KRABI RIVER & TOWN
|# Excl Vagrants:||491|
|# Near Endemics:||2|
|Habitat: Mangroves, river, urban waterfront|
ABOUT THE BIRDING
There are two main birding locales along the Krabi River, namely mangrove boat trips and the mangrove boardwalk. The best approach is to explore the mangroves by boat. A boat trip can produce target species such as Chinese Egret, Nordmann's Greenshank, Great Knot, and Brown-winged Kingfisher. Mangrove Pitta is most easily seen by getting out of the boat. They're most vocal in the morning. Chestnut-bellied Malkoha, Ruddy Kingfisher, Black-and-red Broadbill, and Mangrove Blue Flycatcher are also present in and around the mangroves. The latter is easily confused with Hill Blue Flycatcher and Blue-throated Flycatcher, also present in the mangroves. Other birds of interest include Chinese Pond-Heron, Terek Sandpiper, Great Crested Tern, and Lesser Crested Tern. Also possible though rare is Indian Pond-Heron. It's important to go out when the tide is in, since the tide recedes a very long distance when it goes out.
An alternative to a boat trip is walking the boardwalk through the mangroves. The walkway is only a kilometer long so it needs to be walked several times. This is a good place to find Brown-winged Kingfisher and Mangrove Pitta, so it is worth exploring before going out on a boat trip.
The riverfront in Krabi is also of interest, especially at low tide when a variety of sandpipers are present in winter. Plenty of pond-herons are present, including a few Javan Pond-Herons and occasionally an Indian Pond-Heron. Other birds of interest include Brahminy Kite and White-bellied Sea-Eagle soaring above the town and Asian Glossy Starling around the buildings near the long-tailed boat moorage. Also, the mangroves can be accessed from the Maritime Park and Spa a kilometer north of town. The staff are happy to let birders in.
LOCATION OF SITE
Krabi River is located on the western coast of southern Thailand. The town of Krabi is 9-10 hours by car from Bangkok, so it's best to combine this area as part of a tour of the south.