Welcome to Birdquest
Sunday 21st December - Saturday 10th January 2015
This was the first Birdquest Thailand tour in 16 years to run over the festive season and was very rewarding indeed, scoring the second highest ever species total of all Thailand tours at any season. Our 'Bird of the Trip' was appropriately enough the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, which was also almost the first bird of the tour! The coastal wetlands provided many other thrills too, such as Nordmann’s Greenshank, Asiatic Dowitchers, Far Eastern Curlew, White-faced and Malaysian Plovers, Pallas's Gull, Chinese Egret and a Black-faced Spoonbill. At Kaeng Krachan we saw Yellow-vented Green Pigeons, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Crested Jay and Black-thighed Falconet, at Khao Yai we saw jaywalking Siamese Firebacks, Red-headed and Orange-breasted Trogons, Silver-breasted and Long-tailed Broadbills, Great Slaty Woodpeckers and Orange-headed Thrush. In the hills of the north we found Oriental Hobby, Rusty-naped Pitta, Black-tailed Crake, Black-breasted Thrush, Black-headed Greenfinch, Spot-winged Grosbeaks, Giant Nuthatches, Ultramarine Flycatcher and we were lucky enough to start the New Year with prolonged looks at three male Mrs. Hume's Pheasants ambling down the road ahead of us at Doi Lang. We also saw many Green Peafowl, and on Thailand's highest mountain we saw Dark-sided Thrush, Vivid Niltava, Rufous-throated Partridge, Blossom-headed Parakeet and Collared Falconets. Three species of Parrotbill were pleasing, with Grey-headed, Grey-breasted (split from Black-throated) and the larger than life Spot-breasted Parrotbill, plus we found Pygmy, Limestone, Streaked and Eye-browed Wren Babblers and no less than 27 species of Bulbul! We made an extension to the south, where at Krabi we enjoyed great views of Mangrove Pitta plus many Brown-winged Kingfishers, while in the woods at Khao Phra Bang Khram we found Black Magpie and Green Broadbill, Crow-billed Drongo, Silver-rumped Spinetail and Van Hasselt's Sunbird, then finished strongly at Si Phang Nga National Park, with close prolonged views of Malayan Banded Pitta, Chestnut-naped Forktail and Black-and-Yellow Broadbills building a nest.