Single Room Supplement:
Relaxed but intensive with early morning excursions and one or two steeper climbs. Some later finishes also.
Six plus Leader
Date: 25th March - 8th April 2018 [SPACES]
Leaders: Nick Upton
DAYS ONE & TWO
Catch the overnight flight from London to Bangkok. Upon arrival in the early morning of day two, we will transfer to our hotel in Petchaburi approximately two hours away and our base for the next two nights. Before lunch, we should have time to visit nesting colonies of Asian Golden Weaver, Baya Weaver and Streaked Weaver all in their smart breeding plumage. We can also check out some large fish ponds for Black-headed Ibis and Painted Stork, perhaps even Spot-billed Pelican at this time of year and we should certainly be able to see Javan and Chinese Pond Herons in breeding plumage. After check in, lunch and a short rest, we will head back out to some rice fieldswhere we can find a variety of wetland birds such as Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas, Yellow Bittern, Purple Heron, Cotton Pygmy Goose, White-browed Crake, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Oriental Reed Warbler, Oriental Darter and Black-browed Reed Warbler. We should be able to end the day with Stork-billed Kingfisher and perhaps Eastern Marsh Harrier and Pied Harrier coming in to roost.
Overnight on day one on board the aircraft and day two in Sun Hotel Petchaburi
Following an early breakfast, we will head straight to Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia, where there will be a wide variety of shorebirds, many of them in breeding dress. There should still be Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann's Greenshank in the area as well as Far Eastern Curlew, but we will certainly see Kentish Plover, Lesser and Greater Sand Plovers, Curlew Sandpiper, Long-toed and Red-necked Stints, Great Knot, Marsh Sandpiper, Temminck's Stint, Spotted Redshank, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Eastern Black-tailed Godwit and Ruff among others. In fact it should be quite possible to find forty species in a day here and we should also be able to find Asian Dowitcher on passage and perhaps a surprise or two! One of the highlights of the day will be a boat trip to a sand spit where we can find breeding Malaysian Plovers as well as White-faced Plover, Chinese Egret, Pacific Reef Egret and lots of roosting terns including Greater and Lesser Crested, Little, Common, Gull-billed, Caspian, Whiskered and White-winged Terns. Hopefully there will be a few larger gulls such as a Pallas's or Heuglin's among the Brown-headed Gulls. There should also be time to visit an area where Oriental Pratincole and Oriental Sky Lark nest. This amazing day of birding will finish with Indochinese Bushlark, Plain-backed Sparrow, Indian Nightjar and hopefully some migratory starlings such as White-shouldered and Purple-backed Starling.
Overnight at Sun Hotel, Petchaburi
We take a forty minute drive to a patch of dry woodland at Wat Khao Look Chang in the morning where our main target is the stunning Black-headed Woodpecker. Other species we should see include Lineated and Coppersmith Barbets, Asian Barred Owlet, Spotted Owlet, Rufous Treepie, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Red-breasted Parakeet, and at this time of year there should be a few migrants passing through and there is a good chance of Black Baza, Grey-faced Buzzard and Oriental Honey Buzzard. Following this, we will head to our accommodation for a short rest and lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit one of the hides that are located in very dry habitats outside Kaeng Krachan National Park. There is always a good display of birds here coming to drink and bathe with regulars including Scaly-breasted and Bar-backed Partridges, Lesser and Greater Necklaced Laughinghrushes, Black-naped Monarch, Racket-tailed Treepie, Large Scimitar Babbler, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Abbott's and Puff-throated Babblers and as migrants pass through there is a god chance of a few surprises here. Mammals shopuld include the charming Lesser Mouse Deer.
Overnight at Ban Maka.
We spend a full day in Kaeng Krachan NP. The morning will be spent in the lowlands where we will target Great and Oriental Pied Hornbills, Black-and-red and Silver-breasted Broadbills, Heart-spotted Wodpecker, Greater Flameback, Greater Yellownape, Black-thighed Falconet, Sultan Tit, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Sultan Tit, Green Magpie, Greater Flameback and Greater Yellownape, as well as commoner species such as Asian Fairy Bluebird, Green-eared Barbet, Blue-winged Leafbird and several species of bulbuls. After lunch at the campsite, we will take a four wheel drive vehicle up to the higher altitudes of the forest where our targets are a very different set of species with Ratchet-tailed Treepiebeing the number one target closely followed by Long-tailed Broadbill, Red-headed Trogon, Collared Babbler, Black-throated Laughingthrush, Speckled Piculet and many others. On the way down the mountain, we have a chance of seeing mammals on the road and we should find Large-tailed Nightjar as it sits on the road.
Overnight at Ban Maka
We will spend the morning in the moist lowland forest to look for Dusky and Black-and-yellow Broadbills, Blue Pitta, Tickell’s Brown Hornbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Orange-breasted Trogon and Blue-bearded Bee-eater.These are often difficult birds to find, so patience and time is the key. In the afternoon, we will visit another hide or two. Each year is a little different, but it is very likely that something special will visit; perhaps a Green Magpie, Grey Peacock Pheasant or White-crested Laughingthrush, while Oriental Scops Owl is also likely.
Overnight at Ban Maka.
This day will be about targeting key species that we have not already seen.The morning again will be spent in the lowlands where we are likely to be looking for Great Slaty Woodpecker and Blue Pitta, one or two of the broadbills and some of the more scarce woodpeckers. In the afternoon we will once again head uphill where we can try some different locations in search of Red-bearded Bee-eater, Yellow-vented Green Pigeon, Rufous-browed Flycatcher and any other species we have not already connected with. Driving downhill we have another chance of encountering something special – our best chance of seeing Grey Peacock Pheasant and Kalij Pheasant are as we drive along this forest road.
Overnight at Ban Maka
We can spend another morning in the forest if we are really determined to find any remaining targets or we can head back to the wetlands to catch up with species that perhaps we didn't see on our previous visit. These could include Chestnut Munia, Freckle-breasted Woodpecker and Greater Spotted Eagle. We will arrive at our hotel at approximately 18.00 and have dinner in a nearby restaurant.
Overnight Mariya Boutique Residence Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok
We take an early flight to Surat Thani and then drive to Krung Ching Waterfall Trail which is part of Khao Luang National Park. After checking in and lunch. We will spend time birding along the entrance road and around the campsite for species such as Gold-whiskered, Sooty and Red-throated Barbets, Raffle's Malkoha, Greater Green Leafbird, Lesser Green Leafbird, Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker, Green Broadbill and various bulbuls and much more.
Overnight Krung Ching
We have all day to search for birds at Krung Ching. We will take things slowly as birding here requires a lot of patience. The Waterfall Trail should give us a good chance to see Grey-headed, Ferruginous, Chestnut-winged, Short-tailed and Black-capped Babblers, Fluffy-backed Tit Babblerand this trail also gives us our best chance of Scarlet-rumped Trogon. Many other good birds can be found here with regular sightings of Maroon and Buff-rumped Woodpeckers, Purple-naaped and Grey-breasted Spiderhunters, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha and Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher but we will need extreme god fortune to see Malaysian Rail Babbler which is no longer regular here. After a short mid afternoon break at our accommodation, we return to the entrance road for some late afternoon birding. Possibilites include Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Rufous Piculet, White-crowned Hornbill and perhaps even a Blyth's Frogmouth.
Overnight Krung Ching
Another full day at Krung Chingwhere we can have another go at the challenging Waterfalll Trail. There are some steep and slippery sections so we take our time but the potential rewards are worth it. Some of the scarcer birds we hope to see include Maroon-breasted Philentoma, Diard's Trogon, Rail Babbler, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Banded and Grey and Buff Woodpeckers as well as further chances of Dusky Broadbill, Red-bearded Bee-eater and White-crowned Hornbill.
Overnight Krung Ching
A final morning birding along the road where we look for species not already seen. Black-bellied Malkoha, Green Iora, Lesser Cuckooshrike, Dark-throated Oriole, Yellow-eared Spiderhunter, Fiery Minivet and Rufous Woodpecker are all frequently seen here. We drive for four hours to Phang Nga Mangroves where we should find Mangrove Pitta, Streak-breasted Woodpecker, Brown-winged and Ruddy Kingfishers, Olive-winged Bulbul, Black and Red Broadbill, Asian Glossy Starling, Chestnut-bellied Malkoha, Ashy Tailorbird and Rufous-bellied and Pacific Swallows
Overnight Phang Nga Bay Resort
After breakfast, we will revisit Phang Nga mangroves to resume our search for some of the trickier birds and then move on to Bang Phut mangroves where Golden-bellied Gerygone, Mangrove Whistler and Copper-throated Sunbird are more common and we should also see Jungle Myna along the way. After lunch we will drive towards Laem Pakarang for shorebirds which could include Grey-tailed Tattler.
Overnight Kuraburi Greenview Resort.
The morning will be spent at nearby Sri Phang Nga where after waiting to see what turns up at the campsite, we will walk along a short trail to a stakeout for the beautiful Malayan Banded Pitta. Although birdingnthis location is not easy, it is worth making the trip for this stunning bird at close range. With luck, we can also see Chestnut-naped Forktail, Whiskered Treeswift and there is a chance of Bushy-crested Hornbill. We will make our way to Krabi stopping at Klong Sok for River Lapwing, and once we have checked in to our accommodation, we will visit a quiet limestone sink hole at the Tiger Cave Temple for Streaked Wren Babbler and Blue Whistling Thrush before an evening search of the hotel grounds for Great-eared Nightjar for a fantastic climax to the holiday.
Overnight Maritime Hotel Krabi
Following breakfast, we will take a morning flight from Krabi to Bangkok before catching an afternoon flight back to the UK arriving in the evening of the same day. The tour will conclude upon arrival in London.
Thirteen nights accommodation in en suite rooms, one night on board the aircraft, economy return direct flights UK/Bangkok, internal flights, all meals from breakfast on day two to breakfast on day fifteen, in flight meals, all ground transport in Thailand, all boat trips, reserve and hide entrance fees, road tolls and services of leaders.
Transport to/from London and any overnight stays that might be involved, travel insurance, any meals or snacks not mentioned above, drinks, laundry and any items of a personal nature.
PASSPORT, VISA & HEALTH
Visas are not required by UK nationals. Passports must have 6 months validity beyond the return travel date. Standard health and innoculation requirements apply for UK nationals, visit www.masta-travel-health.com to check these and if necessary, download a free health brief to take to a travel appointment at your local medical practice.
" The Oriole Birding trip in 2017 was one of my most successful tours ever!! " Nick Upton Tour Leader
" This was our first tour with Oriole Birding and from start to finish we were really impressed with the professionalism of the company. We were kept up to date via email and any questions were answered promptly - nothing seemed too much trouble. The birding was fabulous with a really good number of species, not only seen, but seen well thanks to Nick's patience and expertise. He was superb with detailed knowledge of the birds and an honest appraisal of our chances of seeing them. We enjoyed the trip enormously and wouldn't hesitate to recommend Oriole Birding" S & TC Cornwall