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A Report from

Southern Thailand,

Peter Ericsson

Dear ones,

I just had the opportunity to travel with my immediate family for a 10 days journey to the South of Thailand. My father has settled there and wanted me to visit the completion of his new house. We decided to combine it with our annual vacation and make it into an experience for all. Though rains fell heavily at times, it helped to keep temperatures down and the intensity of the rainforests greenery was immense.

Here are a few short highlights from the birding side of things.

Prajoapkirikan province, 400 km south of Bangkok. Several Black-naped Terns, resident birds, fed near shoreline. Blue-throated Bee-eater did sorties for flying insects at the resort while kids were playing at the beach. Nice stopover on our way.

Kuraburi Greenview resort some 16 kilometer north of SriPangnga National Park, Pangnga province, were to be our next stop. Very tranquil and surrounded by green lush hill slopes. Bungalows of a high standard and relatively cheap. Highly recommendable resort.

Inspite of the rain in the morning I went ahead to the National park. Some 200 square kilometers of reserved forest lies within the boundaries, waiting to be discovered.

This time of year the forest was very quiet though. My highlight was a flowering tree that had attracted many Bulbuls, Sunbirds and Spiderhunters. Best bird and my first lifer was Red-throated Sunbird (4th of June), a pair. This Sunbird is rare and difficult to find. My last Sunbird outside of Fire-tailed.

Hairy-backed and Grey-bellied Bulbuls were also special for me as I seldom get to birdwatch down south. A young Red-bearded Bee-eater was hunting for insects in the area adding to the charm of the forest as did a Rufous-winged Flycatcher. I had intended to camp out here but was forced to seek refuge at the resort (much to everyone's delight).

Following day, 5th of June, I went for a quick visit to the Mangrove National Park of Pangnga town.

No sooner had I stepped out of the van but a Streak-breasted Woodpecker came in front of me. I was immediately greeted by several Mangrove Pittas calling from all over. It didn't take long to track one down for better views. This was my 2nd lifer. Brown-winged Kingfisher is easy here but what caught my attention was the rather explosive whistle of something from inside the mangroves. After a bit of searching a Mangrove Whistler came in full view and my 3rd life bird was recorded.

We then spent 2 nights at an Eco-resort half an hour outside of Pangnga town. Unbeknownst to me, my father had arranged accommodations for us here only a 5 minutes drive from Song Praak waterfall, Tonpariwat wildlife sanctuary. The fall is rather large and good amounts of water whipped up a bit of a torrent down the stream. Kids enjoyed some exciting rafting and swims surrounded by hillslopes covered in rubber trees on lower levels and native trees on higher grounds.

I visited the sanctuary (200 square km) and was impressed with the potential of the area. Gibbons could be heard calling and apparently many mammals can still be found. My next lifer was to be here (6th of June), a Blue-banded Kingfisher came swiftly flying up along the stream. Never got to see it perched but the ice cool blue back/rump band gave it away, along with its call. Other nice birds here was Grey-rumped and Whiskered Treeswifts as well as Lesser Green Leafbird.

One day we spent discovering the island of Phuket. It is now possible to drive along the coast line from beach to beach. This southwestern part of the island still holds patches of secondary growth and along with the many hills and beaches makes for a beautiful setting. At the cape of the island several Brown Needletails were doing acrobatics. A cup of coffee in a restaurant while enjoying my first World Cup match (Sweden-England) was another pleasure.

Then an outing the 9th of June to Ramon waterfall just outside of Pangnga town. The park is too small to be declared National Park but still enjoys protection from the Forestry department. One have to travel through many fruit orchards with trees heavily laden with rambutans, mangosteen and durian. Finally at the water fall a smaller lawn and restaurant welcomes the visitor. Along the 8 tiers waterfall (not very steep) there is a nature trail. It was just beautiful to be inside this wonderful piece of nature looking for birds. I was rewarded with my target bird and 5th lifer, Chestnut-capped Forktail. A pair of Soothy-headed Babblers came in view as well.

In the afternoon we took a boatride to James Bond island. Lots of tourists out there but still a pair of Brown-winged Kingfishers were displaying for all of us to see. A few resident Blue Rock Thrushes were seen on the limestone outcrops giving me identification problems (I was unaware of their existence).

I ended up with over 100 species for the journey which actually was a family adventure and not a birding trip. As long as I made sure everyone's needs were taken care of it seemed that I was blessed with many special moments in God's Glorious Creation.


Birds seen between 2-12th June 2002 while driving south and visiting Pangnga province.
  1. Little Egret  61. Asian Paradise Flycatcher
  2. Pacific Reef Egret  62. Grey-headed Flycatcher
  3. Cattle Egret  63. Rufous-winged Philentoma
  4. Javan Pond-Heron  64. Black-naped Monarch
  5. Little Heron  65. Verditer Flycatcher
  6. Little Cormorant  66. Pied Fantail
  7. Black-winged Stilt  67. Common Iora
  8. Black Bittern  68. Lesser Green Leafbird
  9. White-breasted Waterhen  69. Red-throated Barbet
 10. Red-wattled Lapwing  70. Green-eared Barbet
 11. Lesser Whistling Tree Duck  71. Coppersmith Barbet
 12. Common Myna  72. Abbott's Babbler
 13. White-vented Myna  73. Sooty-headed Babbler
 14. Magpie Robin  74. Rufous-fronted Babbler
 15. White-rumped Shama  75. Striped Tit Babbler
 16. Eurasian Tree Sparrow  76. Puff-throated Babbler
 17. Plain-backed Sparrow  77. Dark-necked Tailorbird
 18. Indian Roller  78. Common Tailorbird
 19. Zebra Dove  79. White-rumped Munia
 20. Spot-necked Dove  80.Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
 21. Emerald Dove  81. Little Green Bee-eater
 22. Turtle Dove  82. Blue-throated Bee-eater
 23. Rock Pigeon  83. Red-bearded Bee-eater
 24. Pink-necked Pigeon  84. Chestnut-capped Forktail
 25. Asian Pied Starling  85. Rufous-winged Bushlark
 26. Black-collared Starling  86. Paddyfield Pipit
 27. Vinous-breasted Starling  87. White-throated Kingfisher
 28. Glossy Starling  88. Collared Kingfisher
 29. Lesser Coucal  89. Blue-banded Kingfisher
 30. Greater Coucal  90. Brown-winged Kingfisher
 31. Asian Koel  91. Black Drongo
 32. Plaintive Cuckoo  92. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
 33. Black-shouldered Kite  93. Blue Whistling Rock-Thrush
 34. Brahmy Kite  94. Blue Rock-Thrush
 35. Shikra  94. Yellow-bellied Warbler
  36. Crested Serpent-Eagle  95. Yellow-bellied Prinia
  37. Large-billed Crow  96. Grey-breasted Prinia
  38. Asian Palm Swift  97. Streak-breasted Woodpecker
  39. Barn Swallow  98. Common Flameback
  40. Striated Swallow  99. Olive-backed Sunbird
  41. Red-rumped Swallow 100. Purple-naped Sunbird
  42. Pacific Swallow 101. Red-throated Sunbird
  43. Grey-rumped Tree Swift 102. Ruby-throated Sunbird
  44. Whiskered Tree-Swift 103. Plain Sunbird
  45. Brown Needletail 104. Streaked Spiderhunter
  46. Silver-rumped Needletail 105. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
  47. Ashy Wood-Swallow 106. Mangrove Pitta
  48. Edible Swiftlet 107. Mangrove Whistler
  49. House Swift 108. Black-naped Tern
  50. Streak-eared Bulbul 109. Asian Fairy Bluebird
  51. Yellow-vented Bulbul 110. Scarlet Minivet
  52. Sooty-headed Bulbul 111. Banded Broadbill
  53. Stripe-throated Bulbul 112. Ashy Tailorbird
  54. Black-headed Bulbul  
  55. Black-crested Bulbul  
  56. Hairy-backed Bulbul  
  57. Red-eyed Bulbul  
  58. Buff-vented Bulbul  
  59. Grey-bellied Bulbul  
  60. Ochraceous Bulbul  

A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia

Craig Robson: Buy from or

  • A new flexi-cover edition of this superb and influential book is now available (UK) making it far more useful in the field. The birds of South-East Asia details the identification, voice, breeding, status, habitat and distribution of the 1250 species and distinctive sub-species of the region covering Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, West Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. The illustrations are excellent and Craig Robson's text reflects his position as one of the foremost ornithological authorities of S.E.Asia. Indispensable for anyone visiting the area.

The Birds of Thailand
Craig Robson: Buy from

  • At last, the quality of field guides for the Far East has caught up with those of Europe and America. Craig Robson's "Birds of Thailand" is a tour de force...950 mouth watering species all beautifully illustrated and expertly described, each with its own distribution map. The natural riches of Thailand make it an ever more popular birding destination and this indispensible guide will set the standard there for years to come.

Peter Ericsson

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