Field Guides
Home Tours Guides News About Us FAQ Contact Us
Field Guides Tour Report
Thailand 2019
Jan 12, 2019 to Feb 2, 2019
Jay VanderGaast & Uthai Treesucon

We visited a couple of new places on this year's tour, and found some very nice birds for our efforts. One of these was a wonderful Rusty-naped Pitta that was seen at a site near the border with Myanmar. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

I've got to say, that this year's Thailand tour was pretty average. Those of you who joined me on this tour might argue the point, but just hear me out. It was average, but average in the case of a Thailand tour is a pretty darned good thing. On an average tour here, the weather is fantastic, not too hot, not too cold, and with virtually no rain. On an average tour here, hotels are clean and comfortable, the food is delicious, and everyone generally stays pretty healthy. On an average tour here, the birds are abundant, beautiful, and amazing, and we see in the vicinity of 450-470 species. And on an average tour here, our incredible ground operator, Wat, along with his crew, see to our every need, ensuring that we are well-taken care of from the moment we arrive in Bangkok to the moment we fly home. On an average tour here, nearly everything is above average, so an average tour to Thailand is something to look forward to!

Our average tour began, as always, in Bangkok, with some introductory birding at a couple of wats (temples) and Rangsit Marsh, before we kicked it into gear in the coastal lowlands to the south. Shorebirds were the big draw here, and we easily nailed all the key targets--the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper (which was voted bird of the trip), Asian Dowitcher, Nordmann's Greenshank (a flock of 115 birds!), Malaysian Plover--along with about 35 other species. Three Chinese Egrets fishing in the shallows of the Laem Pak Bia canal, a vagrant Black-faced Spoonbill, numbers of gaudy Painted Storks, and a sneaky Slaty-breasted Rail were among the other species that got our juices flowing on these first few days.

Moving on to Kaeng Krachan National Park, we really started to get more than just a taste of the SE Asian avifauna, we had moved on the the buffet! Great Hornbills passed overhead on huge, whooshing wings, the relentless calls of Green-eared and Blue-eared barbets followed us wherever we went, and a trio of wonderful broadbill species--Black-and-yellow, Black-and-red, and the uncommon Dusky-- were much enjoyed by all. We also made our first acquaintance with some of SE Asia's many stunning woodpeckers, including an incredible 7 species on our first day there, with beautiful Greater Flameback, Greater Yellownape, and elusive Bamboo Woodpecker among them. Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Black-thighed Falconet, Gray-rumped Treeswift, Asian Fairy Bluebird, and Golden-crested Myna were among the many other species that entertained us during our time at this magnificent park.

We finished our time in the south with a visit to another wonderful park, Khao Yai, to the north of Bangkok. Birding was a little tougher than we'd expected here, but we soldiered on and managed to find most of the expected species, bar some of the shyer species made more difficult by the new ban on baiting birds. Magnificent Silver Pheasants gave us the runaround, but finally put in several appearances on our final morning in the park, and a pair of Scaly-breasted Partridges showed unusually well along a forest track. A scarce Black Eagle soared high over the forest, and a jaunty-crested Jerdon's Baza perched near our lunch spot one afternoon. Subtly beautiful Silver-breasted Broadbills sat quietly in the forest near the road, a gorgeous male Red-headed Trogon and an equally stunning Common Green Magpie gave a nice show at the military checkpoint, and showy Sultan Tits, a surprise Blue-eared Kingfisher, and a lovely male Heart-spotted Woodpecker headlined an array of smaller birds that also won our hearts here.

All too soon it was time to leave the south behind and head to Chiang Mai, which always feels like starting another tour, so different are the birds of the north. It's also like learning a new vocabulary, consisting of strange words like yuhina, minla, liocichla, fulvetta, and niltava, all of which we learned well through our many encounters with these wonderful beasts. Our three main venues in the north, Doi Inthanon, Doi Ang Khang, and Doi Lang all offered up an astounding assortment of incredible birds, and it's hard to choose which mountain is tops of the three. Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand, gave us a fabulous encounter with the shy and retiring Pygmy Cupwing, an amazing close encounter with a pair of Yellow-cheeked Tits attacking a huge green caterpillar, and two stunning sunbirds, Gould's and Green-tailed, the latter represented by a distinctive subspecies that is found only here on this mountain. It also gave us Large and Small niltavas, tiny Chestnut-crowned Warblers and Clicking Shrike-Babblers, a skulking Eyebrowed Wren-Babbler, and the simply stunning Chestnut-tailed Minla, among so many other memorable species. Ang Khang's highlights included a hard-earned day-roosting Hodgson's Frogmouth, the highly sought-after Giant Nuthatch, lovely Spot-winged Grosbeaks, and gorgeous Silver-eared Mesias, bathing in a pool right on the grounds of our hotel. And Doi Lang was its usual superlative self, with too many birds to recount here, but standouts that included a displaying male Hume's Pheasant in the middle of the road., all those Spectacled Barwings and Red-faced Liocichlas that swarmed over the feeders at the military post, a nice assortment of wintering flycatchers (that Ultramarine!) and a couple of male Scarlet Finches, a rarely seen species in the country.

Outside of these three main areas there were also plenty of memorable species seen, from huge and spectacular Green Peafowl north of Chiang Mai, to lovely Blossom-headed Parakeets and Golden-fronted Leafbirds at Inthanon Nest. A visit to a new venue for us, Mae Ping NP, was a great success, giving us fantastic Black-headed and White-bellied woodpeckers, the rare and declining White-rumped Falcon, and the beautiful Burmese Nuthatch, among others, while another new venue on the Myanmar border got us up close and personal with an amazingly confiding Rusty-naped Pitta! A rare Jerdon's Bushchat along the Mae Kok River, Small Pratincoles along the might Mekong (and across the river in Laos!) and 4 species of harriers(!) at a well-known roost site were some of the other wonderful sightings that filled in the spaces between our main venues, as did so many more that I just don't have the space to include here.

This really was an outstanding tour, by which I mean to say, it was par for the course, entirely average, nothing unusual, here in Thailand. And we all owe a debt of thanks to a bunch of people that ensured it was so: our superb guide Uthai, (and Guide "K" for the first couple of days) who is a font of information on Thailand's avifauna, and knows where to find them all; Jiang and Jock, our two jovial drivers, who got us around in safety and comfort, and always with a big smile on their faces; and last but not least, our superior field crew consisting of Wat, his wife Kaew, and their son Nat, who took exceptionally good care of us throughout the trip. And personally, I want to thank all of you for coming along on this tour, too. I enjoyed your company, your good humor, and your compatibility. You were all a pleasure to travel with, and I hope we can do it again 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

This displaying male Hume's Pheasant was a favorite of the tour. We saw this lovely species several times, but this male provided one of the memorable moments. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
LESSER WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna javanica) – The most commonly seen duck, with good numbers at watery sites throughout.
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus coromandelianus) – About 20 birds flew over at Rangsit, but the views were limited and not very good. We improved on that during a stop at a large lake en route to Sakaerat, where we got nice scope views of 16 of them.
GARGANEY (Spatula querquedula) – A big flock of a couple of hundred fairly distant birds at Bang Tabun were the only ones this trip.
INDIAN SPOT-BILLED DUCK (Anas poecilorhyncha) – Good scope views of a close pair at Wiang Nong Lom (i.e. the harrier roost), then a bunch more the next day at Nong Bong Khai Non-Hunting Reserve. Uthai's new book suggests that the red loral spot is sometimes absent, which may explain why we didn't see it on the birds we saw well.
NORTHERN PINTAIL (Anas acuta) – About 75-100 mixed in with the Gargeney flock at Bang Tabun.
FERRUGINOUS DUCK (Aythya nyroca) – Distant, but seen well through the scope at Nong Bong Khai, where about 65 of them were among a larger number of coots.
TUFTED DUCK (Aythya fuligula) – It took a while to get everyone on this bird, a male, among all the Ferruginous Ducks, as it was diving pretty actively, but eventually everyone finally got a scope view.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
RUFOUS-THROATED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila rufogularis) – Uthai found a lone bird feeding behind the kitchen at the summit of Doi Inthanon,and we squeezed everyone into the small viewing area for some reasonably good looks at it.
BAR-BACKED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila brunneopectus) – We heard the lovely, musical song of this partridge as we birded from the bridge on the lower part of Doi Lang's eastern slope.
SCALY-BREASTED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila chloropus) – A curious pair walked circles around us along the km 33 track at Khao Yai, and I believe everyone got pretty decent looks before they lost interest and melted into the forest understory.
GREEN PEAFOWL (Pavo muticus) – As usual, we saw this impressive bird only at the Royal Project north of Chiang Mai, but we had some good scope views of one feeding on the ground among some junglefowl, and at least three others perched in the treetops across the lake.
CHINESE FRANCOLIN (Francolinus pintadeanus) – Several of these were calling raucously at dusk at our owling spot near our Inthanon hotel. [*]
MOUNTAIN BAMBOO-PARTRIDGE (Bambusicola fytchii) – A trio of these large, attractive partridges emerged onto the road at the Hume's Pheasant spot on Doi Lang. Though they were not as bold as the pheasants, they lingered long enough for all of us to enjoy satisfying views.
RED JUNGLEFOWL (Gallus gallus) – In the south we heard quite a few at KKNP and Khao Yai, but our only sightings were of a couple of roosters flushed from the road edge at the latter park. Our only clean views came at the Royal Project north of Chiang Mai, where we were able to scope several birds feeding in the open across the lake from our viewing spot.
HUME'S PHEASANT (Syrmaticus humiae) – A long wait in our portable hide on Doi Lang eventually paid off when a stunning male, joined later by 3 females, showed up and began to feed on the road in front of us. Then, on our final trip up the mountain a few days later, we not only saw the male there again (along with one female), but also came across another male along a different stretch of the road, the first I've seen away from the baiting area. These birds were especially enjoyed by our photographers, particularly Benedict, who chose this as his favorite bird of the tour. Hope someone got a picture of that male displaying!

This beautiful White-capped Redstart was seen near the waterfall on Doi Inthanon. Photo by participant Benedict De Laender.

SILVER PHEASANT (Lophura nycthemera) – Our first two days at Khao Yai were completely pheasant-less, and our fingers were crossed for our luck to change on our final morning there. And boy did it ever, as we ended up seeing this species in three different areas. First there was a trio of males that scurried off the road, then up the embankment, with one pausing long enough for a quick drumming display. Then, along the nature trail, we found a couple of very cooperative females, and finally, another pair of handsome males were seen beautifully as they strode through the thick bamboo patches behind the military checkpoint.
SIAMESE FIREBACK (Lophura diardi) – With our prospects of seeing this handsome bird (the national bird of Thailand) at Khao Yai looking pretty bleak, we switched over to plan B, and made the long drive out to Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve for a better chance. And it was well worth it, as the 5 males and 3 females we found there were absolutely fantastic, giving unbeatable views as they fed calmly next to the trail!
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Pretty common in suitable wetlands throughout.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Seen on far too many days for my liking. [I]
SPECKLED WOOD-PIGEON (Columba hodgsonii) – Unless you are at that one spot on Doi Inthanon at dawn, this is a tough species to find. We were at the right spot, at the right time, and got good scope views of 4 of them, though they really didn't stick around too long.
ASHY WOOD-PIGEON (Columba pulchricollis) – And this one required a visit to the men's urinals on the same mountain. Needless to say, there were a few surprised looking men when a bunch of women with binoculars turned up at the stalls, but you gotta do what you gotta do!
ORIENTAL TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia orientalis) – Fairly similar to the much more common and widespread Spotted Dove, but much less of an urban bird than that species. We had a few scattered views of these birds at Mae Ping NP and on Doi Lang.
RED COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia tranquebarica) – Though widespread in the country, we only saw these lovely doves in the Bangkok region.
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) – Very common all over the country. We did miss this species on a couple of days on Doi Inthanon, but I bet we could have found them there, too, if we had tried.
BARRED CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia unchall) – Just one record of a bird that flew past, then called from inside the nearby forest, at the head of the Pha Diao Dai Nature Trail at Khao Yai NP.
ASIAN EMERALD DOVE (Chalcophaps indica) – Our lone sighting came at Kaeng Krachan, where we watched one feeding along the edge of the road near our picnic lunch spot.
ZEBRA DOVE (Geopelia striata) – Like the Spotted Dove, this is a pretty common urban bird across the country, and we saw them pretty regularly.
PINK-NECKED PIGEON (Treron vernans) – A dozen of these colorful pigeons were scoped and well-seen at Rangsit Marsh. These were the only ones on the tour itself, though quite a few folks saw a couple on the grounds of the Rama Gardens before the official start of the tour.
THICK-BILLED PIGEON (Treron curvirostra) – Only seen on one day at Kaeng Krachan NP, but we had a couple of large flocks totaling about 65 of them, and we enjoyed excellent scope views of these beauties.

A Eurasian Hoopoe posed very nicely on the Queen's Palace on Doi Inthanon. Photo by guide Jay VanderGaast.

PIN-TAILED PIGEON (Treron apicauda) – As usual, we saw these only at Wat Tham Pha Plong, but they came more easily than they often do, as about 15 of them flew by, then perched in the open shortly after we arrived.
WEDGE-TAILED PIGEON (Treron sphenurus) – Seen in ones or twos at several sites, starting with a lone female in the dry forest at Kaeng Krachan, then another lone bird on Doi Inthanon, and a couple of sightings on Doi Ang Khang.
MOUNTAIN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula badia) – A handful of sightings in the mountains up north (Doi Inthanon and Doi Lang), but our only really good view was of a bird we scoped in a fruiting tree along the km 33 trail at Khao Yai NP.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER COUCAL (Centropus sinensis) – That distinctive, whooping call was a common sound throughout the tour, and we also had plenty of good views of this common bird whenever we were in suitable scrubby/and/or marshy habitat.
LESSER COUCAL (Centropus bengalensis) – Our lone sighting was of a single bird in non-breeding plumage as we watched the harriers arriving to their roost at Wiang Nong Lom.
RAFFLES'S MALKOHA (Rhinortha chlorophaea) – A very cooperative female showed beautifully along a stretch of the entrance road at Kaeng Krachan NP, and at one point she sat for a long time in the open, to the delight of the photographers. This species always reminds me of the similarly shaped and colored Squirrel Cuckoo of Central and South America.
GREEN-BILLED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus tristis) – On our tour route, this is the only one of the malkohas that can be found away from Kaeng Krachan NP. We saw this bird on roughly half the days of the tour, with several excellent looks. Though they were far more common in the south, we did also see singles at Mae Ping NP, Doi Lang, and in the Chiang Saen area.
ASIAN KOEL (Eudynamys scolopaceus) – There weren't many mornings when we didn't wake up the calls of this common species, which often called pre-dawn and even through the night at some places. We also saw quite a few, though they were probably easiest to see on the grounds of our Bangkok hotel.
ASIAN EMERALD CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx maculatus) – This sparkling cuckoo was seen on 5 different days but our best view came at our lunch spot in Thaton, where a gorgeous female sat out in good light right outside the restaurant.
VIOLET CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus) – Single females were seen with mixed flocks on two days at Kaeng Krachan NP, but unfortunately we didn't encounter any of the more distinctive males.
BANDED BAY CUCKOO (Cacomantis sonneratii) – By voice a pretty common bird, but seeing one was a bit of a challenge. We managed to call one into view on the grounds of the Kaeng Krachan Country Club, and another was seen in the dry forest at Inthanon Nest, but they were our only two sightings.
PLAINTIVE CUCKOO (Cacomantis merulinus) – As usual seen only in and around Bangkok. Many of you saw it on the hotel grounds before the start of the tour, but we also saw a couple perched on pilings in the Chao Phraya River at one of the wats we visited our first afternoon.
SQUARE-TAILED DRONGO-CUCKOO (Surniculus lugubris) – A couple of birds turned up in a bare tree near the lower campground at Kaeng Krachan NP, and showed that they really deserve this name, as they certainly do look very much like drongos.
LARGE HAWK-CUCKOO (Hierococcyx sparverioides) – Another bird well-deserving of its name. We saw this large cuckoo a couple of times, with excellent views of a perched bird at our lunch spot at Khao Yai and it is incredible how much it resembles an Accipiter both in flight and when it's perched.
Podargidae (Frogmouths)
HODGSON'S FROGMOUTH (Batrachostomus hodgsoni) – We got one of these birds to start calling in the middle of the day at Doi Ang Khang, and we quickly determined that it was pretty close to the road. Eventually we figured out which tree it was roosting in, but it still took a lot of searching before Uthai finally spotted it nestled high in the canopy. Once we worked out her position, though, the scope views we got of her were pretty awesome. It also saved us some sleep as we didn't have to go looking for one at night!
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LARGE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus macrurus) – A few were flushed off the roadsides just after dark on the grounds of the KKCC.
INDIAN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus asiaticus) – One called briefly in response to playback at our owling site near our Inthanon hotel, and one or two folks saw a nightjar shaped shadow fly past, but it wasn't a great encounter this year.
Apodidae (Swifts)
BROWN-BACKED NEEDLETAIL (Hirundapus giganteus) – A lone bird flew over at Kaeng Krachan NP and a couple of folks saw some at Khao Yai, but that was all for this species.
HIMALAYAN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus brevirostris) – Not easily told apart from the next species, and we didn't really try, so our only confirmed ones were up north on Doi Ang Khang, where there are no similar, small swiftlets.
GERMAIN'S SWIFTLET (Aerodramus germani) – Pretty numerous in the coastal lowlands around Bangkok.
COOK'S SWIFT (Apus cooki) – A fairly recent split from the similar Pacific Swift, which occurs as a wintering bird in the country. We saw these regularly in the northern mountains, including some 300+ birds streaming overhead on the west slope of Doi Lang.

The Golden Babbler is well-named; even its feet are gold in color! Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

HOUSE SWIFT (Apus nipalensis) – Much darker than other, similarly-sized swifts, and with more contrasting white rump and throat. Our only record was of 4 or 5 birds over our lunch spot at Khao Yai NP.
ASIAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus balasiensis) – The most regularly-encountered swift species, seen pretty much wherever their preferred palms were found.
Hemiprocnidae (Treeswifts)
GRAY-RUMPED TREESWIFT (Hemiprocne longipennis) – Kaeng Krachan is at the northern limit of this species' range, and it's not been an easy bird to get there lately, so seeing 5 of them one morning there was pretty sweet. And we got great looks at them, too, both flying about, and scoped as they perched in a nearby bare tree. [E]
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
SLATY-BREASTED RAIL (Lewinia striata) – Scope views of one feeding along the margins of one of the ponds on our first attempt to find the vagrant Black-faced Spoonbill at Laem Pak Bia.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – First seen at the large lake en route to Sakaerat, then also found a few times in the north.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra) – A couple of hundred on Chiang Saen Lake (Nong Bong Khai Non-Hunting Reserve) on our final morning were the only ones for the tour.
GRAY-HEADED SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio poliocephalus) – Purple Swamphen was fairly recently split into 6 species, two of which (this one and Black-backed) occur in Thailand. The birds we saw in the north around Chiang Saen were clearly this species but the birds at the lake en route to Sakaerat were a little less clear. They looked very gray-headed, like this species, but their backs were very dark, more like Black-backed, so it is possible they are part of some hybrid swarm between the two species (or that they aren't really separate species at all!).
WATERCOCK (Gallicrex cinerea) – A single bird in non-breeding or female plumage was flushed from the scrub at the pratincole site at Laem Pak Bia.
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN (Amaurornis phoenicurus) – Pretty common at suitable wetland sites, and fairly easy to see at a few sites, such as the ponds at the peafowl site north of Chiang Mai.
RUDDY-BREASTED CRAKE (Zapornia fusca) – We heard a bunch of these both at Pak Thale and the Wiang Nong Lom, but they mostly remained in thick cover, and only Bob managed to spot one of them at the former site. He did get pretty muddy for his efforts though.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
INDIAN THICK-KNEE (Burhinus indicus) – The usual scrubby hangout for these birds at the KKCC had received a serious trim, and the birds just weren't there. We still heard some on the hotel grounds at night, but we weren't able to track them down. [*]
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – Common in the salt pans of Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia, and there were also a fair number in rice paddies in the north.
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – One big flock of 50-75 birds in one of the pans at Laem Pak Bia.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – As with most of the shorebirds, we saw these only at Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia. High count was of about 25 birds at the latter site.

The Asian Koel was quite common; we heard them almost every morning. This individual, seen in a fruiting tree, is difficult to see, as its red eye matches the fruit, and the speckles blend in nicely as well. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis fulva) – The warm golden color helps separate these out from the similar sized Black-bellied Plovers. Small numbers at the shorebird sites.
GRAY-HEADED LAPWING (Vanellus cinereus) – Really scarce this year, and we picked out only a single bird at the dried out pond on our way from KKCC back to the coast.
RED-WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus indicus atronuchalis) – Lots were seen daily during our time in the south. Scarcer up north, though we did see a few around Mae Ping NP, and some of the rice paddies.
LESSER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius mongolus) – The more numerous of the two sand-plovers, with an estimated 250+ at Pak Thale on one of our visits.
GREATER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius leschenaultii) – It's good to have these side by side with Lesser Sand-plover to appreciate the subtle differences between the two. We had a high of about 75 at Pak Thale.
MALAYSIAN PLOVER (Charadrius peronii) – Only on the sand spit at Laem Pak Bia, where we had great looks at about 15 of these attractive little plovers.
KENTISH PLOVER (KENTISH) (Charadrius alexandrinus alexandrinus) – Small numbers around the various salt pans and mud flats.
KENTISH PLOVER (WHITE-FACED) (Charadrius alexandrinus dealbatus) – We generally only get this distinctive form on the sand spit, as they prefer sandy beaches to the mudflats where the nominate form is often found. This trip we had good scope views of a couple of birds there.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius dubius) – Seen in small numbers both at the coastal shorebird sites and at several rice paddies up north. We saw mainly the migrant subspecies curonicus, which are in non-breeding plumage here at this time, as well as a few of the resident subspecies jerdoni (such as at the Mae Taeng irrigation project) easily told by their being in breeding plumage.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) – About half a dozen of them were around the various ponds we stopped at en route between Kaeng Krachan and the coast, and a single bird at Chiang Saen Lake on our final morning. All of them were in non-breeding dress. With all the white in the wings, it was surprising to me how much they resembled pond-herons in flight!
BRONZE-WINGED JACANA (Metopidius indicus) – A couple of birds each at three different marshy areas: the dry pond en route between Kaeng Krachan and the coast, the large lake en route to Sakaerat, and Wiang Nong Lom in the north.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (SIBERIAN) (Numenius phaeopus variegatus) – Just a handful (3-5) at the coastal sites.
EURASIAN CURLEW (Numenius arquata) – Large numbers at Pak Thale, with one flock that came overhead estimated to contain 500+ birds. There was likely a Far Eastern Curlew or two mixed in with them, but the lighting didn't allow us to pick any out.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (SIBERIAN) (Limosa lapponica baueri) – A group of about 40 at Pak Thale and a pair of them on the Laem Pak Bia sand spit were all we recorded.

One of our most interesting encounters was with a young Brahminy Kite that tried to perch on a piling already taken by a Great Egret. Participant Benedict De Laender got this great photo of the action!

BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (MELANUROIDES) (Limosa limosa melanuroides) – The more numerous of the two godwits, with up to 250 or more present at Pak Thale. Easily told apart from the preceding species by their more uniform upperparts, straighter bill, and in flight their striking black-and-white wing pattern.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Rarely seems numerous at the shorebird sites, so the 5 we saw there was a pretty decent tally.
GREAT KNOT (Calidris tenuirostris) – Especially numerous at the Laem Pak Bia wetlands, where we estimated 1000+ in a couple of the cells there.
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus) – A few birds (1-3) were mixed in among the other shorebirds, particularly the Great Knots.
RUFF (Calidris pugnax) – Another shorebird that is rarely numerous here, and we saw just a few birds among the many others at Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia.
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER (Calidris falcinellus) – I've never been to another site that is better for this sandpiper than the coast south of Bangkok. We had great studies of them there, with 100+ birds present on one visit.
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea) – I thought the numbers of this species were quite low (20-50), but at least there was one oddity in full breeding plumage. Probably the same one we've seen here the previous two years.
TEMMINCK'S STINT (Calidris temminckii) – Generally found away from the open mudflats, and we first found these along the grassy bunds between the cells at Laem Pak Bia. Later we also found a few in the rice paddies at Doi Lo in the north.
LONG-TOED STINT (Calidris subminuta) – One of the more "colorful" sandpipers at this time of year. Our first visit to Pak Thale was our best for this bird, as we found about 50+ of them on that visit.
SPOON-BILLED SANDPIPER (Calidris pygmea) – I am happy to say that this key target came much more easily than it did last year. Guide "K", who filled in for Uthai on our first day out, picked one out after a considerable amount of scanning, and lucky for us, the bird was preening, so we were able to scope it and everyone managed to get great looks at that unique spoon-shaped bill. We found it, or another one, the next day, not bad, considering there were only 3 birds known to be there among the thousands of other shorebirds. Pieter, David, and Barbara all chose this as the highlight bird of the tour, and it was a shoe-in for bird of the trip.
RED-NECKED STINT (Calidris ruficollis) – Fairly numerous at the shorebird sites.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – A couple of these were in the salt pan with the Spoonie on our 2nd visit to Pak Thale, and a lone bird on the beach on the sand spit.
DUNLIN (Calidris alpina) – A couple of these were picked out from the hordes of other birds at Laem Pak Bia.
ASIAN DOWITCHER (Limnodromus semipalmatus) – We did quite well for this species, another of the big shorebird targets in the region. We found 9 birds the first time we went looking for the Black-faced Spoonbill, then had a pair the next day at Pak Thale, and then 3 more later the same day at Laem Pak Bia.
WOOD SNIPE (Gallinago nemoricola) – Jiang flushed a snipe from the brushy road edge near one of the ponds at Kaeng Krachan, and based on the habitat, Uthai determined it was this scarce species, which he had only seen twice before in the country,
COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago) – A half a dozen or so were flushed from the marshy area at the pratincole site, than up north, Uthai kicked up a group of 20+ (with apparently an equal number of Pin-tailed Snipe), at the Doi Lo rice paddies.
PIN-TAILED SNIPE (Gallinago stenura) – While the Common Snipe were easily picked out by the white trailing edge to their wings, I personally didn't pick out any birds that lacked this white for certain. Uthai, who was closest to the birds, said about half that flock of 40+ were this species, though, so, I guess we all did see them.
TEREK SANDPIPER (Xenus cinereus) – This unique sandpiper is pretty easily picked out both by shape (short, orange legs, long upswept bill) and its behavior of constantly racing around the mudflats in pursuit of food. It does make them tough to scope, though, but we managed, and everyone had good looks at the 4 birds we found at Pak Thale.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – I certainly wouldn't refer to this species as "common" here, but we did see a few scattered individuals, with a max count of 3 at the Mae Taeng Irrigation Project.
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus) – Just two records, one each at Bang Tabun and Nam Kham Nature Reserve.
SPOTTED REDSHANK (Tringa erythropus) – The longer, slimmer bill and the longer, more prominent white brow help tell this species apart from the similar Common Redshank. We saw up to 15 of them at Laem Pak Bia.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – Though widespread through the coastal wetland sites, these were never in big numbers, and I think our highest count at any given site was only about 20 birds.
NORDMANN'S GREENSHANK (Tringa guttifer) – Another of the big shorebird targets on the coast, and one we have missed in the past. This trip we only found them at one spot at Laem Pak Bia, but a careful count of that group tallied at least 115 of them! With an estimated global population of 1000-2000 birds, our count is a pretty significant part of the population!
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – Good numbers of these delicate shorebirds were around, with a high count of 200+ at Laem Pak Bia.

This pair of Spotted Owlets is well-known to our Field Guides groups; they reside at the wat in Bangkok, and are nice and cooperative! Photo by guide Jay VanderGaast.

WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – This species is more likely to be found in freshwater situations than on the coastal mudflats, though we did see our first one at Laem Pak Bia. Our high count was a flock of 60 of them that flew overhead in the late afternoon at Wiang Nong Lom.
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus) – A bit more numerous than the similar Spotted Redshank, with up to 50 birds tallied at Laem Pak Bia. That obvious white wedge on the trailing edge of the wing makes identifying these in flight a cinch.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
ORIENTAL PRATINCOLE (Glareola maldivarum) – Though we managed to find this bird at a stakeout spot near Laem Pak Bia, the Collared Pratincole that had been hanging around with it in the previous few days was nowhere to be seen. Too bad, too, as it would have been a lifer for Uthai.
SMALL PRATINCOLE (Glareola lactea) – A large sandbar on the Mekong River held a total of 7 of these birds, which we saw fairly well through the scopes. But we learned from Uthai and Wat that all islands, sandbars, etc in the river actually belong to Laos, so we couldn't count them on our Thailand lists. Luckily, we had better views, and were able to add them to our Thai lists, when an additional pair flew past at close quarters on our side of the river.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
BROWN-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus) – The default gull along the coast, and the only species we tallied this year.
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons) – Small numbers along the coast, with the highest concentration showing up on the sand spit, where there were about 40 of them.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – Quite common around the ponds at Pak Thale, with 50+ birds present there.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – Present in small numbers along the coast.
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – The most numerous tern we encountered, with up to a couple of hundred present at some sites around Pak Thale.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – Up to 5o were resting on the bunds at Pak Thale, and 20+ were on the Laem Pak Bia sand spit.
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii) – A dozen on the Leam Pak Bia sand spit were our only ones.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
ASIAN OPENBILL (Anastomus oscitans) – Some pretty impressive numbers in the Bangkok region, particularly in the coastal areas to the south. Some fair-sized groups were also seen in rice paddies in the Chiang Mai region.
PAINTED STORK (Mycteria leucocephala) – As recently as a few years ago, this was still a scarce species on this tour, but numbers have been on the increase, and we saw lots of them in the coastal plains south of Bangkok, with a high count of 38 of them at one site near Bang Tabun.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ORIENTAL DARTER (Anhinga melanogaster) – We have now seen this species for the 3rd consecutive year on this tour, after only one previous record since 2004. Luck, or are they on the increase? This year, we actually saw singles at 2 locations. First was at Bang Tabun (same spot as previous 2 year's records) and then another at one of the ponds on the grounds of the KKCC.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LITTLE CORMORANT (Microcarbo niger) – The default cormorant species on this trip, with plenty seen most days in the south. No cormorants were recorded once we flew north, however.

White-rumped Falcons have become difficult to find, so we were very pleased to see this pair in Mae Ping NP. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

INDIAN CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) – Small numbers throughout the coastal regions. Mainly outnumbered by Little Cormorant, except at Bang Tabun where there seemed to be more of these (one roosting group of 100+).
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
YELLOW BITTERN (Ixobrychus sinensis) – As these small bitterns go, this is not an especially difficult species to see well, and we recorded them on roughly a third of the days on this trip. We started with excellent scope views of an exposed bird at Wat Phai Lom in Bangkok, then followed up with a number of other good views including one in a ditch right next to the road at the pratincole site near Laem Pak Bia.
CINNAMON BITTERN (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus) – I think only Bob saw one of these as he lingered behind the group at Wat Phai Lom.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Small numbers scattered through the coastal wetlands, with a single bird seen in the north, at the Royal Project north of Chiang Mai.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – Never numerous, and all of our sightings were of single birds on 5 days- at Bang Tabun and KKCC in the south, and Wiang Nong Lom and Chiang Saen Lake in the north.
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta) – Pretty common throughout, with a high of 250 or more at a site near Bang Tabun, the same site with the large number of Painted Storks.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Ardea intermedia) – Generally greatly outnumbered by the previous species, but still present in small numbers at most suitable sites.
CHINESE EGRET (Egretta eulophotes) – Quite scarce and local, and restricted to the coastal areas. The tide was perfect as we headed out by boat to the sand spit and we tallied 3 of these among the many egrets and herons feeding there. One of the three showed the shaggy breeding plumes that help set this bird apart from the similar Little Egret.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Numerous around the coastal sites, with small numbers scattered around at other wetland sites throughout.
PACIFIC REEF-HERON (Egretta sacra) – A single fly-by at Pak Thale, and three birds at the sand spit, all of which were dark-morph.
CATTLE EGRET (EASTERN) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) – Many of our numerous sightings were from the road, as we passed through areas with livestock.
CHINESE POND-HERON (Ardeola bacchus) – It's virtually impossible to separate this species from Javan Pond-Heron in non-breeding plumage, and while we almost certainly saw Javan PH as well in the coastal regions, we could only identify Chinese with any certainty, and only once we left the coastal lowlands behind.
STRIATED HERON (OLD WORLD) (Butorides striata javanica) – Just a couple of records along the coast, and a single bird in the north.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – One or two folks saw a lone bird at Pak Thale.

This male Heart-spotted Woodpecker allowed us a good long view when we found him in Khao Yai NP. Photo by participant Benedict De Laender.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
BLACK-HEADED IBIS (Threskiornis melanocephalus) – Recorded at Bang Tabun for the 3rd straight year, after no sightings on any of our previous tours, so perhaps another species, along with the darter and Painted Stork, which is on the increase. We had a half a dozen birds there this year.
BLACK-FACED SPOONBILL (Platalea minor) – With an estimated global population of roughly 2000 birds, this is the least numerous of the world's spoonbills. It's also a rare visitor to Thailand, so a stakeout bird near Pak Thale was worth a couple of attempts to find it, and we were successful on our second try, getting excellent looks at this rather small spoonbill.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-WINGED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – A single roadside bird seen by some near Laem Pak Bia.
ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis ptilorhynchus) – Several sightings at both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, with both pale morph and dark morph birds seen well.
JERDON'S BAZA (Aviceda jerdoni) – Paul and Barbara spotted a small raptor soaring overhead just after we arrived at our Khao Yai lunch spot. It started gliding away before we could identify it, but luckily landed on an exposed branch in a distant tree, where we were able to scope it. It wasn't the best view, but that spiky crest sure helped clinch the identification.
BLACK BAZA (Aviceda leuphotes) – Seen nicely on three days. First, a pair soared by overhead at the lower camp at Kaeng Krachan. A couple of days later we had three birds fly past at the KKCC, and finally we had superb scope views of one of the fancy little raptors at Huai Hong Khrai Royal Project north of Chiang Mai.
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE (Spilornis cheela) – Generally quite a common raptor, though we only saw a few. At Kaeng Krachan we had great looks at a couple both in flight and perched, and singles were seen at Khao Yai and Mae Ping National Parks.
RUFOUS-BELLIED EAGLE (Lophotriorchis kienerii) – The one we saw at Khao Yai easily gave me the best view I've yet had at this eagle, but that's not saying much; good views continue to elude me. But I think a few of the group saw it well enough to get some color before we lost it behind the trees.
BLACK EAGLE (Ictinaetus malaiensis) – Pretty decent looks at a lone bird that was soaring over the viewpoint along the Pha Diao Dai Nature Trail at Khao Yai NP.
EURASIAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus aeruginosus) – A rare wintering bird in the country. We had great looks at a female quartering low over the marsh at Wiang Nong Lom before the main influx of harriers arrived at the roost. The pale golden crown and shoulder patches made this bird really stand out from the rest of the harriers at the site.
EASTERN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus spilonotus) – Seen only at the roost site at Wiang Nong Lom, where we estimated in the vicinity of 50+ of them arrived before we left the site.
HEN HARRIER (Circus cyaneus) – Both the Eurasian Marsh-Harrier and this species had been reported in the days before our visit to the roost site, so we were on the lookout. Uthai especially, as this was a country tick for him, and he spotted the bird gliding low across the marsh, before it perched on the ground in the distance. The boldly barred tail and flight feathers helped differentiate this bird, a female, from the other white-rumped harrier present here, the Pied Harrier.
PIED HARRIER (Circus melanoleucos) – Our first was a female at the pratincole site near Laem Pak Bia. Then up north, we had great looks at our first male flying by at close range at Tha Ton (though Amy and Bob saw one en route to Mae Ping) before the main show at Wiang Nong Lom. This was the most numerous harrier at the site, and we estimated about 100 of them there, including many gorgeous males.
CRESTED GOSHAWK (Accipiter trivirgatus) – We had singles on two consecutive days (likely the same bird) performing display flights over the lower campground at Kaeng Krachan, then a single bird at the zebra-themed shrine in Khao Yai.
SHIKRA (Accipiter badius) – We saw flyovers on a couple of days in the south, then had excellent scope views of a perched bird at our rest stop en route from Doi Lang to Thaton.
BESRA (Accipiter virgatus) – A few folks saw this small Accipiter fly over at Khao Yai, but it eluded most of us.
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans) – Surprisingly scarce, for what is such a common species in many places. We had a couple of birds at Bang Tabun, and 40-50 around the Doi Lo rice paddies, but that was pretty much it.
BRAHMINY KITE (Haliastur indus) – A few birds in the coastal lowlands. The neatest sighting was at the mouth of the canal as we headed towards the sand spit. A young kite attempted to land on a piling that was already occupied by a Great Egret, but the egret refused to budge. The kite eventually gave up and moved to an unoccupied piling.
EASTERN BUZZARD (Buteo japonicus japonicus) – Uthai identified the light morph buzzard at Doi Inthanon as this species; a dark morph bird at the same time was left unidentified, but apparently this species has no dark morph, so the dark bird would have likely been a Common or a Himalayan Buzzard. All three species were treated as conspecific until fairly recently.
Strigidae (Owls)
MOUNTAIN SCOPS-OWL (Otus spilocephalus) – Heard fairly distantly on our owling night at Doi Ang Khang, which is a pretty typical result in my experience. [*]

Black-tailed Godwits were present in good numbers at Pak Thale. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

COLLARED SCOPS-OWL (Otus lettia) – A somewhat flighty bird eventually settled down long enough for us all to get a decent view on an evening jaunt at the KKCC.
ORIENTAL SCOPS-OWL (WALDEN'S) (Otus sunia modestus) – Heard on our owling evening near Inthanon, then again during the day at Mae Ping NP, but we were unable to track any of them down. [*]
COLLARED OWLET (COLLARED) (Glaucidium brodiei brodiei) – Heard a number of times, but it looked like we might miss seeing one, until we headed up the east slope of Doi Lang. The second bird was much closer than the first, allowing for some great photos, but we had decent looks at both of them.
ASIAN BARRED OWLET (Glaucidium cuculoides) – Most of our hotels seemed to have a resident pair just outside, so we certainly heard these often enough after dark. Our 3 sightings all came during the day though. We kicked things off by walking off the road at Kaeng Krachan to track down a singing bird. A second bird was seen well from the tower at Inthanon Nest, and finally we scoped another near the entrance to Nam Kham Nature Reserve.
SPOTTED OWLET (Athene brama) – Our usual pair at the wat in Bangkok cooperated wonderfully again, posing side by side in a nearby tree for some nice views and photos.
BROWN WOOD-OWL (Strix leptogrammica) – Some great spotting by David netted us good scope views of one of these large owls that we got to call during the day time at Khao Yai!
BROWN BOOBOOK (Ninox scutulata) – We tracked down a calling bird near our Khao Yai hotel in the predawn gloom, but it was pretty flighty and it never sat for long once we managed to get a light on it.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
RED-HEADED TROGON (Harpactes erythrocephalus) – As we reveled in our excellent views of Silver Pheasants at the Khao Yai military post, our driver Jiang found a handsome male of this bird perched low inside the forest, and we all managed some lovely scope views of this somewhat elusive trogon.
ORANGE-BREASTED TROGON (Harpactes oreskios) – Usually the more easily seen of the two trogons, though this bird gave us a little trouble this year. A couple of birds at Kaeng Krachan were not very friendly and were missed by many, but luckily our next and final encounter at Khao Yai was much better, and we all had good looks at a pair near the zebra shrine.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (Upupa epops) – That bird perched atop a spire on the Queen's Palace on Doi Inthanon might be one of the most photogenic birds I've ever encountered!
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
GREAT HORNBILL (Buceros bicornis) – Just hearing one of these massive birds flying over is always a thrill, though seeing one is even better. Good thing we enjoyed both the sights and sounds of these on several days at both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai. Though no one chose it as their top bird of the trip, it received enough votes to make it the third favorite bird of the trip overall.
RUSTY-CHEEKED HORNBILL (Anorrhinus tickelli) – These hornbills were pretty raucous at Kaeng Krachan, but they mostly stayed just out of sight, and only a few folks saw a couple glide from one distant tree to another.
ORIENTAL PIED-HORNBILL (Anthracoceros albirostris) – Usually the most numerous of the hornbills at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, and we had several nice views, including great looks at one sitting quietly in a roadside tree during a coffee break at Kaeng Krachan.
WREATHED HORNBILL (Rhyticeros undulatus) – Another large, impressive hornbill, though not generally as numerous as the Great Hornbill. All our views were of birds in flight, but we had a few nice looks at birds that glided directly overhead, at both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai.

The stunning Black-and-Yellow Broadbill was another of the favorite birds of the trip, and no wonder! Photo by guide Jay VanderGaast.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis) – A widespread and common winter visitor, and we saw them regularly in suitable habitat.
BLUE-EARED KINGFISHER (Alcedo meninting) – This bird flew past under the bridge on which we were standing at Khao Yai NP, and we knew immediately that it wasn't just another Common Kingfisher. Luckily it landed where we could get some great scope studies, and see that it also lacked the orange ear coverts of Common Kingfisher. This sighting was unexpected, and a lifer for me, and it was my favorite bird of the tour.
BANDED KINGFISHER (Lacedo pulchella) – Though we heard it clearly at Khao Yai, it just never came close enough to give us a chance to track it down. [*]
STORK-BILLED KINGFISHER (Pelargopsis capensis) – Seen by a lucky couple of folks during our walk through Rangsit Marsh.
WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER (Halcyon smyrnensis) – The most commonly encountered kingfisher of the trip, though it seemed to me there were fewer than we normally see. Still, we had plenty of wonderful looks at these striking birds.
BLACK-CAPPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon pileata) – Surprisingly scarce this year. A few folks saw one at Wat Phai Lom on our first afternoon, and the only other one was found at the Royal Project north of Chiang Mai. Luckily that bird sat long enough for all of us to enjoy a fine scope view.
COLLARED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus chloris) – Pretty common in the coastal lowlands south of Bangkok.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
BLUE-BEARDED BEE-EATER (Nyctyornis athertoni) – Our lone sighting of this large bee-eater was of a solitary bird perched in a bare tree at Kaeng Krachan NP.
GREEN BEE-EATER (Merops orientalis) – Quite a few of these were found in open country at a number of sites, and this was the only bee-eater we encountered in the north of the country. Bernice picked these colorful birds as her favorite species of the tour.
BLUE-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops philippinus) – Quite a few in the Bangkok region, including good number over the wats we visited on our first afternoon. Mainly seen in flight, but we did have one or two brief views of perched birds along the way.
CHESTNUT-HEADED BEE-EATER (Merops leschenaulti) – More of a forest species than the previous two, this bee-eater showed well a number of times at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
INDIAN ROLLER (Coracias benghalensis) – Seen almost daily in the south, with just a couple of sightings in the north. Can look pretty dark and drab when it is perched, but in flight the colors are brilliant!
DOLLARBIRD (Eurystomus orientalis) – A pair along the road at Kaeng Krachan on two consecutive days were the only ones for the trip.
Megalaimidae (Asian Barbets)
COPPERSMITH BARBET (Psilopogon haemacephalus) – Widespread and very common through most of the country, and we ran into them regularly.
BLUE-EARED BARBET (Psilopogon duvaucelii) – A commonly heard bird at several forested sites, and we had some great views at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai.
GREAT BARBET (Psilopogon virens) – The first few we heard were very distant, and I was starting to think we never would see one, but then one popped up in a roadside tree at Doi Ang Khang and gave us all superb looks. Another one was seen in a multi-barbet flowering tree on the east slope of Doi Lang.
GREEN-EARED BARBET (Psilopogon faiostrictus) – Well-seen at both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, with a high count of about a dozen together in one tree at the former park.
LINEATED BARBET (Psilopogon lineatus) – A common species of dry forest types, and we saw them at plenty of sites throughout the country.

This gorgeous Blue Whistling-Thrush was seen near our Rusty-naped Pitta. One of two subspecies we saw on the tour, this is the Yellow-billed, which is resident in Thailand. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

GOLDEN-THROATED BARBET (Psilopogon franklinii) – Several good scope studies were had in the north, a Doi Inthanon and Doi Lang. The subspecies we saw was ramsayi, sometimes known as the Malay Golden-throated Barbet.
MOUSTACHED BARBET (Psilopogon incognitus) – On the tour route, found only at Khao Yai NP, where it was common and seen often.
BLUE-THROATED BARBET (Psilopogon asiaticus) – First found at the Queen's Palace on Doi Inthanon, where we had nice scope views of a pair. We had just a couple more sightings on Doi Ang Khang and Doi Lang.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
SPECKLED PICULET (Picumnus innominatus) – A pretty cooperative bird showed nicely along a forested stretch of road on the east slope of Doi Lang. The road here seems to be right on the border, and as the bird was seen on both sides of the road, you might be able to count this one for both Myanmar and Thailand!
WHITE-BROWED PICULET (Sasia ochracea) – Our first day at Kaeng Krachan was pretty epic for woodpeckers, and this was one of 7 species we saw that day. It was a bit elusive, but I think everyone got at least a quick look at it.
HEART-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Hemicircus canente) – Brief looks at a female on our 7 woodpecker day, followed by excellent long studies of a male feeding by the roadside at Khao Yai NP.
GRAY-CAPPED WOODPECKER (Yungipicus canicapillus) – Many of Thailand's woodpeckers are rather shy and elusive; this species is one of the exceptions. We saw several of these in the north, including a copulating pair at Doi Inthanon.
STRIPE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos atratus) – Single birds were seen on three days in the north-- a lone bird on Doi Inthanon, then a couple of excellent looks on Doi Ang Khang.
BAY WOODPECKER (Blythipicus pyrrhotis) – Seen on both Doi Inthanon and Doi Lang, though the views were pretty typical flyovers. This species rarely seems to land where it an be viewed.
GREATER FLAMEBACK (Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus) – One of the easier to see woodpeckers in the country, and we had great looks at a bunch of them at Kaeng Krachan.

Red-breasted Parakeets roosted near our hotel at Khao Yai. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

RUFOUS WOODPECKER (Micropternus brachyurus) – One called once nearby at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station, but we neither saw it nor heard it again. [*]
BAMBOO WOODPECKER (Gecinulus viridis) – Pretty good views of this bamboo specialist as it flew back and forth over the road a few times at Kaeng Krachan.
COMMON FLAMEBACK (Dinopium javanense) – Though we did see this species pretty much side by side with Greater Flameback at Kaeng Krachan, we had far better views of a couple of birds up north, at the Royal Project north of Chiang Mai and at Mae Ping NP.
LESSER YELLOWNAPE (Picus chlorolophus) – Rich spotted our only one in a mixed species flock on Doi Lang, but it was only in view briefly and was missed by several people.
STREAK-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Picus viridanus) – This bird stuck to trunks that were heavily festooned with vines, making it pretty tough to see, though most of us managed some pretty good looks at it. Part of our 7 woodpecker day at Kaeng Krachan.
LACED WOODPECKER (Picus vittatus) – Nice looks at a responsive and cooperative bird on our final day at Nam Kham Nature Reserve.
BLACK-HEADED WOODPECKER (Picus erythropygius) – These beautiful birds seemed pretty numerous in the dry dipterocarp forest at Mae Ping NP, and we had some excellent scope studies of them there.
GREATER YELLOWNAPE (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) – We had great looks at a couple of these on our first day at Kaeng Krachan, then saw no others for the rest of the trip.
GREAT SLATY WOODPECKER (Mulleripicus pulverulentus) – Heard calling distantly at Mae Ping, but it never came in to where we could see it. [*]
WHITE-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus javensis) – We worked hard on this impressive large woodpecker at Mae Ping before we were finally rewarded with incredible looks at a perched bird. A couple more were heard and seen later in the day, but overall this was a pretty elusive bird.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
WHITE-RUMPED FALCON (Polihierax insignis) – I think the last time we saw this species on this tour was way back in 2012, as they've gotten very scarce in the dry forest areas we normally visit. This trip, we visited a new site for us -Mae Ping NP- and it paid off with amazing views of a gorgeous pair of these birds.
COLLARED FALCONET (Microhierax caerulescens) – The birds we used to see on Doi Inthanon had apparently been poached, giving us another reason to head to Mae Ping NP, where we found three of these tiny falcons.
BLACK-THIGHED FALCONET (Microhierax fringillarius) – We found these in two different areas of Kaeng Krachan NP, getting some smashing looks in the process.
EURASIAN KESTREL (Falco tinnunculus) – A few folks saw one fly over at Khao Yai, otherwise our only sighting was of a bird perched on a rooftop outside the Rama Gardens Hotel before the official start of the tour.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – Barbara spotted our only one flying over the salt pans at Pak Thale while we were still driving towards the Black-faced Spoonbill site.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
GRAY-HEADED PARAKEET (Psittacula finschii) – Another prize from our visit to Mae Ping NP. We had beautiful views of 5 or 6 birds perched along the entrance road.
BLOSSOM-HEADED PARAKEET (Psittacula roseata) – Roughly 20 birds were seen beautifully from the tower at Inthanon Nest.
RED-BREASTED PARAKEET (Psittacula alexandri) – Upwards of 30 of these lovely parakeets were seen at dusk at a staging area as they headed to their night roost near our hotel at Khao Yai. We also had a single bird fly over at the lake en route to Sakaerat.
VERNAL HANGING-PARROT (Loriculus vernalis) – We usually see plenty of these at both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, so I was surprised at their scarcity this trip. We saw just a single bird, fortunately quite well, at Kaeng Krachan, and heard a handful of others at Khao Yai.
Eurylaimidae (Asian and Grauer's Broadbills)
BLACK-AND-RED BROADBILL (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) – Fantastic looks at a pair of these incredible birds at Kaeng Krachan this year. I was especially thrilled as we hadn't even heard them on either of my previous two trips. Bob was also pretty impressed, and chose them as his favorite bird of the trip.
SILVER-BREASTED BROADBILL (Serilophus lunatus) – A though these birds are a bit less gaudy than most of the other broadbills, they are still truly stunning birds. We had two excellent encounters with this species, getting scope studies of them at Khao Yai, where we had half a dozen in a roadside flock, and Doi Inthanon, where we found just a pair.
BANDED BROADBILL (Eurylaimus javanicus) – Heard calling both at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, but they just wouldn't come out to see us. [*]
BLACK-AND-YELLOW BROADBILL (Eurylaimus ochromalus) – We just kept running into these awesome little birds near the campground at Kaeng Krachan, and ended up with fabulous looks. Both Judy and Linda picked them as their favorite bird of the tour, which was enough to push them into second place overall,
DUSKY BROADBILL (Corydon sumatranus) – We've only seen this broadbill three times since 2012, so there's always a bit of luck involved in finding them. This year we could barely escape them, as they seemed to be following us around at Kaeng Krachan. We had great looks at up to 4 birds on two consecutive days.

Guide Jay VanderGaast got a nice image of this rather pensive-looking Burmese Shrike.

Pittidae (Pittas)
RUSTY-NAPED PITTA (Hydrornis oatesi) – Uthai learned of one of these coming to a feeding station at a new site even he had never visited. Though it was a little out of our way, we decided to go for it, and it was a great choice. Once we got to the feeding site, it was only a few minutes before this bird showed up and fed unconcernedly for several minutes. Excellent Blue Whistling-Thrush and Puff-throated Babbler were nice bonus birds here, too.
BLUE PITTA (Hydrornis cyaneus) – With baiting of birds now prohibited in Khao Yai, it has gotten much tougher to see this shy bird, and though we herd them a couple of times, that was as close as we got. [*]
Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
GOLDEN-BELLIED GERYGONE (Gerygone sulphurea) – The only gerygone to make it into southeast Asia. We saw several of these in the mangroves at Pak Thale.
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
BAR-WINGED FLYCATCHER-SHRIKE (Hemipus picatus) – Few this year, and we only saw them at Kaeng Krachan,, generally with mixed species flocks.
Artamidae (Woodswallows)
ASHY WOODSWALLOW (Artamus fuscus) – Commonly seen on roadside wires throughout the tour.
Aegithinidae (Ioras)
COMMON IORA (Aegithina tiphia) – We saw small numbers of these throughout, starting with our first afternoon at Wat Phai Lom.
GREAT IORA (Aegithina lafresnayei) – Lacks the wing bars of the rather similar Common Iora. We had a few of these with mixed flocks at Kaeng Krachan.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
SMALL MINIVET (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus) – Seen only in the Bangkok region, with nice looks at several at each of the two wat we visited, as well as a few on the grounds of the Rama Gardens, where we even found a pair building a nest in one of the trees in the parking lot. [N]
GRAY-CHINNED MINIVET (Pericrocotus solaris) – Pairs were encountered a few times on both Doi Inthanon and Doi Lang, where they often were in the company of other minivets, particularly Scarlet.
SHORT-BILLED MINIVET (Pericrocotus brevirostris) – Vocalizations are probably the easiest way to separate this species from the next two, which are very similar, though there is some difference in wing pattern as well. We saw a few of these in the northern mountains.
LONG-TAILED MINIVET (Pericrocotus ethologus) – Decent numbers in the north, with one large flocks of 35+ birds on Doi Inthanon. The long red fingers that extend into the black primaries are a good field mark, though this trait seemed much more easily seen on the birds on Doi Ang Khang and Doi Lang than it was on the ones we saw on Inthanon.
SCARLET MINIVET (Pericrocotus speciosus) – Quite widespread and common, and seen regularly in the north, though our only sightings in the south were one day at Khao Yai. The isolated red patches in the secondaries and tertials are good marks to separate these from the similar species.
ASHY MINIVET (Pericrocotus divaricatus) – This and the next two species are winter visitors to the country, and their numbers vary from year to year. We had our best views the first afternoon at Wat Phai Lom, but also had a few mixed in with a small group of minivets at the Royal Project north of Chiang Mai.
BROWN-RUMPED MINIVET (Pericrocotus cantonensis) – In most years this is the most numerous of the three migrant minivets, and that certainly held true again this year. We had small numbers with mixed flocks both at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, then again at the Royal Project near Chiang Mai.
ROSY MINIVET (Pericrocotus roseus) – This was the first time in three visits that we recorded this migrant on the tour. We had one or two birds mixed in with a group of Brown-rumped Minivets at Kaeng Krachan, than saw several, including some fine males, both at the Royal Project and at Mae Ping NP.

The colorful Chestnut-tailed Minla was one of many new and interesting species we found when we went north to Chiang Mai. This one was only common at the high elevations of Doi Inthanon, where we had great views of them. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

LARGE CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina macei) – We rarely see many of this bird on the tour, so this was a pretty good year, as we had good looks at several birds on our visit to Mae Ping NP, then had a couple of others on both slopes of Doi Lang.
BLACK-WINGED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Lalage melaschistos) – Seen fairly regularly with mixed flocks at several sites, particularly at Khao Yai NP, where we saw them daily.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
BROWN SHRIKE (Lanius cristatus) – The most often seen shrike on the tour, with small numbers throughout the country. A few of the birds in the south, including our first one at Wat Thian Thawai, were of the Philippine type (race lucionensis) which look quite similar to Gray-backed Shrike. In the north, it seemed we were only encountering the nominate form. A few birds, like that one at the Khao Yai military checkpoint, were pretty tough to assign to either.
BURMESE SHRIKE (Lanius collurioides) – Just two sightings of this handsome shrike, one at the campground at Mae Ping NP, the second at the border post on DOi Ang Khang.
LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanius schach) – Seen first at Doi Ang Khang, then in ones or twos daily through the rest of the tour. All of our birds belonged to the Himalayan form tricolor, which sports a solid black cap.
GRAY-BACKED SHRIKE (Lanius tephronotus) – A few nice views of this attractive shrike in the north, both on Doi Inthanon and Doi Lang.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BLYTH'S SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius aeralatus) – We saw these birds several times in the north, with especially nice scope views of a calling male on Doi Inthanon.
BLACK-EARED SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius melanotis) – During the lunch break on the east slope of Doi Lang, I found a pair of these with a mixed flock down the road from where we were eating. Once we finished up, we went to see if we could relocate them, and ended up with fantastic close views of them as they moved around at eye level in the roadside trees.
CLICKING SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius intermedius) – Though these birds stayed quite high in the canopy, we had good looks at pairs on two consecutive days on Doi Inthanon.
WHITE-BELLIED ERPORNIS (Erpornis zantholeuca) – A very active, restless bird, that can be tricky to see well, but we had good looks at them at serval sites, running into singles or pairs at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai in the south, and Doi Inthanon and Doi Lang in the north. Formerly called White-bellied Yuhina, but got a name change when it was removed from among the yuhinas and placed in the Vireo family.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
BLACK-NAPED ORIOLE (Oriolus chinensis) – Common in dry forest areas and seen most days in the south, but not seen at all in the north this year.
SLENDER-BILLED ORIOLE (Oriolus tenuirostris) – Very similar to the previous species, but with a thinner bill and thinner black eye line. We had good looks at a couple, one at the Chinese Cemetery on Doi Ang Khang, the other in a flowering tree on the east slope of Doi Lang.
BLACK-HOODED ORIOLE (Oriolus xanthornus) – A single bird at Mae Ping NP and a couple at Inthanon Nest were all we had this year.
MAROON ORIOLE (Oriolus traillii) – We ran into a few of these distinctive orioles, on each of the mountains in the north, but best views were probably of a couple at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
BLACK DRONGO (Dicrurus macrocercus) – The common drongo of scrubby open country.

We worked hard to see a few of these very striking little birds on Doi Ang Khang, but our best views of the Scarlet-faced Liocichla came when we found some much easier birds on Doi Lang. Photo by participant Benedict De Laender.

ASHY DRONGO (SOOTY) (Dicrurus leucophaeus bondi) – Ashy Drongos were seen throughout the country, and we saw at a minimum two subspecies. The Sooty form was recorded most often, with both subspecies that occur here (this one and mouhoti) probably seen. In the north, it is likely we also saw race hopwoodi, which is part of the Blackish Drongo group, but we weren't paying a lot of attention to them by that time.
ASHY DRONGO (CHINESE WHITE-FACED) (Dicrurus leucophaeus leucogenis) – In the southern part of the country, we saw good numbers of these distinctive drongos, though whether they were this subspecies or salangensis, who knows? In places like Khao Yai where we saw both these and Sooty Drongos, this species was generally at lower elevations than the Sooty.
BRONZED DRONGO (Dicrurus aeneus) – A very glossy, small, forest drongo. We saw small numbers in good forest throughout.
LESSER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus remifer) – Heard only on Doi Inthanon. Always much harder to see than the Greater. [*]
HAIR-CRESTED DRONGO (Dicrurus hottentottus) – Another very common and widespread drongo, easily separated from other species by the distinctly curled tips to the tail. This species is sometimes in large numbers, as we saw near the helipad at the Queen's Palace on Doi Inthanon, where a noisy group of 50+ was gathered in some flowering trees.
GREATER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus paradiseus) – Small numbers throughout, and we had several super looks at this spectacular drongo.
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
MALAYSIAN PIED-FANTAIL (Rhipidura javanica) – I find it a bit surprising that we didn't see any of these after we left Kaeng Krachan.
WHITE-THROATED FANTAIL (Rhipidura albicollis) – Not the easiest-to-see fantail that I've come across, but we did manage some pretty good views this trip. We saw these on two days at Doi Inthanon, and once on the west slope of Doi Lang.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Hypothymis azurea) – A pretty common and widespread species, and we saw them regularly on the tour, beginning with some at each of the wats we visited the first afternoon.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
EURASIAN JAY (WHITE-FACED) (Garrulus glandarius leucotis) – A very distinctive race of the widespread Eurasian Jay. I could see this form gaining full species status one day (and Uthai's new field guide treats it as such). We had excellent looks at 5 birds at the Royal Project north of Chiang Mai.
RED-BILLED BLUE-MAGPIE (Urocissa erythroryncha) – For a big, brightly-colored bird, this one can be surprisingly difficult to see well. After having poor looks at a trio of them at Mae Ping NP, we fared far better the next morning near our Inthanon hotel, were we managed to get very good views of up to 7 birds, mainly in flight, but with a couple of quick looks at perched birds as well.
COMMON GREEN-MAGPIE (Cissa chinensis) – On my previous trips, I'd failed to lay eyes on this species, though we heard quite a few, so I was especially pleased to get such good looks at one at the Khao Yai military checkpoint. A few days later, we had another pair of birds at a large fruiting tree on Doi Inthanon. It figures- now that I've seen one, I'll probably be seeing them everywhere! Amy's top pick for bird of the trip.
RUFOUS TREEPIE (Dendrocitta vagabunda) – Great views of a couple of birds in a flowering tree at the KKCC, and then several more at various locations in Mae Ping NP.
GRAY TREEPIE (Dendrocitta formosae) – We heard a few of these on Doi Lang, but never really got close to any. [*]
RACKET-TAILED TREEPIE (Crypsirina temia) – Not many this trip. We has brief but pretty good looks at a couple in the dry scrubby hills on the grounds of the KKCC, then had no other records until our final morning, when we got a couple of birds at the Nam Kham Nature Reserve and a single at Chiang Saen Lake.

One of the many Spectacled Barwings at the feeders at the military checkpoint posed nicely for guide Jay VanderGaast.

LARGE-BILLED CROW (Corvus macrorhynchos) – Pretty common throughout and seen regularly.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – I only recall seeing a single bird at Rangsit, though there almost certainly were more.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – By far the most often seen swallow and we saw them nearly every day. Most of the birds we saw were of one of the pale buff-bellied forms (guttaralis and/or mandschurica), but we noted at least one very brightly-colored bird at the Wiang Nong Lom which was of the race tytleri.
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – These handsome swallows are pretty local in northern Thailand, and we only found them at a single site, the Mae Taeng Irrigation Project, where we had fabulous views of a pair foraging over the canal.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – These were often mixed in with the ubiquitous Barn Swallows, if you paid close enough attention to them flying overhead.
STRIATED SWALLOW (Cecropis striolata) – Similar to the preceding species, and tough to separate given the usual views of swallows flying over, but we did get some good diagnostic looks at these birds near our hotel at Doi inthanon.
ASIAN HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon dasypus) – Small numbers were noted on several days flying high overhead, where most folks probably missed them, but the 50+ birds flying low over the roadside rest stop near Thaton were pretty easily seen and identified.
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
YELLOW-BELLIED FAIRY-FANTAIL (Chelidorhynx hypoxanthus) – We saw a few of these daily on Doi Inthanon, but they seemed especially easy to see on the east slope of Doi Lang, where we had a hard time getting away from them.
GRAY-HEADED CANARY-FLYCATCHER (Culicicapa ceylonensis) – A common member of mixed species flocks in both Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai, and we had some fine views of them there. Once we headed north, we had just one sighting of a pair of birds at the campsite on the east slope of Doi Lang.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
SULTAN TIT (Melanochlora sultanea) – These gorgeous beasts usually stay pretty high in the canopy where they can be tricky to see well, but I think everyone managed some acceptable views on at least one of the three occasions we caught up with them at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai. [*]
JAPANESE TIT (JAPANESE) (Parus minor nubicolus) – Seen regularly in the northern mountains, generally amidst mixed species flocks. Up until, recently, this was treated as a subspecies of Great Tit.
YELLOW-CHEEKED TIT (Machlolophus spilonotus) – We ran into these often in the northern mountains, and had many good looks, but none were better than the ones on Doi Inthanon one afternoon. As we watched a pair foraging in the roadside vegetation, the male found a huge green caterpillar under a leaf, and it began attacking at it. Eventually, the caterpillar dropped to the ground, and the tit flew down after it, continuing to peck at it as we stood a few yards away with the cameras clicking away. This outstanding scene prompted Rich to choose this individual bird as his favorite of the tour.

Spot-breasted Parrotbills were very cooperative on Doi Lang and Doi Ang Khang. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BLACK-THROATED TIT (Aegithalos concinnus) – Pretty active, restless, little birds, but they came incredibly close on a couple of occasions and we had incredible looks at them, on both slopes of Doi Lang.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
BURMESE NUTHATCH (Sitta neglecta) – Another highlight of our trip to the dry dipterocarp forest of Mae Ping NP was this localized specialty, which we hadn't recorded on this tour for 4 years. We had awesome looks, including scope views of one bird that sang from an exposed perch for an extended period of time.
CHESTNUT-VENTED NUTHATCH (Sitta nagaensis) – As usual, this was the most commonly seen nuthatch, and we had sightings most days in the northern mountains.
VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH (Sitta frontalis) – A couple of sightings in Kaeng Krachan were countable, but not especially great, so it was nice to get long scope views of a bird singing from atop a tall dead tree at the Chinese Cemetery on Doi Ang Khang.
GIANT NUTHATCH (Sitta magna) – A recent study estimated the Thailand population of this endangered species as under 1000 individuals, which is close to 50% of the estimated world population. We had excellent looks at a couple on Doi Ang Khang, though we were unable to locate the reported nest site nearby. We also had a couple of brief sightings on Doi lang.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
HUME'S TREECREEPER (Certhia manipurensis shanensis) – Were it not for the notably longer tail and the very different vocalizations, this bird could easily pass for our Brown Creeper. We had a few nice looks at these on Doi Inthanon and Doi Lang.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
BLACK-HEADED BULBUL (Brachypodius atriceps) – Never as numerous as the ubiquitous BCB, but we saw good numbers of these species at kaeng Krachan, near the start of the tour, then none until our final day when we had a few birds at Nam Kham Nature Reserve and Chiang Saen Lake.
BLACK-CRESTED BULBUL (Rubigula flaviventris) – There weren't too many days that we missed seeing BCBs, as they were pretty much everywhere. And given that 7 of the 8 subspecies occur in Thailand, we certainly saw several (probably 4 by my count). The only distinctively different one though, is the orange-throated race johnsoni, which we saw very well at Khao Yai NP.
CRESTED FINCHBILL (Spizixos canifrons) – One of the more distinctive and attractive bulbuls, this montane species was seen beautifully on Doi Ang Khang and Doi Lang.
STRIATED BULBUL (Pycnonotus striatus) – We had this handsome bird in very small numbers on Doi Inthanon and Doi lang.
RED-WHISKERED BULBUL (Pycnonotus jocosus) – Populations in southern Thailand have been decimated due to the cage bird trade, so a single bird near Bangkok (site suppressed) was a rather rare sighting here. Up north, they seemed to be doing well, and we had sightings of 50+ birds at one site on Doi Ang Khang.
BROWN-BREASTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus xanthorrhous) – Similar to the much more common Sooty-headed Bulbul, but the yellow vent of this species distinguishes it from Sooty-headed, which has a red vent in the north. We saw a handful of these along the Myanmar border on Doi Ang Khang and Doi Lang.
SOOTY-HEADED BULBUL (Pycnonotus aurigaster) – Very common in scrubby, open habitat in the north. All of our birds were of the northern, red-vented variety, and I have yet to see the yellow-vented southern form.
STRIPE-THROATED BULBUL (Pycnonotus finlaysoni) – Mainly in the south, where we had pairs and singles on several days at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai. Our only ones in the north were a pair at Inthanon Nest.
FLAVESCENT BULBUL (Pycnonotus flavescens) – Seen almost daily in the north, where it is one of the more numerous and noticeable bulbuls at higher elevations.
YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus goiavier) – Rangsit was the main site for this species, and we saw up to 20 of them during our time there. Elsewhere we only had these on the grounds of the Rama Gardens.
STREAK-EARED BULBUL (Pycnonotus conradi) – Plenty of these were seen at most open country sites throughout the tour.
PUFF-THROATED BULBUL (Alophoixus pallidus) – Not usually a hard bird to see, and we did have a few at Khao Yai, and brief sightings at Wat Tham Pha Plong and Doi Lang in the north, but a few folks never did lay eyes on these birds, oddly.
OCHRACEOUS BULBUL (Alophoixus ochraceus) – Very similar to the preceding species, though the two are allopatric. Ochraceous replaces Puff-throated at Kaeng Krachan, and we had a few good views of them there.
GRAY-EYED BULBUL (Iole propinqua) – Kind of dull and unmemorable. Most of our sightings came from Khao Yai, though a few folks saw a couple at the Huai Sai Lueang Waterfall on Doi Inthanon.

This gorgeous male Scarlet Finch and a companion were a lovely sight in a flowering tree at the military checkpoint. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

OLIVE BULBUL (BAKER'S) (Iole viridescens cinnamomeoventris) – The taxonomy of this species is more colorful than the bird itself. For years we were calling this one Buff-vented Bulbul (though Ebird referred to these as Gray-eyed, which they clearly were not). And HBW (and thus Uthai's new field guide) treats this as a race of Grey-eyed Bulbul. But it is currently treated here as a race of Olive Bulbul. In a year or two it may go by a different name again, who knows? Anyway, we had a handful of these at Kaeng Krachan.
BLACK BULBUL (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) – Seen in small numbers in the northern mountains. Five subspecies occur in Thailand, though all ours were likely of the resident form concolor.
ASHY BULBUL (Hemixos flavala) – Seen regularly at higher elevations on all the northern mountains as well as at Khao Yai NP.
MOUNTAIN BULBUL (Ixos mcclellandii) – Regularly encountered in small to moderate numbers in the montane forests throughout the north.
Pnoepygidae (Cupwings)
PYGMY CUPWING (Pnoepyga pusilla) – This tiny, inconspicuous bird sure put on a show for us on Doi Inthanon. Most people had excellent looks the first time it came through, but a couple of folks missed it, so we moved closer and gave it another go, and this time the bird popped up onto a bare branch a few meters away and began to sing heartily. You can almost see right down its throat in the photos Uthai managed to get!
Scotocercidae (Bush Warblers and Allies)
SLATY-BELLIED TESIA (Tesia olivea) – These birds were a real pain this year, and for most they probably remained a heard only species, though we did hear them at several places. A lucky few did manage to see a moderately cooperative one on Doi Inthanon.
YELLOW-BELLIED WARBLER (Abroscopus superciliaris) – A trio of these active little warblers stayed high in some bamboo at Doi Ang Khang, but we still nabbed some nice looks at them.
MOUNTAIN TAILORBIRD (Phyllergates cucullatus) – Though it does resemble a tailorbird, it isn't really one; it isn't even in the same family as the other tailorbirds. This bird's song was heard often in the montane forests of the north, and we did manage some nice looks at these attractive little birds, too.
ABERRANT BUSH WARBLER (Horornis flavolivaceus) – A pretty common skulker in the scrubby habitat up on Doi Lang, and though they're pretty hard to see, we had great views of one that apparently forgot to skulk for half a minute or so.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
ASHY-THROATED WARBLER (Phylloscopus maculipennis) – In Thailand, this one is restricted to the highest parts (above 2000m) on Doi Inthanon, where we had good views of several around the bog. It is one of the more distinctive looking of the genus, often looking quite streaky below, and fairly easily told apart from the others in the genus.
BUFF-BARRED WARBLER (Phylloscopus pulcher) – Our lone bird in a mixed species flock on the east slope of Doi Lang didn't have an especially buffy wingbar, but the calls and everything else fit, and there seems to be some variation in the extent of color in the wingbar.
YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER (Phylloscopus inornatus) – This is the default Phylloscopus through much of the country, and we only missed it on a handful of days.
HUME'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus humei) – This one overlaps largely with Davison's Leaf-Warbler, but is much dingier below and has a distinctive call. We had a fair number of these in the northern mountains, especially where there were good stands of pines.
CHINESE LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus yunnanensis) – Crown stripes and a yellow rump separate this one from several of the more common Phylloscopus warblers; the very different call note from others with similar plumage. We had scope studies of one hawking small insects from a tall bamboo stalk at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station, and another near the checkpoint on Doi Lang.
PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus proregulus) – It's distinctive call note was heard near dusk at the Hume's Pheasant site. [*]

One of many bulbul species we saw was the distinctive Crested Finchbill, which we saw in the mountains. Photo by guide Jay VanderGaast.

RADDE'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus schwarzi) – We saw several of these skulkers this year, and got especially good looks at up to 3 birds in the scrubby area around the parking area for the Pha Diao Dai Nature Trail at Khao Yai.
YELLOW-STREAKED WARBLER (Phylloscopus armandii) – The yellow streaks take some imagination to see, and for the most part this looks a lot like the other species that lack wing bars. But, the call notes are very different than the others. Our lone birds were at the Myanmar border post on Doi Ang Khang, where we had great scope views.
DUSKY WARBLER (Phylloscopus fuscatus) – Very similar to Radde's but generally found in wetter areas than Radde's. We heard these often, and I think by tour's end most folks had seen one or two.
BUFF-THROATED WARBLER (Phylloscopus subaffinis) – A roadside pair along the Khun Wang Road on Doi Inthanon were not as cooperative as we would have liked, but our only other pair at the Chinese Cemetery on Ang Khang sat long enough for a few to see them in the scope.
PLAIN-TAILED WARBLER (Phylloscopus soror) – We heard these at Khao Yai on a couple of days, but they pretty much ignored our attempts to lure them into view. Called Alstrom's Warbler in Uthai's new field guide. [*]
BIANCHI'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus valentini) – Heard only on the west side of Doi Lang. [*]
MARTENS'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus omeiensis) – The call note of this species is very similar to our Wilson't Warbler, and we kept hearing these without ever laying eyes on one. That is, until our final morning on Doi Lang, when we finally had great looks at one up near the military outpost.
GREENISH WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochiloides) – We saw our only one at the same time and place as our sighting of the Marten's Warbler. The weak wing bars and overall dull pattern had us thinking it was this species, which we finally confirmed when it gave its distinctive call note.
TWO-BARRED WARBLER (Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus) – Very similar to Yellow-browed Warbler at this time of year, but once again the call notes are key to separating them. We heard these fairly often throughout the tour, and had a couple of views of them at the Ban Krang campgrounds at Kaeng Krachan.
PALE-LEGGED LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus tenellipes) – We heard this one a couple of times at Kaeng Krachan, but couldn't bring it in. [*]
CHESTNUT-CROWNED WARBLER (Phylloscopus castaniceps) – After working hard to get crappy looks at a couple of these beautiful, restless warblers way above our heads, we wound up with several excellent eye level views along the roadside on Doi Inthanon and on the eastern slope of Doi Lang over the next few days.
SULPHUR-BREASTED WARBLER (Phylloscopus ricketti) – Seemed more numerous than usual this winter, and we had several excellent sightings of these at Kaeng Krachan, Khao Yai, and Doi Inthanon. With that intense yellow belly and bold blackish crown stripes, this is a pretty easy Phylloscopus to identify, no chip notes needed!
BLYTH'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus reguloides assamensis) – A resident species at high elevations (above 2000m) in the north. These were common up at the summit of Doi Inthanon, where we saw a bunch along the boardwalk. Plenty of them in song, as well, and the song is very reminiscent of the "witchety-witchety" song of Common Yellowthroat.
CLAUDIA'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus claudiae) – It's pretty rare that a Phylloscopus warbler is chosen as someone's top bird of the tour, but for some reason, Claudia claimed this as her favorite. Its habit of creeping along branches like a Black-and-white Warbler make it relatively easy to identify. We saw a couple of these at Kaeng Krachan and one at the waterfall on Doi Inthanon.
DAVISON'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus intensior) – Pretty common throughout the mountains of the north, mostly below the range of the similar Blyth's, though they did overlap to a certain extent. Formerly called White-tailed Leaf-Warbler.

This lovely male Daurian Redstart was wintering at Ang Khang. Photo by participant Benedict De Laender.

Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
THICK-BILLED WARBLER (Arundinax aedon) – Another skulking species, though I think most folks had looks at one of the ones we tried for. One with the trio of Radde's Warbler at Khao Yai was seen well by a few, another at a roadside rice paddy stop north of Chiang Mai was perhaps a bit more cooperative.
BLACK-BROWED REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus bistrigiceps) – Pretty easy at Rangsit this trip, and we had some excellent looks at a few there. Our only other record was on the final morning at Nam Kham Nature Reserve.
ORIENTAL REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus orientalis) – We didn't do overly well with this one, and I think our only decent group one was a lone bird at Rangsit that didn't stick around too long.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
LANCEOLATED WARBLER (Locustella lanceolata) – Heard in the dense, dry scrub at the Kaeng Krachan Country Club, but we couldn't coax any into view. [*]
BAIKAL BUSH WARBLER (Locustella davidi) – Another super skulker, but those that saw these birds, either at the Mae Taeng Irrigation Project or at the Thaton rice paddies had exceptionally good views of them. It was the first time I've ever gotten eyes on one of these elusive beasts! A recent split from Spotted Bush-Warbler.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
COMMON TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus sutorius) – It may be common, but I think we saw fewer of these than of the next species.
DARK-NECKED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus atrogularis) – Recorded regularly in forested situations, though we heard more than we saw.
HILL PRINIA (Prinia superciliaris) – With the streaks on the breast and the very long tail, this is among the more distinctive of the prinias. We saw a few of these in scrubby areas in the northern mountains.
RUFESCENT PRINIA (Prinia rufescens) – A couple of small groups of these were found along the road into Mae Ping NP.
GRAY-BREASTED PRINIA (Prinia hodgsonii) – Darker and shorter-tailed than the similarly dull Plain Prinia. We had a few of these in scrubby habitat at KKCC and near Chiang Mai.
YELLOW-BELLIED PRINIA (Prinia flaviventris) – Quite brightly colored for a prinia. We ran into these at a number of sites, but they were most common and easily seen at Rangsit.
PLAIN PRINIA (Prinia inornata) – The most common and often seen of the prinias, and regularly encountered in open habitat throughout. We saw both subspecies that occur here, with the paler, duller race blanfordi seen in the north, and the somewhat more well-marked herberti in the south.
ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis) – Few this trip, and the looks were mostly subpar, though we had single birds a couple of times in the coastal lowlands south of Bangkok and once in rice paddies in the north.
Paradoxornithidae (Parrotbills, Wrentit, and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED PARROTBILL (Psittiparus gularis) – We had just one encounter with this well-marked parrotbill, when about a dozen of them came into a large roadside tree on the west slope of Doi Lang. I think everyone managed good views, though they seemed to have an uncanny ability to stay hidden behind the leaves.
SPOT-BREASTED PARROTBILL (Paradoxornis guttaticollis) – Great views of these confiding parrotbills both on Doi Ang Khang and Doi Lang.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
STRIATED YUHINA (Yuhina castaniceps) – Our only sighting was of a noisy, excited group of 30+ birds that showed beautifully at the parking area at Wat Tham Pha Plong.
WHISKERED YUHINA (Yuhina flavicollis) – Found only around the military camp on the east side of Doi Lang, where we had excellent looks at a couple of them.
CHESTNUT-FLANKED WHITE-EYE (Zosterops erythropleurus) – The most-easily identified of the white-eyes here, those chestnut flanks separating them from all other species. Also the most numerous one we encountered, and we had a bunch both at Khao Yai and Doi Inthanon.
ORIENTAL WHITE-EYE (Zosterops palpebrosus) – Seen regularly in small numbers in the north, where the fairly bright yellow race siamensis is found. The yellow stripe up the middle of the belly is often tough to see, but is diagnostic in the north, where this is the only species to show it.
JAPANESE WHITE-EYE (Zosterops japonicus) – Tough to separate from the previous species as the lack of the yellow ventral stripe is not a great field mark as it is often hard to see in Oriental. These birds are somewhat duller, and lack the yellow forehead, though they show a narrow band of bright yellow just above the bill. We identified a few of these at our lunch stop in Thaton, and on our final morning around Chiang Saen.

We found several migrant Rosy Minivets, at Kaeng Krachen, Mae Ping NP, and at the Royal Project. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

Timaliidae (Tree-Babblers, Scimitar-Babblers, and Allies)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BABBLER (Timalia pileata) – A very skulking babbler of dense scrubby areas. We heard a couple at the KKCC, then had brief but pretty good looks at a pair foraging high in a vine tangle at the Nam Kham Nature Reserve.
PIN-STRIPED TIT-BABBLER (Mixornis gularis) – Compared to most of the other babblers, this one is pretty easy to see, and was often encountered as part of mixed species flocks in forested areas throughout.
GOLDEN BABBLER (Cyanoderma chrysaeum) – We saw this lovely, warbler-like babbler a few times in the north, with some beautiful views of them along the roadside on Doi Inthanon.
RUFOUS-FRONTED BABBLER (Cyanoderma rufifrons) – The song of this species is very similar to that of Golden Babbler, but the resemblance pretty much stops there. We heard these a lot more often than we saw them, but did have a good close look at a couple at Kaeng Krachan.
WHITE-BROWED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus schisticeps) – We had small groups of these on three consecutive days on Doi Ang Khang and Doi Lang, but they were pretty furtive, and I think there we a few folks that never did get a look.
LARGE SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Megapomatorhinus hypoleucos) – Heard only in the dry scrubby hills at the Kaeng Krachan Country Club. [*]
RUSTY-CHEEKED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Megapomatorhinus erythrogenys) – Easily seen on the east slope of Doi Lang, where they are among the regular visitors to the mealworm feeding stations that photographers have established here.
GRAY-THROATED BABBLER (Stachyris nigriceps) – Often quite a tricky bird to see well, though most of us had very nice looks at a couple of confiding birds on Doi Inthanon.
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)
COLLARED BABBLER (Gampsorhynchus torquatus) – Heard on the other side of a ravine on Doi Lang, but they refused to move across to our side. [*]
RUFOUS-WINGED FULVETTA (Schoeniparus castaneceps) – Quite numerous and easy to see at higher elevations on Doi Inthanon and the east slope of Doi Lang.
PUFF-THROATED BABBLER (Pellorneum ruficeps) – It took us a long time to get looks at this bird after first hearing them at the KKCC, but eventually we all had super looks at a couple at the Rufous-naped Pitta feeding site up north.
SPOT-THROATED BABBLER (Pellorneum albiventre) – We heard several of these one morning on Doi Lang, but they stayed mostly out of sight, except for a lucky few people that got eyes on them as they skulked through the dense scrub.
EYEBROWED WREN-BABBLER (Napothera epilepidota) – Exceptional looks at a curious bird checking out Uthai's speaker on a forest trail on the slopes of Doi Inthanon.
ABBOTT'S BABBLER (Turdinus abbotti) – Heard several times in the southern parks, but we just never had one that was close. [*]
LIMESTONE WREN-BABBLER (RUFOUS) (Turdinus crispifrons calcicola) – The limestone hill country en route to Khao Yai was our only site for this local species, and we got it quickly, with some excellent looks at one foraging behind one of the small buildings at Wat Phra Phuttabat Noi. If this form is split off as Rufous Limestone-Babbler, as it is in Uthai's new field guide, this becomes a Thailand endemic.

Black-headed Woodpecker was another bird we found in Mae Ping NP. What a beauty this one is! Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

STREAKED WREN-BABBLER (Turdinus brevicaudatus) – Very easy this year, as one came out in the open at the feeding station at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
BROWN-CHEEKED FULVETTA (Alcippe poioicephala) – Heard at Kaeng Krachan, and it came in fairly close, but never popped into view for us. [*]
YUNNAN FULVETTA (Alcippe fratercula) – There were lots of noisy and active little parties of YUFUs encountered daily in the northern mountains.
WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax leucolophus) – Best seen were the bold ones at the Siamese Fireback spot at Sakaerat.
LESSER NECKLACED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax monileger) – Usually pretty tricky, though a few folks got reasonable looks at these shy birds inside the forest at Kaeng Krachan, where we had a fast-moving flock of half a dozen or so passing through.
WHITE-NECKED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax strepitans) – Always a hard one to see, and we wound up just hearing them a couple of times on Doi Ang Khang and Doi lang. [*]
GREATER NECKLACED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla pectoralis) – Another often tough species, and the mixed group of Greater and Lesser Necklaced laughingthrushes we were pursuing at the KKCC never did show themselves. [*]
BLACK-THROATED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla chinensis) – At last, a relatively easy laughingthrush. We saw this handsome bird with no effort on three days at Khao Yai, then also found a single bird in the gardens at the Ang Khang Ag Station.
WHITE-BROWED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla sannio) – Our lone group of 5 of these on Doi Lang were less cooperative than we would have liked, but most of us had a good quick look before they buried themselves into the dense scrub.
SILVER-EARED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron melanostigma) – A colorful laughingthrush of high elevations, this is one of the birds that regularly begs for mealworms on Doi Lang, and we saw them easily, and well there several times, as well as at the summit of Doi Inthanon.
BLACK-BACKED SIBIA (Heterophasia melanoleuca) – While these were a common sight throughout the northern mountains, the numbers around the military post on the east slope of Doi Lang were just insane. We counted a minimum of 25 of them swarming over the feeding areas there, where elsewhere we only ever saw them in groups of 2-4!
LONG-TAILED SIBIA (Heterophasia picaoides) – A lone bird flew over the road at the leading edge of a big feeding flock on Doi Lang, but we never managed to refind it amid all the other activity.
SILVER-EARED MESIA (Leiothrix argentauris) – Everyone had already returned to their rooms at Ang Khang when Uthai stumbled across a group of 10+ of these lookers bathing at the pools between the restaurant and the rooms. We hurriedly rounded everyone up, and amazingly got everyone onto them before they moved on, though our last straggler (Rich, who had been in the shower) was just barely in time to see them as they were already on their way up the hill.
RUFOUS-BACKED SIBIA (Minla annectens) – A good trip for this handsome species, which we saw very well several times on Doi Inthanon and Doi Lang.
SCARLET-FACED LIOCICHLA (Liocichla ripponi) – Had I known how easy these were to see at the feeding area on Doi Lang, I wouldn't have worked so darned hard to try to scope those distant ones on Doi Ang Khang a couple of days earlier!

The lovely Burmese Nuthatch is another unusual bird for our tour; we got a great look at them in Mae Ping National Park. Photo by guide Jay VanderGaast.

SPECTACLED BARWING (Actinodura ramsayi) – Hard to beat those looks at the Doi Lang military post where they came in to feed on bananas. It may not be all that colorful, but this is a pretty awesome-looking bird.
BLUE-WINGED MINLA (Actinodura cyanouroptera) – Seen regularly with mixed flocks in the northern mountains. At times they looked quite dull, but when we saw them in good light, their colors were pretty stunning.
CHESTNUT-TAILED MINLA (Actinodura strigula) – Only found at elevations above 2000m, and we only ran across these gorgeous birds at the summit of Doi Inthanon, where they were fortunately quite common and easy to see.
Irenidae (Fairy-bluebirds)
ASIAN FAIRY-BLUEBIRD (Irena puella) – Seen mainly in the south, where they were not uncommon in the two parks, but our largest count was a group of at least 10 birds teed up in a bare tree at Wat Tham Pha Plong.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa dauurica) – Regular in small numbers throughout, including on the grounds of the Rama Gardens.
ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN (Copsychus saularis) – A common garden and scrub bird right across the country (and SE Asia in general). Most memorable was the one Uthai removed from a fish trap at the Nam Kham Nature Reserve.
WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA (Copsychus malabaricus) – We got several great views of this generally skulking species at a number of drier forest sites, especially the one hanging around in front of the hide at Khao Yai.
WHITE-GORGETED FLYCATCHER (Anthipes monileger) – The promise of mealworms lured several of these usually secretive flycatchers out into the open at Doi Lang, where they have gotten incredibly bold.
HAINAN BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis hainanus) – A handful of these were seen at several sites in Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai. Fairly easy to identify thanks to the lack of orange in the throat that so many of the other species show.
PALE BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis unicolor) – We were down to our final few minutes on Doi Lang when we finally turned up a male of this species in a fruiting tree along with several other flycatchers.
CHINESE BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis glaucicomans) – Fairly common in the region of the lower camp at Kaeng Krachan, but they were mostly a bit difficult to see well. I think everyone managed in the end though. Until recently considered conspecific with Blue-throated Flycatcher.
HILL BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis banyumas) – The most often encountered of the Cyornis flycatchers, this one was seen several times at Khao Yai, then fairly regularly up north. The male at the feeding area at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station offered up especially lovely views.
TICKELL'S BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis tickelliae) – We heard these in appropriate habitat at a couple of sites (Huai Hong Khrai Royal Project and Nam Kham Nature Reserve) but never managed to get eyes on them. [*]
LARGE NILTAVA (Niltava grandis) – Good views of this common flycatcher a number of times at various sites in the northern mountains, including 2 or 3 hanging out around the feeding areas at the military post on the east slope of Doi Lang.
SMALL NILTAVA (Niltava macgrigoriae) – Kind of like a miniature version of the Large Niltava, though generally a tougher bird to see well. We did manage some excellent looks, though, after a couple of attempts on Doi Inthanon.
RUFOUS-BELLIED NILTAVA (Niltava sundara) – A female at the feeding area at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station was our only one of the tour.
VERDITER FLYCATCHER (Eumyias thalassinus) – A common and widespread species and we had them regularly after our first at Wat Phai Lom on our initial afternoon outing. Lots of good looks, but it would have been hard to beat that one that perched quite low in front of us along the Km 33 Trail at Khao Yai. A real beauty!
LESSER SHORTWING (Brachypteryx leucophris) – Heard distantly inside the forest on Doi Inthanon.
WHITE-BROWED SHORTWING (Brachypteryx montana) – Our only one was a female or subadult male that showed well in the summit bog on Doi Inthanon.
WHITE-BELLIED REDSTART (Luscinia phaenicuroides) – Another very secretive species made easy to see by its addiction to the free mealworm meals on Doi Lang. Nice to see a handsome male again this year.

One of the numerous birds commonly named "babbler" that we saw was this attractive little Puff-throated Babbler. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

BLUETHROAT (Luscinia svecica) – One hopped out on the edge of the rice paddies at Doi Lo, giving those of us at the front of the line a good look before it dove back into dense cover.
BLUE WHISTLING-THRUSH (BLACK-BILLED) (Myophonus caeruleus caeruleus) – This is the migrant form that breeds in western China and winters here. We had just a couple of these, including one at the summit of Doi Inthanon and another at one of the feeding stations on Doi Lang.
BLUE WHISTLING-THRUSH (YELLOW-BILLED) (Myophonus caeruleus eugenei) – The resident breeding form, this one was seen a few times in the northern mountains, with the best looks easily coming at the Rusty-naped Pitta feeding spot, where one of these also enjoyed the free meal.
WHITE-CROWNED FORKTAIL (Enicurus leschenaulti) – Our only forktail this trip, and we had incredibly good views of this shy bird at the summit bog on Doi Inthanon.
SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT (Calliope calliope) – A couple of very bold males at the Doi Lang feeding areas were a big hit.
WHITE-TAILED ROBIN (Myiomela leucura) – Another very secretive species emboldened by the promise of mealworms. We had single males both at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station and the military checkpoint on the east slope of Doi Lang.
HIMALAYAN BLUETAIL (Tarsiger rufilatus) – Recently split from the very similar Red-flanked Bluetail and the females (all of our birds were females) are especially hard to tell apart, and both species winter here. This is apparently the more common of the two, and the one at the Rusty-naped Pitta site seemed good for this species. Several females on the east slope of Doi Lang were less convincing, so I think we left them as unidentified.
SLATY-BACKED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula sordida) – One of the more commonly seen of the wintering flycatchers, and we had them regularly in the northern mountains, including a few nice males.
SLATY-BLUE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula tricolor) – No males this year, but we did see a couple of females at the feeding areas on Doi Lang.
RUFOUS-GORGETED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula strophiata) – A few of these handsome bird were seen on Doi Lang, including at the feeding areas, with a single bird also at the pitta feeding area.
SAPPHIRE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula sapphira) – A male in non-breeding plumage was found at the last minute on Doi Lang, along with our lone Pale Blue Flycatcher.
LITTLE PIED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula westermanni) – Kind of surprising we never saw this one, though we heard one on Doi Inthanon. [*]
ULTRAMARINE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula superciliaris) – Incredible views of that bold male on Doi Lang. He's been coming in for mealworm treats at the same spot for several years now.
TAIGA FLYCATCHER (Ficedula albicilla) – Seen in small numbers throughout the tour. That breeding-plumaged male at Nam Kham Nature reserve may have been the first I've ever seen that showed a red throat!

Although the Dusky Broadbill is generally hard to find on this tour, we were lucky, and saw several birds on two different days at Kaeng Krachan. Photo by guide Jay VanderGaast.

PLUMBEOUS REDSTART (Phoenicurus fuliginosus) – A female flycatching along the stream below the waterfall on Doi Inthanon was our only one.
WHITE-CAPPED REDSTART (Phoenicurus leucocephalus) – Our only one of these beauties was at the same waterfall as the preceding species, where it triggered a lot of camera clicks.
DAURIAN REDSTART (Phoenicurus auroreus) – We located the handsome male that had been wintering at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station, and apparently attracted the attention of a bunch of photographers that were also there. The pursuit of the bird as it seemed to flee from the encroaching photographers was dismaying to see.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola rufiventris) – Nice views of our only one, a striking male, at the camping area on Doi Ang Khang.
BLUE ROCK-THRUSH (PHILIPPENSIS) (Monticola solitarius philippensis) – Just two birds this trip, a female of indeterminate subspecies that was hanging around the military post at Khao Yai, and a cooperative male of this rusty-bellied subspecies perched on a building around a large cleared area lower down in the park.
SIBERIAN STONECHAT (STEJNEGER'S) (Saxicola maurus stejnegeri) – A common and widespread wintering species in open habitats all along the tour route.
PIED BUSHCHAT (Saxicola caprata) – Just a few records with one at the bat viewing area at Khao Yai, a couple at Thaton, and another along the Mekong River.
JERDON'S BUSHCHAT (Saxicola jerdoni) – A rare and declining species in the country, due to the loss of the riverine habitat it prefers. The male we found in a bed of tall reeds along the Mae Kok River near Thaton was the first I've seen.
GRAY BUSHCHAT (Saxicola ferreus) – Fairly common in scrubby clearings in the northern mountains.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
DARK-SIDED THRUSH (Zoothera marginata) – The summit bog on Doi Inthanon is usually where we see this thrush, and we did find one there, foraging in the dark, damp understory. But this year, we also found a second bird, this one feeding in the open with a bunch of Black-breasted Thrushes at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station.
BLACK-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus dissimilis) – In my experience, this is one of the more common of the wintering thrushes in NW Thailand, particularly on Doi Ang Khang. We had as many as 8-10 at the agricultural station, and another group of about half a dozen at the camp where we ate our lunch. Away from Ang Khang, we had just a lone female at the Rusty-naped Pitta site.
GRAY-SIDED THRUSH (Turdus feae) – This dull thrush is generally quite scarce, and usually outnumbered by the similar Eyebrowed Thrush, but we did manage to see one or two up near the top of Doi Inthanon.
EYEBROWED THRUSH (Turdus obscurus) – As usual the most often seen wintering thrush. We saw small numbers of these pretty much throughout, often flying overhead in small flocks, but also a few perched birds.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
GOLDEN-CRESTED MYNA (Ampeliceps coronatus) – Great scope views of 4 perched birds with a small group of Common Hill Mynas near a fruiting tree at Keang Krachan.
COMMON HILL MYNA (Gracula religiosa) – Not all that common, and apparently declining due in part to the trade in cage birds. We had a handful of these at Kaeng Krachan and Khao Yai.

We found Gray-headed Swamphen in several places, however, this one looks to be one of the non-hybrids that we saw in the north. Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) – Uthai walked off among the rice paddies at Doi Lo in an attempt to flush up some snipe for us, and while he was doing that, we spotted one of these familiar birds foraging in a paddy full of tender green shoots. Uthai was quite excited by this when he returned, as this rare visitor would have been a new country bird for him, but unfortunately, we were unable to refind it for him.
BLACK-COLLARED STARLING (Gracupica nigricollis) – It wasn't until our last few days that we finally located a few of these birds, though there were far fewer than usual. Our high count was of about 10 birds at Nam Kham Nature Reserve.
ASIAN PIED STARLING (Gracupica contra) – Also seemingly less numerous than usual, though we saw small numbers in open country at a number of sites throughout.
CHESTNUT-TAILED STARLING (Sturnia malabarica) – Pretty much all of ours were found feeding in flowering Bombax trees in the north, at sites including Inthanon Nest and the Nam Kham Nature Reserve.
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – Almost everywhere, though we managed to miss them on a couple of days at Kaeng Krachan and a couple of others on Doi Inthanon.
VINOUS-BREASTED STARLING (VINOUS-BREASTED) (Acridotheres burmannicus leucocephalus) – Quite a local species on our tour route, and as usual, we saw these only on the grounds of the KKCC, where we had scope studies of up to 4 birds. Uthai's field guide calls this Vinous-breasted Myna, which given the genus it's in, makes perfect sense, so perhaps the change will be made official in the future.
GREAT MYNA (Acridotheres grandis) – Very common and seen in pretty good numbers most days.
Chloropseidae (Leafbirds)
BLUE-WINGED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis cochinchinensis) – Though widespread in the country, this leafbird was only seen in the south (other than a lone bird at the Royal Project north of Chiang Mai), where it was fairly common and seen well a bunch of times.
GOLDEN-FRONTED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis aurifrons) – Apart from a lone bird at the campgrounds at Kaeng Krachan, all of ours were in the north, with especially high numbers at Inthanon Nest, where there were 20+ of them feeding in the flowering trees near the tower.
ORANGE-BELLIED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis hardwickii) – Small numbers of these handsome leafbirds were regularly encountered in the montane forests up north.
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
THICK-BILLED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum agile) – A pretty nondescript bird, and could be easily overlooked. We had excellent looks at a roadside bird at Kaeng Krachan.
YELLOW-VENTED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum chrysorrheum) – In direct contrast to the preceding species, this is a handsome, well-marked and distinctive flowerpecker. We also just had one of these, seen on the same morning, along the same stretch of road as our Thick-billed Flowerpecker.
YELLOW-BELLIED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum melanoxanthum) – A striking and distinctive highland species, which I've missed on all my previous visits here, so I was pleased to find one of these at the summit of Doi Inthanon, especially considering the awesome views it gave.
PLAIN FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum minullum) – The name says it all; this is a very nondescript bird, and it would be easy to pass it off as a female of the next species, though they do sound different. We had good looks at a calling bird on Doi Ang Khang, with a nearby pair of Fire-breasted Flowerpeckers for a good comparison.
FIRE-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (FIRE-BREASTED) (Dicaeum ignipectus ignipectus) – Small numbers on Doi Inthanon and Doi Lang, with a few fine views of fiery-breasted males.

Green Bee-eater was the most widespread of the bee-eaters we encountered, being the only species we saw once we left the south of the country. Photo by guide Jay VanderGaast.

FIRE-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (CAMBODIAN) (Dicaeum ignipectus cambodianum) – This dull subspecies might be better treated as a full species (as is done in Uthai's book). We had good looks at a couple of these at Khao Yai, the only place on the tour where they can be found.
SCARLET-BACKED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum cruentatum) – Easily the most commonly seen flowerpecker, seen in small numbers throughout. Most folks probably got their first on the grounds of the Rama Gardens where they are quite common.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
RUBY-CHEEKED SUNBIRD (Chalcoparia singalensis) – Mainly at Kaeng Krachan, where we had several mobbing our Collared Owlet imitations.
PLAIN-THROATED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes malacensis) – The only ones we saw were not during an official tour outing, as we only saw them on the Rama Gardens grounds on the morning before the tour officially began, but since many of the group were there to see them, I thought I'd include it here.
VAN HASSELT'S SUNBIRD (Leptocoma brasiliana) – A few of us had quick but definitive views of a male at Kaeng Krachan, where it looks to be a rarity according to the range maps. Our only other ones were about half a dozen at the Tha Dan River Bridge just before we left Khao Yai park for the airport.
PURPLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris asiaticus) – First encountered at Inthanon Nest, where we got good looks at a few birds. We also had a few more on our final morning around Chiang Saen.
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris jugularis) – The most numerous sunbird in the south, where we saw them most days. Though also widespread in the north, our only record was from Mae Ping NP.
BLACK-THROATED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga saturata) – Bob spotted our first ones near the shrine at Khao Yai NP, and we went on to see these sunbirds regularly through the north. By the looks of things, it seems we saw 3 different races of this species: anomola at Khao Yai, galenae at Doi Inthanon, and petersi at Doi Ang Khang and Doi Lang.
GOULD'S SUNBIRD (Aethopyga gouldiae) – There were a lot of oohs and aahs when the first of these showed up at the summit of Doi Inthanon. More were seen during the rest of our time in the northern mountains, but never again in the large numbers they were in around the summit bog on Inthanon.
GREEN-TAILED SUNBIRD (DOI INTHANON) (Aethopyga nipalensis angkanensis) – This very colorful race could well be a good species on its own. it is endemic to the highest parts of Doi Inthanon where it is fairly common up around the summit. We had excellent views of about a dozen of these beauties there.
CRIMSON SUNBIRD (Aethopyga siparaja) – Several birds at Kaeng Krachan and a single among all the Van Hasselt's Sunbirds at the Tha Dan River Bridge in Khao Yai.
STREAKED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera magna) – By far the most regularly seen spiderhunter on this tour, and it was the only one we bumped into this year. We had several sightings on each of the three mountain parks we visited in the north.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea) – A common wintering species, usually found near flowing mountain streams. We had singles at most of the parks we visited both in the south and the north.
EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (Motacilla tschutschensis) – Just a few birds seen in the coastal lowlands around Bangkok included a "Manchurian" type (subspecies macronyx) at Rangsit, identified by the lack of any eyebrow, and a "Green-headed" male at Laem Pak Bia, easily told by the bright yellow eyebrow.
CITRINE WAGTAIL (Motacilla citreola) – Two birds only, both in the rice paddies at Cho Lae. One of the birds was pretty dull, a first-winter bird by the looks of it. The other showed a nice yellow head, probably a non-breeding male.

We got good views of the common Oriental Pied-Hornbill. Photo by guide Jay VanderGaast.

WHITE WAGTAIL (Motacilla alba) – Seen several times in suitable habitat up north, with a high count of about a dozen birds at Doi Lo rice paddies. Though 5 subspecies occur in the country, all of our birds appeared to be of the most common wintering form, leucopsis, the Chinese White Wagtail.
PADDYFIELD PIPIT (Anthus rufulus) – Small numbers in suitable areas throughout. First seen around the salt pans at Laem Pak Bia, then again in the open grassy area around our lunch spot at Khao Yai, then a couple of times around rice paddies up north.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus hodgsoni) – First seen were a couple at the military post at Khao Yai, and we ran into small numbers again on several days up in the north.
Elachuridae (Spotted Elachura)
SPOTTED ELACHURA (Elachura formosa) – There's a good chance one of these birds saw us on Doi Lang. It was singing awfully nearby, but we couldn't get eyes on it in the dense undergrowth it was calling from. Prior to 2007, this species was unknown in Thailand; on that year's FG tour, Uthai and Rose Ann Rowlett first discovered them at this same site, the only place they are known in Thailand. [*]
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
SPOT-WINGED GROSBEAK (Mycerobas melanozanthos) – After several years without these being seen on the tour, to was great to find them again. We had incredible close views of 4 birds feeding in flowering trees at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station, then another half dozen birds in another flowering tree on the west slope of Doi Lang.
COMMON ROSEFINCH (Carpodacus erythrinus) – Small parties were seen over several days in the north, including good views at a trio of them at the Ang Khang Agricultural Station.
SCARLET FINCH (Carpodacus sipahi) – For the second consecutive year, and only the 4th time since 2004, we had this species on the west slope of Doi Lang. This time, we had excellent scope views of 2 males in a flowering tree right up at the military checkpoint.
Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)
CRESTED BUNTING (Emberiza lathami) – Super looks at several of these distinctive buntings on the west slope of Doi Lang.
LITTLE BUNTING (Emberiza pusilla) – A handful of these buntings were flushed from the dense scrub at the Chinese Cemetery on Doi Ang Khang. Luckily they teed up in a bare tree where we were able to get great scope views.
CHESTNUT BUNTING (Emberiza rutila) – One was seen by a few folks in the scrubby fields beyond the military checkpoint on Doi Lang's western slope.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus indicus) – Mainly around Bangkok, with just a few seen in towns elsewhere. Overall outnumbered by Eurasian Tree Sparrow.
PLAIN-BACKED SPARROW (Passer flaveolus) – A much more handsome bird than the name might suggest. We saw our first one at Wat Phai Lom on the first afternoon, then followed up with groups of 1-3 on several subsequent days.
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus) – Pretty common in towns and cities throughout.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
BAYA WEAVER (Ploceus philippinus) – Few this year, with just a couple of birds in flight at Rangsit, and a single, also flying past, at some rice paddies up around Chiang Mai.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
RED AVADAVAT (Amandava amandava) – A little group of about 15 of these small finches were in some tall scrub next to the road at a rice paddy stop near Chiang Mai.

Blue-winged Leafbird is one of three leafbird species we saw. It's easy to see why they are called "leaf"birds; this one would blend into foliage very well! Photo by participant Bob Sprague.

WHITE-RUMPED MUNIA (Lonchura striata) – A couple of birds eluded most folks at Wat Phai Lom, and that was all we had until we got to our final couple of days in Thailand, when we finally connected with a few in the seeding bamboo outside the Thaton Riverview Lodge, then a few more at Nam Kham on our final morning.
SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) – Pretty common in suitable habitat throughout the tour.
CHESTNUT MUNIA (Lonchura atricapilla) – Our lone sighting was of a single bird flying over the salt pans at Pak Thale.
JAVA SPARROW (Lonchura oryzivora) – A single bird at Rangsit, then a few others at a gas station on the outskirts of Bangkok. And of course there were the ones near the airport that Uthai brought us to see, not realizing we'd already seen them previously when we were with guide"K".

LYLE'S FLYING FOX (Pteropus lylei) – A few of these large bats were starting to get active in the late afternoon in the mangroves along the canal at Laem Pak Bia.
WRINKLE-LIPPED FREE-TAILED BAT (Chaerephon plicatus) – Wow, what a show! We missed out on getting to the site we usually go to see these bats emerging at dusk, but we tried a new spot near our hotel at Khao Yai, and it was awesome. Hundreds of thousands of these streamed by overhead, with a few flocks coming by very close and low. The beautiful full moon lent a nice touch to the scene.
NORTHERN TREESHREW (Tupaia berlangeri) – Heard calling at Kaeng Krachan. [*]
CRAB-EATING MACAQUE (Macaca fascigularis) – The macaque with the long tail. Some folks saw these along the coast in the Laem Pak Bia area, and we all saw a bunch of them at Wat Phra Phuttabat Noi.
PIGTAIL MACAQUE (Macaca nemestrina) – Swarms of these were along the roads in Khao Yai, waiting for handouts from passing tourists.
DUSKY LEAF MONKEY (Presbytis obscura) – We saw several groups of these attractive monkeys near the campground area at Kaeng Krachan.
PILEATED GIBBON (Hylobates pileatus) – Both this and the next species were heard at Khao Yai, according to Uthai. I have yet to learn how to distinguish them by their calls. [*]
WHITE-HANDED GIBBON (Hylobates lar) – Heard at Khao Yai. [*]
MOUNTAIN RED-BELLIED SQUIRREL (Callosciurus flavimanus) – Seen in small numbers most days in the north.
FINLAYSON'S SQUIRREL (Callosciurus finlaysoni) – Aka Variable Squirrel. We saw these a number of places and in several different colors, including some very blond ones. This is the species that was also on the grounds of the Rama Gardens.
GRAY-BELLIED SQUIRREL (Callosciurus caniceps) – Mainly at Kaeng Krachan, with just a couple seen elsewhere. Easily told by the black tail tip.
HIMALAYAN STRIPED SQUIRREL (Tamiops macclellandi) – These tiny, chipmunk-like squirrels were encountered pretty regularly, mainly in the north.
INDOCHINESE GROUND SQUIRREL (Menetes berdmorei) – The larger striped squirrel, with the white stripes only on their bodies, not on their heads. We saw just a couple of these one day on Doi Inthanon, and they weren't on the ground.
YELLOW-THROATED MARTEN (Martes flavigula) – One came out on the road ahead of the vans as we left Khao Yai one afternoon, and it really didn't seem in too much of a hurry to get off, so we had some pretty nice views of this large weasel.
SMALL ASIAN MONGOOSE (Herpestes javanicus) – People in the first van saw this one on Doi Lang.
MUNTJAC (BARKING DEER) (Muntiacus muntjak) – The smaller of the two deer we saw at Khao Yai, and the less numerous.
SAMBAR (Cervus unicolor) – The larger, elk-like deer with the large antlers at Khao Yai.


Totals for the tour: 472 bird taxa and 17 mammal taxa