The Ultimate In Birding Tours

Asia (and its islands)

THAILAND BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY – Pittas, Pheasants, Peafowl, Spoon-billed Sandpipers & More

Thursday 30th January – Friday 14th February 2025

Leaders: Mike Watson and a local guide

16 Days Group Size Limit 5


Thailand is home to an amazing diversity of stunning bird species, both resident rainforest-dwelling birds and a great variety of northern migrants that come to spend the winter in warmer climes. It is also home to a mouth-watering array of other wildlife, and is a charming and enjoyable country to visit.

Our adventure will focus primarily on forested habitats, focusing on shy denizens that have long remained almost invisible to keen photographers! The habitats themselves make the photography difficult, but coupled with the shyness of most of the wildlife (mostly due to former hunting and poaching pressure), it has, until now, been very difficult to achieve great images of many of these superb species. However, in recent years, with the expansion of ecotourism, and the realization that wildlife photographers bring value to the local economy, the tide is beginning to turn. With the help of some excellent local contacts, we will focus on finding and photographing a number of the more spectacular species that regularly occur in Thailand. In recent years, dedication has led to several species being lured in to feeding areas, where they can be viewed at close range, sometimes with the use from of mesh hides and screens. The nature of the photography means that one does not need to spend too long in any one hide, and can come and go relatively as one pleases.

We will also spend some time in more open habitats looking for wetland species, using, in some areas, boats to get closer to some of the birds.

Of prime interest to many a birder and photographer alike, are the gorgeous, though usually ultra-elusive, pittas, and during our visit, we should have the opportunity to photograph the stunning Blue and Malayan Banded Pittas from these hides, and, with luck, the fabulous Eared Pitta. We should also have opportunities to photograph Mangrove Pitta. Equally impressive are colourful jewel-encrusted Grey Peacock-Pheasants and Mrs Hume’s Pheasants and other gamebirds such as Ferruginous Partridge should also oblige, and we will spend an afternoon with the incomparable Green Peafowl. The variety of other species available is truly fantastic. From highly-desired Siberian Rubythroats and Siberian Blue Robins to gorgeous Scarlet-faced Liocichlas and marauding flocks of garrulous laughingthrushes. Pack plenty of memory card as those shutters will be busy!

Although we will spend most of our time in the forest, we will also have a chance to explore some wetlands as well. Here we will be photographing the incredible numbers of waders that winter in the Gulf of Thailand, including, with luck, the enigmatic Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank, whilst boat trips will give us an opportunity to see some truly wonderful kingfishers, including the localized Brown-winged Kingfisher.

As an added bonus, we will also get to experience the incredible Thai hospitality and the exquisitely tasty cuisine at each of our bases!

If you are interested in full details about this tour please click here.