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!
Thailand is the quintessential birdwatching destination in Southeast Asia, and our Thailand birding tours showcase the nation’s wide array of available habitats, in our quest to see some very special species.
Our Northern & Central: Asian Birding at its Best 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.
Our Southern Thailand: Rainforest Birding extension showcases the rich lowland forest ecosystem of peninsula Thailand, supporting many seldom-seen bird species. During this extension, we will be targeting a wonderful array of lowland forest specialities, including Blue-winged, Mangrove and Malayan Banded Pittas, Black Magpie, Red-crowned Barbet, and an assortment of colourful kingfishers and broadbills. The nocturnal birding here is also fabulous and we stand good chances of finding Oriental Bay Owl, Barred Eagle-Owl, Spotted and Brown Wood Owls, and Gould’s and Blyth’s Frogmouths. Furthermore, we will explore the nearby mangroves by boat and enjoy a day trip to the Similan Islands to find the brilliant Nicobar Pigeon, among other local specialities.
Our new Thailand Highlights tour is designed around the very best birding sites in Northern and Central Thailand, offering a superb selection of spectacular and sought-after Southeast Asian specials, along with a huge array of migrants from the north, which spend the frigid winters in these warmer climates. Time will be spent exploring the wetlands near Bangkok where we stand excellent chances of finding the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmann’s Greenshank and Chinese Egret. Major reserves visited include Kaeng Krachan, Khao Yai and Doi Lang where targets include the stunning Green Peafowl, Siamese Fireback, Silver Pheasant, gorgeous Silver-breasted Broadbill, Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo, Blue Pitta, White-rumped Falcon, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, Green Cochoa – and much more! In addition, culturally Thailand has few equals, and you will have opportunities to visit some of the many spectacular pagodas and shrines that adorn this friendly, varied and spectacular land. This is a short yet comprehensive alternative to our longer Northern & Central: Asian Birding at its Best tour, and is suitable for both birders and non-birding spouses alike.