Wednesday, 24 February 1982

30 years ago: 23-24 February 1982, Doi Ang Khan

Tuesday 23rd February 1982:  Taffon and Doi Ang Chang, Thailand
We were up soon after first light trying to make sense of a rather poor sketch map.  Finally we took a track out onto the paddies in a similar area to that Colin and I had visited on a previous trip.  After 2 hours birding in this area we drove to Fang and changed some money, then drove up the rough road to Doi Ang Chang.  Very steep in places but car managed it without any help.  We arrived just before noon and took trail through giant slabs of rock and over a ridge (presumably into Burma).  We'd hardly gone down it that we saw an amazong Spot-breasted Parrotbill in vegetation by the track.  A really stunning bird.  Amazing change in habitat, heavily cultivated with loads of white poppy fields between rocky outcrops and thinly forested ridges.  Some small collections of huts dotted around.  At one, rather disconcertingly, was a (young) teenager with sub-machine gun slung over his shoulder.  Not sure what he made of us!  We returned to Doi Ang Chang after, presumably, 4 hours in Burma.  We slept on the porch outside the School.

Birds at Taffon included:  Black-shouldered Kite 2, Baillon’s Crake 1, Pintail Snipe 1, Wryneck 1, Richard’s Pipit 50+, Red-throated Pipit 10+, Rosy Pipit 3, Citrine Wagtail 2, Bluethroat 6, Siberian Rubythroat 1 female, Stonechat 20, Pied Stonechat 30, Striated Warbler 2, Yellow-eyed Babbler 4, Brown Shrike 4, Chestnut-eared Bunting c10, Little Bunting 20+, Yellow-breasted Bunting c50.

Birds seen at Doi Ang Kang included:  Speckled Wood Pigeon 30, Dusky Crag Martin 8, Olive-backed Pipit 10, Finch-billed Bulbul 12, *Brown-breasted Bulbul 10, Daurian Redstart 2 males, Grey Bushchat 10, Blue Rock Thrush 4, Dusky Thrush 1, Yellow-browed Warbler 1, Buff-bellied Warbler 2, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler 1, *Spot-breasted Parrotbill 1, *White-browed Laughingthrush 2, Spectacled Barwing 2, Blue-winged Minla 1, Black-backed Sibia 10, Gould’s Sunbird 2, Maroon Oriole 3, Long-tailed Shrike 2, Grey-backed Shrike 1, Scarlet Rosefinch 10, Little Bunting 6.

on the way to Doi Ang Khan

Spectacled Barwing at Doi Ang Khan

Wednesday 24th February 1982:  Doi Ang Chang and drive to Nam Nao, Thailand
Up soon after dawn to find it quite cold due to moderate altitude.  Tried to find a logging trail but without success, although did see a Liochicla quickly.  Weather had hotted up considerably by 08:30 and we left the area at 10:30 driving S towards Chaing Mai.  Got stopped by police on way S and Dave rather foolishly told them we’d been to the Burmese border at Ang Kang.  The police immediately searched the car and were not impressed when they found some souvenir opium poppies Dave had.  A further search produced two syringes Colin had in his medical kit, making them think we were addicts!  They insisted on checking the veins in Colin’s arms and legs and we were greatly relieved when they realised we were harmless and let us continue to Chaing Mai for a quick bite to eat.  Drove to Lamphun where we took a dubious short cut, eventually turning back when metalled road became a dirt track.  We got back to the main highway an hour later with 40 minutes to do c45 kms to the next town to fill up with petrol ahead of the 18:00 fuel curfew.  We arrived at 17:48 to find no garages so Steve, in Jackie Stewart mode, put his foot down and we did 25 kms in just under 15 minutes, arriving at 18:03 but just in time to fill up the car and a large container (bought for 50 bhat) to give extra range to make it to Nam Nao.  We drove past a large area of forest that had recently been burnt (blackened tree stumps still sparking) and lots of minor fires.  Arrived at Nam Nao at c01:00 and slept on counter of a picnic shelter/drinks stall.

Birds seen included:  *Bamboo Partridge 1, Speckled Wood Pigeon 110, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater 6, Olive-backed Pipit 10, Brown-breasted Bulbul 10, Black Bulbul 1 (white-headed race), Blue Rock Thrush 1, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler 4, White-browed Laughingthrush 12+, Red-headed Laughingthrush 2, *Red-faced Liochicla 3, Spectacled Barwing 6, Black-backed Sibia 4, Maroon Oriole 2, Grey-backed Shrike 1, Little Bunting 20.

crossing the border at Doi Ang Khan?

poppy field at Doi Ang Khan

me at Doi Ang Khan, possibly in Burma

poppies at Doi Ang Khan



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