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GRAND THAILAND BIRDING TOUR

Tour Description

green-slate

THAILAND
BIRDING TOUR
ANY TIME*

Duration:22 days, 21 nights
Group Size:2-6
Anytime Price:$5550
Group Price:$5225
Single Suppl:$550
Est #Species:500-550
Pace:Moderate
Difficulty:Moderate
* This tour is available for any dates of your choosing provided guide services and accommodations are available.

DAY 1 - BANGKOK

International flights typically arrive in the evening. The hotel is reached by a 5-min shuttle van, which is arranged in advance and provided by the hotel. Night in Bangkok at the Aranta Airport Hotel.

DAY 2 - CHIANG MAI & DOI LANG

Morning flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai where clients are met by the tour guide. From there transfer to Doi Lang, about 3 hours drive. After check-in at the hotel in Fang, drive the road up the back side of the mountain. This road goes higher up than the main road and has been closed to traffic below the top for security reasons as the top section is very near the Myanmar border. Possible birds of special interest include Bamboo Partridge, sometimes seen along the road, Collared Babbler and Gray-breasted Parrotbill, both bamboo specialists, Wedge-tailed Pigeon, Red-headed Trogon, Blue-throated Barbet, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Maroon Oriole, Gray Treepie, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Bianchi's Warbler, Whiskered Yuhina, and many others. Sometimes clients sit in a portable hide and put out mealworms that may draw in Crested Finchbill, Dark-backed Sibia, and Large Niltava. Night in Fang at Phumanee Hotel.

DAY 3 - DOI LANG

All day birding the main road up Doi Lang. Birding is mainly along the road up the mountain. Roadside birding offers a good chance to see the spectacular Hume's Pheasant, a rather shy bird that sometimes appears on the road itself. It's best seen very early before other cars are on the road but is also seen at other times of day. A section of pines is prime habitat for Giant Nuthatch. Tracts of bamboo are good for Gray-headed Parrotbill and Spot-breasted Parrotbill. Many other birds are possible including Eurasian Hoopoe, Golden-throated Barbet, Strip-breasted Woodpecker, Short-billed Minivet, Clicking Shrike-Babbler, Japanese Tit, Hume's Treecreeper, White-bellied Redstart, Sapphire Flycatcher, and several bulbuls and warblers. Night in Fang at Phumanee Hotel.

DAY 4 - DOI LANG & DOI ANG KHANG

Morning birding the main road up Doi Lang looking for any species missed the previous day. Mid-day transfer to Doi Ang Khang, about 2 hours drive to the south. After check-in and lunch, birding at the lookout near the end of the road. The lookout is very near the Myanmar border and is sometimes shrouded with fog. It's the only place to find Daurian Redstart and is the best place to see Burmese Shrike. Various other interesting birds are also likely including Himalayan Swiftlet, Ashy Woodswallow, Long-tailed Shrike, Gray-backed Shrike, several migrant thrushes, and White-capped Redstart. Night at Baan Luang Resort.

DAY 5 - DOI ANG KHANG

Early drive back up the road to Doi Ang Khang. Return to higher elevation to pick up any birds missed previous day as needed. A visit to the "pitta" hide is the best chance to see Rufous-breasted Pitta. Other birds usually appear at the hide including Silver-eared Mesia, Hill Blue-Flycatcher, and Siberian Blue Robin. Bird the gardens area where likely possibilities include Red-whiskered Bulbul, Gray Bushchat, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Gould's Sunbird, and Spot-winged Grosbeak. A visit to the garbage dump area should yield Siberian Stonechat, only place in Thailand where this species breeds, along with possibly Brown-breasted Bulbul, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler, Silver-eared Laughingthrush, and Scarlet-faced Liocichla. During mid-day a small stream near the dining room at the lodge attracts a variety of birds including sometimes wintering thrushes, Red-whiskered Bulbul, and Pale Blue-Flycatcher. A small waterfall and pond on lodge property is the best place to find Water Redstart, which is usually there. After lunch bird the lower road where drier Dipterocarp forest attracts some different species including the scarce migrant Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo and Spectacled Barwing. Night at Baan Luang Resort.

DAY 6 - DOI INTHANON

Morning transfer to Doi Inthanon, some 3-4 hours drive. After lunch drive to the top of the mountain. A boardwalk along the Ang Ka Nature Trail through boggy forest is the best place to find skulkers such as White-browed Shortwing, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, and Dark-sided Thrush, the main target birds there. This area may be visited several times while at Doi Inthanon until all three species are seen. Also possible there is the difficult to see Eurasian Woodcock along with Yellow-bellied Fairy-Fantail, Pygmy Cupwing, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Silver-eared Laughingthrush, and Chestnut-tailed Minla. In late afternoon the very range restricted Speckled Wood-Pigeon can sometimes be seen along the road. Night at Mr. Dang's Place.

DAY 7 - DOI INTHANON

All day birding the main road up the mountain. Look for fruiting trees where birds tend to congregate. Possibilities on the road itself include Mountain Bamboo-Partridge and Silver Pheasant. Other possibilities include Gray-capped Woodpecker, Short-billed Minivet, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, and Mountain Tailorbird. Lower down a trail off the road leads to a small stream where Black-backed Forktail and the skulky Slaty-bellied Tesia are normally seen. A trail near the park entrance is the best place to find the difficult to see Lesser Shortwing and can also be good for trogons. The gardens outside the park entrance are a good place to look for Eyebrowed Wren-Babbler and Plumbeous Redstart. Night at Mr. Dang's Place.

DAY 8 - DOI INTHANON

Morning bird a dirt track up the back side of Doi Inthanon. This road is too steep and rough for vehicles used by most international birding groups and hence usually isn't birded by them. It is nevertheless worth checking out as the habitat is quite different. Possibilities include Speckled Wood-Pigeon, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Hume's Warbler, Blyth's Leaf Warbler, Black-eared Parrotbill (a main target bird that is found in bamboo stands), Vivid Niltava, and Slaty-backed Flycatcher. Afternoon re-visit the boardwalk area to find any species missed the previous day. In late afternoon is worth checking a marshy area where the rare Black-tailed Crake is sometimes found. Night at Mr. Dang's Place.

DAY 9 - DOI INTHANON & MAE PING

Morning bird a lower elevation area on the back side of the mountain that features much drier Dipterocarp forest. The main target bird is the rare White-rumped Falcon, which is unlikely to be seen anywhere else. Also possible is Collared Falconet, Violet Cuckoo, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, and Stripe-throated Bulbul. Mid-day transfer to Mae Ping National Park, arriving mid-afternoon after a 3-hour drive. Mae Ping features dry Dipterocarp forest unlike other sites visited on the tour and is especially good for woodpeckers, notably Gray-capped Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Lesser Yellownape, Black-headed Woodpecker, and Common Flameback. Night at Ton Palm Resort near Mae Ping.

DAY 10 - MAE PING & MAE WONG

Morning bird the road through Mae Ping National Park. Possibilities include Banded Bay Cuckoo, Gray-headed Parakeet, Common Woodshrike, Rosy Minivet, Black-hooded Oriole, Giant Nuthatch, Rufescent Prinia, and Golden-fronted Leafbird in addition to woodpeckers. Transfer to Mae Wong National Park at mid-day, about a 5-hour drive. There should be some time for roadside birding in late afternoon. Mae Wong is the best place in Thailand for mammal watching after dark, so night drive to look for mammals as well as owls and nightjars. Night-time sightings of Leopard and Clouded Leopard occur regularly along the road. Night tent camping in the established campground an hour up the main road.

DAY 11 - MAE WONG

All day birding Mae Wong. This national park features more lush tropical broadleaf and montane forest, very unlike Mae Ping. Near the top of the road at Chong Yen ranger station is a stake-out where Coral-billed Scimitar-Babbler is normally seen. The blind behind the ranger station is the best place to see Gray Peacock-Pheasant, which appears about 70% of the time. It's worth spending time there in either morning, late afternoon, or both but visits must be coordinated with other visitors who also use the blind. Other target birds besides the peacock-pheasant are Rufous-throated Partridge and White-necked Laughingthrush. Birds usually seen along the short trail to the blind include Gray-backed Shrike and Black-throated Laughingthrush. A second blind next to a shallow bird bathing spot above the ranger station is also worth spending some time. The trail leading to that blind and the waterhole itself may yield Speckled Piculet, Striated Yuhina, Eyebrowed Wren-Babbler, Long-tailed Sibia, and Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher. This area is one of the few places in Thailand where the rare Burmese Yuhina is possible and it sometimes appears along that trail. Also possible but unlikely is a sighting of Rufous-necked Hornbill, which mainly stays in an area of Mae Wong closed to visitors but can sometimes be seen flying by in the valley below the lookout at Chong Yen. After dark it's again worth a night drive looking for mammals and owls. Night tent camping in the established campground an hour up the main road.

DAY 12 - MAE WONG & BUNG BORAPHET

Morning bird the upper section of the road at Mae Wong again. This morning is a second opportunity to visit the peacock-pheasant blind if other visitors were in the blind the previous day. Mid-day transfer to the area around Bung Boraphet in central Thailand, stopping for lunch en route. Afternoon birding lowland scrub and wetland areas a half hour south of town, best place to find Striated Grassbird. Other possibilities include Yellow Bittern, White-breasted Moorhen, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, and Long-tailed Shrike. This area is the best place to find wintering Siberian Rubythroat and is also good for species such as Pink-necked Pigeon, Plaintive Cuckoo, Gray-bellied Cuckoo, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Black-browed Reed-Warbler, and Chestnut-capped Babbler. Night at Bonito Chino Hotel in Nakhon Sawan.

DAY 13 - BUNG BORAPHET & TRANSFER

Morning boat trip on Bung Boraphet reservoir. The surface is partly covered with floating Lotus that offer prime habitat for Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Bronze-winged Jacana, and White-collared Kingfisher. Also present in winter are a variety of waterfall. Notable are Lesser Whistling-Duck, Cotton Pygmy-Goose, Garganey, and Ferruginous Duck. Accidentals such as Baer's Pochard and Common Shelduck have been recorded there. Mid-day transfer to Phetchaburi with possibly a stop at Ratchaburi. The habitat at Ratchaburi has been degraded but it's still a good place to find Indochinese Bushlark. Also possible though difficult is Rain Quail. After arrival and check-in, birding around the salt ponds at Laem Pak Bia looking for shorebirds. Night at Good Home Hotel in Phetchaburi.

DAY 14 - LAEM PAK BIA, PAK THALE, & TRANSFER

Morning birding around Laem Pak Bia looking especially for Nordmann's Greenshank, which regularly winters there. Other possibilities include Painted Stork, Chinese Pond-Heron, Javan Pond-Heron, Spot-billed Pelican, Brown Shrike, and Asian Pied-Starling. Late morning take boat out to the sandspit beyond the mangroves on the coast, best place to find Malaysian Plover, White-faced Plover, the latter a likely future split from Kentish Plover. Also likely are a variety of widely distributed wintering shorebirds along withy Brown-hooded Gull, Great Crested Tern, and Lesser Crested Tern. After lunch visit the Mangrove Research Center where Indian Cormorant, Red-wattled Lapwing, Slaty-breasted Rail, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Oriental Pratincole, White-winged Tern, Whiskered Tern, and Oriental Skylark are possible. Continue to Pak Thale, best place to find the endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper if it hasn't been seen at the previous sites. Numerous other wintering shorebirds along withy gulls, and terns are also present there during winter months. Late afternoon transfer to Kaeng Krachan, about a half hour drive. Night at Baan Maka Resort near Kaeng Krachan park entrance.

DAY 15 - KAENG KRACHAN

All day birding the road up the mountain in Kaeng Krachan. The habitat is is mixed with open woodland, bamboo stands, and lush montane forest. In April nests of many interesting species are often staked out, but earlier in the year birding along the road is dependent on what species happen to show. In the lower section of the road, possibilities include Oriental Pied-Hornbill, Greater Yellownape, Black-thighed Falconet, Black-and-red Broadbill, and Sultan Tit. Higher up an open area with several dead trees is where Buff-rumped Woodpecker and Black-and-buff Woodpecker are most likely found. A bit higher in lush forest along the road is the best place to find Ratchet-tailed Treepie, a species that often takes some time to find. Other interesting birds include Red-bearded Trogon, Great Barbet, Green-eared Barbet, Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Laced Woodpecker, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, and Rufous-fronted Babbler. The very localized Yellow-vented Pigeon is only possible at Kaeng Krachan and is often seen when suitable trees are in fruit along the road. Kalij Pheasant regularly comes out onto the roadway to give stellar views. Also possible are Silver-breasted Broadbill and Red-bearded Bee-eater. Night birding for owls and nightjars near the resort can be very productive. Night at Baan Maka Resort.

DAY 16 - KAENG KRACHAN

Another full day birding the road up the mountain. It's worth spending two full days birding the road as different species appear each day. Several established blinds and feeding stations that require visitors to bring their own blinds are present along the road. Sitting in a blind is the best way to see the rarely seen Ferruginous Partridge and the much more regularly seen Hooded Pitta. Kaeng Krachan is the only place where Rusty-cheeked Hornbill, a split from Brown Hornbill can be found. This hornbill is typically back in the forest and often difficult to find. In bamboo stands Collared Babbler and Gray-breasted Parrotbill sometimes appear. The huge Great Slaty Woodpecker is possible but infrequently seen. Night at Baan Maka Resort.

DAY 17 - BAAN SONG NUK, WAT KHAO LUK CHANG, & CHUMPHON

Morning visit the nearby hide at Baan Song Nuk. This site is the only place were Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush and Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush are regularly seen. It's also an excellent place to see the scarce Blue Pitta. Other birds that sometimes come in to the waterhole near the hide include Kalij Pheasant, Black-naped Monarch, Abbott's Babbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, and several species of bulbuls. Continue to Wat Khao Luk Chang, a Buddhist temple located a half hour away that has good habitat on the grounds. In addition to the tame White-handed Gibbons on an island, the site offers several good birds. The main target species are Spotted Owlet, Blue-throated Bee-eater, and Rufous Treepie, all normally seen there. Other interesting birds possible there are Cinnamon Bittern and Greater Painted-Snipe in the wetlands and Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Red-breasted Parakeet, Black-naped Oriole, Korean Flycatcher, and Eyebrowed Thrush in the open woodland. After lunch transfer to Chumphon, stopping en route to look for Manchurian Reed-Warbler. At Chumphon look for Venous-breasted Starling, best seen there. Night at Nana Buri Resort in Chumphon.

DAY 18 - CHUMPHON & KRUNG CHING

During winter months (through February), take a boat out to the mangroves near the river mouth to look for Pale-capped Pigeon, a very localized winter visitor to the area. In other months visit Kaeng Krung National Park instead. Possibilities there include Crested Serpent-Eagle, Black-bellied Malkoha, Rufous Piculet, Banded Woodpecker, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, and Rufous-crowned Babbler. After lunch transfer to Krung Ching, arriving in time to do some roadside birding before dark. An overlook is a good place to find Silver-rumped Needletail and Germain's Swiftlet. Night at Krung Ching Hill Resort

DAY 19 - KRUNG CHING

All day hike up the waterfall trail. Numerous good birds are possible, including Black-bellied Malkoha, Scarlet-rumped Trogon, the scarce and difficult to see Black-backed Dwarf-Kingfisher and Ruddy Kingfisher, several species of barbets, notably Sooty Barbet, Blue-eared Barbet, Red-throated Barbet, and Gold-whiskered Barbet, the erratically distributed and hard to find Maroon Woodpecker, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Rufous-winged Philentoma and the more scarce Maroon-breasted Philentoma, Fiery Minivet, Dark-throated Oriole, Gray-cheeked Bulbul, Gray-throated Bulbul, Yellow-bellied Bulbul, Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, and Brown Fulvetta. Krung Ching is especially good for babblers. Possibilities include Chestnut-winged Babbler, Black-throated Babbler, Gray-headed Babbler, Moustached Babbler, Black-capped Babbler, Short-tailed Babbler, Fluffy-backed Tit-Babbler, and Abbott's Babbler. The forest above the lunch pavilion higher up is a likely place to look for the rare Malaysian Rail-babbler, which can sometimes be drawn in by playback. The open area near the beginning of the trail may yield Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker and Yellow-vented Flowerpecker. Night at Krung Ching Hill Resort.

DAY 20 - KRUNG CHING & PHANG NGA

Morning bird a short trail near the beginning of the waterfall trail, looking especially for Rufous Kingfisher and Black-capped Babbler. Mid-day drive to Phang Nga to bird some boardwalks through mangroves along the coast. A small area of mangroves near the park entrance are often good for Ruddy Kingfisher and Brown-winged Kingfisher. Also possible there is Mangrove Pitta. Night at Manora Garden Hotel in Phang Nga

DAY 21 - PHANG NGA & BANGKOK

Morning visit some more extensive mangroves around Phang Nga to look for Mangrove Pitta as well as Golden-bellied Gerygone, Jungle Myna, and Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker. Mid-day transfer to Krabi for an afternoon flight back to Bangkok. Night at Aranta Airport Hotel.

DAY 22 - END OF TOUR

Morning transfer to Suvarnabhumi International Airport for flight home.

 

TOUR NOTES

Tour price is based on accommodations near birding sites, mainly Thai-style hotels with tent camping in Mae Wong. Utilizing western-style accommodations can be arranged but will result in a higher price and some changes to itinerary.

 

ADDITIONAL INFO
(Not on Menu Above)

BIRDING LOCALES

 

White-capped Redstart - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Snowy-browed Flycatcher - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Gray Peacock-Pheasant - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Black-throated Laughingthrush - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Silver Pheasant - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Violet Cuckoo - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Blue-tailed Bee-eater - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Malaysian Plover - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Asian Pied Starling - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Black-and-buff Woodpecker - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Ferruginous Partridge - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Kalij Pheasant - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Scarlet-rumped Trogon - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Gold-whiskered Barbet - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Brown-winged Kingfisher - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours