Thailand has rich and varying forest habitats, which shelter a great diversity of wild animals and plants, and especially birds. If you would like to try to get a glimpse of some of Thailand’s beautiful birds, here are 5 interesting bird watching spots that birds lover should visit while travelling in Thailand.
Kaeng Krachan National Park, Phetchaburi Province
The best time for bird watching here is during the dry season, from the end of January until April, which is when the birds start mating and building nests. In November and December, the beginning of the tourism season and the migration season, you may see some migratory birds, such as old world flycatchers , wading birds, orange-headed thrush and eye-browed thrush. Overall, however, the forest is rather quiet, with fewer birds around.
In the New Year, there are many opportunities to watch birds. The spring air is full of birdsong as they flit to and fro, pairing and building their nests, especially the flycatchers, broadbills and the types of birds that feed on the ground e.g. partridge, pheasant, peacock-pheasant. There are also many butterflies. During late April and May, these birds migrate north, while late arrivals, such as blue-winged and hooded pittas, start to show up in order to build their nests and lay eggs.
Bueng Boraphet, Nakhon Sawan Province
Bueng Boraphet is a natural wetland which provides a food source and nesting area for large wading birds and other shorebirds. It is the last coastal area on the southern migratory path for birds escaping the winter in the tundras of Siberia and northern China. Each year, hundreds of thousands of migratory birds migrate along this route and either rest or over-winter at Bueng Borapet. It is also a major habitat for migratory hawks and eagles which prey on the smaller residents and visitors.
In addition, as Bueng Boraphet lies far inland, it is an important stopover point for many waders flying to the coast. Bueng Boraphet is a permanent habitat for rare ducks, and formerly home to the Sirinathorn Princess Bird, a type of swallow endemic to Bueng Borapet. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been seen for many years, prompting fears that it may have become extinct. Nevertheless, this semi-natural freshwater ecosystem is well worth a visit for bird watching and studying nature.
Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary, Chaiyaphum Province
The sanctuary comprises many types of seasonal tropical plant communities: hill evergreen forest, mixed deciduous forest, grassland and dry dipterocarp forest, including mixed dipterocarp forest and natural pine forest.
This variety supports no less than 360 species of birds, such as darters, white-winged duck, slender-billed oriole, silver pheasant and various types of woodpeckers, as well as black baza - a resident bird in this forest – and ground-dwelling species such as Chinese francolin, eared pitta and coral billed ground cuckoos.
Thale Noi Bird Watching Park, Phatthalung Province
Besides presenting a beautiful view at sunrise, you can spot buffaloes swimming in the lotus-covered waters of Thale Noi, as well as enjoy birdwatching.
The seagull spotting location is about 150 meters away from the harbour. From October to April, a colony of seagulls can be found perched on a wooden structure at the harbour entrance. Two types of seagull are found in Thale Noi: white-winged tern and whiskered tern. These seagulls rest together on the painted wood. At other times, both types of birds move to find food and eat elsewhere, occasionally joining teals to forage.
Teal are energetic birds, found mostly among stands of sedge or Nymphaea lotus. The types of teal found throughout the year here are lesser whistling duck and cotton pygmy goose (except from August to the beginning of October when they shed their feathers), while garganey and other ducks can only be found from December to early March.
Doi Ang Khang, Chiang Mai Province
Doi Ang Khang Royal Agricultural Station is a very popular place. People go there to see the Himalayan cherry blossoms, the winter vegetables, the sea of mist, as well as to watch birds. There are many species of birds, especially during the cool season when rare migratory birds come to the Agricultural Station and the nearby area. The "Birdwatchers of Angkhang Club" by Angkhang Royal Agricultural Station, provides information for tourists interested in birdwatching in the area.
For those who are interested to get a look at Thailand’s birds, the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand organises birdwatching trips to observe species such as maroon oriole, white-headed bulbul, Jerdon's bush chat, scarlet-faced liocichla, red-tailed laughing thrush, Himalayan cutia thrush, green-tailed sunbird and chestnut-eared buntings.