Sunday, 22 May 2016

Thailand Trip Report

This winter between late-January and early-March I was in Thailand for some personal birding sandwiched between a couple of stints leading tours for Birding Ecotours.

My first tour was three-weeks and visited Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale Area, Kaeng Krachan NP, Khao Yai NP, Doi Inthanon NP, Mae Ping NP, Doi Chiang Dao NP,  Doi Pha Hom Pok (Doi Lang) NP, and Chiang Saen Lake. We saw some amazing birds: Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmann's Greenshank, Long-billed Dowitcher (rarity), Baer's Pochard, Mrs Hume's Pheasant, Great Hornbill, Rusty-naped, Eared and Blue Pittas, Himalayan Cutia, Siberian Rubythroat, and so much more! Asian Elephant and White-handed Gibbons were also rather pleasing. Trip Report here:

My second tour was a one-week photography tour and visited Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale Area, Nong Pla Lai, and Kaeng Krachan and again connected with some amazing birds: 6 Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmann's Greenshank, Red-headed and Orange-breasted Trogons, Great Hornbill, Red-bearded and Blue-bearded Bee-eaters, Great Slaty Woodpecker, and many Broadbills! Here we also had one of the craziest 20 minutes of wildlife viewing I've ever had - Indian Rock Python, Asian Elephant, Indochinese (Black) Leopard, and Sunbear!!! Trip Report here:

A more detailed summary of my tours can be found here: with some photos and information on some of the key species seen.

During my free time I got to see some great birds, including Firethroat and Spotted Bush-Warbler, a couple of really rare Thai birds. I also got to visit a banding station where I got to release a stunning male Siberian Rubythroat (photo below!)....

If any of this interests you please check out the 2017 itinerary here, and come and join me there with Birding Ecotours!

Some highlights below...

Spoon-billed Sandpiper - 1 of at least 7 birds seen while I was there. A post on this bird here.

Drake Baer's Pochard (IPhone-scoped)

Rusty-naped Pitta (one of a pair seen at close-range)

Firethroat - the returning bird, Thailand's second record (first was this bird last year!)

Great Hornbill - simply stunning! 

Green Magpie - a bit of a looker,

Himalayan Cutia (IPhone-scoped)

Long-billed Dowitcher (IPhone-scoped) - a rarity we found on the tour

Mrs Hume's Pheasant - a real beauty

Siberian Rubythroat

Getting to release a Siberian Rubythroat! 

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