Thailand was truly a wonderful trip! Markus is unbelievable in getting everyone on the bird! His recognizing and scoping of the birds is superb. Beyond this he is [also] a very kind man with a great personality who keeps things on an even keel, making sure there is lots of laughter. Because of this the group “gelled” very quickly . I plan to do more Rockjumper tours because of the information and encouragement he gave me and I hope he is the leader of at least some of the tours.
Our Central & Northern Thailand birding tours cover the major birding sites of this fascinating land in our search for some very beautiful specialties. Setting out from the ostentatious capital of Bangkok, we will first explore the forested hillsides of Khao Yai National Park where we will be overwhelmed by a vast array of broadbills, hornbills, bulbuls, babblers and barbets. After scanning the mudflats near Samuth Sakhon for migrant waders (including one of the world’s most sought-after and endangered, the Spoon-billed Sandpiper), we will continue to Kaeng Krachan. This park, offering unbroken rainforest scenery, supports one of the richest bird species lists in Southeast Asia. We will be kept enthralled sifting through an assortment of bee-eaters, pigeons, broadbills, laughingthrushes and leafbirds among many others. We will then fly north to Chang Mai where we explore the mountain forests of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s most famous birding site where a whole collection of uniquely Asian groups such as ioras, barwings, mesias, minlas, sibias, and niltavas will dazzle us with brilliant color and patterning. Hereafter we will bird through the mountains of Doi Angkhang on the border of Myanmar where we will continue finding representatives of unique groups including parrotbills, liocichlas, finchbills, bushchats and dazzling minivets. Other sites visited on our tour include Sab Sadou, Thaton and Doi Lang.
This tour is designed to take advantage of the incredible influx of migrants from the north, and an amazing compilation of resident Asian bird species. We will target a host of localized and range restricted species that might include such gems as Siamese Fireback, Great Hornbill, Banded Kingfisher, Silver-breasted and the huge Dusky Broadbill, the spectacular Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo, Blue and Eared Pittas, White-rumped Falcon, the stunning Black-headed and Great Slaty Woodpeckers, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, Grey Peacock-Pheasant, Green Cochoa, Black-throated and Spot-breasted Parrotbills, Scarlet-faced Liocichla, Giant Nuthatch and unbelievable Green Peafowl.
Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Green Peafowl, Silver Pheasant, Siamese Fireback, Great Hornbill, Banded Kingfisher, Silver-breasted & Dusky Broadbill, Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo, Blue & Eared Pitta, White-rumped Falcon, Black-headed & Great Slaty Woodpecker, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, Grey Peacock-Pheasant, Green Cochoa, Black-throated and Spot-breasted Parrotbill, Scarlet-faced Liocichla & Giant Nuthatch
White-handed Gibbon, Stump-tailed Macaque, Black Giant Squirrel
lowland and montane rainforests, mangroves, wetlands, coastal mudflats
generally hot and humid, cooler in highlands
moderate pace, undemanding walking on forest trails
Pagodas and temples, great food, rainforests, friendly people
Day 1: Arrival in Bangkok
After arriving at Bangkok International and transferring to a comfortable city hotel, you will be met by your Rockjumper leader. The tour officially begins at dinner this evening.
Day 2: Bangkok to Kaeng Krachan via Samutsakhon and Petchburi
This morning on our Thailand birding tour, we will drive south to the Gulf of Thailand in Samutsakhon province. Time will be spent exploring the mudflats, mangroves, saltpans and shrimp pools in search of the many special shorebirds that winter in this area. Top of the list is the endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper and we stand an excellent chance of finding this incredible rarity mixed in with the other waders! A number of other highly sought-after species can also be found here, such as Asian Dowitcher and Nordmann’s Greenshank, which are both becoming increasingly rare and difficult to find throughout their ranges. Greater Sand, Lesser Sand, Pacific Golden, Kentish and Little Ringed Plovers, Long-toed, Red-necked and Temminck’s Stints, Great Knot, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Brown-headed Gull, Whiskered, Caspian, Gull-billed, Common and Little Terns, Little and Indian Cormorants plus an abundance of other shorebirds can all be expected during the day. We may also find a few of the area’s scarcer but generally annual visitors such as Slender-billed Gull, Red-necked Phalarope and Far Eastern Curlew. Brahminy and Black Kites are often seen hunting over the surrounding area and we can expect our first introduction to many of Asia’s widespread species such as Red Turtle, Spotted and Zebra Doves, Black Drongo, Pied Myna and Scaly-breasted Munia. Other noteworthy and eye-catching species that we may see during our time in this bird-rich area include the beautiful Black-capped and Collared Kingfishers, Racket-tailed Treepie and Malaysian Pied Fantail.
Later in the day, we will do a short boat trip to Laem Pak Bia, a sand bar that is a particularly good site for the increasingly scarce Malaysian Plover. This spot is also a decent place to look for the rare Chinese Egret and the interesting dealbatus race of Kentish Plover, often called White-faced Plover. Following our boat trip we will give a short search for Golden-bellied Gerygone and any of the wader specialties that we may still require before continuing the drive through to Kaeng Krachan where we have a three-night stay.
Days 3 & 4: Kaeng Krachan National Park
The fantastic national park of Kaeng Krachan, established by the King of Thailand after a visit to the area in 1981, has the richest bird list in Thailand, exceeding 420 species! It is the largest national park in the country – over 3,000 square kilometres in extent – and is situated on the eastern side of the Tenasserim mountain range near the Burmese border. Many of the special birds in Kaeng Krachan are species from the southern portion of Thailand that reach their geographical northern limit here.
Our two full days in Kaeng Krachan will be spent scouring the beautiful, verdant forests that cloak the surrounding hills. We will cover most elevations and every habitat type, from the more open low elevation forest along the entrance road to the bamboo-cladded hills around the very top of the road. In the higher altitude forest around the hill-tops, we will search for the very special Ratchet-tailed Treepie, an extremely localized and rare species, especially in Thailand, as well as the lovely Red-bearded Bee-eater, rare Yellow-vented Green Pigeon, Little Cuckoo-Dove, Blyth’s Shrike-Babbler, Flavescent, Ochraceous and Buff-vented Bulbuls, Chestnut-flanked and Everett’s White-eyes, Dark-sided, Hill Blue and Verditer Flycatchers, Greater Green Leafbird, Yellow-vented and Plain Flowerpeckers, Black-throated Sunbird and the zippy Streaked Spiderhunter. Mixed species flocks will also be a feature of Kaeng Krachan and working these exciting waves of activity could produce Speckled and White-browed Piculets, Great Iora, Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher, the bamboo-dwelling Yellow-bellied Warbler, Striated Yuhina, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, Golden, Collared and Spot-necked Babblers and Brown-cheeked Fulvetta among many other species.
In the bamboo-dominated mid elevations we will seek out the vociferous Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo, Large Hawk Cuckoo, the rare, bamboo-specialist Bamboo Woodpecker, Banded Kingfisher, Black-and-yellow, Silver-breasted, Dusky (rare), and Banded Broadbills, the sneaky Rufous-browed Flycatcher, Puff-throated and Rufous-fronted Babblers, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, gorgeous Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker and Pin-striped Tit-Babbler. Driving along the forest track that leads up into the hills in the early morning and late afternoon will undoubtedly be our best opportunity of finding the shy Grey Peacock-Pheasant, Bar-backed Partridge and Kalij Pheasant. The former species is usually particularly shy and tough to see but we will try our best to obtain views of this spectacular Asian mega while bird watching in Thailand! If we are very fortunate, we might even connect with some of the reserve’s rare residents such as Rusty-naped Pitta or Ferruginous Partridge.
The most productive birding however is likely to be along the flat, entrance road that meanders through Kaeng Krachan’s lowland forest. The birding here can be superb in the early morning with highlights including Great Slaty, Streak-breasted, Crimson-winged and Rufous Woodpeckers, Greater Yellownape, Common and Greater Flamebacks, sought-after Black-thighed Falconet, Collared and Asian Barred Owlets, the tiny, fast-flying Vernal Hanging Parrot, Thick-billed and Wedge-tailed Green Pigeons, Green-billed Malkoha, Asian Emerald, Violet, Moustached Hawk and Banded Bay Cuckoos, Grey-rumped Treeswift, Germain’s Swiftlets in flight overhead, Blue-bearded and Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters, small, noisy flocks of Oriental Pied Hornbills, the uncommon Tickell’s Brown Hornbill, immaculate Green-eared, Blue-throated and Blue-eared Barbets, Ashy Woodswallow, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, bright red and glossy-black Scarlet Minivet, Black-naped Oriole, Bronzed, Hair-crested and the spectacular Greater Racket-tailed Drongos, Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher, Black-naped Monarch, noisy but shy and secretive groups of White-crested, Black-throated, Greater Necklaced and Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrushes, Large Scimitar Babbler, the magnificent Sultan Tit, Black-headed, Black-crested, Stripe-throated and Streak-eared Bulbuls, Dark-necked Tailorbird, Sulphur-breasted and Pale-legged Leaf Warblers, melodious White-rumped Shama, Asian Brown, Taiga, Hainan Blue and Chinese Blue Flycatchers, Blue-winged and Orange-bellied Leafbirds, the brilliant Ruby-cheeked, Olive-backed and Crimson Sunbirds, striking Black-and-red Broadbill and Yellow-eared Spiderhunter. We will also have a look at the small, seasonal ponds and pans along this road as these sometimes harbour White-throated and Black-capped Kingfishers, the shy and scarce Black Bittern, Chinese Pond Heron and White-breasted Waterhen, while in the more open areas we will also keep a lookout overhead for soaring raptors that could include Crested Honey Buzzard, Crested Goshawk, Besra and the impressive Mountain Hawk-Eagle. In the evenings we’ll try for Collared Scops Owl and Large-tailed and Indian Nightjars around our accommodation near the edge of the national park.
Mammal-wise me may be fortunate to see some of Kaeng Krachan’s fantastic species such as Yellow-throated Marten, Banded Surili, Dusky Leaf Monkey, Stump-tailed Macaque or White-handed (Lar) Gibbon. These are all generally scarce but we’ll certainly keep our eyes peeled for these lovely mammals.
Day 5: Kaeng Krachan National Park to Sab Sadao
This morning on our Thailand birding tour, we do a little birding around our resort where a few good birds can be found, including Indian Stone-curlew, Lineated Barbet, Rufous and Racket-tailed Treepies, Grey-breasted Prinia, Thick-billed and the skulking Lanceolated Warblers, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Vinous-breasted Starling and Eurasian Hoopoe.
Leaving this wonderful park, we travel to Sab Sadao. Our drive today will see us skirting around the metropolis of Bangkok as we head east. We will, however, have a few stops to enjoy some birding and lunch. Some of the possible species we will search for on the way include the attractive Cotton Pygmy Goose, Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed Jacanas, Yellow and Cinnamon Bitterns, Asian Openbill, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, and Asian Golden and Baya Weavers. On arrival, which is expected in the early evening, we will settle into our base for the night.
Day 6: Sab Sadao
Today we will leave early for the drive to Sab Sadao and spend a half day birding around the impressive deciduous Dipterocarp forests, a habitat most similar in flora and fauna to that of northern Cambodia. Species of note today include Rufous-winged Buzzard, Brown and Rufescent Prinias, the diminutive Collared Falconet, Spotted Owlet, increasingly scarce Burmese and Velvet-fronted Nuthatches, Blossom-headed and Red-breasted Parakeets, White-browed Fantail, Small Minivet, uncommon White-bellied and impressive Black-headed Woodpeckers (the former is Asia’s second-largest woodpecker, while the latter sports a unique combination of eye-searing yellows, greens and reds), Eurasian Jay, Radde’s Warbler and Indochinese and Large Cuckooshrikes. This open forest habitat tends to heat up quickly during the day so, in order to maximise our birding here, we will require an early start. In the afternoon, we will drive through to Khao Yai National Park, another of Thailand’s impressive reserves, where we will have a three-night stay.
Days 7 & 8: Khao Yai National Park
Two full days of our Thailand birding tour will be dedicated to exploring the densely forested hills and riversides of this exceptional reserve. Khao Yai protects one of the largest pristine tracts of tropical rainforest in Southeast Asia and holds a wide variety of bird and mammal species, including rarely seen Tiger, Dhole and Asian Elephant.
While exploring this verdant tropical habitat, an abundance of forest birds may be seen. Top of the most wanted list are the elegant Siamese Fireback and Silver Pheasant while others in the same family include Red Junglefowl and difficult Green-legged Partridge. We will also keep a careful watch for raptors which could include species such as Shikra, Grey-faced Buzzard, Black Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle and Black Baza. Oriental Pied Hornbill, Common Hill Myna, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Thick-billed Green Pigeon and the dazzling Asian Fairy-bluebird regularly visit fruiting trees and this is also where we’ll have a chance of the seeing the rare, nomadic and superb Golden-crested Myna. Mixed flocks attract species such as Greater Flameback, Black-headed, Grey-eyed, Stripe-throated and Puff-throated Bulbuls, White-bellied Erpornis, Pin-striped Tit-Babbler, Great Iora, Swinhoe’s Minivet, Large Woodshrike, Sulphur-breasted and Claudia’s Leaf Warblers, and the vibrant Sultan Tit.
The undergrowth in this fantastic park also provides shelter for several skulking species, including Blue and Eared Pittas and the elusive Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo. We will try our best to find these beautiful and much-wanted rarities but we will require a fair dose of luck, perseverance and patience to see them! Other forest interior skulkers and undergrowth inhabitants that we will be on the lookout for include the secretive Orange-headed and Siberian Thrushes, Common Green Magpie, Black-throated and charismatic White-crested Laughingthrushes, Hainan Blue and Mugimaki Flycatchers, Abbott’s, Puff-throated and Rufous-capped Babblers and Siberian Blue Robin. Additional star birds include Barred Cuckoo-Dove, incredible Great, Wreathed and Austen’s Brown Hornbills, Laced, Heart-spotted and Black-and-buff Woodpeckers, Orange-breasted and Red-headed Trogons, beautiful Long-tailed Broadbill, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, White-throated Rock Thrush, Alström’s Warbler and Olive-backed, Black-throated and Ruby-cheeked Sunbirds – to name but a few! Great Eared Nightjar, Collared Scops and Brown Hawk-Owl are possible nocturnal highlights, while mammals that occur include Pig-tailed Macaque, vociferous White-handed and the scarce Pileated Gibbons, Black Giant, Grey-bellied and Variable Squirrels, Sambar and Muntjac (Barking Deer).
Day 9: Khao Yai to Bangkok, flight to Chiang Mai
Following some final early morning birding, we will transfer to the airport after breakfast for a mid-afternoon flight to Chiang Mai. On our drive to Bangkok, we will make a stop at a Wat (place of worship) to search for the localised Limestone Wren-Babbler. If time allows, we will also make a short visit to Rangsit Marsh in Bangkok where numerous waterbirds occur and even though it will be midday, we should still have reasonable chances for finding Black-browed Reed and Pallas’s Grasshopper Warblers, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Oriental Pratincole, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Asian Openbill and White-shouldered Starling when some of the large trees are fruiting. White-browed Crake and Slaty-breasted Rail also occur but we would be lucky to find these species during the heat of the day. We will then board our flight to Chiang Mai where we will overnight at a comfortable hotel in town.
Day 10: Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon via Huai Hong Khrai
An early departure will take us to a nearby King’s Project by the name of Huai Hong Khrai in search of one of the world’s most spectacular birds – the beautiful Green Peafowl! We will spend the early part of the morning here searching for this incredible bird and may also find a few other species such as Black Baza, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Common Flameback, Red Junglefowl, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, the uncommon Rosy Minivet, Golden-fronted Leafbird and Eurasian Jay. Thereafter, we will transfer to Doi Inthanon for a three-night stay with opportunistic birding en route. Doi Inthanon is undoubtedly Thailand’s most famous birding site and at least 380 species have been recorded in this park, which also incorporates Thailand’s highest mountain. Many Palearctic and Himalayan species from further north reach their southern limit here due to the reserve’s vast contrast of habitat and elevation change. This ranges from 340m and rises to 2,565m, and fortunately for us, a traversable road runs all the way to the summit!
Days 11 & 12: Doi Inthanon National Park
Time will be spent birding the productive road to the summit where we will explore expanses of Dipterocarp woodlands, farmlands and moist evergreen forest. Near the top, there is also a sphagnum bog surrounded by Rhododendron trees where a number of interesting species can be found.
The dry woodlands at lower elevation hold avian specialities such as the tiny Collared Falconet, scarce White-rumped Falcon, Rufous Treepie, Black-hooded Oriole, Burmese Nuthatch, incredible White-bellied and Black-headed Woodpeckers (the latter four species are becomingly increasingly rare), Black-backed Forktail and Purple Sunbird. The evergreen forests at higher elevation are where we will spend the majority of our time, and over the two full days we can expect to find a good number of the below-mentioned species. Black-tailed Crake, Lesser Yellownape, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, Golden-throated and Great Barbets, Golden and Buff-breasted Babblers, Spectacled Barwing, splendid Silver-eared Mesia, Rufous-backed and Dark-backed Sibias, Large, Small, Rufous-bellied and Vivid Niltavas, Blyth’s and Clicking Shrike-Babblers, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Japanese and Yellow-cheeked Tits, Eye-browed, Chestnut and Grey-sided Thrushes, the secretive Slaty-bellied Tesia, Eye-browed Wren-Babbler, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Short-billed Minivet, White-throated and Yellow-bellied Fantails, Black, Striated, White-headed and Flavescent Bulbuls, Davison’s Leaf and Chestnut-crowned Warblers, Yunnan Fulvetta, Blue-winged Minla, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Hume’s Treecreeper and Yellow-vented and Fire-breasted Flowerpeckers are all on the target list.
While bird watching in Thailand, we will also take some time to enjoy some of the park’s impressive waterfalls and cascades. Besides offering some wonderful photo opportunities they also provide habitat for White-crowned and Slaty-backed Forktails and White-capped and Plumbeous Water Redstarts. The Rhododendron covered summit of Doi Inthanon holds a number of unique species that are almost impossible to find elsewhere in the country and we will make a special effort to bird this area during one of our mornings. Possibilities here include both Speckled and Ashy Wood Pigeons, Rufous-throated Partridge, Bar-throated Minla, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Yellow-browed Tit, Blyth’s, Ashy-throated and Buff-barred Warblers, the often confiding White-browed Shortwing, Pygmy Wren-Babbler, Dark-sided Thrush, Eurasian Woodcock, Silver-eared Laughingthrush, Snowy-browed Flycatcher and the gorgeous Mrs. Gould’s and Green-tailed Sunbirds.
The forests of Doi Inthanon also harbour a number of rare and seldom-recorded species such as the incredible Green and Purple Cochoas, Fire-capped Tit, Asian Stubtail and minute Black-throated Parrotbill, which we will naturally keep a sharp eye open for. We will also venture out in the evenings to an area near our accommodations in search of the tiny Oriental Scops Owl. Collared Scops Owl is also a possibility in this area; while nightjars here include Savanna and Indian.
Day 13: Doi Inthanon and transfer to Fang
After some final birding around our accommodations at Doi Inthanon, we transfer through to the northern town of Fang, which gives us excellent access to Doi Lang the following morning. This morning’s birding is sure to produce something good and we will particularly target the increasingly uncommon Blossom-headed Parakeet – this area being one of its last strongholds in the country. On previous Thailand birding tours we have even recorded Grey-headed Parakeet, these days a serious rarity. Other good species include Chestnut-tailed Starling, Striated Swallow, Black-hooded Oriole, Purple Sunbird, Racket-tailed and Rufous Treepies, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher and even Chinese Francolin. Later, on the drive north, we will make a few scheduled birding stops at sites for Wire-tailed Swallow and Green Sandpiper, and again at an area of rice paddies which can be good for Pied Harrier, Oriental Skylark, Common and Pintail Snipes, Greater Painted-snipe and Grey-headed Lapwing. Later in the afternoon, we will make a stop at the wonderfully positioned Chiang Dao Temple, situated in beautiful forest at the base of the imposing mountain of Doi Chiang Dao. The walk up to the temple can be quite productive for birding, and some good species including Streaked Wren-Babbler, Bay Woodpecker, Striated Yuhina, Purple-naped Sunbird, White-crowned Forktail and Pin-tailed Green Pigeon may be found. In the early evening we will then transfer through to Fang, our base for the next three nights.
Day 14: Doi Lang
This morning on our Thailand birding tour, we have an early departure as we strike out for the fabulous birding site of Doi Lang. The mountains here form a border with Myanmar and today we will have numerous views into this beautiful country. Our prime target for the early part of the morning is the rare and much desired Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant. One of the roads that lead to the summit of Doi Lang passes through an excellent stretch of this species’ preferred habitat and we stand a fair chance of finding this incredible pheasant! While searching for this species, we also stand good chances for finding Mountain Bamboo Partridge (another sought-after speciality) feeding at the roadside. Later on, we will bird this zone for the very special Giant Nuthatch, while other targets include Spot-breasted Parrotbill, Grey Treepie, Rufous-fronted and Yellow-eyed Babblers, Aberrant Bush and the recently described Claudia’s Leaf Warbler, Hill Prinia, White-bellied Redstart, Lesser Shortwing, Crested Finchbill, White-gorgeted, Slaty-blue, Ultramarine, Sapphire (rare) and Pale Blue Flycatchers, Cook’s Swift, Slender-billed and Maroon Orioles, White-browed Laughingthrush, Siberian Rubythroat, Little, Crested and Chestnut Buntings, and Common Rosefinch.
Day 15: Doi Lang & Thaton
This morning on our Thai birding tour, we again head up to Doi Lang to explore the riches of this mountain. If need be we can have another shot for some of the region’s tough species such as Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant and Giant Nuthatch before heading up to the mid and high elevation forests. These areas hold a superb variety of birds and we stand excellent chances of finding the vivid Scarlet-faced Liocichla. Other species occurring in this zone include Oriental Turtle Dove, pocket-sized Collared Owlet, Blue Whistling Thrush, Bay and Crimson-breasted Woodpeckers, Grey-backed Shrike, Black-throated Bushtit, Black-eared Shrike-Babbler, Slaty-backed and Rufous-gorgeted Flycatchers, Buff-throated Warbler, Black-throated Sunbird and Large and Small Niltavas. A number of rare species for Thailand have also been found on this particular mountain and possibilities include Rusty-naped Pitta, Red-tailed and Spot-breasted Laughingthrushes, Spot-winged Starling, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Grey-cheeked Warbler, Long-tailed Sibia, Himalayan Cutia and Scarlet Finch.
Access to the high reaches of Doi Lang has recently become an issue with the military having strict control of the area. There is also another potential road up Doi Lang that, if passable, can provide access to some slightly different habitat. Predicting access to the high elevation is almost impossible and we will have to see what the military’s stance is when we arrive. High elevation species that are only likely to be found if accessing this zone include Whiskered Yuhina, Red-flanked and Himalayan Bluetails and Chestnut-headed Tesia while Red-billed and Coral-billed Scimitar Babblers are really only possible if access via the alternative road to the top is possible.
This afternoon we will visit the Thaton area. Here we will explore an area of open farmlands, rice paddies and riversides for Pied and Eastern Marsh Harriers, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Bluethroat, Lesser Coucal, Baya and Streaked Weavers, Black-collared Starling, the now scarce Striated Grassbird, sneaky Baikal Bush Warbler, Barred Buttonquail, Indochinese and uncommon Horsfield’s Bush Larks, Red-throated Pipit, Citrine Wagtail, Red Avadavat and if lucky Yellow-breasted Bunting. The endangered Jerdon’s Bush Chat used to be found at this site, however, the habitat here has been severely altered by various farming activities and the once extensive Thaton Marsh is sadly now almost non-existent. This has put serious pressure on the habitat-specific Jerdon’s Bush Chat with the result being that the species is almost gone from this site now. We will, however, still keep our eyes open for this species as we bird the area.
Day 16: Fang to Doi Angkhang via Doi Lang
This morning we will leave Fang for one last morning on Doi Lang. Thereafter we will make our way a little further south towards the spectacular area of Doi Angkhang where we will have a two-night stay. Doi Angkhang is a rugged and scenic mountain that forms the border between Thailand and the country of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. The Thai government has established watershed protection and upland agricultural projects here to conserve the remaining forest patches and these areas are particularly productive for birding.
Day 17: Doi Angkhang
Today we have a full day to explore this superb area. Doi Angkhang is famous for holding many great species, including the seldom seen Spot-breasted and Pale-billed Parrotbills, Mountain Bamboo Partridge, Daurian Redstart, Crested, Chestnut and Little Buntings, Brown-breasted Bulbul, Crested Finchbill, Rusty-cheeked and White-browed Scimitar Babblers, Mountain Tailorbird, Yellow-streaked Warbler, Russet Bush Warbler, Pied and Grey Bush Chats, White-browed and Speckled Piculets, Long-tailed Minivet, Bianchi’s and Marten’s Warblers, shy White-necked Laughingthrush, Spot-throated Babbler, White-gorgeted Flycatcher, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Japanese White-eye, Olive-backed Pipit and Striated Yuhina, amongst many others!
We will also take the time to visit one of the area’s King’s Projects, which can be a particularly productive site for finding thrushes such as Black-breasted, Eye-browed and Grey-sided. The King’s Project is also a good area for Hill Blue Flycatcher, stunning Rufous-bellied Niltava, White-tailed Robin, Plain Flowerpecker, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Maroon Oriole and Spot-winged Grosbeak. At night we will go out and search for the rare Hodgson’s Frogmouth, a species that resides in these mountains. We will no doubt hear Mountain Scops Owl calling and will also put some time into trying to locate one of these notoriously difficult-to-view owls. Giant Nuthatch and the remarkable Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant also inhabit this mountain, though we will require a very healthy dose of luck to see these rare species at this site!
Day 18: Doi Angkhang to Chiang Mai flight to Bangkok and departure
A final morning will be spent birding at Doi Angkhang before our drive down to Chiang Mai for the internal flight to Bangkok where the main tour concludes. For those doing the extension (see below), we will overnight in Bangkok this evening and begin the extension the following day.
What our clients say about tours to Thailand
- PSR, Thailand
I just want to say a big thank you to Alison and the Rockjumper team for an absolutely fantastic trip through Thailand recently. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and successful trip. Also, I must comment Nigel Redman, who is an exceptional guide, with a vast knowledge of birds (in Thailand and beyond), as well as a keen knowledge of recent taxonomic changes in Asian birds, and for his management of the trip and the group. Luckily for me, this was my first time birding in Asia, so I managed upwards of 330 lifers!GS, Thailand 2017
Markus is brilliant, very friendly and outgoing, and hugely determined to get you to see all the birds … He is truly genuine, a remarkable young man.FM, Thailand
In the field, Keith and the local “Zen Birding Master’’ Uthai were an unbeatable combination. Their knowledge, persistence and patience were greatly appreciated. They tried to make sure everyone got the birds and were willing to go to great lengths to do so. Both had a great sense of humour and were a pleasure to travel with.PN & PN, Thailand