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Birding in Southern Thailand's Most Beautiful Parks

This is a list of recent bird sightings in Southern Thailand. Only uncommon or difficult birds are listed mostly. We see a lot of birds all the time, but this is just to let you know what else is being seen.

2015

March

Phuket and Phang Nga Province birding for five days resulted in a host of amazing sightings including a Banded Pitta (male), Blue-winged Pitta, Chestnut-naped Forktails (more than one), Black Eagle, Black-and-Yellow Broadbills, Fiery Minivet, Great Hornbills, Helmeted Hornbill, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Raffle’s Malkoha, and a host of other birds. The end count was over 100 species.

January

I found a tree with two Great Slatey Woodpeckers! While watching these magnificent birds, a Great Argus was constantly calling in the background.

Raptor sightings included the Oriental Hobby (seen on most trips in Khao Sok), a Wallace's Hawk-Eagle, a Blyth's Hawk-Eagle. I saw a Stork-billed Kingfisher several times too.

January

I found a tree with two Great Slatey Woodpeckers! While watching these magnificent birds, a Great Argus was constantly calling in the background.

Raptor sightings included the Oriental Hobby (seen on most trips in Khao Sok), a Wallace's Hawk-Eagle, a Blyth's Hawk-Eagle. I saw a Stork-billed Kingfisher several times too.

2014

May

I found a beautiful creek hike in Phang Nga Province. I've been there about six times recently. Every time I go there I see at least one Chestnut-napped Forktail! I normally see a pair.

I also had a lovely Red-back (Oriental Dwarf) Kingfisher dive in the creek right in front of me one day, then fly low directly over my head.

December

There were uncountable numbers of Great Hornbills in two fruiting ficus trees. We also saw a flock of 8 Wreathed Hornbills flying in a V formation overhead. Bush-crested and Oriental-pied Hornbills were also in this same area.

2013

August

We are going to a new part of the reservoir in Khao Sok National Park. We are actually in Klong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary. In August we saw several Stork-billed Kingfishers, many Grey-headed Fish-Eagles, White-crowned Hornbills and Wreathed Hornbills.

April

We have seen a LOT of very impressive birds since I last posted on this page. The hornbill and rare raptor sightings in Khao Sok are too numerous to mention.

In early April we were treated to a lengthy sighting of a Rufus-collared Kingfisher. It was sitting on a low branch and it hopped around changing positions as if it was posing for us. We see the Blue-eared Kingfisher every day. We saw the Stork-billed Kingfisher a few times recently.

On this same trip we watched a Helmeted Hornbill dig out a nest in a tall tree. We also saw several Red-bearded Bee-eaters, a few Oriental Hobbies, both the Gray-headed and Lesser Fish-Eagles, and we heard the Great Argus every day.

2010

November 22nd

Krung Ching - Ferruginous Flycaycher (leucistic morph, which means it is partially albino) and a Chinese Flycatcher. Photos by Mr. Ian Dugdale.

Ferruginous Flycaycher, Photo by Mr. Ian Dugdale Chinese Flycatcher, Photo by Mr. Ian Dugdale

September 20th

Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary - Orange-breasted Trogon, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, Wreathed Hornbill

Phang Nga Rec Park - Black-thighed Falconet

Mangroves - Copper-throated Sunbird, Mangrove Whistler, Chestnut-breasted Trogon

Phuket and Thai Muang - June 30th

in the morning we saw a Black Bittern in a marsh near Thalang. This is an uncommon bird to see. In the afternoon we went to Thai Muang and saw a lot of Black-winged Stilts, some River Lapwings and I finally got a positive ID on a Chinese Egret, a new species for me, though I've probably seen it many times before and just never had a good enough look to confirm.

May - Hala Bala Wildlife Sanctuary

Crimson-winged Woodpecker
Orange-backed Woodpecker
Yellow-crowned Barbet
Rhinoceros Hornbill
Wrinkled Hornbill
Helmeted Hornbill
Blue-banded Kingfisher
Rufous-collared Kingfisher
Rusty-breasted Cuckoo
Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot
White-fronted Scops Owl
Reddish Scops Owl
Gould's Frogmouth
Malaysian Eared Nightjar
Silver-breasted Broadbill
Long-billed Spiderhunter

Crested Jay
Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike
Spotted Fantail
Grey-chested Jungle-flycatcher
Pale Blue Flycatcher
Malaysian Blue Flycatcher
Finsch's Bulbul
Cinereous Bulbul
Horsfield's Babbler
Chestnut-backed Scimitar-babbler
White-chested Babbler
Fluffy-backed Tit-babbler
Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker
Red-throated Sunbird
Temminck's Sunbird

Rhinoceros Hornbill

You can read more and see more photos on this Hala Bala trip report.

Phang Nga Province - April 26th

While on a mountain biking school group trip, I (Dave) saw several Blue-Winged Pittas in various rubber plantations. I was also treated to seeing a family of Bar-bellied Buttonquail crossing the path in front of me.

Sri Phang Nga National Park - April 18th

Banded Pitta! We saw a lot of interesting and unique birds actually. Check out the birding trip report.

Khao Sok - March 27th

We saw a Helmeted Hornbill fairly close-up, a Wallace's Hawk-Eagle, a Stork-billed Kingfisher and a couple of Streaked Wren-babblers.

Phuket - March 7th

Mr. Lars Michael Neilson saw a Common Buzzard in the Kata Beach area of Phuket. This is NOT a common bird for Phuket. Well-done Lars!

Common Buzzard

Phuket - February 20th

I (Dave) saw 8 Jerdon's Bazas circling low over a mountain top in Southern Phuket.

Phuket - February 16th

Black-backed Swamphen - taxonomically-speaking, swamphens have now been split. Both are available on Phuket and likely in Thai Muang and other nearby areas.

Khao Nor Chuchi (Khao Phra-bang Kram Wildlife Sanctuary) - February 10th - 12th

We saw a Jerdon's Baza, a Blyth's Frogmouth, an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher and lots more. Photos by Mr. Ian Dugdale.

Jerdon's Baza Blyth's Frogmouth Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher

Thai Muang Golf Course - February 2nd - 4th

Games spotted a Black-headed Ibis! She also saw a Pied Harrier, Grey-headed Fish-Eagle, Lesser Adjutant Storks, Changeable Hawk-eagle and a Peregrine Falcon. Photos by Mr. Ian Dugdale.

Black-headed Ibis Pied Harrier Lesser Adjutant Stork

Thai Muang Golf Course - January 27th

This special area just keeps getting better and surprises abound. Games and guests saw a Pheasant-tailed Jacana at Thai Muang on this trip.

2009

Thai Muang Golf Course - December 26th

Rosy, Chestnut-cheeked and Chestnut-tailed Starlings were all spotted in the Thai Muang Golf Course area!

Rosy Starling Chestnut-cheeked Starling Chestnut-tailed Starling

Phuket Birding Day Trip - September 16th

A Mangrove Whistler and a Curlew Sandpiper were seen as part of a 63 species birding day trip on Phuket on September 16th.

Research Trip to Khao Luang Krung Ching National Park

Ms. Games has been researching Krung Ching and Khao Nor Chuchi a lot recently. Krung Ching is an easy place to see the Malaysian Rail-Babbler and some other not-so-easy species. Khao Nor Chuchi, though not easy birding, is a wonderful place for pittas and babblers, in addtion to others. Photos by Ian Dugdale.

White-crowned Forktail, Khao Luang Krung Ching National Park

Rruddy Kingfisher, Ao Phang Nga National Park

Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Khao Luang Krung Ching National Park

Common Emerald Dove, Khao Luang Krung Ching National Park

Phuket Birding Day Trips in August

Though we've been out birding quite a bit, I've been too busy to post any trip reports for a while, sorry. Here's a list of some of the birds we've seen on our Phuket birding day trips during August. The most interesting one is a Brown Hawk-Owl that Games has found roosting behind a restaurant. I've been doing a lot of mountain biking in Phang Nga Province and I've seen dozens of Barred Buttonquail and almost daily sightings of Blue-winged Pittas.

Lesser Whistling-duck
Cotton Pygmy-goose
Barred Buttonquail
Red-throated Barbet
Indian Roller
Collared Kingfisher
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Greater Coucal
Lesser Coucal
Germain's Swiftlet
Brown Hawk-owl
Spotted Dove
Peaceful Dove
White-breasted Waterhen
Purple Swamphen
Common Moorhen
Pintail Snipe
Common Sandpiper
Cattle Egret
Chinese Pond-heron
Brahminy Kite
Grey Wagtail

Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
Large-billed Crow
Pied Fantail
Ashy Drongo
Common Iora
Oriental Magpie Robin
Common Myna
White-vented Myna
Pacific Swallow
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Streak-eared Bulbul
Red-eyed Bulbul
Spectacled Bulbul
Buff-vented Bulbul
Dark-necked Tailorbird
Eastern Crowned-warbler
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Purple-naped Sunbird
Brown-throated Sunbird
Little Spiderhunter
Eurasian Tree-Sparrow

Brown Hawk-Owl Coucal

May 12th - 15th - Khao Sok National Park

In addition to seeing wild elephants, pigs, gibbons, macaques and other animals, here's a list of birds seen:

Red Junglefowl
Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
Greater Flameback
Oriental Pied Hornbill
Great Hornbill
Helmeted Hornbill
Bushy-crested Hornbill
White-crowned Hornbill
Dollarbird
Blue-eared Kingfisher
Red-bearded Bee-eater
Violet Cuckoo (male and female)
Greater Coucal
Germain's Swiftlet
Asian Palm Swift
Buffy Fish-Owl
Thick-billed Pigeon
Osprey
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Lesser Fish-Eagle
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird

Grey-headed Fish-Eagle
Crested Goshawk
Crested Serpent-eagle
Wallace's Hawk-eagle
Black-thighed Falconet
Eurasian Hobby
Chinese Pond-heron
Little Heron
Asian Fairy-bluebird
Large-billed Crow
Black-naped Monarch
Tickell's Blue Flycather
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher
Oriental Magpie-Robin
Striated Swallow
Black-crested Bulbul
Stripe-throated Bulbul
Common Tailorbird
Dark-necked Tailorbird
Striped Tit-babbler

April 1st - 3rd - Khao Sok National Park

We saw an Oriental Hobby zooming around near the floating bungalows. A Stork-billed Kingfisher was also in the area. A Grey-headed Fish-Eagle was spotted in the same general area.

From the Viewpoint, we could easily hear a Great Argus. One of these days I hope one of us finally sees one. That'll be a magical experience!

March

Slaty-breasted Rail

I (Dave) had to move houses as my landlord wanted to knock down my previous house to build a Tesco mini mart. At first I was not pleased with the idea, but I moved to what was my back yard and I now have to only nice patch of trees in my neighborhood. This means that I get all of the birds in the area as well as squirrels and other animals.

March 19th - Phang Nga Province

While on a mountain biking trip, we were treated to a display of aerial acrobatics by a big Black-shouldered Kite. Seemingly effortless, the kite fluttered it wings in a unique fashion which allowed it to stay in one place for long periods of time. The show was truly incredible due both to the technique and the long periods that this bird was able to stay in one place. I've seen this many times in the past, but this was especially nice and as we were on a hill, we were fairly level with the bird.

March 13th - Phuket

So far I've seen a Orange-headed Thrush (I believe this to be the first sighting of this species in Phuket), Olive-backed Sunbirds, Streak-eared Bulbuls, Stripe-throated Bulbuls, Oriental Magpie-Robins, Yellow-vented Bulbuls, Asian Koels, and a family of Grey-bellied Squirrels.

One of my birding buddies, Mr. Ian Dugdale, saw a Siberian Thrush near the Karon Viewpoint!

February 25th - Phuket Birding Day Trip

Lesser Whistling-duck
Blue-eared Barbet
Red-throated Barbet
White-throated Kingfisher
Black-capped Kingfisher
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Indian Cuckoo
Banded Bay Cuckoo
Drongo Cuckoo
Red-billed Malkoha
Greater Coucal
House Swift
Spotted Dove
Purple Swamphen
Common Moorhen
Common Sandpiper
Black Baza
Oriental Honey-buzzard
Grey-faced Buzzard
Little Grebe
Little Cormorant
Little Egret
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Chinese Pond-heron
Yellow Bittern
Asian Openbill Stork
Greater Green Leafbird
Brown Shrike

Large-billed Crow
Black-naped Oriole
Ashy Minivet
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
Pied Fantail
Black Drongo
Crow-billed Drongo
Common Iora
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Oriental Magpie Robin Common Stonechat
Barn Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Stripe-throated Bulbul
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Streak-eared Bulbul
Red-eyed Bulbul
Buff-vented Bulbul
Black-browed Reed-warbler
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Brown-throated Sunbird
Olive-backed Sunbird
Crimson Sunbird
Eurasian Tree-Sparrow
Grey Wagtail
Forest Wagtail
Paddyfield Pipit
Scaly-breasted Munia

January 31st - Phuket Birding Day Trip

Lesser Whistling-duck
Cotton Pygmy-goose
Blue-eared Barbet
Red-throated Barbet
White-throated Kingfisher
Black-capped Kingfisher
Drongo Cuckoo
Germains Swiftlet
Spotted Dove
White-breasted Waterhen
Common Moorhen
Ashy Minivet
Pied Fantail
Black Drongo
Ashy Drongo
Crow-billed Drongo
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Black Baza
Shikra
Crested Goshawk
Grey-faced Buzzard
Little Grebe
Little Cormorant
Great Egret

Cattle Egret
Chinese Pond-heron
Yellow Bittern
Large-billed Crow
Black-naped Oriole
Asian Paradise-flycatcher
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Brown-streaked Flycatcher
Common Stonechat Common Myna
Pacific Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Black-crested Bulbul
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Streak-eared Bulbul
Red-eyed Bulbul
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Brown-throated Sunbird
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird
Crimson Sunbird
Little Spiderhunter
Grey Wagtail
Forest Wagtail

2008

December 24th - 26th - Khao Sok Annual Christmas Tour

Without even trying (not actually on a birding trip), we saw many Great Hornbills, several Wreathed Hornbills, Bushy-crested Hornbills, Oriental Pied Hornbills, a couple of Oriental Hobbies, a Lesser Fish-Eagle, a Grey-headed Fish-Eagle, three Buffy Fish-Owls and a couple of Red-bearded Bee-eaters in addition to the usual birds we see in Khao Sok National Park.

December 23rd - Phuket Birding Day Trip

Lesser Whistling-duck
Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
White-throated Kingfisher
Black-capped Kingfisher
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Plaintive Cuckoo
Drongo Cuckoo
Asian Koel
Greater Coucal
Germains Swiftlet
Spotted Dove
Thick-billed Pigeon
Lesser Cuckooshrike
Red-rumped Swallow
Streak-eared Bulbul
Stripe-throated Bulbul
Olive-winged Bulbul
White-breasted Waterhen
Purple Swamphen
Common Moorhen
Common Sandpiper
Little Cormorant
Little Grebe
Chinese Pond-heron
Ashy Minivet

Little Egret
Cattle Egret
Asian Openbill
Brown Shrike
Large-billed Crow
Black-naped Oriole
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
Common Tailorbird
Brown-throated Sunbird
Richard's Pipit
Crested Goshawk
Brahminy Kite
Oriental Honey-buzzard
Black Baza
Pied Fantail
Black Drongo
Ashy Drongo
Common Iora
Pacific Swallow
Large Woodshrike
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Common Stonechat
Grey Wagtail
Forest Wagtail

December 14th - 17th - Khao Sok

In addition to the usual sightings of Great, Bushy-crested and Oriental Pied Hornbills, we also saw a Banded Broadbill, a pair of Red-bearded Bee-eaters, an Oriental Hobby, a pair of Grey-headed Fish-Eagles and a Great Slaty Woodpecker. We heard a Great Argus in the usual place, but failed to see it... perhaps one of these days.

Aug 20th - Khao Sok

Aew has found a fairly reliable place to see White-crowned Hornbills. He also saw Bushy-crested Hornbills, Great Hornbills and Oriental Pied Hornbills on this trip. In addition, he saw some Green Broadbills, a couple of Scaly-breasted Bulbul and a Mustached Babbler.

Aug 13th - Khao Sok

Aew saw a Chestnut-naped Forktail on a creek hike and he saw some White-crowned Hornbills.

July 22nd - Phang Nga Province

On a mountain biking survey trip I saw a Blue-breasted Quail from fairly close up. It flew in front of me and then ran a bit, thus giving me a very good look and certainly long enough for a positive ID. This is a new bird for me too!

We have been doing a lot of mountain biking in Phang Nga Province and we have seen a lot of Blue-winged Pittas. One day recently we saw three! We always hear them.

Yellow-vented Flowerpecker

July 11th - 12th - Khao Sok

In Khao Sok we saw several Helmeted Hornbills, a flock of 8 Bushy-crested Hornbills, a couple of Oriental Pied Hornbills, a Blue-eared Kingfisher, a pair of Crimson Sunbirds (that were on the same branch as the kingfisher, so that was an extra treat), three Grey-headed Fish-Eagles, an Oriental Hobby and last but not least a flock of Thick-billed Pigeons in a fruiting tree.

On the way back to Phuket from Khao Sok, we visited Wat Bangriang. A gorgeous Black-and-yellow Broadbill stood proudly on an exposed branch... not too far from us.

June 23rd - 27th - Phang Nga Province and Khao Nor Chuchi

Hooded Pitta are at Raman Waterfall and another one in Khao Nor Chuchi (while it was raining). Green Broadbill, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, Banded Pitta (while it was raining), Red-throated Sunbird, and a Sooty-capped Babbler in Khao Nor Chuchi.

In total and in spite of rain off and on, Aew and his client saw 89 species.

May 18th - Phuket

In the Thalang Battlefield area Aew saw some Oriental Pratincoles and River Lapwings.

May 2nd - 5th - Phang Nga Province

On a four-day mountain bike ride we managed to hear or see Blue-winged Pittas on a daily basis. At a temple in Ban Chiang Mai (not related to Chiang Mai in the north), a male Blue-winged Pitta seemed oblivious to us as it walked around calling. At a temple in Tung Maphrao and a temple in Kapong, Blue-winged Pittas were heard and one was seen.

There are some really nice hot springs between Kapong and Takua Pa. Several River Lapwings were spotted as were a bunch of Red-wattled Lapwings.

April 8th and 9th - Phuket and Phang Nga Province

As usual, Phuket and Phang Nga Province produced a ton of birds. We saw 80 species and a lot of very cool birds. Click here to read a trip report. Here are some photos of two birds that we saw... a nesting Golden-whiskered Barbet and a gorgeous Oriental Hobby. Other 'highlight' birds include a Mangrove Pitta, Jungle Mynas, a nice long look at a Yellow Bittern and a couple of Asian Openbilled Storks.

Oriental Hobby

Golden-whiskered Barbet Oriental Hobby Oriental Hobby

March 17th - Thai Muang

Aew saw River Lapwings, Grey-headed Lapwings, Lesser Sand Plovers and Kentish Plovers.

March 16th - Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary

Aew saw a Verditer Flycatcher, a Blue-and-white Flycatcher, a Dark-sided Flycatcher, a Scaly-breasted Bulbul, a Golden-whiskered Barbet and a Brown Barbet.

March 15th Khao Nor Chuchi and Phang Nga Province

Aew saw a Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, a Yellow-bellied Bulbul on the wooden walkway to the pool, another Red-throated Barbet and a Black-and-yellow Broadbill. He saw a Mangrove Pitta on the mangrove walkway in Phang Nga Province as well as a Striped Swallow.

March 14th Khao Nor Chuchi

Aew saw a white morph Asian Paradise Flycatcher, a Purple-throated Sunbird and a Dark-sided Flycatcher.

March 13th Khao Nor Chuchi

Aew saw a Black-capped Babbler, a Short-tailed Babbler, a Chestnut-winged Babbler and a Black-and-yellow Broadbill.

March 12th Khao Nor Chuchi

Aew saw a Red-crowned Barbet and a Red-throated Barbet.

March 11th - Khao Sok

Aew saw a Blue-and-white Flycatcher and a Maroon Woodpecker at Klong Yee.

March 10th - Khao Sok

Aew saw a Black-backed Kingfisher at the waterfall, a Banded Broadbill at Klong Yee and another Banded Pitta on the viewpoint hike.

Banded Broadbill

March - Khao Sok National Park

Although the hornbills are supposed to be on the nest right now, we managed to see several Great Hornbills (including females), a small flock of Bushy-crested Hornbills and a few Oriental Pied Hornbills in Khao Sok. Other sightings included a nice encounter with a male Black-naped Monarch and a Lesser Fish-Eagle. On another Khao Sok trip, we spotted a pair of White-crowned Hornbills and a male Banded Pitta!

March - Khao Sok National Park

Although the hornbills are supposed to be on the nest right now, we managed to see several Great Hornbills (including females), a small flock of Bushy-crested Hornbills and a few Oriental Pied Hornbills in Khao Sok. Other sightings included a nice encounter with a male Black-naped Monarch and a Lesser Fish-Eagle. On another Khao Sok trip, we spotted a pair of White-crowned Hornbills and a male Banded Pitta!

Aew and guest Walter Huber went to Khao Sok in search of hornbills. Their luck with hornbills wasn't great, though they did see Great Hornbills and Oriental Pied Hornbills. The highlight for Aew, at least, was seeing a Banded Broadbill. Walter got a nice photo of it (see photo above taken by Walter).

February 29th - March 1st Phuket and Phang Nga Province

I spent the past two days birding in Phuket and Phang Nga Province. We visited the usual spots on Phuket, the mangrove walkway in Phang Nga Province, Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary, the cave temple and Wat Bangriang.

We saw over 90 species including Mangrove Pitta, Red-throated Barbets, Blue-eared Barbets, Brown Barbets, Fiery Minivets, Raffles' Malkoha, Chestnut-bellied Malkohas, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Banded Bay Cuckoo and plenty more.blue-eared Barbet image

The resident Brown Hawk-Owl as also still sitting on the same branch at Tham Praya Nakalat (a lovely cave temple in Phang Nga Province). This is a fairly new birding destination with a lot of promise.

Unfortunately, the area where I saw Asian Openbill Storks a couple of weeks ago is being filled in. I called my Thai birding buddy and he immediately called the cops who said, "yes, we know. He's a developer and it's his land. He can do whatever he wants." He called the land department and they said the same thing. My friend said that this is a wetland (supposedly illegal to fill in), and they said it wasn't recognized wetland. Well, I recognized it as wetland...

Brown Barbet
Blue-eared Barbet

February 22nd

Phang Nga Province, behind Aew's parent's house he saw a Red-and-black Broadbill. The Mangrove Pitta was spotted at mangrove walkway near town.

February 23rd

Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary produced a Large Wood Shrike, Blue-eared Barbet, Scarlet Minivet, Yellow-vented and Yellow-breasted Flowerpeckers, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Yellow-eared Spiderhunter and a Red-billed Malkoha.

Raffles' Malkoha

February 24th Khao Nor Chuchi

On the main dirt road to the emerald pool, Aew saw a Golden-whiskered Barbet, Blue-throated Barbet, Brown Barbet, White-eyed Bulbul, Cream-vented Bulbul, Chestnut-bellied Malkoha and the usual species.

February 18th and 19th - Khao Nor Chuchi

Khao Nor Chuchi can be either splendid or frustrating. This trip was not the former. On the 18th, the best bird (of the many) we got was a lovely male Purple-throated Sunbird. It was perched on a vertical branch at the top of a tree and it was happily chirping away. I centered it in the scope and we had a nice long look.

On the morning of the 19th, we decided to try the U trail in the bleak chance of seeing a Gurney's... well, the best bird that morning was Purple-naped Sunbird. It was feeding a pair of fledglings that were sitting on a branch looking as cute as possible. The U trail is a very dependable place to see this unique species.

The best birds of the afternoon was a small group of Black Bazas. We were on the wooden walkways and spotted them perched in a tree. Later, we saw one from a fairly nearby spot so we could really enjoy all of its colors and lines. What a magnificent bird and it’s my personal favorite raptor.

Deciding that Khao Nor Chuchi was simply too tough this time, we opted for a trip up to Phang Nga Province. On the way we stopped at Wat Bangriang, a mountain-top temple that always produces birds and it’s a pretty temple too. This time we were treated to a pair of Black-and-yellow Broadbills! And, as usual, we saw a Giant Black Squirrel… this time it was a male taking a map on a big tree branch.

We dropped by the mangrove walkway just outside of Phang Nga Town and saw a Mangrove Pitta! We checked into the charming Phang Nga Inn, then went for dinner by the river. This is a great combination: a lovely room in a converted mansion followed by dinner at a restaurant that serves really good larb gai (diced chicken in mint leaves, small purple onions, lime juice and of course, dried chilli powder) and other delicacies.

Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary was visited the next morning. We were after a few species and saw all of them except the Brown Barbet. We saw male and a female Red-throated Barbet though. We witnessed a Fiery Minivet fly overhead… tick.

On one of the most productive dead trees in the area, a small bird crawled across the bottom of a long branch. It looked just like a Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, but that’s not supposed to be this far south. Still, it certainly had too dark a belly to be a Velvet-fronted Nuthatch…hmm.

Our last spot was a cave temple with an inspired collection of Buddhist artifacts. This temple has birds that are obviously trusting of people. We watched a stunning Crimson Sunbird glean insects from a spider’s web and visit the many flowers for some energy-filled nectar. A Brown Hawk-Owl watched over us… until it got bored a fell asleep.

Brown Hawk-Owl
Mangrove Pitta

February 8th

We saw a flock of somewhere around 300 Openbill Storks in Ban Don. We were in our Thalang Battlefield birding area where we saw a couple of Yellow Bittern and the usual suspects when my guest asked me what the 'cloud' of birds was in the distance. It was a long way off, but I immediately figured they were storks. We looked through the two scopes, but they were too far away to be sure.

We hopped in the van and started picking our way through the roads to get close to the few birds that were still in the air. Hab, our van driver and a keen-eyed one at that, figured out where they might have landed. Bingo! We were treated to 80 storks perched in a couple of short trees and on the ground.

I told my friend Ike about seeing the storks and he went out and found them. Check out his excellent report on his Phuket Bird Blog site. It was reported in Feb 5th.

Another nice sighting on this day was around 20 Black Bazas in the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park area.

February 7th - Khao Sok National Park

Aew saw 2 Pin-tailed Parrotfinches in the bamboo on the way to Klong Yee. He also saw a Yellow-rumped Flycatcher. If you've not seen this bird, you're missing a lovely little flycatcher.

February 1st and 2nd

Wat Bangriang in Phang Nga Province on the morning of Feb 1st produces some nice bird sightings. We saw a Red-throated Barbet fairly close up, a few Ashy Minivets, a pair of Raffle's Malkohas, a pair of Asian Fairy-Bluebirds, some Vernal Hanging Parrots, some Red-eyed Bulbuls, several Stripe-throated Bulbuls, Streak-eared Bulbuls, a pair of Crested Goshawks, some Thick-billed Pigeons, quite a few Black-naped Orioles and some Giant Black Squirrels!

At Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary, we saw almost all of the usual birds and an Emerald Pigeon was spotted from very close up, a bunch of both Whiskered Treeswifts as well as Grey-rumped Treeswifts, a Buff-rumped Woodpecker (3rd time we've seen them here), a female Lesser Green Leafbird, a Scaly-breasted Bulbul, a White-bellied Yuhina, a Grey-headed Flycatcher, a Verditer Flycatcher, a male Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker and a lovely Spectacled Spiderhunter!

One of the two mangrove walkways in Phang Nga Province produced a Streak-breasted Woodpeckerand a Forest Wagtail.

The mangrove walkway in Krabi produced a Mangrove Pitta, some Ashy Tailorbirds, a pair of Collared Kingfishers, a pair of Brown-throated Sunbirds, a pair of Ruby-cheeked Sunbirds and we heard a pair of Ruddy Kingfishers calling each other, but never got to see them. A Brown-winged Kingfisher was heard across the water.

On February 2nd, Aew heard a Gurney's Pitta on the S trail. It was close, but it didn't make a appearance unfortunately.

January 31st

Aew saw a male and a female Banded Pitta at the cascading waterfalls where we normally do some birding. Aew is a champion at spotting difficult birds and he sees a lot of Pittas that other birders would likely miss. Aew also saw a Red-backed Kingfisher at the waterfall.

At the viewpoint Aew saw a female Asian Emerald Cuckoo.

January 29th

Four Black Bazas flew over my house in Phuket Town. This isn't the first time this has happened and I hope it's not the last. This has been a very good year for seeing Black Bazas.

January 22nd - 24th - Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary, Phang Nga Town, Khao Nor Chuchi, Thung Thale

January 22nd to the 24th was a 67 bird trip. We were birding in Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary, the mangrove near Phang Nga Town, mangrove in Krabi and in Khao Nor Chuchi. We started off with a female Violet Cuckoo at Ton Pariwat. A Chestnut-bellied Malkoha was spotted nearby too. The resident Fiery Minivet (male) made an appearance.

We then slipped over to a mangrove walkway and saw a White-bellied Babbler and a Mangrove Pitta!

In Khao Nor Chuchi, we saw a variety of birds, but the pittas were nowhere to be found. We got to see a Green Broadbill, a Puff-throated Babbler was right beside us on the ground at one point, a bunch of flowerpeckers and a Red-throated Barbet was right out in the open eating orange fruit. A Grey-breasted Spiderhunter flew by. Seven Black Bazas flew overhead. This has been a great year for Black Bazas. We're seeing them all the time.

We went over to Thung Thale, a small coastal park south of Khao Nor Chuchi to see if we could pick up some littorial zone species. We found a male and female Rufous Woodpecker roosting in a eucoliptus tree. This was a wonderful sighting as they didn't seem to mind us at all. The scope allowed us to get a really nice look at both of them. On our way out, we saw three Brown Needletails.

On the morning of our last day (Jan 24th), we were treated to seeing a Great-eared Nightjar while we were eating breakfast.

Birding on Phuket on January 11th was very fruitful

It was a 60 species day! We started the morning with a Forest Wagtail, a few Red-throated Barbets, a small flock of Ashy Minivets, a Blue-eared Barbet, Red-eyed Bulbuls, Streak-eared Bulbuls, Orange-bellied Flowerpeckers, Scarlet-backed Flowerpeckers and a flock of 19 Black Bazas!! All of this was before 8 AM. This can be attributed to several trees being in fruit in a small national park near Thalang.

We ended up seeing both races of Ashy Drongos, a few Black Drongos, a Crow-billed Drongo, a Cinnamom Bittern, a Yellow Bittern, both Richard's and Paddyfield Pipits and a host of regular Phuket birds. We ended the day at the Phuket landfill. There is so much trash being generated in Phuket that a marsh area that used to have White-browed Crakes, Lesser Whistling Ducks, a bunch of egrets and more is now solid trash. According to the Phuket Gazette (July 13,2007), "The incinerator, which can burn up to 250 tonnes of garbage a day, cannot cope with Phuket’s daily production of 520 tonnes." This is causing some garbage to be leaked into the nearby mangrove and rivers. It's only going to get worse as the influx of people moving to Phuket is obviously out of control.

2007

December

Khao Sok, as usual, produced an amazing amount of hornbill sightings. From late November through December, there are a series of ficus (fig) trees that come into fruit. When a fig tree is in fruit, it's a buffet line for birds, monkeys and other animals. On a daily basis, we would see anywhere between 20 to 30 Great Hornbills, several Oriental Pied Hornbills, a few Wreathed Hornbills and dozens of Thick-billed Pigeons.

I finally got to see a Rufous-collared Kingfisher! There's a certain cove in Khao Sok where I have heard one many times; this is the first time one actually appeared. This is also a good area for seeing White-crowned Hornbills. We heard some a few times in November and December.

October Bird Sightings

Yes, there's a huge gap in the recent bird sighting list. Sorry, I've been outrageously busy.

We saw a lot of birds in every month between March and October, but the biggest thrills were seeing a small flock of Nicobar Pigeons on Ko Rawi in Tarutao National Park and seeing a Bat Hawk in Khao Sok National Park. We also saw a juvenile Imperial Eagle in Phuket in the Thalang Warfare Museum area. We also saw a Drongo Cuckoo at Khao Phra Thaeo National Park.

March 24th to 26th - Klong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary and Chiew Lan Reservoir

On the ride back to the dam, I spotted a Black-shouldered Kite. This is a new bird for this reservoir... or at least I can't remember seeing one there before.

A trio of Oriental Hobbies was seen cruising the skies in Klong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary. We also had a Red-bearded Bee-eater give us a long look from an open perch.

A White-browed Piculet was spotted hopping around in a bamboo cluster. A pair of Black-naped Monarchs were also in the same area.

In a cove near the floating bungalows, we spotted a Wallace's Hawk-Eagle perched high in a ficus tree.

Throughout the trip, we heard the percing call of the male Great Argus. We have yet to see one of these rare beauties.

Imperial Eagle

March 12th to 22nd - Klong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary and Chiew Lan Reservoir

On March 22nd, we spotted a group of three Oriental Hobbies flying in unison in Klong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary. We've been seeing at least one of them on a cliff perch rather often lately.

We're also seeing plenty of Blue-eared Kingfishers (daily), Common Kingfishers (daily), Black-capped Kingfishers (daily) and the occasionalStork-billed Kingfisher.

On March 21st on the viewpoint hike, we saw a white morph male Asian Paradise Flycatcher, a Grey-headed Flycatcher and on the way down the trail a pair of Black-capped Babblers walked across the trail about 20 feet in front of us! They stayed in the general area and fairly close-by for five minutes or so.

Over the course of a few days we managed to see six species of hornbills, including many Great Hornbills, a Helmeted Hornbill, a male Wreathed hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbills, Bushy-crested Hornbills and finally both a male and a female White-crowned Hornbill!

February 28th - Klong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary and Chiew Lan Reservoir

An Oriental Hobby flew around overhead for a while. It was in a mix with a bunch of Red-rumped Swallows. A male Blue Rock Thrush watched us watch the Hobby.

Earlier in the same day we saw several Great Hornbills, Bushy-crested Hornbills and Oriental Pied Hornbills. On several occasions we heard a Great Argus calling. At a viewpoint in the area, we saw both a male and female Ruby-cheeked Sunbird from very close up. In addition, when back on the water, we saw a couple of Blue-eared Kingfishers, a Common Kingfisher and a Black-capped Kingfisher.

Common Kingfisher

February 25th - Birding in my yard

In my neighborhood, I've got the last bit of jungle. Everything else has been chopped down to put up tacky shop houses. Anyway, being as it is, I get a lot of birds in my yard. One particular tree hosts a variety of perching opportunities. This morning, a female Ruby-cheeked Sunbird sat in the tree calling constantly. A pair of Streak-eared Bulbuls made a brief appearance. On a coconut tree, a male Greater Racket-tailed Drongo was grasping the trunk and using its tail feathers just like a woodpecker! I've never seen this behavior before. I'm assuming it was after insects.

A Dark-necked Tailorbird's persistent chatter moved my eyes to one of my fruit trees.

In the past, I've had Coppersmith Barbets, Black Bazas, Common Koels (a resident family), Greater Coucals and others in my yard. Stepping outside is a nice way to start my day.

February 19th - Phang Nga Bay

I was camping with a school group in the bay and camped on a beach on the night of the 19th. There was a mangrove channel behind the beach. I saw a Black-capped Kingfisher, a pair of Collared Kingfishers and a couple of Common Sandpipers. In the trees behind the beach I saw a Coppersmith Barbet, two pairs of Dollarbirds, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater and as darkness fell, I saw a Large-tailed Nightjar flying above an area of secondary growth. Later in the early evening, I could hear a Great-eared Nightjar. I unfortunately didn't get to see it though.

The beach is on the west coast of Ko Yao Yai and the GPS coordinates are N 08° 02.102 E 098° 33.270.

February 7th - Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary

A female Blue-throated Flycatcher was spotted hopping around from tree to tree. Next, we saw a male Verditer Flycatcher. We were here in the middle of the day, but still managed to see a few birds. These were just two of the more interesting ones.

January 31st - Klong Thom and Krabi mangrove

Mangrove walkway in Krabi

We spent the night in town. Upon waking up, we were treated to a very nice variety of birds right beside our hotel. Right off the bat, we saw some Orange-breasted Green-Pigeons, a Lesser Coucal out in the open for a long time, a couple of Coppersmith Barbets, Banded Woodpecker, some Zebra Doves (Peaceful Dove), and some Black-naped Orioles.

Jungle Mynas have been reported here, but we didn't see them this time.

Next, we went to a new mangrove walkway in Krabi Town. We saw a Brown-winged Kingfisher that perched in front of us for quite some time. I spotted a Slaty-breasted Rail.

We started seeing lot of Pied Fantails… lot of ‘em.

I spotted a Black-and-red Broadbill next.

On the way back to Phuket, we stopped at a certain kilometer marking in the hopes of seeing a Spectacled Spiderhunter. We arrived, stepped out of the van, looked up and there it was.

Click here to see a full trip report.

Mangrove walkway in Krabi

January 30th - Khao Nor Chuchi

A Rufous-collared Kingfisher was spotted on the B Trail a couple days earlier. We didn’t see the kingfisher unfortunately, but we did manage to see a Moustache Hawk-Cuckoo. We also got to see a Chestnut-breasted Malkoha.

In the afternoon, Yotin took us to a 'watering hole' in the jungle. Birds started arriving as soon as we got there. A Grey-bellied Bulbul was one of the first to arrive. We couldn’t have been more than 5 to 8 meters from the water. We witnessed several bulbuls drinking and bathing, including Puff-backed Bulbuls, Stripe-throated Bulbuls, Olive-winged Bulbuls, Streak-eared Bulbuls, Red-eyed Bulbuls and Streaked Bulbuls. Add Black-naped Monarchs, Puff-throated Babblers, Abbott’s Babblers, Chestnut-rumped Babblers, Striped Tit-babblers and some others.

Greater Coucal

January 29th - Khao Nor Chuchi

Guess what we went after first? Yep, the Gurney’s Pitta. We saw a lovely male right after sunrise. An Orange-headed Thrush was also in the same area. A female Siberian Blue Robin hopped around for a bit.

A Red-bearded Bee-eater was on one side of the trail calling. It flew to another tree, called some more, then flew across the trail. We got a brief though confirming view. The call was enough, but we weren’t going to tick it unless we saw it. I got a brief look at a Black-capped Babbler. I think someone else got a brief glimpse too.

We spotted a male Green Broadbill fairly early in the morning. It was near the toilets just before the Emerald Pool. This is one of my favorite birds. I can’t get enough of that weird call.

A small flock of Ashy Minivets flew by shortly after we saw the Green Broadbill.

We went us past the Emerald Pool and into the beautiful jungle. Just before entering the high canopy jungle, he spotted a Banded Bay Cuckoo.

Night Birding at Khao Nor Chuchi

We went with Khun Yotin to see some night birds. The first thing we heard was a Great-eared Nightjar nearby. We didn't get to see it this time, but this is usually a fairly easy bird to spot.

We next went to Yotin's frogmouth spot. A a Javan Frogmouth (male) was perched on a wire within about 15 or so meters from us. We even got to see it in the scope! What an incredible bird.

We also heard a Bay Owl, but couldn’t see it.

Then, we went to a spot where Yotin has found the White-fronted Scops Owl. The owl was steadily calling with it's unique whirring call. This was it! We were about to see a White-fronted Scops Owl! There it was, sitting in the ‘V’ of a tree and calling. It wasn’t easy to spot. The owl was gorgeous.

January 28th - Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary

We saw lone Buff-rumped Woodpecker fly by and land on an exposed dead tree branch.

I got a treat on this outing to a lifer, a Hainan Blue Flycatcher.

At one point, a Mugimaki Flycatcher came by and stopped long enough for us all to enjoy it.

Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place for bulbuls. We saw several Black-headed Bulbuls, Black-crested Bulbuls, a couple of Scaly-breasted Bulbuls, many Stripe-throated Bulbuls and a noisy Ochraceous Bulbul.

This place is also wonderful for minivets. This time we saw three species, the Ashy Minivet, Scarlet Minivet (male only) and a male Fiery Minivet.

January 24th - Khao Sok National Park (reservoir area)

On our sunrise paddling excursion, we saw lot of White-handed Gibbons (Hylobate lars) as usual, as well as a Fulvous-chested Flycatcher (Rhinomyia olivacea), a couple of Raffles' Malkohas (Phaenicophaeus chlorophaeus) and a lovely Asian Emerald Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx maculatus). The Malkohas have been in one area now for about a month. You don't get great views of them as they scurry into the foliage as soon as they land usually, but they fly back and forth rather often.

On the ride back to Phuket, I was about a half a kilometer from the Catholic School on the cut-over road and saw a Green Broadbill (Calyptomena viridis) fly by. That was rather pleasant I must say.

January 23rd - Khao Sok National Park (reservoir area)

We heard a couple of Great Slaty Woodpeckers (Muelleripicus pulverulentus), but failed to see them. Walking up a set of cascading waterfalls, we were fortunate enough to get in the middle of a bird wave. Presend in the wave were Orchraceous Bulbuls (Criniger ochraceous), Crested Jays (Platylophus galericulatus), a warbler that didn't give us a good enough view to ID and a family of Grey-throated Babblers (Stachyris nigriceps) complete with a fluffy youngster begging mom and dad for some tasty bugs.

Also in the wave was a gorgeous white morph, male Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpiphone paradisi)! It stuck around long enough for all of us (four people) to get several great views.

On an afternoon paddle near the floating bungalows, a female Crimson-winged Woodpecker (Picus puniceus) landed on a tree right in front of us. It's was out in the open for a long time... what a treat. A bit further, we saw a magnificent Stork-billed Kingfisher (Halcyon capensis) . Its soothing blue wings and soft yellowish-orange breast filled out binoculars for a few very pleasurable moments before shooting of to other perches.

Stork-billed Kingfisher

January 22nd - Khao Sok National Park (reservoir area)

On the boat ride to the floating bungalows, we spotted a lone Oriental Hobby (Falco severus) streaking across the sky. These birds are common in Khao Sok and very easy to ID from afar.

January 13th - Khao Nor Chuchi

Two days later, we had a Gurney's Pitta (Pitta gurneyi) and a Banded Pitta (Pitta guajana) calling. The Gurney's actually didn't seem to mind us at all. It hopped around us for about ten minutes. It was a male. This was the forth time I've seen a male Gurney's and the first time I've seen it without the help of Khun Yotin. I was (and still am) thrilled... as you can imagine. Not to knock Yotin at all, it’s just nice to be able to do it without his expert help. The Banded Pitta was a little more skitish. It flew in, looked around and left. However, as it did it twice, we got a decent look.

Gurney's Pitta

January 12th - Khao Nor Chuchi

The highlight of this day was seeing a Red-crowned Barbet (Megalalaima rafflesii) sitting out in the open, perched atop of a tall dead tree along the dirt road in Khao Nor Chuchi. this area has been recently encroached upon by local farmers.

January 11th - Khao Nor Chuchi

Right at sunrise, just a little way past the park gate, my friend (Per-Eric Betzholtz) and I saw a Giant Pitta (Pitta caerulea). Unfortunately, we didn't get a great look at it, but it was obviously a Giant Pitta. Towards the end of the day's birding, we saw a Hill Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis banyumas).

Later, after the birding was thought to be over, while sitting at the restaurant at the Morakot Resort, we were treated to a very active Great-eared Nightjar (Eurostopodus macrotis). This massive bird bounced right past where we were sitting, obviously swooping down to gather insects from the light just in front of us. Accompanying this wonderful bird was a Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus).

At 8:00 PM, we drove to a small patch of jungle in the area where a White-fronted Scops Owl (Otus sagittatus) is rumoured to hang out. Our exhaustive search, much like a snipe hunt, ended with us hearing the owl, but not actually seeing it. Still, it was a nice overall experience.

January 9th - Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary

We're starting to regularly see Brown Barbets (Calorhamphus fuliginosus) at the top of the mountain. We had a nice sighting of an Abbott's Babbler (Trichastoma abbotti) up near the waterfall. It sat very low behind a bush, but in plain view. It had a stick insect in its mouth.

Red-bearded Bee-eater

January 8th - Thai Muang marshland

Stijn De Win reported seeing 2 male Blue-breasted Quails (Coturnix chinensis) at the Thai Muang marsh. Though not uncommon, he also saw a Black Kite (Milvis migrans) there too.

January 5th - Khao Sok National Park

Though hornbills are common in the park, we managed to see a Helmeted Hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil) from a very close range. This awesome birds are usually seen at a great distance, up in the high canopy. However, this time, we had one fly very close to us. It was magnificent.

Highlight birds this day were a pair of Red-bearded Bee-eaters (Nyctyornis amictus) sitting on a dead log in the back of a cove in Khao Sok. One had a big dragonfly in its mouth. Both made a lot of noise for a long time. Seeing two of them for this long was a real treat.

2006

December 30th - Khao Sok National Park

Though not rare in Khao Sok, we watched an Oriental Hobby (Falco severus) flying up high with an Asian Palm Swift in its claws. It dropped it repeatedly, then raced down to pick it out of the air... much like a cat toying with a mouse.

December 29th - Khao Sok National Park

During a light rain, we were paddling in a deep cove to the west of the floating bungalows. Paddling around a corner, we spooked a Barred Eagle-Owl (Bubo sumatranus). As many owls do when spooked, this one flew in a bit and sat still long enough for us to identify it.

A pair of Silver-rumped Swifts (Rhaphidura leucopygialis) were spotted fluttering about in this same area.

December 26th - Khao Sok National Park

Not including the dozens of hornbills we saw, some of the highlights of this day were a Grey-headed Fish-Eagle (Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus) as well as a Lesser Fish-Eagle (Ichthyophaga humilis), a pair of Raffles' Malkohas (Phaenicophaeus chlorophaaeus), three Crested Honey-Buzzards [dark morph] (Pernis ptilorhyncus), a Black Magpie (Phatysmurus leucopterus) and a cute little Grey-and-buff Woodpecker (Hemicircus concretus).

December 13th - Khao Phra Thaeo National Park in Phuket

We spotted a small group of perhaps a dozen Amur Falcons (Falco amurnesis) were spotting overhead in the parking lot!

November

Here's a trip report on Thai Muang, Phang Nga Province and Khao Sok from November 2006