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Peter Ericsson | profile | all galleries >> Tripreports! >> Central and Northern Thailand 3 - 16 of Feb, 2017 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Central and Northern Thailand 3 - 16 of Feb, 2017

Central and Northern Thailand
3-16th of February, 2017

Guide and organizer: Peter Ericsson
Tour leader: Gigi Sahlstrand
Participants: Bosse Danielsson, Lars Svantesson, Charlotte Naucler, Ingvor Kasselstrand and Britta Svensson

This was to become my 2nd year with Gigi Sahlstrand and her birding friends from Sweden.

The group this year was limited to one vehicle which meant 5 participants, 1 overseas tour leader, me and the driver of a large comfortable Commuter van.

Day 1.
Pick up at the airport where the group came through around 8:30. We immediately set off for the province of Petchaburi South West of Bangkok. Traffic was thick and it took quite some time before we could do some actual birding. Instead of rushing to the Spoon-billed Sandpiper spot we instead stopped at a couple of places with scrub and wetlands. Many common but very striking birds for 1st time visitors to Thailand. A good way to get initiated to the bird life here.

Green Bee-eater, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Common and Great Myna, Painted and Openbill Storks, Pied Starlings, Bronze-winged Jacanas, various Egrets, Germains Swiftlets, Asian Palm Swift, Asian Koel, Asian Golden Weaver, Black-winged Kite, Oriental Honey Buzzard, White-throated and Common Kingfisher, Ashy Woodswallow and many more birds were seen.

We then went for our first sumptuous meal of the renowned Thai cuisine. A restaurant by the beach with the sounds of waves rolling in was very welcomed. At the seaside one has to sample the local seafood and so we did.

The tidal schedule is changing dramatically this time of year and the outgoing tide quickly went down. But first we boarded our 2 boats with local fishermen turned skilled birder and off we set for a 20 minute drive through the mangroves.

All the 3 target birds showed very well: White-faced Plover, Malaysian Plover and Chinese Egret. All very unique birds found in small numbers anywhere in their distribution range.

We were also treated to a good number of terns: Whiskered, Little, Common, Greater Crested and Caspian. With the terns also good numbers of Brown-headed Gull and then a massive adult Pallasís Gull came in to steal the show.

The ride back was dotted with sightings of monitor lizards, fruit bats (flying foxes) and exposed mudflats with huge numbers of waders.

It was 5 pm and time to go to our seaside hotel. Some folks decided to go for a swim in the ocean and others took a rest in their rooms. In the hotel garden some were rewarded with a Freckled-fronted Woodpecker, a bird found only in open areas like this.

Dinner at a nice authentic Thai restaurant, again fresh shrimps in a mild curry, chicken with cashew nuts and stir fried mixed vegetables that made sure no one was left hungry.

Day 2.
Great sumptuous buffet breakfast at our hotel by the beach and off to Paktaley for the main reason most birders visit Thailand: Spoon-billed Sandpiper!

As it was we were able to watch 3 different birds for the longest of times. Very satisfying to be able to do so with one of the most iconic birds of the birding world.

We also had great looks at the other major target bird: Nordmannís Greenshank with our first flock of about 35 birds and a 2nd with around a dozen. Loads and loads of waders in the salt pans this morning and since everyone in the group had brought a scope we were all able to view and absorb to our heartís content.

The last major target was Asian Dowitcher and it took a fair bit of work but finally we had 2 birds in view. This was good as 2 other groups of birders had been searching for the same birds but without success.

Some of our birds seen: Great Knot (thousands), Long-toed Stints, Ruff, Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits, Eurasian and Far Eastern Curlew (4 birds), Lesser and Greater Sand Plovers, Kentish, Pacific Golden and Grey Plover, Temmincks and Red-necked Stint, Curlew, Broad-billed, Marsh, Wood and Common Sandplovers, Common and Spotted Redshanks,
The team
The team
off to the sandspit
off to the sandspit
Enjoying Spoonie!
Enjoying Spoonie!
Leisurely walk at KK!
Leisurely walk at KK!
Great Egret
Great Egret
Chinese Egret
Chinese Egret
Purple Heron
Purple Heron
Little Grebe
Little Grebe
Pied Harrier
Pied Harrier
Eastern Marsh Harrier
Eastern Marsh Harrier
Streaked Spiderhunter
Streaked Spiderhunter
Red-headed Trogon
Red-headed Trogon
Long-tailed Broadbills
Long-tailed Broadbills
Grey-sided Thrush
Grey-sided Thrush
Dark-sided Thrush
Dark-sided Thrush
Orange-headed Thrush
Orange-headed Thrush
Slaty-bellied Tesia
Slaty-bellied Tesia
Snowy-browed Flycatcher
Snowy-browed Flycatcher
Slaty-blue Flycatcher
Slaty-blue Flycatcher
Slaty-blue Flycatcher
Slaty-blue Flycatcher
Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler
Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler
Siberian Rubythroat
Siberian Rubythroat
Silver-eared Mesia
Silver-eared Mesia
Daurian Redstart
Daurian Redstart
Black-throated Bush Tit
Black-throated Bush Tit
Hume's Phesants
Hume's Phesants
Banded Langur
Banded Langur
Lesser Mouse Deer
Lesser Mouse Deer