Trip report: Thailand custom tour (Feb 2011) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Charley Hesse.

Thailand is not only a safe, beautiful and fascinating country to visit, but with a wide variety of habitats easily accessible by good roads and within easy reach of comfortable lodges, it is also the perfect introduction to Asian birding. On this custom tour we concentrated on central and northwestern Thailand, racking up a bird list of over 400 species in just 17 days. An impressive total considering we didn‟t even bird the south of the country. We visited the world famous salt pans close to Bangkok where we saw the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper at two separate locations. At Khao Yai National Park we tracked down Siamese Fireback, Blue Pitta and had the added bonus of unbeatable views of Asiatic Elephants. We found the rare Baer’s Pochard and countless other waterbirds at Bueng Boraphet, the largest lake in Thailand; and in the mountains of the northwest we saw numerous rare wintering birds and interesting Himalayan species. With very friendly people, delicious food, breathtaking scenery and unforgettable birdlife, Thailand is a difficult destination to beat.

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