Share our Experience of Birding and Photography

Phang Nga Province

 

The province of Phang Nga is located just North of Phuket and is where we usually take guests who book a two or three day birding trip from Phuket. We also do long one day trips for those keen to get off Phuket Island.

It is host to huge tracts of primary rain forest, has three mangrove walkways, a sand spit popular with waders, remote islands with rare birds and an abandoned golf course perfect for open area birding.
 
 

Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary




Banded Kingfisher
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
Blue Rock Thrush
Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha
 
Crested Serpent Eagle
Everett's White-eye
Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher
Grey-headed Fish-Eagle
Purple-naped Sunbird
 
Ton Pariwat lies at the Southern tip of the stretch of forest that includes Khao Sok NP and Sri Phang Nga NP. It is only an hour north of Phuket and so we offer it as part of a one-day birding trip starting in Phuket. It is most active from 7am to 10am and during this time we usually see around 40 forest species. the birding is done mainly from the road but there is a stretch of trail that is worth doing to look for birds of the deeper forest. 
 
 

Phang Nga Mangroves

 
Chestnut-bellied Malkoha
Ruddy Kingfisher
Brown-winged Kingfisher
Mangrove Pitta
Ashy Tailorbird
 
Black-and-Red Broadbill
Copper-throated Sunbird
Mangrove Whistler
Small Minivet
Black-hooded Oriole
 
There are three areas of mangrove we visit in Phang Nga.
 
At the Ao Phang Nga NP headquarters there is a short walkway which can be good for Brown-winged Kingfisher and Black-and-Red Broadbill.
 
Towards Phang Nga town is the Phang Nga Mangrove Park. This is a small stand of protected mature mangrove with a system of walkways beneath the canopy. An unlikely place to find birds as it is bounded on three sides by busy roads. However, it is very popular with local birders who make a point of calling in on their way through Phang Nga on the off-chance of seeing something interesting. Birds we have seen here include Mangrove Pitta, Black-and-Red Broadbill, Streak-breasted Woodpecker, Ruddy Kingfisher and Von Schrenck's Bittern.
 
The best walkway though is at Bang Phat. This area is the good for Copper-throated Sunbird, Mangrove Whistler, Black-hooded Oriole and Small Minivet. 
 
 

Thai Muang Golf Course (currently closed to the public due to development)

 
 
Black-headed Ibis
River Lapwing
Rosy Starling
Chestnut-tailed Starling
Chestnut-cheeked Starling
 
This abandoned golf course north of Phuket is the perfect environment for open area birding. The presence of grassy fields,  ponds, tall trees, beaches and lagoons mean that the area is full of birdlife. 50 species in a morning is not uncommon.
 
Among the Interesting birds here are Purple-backed Starling, Chestnut-cheeked Starling, River Lapwing, Eurasian Hoopoe, Booted Eagle and Peregrine Falcon.
 
 

Thai Muang beach, marshes and paddyfields


Spotted Wood Owl
Eastern Marsh-Harrier
Slaty-breasted Rail
Yellow Bittern
Oriental Pratincole
 
The coastal scrub behind Thai Muang beach offers good open area birding with a day roost for Spotted Wood Owl being the highlight. Other good birds seen here are Little Bronze Cuckoo and Eurasian Hoopoe.
 
At the marshes and paddyfields we find Eastern Marsh-Harrier, Black Bittern, Watercock and many other marshland birds.  It is a good place to visit in the afternoon as most birds can still be found then.
 
 

Sri Phang Nga NP

Bushy-crested Hornbill
Great Hornbill
Malayan Banded Pitta
Banded Woodpecker
Black-naped Monarch
 

Buffy Fish Owl
Gould's Frogmouth
Green Broadbill
Grey-breasted Spiderhunter
Hooded Pitta
 
Large Blue Flycatcher
Rufous Piculet
Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle
Rufous-collared Kingfisher
Rufous-fronted Babbler
 
This park forms part of the large mountain range that runs down the centre of the peninsula and it borders Khao Sok NP. The HQ is approached from the Phuket-Ranong road on the west coast. There are many trails from the HQ to the various waterfalls in the vicinity. The park is well maintained and is a pleasant place to visit for a day or two. The 1km long track/trail to Tam Nang waterfall offers the best birding opportunities. In recent years Malayan banded Pitta and the rare Large Blue Flycatcher have been staked out and are easy to photograph in season.  
 
We usually start at the open area at the HQ at dawn where we watch for hornbills. From there we move onto the track to the waterfall which is good for Broadbills, Bulbuls, Barbets, Babblers and other forest birds. During lunch back at the HQ we keep an eye out for raptors over the forest after which we check out what is coming in to the hides. 
 
 

Laem Pakarang

 
Chinese Egret
Bar-tailed Godwit
Crab Plover
Eurasian Curlew
Grey-tailed Tattler
 
A long sandbar with a rocky headland, this is the best place on the north-west coast of the peninsular for waders and Terns. Grey tailed tattler and Malaysian Plover can usually be found with a little patience. Sometimes rarer birds like Chinese Egret, Beach Thick-knee and Crab Plover drop in too.
 
We usually call in for an hour or two if we are in the area. 
 
 

Queen's Park

 
 
 
Coppersmith Barbet
Rufous-bellied Swallow
Jungle Myna
Blue Whistling Thrushl
Indian Pond Heron
 
Queen's Park is near Phang Nga Town and is worth a visit in the late afternoon to look for the Black-thighed Falconets which roost in holes on the cliffs in the park. It is also a good place to pick up jungle Myna, Blue Whistling Thrush, Pink-necked Green Pigeon and Rufous-bellied Swallow. A two hour walk around the various habitats will usually get you 30 to 40 species and in season Blue-winged Pitta can be found.
 
 
All the photographs shown on this page were taken by ourselves in Phang Nga province
 
 
 
 
Miss Punjapa Phetsri (aka Games)
Site owner and guide.
 
 
Blyth's Frogmouth
 
 
Rufous-winged Philentoma
 
 
 Scarlet-rumped Trogon
 
 
  Tiger Shrike
 
 
 Violet Cuckoo
 
 
 Wallace's Hawk-Eagle
 
 
 White-rumped Shama
 
 
Scaly-breasted Bulbul
 
 
Black-headed Bulbul
 
 
Asian Fairy Bluebird
 
 
Raffles' Malkoha
 
 
Spectacled Bulbul
 
 
Streaked Bulbul
 
 
Stripe-throated Bulbul
 
 
Thick-billed Flowerpecker
 
 
Tiger Shrike
 
 
Hairy-backed Bulbul
 
 
Large Woodshrike
 
 
Ochraceous Bulbul