Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, a world famous area to look for waders. Hat Chao Samran is very close and if you leave the area from the south you will most likely be on road #3177 to Phetchaburi from Chao Samran Beach. The whole stretch to Phetchaburi is surrounded by fields and wetlands and it is an beautiful area with 4 eBird hotspots.
We stopped there when we were ready with the birding in Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale.
So Hat Chao Samran is a beautiful and exciting area and there four eBird hotspots along road #3177:
• Hat Chao Samran--Hwy. 3177 Ricefields & Marshes
• Hat Chao Samran--Soi Thetsaban 4 wetlands
• Hat Chao Samran--Ban Bang Home Resort & Wat Don Ban Mai vicinity
• Hat Chao Samran--wetlands west of Khlong Sala Daeng
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I usually don't use any bird watching Guide in / around Bangkok. But could be a good idea to have a Guide to help me identify all the birds I see. As it is now my eBird checklists are not very impressive as I can only ID half of the birds I see.
Well, I decided that it could be a good idea, and going bird watching on the 1st of May 2020 I decided to use a Guide. I contacted Wild Bird Eco Tour for a trip to Laem Phak Bia/ Pak Thale in Phetchaburi.
And Wild Bird Eco Tour will pick me up at 05:30 for the trip to Phetchaburi.
And we will check out a few other eBird hotspots West of Bangkok when we are ready at Laem Phak Bia/ Pak Thale.
About 146 km from the Sukhumvit / Asoke intersection in DOWN TOWN Bangkok
TODAY WE ARE GOING TO USE THE TOUR COMPANY VAN
You will need a car and if you don't have your own a taxi is a very convenient way of travelling. Depending on the early morning traffic it will take about 2 hours to reach Chao Samran. You rent the taxi for a full day and it will set you back with about 1500-3000 Baht (May 2020). To make sure that the driver understand you can show the below Thai Script:
• Chao Samran จ้าสำราญ
Or show the driver a map. Click HERE for a map to Hat Chao Samran
Scan for map to Hat Chao Samran
Get to Rama II Road on the west side of the Chao Phraya River and follow route #35. Reaching road Phetchaburi Border and #35 merge with route #4 about 21km after having crossed the Mae Klong River. The second river you cross after having left Chao Praya River behind. Get up on route #4 going south towards the town of Phetchaburi.
Road #4 goes all the way down to the border to Malaysia, but we will leave to road in Phetchaburi. Entering Phetchaburi and we slowed down to keep an eye out for any sign for road #3177. We could not see any sign until we had a sign saying 3177 “keep left” and it is easy to miss the exit.
Look out for road #3177
We turned off the highway and we turned left at the first intersection. We drove north until reaching the intersection and turn right to get on road #3177. Drive south and you can leave the road at any dirt track or paved road to take you out in the fields. South end of road #3177 there is an intersection. Straight ahead and you can see the Chao Samran Beach and if you turn left to get on road #4028 towards Maem Pak Bia/ Pak Thale.
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
ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder
Steiner Skyhawk 8x32 (Since May 2020)
Weather / climate
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.
Thai National Parks - About the National Parks in Thailand A very good web page - Do you know that there are still wild tigers, elephants, leopards, tapirs, gaurs, bears and many monkey species in many tropical rainforests across Thailand? Do you also know that around 10% of all marine species in the world can be found in Thailand? And the fact that Thailand is the best bird-watching destination in mainland Asia?
National parks are protected areas of land because they have unspoilt landscapes and a diverse number of native plants and animals. There are 127 national parks in Thailand, of them 22 marine national parks. These parks offers a diverse range of flora and fauna, home to important population of endangered species.So now it will be easy to find out if there are any National Park close to you.
Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) - The Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) is one of the oldest organisations conserving birds and nature in Thailand and is the country partner of BirdLife International. BCST's role to the local community is to spread awareness about urban birds and reconnect people back to nature.
Dated back to 1986 when BCST was then a loosely-formed “Bangkok Birdwatching Club”, the Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis), or “Nok Gang Ken Baan” in Thai, has been chosen to represent the organisation.
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.
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.
PBase/Peter Ericson - Peter Ericson, a guy I thought was from USA because of his family name. I met him at Lat Krabang Paddies in May 2020 and turned out that he was Swedish. Anyway, I have used his excellent page PBase since 2016 as help to ID birds by the help from his beautiful bird pictures.
Here you can also find information about birding tours.
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 their 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
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.
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. 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
I have been very happy with the “A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia by Craig Robson” But I had a fire in my condo 2019 and I needed to buy a new book. I was looking for the “A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South East Asia by Craig Robson” as I liked the book. But this book is not available anymore so I had to buy the “A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand” by Craig Robson.
What a disappointment this was, using the pictures in the book didn't helped to ID any birds.
“Birds of Thailand” by Uthai Treesuconand Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij
I met Peter Ericson, a famous bird watcher and he recommended the “Birds of Thailand” by Uthai Treesuconand Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij. I bought the book as soon as the book stores opened after the Wuhan virus. And I am very happy with the book and I have managed to ID some birds using the book.
This new field guide will help you identify all 1049 species to have been recorded in the country to date, including the 20 species endemic or near-endemic to Thailand.
-Taxonomy follows the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World.
-Detailed texts covering status, habitat and behaviour, age, sex and geographical variation, voice, and confusion species.
-Almost 2200 illustrations covering all species and distinctive subspecies, birds in flight, males and females, juveniles and non-breeding plumages, where appropriate.
-QR code for each species, linking to the Internet Bird Collection gallery of photos, videos and sounds.
-More than 1025 full-colour range maps for all species other than vagrants.
-Well-marked subspecies groups receive full accounts, and the distributions of subspecies breeding in the region are clearly mapped.
-Local species name and local conservation status included.
I like the book, but I miss the picture index.
Places to visit
Hat Chao Samran
Hat Chao Samran is known for the beach, which is located approximately 15 kilometres from Phetchaburi. The name Hat Chao Samran meaning Royal Leisure Beach was derived as a result of several visits for extended periods of time made by King Naresuan the Great and his brother, King Ekathotsarot.
Driving south on road #3177 from Phetchaburi and you drive in an area of wetlands and rice paddies
It is a beautiful area with many different habitat. In the area you have fields used as a nesting site for the Blue-tailed Bee-eater. Hundreds of them and it was really a very nice (and impressive) experience.
Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, a world famous area to look for waders. This area is just a few minutes away with car so it is worth stopping here when you are at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale.
Road #3177 from Phetchaburi to Chao Samran, an 15 km long stretch and it is going through the area and the hot spots are easily accessible, just to turn off road #3177 on to any dirt road you pass on the way.
There are 4 different eBird hotspots along road #3177 between Phetchaburi and the beach:
Get off road #3177 pretty much anywhere along the beautiful landscape. We took off towards west when reaching the gate to the Wat Thammarangsi (วัดธรรมรังษี). It is a small gate and you’re on a small road through a settlement. The temple have a huge golden Buddha statue. Drive past this and you reach the nesting fields of the Blue-tailed Bee-eater.
Temple gate on the west side of road #3177
Behind the Wat Thammarangsi Buddha
Dirt track along the Bee-eater fields
On the east side of road #3177 you have rice paddies and you just need to drive along the small roads and you will see many birds. Drive slow along the drainage next to the roads and the chances are great to see birds bathing at the bottom of the drainage/ ditches.
Here is also a very good restaurant in the area. My Guide told me that it was time for lunch and I expected nothing but a hole in the wall and dirty dishes in this area. So I was very pleasantly surprised when we ended up at Bpaa Yan Raan-ahan Phetchaburi, ป้าหยันร้านอาหารเพชรบุรี. Mocking Aunt Restaurant or something like that. It was a vey nice looking restaurant, clean and good food. AC and good service from a friendly staff.
Very nice food
Scan for map to ป้าหยันร้านอาหารเพชรบุรี
I never use any bird lists, but since I try to make it in to Cloudbirders. A very helpful site when planning your birding trips. But they ask for a bird checklist, and if I use their service, of course I want to contribute as well. My two first bird watching trip reports was rejected by Cloudbirders.
So I started to take ideas from the reports I found on Cloudbirders. So I have started to use bird lists, eBird generate one for me and I can post it on Cloudbirders. I will post my birds on eBird and on my different “BIRDS THAT I HAVE OBSERVED” pages.
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
Check lists 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.
Phetchaburi bird checklist from Avibase, click HERE - eBird version 2019 taxonomy
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.
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.
1st of May 2020 and we were ready with our bird watching in Laem Pak Bia at 11 o'clock and we left the area. Following road #4028 towards west and the intersection at Chao Samran Beach we turn north and follow road #3177 towards Phetchaburi. We drive through a typical SE Asian landscape with rice paddies and ponds, VERY BEAUTIFUL!! I just love these landscapes, of course, SE Asian style, just throw garbage everywhere.
We are heading to a Blue-tailed Bee-eater nesting area. They are a little like Egrets and Herons, suddenly you don't see them anymore and they are all in the same tree having babies. The Blue-tailed Bee-eater is digging holes in the ground. I have seen Bee-eater nest in Africa and India, they dig their holes in the side of sand.
But here the fields were full of sand piles dug out by the Blue-tailed Bee-eaters. A fantastic sight to get to see!
Blue-tailed Bee-eaters flying in and out of their nests all the time
Blue-tailed Bee-eaters flying in and out of their nests all the time
We can see all the Bee-eaters when we approach the field. The sky is full of them and the field was full of them. Getting out of the van and I walked to the hedge between the dirt track and the fields. One Green Bee-eater lands in the hedge 1 and a half meters from me. I manage to get picture and a recording before the birds takes off.
You could hear the Blue-tailed Bee-eater everywhere as they were calling all the time flying in and out of their nests on the ground of the fields. A beautiful experience!
I didn't want to get in on the fields as the bird would be disturbed so if you come here, STAY OUTSIDE THE FENCE/ HEDGE. And there is really no need to disturb the birds as you will find yourself close to them anyway.
Recorded with my ZOOM H5 handy recorder. High Pass Filter with Audacity applied
Visit a site with hundreds of nesting Blue-tailed Bee-eater. They were everywhere and I was surprised to see this Green Bee-eater landing in the bush 1,5 meters from me. The bird was not scared and I could get both pictures and a sound recording.
First sound is when sitting and then the last call is in flight when the bird take off
Baya Weaver nest at the temple gate
We can see one fresh and one nest from last year
Rüppell's Weaver building nest in Djibouti
I was not happy when we left for lunch as I did not expect much of a restaurant. But my plan was to look for birds while they were eating lunch. We stopped at the temple gate to have a look at the Baya Weavers building their nest in a tree next to the gate. It was nice to see them but the angle was not good for any pictures. But it looked the same as when the Rüppell's Weaver was building nest in Djibouti.
We are stopping for lunch and it was a very nice experience. So my packed granola bars will be brought back home. I had not expected any proper restaurant in the area so I brought my granola bars to have as a pick-nick lunch.
Today´s track at Hat Chao Samran--Hwy. 3177 Ricefields & Marshes
Hat Chao Samran--Hwy. 3177 ricefields & marshes, Phetchaburi, TH May 1, 2020 11:05 - 12:51
Checklist Comments: Bird watching with my Guide from Wild Bird Eco Tour
Feral Pigeon X
Spotted Dove 1
Asian Koel 1 Heard only
Red-wattled Lapwing 2
Cattle Egret 6
White-throated Kingfisher 1
Green Bee-eater 1
Blue-tailed Bee-eater 200 Many, 200 ++ nests on the field. Never seen so many Bee eaters before
Malaysian Pied-Fantail 1
Asian Pied Starling 2
Great Myna X
Baya Weaver 4
Asian Golden Weaver 1
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)
We left Hat Chao Samran and we will make one more stop before Bangkok. Next stop at Praek Nam Daeng and the eBird hotspot is the Praek Nam Daeng Marshlands & Fish Ponds--Soi Praek Nam Daeng 10 So we leave Hat Chao Samran driving north on Road #3177 to Phetchaburi.
Passing through Phetchaburi and we drive towards north on route #4 until RAMA II. We got up on RAMA II towards Bangkok and Praek Nam Daeng is the area after having got on the RAMA II and we left the high way.
Click HERE to find out if we see any birds in the area.