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DOI SUTHEP-PUI

THAILAND
LOCALE

Area (ha):26,100
Altitude (m):1000-1676
# Species*:150
# Excl Vagrants*:150
# Endemics*:0
# Near Endemics*:0
Species/100 ha*:0.6
*Based on partial or incomplete data.
Habitat: Dry forest, evergreen forest

ABOUT THE BIRDING

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is infrequently visited by birders but is worth a half day excursion out of Chiang Mai, the typical arrival point in northern Thailand. Access is by road. The last 4km before the campsite (from 18 to 22km markers) is good birding in evergreen forest. From there a paved road leads to a small Hmong village. Beyond that and on the back side of the mountain, used by mountain bikers and forming a loop, requires 4-wheel-drive. The side road toward Monthathan Waterfall passes through 3km of dry forest beyond the checkpoint where entrance fees are collected. This latter road must be birded very early in the morning as it's inundated by visitors later in the day.

About 1½km beyond the Doi Suthep temple is a vehicle pullout where two trails lead into mixed forest. The jeep track (the trail not leading to the cave) can be good for Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher, Puff-throated Bulbul, White-crested Laughingthrush and wintering Siberian Blue Robin. The best birding through evergreen forest is the 4km before the campground and at the campground itself, the latter offering more open forest. Possibilities include Great Barbet, Blue-throated Barbet, Gray-capped Woodpecker, Davison's Leaf-Warbler, and Black-throated Sunbird. The summit area features upper evergreen forest but access is restricted since it is used at times by the royal family. Permission to access the area is usually granted at the ranger station unless members of the royal family are present. Birds in this area include Mountain Scops-Owl, Gray-chinned Minivet, Blyth's Shrike-Babbler, Ashy Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, and Yunnan Fulvetta. Also present but scarce and difficult to see are Silver Pheasant and Hume's Pheasant. The 4-wheel-drive track down the backside of the mountain does not offer any new species. The habitat is mainly good near the summit.

LOCATION OF SITE

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is reached via Highway 1004 (Doi Suthep Road) from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. The distance is about 15km to the revered temple in the park and 25km to the summit.