly on the forest floor before they seemed to evaporate.
RUSTY-CHEEKED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Megapomatorhinus erythrogenys) – Noisy and pretty conspicuous (for a scimitar-babbler) on Doi Lang. That may not be the case all the time, but they sure didn't present much of a challenge to our group.
GRAY-THROATED BABBLER (Stachyris nigriceps) – We heard the lovely song of this bird a bunch of times up north, but Reg may have been the only person to actually glimpse the only one that ever came close near the checkpoint on Doi Inthanon.
SPOT-NECKED BABBLER (Stachyris strialata) – We had to work hard to get everyone on this bird on Kaeng Krachan, but good thing we stuck with it, as we finished up with stunning scope views of this gorgeous skulker.
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)
RUFOUS-WINGED FULVETTA (Schoeniparus castaneceps) – One of the easiest of the babblers to see, these dapper little birds were pretty common in the higher reaches of Doi Inthanon.
PUFF-THROATED BABBLER (Pellorneum ruficeps) – Widespread, and heard at a number of sites, but the only one we actually saw (and saw well) was at the little trash pit at Kaeng Krachan.
SPOT-THROATED BABBLER (Pellorneum albiventre) – Another one we had to work hard for, but eventually most everyone had fairly decent looks at a pair in roadside scrub on Doi Lang.
BUFF-BREASTED BABBLER (Pellorneum tickelli) – Our very first babbler, at one of our first stops on our way up to the upper camp at Kaeng Krachan. Only a few got on that first one, but another bird the next day was much more cooperative, feeding in a fairly open area at the foot of a cut bank and showing nicely. This is the one that my spellcheck changed to "Buff Breastfed Babbler!"
EYEBROWED WREN-BABBLER (Napothera epilepidota) – This one came really close at our lunch spot on Doi Inthanon, but it was exceptionally difficult to get bins on, and at least a couple of people never did manage to do so.
ABBOTT'S BABBLER (Turdinus abbotti) – I only recall seeing one pair of these at Khao Yai, but they were pretty confiding and easy to see there.
LIMESTONE WREN-BABBLER (Turdinus crispifrons calcicola) – It didn't take long for us to find this bird at the wat on our way up to Khao Yai. Uthai spotted one feeding at the base of a big tree on the edge of the parking lot as soon as we got out of the vans, and we all had excellent views of it there and at the foot of the giant snake head staircase.

Scarlet Minivet, photographed by participant Reggie David.

STREAKED WREN-BABBLER (Turdinus brevicaudatus) – Most folks had good looks at one on the roof of one of the buildings at Wat Tham Pha Plong, though it didn't stick around for too long. Those that missed it did catch up a couple of days later on the hotel grounds at Doi Ang Khang.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
BROWN-CHEEKED FULVETTA (Alcippe poioicephala) – Not uncommon at Kaeng Krachan, where we heard a lot but had a hard time getting good looks at them. We fared better in the north, where they showed especially well on Doi Lang, but were also seen at Wat Tham Pha Plong and Doi Su Thep. The two races seen (karenni at Kaeng Krachan and haringtoniae in the north) have very different songs and look quite different, so a future split is a distinct possibility.
YUNNAN FULVETTA (Alcippe fratercula) – A recent split from Gray-cheeked Fulvetta, this species was numerous and generally pretty easy to see in most of the forested areas in the north.
HIMALAYAN CUTIA (Cutia nipalensis) – A small group of these strikingly beautiful birds were part of that big mixed flock we found at our first birding stop on Doi Lang. Since we had some trouble getting decent looks for all, we got ourselves into position at the same time and place the next morning and were rewarded with some incredible views of at least 5 birds, especially when a couple of them started digging through the dead leaves in an apparent squirrel nest, then sat out singing for a lengthy period! This was the first sighting of this species on one of our Thailand tours and the overall trip favorite of David plus both Dave and me.
WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax leucolophus) – This handsome bird was pretty easy to see for a laughingthrush and we saw them exceptionally well at Khao Yai and Doi Su Thep, as well as hearing them at a bunch of other sites.
LESSER NECKLACED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax monileger) – Heard only at Khao Yai. [*]
WHITE-NECKED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax strepitans) – These birds sure played hardball, but we finally managed to nail some good views of a small flock of them on our final birding walk on Doi Su Thep, for the final addition to our trip lists.
GREATER NECKLACED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla pectoralis) – We just heard these along the road at Kaeng Krachan. [*]
BLACK-THROATED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla chinensis) – This one played nice, showing superbly in a roadside thicket on Kaeng Krachan, but the big white cheek patch was far more conspicuous that the black throat!
WHITE-BROWED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla sannio) – Seen by some on Doi Lang, then by all of us at the dump on Doi Ang Khang where we managed to scope a small party in the scrubby clearing.
SILVER-EARED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron melanostigma) – One of the more colorful laughingthrushes, and by far the easiest one to see, as they seemed to be pretty habituated to humans in the summit bog on Doi Inthanon as well as at some of the feeding areas on Doi Lang. Called Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush in the book, but a recent split from that species.
BLACK-BACKED SIBIA (Heterophasia melanoleuca) – A pretty common bird in the north, and we saw them most days up in the mountains there. The name in the field guide is Dark-backed Sibia.
LONG-TAILED SIBIA (Heterophasia picaoides) – A very local species and one that's missed more often than not on this tour. We had awesome views of a group of 5 of these on Doi Lang.
SILVER-EARED MESIA (Leiothrix argentauris) – A stunningly beautiful bird, and Sue's favorite of the trip. We had incredible views of a trio in some roadside bamboo on Doi Lang, than even better looks at a pair at one of the feeding stations on Doi Ang Khang.
RUFOUS-BACKED SIBIA (Minla annectens) – This one was a bit tough, but eventually most got some kind of views of a pair with a mixed flock on Doi Lang.
SCARLET-FACED LIOCICHLA (Liocichla ripponi) – That first one gave us a hard time, and stubbornly refused to show, though it was very vocal. No matter, as a little way down the road, we had fantastic looks at another one. Once known as Red-faced Leocichla, though that has now been split into a couple of species.
SPECTACLED BARWING (Actinodura ramsayi) – This laughingthrush family sure has some great birds, and this is another wonderful one that we saw at close range on Doi Inthanon, then again on Doi Lang.
BLUE-WINGED MINLA (Actinodura cyanouroptera) – Seen a few times in the north, but our first views of a pair along the roadside in the lower parts of Doi Inthanon remained our best. This and the next species have recently been removed from the genus Minla, and are now aligned with the barwings. I wonder if a common name change will follow?
CHESTNUT-TAILED MINLA (Actinodura strigula) – Another great-looking bird, this one was seen well at the summit bog on Doi Inthanon.
Irenidae (Fairy-bluebirds)
ASIAN FAIRY-BLUEBIRD (Irena puella) – This lovely bird, part of a very small family (2 species) was a regular sight at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, often at fruiting trees. In the north, we saw it only at Wat Tham Pha Plong.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
DARK-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa sibirica) – Commonly seen perched high up on dead snags, and hawking insects like a wood-pewee, at Kaeng Krachan.
ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa dauurica) – Most regularly seen at Khao Yai, though we had our first at one of the wats on our first afternoon, and another in the main camp at Kaeng Krachan.
ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN (Copsychus saularis) – A pretty widespread species and seen regularly through the tour, including on the grounds of several hotels.
WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA (Copsychus malabaricus) – A familiar bird for our Hawaiian participants, but this is really where you should see this species. These birds were pretty skulking overall, but we did see several, and had very good looks at a couple that visited the Blue Pitta feeding spot.
WHITE-GORGETED FLYCATCHER (Anthipes monileger) – Great looks at a couple of these that have become mealworm addicts at the photographer's feeding stations on Doi Lang. A pretty plain-looking little bird until it turns towards you and you get a good look at that black-outlined, white throat.
RUFOUS-BROWED FLYCATCHER (Anthipes solitaris) – One was calling and calling from the dense understory at Kaeng Krachan, and after a lot of searching, Dave finally found it on its song perch, where it stayed long enough for some scope studies.

Silver-eared Laughingthrush at Doi Lang performed nicely for us, as usual. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

HAINAN BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis hainanus) – Just a couple of sightings at Khao Yai, with great views for most of a lovely male that was hanging around the Blue Pitta feeding station.
PALE BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis unicolor) – Against that harsh backlighting, this bird looked pretty dark blue, not pale at all. Sadly we couldn't find another after that poor encounter at Kaeng Krachan.
BLUE-THROATED FLYCATCHER (BLUE-THROATED) (Cyornis rubeculoides dialilaemus) – We never did see this species, though we heard both forms. This is the one that was heard at Doi Inthanon. [*]
BLUE-THROATED FLYCATCHER (CHINESE) (Cyornis rubeculoides glaucicomans) – And this one was heard at Kaeng Krachan. [*]
HILL BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis banyumas) – The most often seen blue-flycatcher, which we encountered at Kaeng Krachan, Khao Yai, and Doi Ang Khang, where we had especially nice views of a male that reacted strongly to our Collared Owlet imitations.
TICKELL'S BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis tickelliae) – A bamboo specialist, this bird gave us the runaround at the peafowl site, and I think some folks never really got a decent view of any of the three that were calling near to us.
LARGE NILTAVA (Niltava grandis) – Females were seen several times on Doi Lang, but males eluded us until the final day on Doi Ang Khang, where we finally got a cooperative bird to show himself.
SMALL NILTAVA (Niltava macgrigoriae) – A small version of the above species, this was our first niltava, a male showing itself nicely along one of the roads on Doi Inthanon.
RUFOUS-BELLIED NILTAVA (Niltava sundara) – A brilliant male was seen on both days up on Doi Lang, giving us a sweep of the possible niltavas on this trip.
VIVID NILTAVA (Niltava vivida) – We found this one, a gorgeous male, along the Jeep Track at Doi Inthanon, shortly after getting skunked on views of a male Large Niltava. Boy did this bird sit a long time, giving us all a look at the distinctive wedge of orange that extends up onto its chin. I think it was still sitting there when we finally walked away.
VERDITER FLYCATCHER (Eumyias thalassinus) – More conspicuous than most of the other blue-colored flycatchers, often sitting up on exposed perches in the canopy. We saw them regularly throughout the tour.
LESSER SHORTWING (Brachypteryx leucophris) – A sneaky one gave us a couple of chances to see it as it came past at close quarters on Doi Ang Khang, but I'm afraid a couple of folks at least came up short.
WHITE-BROWED SHORTWING (Brachypteryx montana) – This one performed far better, with a pair feeding in the summit bog on Doi Inthanon giving quite nice views eventually, nice enough for most to make out the white brow at least.
SIBERIAN BLUE ROBIN (Larvivora cyane) – A couple of females at Khao Yai was all we could come up with this trip.
WHITE-BELLIED REDSTART (Luscinia phaenicuroides) – If it wasn't for those baiting areas on Doi Lang, we never would have seen this gorgeous bird. As it was, we had incredible looks at a male as it scarfed down a few mealworms at one roadside station.
BLUETHROAT (Luscinia svecica) – A female was seen by some of the folks in Dave's van as we drove along at the Black Kite roosting site.
BLUE WHISTLING-THRUSH (BLACK-BILLED) (Myophonus caeruleus caeruleus) – This black-billed wintering race was only seen on Doi Inthanon, and only by a couple of folks. Perhaps a legitimate candidate for a split; stay tuned!
BLUE WHISTLING-THRUSH (YELLOW-BILLED) (Myophonus caeruleus eugenei) – This resident form was a bit more common, and was seen daily on Doi Inthanon and also on Doi Ang Khang, though I must admit I thought they would be more numerous than they really were.
WHITE-CROWNED FORKTAIL (Enicurus leschenaulti) – Awesome views of one along a stream in the pine forest on Doi Ang Khang, shortly before our encounter with the frogmouth.
BLACK-BACKED FORKTAIL (Enicurus immaculatus) – The one at the bridge in the lower section of Doi Inthanon gave us multiple chances to see it, but you had to be pretty quick, as it never stayed in sight for long.
SLATY-BACKED FORKTAIL (Enicurus schistaceus) – We had a few meetings with this one on Doi Inthanon, but perhaps the best for many was along the river below the waterfall, where one showed reasonably well for a brief while.
SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT (Calliope calliope) – A female was seen in the dry scrub at the Kaeng Krachan Reservoir, than a couple of fine, bold males at some of the baiting sites on Doi Lang.
WHITE-TAILED ROBIN (Cinclidium leucurum) – Two males chased each other around vigorously at a baiting station on Doi Ang Khang, showing off their white tails beautifully. From what I gather, this bird is rarely recorded elsewhere on this tour other than at this spot, so let's hope the baiting continues.
HIMALAYAN BLUETAIL (Tarsiger rufilatus) – A female plumaged bird at the summit bog on Inthanon was seen by most and photographed well enough by Randy that an identification was possible, as this species is pretty similar to Red-flanked Bluetail in this plumage. These two species were treated as a single species, called Orange-flanked Bush-Robin in the book, until recently.
SLATY-BACKED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula sordida) – A fine male at a fruiting MAcaranga tree in Kaeng Krachan was a bit unusual so far south. In the mountains up north, this was not an uncommonly seen species.
SLATY-BLUE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula tricolor) – A real skulker, so the looks we had at a male at one of the baiting sites on Doi Lang were exceptional. A much more attractive looking species than one might surmise from looking at the picture in the book.

Spotted Owlet at Wat Thian Thawai, photographed by participant Randy Siebert.

SNOWY-BROWED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula hyperythra) – A confiding male was a treat at the base of the concrete steps leading down to the bog on Inthanon.
RUFOUS-GORGETED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula strophiata) – Our lone sighting was of a lovely male on Doi Lang.
SAPPHIRE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula sapphira) – Given that we saw males of almost every other flycatcher species, I guess we can't complain that our only one of these was a female on Doi Lang. Still, that male looks like a might fine bird!
LITTLE PIED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula westermanni) – There weren't many about, and it's possible some missed this one altogether, though there was a female pointed out on Inthanon, and a few of us got onto a male on Doi Ang Khang.
ULTRAMARINE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula superciliaris) – Apparently that spanking male on Doi Lang has been visiting that baiting site for several years running. Hope he's back again next year, as he was truly stunning!
TAIGA FLYCATCHER (Ficedula albicilla) – Pretty common and widespread, and often in disturbed habitats. Called Red-throated Flycatcher in the guide.
BLUE-FRONTED REDSTART (Phoenicurus frontalis) – A scarce wintering bird here, so the female we saw at our first stop on Doi Inthanon was a good find.
PLUMBEOUS REDSTART (Phoenicurus fuliginosus) – A lovely pair posed on the rocks below one of the waterfalls on Doi Inthanon. This and the next species were both called water redstarts in the past, a reference to their predilection for mountain streams.
WHITE-CAPPED REDSTART (Phoenicurus leucocephalus) – A pair of these were a lovely sight at one of the waterfalls on Inthanon, eliciting some oohs and aahs even from the non-birders who had a look at them through our scopes.
DAURIAN REDSTART (Phoenicurus auroreus) – A splendid male at the military post along the Burmese border on Doi Ang Khang has been showing up at this same spot since at least 2014.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola rufiventris) – One that we scoped our first morning on Inthanon was our only male, but we did see a female lower down on the mountain a couple of days later.
BLUE ROCK-THRUSH (PANDOO) (Monticola solitarius pandoo) – A female atop a building at the military checkpoint on Khao Yai was assigned to this subspecies, though I don't recall based on what criteria. The all-blue male (also sitting atop a building) at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station was clearly this form.
SIBERIAN STONECHAT (Saxicola maurus) – Fairly common in disturbed areas throughout.
PIED BUSHCHAT (Saxicola caprata) – Our first were a couple of roadside birds on our way to Sakaerat. Later we saw a few more around some of the rice paddies in the north.
GRAY BUSHCHAT (Saxicola ferreus) – A common bird of open grassy areas on both Doi Lang and Doi Ang Khang.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
DARK-SIDED THRUSH (Zoothera marginata) – This long-billed thrush was seen very well a few times up in the summit bog on Inthanon, where its shape, behavior, and seeming preference for dark, damp areas reminded me of leaftossers from the Neotropics.
BLACK-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus dissimilis) – A couple of nice males showed off at a baiting site on Ang Khang.
GRAY-SIDED THRUSH (Turdus feae) – Quite a scarce bird here, so that one that gave us excellent looks as it fed in a roadside fruiting tree high on Doi Inthanon was a great find.
EYEBROWED THRUSH (Turdus obscurus) – It didn't seem to be a particularly good winter for migrant thrushes this year (just like last) but we still managed to find a few of these, with especially nice views up at the end of the road in kaeng Krachan.
GREEN COCHOA (Cochoa viridis) – One high up in the canopy over our heads was in pretty poor light, and may have remained unidentified if Uthai hadn't managed to get a good enough look at it.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
GOLDEN-CRESTED MYNA (Ampeliceps coronatus) – One flock along the road in the lower section of Kaeng Krachan may have eluded a few of us, as there was just too much going on. And who knew this would be the only ones we'd encounter?
COMMON HILL MYNA (Gracula religiosa) – Perhaps a bit of a misnomer here, as they certainly aren't common. Still, we had several good sightings at Khao Yai NP.
BLACK-COLLARED STARLING (Gracupica nigricollis) – A few folks saw a pair on the hotel grounds in Bangkok before the official start of the tour. We didn't run into any again until we got up north, where we had sightings of them on several days, usually around rice paddies.
ASIAN PIED STARLING (Gracupica contra) – Also generally seen round rice paddies, though this one was perhaps a bit more numerous and seen more often.
WHITE-SHOULDERED STARLING (Sturnia sinensis) – A couple of flocks totaling about 13 birds in all were seen flying by at Rangsit. Though all were quite distant, the large white wing patch still stood out.
CHESTNUT-TAILED STARLING (Sturnia malabarica) – Though we saw these in small numbers at flowering trees up north, it was that first bird we saw down along the coast that really stood out. It was in spectacular breeding plumage, and was right next to the road, apparently investigating a possible nest hole. According to Uthai, there is a small breeding population in the region, though the book shows it just as a winter visitor.

Siberian Rubythroat was among the numerous wintering species we saw on the tour. Photo by participant David Becher.

COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – Common in disturbed areas throughout.
VINOUS-BREASTED STARLING (Acridotheres burmannicus leucocephalus) – Decent scope views of our only pair near the KKCC as we waited for Dave and Uthai to track down the thick-knees.
GREAT MYNA (Acridotheres grandis) – Common throughout. The book calls this one White-vented Myna.
Chloropseidae (Leafbirds)
GREATER GREEN LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis sonnerati) – The only one we saw was the very first leafbird of the trip, a male that was spotted as it sat on an open branch below the large fruiting fig tree in Kaeng Krachan. It got lost a bit in the confusion of all the new birds that were appearing at the time, and at least a few folks missed it.
BLUE-WINGED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis cochinchinensis) – The most often seen leafbird in the southern parks, where we had them daily. Up north we only had this one on our final afternoon at Doi Su Thep.
GOLDEN-FRONTED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis aurifrons) – Just a few birds were noted on several days at Khao Yai and Kaeng Krachan, but up to a dozen were seen from the tower at Inthanon Nest.
ORANGE-BELLIED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis hardwickii) – This handsome bird was the common leafbird in the northern mountains, but our first and only ones in the south were a pair in a mixed flock as we tried in vain to get a look at some Ratchet-tailed Treepies on our way down from the upper camp.
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
THICK-BILLED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum agile) – A pretty nondescript flowerpecker, but not a very common bird so it was good to find a pair of these along the road in the lower section of Kaeng Krachan.
ORANGE-BELLIED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum trigonostigma) – One of the more colorful of the flowerpeckers. We had fabulous looks at a couple of these during one of the rare quiet periods near the end of the road at Kaeng Krachan.
PLAIN FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum minullum) – This one almost makes the Thick-billed Flowerpecker look flashy. Our lone sighting was of a single bird in the main camp at Khao Yai.
FIRE-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum ignipectus ignipectus) – Though we heard lots of flowerpeckers, and many of them up north at least were likely this species, the only good look we had at one of these was a lone male at Kaeng Krachan. This race is the one that actually has a fiery red patch in the breast.
FIRE-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum ignipectus cambodianum) – I think we only had one good looks at this form as well, which is only found at Khao Yai on this tour. Could be a future split called Buff-breasted Flowerpecker.
SCARLET-BACKED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum cruentatum) – The most commonly seen flowerpecker, including right on the grounds of our Bangkok hotel.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
RUBY-CHEEKED SUNBIRD (Chalcoparia singalensis) – Seen only on the day we worked the lower section of Kaeng Krachan, but we saw a handful then, including good views of at least one brilliant male.
PLAIN-THROATED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes malacensis) – Called Brown-throated Sunbird in the book. Some folks saw this one on the hotel grounds in Bangkok pre-tour, but for many the first was a female we scoped at Wat Phai Lom. A few were also seen near the park headquarters at Kaeng Krachan, while a male in a flowering tree outside of Chiang Mai was near the northern limit for this species in the country.
VAN HASSELT'S SUNBIRD (Leptocoma brasiliana) – A Khao Yai specialty on the tour, several of these birds, called Purple-throated Sunbird in the guide, were seen very well from the elephant proof bridge on the trail to the Haew Narok Waterfall.
PURPLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris asiaticus) – Common in the dry dipterocarp forests at the base of Inthanon, especially so around the tower at Inthanon Nest, where we also enjoyed our best views of this species.
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris jugularis) – Numerous around Bangkok including on our hotel grounds, and also seen regularly at Khao Yai, and in disturbed lowland areas of the north.
BLACK-THROATED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga saturata) – The most widespread of the long-tailed sunbirds, and commonly seen in foothill regions throughout.
GOULD'S SUNBIRD (Aethopyga gouldiae) – Aka Mrs Gould's Sunbird. This stunning species was first encountered near the summit of Doi Inthanon, where it was also most numerous, though we had many sightings through the rest of our birding time in the NW mountains.
GREEN-TAILED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga nipalensis) – The other gorgeous sunbird up at the Doi Inthanon summit, though this one wasn't seen again after we left there.
CRIMSON SUNBIRD (Aethopyga siparaja) – I may have been the only one to miss seeing a glowing male near the stream crossings in the lower section of Kaeng Krachan (still wondering how I could have missed it!!) but luckily another male showed very well from the elephant proof bridge along the Haew Narok Waterfall trail at Khao Yai.
LITTLE SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera longirostra) – Spiderhunters were pretty elusive on the whole, but we did eventually nail down a relatively cooperative one of these along the Haew Narok Waterfall trail.
STREAKED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera magna) – By a long shot, this was the most numerous spiderhunter, though we heard way more than we actually saw. It is certainly the most striking species, and it was seen well a few times, though none better than that first one at the upper camp on Kaeng Krachan.
GRAY-BREASTED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera modesta) – I think we all saw this one flitting about overhead near the end of the road at Kaeng Krachan, but I'm not sure many, if any of us got a satisfactory look at it.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (Motacilla tschutschensis) – Seen primarily at Rangsit and along the coast, though Dave at least, noted a couple in rice paddies up north.
CITRINE WAGTAIL (Motacilla citreola) – Two of these were in the rice paddies near the Mae Ngat Dam, one bird showing a bright yellow head, making the identification pretty easy.
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea) – Not a rice paddy bird like the other wagtails, this one prefers mountain stream sides. We saw a couple at Khao Yai and several in the northern mountains.
WHITE WAGTAIL (Motacilla alba) – Seen only in the north, with our first one at one of the picnic areas on the lower slopes of Doi Inthanon. This bird and most, if not all of the others were of the black-backed Chinese breeding form leucopsis. I certainly didn't make note of any other subspecies being seen.
RICHARD'S PIPIT (Anthus richardi) – Larger and chunkier than the similar Paddyfield Pipit, which is also the more common species. Our only Richard's Pipits were in the scrub along the shores of the Kaeng Krachan Reservoir, where we saw about half a dozen along with several Paddyfield Pipits.
PADDYFIELD PIPIT (Anthus rufulus) – Quite a few at a number of open country sites.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus hodgsoni) – A few birds in the north on Doi Lang and Ang Khang. Unlike many pipits, this one is often seen perched up in trees, so that first bird on Doi Lang wasn't unusual.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus indicus) – Fairly common in settled areas, though never as numerous as the Eurasian Tree Sparrow.
PLAIN-BACKED SPARROW (Passer flaveolus) – A lone bird at Wat Thian Thawai or first afternoon was followed by several along the Kaeng Krachan Reservoir and a few birds at the Mae Ngat rice paddies. A much prettier species than the name implies.
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus) – The default Passer through most of the country.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
STREAKED WEAVER (Ploceus manyar) – Though all the weavers are in non-breeding plumage at this time of year, this one was still pretty distinctive with its streaky breast and a fair bit of yellow on the sides of the head. We had two of these birds with several Asian Golden Weavers in some rank grass near the pygmy-goose pond near the coast.
BAYA WEAVER (Ploceus philippinus) – Seen only at Rangsit, where we had about half a dozen birds.
ASIAN GOLDEN WEAVER (Ploceus hypoxanthus) – A small number of these birds were seen along the coast south of Bangkok on our way up to Khao Yai.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
RED AVADAVAT (Amandava amandava) – Just a few flyovers at Rangsit.
WHITE-RUMPED MUNIA (Lonchura striata) – A couple of birds turned up just as we were about to leave Rangsit, after which we saw small numbers at most of the rice paddies we visited.
SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) – The most numerous munia at most of the rice paddies and marshes.
CHESTNUT MUNIA (Lonchura atricapilla) – Several good views were had of these in the south, beginning with a couple of birds at Rangsit.

LYLE'S FLYING FOX (Pteropus lylei) – Had we actually understood a word our boat man was saying, we might have noticed that he was pointing these bats out on our way to the spit. We only realized on the way back what it was he wanted to show us. This species is restricted to SE Asia, and is listed as Vulnerable by IUCN due to its declining population.
WRINKLE-LIPPED FREE-TAILED BAT (Chaerephon plicatus) – These bats exited their cave a little later than we'd hoped, so they weren't quite as visible as they might have been, but it was still pretty impressive seeing so many and being able to hear the whir of their wings asa they flew by overhead.
NORTHERN TREESHREW (Tupaia berlangeri) – These small mammals look a lot like a pointy-nosed squirrels. We had some decent looks at a couple on Doi Inthanon.
CRAB-EATING MACAQUE (Macaca fascigularis) – These were the long-tailed macaques that some folks saw down on the coast south of Bangkok.
PIGTAIL MACAQUE (Macaca nemestrina) – Pretty common and cheeky at Khao Yai, where they were hanging along the road waiting for handouts.
BANDED LEAF MONKEY (Presbytis melalophos) – The folks in Dave's truck saw a couple of these scarce monkeys near the upper camp at Kaeng Krachan.
DUSKY LEAF MONKEY (Presbytis obscura) – The common langur at Kaeng Krachan.
PILEATED GIBBON (Hylobates pileatus) – Dave hasn't seen this species in the 20 years he's been doing this tour, and that didn't change this trip, though we heard them at close quarters at the Blue Pitta stake out in Khao Yai. [*]
WHITE-HANDED GIBBON (Hylobates lar) – The wonderful calls of this gibbon were a regular part of the soundtrack at KAeng Krachan and Khao Yai, and we also had some great looks at them several times, including a very agitated female along one of the tracks at Khao Yai.
BLACK GIANT SQUIRREL (Ratufa bicolor) – This massive squirrel might be better called Black-and-white Giant Squirrel. We saw quite a few of these monsters at Khao Yai.
MOUNTAIN RED-BELLIED SQUIRREL (Callosciurus flavimanus) – Mainly in the north, with a couple in a flowering tree next to the Black-tailed Crake marsh on Doi Inthanon really showing their red bellies well.
FINLAYSON'S SQUIRREL (Callosciurus finlaysoni) – Also known as Variable Squirrel, a fitting name as there seemed to be an endless variety of colors on these animals, including some completely blond ones at the bat cave. This is also the squirrel we saw on the hotel grounds in Bangkok.
GRAY-BELLIED SQUIRREL (Callosciurus caniceps) – There was some variation in this species as well, with most but not all showing black tail tips. Seen at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai.
HIMALAYAN STRIPED SQUIRREL (Tamiops macclellandi) – Recorded pretty much daily after we left the coast, though some days we only heard the high-pitched twittering of these chipmunk-like squirrels.
INDOCHINESE GROUND SQUIRREL (Menetes berdmorei) – Some folks saw a this one a couple of times near Fang, including one at one of the gas station/bathroom stops.
ASIAN RED-CHEEKED SQUIRREL (Dremomys rufigenis) – A single one was seen by some at Khao Yai.
INDOCHINESE FLYING SQUIRREL (Hylopetes phayrei) – An odd-looking squirrel sitting quietly in a pine tree on Doi Inthanon got our attention, and we soon realized we were looking at a flying squirrel, a big surprise in the middle of the day as these animals are strictly nocturnal. Though we're not 100% sure of the species, it seems likely that this is the one we saw.
MALAYAN SUN BEAR (Ursus malayanus) – One of these bears dashed across the road ahead of the first van on our first morning's visit to Khao Yai NP, though only a couple of us saw it before it disappeared into the forest.
YELLOW-THROATED MARTEN (Martes flavigula) – As we sat quietly in the vans waiting for Hume's Pheasants to come out onto the road at Doi Lang, three of these large weasels emerged from the tall grass along the roadside and crossed right in front of us.
INDIAN ELEPHANT (Elephas maximus) – Dave said he always checks the mineral lick in that large clearing at Khao Yai, but in 20 years he'd never seen an elephant there, until this tour! The one we saw was walking through the clearing, then came out on the road and towards us, causing us all to leap back into the vans as it was getting a bit too close for comfort. We later saw it in the main camp tearing branches off some of the trees in the parking area. Another smaller elephant was seen the next morning walking down the highway ahead of us as we drove through the park.
WILD BOAR (Sus scrofa) – I was the only one to see this animal as we searched for the Banded Kingfishers at Khao Yai, but everyone else heard it when it realized we were there and snorted loudly before charging off into the forest.
MUNTJAC (BARKING DEER) (Muntiacus muntjak) – The smaller of the two deer species we saw. Most of these were seen at Khao Yai, but that first one at the water hole at Kaeng Krachan probably gave us our best views.
SAMBAR (Cervus unicolor) – The larger deer at Khao Yai, these ones were pretty habituated there, often hanging out in the camping areas. At least a couple of nice bucks with large sets of antlers were among the many seen.


Totals for the tour: 473 bird taxa and 23 mammal taxa