Aug 112013
 
A male White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana) performing display on a branch near the ground on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

My trip to Thailand has been spent mostly with the family, which together with adverse rainy-season weather has left little time for photography. However I did get the family together for a quick day trip to Doi Inthanon, and the weather cooperated nicely. I had a quick look at Checkpoint 2, where a group of Thai bird photographers from Bangkok had set up, and had nice views of Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Short-billed Minivet and Large Niltava. Then, after visiting the King and Queen chedis with the family, I took a quick circuit of the high altitude montane cloud forest boardwalk at the summit where I could photograph White-browed Shortwing, Silver-eared Laughingthrush, Ashy-throated Warbler, Snowy-browed Flycatcher and Chestnut-tailed Minla. I observed the iconic subspecies of Green-tailed Sunbird high up in the canopy but didn’t bother to try to photograph them at that distance in poor lighting conditions. Otherwise the summit was fairly quiet; I usually visit in the very early morning when some of the shyer Doi Inthanon resident specialities take the opportunity to forage before tourists arrive. While driving I spotted two large raptors but they were very shy and took off as soon as I slowed down, so I didn’t have an opportunity to positively identify them. But a nice surprise was waiting for me further down the mountain near the park headquarters, where I came across what seemed to be a juvenile male Black-throated Sunbird, or perhaps a male in eclipse. It was feeding on flowers in a shrub, but was moving around very quickly and usually sticking to the centre of the thick foliage, making it extremely challenging to get a clear photograph. But after persevering for about 90 minutes (and much to the relief of my waiting family!) I was able to come away with some nice shots. The flowers were also visited by a flock of Oriental White-eye, while Pied Bushchat, Asian Emerald Cuckoo and several species of bulbul were active in the trees.

An Ashy-throated Warbler (Phylloscopus maculipennis) feeding on a flowering shrub on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

An Ashy-throated Warbler (Phylloscopus maculipennis) feeding on a flowering shrub on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

An Ashy-throated Warbler (Phylloscopus maculipennis) feeding on a flowering shrub on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

An Ashy-throated Warbler (Phylloscopus maculipennis) feeding on a flowering shrub on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A juvenile male Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata petersi) feeding on flowers in a shrub on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A juvenile male Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata petersi) feeding on flowers in a shrub on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A juvenile male Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata petersi) feeding on flowers in a shrub on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A juvenile male Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata petersi) feeding on flowers in a shrub on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A juvenile male Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata petersi) with flowers in a shrub on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A juvenile male Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata petersi) with flowers in a shrub on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A Chestnut-crowned Warbler (Seicercus castaniceps) in dense vegetation on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A Chestnut-crowned Warbler (Seicercus castaniceps) in dense vegetation on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A Chestnut-tailed Minla (Minla strigula) perched in a tree on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A Chestnut-tailed Minla (Minla strigula) perched in a tree on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A Flavescent Bulbul (Pycnonotus flavescens) perched in a tree on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A Flavescent Bulbul (Pycnonotus flavescens) perched in a tree on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A Grey-cheeked Fulvetta (Alcippe morrisonia) on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A Grey-cheeked Fulvetta (Alcippe morrisonia) on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A male Large Niltava (Niltava grandis) perched on a branch on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A male Large Niltava (Niltava grandis) perched on a branch on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

An Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) feeding on flowers in a shrub on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

An Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) feeding on flowers in a shrub on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A male Short-billed Minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris) with a caterpilar in a tree on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A male Short-billed Minivet (Pericrocotus brevirostris) with a caterpilar in a tree on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A Silver-eared Laughingthrush (Garrulax melanostigma) foraging on the ground on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A Silver-eared Laughingthrush (Garrulax melanostigma) foraging on the ground on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A juvenile male Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra) perched atop a stump on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A juvenile male Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra) perched atop a stump on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A female White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana) on a log near the ground on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A female White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana) on a log near the ground on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A male White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana) performing display on a branch near the ground on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A male White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana) performing display on a branch near the ground on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A male White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana) performing display on a branch near the ground on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

A male White-browed Shortwing (Brachypteryx montana) performing display on a branch near the ground on Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.