|# Excl Vagrants*:||157|
|# Near Endemics*:||0|
|*Based on partial or incomplete data.|
|Habitat: Beach, peat forest, mangroves, woodland, old rice paddy fields, lake, marsh, old golf course|
ABOUT THE BIRDING
Thai Muang National Park is separated into two sections. The eastern section is covered with tropical rainforest. The beach section features mangroves as well as sandy beaches and beach forest. The park was originally established to protect nesting Leatherback Turtles, Green Sea Turtles, and Hawksbill Turtles. Some interesting mammals are present but difficult to see including Lar Gibbon, Malayan Sun Bear, Palm Civet, and Malayan Tapir.
Birding the beach section offers many possibilities. The first 4km of road parallels the beach and is lined on one side by mixed beach forest. Interesting birds include Green Imperial-Pigeon, Pied Imperial-Pigeon, Collared Kingfisher, Coppersmith Barbet, Lineated Barbet, Common Iora, and Greater Racket-tailed Drongo. Near the end of the road is an abandoned tin mine where bee-eaters roost. A dirt trail beyond the mine is lined with shrubs and small trees and can be very good. Shorebirds are often found on the beach, and rarities are always possible. During migration season several species of raptors roost in the trees.
In addition to the national park, several sites around town are very good, especially the marsh, abandoned golf course, and fields southwest of town. There is also an extensive section of beach, which is unfortunately for birders under development. Quite a few rarities have been reported from this area. It's best visited with a guide who knows the area. Due to development projects underway, it's necessary to get advance permission to visit many of the best areas.
LOCATION OF SITE
Thai Muang National Park is located in southern Thailand 75km north of Phuket and aboutn 60km west of Phang Nga. Other good birding sites are located south of Thai Muang town along the coast.