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Chiang Mai bird-watching

January 20, 2012

On the 18th of January we had the honour of receiving avid bird-watchers Derek and Sandra Roe from Great Britain. Although they arrived at mid-day, we quickly saw or heard 25 species of wild birds in a quiet landscape. Interestingly, three new bird species were added to the Dokmai Garden bird list, now including 81 wild bird species. Thanks to Derek’s camera we could document these birds, which was important since sometimes a simple sighting during a split second could be debated. One sighting was a juvenile raptor of the ‘Changeable Hawk-Eagle’, the other two were high elevation birds: ‘the Grey-Chinned Minivet’ and the ‘Flavescent Bulbul’. We believe these birds had enough of the cold and took a recovery tourist trip to the Chiang Mai valley to heat up a bit.

The garden school students and I saw and heard many more bird species that day, and inspired by the fact the present cold seemed to force mountain birds down to the valley, the garden school student Emily Driskill and I have decided to do some serious birdwatching from 06.30 on Friday. We prepare by listening to Tony Ball’s excellent Thai bird call CD:s, reading bird books and cleaning the binoculars. We keep you posted!

A female Grey-Chinned Minivet takes a rest in a Dokmai Garden mango tree. Normally they stay at a much higher elevation, but the past few days’ cold may have triggered a sudden interest in our garden in the valley. We offer safety from poachers, fire, cats and dogs, and we offer love, organic insects and fruits to all birds in need.

Text: Eric Danell

Photo: Derek Roe

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tony Newman permalink
    January 31, 2012 5:22 PM

    Interesting to hear about the unusual birds you’ve seen who are apparently taking a break from the cold. Over hear on the other side of Name Phrae, behind Wat Doi Tham, we’ve had a female Daurien Redstart staying in the the bamboo stand behind our house for the last couple of weeks.

    Are you aware of the eBird,org website, a project of Cornell University? It allows the public to post their sightings worldwide and thus provide a current picture of the range and migration patterns of various species. I don’t see any recent recorded sightings from the Chiang Mai area. Perhaps you should post your lists?

    Thanks so much for your blog. It enhances my appreciation of the local environment and introduces me to so many things I’ve seen in my garden but could not identify.

    • February 1, 2012 7:28 AM

      Dear Tony,

      Thank you for your report and for kindly introducing us to the Cornell site. Indeed we should provide information! Many thanks and kind regards, Eric

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