Share our Experience of Birding and Photography

Seasonal Tours

These tours are timed to run during annual events in the Thai birding calendar

 
 
We are currently offering two tours. One in October to take advantage of the raptor migration and one in May and June during the Pitta and Broadbill breeding season.
 
These can be run as group tours which gives single birders the opportunity to join a 10 day birding tour of Thailand for less then 1000 GBP.

 
 

A 10 day tour of central peninsular Thailand in search of raptors

During October over half a million raptors migrate through the peninsula on their way south for the winter.
This tour will concentrate on Khao Dinsor in Chumphon province where from the top of the hill we can see thousands of raptors flying through each day. Not all species come through at the same time so we will start and end the tour here in the hope of maximising the species count. For the central part of the tour we will visit Krung Ching NP and Khao Sok NP for resident raptors and other forest birds.
At Khao Dinsor, it takes about 30 minutes to walk to the top of the hill from where there are outstanding views to the North where the birds come from and the Gulf of Thailand to the East.
Kettles of birds, sometimes in their hundreds, can be seen. The birds then leave the top of the thermal in a stream looking for the next one.
When the conditions are right, the birds use the hill to shelter from the headwind and then swoop low over us, sometimes within metres.
This trip is ideal for photographers wanting to improve their "birds in flight" technique because if you miss one, there's probably another coming very soon.
 

Target Species

Accipiters
 
Chinese Sparrowhawk
Crested Goshawk
Japanese Sparrowhawk
Shikra
 
Hawk-Eagles
 



Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle
Wallace's Hawk-Eagle
 
Eagles
 




Booted Eagle
Grey-headed Fish-Eagle
Lesser Fish-Eagle
White-bellied Sea-Eagle
 
Buzzards
 




Crested Honey-Buzzard
Eastern buzzard
Grey-faced Buzzard
Rufous-winged Buzzard
 
Bazas & Harriers
 




Black Baza
Jerdon's Baza
Eastern Marsh Harrier
Pied Harrier
 
Falcons, Bat Hawk & Kites
 




Black-thighed Falconet
Oriental Hobby
Bat Hawk
Brahminy Kite
 
 
At Khao Sok we will take a longtail boat out on to the lake to look for raptors perching up on the snags. We will overnight on basic floating bungalows out on the lake. The scenery is breathtaking and we are likely to see many Hornbills and Kingfishers as well as raptors. We will also go out at night in the boat and use a searchlight to look for night birds and mammals.
 
The itinerary will be kept flexible to cater for fair or foul weather at Khao Dinsor which of course affects the migration. 

 

10 day tours of peninsular Thailand’s forests in search of Pittas, Broadbills, Hornbills, Kingfishers and local specials

We will visit a range of forests from the broadleaf evergreen forest of Hala Bala Wildlife Sanctuary on the Malaysian border to the mangroves of Phang Nga bay.

The timing of these tours has been chosen to coincide with the Pittas and Broadbills breeding period, May and June, when they are most active and likely to respond to call.
This is the start of the wet season but in the four years we have been running these tours the weather has never been a problem. Also the bulk of South Thailand's forest birds are resident so we will be missing only a few winter visitors.
The idea on this tour will be to keep the itinerary flexible in order to take advantage of what is currently showing well. We will have a rough plan but may leave or arrive at a location early or late depending on our successes. 
The following forests will be visited and together will form the core of the trip. Hala Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Phang Nga/Krabi mangroves, Khao Luang Krung Ching NP, Sri Phang Nga NP & Khao Sok NP.
 

Target Species

Pittas
Malayan Banded Pitta
Mangrove Pitta
Blue-winged Pitta
Hooded Pitta
 
Broadbills
 

Black-and-Red Broadbill
Banded Broadbill
Black-and-Yellow Broadbill
Green Broadbill
 
 
Silver-breasted Broadbill
Dusky Broadbill
 
Hornbills
 



Black Hornbill
Bushy-crested Hornbill
Great Hornbill
Helmeted Hornbill
 



Rhinocerous Hornbill
White-crowned Hornbill
Wreathed Hornbill
Wrinkled Hornbill
 
Kingfishers
 
Rufous-collared Kingfisher
Ruddy Kingfisher
Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher
Brown-winged Kingfisher
 


Blue-eared Kingfisher
Banded Kingfisher
Stork-billed Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher
 
Local specials
 



Malaysian Rail-Babbler
Great Argus
Malaysian Honeyguide
Short-toed Coucal
 
There are of course hundreds of other forest birds including Barbets, Woodpeckers, Raptors, Babblers, Trogons, Malkohas, Minivets and night birds.
 
We hope to run a series of tours through May and June. Some tours will start in Phuket and end in Narathiwat. Others will start in Narathiwat and end in Phuket.
 

Hala Bala Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the province of Narathiwat, an area of political insurgency. Narathiwat is currently included in some governments’ lists of areas that should not be visited. Any travel insurance you have may not be covered while at this location.

It is worth noting that neither the Sanctuary nor tourists are targets of the insurgents. We travel to and from the location during daylight hours and have never experienced any difficulties.
If you would prefer not to visit the area then we can instead visit Kaeng Krachan NP in the north of the peninsula which also offers excellent birding with a chance of Blue Pitta, Eared Pitta and Long-tailed Broadbill as well as many other species not found in the South.


 
2016/2017 Season - Schedule and prices
 
    • Raptor Tour - Oct 20 to Oct 29 - Starts and ends at Surat Thani - Four places available
    • Pitta & Broadbill Tour 01 - May 9 to May 18 - Phuket to Narathiwat - Four places available
    • Pitta & Broadbill Tour 02 - May 20 to May 29 - Narathiwat to Phuket - Four places available
    • Pitta & Broadbill Tour 03 - May 31 to June 9 - Phuket to Narathiwat - Four places available
    • Pitta & Broadbill Tour 04 - June 11 to June 20 - Narathiwat to Phuket - Four places available



      Internal flights to Surat Thani, Phuket and Narathiwat from Bangkok can be found at Air Asia’s website.

      Prices
      The final price depends on how many people book up for the tour. The idea behind this is that the more people in the car the more of a squeeze it is and hence the cheaper the trip should be. When booking we are also allowing people to say if they would like to limit the number of people on their tour. e.g. A couple can book a private tour or ask that only one other person join.
      80,000 Baht if only 1 person books
      48,000 Baht per person if 2 people book
      40,000 Baht per person if 3 people book
      35,000 Baht per person if 4 people book 
      A discount of 5000 Baht is given to any couple sharing a double room (not twin rooms as most hotels do not have them).
      This price includes road transport, accommodation, guide, NP fees, food and drinks.
      It does not include any flights or alcohol.
       
      Deposit

      20,000 Baht per person.

       

      Group size, Transportion & Accomodation

      We will be limiting each group to 4 guests plus guide and driver. This will maximise our chances of finding the birds.

      Each group will have its own 7-seater SUV.

      We will be staying in family run hotels near the various birding locations. The rooms will be basic but clean. Most will have air-conditioning and hot water but not all. At Bala we camp.
      Some trails will have obstacles like fallen trees on them and we will have to ford some streams so these tours are not suitable for anyone with mobility problems.
        

        
       
      Miss Punjapa Phetsri (aka Games)
      Site owner and guide.