DAY 1 – Arrive Bangkok – transfer flight to Chiang Mai – night in Chiang Mai
DAY 2 – Breakfast at hotel and 20 minute drive to Muang Sam Ma wetlands, north of Chiang Mai. This is a small site but very good for Dusky Warbler, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, Eurasian Wryneck, Black-collared Starling, Grey-headed Swamphen, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Oriental Reed Warbler, Purple Heron, Lesser Whistling Duck and many other common open country species. It is a really nice quick introduction to birding in Thailand.
Drive north to the small town of Fang for lunch and then head uphill to Doi Lang West for the afternoon. Here we can check out the photo stakeouts for Ultramarine Flycatcher, Siberian Rubythroat, White-gorgetted Flycatcher, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Silver-eared Laughingthrush, Slaty-blue Flycatcher, White-browed Laughingthrush and lots more.
On the way down the mountain we have our first chance at seeing Mrs Hume’s Pheasant.
Overnight at Thaton
DAY 3 – After breakfast at our accommodation we take local transport up a rough road, ascending Doi Lang East. Up here we should see a good variety of special birds including Oriental Turtle Dove, Great Barbet, Scarlet-faced Liocichla, Spectacled Barwing, Large Niltava, Whiskered Yuhina, Buff-barred Leaf Warbler, Himalayan Bluetail, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Black-eared Shrike Babbler and many others.
We have a packed lunch at a viewpoint overlooking Myanmar and here we may get lucky with Eastern Buzzard and Mountain Hawk Eagle. We head down after lunch and spend the late afternoon at nearby Thatorn rice fields. This is a reliable site for the critically endangered Yellow-breasted Bunting, Citrine Wagtail, Pied Harrier, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Pied Bushchat, Green Sandpiper and many other wetland species.
Overnight at Thatorn
DAY 4 – We make a second trip up Doi Lang East stopping at a lower altitude than the previous day at a site where we should be able to see birds perching in the open as the sun comes out. Great Barbet, Blue-throated Barbet, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Orange-bellied Leafbird all regularly do this and we will also search for a flock of birds which contains rare species including Collared Babbler, Red-billed Scimitar Babbler, Long-tailed Broadbill, White-necked Laughingthrush and perhaps Bamboo or Pale-headed Woodpeckers.
We will spend most of our time at these mid elevations to look for Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Maroon Oriole, Slender-billed Oriole, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, Grey-faced Buzzard, Chestnut Bunting, Crested Bunting and lots more.
In the late afternoon we can revisit Thatorn Rice Fields to look for rare species including Jerdon’s Bushchat as well as Black-faced Bunting, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Baikal Bush Warbler, Ruddy-breasted Crake.
Overnight in Thatorn.
DAY 5 – An early start will see us heading up Doi Lang West to get in place for Mrs Hume’s Pheasant which often emerges onto the road in the early morning. Mountain Bamboo Partridge is also a possibility as are Buff-throated Warbler, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Chestnut-bellied Rockthrush, Japanese Tit and Olive-backed Pipit.
Birding through the pine forest we will search for Giant Nuthatch, Rufous-backed Sibia, Little Pied Flycatcher, Blyth’s Shrike Babbler, Chinese Leaf Warbler and if we are lucky perhaps Himalayan Cutia and Grey-headed Parrotbill.
The day will be spent birding up and down the road and we should be able to find Crested Finchbill, Spectacled Barwing, Black-throated Tit, Grey-crowned Warbler, Common Rosefinch and gain a close encounter with Spot-breasted Parrotbill. There are many possibilities up here and we will have another chance at Mrs Hume’s Pheasant in the late afternoon if we need it.
Overnight at Fang
DAY 6 – This morning we have breakfast at our hotel before driving the short distance to Fang Hot Springs. Our main target here is Spot-winged Grosbeak that usually visits in the mid morning. Other species that we will look for here include Asian Barred Owlet, Eurasian Jay, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Striated Swallow, Blue Rockthrush, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Two-barred Warbler, Coppersmith Barbet, Lineated Barbet, Shikra, Blue-bearded Bee-eater and others while in the nearby stream we may be able to see Slaty-backed Forktail and Plumbeous Water Redstart.
In the afternoon we will drive uphill for about 30 minutes to Doi Ang Kang. This scenic area is good for several species that are hard to find elsewhere including Yellow-streaked Warbler, Daurian Redstart, Silver-eared Mesia, Black-breasted Thrush. In the gardens here we should be able to find Black-throated and Mrs Gould’s Sunbirds as well as Mountain Bulbul, White-headed Bulbul, Japanese Tit and Black Bulbul.
Overnight at Fang
DAY 7 – Today we will spend most of the day at Doi Ang Kang. Our first stop will be in a spot that gets the first of the morning sun and gives us a good chance at catching up with any species previously missed, perhaps Giant Nuthatch or Striated Bulbul. This is also a good spot for Common Rosefinch, Long-tailed Minivet, Hill Prinia, Buff-throated Warbler, Blue-winged Minla, Golden-throated Barbet and many others.
We can also visit a garden which the sun reaches in the mid morning and see what is coming to the feeder. Often this includes White-capped Redstart, Eyebrowed Thrush, Blue Whistlingthrush, Grey-sided Thrush, Black-breasted Thrush and White-tailed Robin.
This location is good for a bit of tourism too and we can visit a hilltribe market and enjoy the scenery too before beginning our journey to Chiang Mai.
Overnight in Chiang Mai.
DAY 8 – After an early breakfast in Chiang Mai we drive straight to Doi Inthanon and start birding at Watchirthan waterfall were we hope to find Slaty-backed Forktail, White-capped Redstart and Plumbeous Redstart.
Birding along a trail is usually very good and we should find Large Niltava, Clicking Shrike Babbler, Rufous-backed Sibia, Hume’s Treecreeper, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Silver-eared Mesia, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Grey-chinned Minivet and many more.
In the late afternoon we can visit the summit where we can see some colourful birds including Green-tailed Sunbird, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Silver-eared Laughingthrush and Ashy-throated Warbler.
We will head down the mountain to be in time to see Collared Falconet come to roost.
Stay at Inthanon Highland Resort
DAY 9 – Doi Inthanon all day, visiting the summit in the early morning. If weather conditions are right we might find Speckled Woodpigeon emerging from its roost. Morning is a good time to look for Rufous-throated Partridge, Pygmy Wren Babbler, White-browed Shortwing and Dark-sided Thrush at the summit and there should be some Ashy Woodpigeons around too.
Birding further down the mountain we can look for Small Niltava, Asian Emerald Cuckoo and other species – looking for species not yet seen.
In the late afternoon we can visit a pre roost gathering of Blossom-headed Parakeets where we should also find Burmese Shrike, Rufous Treepie and a few other species. At our accommodation we can search for Spotted Owlet and Brown Boobook.
Overnight at Inthanon Highland Resort
DAY 10 – The morning will be spent on a track through the forest looking for Black-throated Parrotbill and any other species we may still be searching for. We will head to Chiang Mai airport for an early afternoon flight to Bangkok
Overnight at Don Muang Airport hotel
DAY 11 – An early start will see us reaching Pak Thale at around 7am in good time to find a Spoon-billed Sandpiper. We spend the day enjoying a wide variety and large number of shorebirds that should also include Asian Dowitcher, Nordmann’s Greenshank, Great Knot, Terek Sandpiper, Long-toed Stint, Far Eastern Curlew, Malaysian Plover, White-faced Plover, Chinese Egret, Brown-headed Gull, Painted Stork and lots more.
Birding in rough habitat nearby could turn up Plain-backed Sparrow, Indian Nightjar, Indochinese Bushlark and White-shouldered Starling.
Overnight in Petchburi
DAY 12 – We can revisit the shorebirds if we are still looking for any of the key targets and visit nearby rice fields which contain many species including Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Black-capped Kingfisher, Oriental Darter, Asian Golden Weaver, Black-browed Reed Warbler, Chestnut-capped Babbler, Bronze-winged Jacana, Greater Spotted Eagle, Black-headed Ibis, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Grey-headed Lapwing, Streaked Weaver, Asian Openbill, Pintail Snipe and very many others.
Head back to Bangkok and overnight near the international airport
DAY 13 – Flights home