Trip report: Cambodia: Birding the Khmer Kingdom (March 2015) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Charley Hesse.

If any tour destination deserves the description, ‘last chance to see’ it would be Cambodia. On this tour we saw an incredible 17 threatened species of birds including 6 critically endangered ones. With a redesigned itinerary including several key locations not visited by other companies we recorded 356 species of birds and an impressive 25 species of mammal. Highlights included a trip to the amazing Angkor Wat; seeing both adjutants, Milky Stork and Spot-billed Pelican on a boat trip to Prek Toal, the endangered race of Sarus Crane plus Black-necked Stork and Eld’s Deer at Ang Trapaeng Tmor, the critically endangered Bengal Florican and rare Manchurian Reed Warbler at the florican grasslands, the critically endangered Giant and White-shouldered Ibis plus countless owls and woodpeckers at Tmat Boey; the endangered White-winged Duck plus 2 colourful broadbill species at Okoki, 3 critically endangered vulture species battling with Golden Jackal over a carcass at the Veal Krous vulture restaurant; the recently discovered Mekong Wagtail and critically endangered Irrawaddy River Dolpin during a boat ride on the Mekong River near Kratie, the endangered Green Peafowl and Red-vented Barbet at Seima; White-cheeked Laughingthrush and Black-headed Parrotbill at Dak Dam and the recently described endemic Cambodian Tailorbird near Pnom Penh. For the first time we offered an extension to the neighbouring country of Laos where we saw the recently discovered Bare-faced Bulbul, rare Sooty Babbler and endangered endemic Lao Langur. It was truly an unforgettable trip and we were proud that our trip directly contributed to the important conservation efforts to save Cambodia’s wildlife.

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