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West-central and Northwest Thailand, Feb/March 2016

From February 21 - March 05, 2016, Sheridan, Willlie Sekula and I spent fifteen days in the west-central, north-central, and northwest parts of Thailand, expertly led by Dave Sargeant of Chiang Mai.

We visited Pak Thale, Laem Pak Bia, Nong Pla Lai, Kaeng Krachan, Bueng Boraphet, Mai Ping, Doi Inthanon, Mae Taeng, Chiang Dao, Fang, Doi Lang, and Doi Ang Kang.

I was nice to see good numbers of Purple Herons (Ardea purpurea manilensis):

Two of the three Chinese Egrets (Egretta eulophotes) seen along the spit at Laem Pak Bia:

Great Egret (Ardea alba modesta):

Two of the handful of Intermediate Egrets (Mesophoyx intermedia intermedia) - aptly-named, as it is in many ways intermediate between Great and Cattle Egrets (but close to the former):

Six of the many Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta garzetta). Although there is no subspecific distinction between European and Asian populations, the Asian birds far more often have yellow lores throughout the year:

Two of the many presumed and actual Chinese Pond-Herons (Ardeola bacchus) seen throughout the country. In the south, Java Pond-Heron also occurs, but these taxa are not distinguishable until they develop some breeding plumage; I have photos of some "Pond Heron sp." from the coast, but only birds from central Thailand (as below) northwards can be labelled with confidence:

Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis):