by Nick Upton
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Birdwatching Day Trips from Bangkok
Whether you are on a short stopover in Bangkok or spending a few days in the capital before moving upcountry, thaibirding can now arrange half, full or multiple day birdwatching trips tailored to your requirements.

Day trips can be centred around 1, 2 or even 3 locations and, for those that live and breathe birdwatching, a dawn to dusk (and beyond) quest for a day total of 100 species can be planned! For those with particular target species, day tours can be personalised in order to maximise the chances of finding them.

Pick up from your hotel in Bangkok for all day tours.

To make an enquiry about day tours please e-mail me with your requirements, including dates and number of birders in the group:
Day Tour Options
Suggested Day Tour 1: Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale
Best time to visit - August to May   Habitat - Salt pans, mudflats, mangrove, coastal flats & rice paddies.

Thailand's premier site for shorebirds can be reached within a couple of hours from central Bangkok and here we can search for one of Thailand's most sought-after species, the endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper, as soon as we reach the site.

Shorebird photos by Johan Svensson

Other excellent birds which regularly occur in this area are Nordmann's Greenshank, Great Knot and Asian Dowitcher and with the benefit of local knowledge we should be able to find most, if not all, of these species.

A highlight of any trip to Laem Pak Bia is the boat trip out to the sand spit where we can look for Terek Sandpiper, Malaysian Plover and check out the gull/tern roost for species such as Lesser & Greater Crested Terns along with Hueglin's and Pallas's Gull.

Having feasted on shorebirds and seabirds we can have lunch and later move on to a series of nearby locations in search of Painted Stork, Black-headed Ibis and wintering Aquila eagles.

Photo by Doug Bolt

This region is such a magnet for birds that a large number and a wide range of species can easily be seen in a single day, and there is always the chance of a rarity here!

E-mail me and book a day tour to Laem Pak Bia:

Suggested Day Tour 2: Khok Kham
Best time to visit - September to May   Habitat - Salt pans, mudflats, mangrove.

This site is situated amongst the salt farms of Samut Sakorn province and attracts an excellent variety of shorebirds including Spoon-billed Sandpiper, although it can be very elusive if one doesn't know where to look. Species such as Broad-billed Sandpiper, Lesser Sand Plover, Kentish Plover, Marsh Sandpiper and Gull-billed Tern are pretty much guaranteed and this is also a good location for rare migrants including Asian Dowitcher.

Sand Plovers by Peter Ericsson

Only a small number of non-shorebird species are usually seen here, but the excellent views of large numbers of wading species and terns make Khok Kham worth visiting. Half day trips, either morning or afternoon, can be arranged for Khok Kham, or this location can be combined with others for a full day's birding.

E-mail me and book a day tour to Khok Kham:

Suggested Day Tour 3: Bang Pra
Best time to visit - All year round, although migrant species present between October and April.   Habitat - Open water, freshwater marsh, woodland.

Photo J. Svensson

This tour is an excellent opportunity to travel to an area that few visiting birdwatchers get to. Bang Pra reservoir and surroundings are home to a wide variety of open country and we should be able to watch Rufous Treepie, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, White-crested Laughingthrush, Laced Woodpecker shortly after arriving and we should be able to track down a variety of wetland species such as Jacanas, Bitterns and Egrets along with other birds including both Baya and Asian Golden Weaver as well as Oriental Reed Warbler and Black-browed Reed Warbler.

Throughout the day, on this day tour, we have a good chance of seeing some scarce and exciting birds which are the specialities here, including Oriental Darter, Greater Painted Snipe, Yellow Bittern, Chinese Francolin and Osprey as well as many other great birds such as Hoopoe, Bee-eaters and various raptors. With the benefit of a guide visitors should be able to locate a good selection of impressive species.

E-mail me and book a day tour to Bang Pra:

Suggested Day Tour 4: Muang Boran Fishponds & Bang Poo
Best time to visit - All year round, although migrant species present between October and April.   Habitat - Open water, freshwater wetlands, scrubland.

Set between Samut Prakarn's Muang Boran open air museum and large factories, the fishponds are a real surprise and full of excellent wetland birds. Having found our way into the site, through a maze of residential streets, good views across the wetlands provide the opportunity to find White-winged Tern, Pheasant-tailed Jacana and a myriad of egrets, herons and bitterns as well as one of the site's most conspicuous birds - Striated Grassbird.

A number of points around this site have their own specialities and with experienced knowledge of this location we should be able to find many types of crakes and rails, Asian Golden Weaver, Indian Cormorant and a variety of warblers with a chance of finding Manchurian Reed Warbler. This can be a superb site if one knows where to look!

Slaty-bellied Rail
Photo - S. Klabdee

Having found a wide selection of freshwater wetland species we can move on and have lunch at nearby Bang Poo where mudflats and pools provide an opportunity to see shorebirds, gulls and terns. A large flock of Brown-headed Gulls winter here and occasionally other gull species show up too and in the mangrove remnants we can track down Golden-bellied Gerygone.

If there is time we can also visit a few other nearby sites to pick up some more species.

E-mail me and book a day tour to Muang Boran Fishponds and Bang Poo:

If you have, or wish to know about, other day tour possibilities contact me with your enquiries.

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