TH04 Doi Inthanon NP.
Doi Inthanon is accepted as one of the best birding locations in Southeast Asia. Birdwatchers from all over the world desire to touch and collect the new found record, which abundance of bird species would be seen, in their bird list.
Officially, number for found birds in Doi Inthanon is the maximum of the country. It is about 400 species recorded and tentatively to find more in this location. The tentative new found record of more than 10 kinds, especially those wintering migrant or lost birds, will make the country's record increase.
The outstanding of found birds in Doi Inthanon is those in hilltop habitats, which can be found easily. Many of them could be readily seen along the pathway or roadside. Especially, those which are naturally found in Himalayan in India and Nepal, could be found easily in Doi Inthanon.
Furthermore, many bird species have characteristics of 'Endemic Specie/Sub Specie' that could not be found in any other places of the world. For example, Green-tailed Sunbird found in Thailand is sub-specie of Anghanasis and its distinctive beauty strongly attracts birdwatchers from all over the world to see the real one.
Interesting Birding Point
Foot of Doi Inthanon Forest condition from the 1 kilometer gate (tollgate) to the 13 kilometer is Dry diperrocarp forest. Birds found there, like Eurasian Jay, Rufous Treepie, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch and Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, usually cling on the top of trees or dry branches. This site is also the best location to see Woodpecker and Birds pray which naturally live in forest such as Shikra and Collared Falconet, together with wintering migrant hawks like Amur Falcon, Common Buzzard, Black Baza and Eurasian Kestrel. Moreover, Woodpecker like White-bellied Woodpecker; the biggest bird found in Thailand; Lesser Yellownape, Greater Flameback, Grey-capped Woodpecker and Grey-headed Woodpecker can also be seen in this birding location.
Wachiratarn Waterfall Superstars in this birding site are Plumbeous Redstart, River Chat and Slaty-backed Forktail. By the way, those that can be found are like Grey Wagtail, Blue Whistling Thrush, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, 3 or 4 kinds of Bulbuls, Black-headed Bulbul and Lineated Barbet. Another kind of bird that we have to observe around the wire is White-rumped Falcon. This falcon is risky to be extinct, yet still can be often seen in this site.
At the 31 kilometer, around the National Park This birding location is divided into 3 parts; around the headquarters, around the hostel and around Siriphum Waterfall. As for the headquarters location, we mostly see Field Birds and those which earn their lives around Pine Trees such as Richard's Pipit, Olive-backed Pipit , Wagtails , Minivet , Nuthatches, Great Tit and 5 or 6 kinds of Leaf-Warblers. Around the hostel area, the superstar of this place is Black-tailed Crake, the world's mysterious specie which is believed to be found easily here. We can also see other birds like Quails, Green Magpie, Black-naped Oriole, 3 or 4 of Bulbuls, Grey Treepie, 2 or 3 of Drongo, Scimitar-Babbler together with Flycatcher and no less than 15 kinds of attractive insect-eaters. In winter, this birding site is a good place to see those of migrant hawk, Finches and Bee-Eaters. The last birding point is Siriphum Waterfall. Beside River Chat, there are interesting Niltava, White-crowned Forktail and Slaty-backed Forktail which you can see.
On the Summit The summit of Doi Inthanon is the highest birding point of Thailand, at about 2,565 meters above sea level. The forest condition there is very unique because there are both hill evergreen forest and swam forest in the same area. Many bird species regularly come and go, and share food supply in this place. Around the parking lot and birding point, there are interesting birds, like Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Dusky Crage Martin, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Rufous-winged Fulvetta (a number of them are there), found. The Chestnut-tailed Minla and Black-headed Sibia are among the commonest Babblers.
The Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Ashy Wood-Pigeon, Speckled Wood-Pigeon, Orange-bellied Leaf-Warbler, Common Rosefinch, may sometimes be seen in a large number.
When going across the road to swam forest trail, you can see another world of hill evergreen forest covering with moss. Birding in this site needs to be quiet and careful. Because those hiding birds can be alerted and fly away anytime. Green-tailed Sunbird, which is resident of the mountain, is extremely common together with White-browed Shortwing, Dark-sided Thrush, Snowy-browed Flycatchers, Eurasian Woodcock and Orange-flanked Bush-Robin.
Wintering thrushes are abundant here; in many years, one or two scarce Grey-sided Thrushes can be seen feeding unobtrusively on the forest floor or sitting in the treetops with the much commoner, but similarly marked, Eye-browed Thrush. In some years, irruptions of other thrush species occur, perhaps with the onset of unusually cool weather in southwest China. Long-tailed Thrush, Chestnut Thrush, Red-throated Thrush and Dusky Thrush have all been seen on the summit of Doi Inthanon.
From the 35 kilometer trail to the 37.5 kilometer check point These two birding points are good hill evergreen forests. However, to bird in these two points is different. In the first trail (35 km. trail), you have to walk along 2 kilometers dirt road for round trip. The first part when going though the trail is hill evergreen forest and bamboo forest. And the last part, or the end of this trail, is pine forest and grass field. Along the trail you can see several kinds of birds such as Black-throated Parrotbill, Bamboo Partridge, Long-tailed Broadbill, Red-headed Trogon, Great Barbet, Golden-throated Barbet, Maroon Oriole, Mountain Tailorbird, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Flavescent Bulbul, Hill Prinia and White-tailed Flycatcher. Moreover, there are 3 or 4 kinds of Green Pigeon and about 10 kinds of Thrush in winter.
As for the second birding point, the best time to bird is very early in the morning, and birdwatching along the road. By the way, you may walk into the forest if you want. Attractive birds are Yellow-cheeked Tit, Golden Babbler, Blue-winged Minla, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Rufous-backed Sibia and Large Niltava, Silver-eared Mesia and Spectacled Barwing.
On Jeep track, you can find those that are more difficultly to see (because there are many trees in this trail). However, superstars like Streaked Spiderhunter, Brown-throated Treecreeper, Green Cochoa and Purple Cochoa, no less than 30 species altogether can be found in one morning.