Happy New Year

Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stMonday 1st of January 2024 and I had tea in my room while waiting for the car. I had changed my alarm to go off at 6 thirty instead of 4 o'clock.

I woke up 20 minutes before 6 even though we had been back home late yesterday. Many years since I was back home after midnight last time.

We left at 8 o'clock and we will start by going on a boat tour on the Kok River to see if there is any birds along the river.

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Our boat

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
We are ready to take off


Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Pushing us out in to the Kok River

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
We are on the way

We leave and we will go for a 3 hour boat trip. It is a little bit chili in the shadow but it is quite comfortable in the sun. We are moving quite slow to keep our eyes out for birds.

There are some other boats coming down the river but there is not many of them. I had expected more boats with tourists but we only spotted two during the trip.

There was a boat loaded with tourists leaving when we arrived to the landing side.

But we are not complaining, the less traffic we have on the river the greater chance to see some birds along the river. I ask the Captain to come closer to the shore line but he told us that he could not get any closer.

Kok River

The Kok River (Thai: น้ำแม่กก, RTGS: Nam Mae Kok, is a tributary river of the Mekong that flows in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces in northern Thailand.

Source
The river originates in the Daen Lao Range, Shan State, Myanmar. It flows eastwards across the Myanmar–Thailand border, crossing at the Thai border town of Tha Ton (Thai: ท่าตอน, also spelled "Thaton" ). It flows to Mae Ai District, Chiang Mai Province.

Most of its length in Thailand is in Chiang Rai Province where it passes Mueang Chiang Rai District after which it bends northeastwards and flows through Mae Chan, Wiang Chai and Chiang Saen districts.

It is a wide, shallow, and slow-moving river. There is about 600 meters of small-scale whitewater halfway between the towns of Tha Ton and Chiang Rai.

For several kilometres downriver from Chiang Rai, the river becomes a lake, until it reaches the irrigation dam near Wiang Chai.

The Kok River is a tributary of the Mekong River, with its mouth at Sop Kok in Chiang Saen District, opposite the Lao border.

Phahonyothin Road crosses this river near Chiang Rai City. Altogether, there are five bridges crossing the Kok River near Chiang Rai city.

Tributaries
The main tributaries of the Kok River are the Fang and the Lao River, the latter having its source in the Phi Pan Nam Range.

Dams
There is a small dam with 11 gates which provides irrigation for rice fields east of Chiang Rai. The dam is 11 kilometres east of the Hwy 1 bridge. It turns the river into a lake, several miles long, for eight months of the year. Additionally, there is a dam planned on the Burmese side of where the river flows into Thailand, about 32 kilometres upstream from the border.

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
We are on the way

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Another boat coming down the river

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Going up the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก)

Black-collared Starling, Gracupica nigricollis, นกกิ้งโครงคอดำ
Black-collared Starling/ นกกิ้งโครงคอดำ

Cannot get any closer! It did not take long in to the tour before I was disappointed. But it turned out quite well. After a while the Captain understood what we were doing and he was actually to a great help looking out for birds.

We approached some sand banks/ mud flats and Captain did a very good job navigating the boat while I was taking pictures of a Common Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover foraging. Not easy to take pictures sitting on the bottom of a flimsy boat.

I got some pictures and we continued up the river. It was a beautiful morning and a gorgeous area.

Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos, Drillsnäppa, นกเด้าดิน
Common Sandpiper/ นกเด้าดิน

Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos, Drillsnäppa, นกเด้าดิน
Common Sandpiper/ นกเด้าดิน

Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius, Mindre Strandpipare, นกหัวโตเล็กขาเหลือง
Little Ringed Plover/ นกหัวโตเล็กขาเหลือง

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Going up the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก)

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Going up the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก)

White Wagtail, Motacilla alba, นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail/ นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail (Chinese) - Motacilla alba leucopsis (Motacilla leucopsis)

White Wagtail, Motacilla alba, นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail/ นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail (Chinese) - Motacilla alba leucopsis (Motacilla leucopsis)

Black-collared Starling, Gracupica nigricollis, นกกิ้งโครงคอดำ
Black-collared Starling/ นกกิ้งโครงคอดำ

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Going up the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก)

Green Sandpiper, Tringa ochropus, นกชายเลนเขียว
Green Sandpiper/ นกชายเลนเขียว

Green Sandpiper, Tringa ochropus, นกชายเลนเขียว
Green Sandpiper/ นกชายเลนเขียว

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Another boat coming down the river

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Another boat coming down the river

Long-tailed Shrike, Lanius schach, นกอีเสือหัวดำ
Long-tailed Shrike/ นกอีเสือหัวดำ

Sooty-headed Bulbul, Pycnonotus aurigaster, Northern Sooty-headed Bulbul, นกปรอดหัวสีเขม่า
Sooty-headed Bulbul/ นกปรอดหัวสีเขม่า
Observe the red vent: Northern Sooty-headed Bulbul - Yellow vent is a Southern Sooty-headed Bulbul

Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius, Mindre Strandpipare, นกหัวโตเล็กขาเหลือง
Little Ringed Plover/ นกหัวโตเล็กขาเหลือง

Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius, Mindre Strandpipare, นกหัวโตเล็กขาเหลือง
Little Ringed Plover/ นกหัวโตเล็กขาเหลือง

Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius, Mindre Strandpipare, นกหัวโตเล็กขาเหลือง
Little Ringed Plover/ นกหัวโตเล็กขาเหลือง

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Another boat coming down the river

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Going up the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก)

Spotted Dove, Spilopelia chinensis, นกเขาใหญ่, นกเขาหลวง
Spotted Dove/ นกเขาใหญ่, นกเขาหลวง


Asian Brown Flycatcher, Muscicapa dauurica, นกจับแมลงสีน้ำตาล
Asian Brown Flycatcher/ นกจับแมลงสีน้ำตาล

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Another boat coming down the river

Small Pratincole, Little Pratincole, Small Indian Pratincole, Glareola lactea, นกแอ่นทุ่งเล็ก
Small Pratincole/ นกแอ่นทุ่งเล็ก

Small Pratincole, Little Pratincole, Small Indian Pratincole, Glareola lactea, นกแอ่นทุ่งเล็ก
Small Pratincole/ นกแอ่นทุ่งเล็ก

Small Pratincole, Little Pratincole, Small Indian Pratincole, Glareola lactea, นกแอ่นทุ่งเล็ก
Small Pratincole/ นกแอ่นทุ่งเล็ก

Small Pratincole, Little Pratincole, Small Indian Pratincole, Glareola lactea, นกแอ่นทุ่งเล็ก
Small Pratincole/ นกแอ่นทุ่งเล็ก

We pass a stone bank and I spot one Small Pratincole among the stones. They love these stone areas as it is very hard to discover the birds. I have seen them before on Nepal and it is exactly the same habitat and very hard to spot.

I took a picture and the more I looked the more of the birds I discovered. And there were plenty of them. The stream pushed us down river and we had to start the motor a couple of time to get up to the birds.

It was hard to get pictures from the flimsy boat, but I got a few pictures and we continued up the river to look for more exciting birds.

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Going up the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก)

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Going up the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก)

White Wagtail, Motacilla alba, นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail/ นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail (Chinese) - Motacilla alba leucopsis (Motacilla leucopsis)

White Wagtail, Motacilla alba, นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail/ นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail (Chinese) - Motacilla alba leucopsis (Motacilla leucopsis)

Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus, นกตีนเทียน
Black-winged Stilt/ นกตีนเทียน

Our Captain spotted a huge group of Black-winged Stilts on our port side. It was a huge group, at least 50 birds. We have been on the way for about one and a half hours so it is about time to turn around and go back to the waiting taxi.

I had not got many good pictures going up the river. We had seen quite a few birds, among them a Common Kingfisher and one White-throated Kingfisher.

But it was hard to get close to the birds as the river flow was strong at some places. There were even a few areas with white water. Not enough to make it an adventure, but a little bit of white water.

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Green Bee-eater and an Indochinese Roller

Indochinese Roller, Coracias affinis, Burmese roller, นกตะขาบทุ่ง
Indochinese Roller/ นกตะขาบทุ่ง

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
It is a gorgeous morning on the Kok River

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, นกยางเปีย
Little Egret/ นกยางเปีย

We turn around and we go back down the river and I realize that I have done a miscalculation. It is much quicker to go down river so we will be back to the taxi in less than 3 hours.

And going down the river makes it harder to stop when you spot a bird so no birds reported on the way back to the taxi.

Well, there was one White Wagtail (Chinese) on the landing when we came back and the bird was not scared. It was very close, but again, not easy to sit in the boat to take pictures.

The bird did not mind when I got out of the boat but it took off when I started to walk towards the bird.

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Going back

Making a rest room stop

White Wagtail, Motacilla alba, นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail/ นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail (Chinese) - Motacilla alba leucopsis (Motacilla leucopsis)

White Wagtail, Motacilla alba, นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail/ นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail (Chinese) - Motacilla alba leucopsis (Motacilla leucopsis)

White Wagtail, Motacilla alba, นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail/ นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail (Chinese) - Motacilla alba leucopsis (Motacilla leucopsis)

eBird

eBird Report


River Tour From CR Landing, Chiang Rai, TH
Jan 1, 2024 08:35 - 10:53
Protocol: Traveling
31.5 kilometer(s)
21 species (+1 other taxa)

Spotted Dove 3
Greater Coucal 1
Black-winged Stilt 50 One big group
Little Ringed Plover 8
Red-wattled Lapwing 16
Common Sandpiper 2
Green Sandpiper 1
Small Pratincole 13 One group
Little Egret 8
Striated Heron 1
Common Kingfisher 1
White-throated Kingfisher 1
Asian Green Bee-eater 8
bee-eater sp. 2 Too far away for proper ID
Indochinese Roller 1
Long-tailed Shrike (tricolor/longicaudatus) 1 Thanks to johnallcock on www.birdforum.net for confirming my ID
1 Racket-tailed Treepie 1
Sooty-headed Bulbul 1 Northern Sooty-headed Bulbul- Red vent
Black-collared Starling 6
Great Myna 5
Asian Brown Flycatcher 1
White Wagtail (Chinese) 4

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S157808767

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

Bird watching on the Kok River (น้ำแม่กก) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Today's track on the Kok River

We are back in the taxi and we take off to another eBird hotspot: Ban Noen Thong paddies and I start my eBird app at 12:11. We leave the paved road and we are on a dirt path and our Driver caught sight of a few Asian Little Green Bee-eaters. He cannot believe his eyes.
- LOOK LOOK!!!! A green bird. Very beautiful!

But I was more interested in a brown bird. I tried to get pictures but the bird refused to sit still. We followed the bird but I never got any good picture so I could never ID the bird. I got one picture that I could use but the bird had turned the head.

But I will take the chance to send the picture to www.birdforum.net

eBird hotspot: Ban Noen Thong paddies in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Unidentified bird
ID as a female Pied Bushchat by the birdforum

Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, Little Green Bee-eater, นกจาบคาเล็ก
Little Green Bee-eater/ นกจาบคาเล็ก

Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, Little Green Bee-eater, นกจาบคาเล็ก
Little Green Bee-eater/ นกจาบคาเล็ก

Pied Bush Chat, Saxicola caprata, นกยอดหญ้าสีดำ, นกขี้หมา
Pied Bush Chat/ นกยอดหญ้าสีดำ, นกขี้หมา

Scaly-breasted Munia, Spotted Munia, Lonchura punctulata, นกกระติ๊ดขี้หมู
Scaly-breasted Munia/ นกกระติ๊ดขี้หมู

Zebra Dove, Geopelia striata, นกเขาชวา
Zebra Dove/ นกเขาชวา

eBird hotspot: Ban Noen Thong paddies in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Siamese Starling

Baya Weaver, Ploceus philippinus, นกกระจาบธรรมดา
Baya Weaver/ นกกระจาบธรรมดา

eBird

eBird Report


Ban Noen Thong paddies, Chiang Rai, TH
Jan 1, 2024 12:11 - 13:05
Protocol: Traveling
3.6 kilometer(s)
12 species (+2 other taxa)

Zebra Dove 1
White-breasted Waterhen 1
Little Egret 1
white egret sp. 1 Too far for ID
Common Kingfisher 2
Asian Green Bee-eater 2
Black Drongo 2
Siamese Pied Starling 1
Great Myna 18
Pied Bushchat 3 Two males and one female
Baya Weaver 25
Scaly-breasted Munia 2
White Wagtail (Chinese) 1
bird sp. 1 I spent a lot of time with this bird, but it never sat still. I got one picture that I could use but the bird had turned the head. But I will take the chance to send the picture to www.birdforum.net

So I report the bird as a bird sp. Thanks to Grahame Walbridge at www.birdforum.net for help with the correct ID: Female Pied Bushchat


View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S157808652

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

Today's track at eBird hotspot: Ban Noen Thong paddies in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Today's track at eBird hotspot: Ban Noen Thong paddies

Chiang Saen Lake

Chiang Saen Lake (Thai: ทะเลสาบเชียงแสน) is a natural freshwater lake in Thailand, it is located in Yonok Subdistrict, Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai Province, northernmost Thailand.

According to the folklore, the legend of Singhanavati (ตำนานสิงหนวัติ), it used to be an ancient kingdom known as Singhanavati or Yonok. The kingdom was destroyed by a sudden flood from earthquake in one night. Submerged the entire town in a what is known today as "Wiang Nong Lom" (เวียงหนองหล่ม, "drowned town") an archaeological swamp south of the lake.

This lake has a total area of 2,711 rais. It was originally just a small swamp, until a dam was built to block the waterway overflow until a large lake was formed known as Nong Bong Kai (หนองบงคาย). On April 4, 1985, it was declared as Nong Bong Kai Non-hunting Area.

The lake is home to large flocks of migratory waterfowls which are most plentiful and can be seen at their best from November through February. Bird species found here are lesser whistling duck, grebe, common pochard, watercock etc.

There is a campsite for visitors. Chiang Saen Lake is regarded as the northernmost lake in Thailand.

I turn off the eBird app after 55 minutes when we come up on the paved road. We leave for a lake that our Driver is suggesting. We drive along the lake and I recognize the area, we were here last time in Chiang Rai.

Chiang Saen Lake is the name and we have a couple of eBird hotspots in the area.

There are bushes between the road and the lake so it is not so easy to take pictures, but the first picture was of an Grey-headed Swamphen.

Grey-headed Swamphen, Porphyrio poliocephalus, นกอีโก้ง
Grey-headed Swamphen/ นกอีโก้ง

We were soon stopping again as I spotted a wagtail through the bushes and I tried to get some pictures. I think it was a Citrine Wagtail, but I will see if birdforum can confirm the ID for me.

We continued and I got a few pictures of Eurasian Coots, but they turned out to be good for nothing and they ended up in the bin.

We reached the north side of the lake and it was becoming late so I turned of the eBird app.

Citrine Wagtail, Motacilla citreola, นกเด้าลมหัวเหลือง
Citrine Wagtail/ นกเด้าลมหัวเหลือง

Citrine Wagtail, Motacilla citreola, นกเด้าลมหัวเหลือง
Citrine Wagtail/ นกเด้าลมหัวเหลือง

Citrine Wagtail, Motacilla citreola, นกเด้าลมหัวเหลือง
Citrine Wagtail/ นกเด้าลมหัวเหลือง

eBird

eBird Report


Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area (general area), Chiang Rai, TH
Jan 1, 2024 13:41 - 13:53
Protocol: Traveling
1.79 kilometer(s)
6 species

Eurasian Coot 18
Grey-headed Swamphen 6
White-breasted Waterhen 1
Black-winged Stilt 18
White-throated Kingfisher 1
Citrine Wagtail 1

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S157808699

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

Today's track at eBird hotspot: Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area (general area) in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Today's track at eBird hotspot: Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area (general area)

We have been on to “GO” all day long and time had turned really quick. And we were getting hungry so we will drive back to Chiang Rai. But we will make a stop at the eBird hotspot: Wiang Nong Lom--Wat Pa Mak No on the way back to the hotel.

We reach the temple and I start the eBird app at 14:12. Holiday and there was a lot of people on the temple island. Last time we were here there were plenty birds, today there were not many birds to be seen.

Pied Bush Chat, Saxicola caprata, นกยอดหญ้าสีดำ, นกขี้หมา
Female Pied Bush Chat/ นกยอดหญ้าสีดำ, นกขี้หมา

Pied Bush Chat, Saxicola caprata, นกยอดหญ้าสีดำ, นกขี้หมา
Female Pied Bush Chat/ นกยอดหญ้าสีดำ, นกขี้หมา

We drive around the island and we go back across the bridge. The reason for me coming here is the raptor hide just next to the bridge. But we could not see any raptors and I was a little disappointed. There should be plenty raptors here during this time of the year.

But today, nothing and the last picture I got was of the Great Mynas on the buffaloes feeding in the water. So I turned off my eBird app.

Wiang Nong Lom--Wat Pa Mak No in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Great Mynas with a buffalo

Wiang Nong Lom--Wat Pa Mak No in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Great Myna with a buffalo


eBird

eBird Report


Wiang Nong Lom--Wat Pa Mak No (Pa Mak No Temple), Chiang Rai, TH
Jan 1, 2024 14:12 - 14:38
Protocol: Traveling
3.06 kilometer(s)
4 species (+1 other taxa)

Grey-headed Swamphen 5
pond heron sp. 1
Black Drongo 1
Great Myna 7
Pied Bushchat 2 Females

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S157808568

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

Today's track at eBird hotspot: Wiang Nong Lom--Wat Pa Mak No in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Today's track at eBird hotspot: Wiang Nong Lom--Wat Pa Mak No


Well, we were hungry and we left the area to drive back to our hotel in Chiang Rai. We dropped our things at the hotel and the Driver brought us to Central Shopping Mall.

We said bye bye to the Driver and he will come to pick us up at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning.

We wanted to eat Korean BBQ, the first restaurant did not have enough staff due to the holiday. So we went up on the third floor and we found one Korean BBQ restaurant and we could have our dinner. And by now we were hungry.

We left the BBQ and we walked to Sweensen to have some ice cream before going back to the hotel. Not much sleep last night so sleep is needed.

Korean BBQ in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Korean BBQ

Tuk Tuk in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuk in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Tuk Tuk

+++++++++++++++
Tuesday 2nd of January 2024
and I woke up around 6 o'clock and I had had 9 hours of sleep, at least. I had my tea and a cheese that I bought at Tops Market yesterday evening.

Our Driver came to pick us up at 8 o'clock and we were soon on our way to look for birds.

Bird watching in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Our Driver is here to pick us up

We are driving towards the Golden Triangle to look for birds along the Mekong River. Or never mind the birds, we want to drive along the river to enjoy the views. And if we see any birds it will be an extra bonus.

We passed Mae Kao Tom and I spotted a bird in a tree and we stopped and we made a U-turn. We left the paved road and I discovered that it was two pond herons in top of a tree. I asked the driver to get out on the dirt track and I started my eBird app at 08:33.

We were back on the paved road 6 minutes later and we continued towards Mekong River. I checked internet and we decided to stop at the eBird hotspot: Nong Fang Daeng.

Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, นกช้อนหอยดำเหลือบ
I spot a Glossy Ibis in the top of a tree

We are on the highway driving towards the Nong Fang Daeng and the Golden Triangle when I spot a bird in top of a tree. A couple of hundred meters from the highway.

We stop and I can see that it is one Glossy Ibis. We look for a road to get closer to the tree and we get on to a small dirt track and we end up at a house at the end of the road. The tree is 50 meters away and I get out to try to get some pictures.

Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, นกช้อนหอยดำเหลือบ
Glossy Ibis/ นกช้อนหอยดำเหลือบ

Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, นกช้อนหอยดำเหลือบ
Glossy Ibis/ นกช้อนหอยดำเหลือบ

We leave and we are heading north towards the Golden Triangle and we leave the highway when we approach the bridge across the Kok River. We were soon off road and the path looked to come to an end any time.

I followed my internet map and I was surprised to find ourself on something that looked for a road for tractors and buffaloes.

Bird watching in Chiang Rai, Thailand
We are off road

Bird watching in Chiang Rai, Thailand
We are off road

We had to go back on the paved road and we drive on the small paved road until we reach the Wat Phra That Pha Ngao and leave the paved road to get out on a small dirt path through the farmland. We could not see any people in the area, maybe because of the New Year.

The first bird I spotted was, well, of course, the swallows flying over the fields. But not possible for me to ID. But the Brown Shrike was the first bird reported in my eBird app.

We were soon stopping to get a picture of one Pond Heron in winter plumage. Winter plumage so not possible to give a proper ID.

Suddenly we found ourself in a field full of Marijuana plants. A huge field, but it looked like they were just letting the plants die and almost half of the plants were dead.

Brown Shrike, Lanius cristatus, นกอีเสือสีน้ำตาล
Brown Shrike/ นกอีเสือสีน้ำตาล

Pond Heron
Pond Heron

Bird watching in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Driving through the farmland

Long-tailed Shrike, Lanius schach, นกอีเสือหัวดำ
Long-tailed Shrike/ นกอีเสือหัวดำ

White Wagtail, Motacilla alba, นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail/ นกอุ้มบาตร
White Wagtail (Chinese) - Motacilla alba leucopsis (Motacilla leucopsis)

We ended up on a field and we turned around as we did not fancy getting stuck in the middle of nowhere. I spotted my second Long-tailed Shrike/ นกอีเสือหัวดำ since we arrived to Chiang Rai.

eBird

eBird Report


Nong Fang Daeng, Chiang Rai, TH
Jan 2, 2024 10:13 - 11:00
Protocol: Traveling
5.22 kilometer(s)
8 species (+2 other taxa)

pond heron sp. 1 Winter plummage so not possible to give a proper ID
Black Drongo 2
Brown Shrike 2
Long-tailed Shrike (tricolor/longicaudatus) 1
swallow sp. 5 Not possible for me to ID the flying swallows
Sooty-headed Bulbul 1
Great Myna 4
Amur Stonechat 1
Pied Bushchat 2
White Wagtail (Chinese) 2

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S157814577

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

Today's track at eBird hotspot: Nong Fang Daeng in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Today's track at eBird hotspot: Nong Fang Daeng

We started to drive back towards the paved road and Wat Phra That Pha Ngao and we follow Mekong River towards the north and the Golden Triangle.

We pass the restaurant whit the fresh water fish soup that my friend loves and we will stop there on the way back. But our Driver recommended another restaurant at the Golden Triangle so we decided to have our lunch there instead.

We reached Chiang Saen and Siwan Restaurant was located just where we had bought the boat tickets for the Golden Triangle “cruise” last time we were here.

Siwan Restaurant in Chiang Saen, Thailand
Siwan Restaurant in Chiang Saen, Thailand

Siwan Restaurant in Chiang Saen, Thailand
We can see Burma and Laos from the restaurant

Siwan Restaurant in Chiang Saen, Thailand
Ordering food

Siwan Restaurant in Chiang Saen, Thailand
Our hero at the Golden Triangle

We ordered food and I was pleasantly surprised when they had a proper pot of tea. It was comfortable weather and we enjoyed sitting outside and we could see Burma and Laos from the restaurant. Burma only wilderness but in Laos they were building like there was no tomorrow.

We could see the boats below the restaurant taking tourist on the same cruise we had done the last time we visited Chiang Saen.

And this time we could see several new skyscrapers being built so this will be a big city. Well, it is already big but everyone tells me that it is all Chinese money and it will most likely end up a disaster. Like they complain about Laos, the country has been taking over by the Chinese.


Siwan Restaurant in Chiang Saen, Thailand
Having our lunch

Siwan Restaurant in Chiang Saen, Thailand
Golden Triangle

Covid

We leave Siwan Restaurant and Chiang Saen behind driving along the Mekong River towards South and East. We are looking for a road going along the river but the road is quite far away from the river. I had been hoping for a “scenic road” along the river.

We are driving through the Ban Saeo and there was a dirt track going down towards the river and we turned off the paved road. It looked like an immigration station or something coming to the end of the road. There was a gate with a sign saying NO ENTRY.

The area looked abandoned and we drove past the gate coming down to a paved road going along the river for, well, maybe a kilometre.

The first birds we see are swallows that I cannot ID as they are flying. Our Driver spotted the Green Bee-eater and he was as excited that he had been yesterday.

Well, it is a very beautiful bird.

We reach the end and we turn around to drive back to the gate.

Bird watching at Ban Saeo, along Mekong River
My friend with a melon

My friend spots a melon next to the road and we stop and put the car in reverse. This was obviously some kind of speciality, both the driver and my friend went out to pick melons growing next to the road.

They were not interested in eating the melons, they were only interested in the seeds. They found 3 melons that they put in the back of the car.

eBird

eBird Report


Ban Saeo, along Mekong River, Chiang Rai, TH
Jan 2, 2024 13:11 - 13:28
Protocol: Traveling
1.55 kilometer(s)
4 species (+1 other taxa)

Zebra Dove 2
Asian Green Bee-eater 4
swallow sp. 5 Not possible for me to ID the flying swallows
Pied Bushchat 2
White Wagtail (Chinese) 2

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S157819951

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

Today's track at Ban Saeo, along Mekong River
Today's track at Ban Saeo, along Mekong River

I turned off my eBird app after 20 minutes and we continued towards east along the Mekong River. But we could not see the river and this was a little bit of a disappointment.

We entered a village, Rim Khong and there were a viewing platform and we could see a paved stretch along the Mekong River west of us. But how to get there. A brand-new road, maybe one kilometre long, starting and stopping in the middle of the wilderness.

We left the village to get out in the wilderness to see how we could get up on the paved river bank. We drove through a pasture and there were buffaloes and Great Mynas riding on the buffaloes while enjoying the mud.

Bird watching at Tambon Rim Khong - Along Mekong River
Great Myna riding a buffalo

Pied Bush Chat, Saxicola caprata, นกยอดหญ้าสีดำ, นกขี้หมา
Female Pied Bushchat/ นกยอดหญ้าสีดำ, นกขี้หมา

Otherwise, there was not many bird in the pasture. We spotted one female Pied Bushchat sitting on a rock and I managed to get a picture.

We continued to the embankment and it looked to be an adventure just to get up on the paved embarkment. A new paved road on top of the embankment but no way to get up, well, maybe with a terrain going vehicle.

But we did not give up and we made it up on top of the embankment.


Bird watching at Tambon Rim Khong - Along Mekong River
New road along Mekong River

Bird watching at Tambon Rim Khong - Along Mekong River
New road along Mekong River

Bird watching at Tambon Rim Khong - Along Mekong River
Looking for birds along the Mekong River

We drive along the paved part of the embankment, maybe a kilometre or so. But why have they made this pavement on top of the embankment? We were soon running in to a male Pied Bushchat sitting on the rail.

We come to the end of the paved road and we had to turn around and go back again.

No birds seen on the way back and we managed to leave the embankment and to get down to the pasture again. The buffaloes were still enjoying themselves in the mud.

Pied Bush Chat, Saxicola caprata, นกยอดหญ้าสีดำ, นกขี้หมา
Male Pied Bushchat/ นกยอดหญ้าสีดำ, นกขี้หมา

Bird watching at Tambon Rim Khong - Along Mekong River
New road along Mekong River

Pied Bush Chat, Saxicola caprata, นกยอดหญ้าสีดำ, นกขี้หมา
Female Pied Bushchat/ นกยอดหญ้าสีดำ, นกขี้หมา

We stopped at a small bush on the way to the paved road, one male stonechat and a female bushchat was sitting in the bush and I tried to get some pictures. But no luck with the pictures.

I turned off my eBird app when we were back on the paved road and we steered towards Chiang Rai and our hotel again.

eBird

eBird Report


Tambon Rim Khong - Along Mekong River, Chiang Rai, TH
Jan 2, 2024 14:09 - 14:40
Protocol: Traveling
3.73 kilometer(s)
3 species (+2 other taxa)

white egret sp. 1 Flying over the river, too far away for proper ID. But Little or Cattle Egret
swallow sp. X Not possible for me to ID the flying swallows
Great Myna 6 All of them sitting on buffaloes
Amur Stonechat 3
Pied Bushchat 2

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S157821777

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

Today's track at Tambon Rim Khong - Along Mekong River
Today's track at Tambon Rim Khong - Along Mekong River

My plan was to stop at the eBird hotspot: Wiang Nong Lom--Wat Pa Mak No. I thought it was closer to Chiang Rai and we had already passed it going back to Rinlada House (บ้านรินลดา) in Chiang Rai. We were hungry so we skipped the idea.

We decided to eat in our rooms instead of going through the trouble to get out on town and we ordered pizza online.

The pizza was OK, not great, but it was OK. And we did not have to run around town looking for a place to eat. We had tea with the pizza.

Rinlada House, บ้านรินลดา in Chiang Rai, Thailand
We are having pizza in the room

I was in bed at 8 o'clock with the alarm set to go off at 4 o'clock in the morning. Our last night at the Rinlada House (บ้านรินลดา) and we will go back to Bangkok tomorrow morning.

So no more birding in Chiang Rai and I could finish my eBird Trip Report.

eBird

eBird Trip Report

Since April 2023 eBird offer a new feature, to create Trip Reports. At least this is when I first heard of this feature and I have decided to make the eBird Trip Reports instead of my list of OBSERVED birds.

And of course, this also means that I will HAVE TO go back and do the same for my old birding adventures, WHEN I HAVE THE TIME!

Today's Trip Report: Looking for birds in Chiang Rai, Thailand 1 – 2 January 2024 | Click HERE

Download | PDF

Lifers
Icons for lifers used in the eBird trip reports

eBirdSpecies lifer: First time that someone observes a species in their life

eBirdPhoto lifer: First time that someone photographs a species in their life

eBirdAudio lifer: First time that someone audio records a species in their life

Exotic species
Exotic species flags differentiate locally introduced species from native species.

eBirdNaturalized: Exotic population is self-sustaining, breeding in the wild, persisting for many years, and not maintained through ongoing releases (including vagrants from Naturalized populations). These count in official eBird totals and, where applicable, have been accepted by regional bird records committee(s).

eBirdProvisional: Either: 1) member of exotic population that is breeding in the wild, self-propagating, and has persisted for multiple years, but not yet Naturalized; 2) rarity of uncertain provenance, with natural vagrancy or captive provenance both considered plausible.

When applicable, eBird generally defers to bird records committees for records formally considered to be of "uncertain provenance". Provisional species count in official eBird totals.

eBirdEscapee: Exotic species known or suspected to be escaped or released, including those that have
bred but don't yet fulfil the criteria for Provisional. Escapee exotics do not count in official eBird totals.


+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 3rd of January 2024
and I had tea and the left-over pastries from yesterday. Yes, pastries and the whole ducking reason for us to stay at the room ordering in was to avoid places like Swenssens. A new year and I have to get back on my diet.

But, when I was finished with the pizza order I killed time waiting for the pizzas browsing the restaurants and I ordered some pastries as well.

Bird watching in Chiang Rai, Thailand
On the way to the airport

Our car came to pick us up at 8 o'clock and we were soon on our way to Mae Fah Luang Domestic Terminal. Took about 30 minutes to reach the airport and we checked in using the self check-in machine at the entrance to the terminal.

Security check was quickly done and we ended up in the departure hall. The departure hall did not offer any excitements. No lounge, just rows of seats and a couple of souvenir shops.

And we were early so we have to wait for 90 minutes before the boarding start.

But time passed quite quickly and it was soon time for boarding, of course, later than scheduled.

Mae Fah Luang International
Domestic departure hall at Mae Fah Luang International

Mae Fah Luang International
Domestic departure hall at Mae Fah Luang International

Mae Fah Luang International
VietJet arriving to Mae Fah Luang International

Thai Airways flight TG 131
Soon back home again

+++++++++++++++
Thursday 4th of January 2024
and new year and I will have to kick start my new life style ASAP! Christmas and New Year and my diet, honestly, there have not been much of a diet.

But NOW! I will start to kick arse with ปีศาจแดง ก.กุมานนท์ (Red Devil) at Chaiyasit Muay Thai Gym and of course, yoga at least 3 times per week.

ปีศาจแดง ก.กุมานนท์, Red Devil, Chaiyasit Muay Thai Gym
Chaiyasit Muay Thai Gym

ปีศาจแดง ก.กุมานนท์, Red Devil, Chaiyasit Muay Thai Gym
Chaiyasit Muay Thai Gym


Click HERE to find out where the next bird watching adventure will bring me.



Bird watching trip report

       
                  
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)

noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas

Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!

Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!

Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra

Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.


                                       

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