While staying in the main Chiang Mai for the main part of our holiday last year I had to be a little more thoughtful about any birding opportunities as research had not turned up much to be done when walking around as I normally tend to do when away on me jollies!
First views of birds from the hotel balcony were of Ashy Woodswallow; I was happy that a couple of them that would occasionally come close enough for me to attempt a BIF shot.
Around the hotel were lots of Tree Sparrow, Streak Eared Bulbul and occasional views, if fleeting of pairs of Olive Backed Sunbird. Walking around the streets did not give up a lot really sightings yes but most either distant or part hidden in vegetation, birds like Common Tailorbird, Common and White Vented Myna, Red Whiskered Bulbul and Coppersmith Barbet were seen perched high on roadside treetops.
Closest I got to a bird for a photo when walking the Chiang Mai streets was this lone Sooty Headed Bulbul.
There were some large areas of grassland that huge numbers of Feral Pigeons gathered on these parts of part managed land, distant birds were seen like this Kestrel.
A couple of unconfirmed birds were seen in this area on a couple of different walks, a Chat of some sort and hiding in the trees what I think may be a Brown Shrike – confirm ID to me if you like!
There was an exercise park next to Chiang Mai University Convention Centre called Princess Mothers Health Garden here this was mainly used by Black Collared Starling and the 2 species of Myna mentioned above along with a few White Wagtail.
The medicinal plant garden was also called the “Secret garden”.
Also seen were Green Billed Malkhoa, White Breasted Waterhen.
We had a trip to the Chiang Mai Zoo, this was ok not brilliant IMO with a vast section of hillside being taken up by the Zoo but it was sadly in a poor state of repair, the Panda section was by far the best and the best bird seen on the day was a Blue Whistling Thrush that was skulking around in the dark areas of the Hippo enclosure.
A second walk around Chiang Mai University Convention Centre took me once again to the secluded part that I had been told about while in Chiang Mai called the ‘Secret Garden’.
Well this walk proved to be most productive with lovely views of a pair of Greater Racket Tailed Drongo, a lone White Rumped Sharma showed itself for a split second in the dark and moody undergrowth.
Top bird seen here though were a handful of White Crested Laughing Thrushes, another target species for me, once again though the birds favoured the darker areas of the ‘Secret Garden’.
Another successful holiday with some decent images and a whole host of lifers for me too!