Share our Experience of Birding and Photography

Off the Beaten Track

 
When building an itinerary for a tour we of course base it around locations which are often visited due to their accessibility and the number and quality of birds that can be seen there. This page deals with those locations rarely visited because of their inaccessibility or scarcity of birds. They all, though, have at least one species that makes it worth the effort. The inaccessibility might be due to a long drive, a boat journey or an arduous trek through the forest. Hiring boats in Thailand is expensive and time consuming. Whether or not it is worth visiting these locations comes down to the cost in time, money and effort balanced against the potential prizes to be had. For each location mentioned below we will show what the overheads are and what species might make it worth your while.

If you are thinking of booking a tour with us you might want to read through this page and then let us know if you would like to include any of the locations in your itinerary.

South Thailand

 

Khao Luang

 
Turquoise-throated Barbet
 
 
 
 
Target Species - Turquoise-throated Barbet (endemic to this mountain)
 
Overheads - Two hard walks and camping (or one long day if you feel lucky)
 
Time - Two half days
 
Season - January to September
 
 
 
 
 

Phi Phi Island

 
Lesser Frigatebird
 
 
 
 
Target Species - Christmas Frigatebird, Lesser Frigatebird
 
Overheads - two ferry trips and an overnight stay on Phi Phi
 
Time - One afternoon and one morning
 
Season - All year
 
 
 
 
 

Krabi rivermouth

 
Nordmann's Greenshank
 
Chinese Egret
 
 
 
Target Species - Nordmann's Greenshank, Chinese Egret
 
Overheads - A boat trip
 
Time - One afternoon or one morning

Season - November to March
 
 
 
 

Similan Islands

 
Nicobar Pigeon
 
 
 
 
Target Species - Nicobar Pigeon
 
Overheads - Two boat trips and an overnight on the islands
 
Time - Two full days (can be visited on a one day trip but only two hours are spent on the island and the bird can easily be missed

Season - November to April
 
 
 
 

Pra Thong Island

 
Lesser Adjutant
 
Grey-headed Fish-Eagle
 
Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon
 
 
 
Target Species - Lesser Adjutant, Grey-headed Fish-Eagle, Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon
 
Overheads - Two boat trips, exposed and hot
 
Time - One full day

Season - January to April

 

Surin Islands

 
Beach Stone-curlew
 
Great-billed Heron
 
 
 
 
Target Species - Beach Stone-Curlew, Large Green Pigeon, Great-billed Heron, Nicobar Pigeon
 
Overheads - Three boat trips and an overnight on the islands
 
Time - Two full days (it can be visited on a one day trip but only a few hours are spent on the island and the birds can easily be missed

Season - November to March


Khlong Saeng 1

 
Great Argus
 
Maroon-breasted Philentoma
 
Olive-backed Woodpecker
 
Malaysian Hawk-cuckoo
 
 
Target Species - Great Argus and other rare forest birds. Also Asian Elephant, Gaur and other mammals.
 
Overheads - Two boat trips and a hard forest trek. This trip is done from the back of Khao Sok reservoir which we often visit as part of our tours anyway.
 
Time - One full day

Season - All year

 

Khlong Saeng 2

 
Asian Elephant
 
Gaur
 
Smooth Otter
 
White-handed Gibbon
 
 
Target Species - Storm's Stork and other rare forest birds. Also Asian Elephant, Gaur and other mammals.
 
Overheads - Two boat trips and a hard forest trek. This trip is done from the back of Khao Sok reservoir which we often visit as part of our tours anyway.
 
Time - One full day

Season - All year

 

Chumphon rivermouth

 
Pale-capped Pigeon
 
 
 
 
Target Species - Pale-capped Pigeon
 
Overheads - A boat trip. This is done as part of an overnight stop while driving between south Thailand and central Thailand 
 
Time - One afternoon or one morning

Season - November to February
 
 
 
 
 

South-East Thailand

Man Islands

 
Fairy Pitta
 
Japanese Paradise Flycatcher
 
Mugimaki Flycatcher
 
 
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher
 
 
Target Species - Fairy Pitta, Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Himalayan Cuckoo, Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, Mugimaki Flycatcher, yellow-vented Flycatcher and many more.
 
Overheads - A long drive and two boat trips
 
Time - Three days (includes driving time)

Season - April (These are northbound passage migrants falling out onto an island)

 
 

North-East Thailand

Mekong River

 
Mekong Wagtail
 
Great Stone-curlew
 
 
 
Target Species - Mekong Wagtail, Great Stone-Curlew
 
Overheads - A long drive
 
Time - Three days (includes driving time)

Season - March to June
 
 
 
 

Phu Khiao WS

 
Austen's Brown Hornbill
 
 
 
 
Target Species - White-winged Duck, Austen's brown Hornbill (plus many other birds)
 
Overheads - A long drive
 
Time - Three days (includes driving time)

Season - November to March
 
 
 
 
 

Phu Suan Sai NP

 
Indochinese Yuhina
 
Rufous-throated Fulvetta
 
 
 
Target Species - Short-tailed Parrotbill, Indochinese Yuhina, Rufous-throated Fulvetta, Blue-naped Pitta (plus many other birds)
 
Overheads - A long drive
 
Time - Three days (includes driving time)

Season - November to March
 
 
 
 

North Thailand

Chiang Saen lake

 
Baer's Pochard
 
 
 
 
Target Species - Baer's Pochard (plus other ducks)
 
Overheads - A boat trip
 
Time - One afternoon

Season - December to March
 
 
 
 
 

Doi Phu Kha NP

Beautiful Nuthatch
Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch
 
 
 
 
 
Target Species - Beautiful Nuthatch, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch (plus many other birds)
 
Overheads - A long drive, a steep walk
 
Time - Three days (includes driving time)

Season - November to March