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.