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DOI LANG

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Altitude ( m):600-2100
# Species:289
# Excl Vagrants:289
# Endemics:0
# Near Endemics:0
Habitat: Open pine forest, montane evergreen forest

ABOUT THE BIRDING

Doi Lang is part of the Doi Pha Hom Pok massif in northern Thailand and lies within the national park of that name. Although inside the national park, Doi Lang habitat is not well protected. The major attraction of Doi Lang is its location in far north Thailand where a variety of species not present elsewhere in Thailand can be found.

The eastern side of Doi Lang is dryer than the western side and contains more open pine forest along with some oak-pine tracts. Good evergreen forest is largely restricted to the higher slopes on this side. Specialties of the evergreen forest include Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Black-throated Tit, Whiskered Yuhina, Himalayan Cutia, Red-tailed Laughingthrush, and Long-tailed Sibia. At lower elevations in pine forest is the best place for the difficult and elusive Hume's Pheasant, Giant Nuthatch, and Spot-breasted Parrotbill. Forest cover is largely absent below 1000m.

The lowest section of the eastern road is largely surrounded by agriculture. A few common open-country species can be seen. There are some large areas of bamboo where Puff-throated Babbler can be found. The road beyond the first army checkpoint up to Km 26.4 goes through scrub habitat and a few remnant forest patches. The area around Km 20 is the best place to find Mountain Bamboo-Partridge feeding along the road in early morning. The canopy of taller trees is a likely place to find Yellow-browed Warbler, Davison's Leaf-Warbler and occasionally Claudia's Leaf-Warbler. The road becomes quite steep between the rice paddies at Km 26.4 and the campsite at Km 31. Possibilities along that stretch include Gray-headed Parakeet, Gray-headed Parrotbill, Pale Blue Flycatcher, and Himalayan Cutia. Just after the campsite taller evergreen forest begins. From there to the upper army camp at Km 34 is good for species such as Red-headed Trogon, Fire-capped Tit, Crested Finchbill, Himalayan Bluetail, Yunnan Fulvetta, Silver-eared Laughingthrush, Scarlet-faced Liocichla, Spectacled Barwing, and other evergreen forest specialties. Also present in cold winters may be a variety of migrant thrushes. Beyond the army camp the road drops off steeply and then levels out some as it continues to the viewpoint at Km 38.9. The first couple kilometers are very good for roadside birding. The area around the summit is burned off every year, making it a good spot for species of more open habitat such as Brown-breasted Bulbul.

The western side has been less visited by birders since the habitat is not as good. The summit road connecting the eastern side with the western side has recently been opened, allowing a loop route unless prevented by military checkpoints near the summit.

LOCATION OF SITE

Doi Lang is located about 180 km north of Chiang Mai near the Chinese border. The eastern side is reached via the town of Thaton. The western side is reached via the town of Fang. The complete loop between Thaton and Fang is about 110 km.