Bird watching trip report


Introduction

Wild Encounter Thailand are running their tours on Saturdays and Sundays only. Well, yesterday it was Monday but a public holiday. And my friend only have one day off per week, on Tuesdays. So we have booked a private boat leaving from Laem Pak Bia.

5300 Baht for the boat trip. They called back and asked if we could take 3 or 4 extra passengers. Of course, they would reduce the price for us. Well, the boat have one bench and it turned out to be 7 extra people and me and my friend was very angry. Nowhere to sit down.

I have used this service before and I was alone and suddenly they have 3 extra passengers on board and I never came back. Only option for my friend and today they put 7 extra passengers on board. NEVER AGAIN!


Guide

No guide needed. The boat driver know the area and he will take you to the whale area.


Land transportation

Private car: It is only 2 hours from Bangkok so we drive back to Bangkok when we are ready with the whale watching.

TAXI: I have done it with taxi when I was going alone. The taxi driver came with me on the boat and we drove back to Bangkok when we were ready with the whale watching.


Accommodations

I stay at home in Bangkok


Equipment

Canon 5D Mk. III + Canon 5D Mk. IV
Canon EF 28-300/3,5-5,6 L IS USM
Canon EF 70-200/2,8L IS II USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens
Canon Speedlite 600EXII-RT flash
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II
Panasonic HC-W585 video camera

Sound recorder
ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder


Weather

Weather, I don´t know if Bangkok is the hottest capital in the world. But this is what they say and I have no reason to doubt this information because it is darn hot. Whale watching season and it is the rainy season so we can expect strong winds and heavy rain anytime.

Bangkok, Thailand - Climate & Temperature
Pictures from www.climatemps.com

Bangkok, Thailand - Climate & Temperature - Click picture for full size
Pictures from www.climatemps.com



References/Resources

There are two sites covering Thailand and I have used them many times. These two web pages are actually everything you need for your birding adventures in Thailand. All the information you need about all the birding spots. Click on the map and then select your spot and you will have maps and everything you need to know about the areas. They have put a lot of jobs in to their web pages, North Thailand Birding and thaibirding.com A must to visit before you go bird watching in Thailand.

www.norththailandbirding.com - A one stop only for all your birding in Thailand

thaibirding.com - Nick Upton's one stop only for all your birding in Thailand.

Use both www.thaibirding.com and www.norththailandbirding.com and you have a winner. Some of the maps on www.norththailandbirding.com are way better than Nick Upton´s, while some of Nick's maps are much more detailed. So I have found that if I use both the web pages for information, well, nothing else needed.

Bangkok City Birding - A lot of interesting birding stories and information on this bird watching blog by David Gandy. Bangkok-based patch-worker in Suan Rot Fai, a large park close to the city's famous weekend market. He have recorded 150 species on his patch since 2008. As one of the only big green spaces in the city, “SRF” acts as a real magnet for migrants during spring and autumn, and holds a healthy selection of "sibes" during the winter months.


ebird - Find birding hotspots with bird checklists from all over the world

Avibase - is an extensive database information system about all birds of the world, containing over 25 million records about 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies of birds, including distribution information for 12,000 regions, taxonomy, synonyms in several languages


www.oiseaux.net This web page is also excellent for identifying birds. There is information and range maps for many many birds from all over the world. This page is almost guaranteed to give you any answer you have about any bird in the world.

Cloudbirders - Read birding trip reports from all over the world

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND


Fatbirder is a fantastic web page with information from, I think every country in the world. My first stop when I plan for my bird watching trips. There is information about locations and guides, well, pretty much everything you need to know. Sometimes this is the only place I need to visit to plan my trip.

BirdingPal - find a birding Guide around the world

BirdingPal


And the web page you cannot live without. I have been around the world looking for birds. I usually have a Guide, but sometimes it is not possible to find a Guide. So, well, I have lost count on how many times I have had help to ID birds at BirdForum. Joining this forum have been very very good for my bird watching experience.

www.birdforum.net

ClimaTemps.com is the place to learn about the worlds climates with more than 4000 locations documented. Each aspect of the climate is represented using colour enhanced tables and professional graphs so that data can easily be compared by switching between locations in different tabs in your browser.

“A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia by Craig Robson”


A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia by Craig Robson

A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia by Craig Robson. New edition updated with 76 species since previous edition “A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia by Craig” Nick Upton at www.thaibirding.com wrote “This quite excellent book is packed full of quality illustrations and written information on 1251 species recorded in Southeast Asia”

I bought this book for bird watching in Thailand, but it goes for all over SE Asia


Places to visit


Whale watching on the Upper Gulf of Thailand. So I expect to see both birds and whales.


Bird checklist


Full Thai list updated to the taxonomy, nomenclature and sequence of the IOU/IOC World Bird List. The complete checklist, including Thai names and synonyms, can be downloaded in Excel format - Thailand Bird Checklist. - Version 8.2 (2018) - found at www.norththailandbirding.com

Well, my bird watching trip reports was rejected. I posted 2 that was rejected. So I started to take ideas from the reports I found on Cloudbirders. They have Bird checklists so I will put them here but they will not be used as bird checklists. I will post my birds on eBird and on my different “BIRDS THAT I HAVE OBSERVED” pages.

But the list can come in handy to find out the local name of the bird etc. And Avibase have a list with pictures and sounds, excellent!

So I will post bird checklists here and if my Guides provide me with checklists I will also post them here.

Cloudbirders


Avibase - Bird Checklists of the World

Samut Sakhon bird checklist from Avibase, click HERE - eBird version 2019 taxonomy - When going with the big boat

Petchaburi bird checklist from Avibase, click HERE - eBird version 2019 taxonomy - When going with the small boat


Avibase is providing you with bird checklists from all over the world. And I´m impressed by their web page. Select country and area and you get the bird checklist. Like the PDF files I got from Avibase on the links above. You also get the checklist with pictures and sounds.

The best part is that you get the local names of the birds and the online checklist gives the names in English plus the language you have selected. But it seems like the PDF cannot handle some alphabet.

For example the Japanese language so it is blank in the PDF checklist. But it worked excellent with Swedish. But you get them in the local language on the online version.


Bird list

I only list birds I have got on picture on my list of OBSERVED BIRDS. But since I started using eBird I have changed a bit. I list all the birds on the eBird checklist. See the DAY TO DAY report in the itinerary below.

And you can visit my list of “Birds I have seen in Thailand” ONLY BIRDS I HAVE ON PICTURE.

eBird

eBird Report


Laem Phak Bia - Whale watching, Phetchaburi, TH Oct 15, 2019 07:28 - 13:01
Protocol: Traveling
45.51 kilometer(s)
18 species

Greater Coucal 1
Lesser Sand Plover 6 Thanks to johnallcock at www.birdforum.net for confirming the identity
Whimbrel 20 Counted to at least 20 on the mudflats
Black-tailed Godwit 1 Thanks to johnallcock at www.birdforum.net for help with the identity
Common Greenshank 2 Thanks to johnallcock at www.birdforum.net for confirming the identity
Bridled Tern 3 Thanks to Indobirder and johnallcock at www.birdforum.net for help with identity
Little Tern X Thanks to SteveClifton and Deb Burhinus at www.birdforum.net for help with identification
White-winged Black Tern 1 Thanks to Indobirder and johnallcock at www.birdforum.net for help with identity
Whiskered Tern 1 Thanks to Indobirder and johnallcock at www.birdforum.net for help with identity
Common Tern X Countless terns eating with the whales
Little Cormorant X
Great White Egret 16
Little Egret 7
Brahminy Kite 1
Black-capped Kingfisher 1
Collared Kingfisher 2
Green Bee-eater 3 Sitting on top of a tree in the mangroves
Common Myna 1

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S60634497



Report

Tuesday 15th of October 2019 and my friend arrived at 05:30 and I went down to the parking and we were soon leaving Bangkok behind. Across the river in a jiff and we were soon plunging south on Rama II Road. We leave Rama II a little after having crossed the bridge over the river through Mahachai. We get on the Scenic Route towards Cha Am and we drive through Bang Tabun and we see the whale watching boat I had used with Wild Encounter Thailand.

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
My friend come to pick me up

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
A little bit of wildlife on the SCENIC ROUTE in the morning

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
We arrive to the boat

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
Boarding

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
Leaving Laem Pak Bia

We arrive to the fishing harbour at 7 thirty, about 2 hours after having left Bangkok. We meet the girl that we had made the booking with, and our fellow passengers. 7 extra people and no seating on the boat. We boarded the boat and I was sitting up front and it was OK for 30 minutes then it was painful to sit on deck. Deck was full of people so it was not possible to move around taking pictures.

So I left Laem Pak Bia sitting backwards so I could not look for birds ahead. My friend pointed forward and told me that it was a Kingfisher. I turned my head and I saw a Black-capped Kingfisher flying across the river ahead of us. We pass a Cuocal in the mangrove and I take a picture. Not any good pictures but I could see that the bird had red eyes and I knew it was a Greater Cuocal.

Little Cormorants and Egrets along the river. 20 minutes or so and we were out on the open sea.

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Greater Cuocal
Greater Cuocal

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Little Cormorant
Little Cormorant

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
Whiskered Tern

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
Whiskered Tern

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
Little Tern

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
Whiskered Tern

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
Steaming towards the whales and the spirit is high

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
Steaming towards the whales and the spirit is high
(Before the pain in the ass sets in)

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
Steaming towards the whales and the spirit is high
(Before the pain in the ass sets in)

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
Lunch

Laem Pak Bia is closer to the whale area than if coming from Moo Ban Pramong and we spotted the first whale after 90 minutes. And WOW, today it was two Bryde's Whales feeding together. My friend was very lucky to see this on his first whale watching trip. But it looked to be little fish today. They stopped to eat and they disappeared again to show up to eat again.

The whale yesterday stayed at the same place for a very long time and it was easy to get pictures. Today we had to “chase” the whales but I got pictures of the whales. DARN! This shit boat that they had filled up with passengers and I missed many picture opportunities.

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale
Bryde's whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale
2 Bryde's whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale
2 Bryde's whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale
2 Bryde's whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Bryde's Whale

I was embarrassed to have brought my friend to this boat. And that is even though we had an excellent whale display. I tried to make a video but this failed due to the lack of space on board. No, next time it will be Wild Encounter Thailand with a proper boat so I can make a video. But my friend was very happy to have seen the whale and his son was very excited.

We said bye bye to the whales and we started to go back towards Laem Pak Bia. It was amazing to have seen the two whales hunting and feeding together. The video, well, I will have to try next year again. Maybe there are still some whale when I come back from Ethiopia.


Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia
Going back to Laem Pak Bia

Well, anyway, we said bye bye to the whales and we started to steam back. My friend could not sit down and my ass was aching and I was in the blazing sun getting burnt. So I was not happy. 3 of the other passengers was standing back at the driver and it didn't look like any of them would come back to this boat again. After 90 minutes we were back at the river mouth and it was low water.

The mudflats was full of waders that had arrived from Europe. I spotted several Whimbrels and Lesser Sand Plovers on the mudflats and I also spotted one Black-tailed Godwit on the way from summer to winter plumage. Of course, there was a lot of Egrets and Cormorants. 2 Collared kingfishers was also sitting along the river. And almost back at the jetty (Bamboo pier) we spotted 3 Green Bee-eater sitting on top of a tree in the mangroves

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover - And we can see that the mudflats are full of crabs

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Lesser Sand Plover
Lesser Sand Plover - And we can see that the mudflats are full of crabs

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Collared Kingfishers
Collared Kingfishers

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Collared Kingfishers
Collared Kingfishers

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Great Egret
Great Egret

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Little Cormorant
Little Cormorant

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Green Bee-eater
Green Bee-eater

Whale / Bird watching Laem Pak Bia - Lizard
Lizard

Back on the jetty and I was eager to get in to the AC in the car. None of our fellow passengers looked to be in a hurry to come back to spend another day on this boat. Greedy and now they lost future customers and none of us will ever recommend this service to anyone ever. We left and drove back to Bangkok and we decided to go to see if Baan Khanitha was open, if not we would go to Tony Romas.

We stopped at a gas stop and my friend returned to the car with a cold MAX. I told him that I had given up on MAX as I could not sleep. And I offered him the 10 cases I had at home, brought to me from Rita. So he will pick them up after our dinner. We were lucky to find Baan Khanitha open and we went inside.

We got menus and I asked for a pot of Earl Grey tea. And I ordered chicken curry, spring rolls with sweet chilli sauce and grilled beef Thai style. And of course, mango with sticky rice.

Baan Khanitha Thai Restaurant
At Baan Khanitha

Baan Khanitha Thai Restaurant
At Baan Khanitha

Baan Khanitha Thai Restaurant
At Baan Khanitha

Baan Khanitha Thai Restaurant
At Baan Khanitha

Back home (Just around the corner) and I was full, very full. Excellent food and I spotted a sticker on their door when we went inside. They have obviously won some Micheline price for best Thai Restaurant in Bangkok. Never the mind, the food was as good before they won the price. I started to prepare for my departure to Addis Ababa on Friday. They will come to install my new water taps in the kitchen and I will have an electrician here on Thursday.

Then I am off to look for birds in Ethiopia. Click HERE to find out if I see any birds in Ethiopia



Bird watching trip report



       
                  
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)

noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas

Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!

Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!

Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra

Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.


                                       

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