by Nick Upton
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Birdwatching Tours
Whether you are anticipating a few days of birdwatching in and around the capital city, a couple of days to nearby national parks or planning a full birdwatching tour of Thailand, can help you to organize your holiday.

Tours or day trips can be arranged on request so that you can set the pace according to your needs and thaibirding caters for birders of ALL levels, designing a personalized tour around your target species.

Tours can begin in Bangkok, Phuket or Chiang Mai and several other locations within Thailand and can arrange all aspects of your trip including accommodation, vehicles and a varied itinerary.

Please do not hesitate to contact me in order to discuss any aspect of your trip.

Thank you:
Suggested Itineraries
Day Tours From Bangkok
1. Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale - Mud flats, salt pans, mangrove and paddies provide one of Thailand's premier birdwatching locations. Here we can find Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmann's Greenshank, Malaysian Plover, Great Knot, Far Eastern Curlew, Asian Dowitcher and much more.

2. Bang Pra, Bang Poo & Muang Boran Fishponds - A freshwater reservoir surrounded by woodland is an attractive place for a good morning's birdwatching with species including Rufous Treepie, Lineated Barbet, Laced Woodpecker, Lesser Coucal, Oriental Darter, Yellow-eyed Babbler and many more.

In the afternoon visit Bang Poo to check the Brown-headed Gull flock for rarer species such as Black-tailed Gull or Slender-billed Gull and Golden-bellied Gerygone in the mangroves before moving on to nearby Muang Boran Fishponds for White-browed Crake, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Asian Golden Weaver, Black-browed Reed Warbler and others.

3. Khao Luk Chang & Petchaburi Rice Fields - Fragments of dry dipterocarp woodland around a temple contain Black-headed Woodpecker, Asian Barred Owlet, Spotted Owlet, Lineated Barbet and a number of other woodland species. This can be a good area for migrants at the right times of the year too.

Later on spend time in an agricultural landscape of rice fields, fish ponds with reedy ditches where Jacanas, Reed Warblers, Crakes, Rails, Egrets, Herons and Bitterns make for a fantastic day's birding.
Longer Tours from Bangkok

6. Two or three days: Kaeng Krachan National Park - Three days is recommended but for those with limited time a good selection of birds can be seen in two days. This is one of the best locations for bird watching in the whole of Thailand and the longer one stays the more birds will be seen. Species including Great Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Black-and-red Broadbill, Orange-breasted Trogon, Tickell's Brown Hornbill, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black-thighed Falconet and Black-and-yellow Broadbill are all frequently seen and, of course, this is the place, in Thailand, to look for the weird Ratchet-tailed Treepie.

On a three day trip you will also visit one of the nearby hides to view a wide variety of birds coming to bathe and drink for close-up views; species such as Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, Large Scimitar Babbler and Bar-backed Partridge are regular.

On the final afternoon of both the two and three day trip a visit to Petchaburi Rice Fields will be made on the way back to Bangkok to look for a variety of wetland species including Cotton Pygmy Goose, Yellow Bittern, Asian Golden Weaver and many others.

Kaeng Krachan is closed from 1st August until 1st November. Kaeng Krachan provides good birding at all times with many of the most sought-after species most frequently seen in the breeding season, late February to June: contact me.

7. Three to five days: Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale and Kaeng Krachan National Park - Start the trip by spending a day near the coast searching for Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmann's Greenshank, Malaysian Plover, Chinese Egret and other wetland and open-country species.

Travel on to nearby Kaeng Krachan and use the extra days to enjoy a magnificent variety of forest species including Woodpeckers, Hornbills, Broadbills, Raptors and, at the right time of year, Blue Pitta. There are always many wonderful birds to see here which change with the season and it is a place you will to go back to again and again.

The longer trips will also visit one of the hides near Kaeng Krachan where species such as Kalij Pheasant, Siberian Blue Robin, Scaly-breasted Partridge and Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush can often be seen at close quarters.

On the final afternoon of this trip a visit will be paid to Petchaburi Rice Fields, on the way back to Bangkok, where many wetland and open-country birds can be found including Egrets, Bitterns, Jacanas, Weavers and much more besides.

This trip is likley to produce a massive total of species due to the quality and diversity of the habitats visited.

This trip is productive for most of the year, although Kaeng Krachan National Park is closed for the months of August, September & October: contact me.

8. Two or three days: Khao Yai National Park - Due to busy roads between Bangkok and Khao Yai three days is recommended but for those with only two days to spare a good selection of species can usually be found. Highlights here usually include Great Hornbill, Red-headed Trogon, Banded Kingfisher and Long-tailed Broadbill. This is a very good location to search for Blue Pitta, Siamese Fireback, Silver Pheasant and Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo at the right time of year. Great Eared Nightjar is a great ending to the day in Khao Yai.

It is essential to visit Khao Yai during the week; weekends can get extremely busy. Khao Yai is best visited between January and April although still also quite good into June. The months of July to November are usually very wet and very quiet here: contact me.

9. Three days: Bung Boraphet and Mae Wong National Park - Begin by spending a day at Bung Boraphet taking a boat trip to look for wildfowl and other waterbirds including egrets, ibis and reed warblers. Move on to Mae Wong National Park to search for forest species with Rufous-necked Hornbill, Burmese Yuhina, Grey Peacock Pheasant and Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler amongst the target species: contact me.

Note: Rufous-necked Hornbill is most often seen between June and October.

10. Three days: Nam Nao National Park - Staying in national park accommodation we will explore dry and moist forest in order to observe a wide diversity of species. Nam Nao is superb for woodpeckers and barbets and there is a high likelihood of seeing White-bellied and Great Slaty Woodpeckers as well as many of the smaller species: contact me.

11. Longer tours - Longer tours beginning in Bangkok can be arranged to take in any or all of the above mentioned national parks and travel further afield to the south and/or north for a greater number and variety of species: contact me.

Day Tours From Chiang Mai
12. Doi Inthanon - A variety of forest types, chaning with altitude makes for a wide variety of species here. Highlights often include Slaty-backed Forktail, Silver-eared Mesia, Green-tailed Sunbird, Dark-sided Thrush, Pygmy Wren Babbbler, Hume's Treecreeper and Slaty-bellied Tesia. At the right times of year rarer species such as Green Cochoa or Grey-breasted Parrotbill can be found. The summit is always a highlight with flocks of colourful, and often tame, birds at all times of the year.
Longer Tours from Chiang Mai
13. Three days: Doi Inthanon National Park - Depart early morning from Chiang Mai and spend the morning birdwatching on Doi Inthanon's famous jeep track where we should see Brown-throated Treecreeper, Blue-winged Minla, Rufous-faced Warbler and a variety of flycatchers. We will also search for Cochoas and Tesias.

Over the next two days we will visit all altitudes of the mountain from the bottom where Black-headed Woodpecker is a target species to the summit where Green-tailed Sunbird is common: at night we will look for owls: contact me.

14. Three days: Doi Ang Kang and Fang - A wide range of accommodation makes this trip suitable for all budgets. Departing from Chiang Mai in the early morning we will make a number of birdwatching stops on the journey to Ban Koom at Doi Ang Kang. Over the next few days we will walk a number of trails in order to find the specialities of Doi Ang Kang which include Crested Finchbill, Red-faced Liocichla and Spot-breasted Parrotbill. On the final day we will descend to the farmland around Fang where we can observe a number of wetland and open-country species contact me.

15. Three days: Thatorn and Doi Lang - Driving to Thatorn form Chiang Mai we will make a number of birding stops along the way before spending the afternoon and early evening tracking down wetland and open-country species in the farmland around Thatorn. Up early the next morning we will head up Doi Lang for high altitude species - birds such as Stripe-breasted Woodpecker and White-browed Shrike Babbler are common at this hieght but in the winter months we will be hoping to see the rarer species including thrushes and flycatchers as well as Jerdon's Bushchat contact me.

16. Seven days: Doi Inthanon, Doi Chiang Dao & Doi Ang Kang - Starting with Doi Inthanon this trip will give plenty of time to search for the specialities of all three of these fabulous mountains and a wdie range of excellent bird species should be seen contact me.

17. Extended Trips in the North - Create a longer birdwatching itinerary choosing from sites such as Doi Inthanon, Doi Chiang Dao, Mae Hia, Doi Ang Kang, Doi Lang, Thatorn and Chiang Saen, or go wild and visit them all contact me.
Longer Tours from Krabi/Phuket
18. Three days: Khao Sok National Park - Taking in a coastal site on the way to this fabulous national park we can spend the afternoon tracking down southern forest species. The whole of the next day will be spent in the forest on our quest for Helmeted Hornbill, Banded Pitta, Blue-banded Kingfisher and a host of other southern specialities. Finally we will spend another morning on the forest trails before heading back and stopping at a wetland site on the way: contact me.

19. Four days: Krabi River and Khao Nor Chu Chi - Beginning with a morning boat ride around the mangroves we will look for the specialities which include Brown-winged Kingfisher, Mangrove Pitta and, if we are lucky, Ruddy Kingfisher. Moving on to KNC there will be sufficient time to watch for Gurney's Pitta and to search for the many other fabulous lowland species that occur here. On the final afternoon we will travel back to Krabi and take another boat trip, this time to the river mouth where shorebirds can be observed including Terek Sandpiper, Great Knot and, sometimes, Nordmann's Greenshank: contact me.

20. Five days: Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Bala Sector - This trip will involve a fair amount of travelling on the first and last days but it is worth it to get to this jewel of Thailand's forests. Spending three whole days at the Bala research centre we will indulge ourselves in the many species of hornbills that can be found, including Rhinoceros, Wrinkled, White-crowned, Bushy-crested and Helmeted Hornbills. Other birds we would hope to find are Javan Frogmouth, Bat Hawk and Chestnut-naped Forktail and there is the chance of finding really rare species including Garnet Pitta: contact me.

21. Extended Southern Trips - Longer southern itineraries can be constructed choosing from sites such as Khao Sok, Khao Nor Chu Chi, Krabi, Hala-Bala, Thalebun, and a large number of other speciality sites: contact me.
Grand Tours
22. Design Your Own Tour - For those with more time longer itineraries to visit a number of regions of Thailand can be designed. In two weeks the central area and the north can be visited, with three weeks this can be done at a more leisurly pace. With three weeks to a month there is time to visit the southern, central and northern sites. Please contact me to discuss an itinerary that will suit you:
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