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Thailand March 1-20, 2006 (1 Viewer)

Charles Harper

R├ęgisseur
I thought I'd post an extremely brief summary of my recent trip to Thailand, for the main purpose of recommending my guides to other birders who may be headed that way. They are:

Panuwat (Par) Sasirat, who can be contacted through his website, www.wildbirdeco.com; and Pinit Saengkaew, whose email address is [email protected]. Par is a younger birder in his early thirties, a former student of Pinit; the latter is a guide trainer and one of the most experienced guides in Thailand. Both are very enthusiastic about birding and the environment, and utterly indefatigable in helping you find the birds you want to see-- short of playing recorded birdsong, which I found a refreshing and enlightened attitude. I had a delightful time with both of them.

We visited Kaeng Krachan National Park southwest of Bangkok, Khao Yai NP east of Bangkok, and Doi Inthanon/Doi Suthep just west of Chiang Mai, as well as en route birding on the coast and in the countryside around those two cities. The weather was exceptionally dry-- we had no rain whatsoever during this period-- and the temperature remained at an even 38/39 degrees Celsius except at the top of Doi Inthanon. There were virtually no mosquitoes, ticks or leeches. On the other hand, I saw no pittas, and almost no woodpeckers, broadbills or babblers. I compiled a list of 304 species, 168 of which I had never seen before. Some of the highlights for me were: Malaysian Plover, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmann's Greenshank, Asian Openbill, Germain's Swiftlet, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Wire-tailed Swallow, Limestone Wren-Babbler, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, and the fantastically coloured Mrs Gould's and Green-tailed Sunbirds. The biggest disappointment was in failing to see the Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo at Khao Yai-- the restaurant behind which the bird normally lurks was being renovated; it was surrounded in scrap lumber, and was a cacaphony of hammers, saws and welding torches.
 

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