1 May 2020

Bird watching trip report


Introduction

Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, a world famous area to look for waders. It is part of the Pak Thale – Laem Phak Bia Flyway Site, recognised as a priority site on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. There are many salt pans in the area. There is also the Environmental Research & Development Project with mangroves.

Go to the fishing harbour and rent a small boat with a Captain to explore the canal and mudflats going out to the Gulf of Thailand. And with the boat you can also go to check out the Sandspits.

This area is interesting in Spring/ Summer when you can see the waders in breeding plumage. Of course, most of the birds are here when they fly south from the winter months in the winter.

Shorebirds

Shorebirds are birds commonly found along sandy or rocky shorelines, mudflats, and shallow waters.

In some regions, shorebirds are considered wading birds.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Waders

Waders are birds commonly found along coastal habitats shorelines and mudflats that wade in order to forage for food (such as insects or crustaceans) in the mud or sand. They are called shorebirds in North America, where the term "wader" is used to refer to long-legged wading birds such as storks and herons. Waders are members of the order Charadriiformes, which includes gulls, auks and their allies.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale is an exciting area and there are of course several eBird hotspots in the area:

• Pak Thale Nature Reserve--Intertidal mud flats only
• Pak Thale Nature Reserve (General area)
• Mai Payung Restaurant vicinity
• Wat Khomnaram (Khomnaram Temple)
• Laem Phak Bia--Salt pans EAST of Hwy. 4028
• Laem Phak Bia--Salt pans WEST of Hwy. 4028
• Laem Phak Bia (General area)
• Laem Phak Bia--Environmental Research & Development Project
• Laem Phak Bia--Canal
• Laem Phak Bia--Sandspit
• Laem Phak Bia--Had Sai Med Rak Viewpoint
• Laem Phak Bia--Artemia ponds
• Laem Phak Bia--"Abandoned building" wetlands
• Laem Phak Bia--Garbage dump

To skip the information and to go straight to the TRIP REPORT click HERE


Guide

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 and they will pick me up at 05:30 and we will also check out some of the birding hot spots west of Bangkok when we are ready at Laem Phak Bia/ Pak Thale.

Wild Bird Eco Tour


Land transportation

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Thailand
About 130 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 a little more than 2 hours to reach Pak Thale. 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:
• Pak Thale ปากทะเล

• Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) ศุนย์เรียนรู้เรื่องนกและระบบนิเวศบ้านปากทะเล

Or show the driver a map. Click HERE for a map to the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) in Pak Tale


Scan for map to Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) in Pak Tale


• Laem Phak Bia แหลมผักเบี้ย

Or show the driver a map. Click HERE for a map to the bridge over the canal in Laem Pak Bia


Scan for map to the bridge over the canal in Laem Pak Bia


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 Petchaburi. Entering Petchaburi 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.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
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 for about 16 km until reaching an intersection. Turn left to get on road #4028.

From the intersection it is about 5 km to Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour. And it is about 14 km to Pak Thale following road #4028 driving north from Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour.

You can also leave RAMA II about 13 km after having crossed the bridge over River Klong, the second river you cross after having left Chao Praya River behind. Turn on road #2021 (Called highway 2021) and this road is soon turned in to road #4012. Follow this road until you reach BanLaem.

Turn right following road #3176. Turn left to follow the Rural Road #2021 and turn right at Na Am Phur and when coming out from BanLaem you reach a small roundabout.

The roundabout, can easily be mistaken for an intersection. But go straight and you are up on the road #4028. If you follow road #4028 it will take you to all the eBird hotspots 11 km south of the intersection starting with the Pak Thale Nature Reserve.


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

Binocular
Steiner Skyhawk 8x32 (Since May 2020)


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.

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

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 Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST)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.

The Logo
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.

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.

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.

He is also having a Blog - Thaibirds and more with interesting information.

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.


The East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership - The East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership is a network of partners within the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF). The East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) aims to protect migratory waterbirds, their habitat and the livelihoods of people dependent upon them.

The Flyway is one of 9 major migratory routes recognised globally. Partners include National Governments, Inter-Governmental Organisations, International Non-governmental Organisations, and International Private Enterprise, which agree to endorse the text and support the objectives and actions under this Partnership.

Thailand have three Flyway Network Sites - www.eaaflyway.net/thailand to find more information.
Pak Thale – Laem Phak Bia Flyway Site
Khok Kham Flyway Site
Krabi Estuary and Bay

www.tideschart.com GET THE LATEST TIDES IN THAILAND AND AROUND THE WORLD - A must to check out times for HIGH and LOW water when going to look for waders / shorebirds.

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

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

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.

Birds of Thailand by Uthai Treesuconand Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij

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

Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale


Laem Phak Bia (Thai: แหลมผักเบี้ย, pronounced [lɛ̌ːm pʰàk bîa̯]; lit. 'purslane point') is a coastal area in Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi Province, Thailand. The shore is a large, open area of mudflats and salt pans, with some mangrove areas and scrub, tipped by a sand spit. The area is not a national park, the land being privately owned, but it is a favoured location for bird-watchers where they can see a wide variety of shorebirds. The area is administered as Laem Phak Bia Subdistrict, and is home to a village of the same name.

Fauna
This area is famed for its bird-watching opportunities. Important species include the critically-endangered spoon-billed sandpiper, the endangered Nordmann's greenshank and black-faced spoonbill, and the white-faced plover. On the saltpans nearby, the spoon-billed sandpiper is reliably present from November to March, inclusive, and the painted stork, the red-necked phalarope and the pied avocet can also often be seen.

The sand spit is a wintering area for such gulls as the Pallas's gull, the Heuglin's gull and the Vega gull, and the Malaysian plover the Chinese egret are often present. Passerines that can be seen in the mangroves, swamps and enclosures at the research centre include the golden-bellied gerygone, the dusky warbler, the racket-tailed treepie, various reed warblers, the common snipe, the pin-tailed snipe, the ruddy-breasted crake and the slaty-breasted rail.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, a world famous area to look for waders. It is part of the Pak Thale – Laem Phak Bia Flyway Site, recognised as a priority site on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. There are many salt pans in the area. There is also the Environmental Research & Development Project with mangroves.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
eBird “Hotspots” at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
eBird “Hotspots” in Pak Thale

There are several eBird hot spots in the Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale Area, have a look at these if you CLICK the names below:

Some places the hotspots are very close and it is really impossible to know the limits between them.

Pak Thale Nature Reserve--Intertidal mud flats only

Pak Thale Nature Reserve (General area)

Mai Payung Restaurant vicinity

Wat Khomnaram (Khomnaram Temple)


Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
eBird “Hotspots” in Laem Pak Bia


Laem Phak Bia--Salt pans EAST of Hwy. 4028

Laem Phak Bia--Salt pans WEST of Hwy. 4028

Laem Phak Bia (General area)

Laem Phak Bia--Environmental Research & Development Project

Laem Phak Bia--Canal

Laem Phak Bia--Sandspit

Laem Phak Bia--Had Sai Med Rak Viewpoint

Laem Phak Bia--Artemia ponds

Laem Phak Bia--"Abandoned building" wetlands

Laem Phak Bia--Garbage dump


Pak Thale Nature Reserve--Intertidal mud flats only


If I understand it right, this is only a hot spot at low water. Drive as far you can get on the dirt road and you reach a pier. Maybe you can see birds here during the low water. If it is realy low water the birds will be too far away.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
As far as you can get on the dirt road at Pak Thale

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Mud flats at low water

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Mud flats at low water



Pak Thale Nature Reserve (General area)


There are a green “Pak Thale ShoreBird Site” sign and just turn east here and you are on a dirt track taking you past the saltpans and to the ponds on the way to the pier at the end of the road. There are several salt barns in the area and it had been reported that you can find Barn Owls in these barns.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Coming from south and you can see the green “Pak Thale ShoreBird Site” sign

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Follow the sign to Ban Pak Tha-le

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
By now you should already have left road #4028 and you should be on the dirt track

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
After a few hundred meters you're in the Salt Pans again, turn right as per directions on the sign

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
DRIVE SLOW TO AVOID DUST!!

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Drive by the salt pans

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Ponds turn in to mudflats during low water

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Concrete paved track to the pier

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST)

At high water the waders are in the pans/ ponds eating or resting. You can drive around on dirt tracks and you can come very close to the birds. Every time I tried to get out the birds took off and it was not possible to take any pictures.

Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST) have a house in the area and if they are open you can pay them a visit.



Mai Payung Restaurant vicinity


There is a tank farm south of Pak Thale located just next to the road on the west side. Just north of the tank farm you turn down towards the water. There is a row of restaurant at the water front.

There is a gravel area between the restaurants and the road and there is plenty space for parking. Enter the restaurants slowly and carefully, to quick and three step later you're in the water on the other side of the restaurant.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale - Mai Payung Restaurant vicinity, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Enough parking in front of the restaurants

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale - Mai Payung Restaurant vicinity, Phetchaburi, Thailand
You can see the tank farm behind the palm trees on the right hand side

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale - Mai Payung Restaurant vicinity, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Water front restaurant

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale - Mai Payung Restaurant vicinity, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Board walks from the restaurant

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale - Mai Payung Restaurant vicinity, Phetchaburi, Thailand

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale - Mai Payung Restaurant vicinity, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Not much space for bird watching

There is a meter or two between the restaurant and the water, and you will most likely be here mid-day and by then the sun is shining on the restaurant and it is next to impossible to get between the sun and the birds in the trees outside the restaurant. OK, you can wear rubber boots to get out in the water to get between the sun and the birds.

OK, if you don't have any time, just drive by. And I don't understand why they have made this place to an eBird hotspot, but it is so I made a stop. And it was not a waste of time, but to come here to look for birds, no.

Wat Khomnaram (Khomnaram Temple)


The fields in front of the temple Wat Kom Naram and the fields turns in to mud during the rainy season. There are quite a few Oriental Pratincole nesting on the dry mud. There are Skylarks and Bushlarks in the fields. There are a lot of birds in the trees along the wall between the fields and the temple ground.

There are fish farms next to the temple on the east side and these are accessible via a dirt track on the eastern side of the fields. The fields are divided by a dirt track between the temple and road #6022 south of the temple.

If you come from the north you can turn east in to the temple and there is a gate to the dirt track going south to road #6022.


Birding/ Bird watching at Wat Khomnaram, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Driving to the temple

Birding/ Bird watching at Wat Khomnaram, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Reaching the temple

Birding/ Bird watching at Wat Khomnaram, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Dirt track dividing the fields

If you come from the south on road #4028 you will pass a fuel station on your left hand side in good time before the T junction where you turn to west in to road #6022. And it is even easier to see the red and white radio mast just north of the T junction. So turn towards west between the gas stop and the radio mast.

Birding/ Bird watching at Wat Khomnaram, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Easy to see the gas stop and radio mast coming from south on road # 4028

Birding/ Bird watching at Wat Khomnaram, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Temple from the south

Birding/ Bird watching at Wat Khomnaram, Phetchaburi, Thailand
The fields

Birding/ Bird watching at Wat Khomnaram, Phetchaburi, Thailand
The fields

Birding/ Bird watching at Wat Khomnaram, Phetchaburi, Thailand
The fields

Can be worth a visit just to see the Oriental Pratincole standing on the dry mud. Otherwise here is not much to see, but worth to drive through when you go between Pak Thale and Laem Pak Bia.



Laem Phak Bia--Salt pans EAST of Hwy. 4028


Just north of Laem Pak Bia you have salt pans on both East and West side of road # 4028 and you can expect, of course, waders. Drive slow during the low water and keep your eyes in the ditches next to the road. They are now turned in to mud. We spotted Crakes at the water line at the bottom of the ditches. But they are very scared so not possible to get any pictures as they took covers in the vegetation.

Birding/ Bird watching at Wat Khomnaram, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Driving south on road#4028 between Laem Phak Bia Salt Pans

Drive between salt pans and pond on the dirt tracks and it is pretty much the same as the rest of the salt pans I have been visiting in Thailand. And drive slow to avoid dust on the heaps of salt they keep everywhere.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt Pans, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Getting in to the dirt track East of road #4028

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt Pans, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Driving around the salt pans East of road #4028

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt Pans, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Driving around the salt pans East of road #4028

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt Pans, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Driving around the salt pans East of road #4028

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt Pans, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Driving around the salt pans East of road #4028

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt Pans, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Driving around the salt pans East of road #4028

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt Pans, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Driving around the salt pans East of road #4028

We spotted a couple of Crakes driving by the area and of course waders and all the other birds associated with ponds and salt pans. And even if you don't see any birds it is an interesting area to see.



Laem Phak Bia--Salt pans WEST of Hwy. 4028


Just north of Laem Pak Bia you have salt pans on both East and West side of road # 4028 and you can expect, of course, waders. Drive slow during the low water and keep your eyes in the ditches next to the road. They are now turned in to mud.

We spotted Crakes at the water line at the bottom of the ditches. But they are very scared so not possible to get any pictures as they took covers in the vegetation so no pictures.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt Pans, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Work on the salt pans West of road #4028

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt Pans, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Work on the salt pans West of road #4028

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt Pans, Phetchaburi, Thailand
West of road #4028

We left road #4028 and the first thing we see is a new sign that it is prohibited to drive and walk in the area. So we just drove down the dirt track for a couple of hundred meters before we turned around.

I was here back in 2016 and you can read about it HERE



Laem Phak Bia (General area)


This seems to be a hot spot used for the general area and I never used this hot spot.



Laem Phak Bia--Environmental Research & Development Project


Closed during the Wuhan Virus, but it is reported that you are not allowed to enter by car any more, but there is a golf cart service. I need to check this out when it opens gain.

I was here back in 2016 and you can read about it HERE



Laem Phak Bia--Canal


On the boat and you passing the canal from the fishing harbour going to the Laem Phak Bia--Sandspit. There are mangroves on both sides of the canal. And there are mudflats during low water. You see birds in the mangroves and there are waders on the mudflats during the low water.

And we can see all the birds we associate with water front, mangroves and mudflats. So here is a lot to see and if you’re on a boat you have rented yourself it is easy to ask the “Captain” to slow down. Or to ask the “Captain” to stop.

Maybe not so easy if you're in a group, the reason for me to pay the extra and go alone.

Laem Phak Bia--Canal
Leaving Laem Phak Bia fishing harbour

Laem Phak Bia--Canal
The canal and Gulf of Thailand ahead of us

Laem Phak Bia--Canal
Mangroves and mudflats on both sides of the canal

Laem Phak Bia--Canal

Laem Phak Bia--Canal
Mangroves and mudflats on both sides of the canal

Laem Phak Bia--Canal
Mouth of the canal




Laem Phak Bia--Sandspit


Leaving the canal and the sandpits are on your right hand side. During low water you can use the dried up sand as a berthing place and get of the boat. And as it is sand and no mudflats it is possible to walk on the “sea bottom” Walk around and there are many waders, even though they tend to take off when you came close to them.

Laem Phak Bia--Sandspit
We can see the sandpits on the right hand side coming out from the canal

Laem Phak Bia--Sandspit
I get off the boat

Laem Phak Bia--Sandspit
Many waders on the dry sand at low water




Laem Phak Bia--Had Sai Med Rak Viewpoint


This place, maybe worth a visit in the winter, and it won't take you many visits to come here. Just turn east less than 100 meters south of Laem Pak Bia fishing harbour. You reach the beach about 200 meters from road #4028 and there is a big parking area. MAY 2020 and no birds was spotted, well, one Chinese Pond Heron and a Malaysian Plover very far away + three unidentified Terns.

There is a dead tree area just before you reach the parking, not one single barbet was spotted here.

Laem Phak Bia--Had Sai Med Rak Viewpoint
It is not a well maintained area

Laem Phak Bia--Had Sai Med Rak Viewpoint
There is enough parking

Laem Phak Bia--Had Sai Med Rak Viewpoint
The beach

Laem Phak Bia--Had Sai Med Rak Viewpoint
I don't think I will bother coming back




Laem Phak Bia--Artemia ponds


Well, this hot spot is pretty much the same as the other “pans & ponds” hotspot in the area. Comming from north and turn right about 200 meters after having crossing the bridge over the fishing harbour.



Laem Phak Bia--Garbage dump


It is the same way to the garbage dump and the abandoned building and you can see the abandoned building from road #4028. When you reach the sluice gate on the south side of road #4028 you turn north on to a dirt road.

Even if you don't know what a sluice gate you will understand when you pass the sluice port. After a couple of hundred meters you will pass the garbage dump

Laem Phak Bia--Abandoned building
Easy to see the abandoned building form the road

Laem Phak Bia--Abandoned building
Sluice port

Laem Phak Bia--Abandoned building
After passing the sluice port turn to north in to the dirt track (ARROW)
AGAIN! DRIVE SLOWLY IN THE AREA!! Not far between the spots and it is easy miss a road etc.

Birding/ Bird watching in Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale, Thailand
Dirt track from the sluice port to the abandoned building

Birding/ Bird watching in Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale, Thailand
You are soon passing a garbage dump (On your left hand side)
Took this picture after passing the garbage dump

Just to park the car anywhere as there is plenty space on the dirt road. Walk around the area looking for birds and there are plenty birds around the garbage dump. And I guess it is because of flies and insects in the garbage.

MAY 2020 AND THE GARBAGE DUMP IS REMOVED

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia--Garbage dump, Thailand
MAY 2020 AND THE GARBAGE DUMP IS REMOVED

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia--Garbage dump, Thailand
MAY 2020 AND THE GARBAGE DUMP IS REMOVED




Laem Phak Bia--Abandoned building" wetlands

Scan for map to the “Abandoned building”

Drive past the garbage dump and you reach the abandoned building in a couple of minutes. And again, plenty area for parking or drive along the dirt tracks to check out the birds.

Birding/ Bird watching in Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale, Thailand
Driving past the garbage dump - The abandoned building

Birding/ Bird watching in Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale, Thailand
The abandoned building

Birding/ Bird watching in Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale, Thailand
Wiev from the abandoned building





Bird checklist

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.

Cloudbirders


Avibase - Bird Checklists of the World

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.


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.


Trip Report


1st of May 2020 and we left my Condo at 05:30, or well, a few minutes after 5 thirty. I was expected a smaller car but it was a big van and it was comfy in the back. Enough space to move from side to side so I was ready for birds on any side of the car. The only bad thing was that the windows are sitting pretty low.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Thailand
They are here to pick me up

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Thailand
Leaving Bangkok behind

We left my apartment and we took the same route out of Bangkok as we take leaving for Moo Ban Pramong. Crossing Chao Phraya River and up on RAMA II. We drove west towards route #4 and we turned south reaching road #4. This is the border Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Thailandbetween Phetchaburi and Ratchaburi.

We are actually crossing 2 borders at this area. First from Samut Songkhram to Ratchaburi and then in to Phetchaburi. Anyway, entering Phetchaburi and there was a Wuhan Virus check point. Our Driver is working for channel 3 and he have a TV 3 sticker in front of the van, so no one stopped us.

Well, maybe this is something to put on your car?

Reaching Phetchaburi and we turn to east and we take road #4021 straight to road #4028 at Pak Thale. Leaving road #4028 at the “Pak Thale ShoreBird Site” sign. After a few hundred meters we're at the eBird hotspot Pak Thale Nature Reserve (General area) and we approach a big group of birds.

It was Egrets, Herons, Storks and Cormorants sitting together on a barrier between two ponds in one big group.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Thailand
The birds take off when we approach

Spot-billed pelican, Pelecanus philippensis, นกกระทุง

We spotted one Spot-billed Pelican among all the birds and I could get a picture of the bird. We continue past the salt pans and we're at the tidal ponds. We spot 2 Chestnut Munias in the bushes on the way, but the pictures was not any good as they were too far away.

We spotted a group of Bar-tailed Godwits and when I reported them in my eBird map it said that the bird had never been reported here before. Strange, a common bird and my Guide had reported it several times here at Pak Thale.

The tidal ponds were full of waders and there was also a Brahminy Kite flying over the ponds looking for food and the waders was obviously not happy about the Brahminy Kites presence over the ponds.

We had Common Greenshanks and Common Redshanks. Bar and Black tailed Godwits and two different stints in the tidal ponds. We spotted one Curlew Sandpiper and of course, Black-winged Stilt and Lesser Sand Plover, the most common birds that I spotted in the tidal ponds.

The beautiful Pacific Golden Plover and we had three Whimbrels flying over me, could only be ID back home because of the very poor picture I managed to get.

Bar-tailed Godwit, Limosa lapponica, นกปากแอ่นหางลาย

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Thailand

Red-necked Stint, Calidris ruficollis, นกสติ๊นท์คอแดง

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Thailand

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Thailand
Brahminy Kite

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Thailand

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Thailand
Curlew Sandpiper


Pacific Golden Plover, Pluvialis fulva, นกหัวโตหลังจุดสีทอง
Female Pacific Golden Plover
Pak Thale, Thailand - May 2020

Pacific Golden Plover, Pluvialis fulva, นกหัวโตหลังจุดสีทอง
Male Pacific Golden Plover

The track down to the pier is made out of concrete and on one side there is a tidal pond and on the other side, also a tidal pool but here they have planted new mangrove. I spotted one Common Kingfisher on this side. No picture, but I was happy to see the bird as I have not seen any Common Kingfisher for a very long time.

We turned around down at the pier and we started to drive back towards road #4028. Approaching the salt pans and we spotted a Slaty-legged Crake in the ditch along the track. At the bottom looking for food in the mud, but the bird disappeared over the barrier before I had my camera ready.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Pak Bia / Pak Thale, Thailand
Today´s track at Pak Thale


eBird

eBird Report


Pak Thale Nature Reserve (general area), Phetchaburi, TH May 1, 2020 07:23 - 08:35
Protocol: Traveling
4,3 kilometer(s)
Checklist Comments: Bird watching with my Guide from Wild Bird Eco Tour
27 species

Feral Pigeon 1
Zebra Dove X
Slaty-legged Crake 1 In the mud ditch. As soon as my camera was ready the bird disappeared over the pond barrier.
Black-winged Stilt X
Pacific Golden Plover 3
Lesser Sand Plover X
Whimbrel 3
Bar-tailed Godwit 20 Never reported before? My guide have reported the bird before. Bar-tailed Godwit bill has a slightly upcurved tip and the Black tailed have a straight bill. I checked with my pictures when I was back home to confirm the ID. The bird was in a group of about 20 Bar-tailed on the mudflats
Black-tailed Godwit 1
Curlew Sandpiper 1
Long-toed Stint 2
Red-necked Stint 25
Common Greenshank 1
Common Redshank X
Whiskered Tern 2
Spot-billed Pelican 1
Great White Egret X Many Many
Intermediate Egret 3
Little Egret X Many Many birds
Javan Pond Heron X Many
Brahminy Kite 1
Common Kingfisher 1
Plain Prinia 1
Common Myna X
Great Myna X
Chestnut Munia 7
Eurasian Tree Sparrow X

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S68164573

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

We turn towards south when we reach road #4028 and we drive south until we reach the road for Wat Khomnaram, we turn towards east and we drive 200 meters on the small road to the parking area of the Wat Khomnaram (Khomnaram Temple).

We drive through the gate to the dirt track dividing the fields south of the temple. This area is another eBird hotspot, the Wat Khomnaram (Khomnaram Temple)

We see Oriental Pratincoles standing on the dry mud and we stop. I get out of the car to try to sneak up on the birds so I can get a few pictures of the beautiful bird.

Birding/ Bird watching at Wat Khomnaram (Khomnaram Temple), Thailand
Oriental Pratincoles standing on the dry mud

Open field so of course, the birds spotted us as soon as we were out of the car. But they stayed on the dry mud and I started to sneak towards 2 birds that looked to be in an area that would be easy to get to.

There are some spots of mud in the field and I wanted to avoid the mud. I was surprised how close I could get to the birds, but still not close enough for any good pictures.

Oriental Pratincole, Glareola maldivarum, นกแอ่นทุ่งใหญ่

The two first birds took off when I was 20 meters away and I tried to get to some other birds and I was soon discover mud between me and the birds. I tried to jump via the spots of grass. Of course, I was full of mud but no pictures when I gave up.

We saw Bushlarks and Skylarks and some other birds that my Guide spotted in the binoculars, but I never put them on my list as I could not see them close enough “to have seen them”

So there is birds in the area, if I would have been alone I would most likely only have had mynas on my list.

Birding/ Bird watching at Wat Khomnaram (Khomnaram Temple), Thailand
Today´s track at Wat Khomnaram (Khomnaram Temple)


eBird

eBird Report


Pak Thale Nature Reserve (general area), Phetchaburi, TH May 1, 2020 07:23 - 08:35
Protocol: Traveling
0,83 kilometer(s)
Checklist Comments: Bird watching with my Guide from Wild Bird Eco Tour
7 species

Feral Pigeon 8
Zebra Dove X
Asian Koel 1 Heard only
Black-winged Stilt 5
Oriental Pratincole 9
Black-naped Oriole 1 Heard only
Great Myna 2

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S68165908

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

We leave the temple and we continue further south on road #4028 driving having salt pans on both sides of the road. On the east side we have the eBird hotspot Laem Phak Bia--Salt pans East of Hwy. 4028 and on the west side we have Laem Phak Bia--Salt pans WEST of Hwy. 4028 and along the road we have salt barns and people busy bringing salt from the salt pans to the barns and trucks waiting along the road.

Approaching the Environmental Research & Development Project and we turn towards west to get up on the dirt track taking us to the salt pans west of the road. And this area is the eBird hotspot Laem Phak Bia--Salt pans WEST of Hwy. 4028

Driving slowly and we are soon spotting a Crake in the ditch next to the track. Looking for food in the mud but the bird took cover in the bushes before we could get a certain ID of the crake.

After 2 minutes I asked the driver to stop, one Lesser Sand Plover very close to the car in the mud ditch. No picture but after a few meters we stopped again, this time a Common Sandpiper. The bird was not scared and I could get pictures.

Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos, Drillsnäppa, イソシギ, นกเด้าดิน

Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos, Drillsnäppa, イソシギ, นกเด้าดิน
Common Sandpiper / นกเด้าดิน

Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos, Drillsnäppa, イソシギ, นกเด้าดิน
Common Sandpiper / นกเด้าดิน

If I had a cent for every Black-winged Stilt, well, there would be no more need for working. And Egrets and Pond Herons. There was a pool full of Egrets and Herons behind a house we passed. We spotted a Racket-tailed Treepie, first time for me. But the bird disappeared before I had a good look and pictures was not to think about.

A Collared Kingfisher was sitting on a wire next to a lake / pond, of course, taking off before I got any pictures. We spotted a third crake and the bird was on the mud flat in the ditch next to the dirt track but it disappeared in to the vegetation in a jiff. Again, no ID possible as the Crake disappeared very quickly. And they all looks very similar at a quick glance.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt pans, Thailand
Today´s track at Laem Phak Bia--Salt pans West of Hwy. 4028


eBird

eBird Report


Laem Phak Bia--salt pans West of Hwy. 4028, Phetchaburi, TH May 1, 2020 09:19 - 09:49
Protocol: Traveling
2.01 kilometer(s)
Checklist Comments: Bird watching with my Guide from Wild Bird Eco Tour
10 species (+1 other taxa)

Spotted Dove 2
rail/crake sp. 2 Disappeared in to the bushes from the mudflat before it was possible to ID.
Black-winged Stilt X Many
Lesser Sand Plover 1
Common Sandpiper 1
Great White Egret X Many
Little Egret X Many
Collared Kingfisher 1
Racket-tailed Treepie 1
Chestnut Munia 2
Eurasian Tree Sparrow X

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S68167107

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

We turned north reaching road #4028 and we drove north for 200 meters before turning towards east for the eBird hotspot Laem Phak Bia--Salt Pans East of Hwy. 4028 And as soon as we turned up on the dirt track we noticed a new sign: NO DRIVING! NO WALKING!

This was unexpected. We only drove 200 meters or so before we turned around driving back to road #4028. I was lucky that we got on the dirt track as we spotted a Spotted Redshank. Common Redshanks are 13 on a dozen, but the Spotted Redshank is very rare to see. And I got to see it in breeding plumage!

In winter uniform it looks pretty much as a Common Redshank at a quick glance. The Spotted Redshank have a white eyebrow. But in Breeding Plumage it is all black with white spots on the back and it is easy to understand how the Spotted Redshank got the name.

Spotted Redshank, Tringa erythropus, นกทะเลขาแดงลายจุด

Spotted Redshank, Tringa erythropus, นกทะเลขาแดงลายจุด
Spotted Redshank / นกทะเลขาแดงลายจุด

Otherwise there was nothing exciting here. Well, there was not many birds and we decided to leave the area. Winter time and here is a lot of birds, but the new sign: NO DRIVING! NO WALKING! Maybe the sign is removed in the winter, I will see next time I pass the area.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt pans, Thailand
Today´s track at Laem Phak Bia--Salt Pans East of Hwy. 4028


eBird

eBird Report


Laem Phak Bia--Salt Pans East of Hwy. 4028, Phetchaburi, TH May 1, 2020 09:51 AM - 10:02
Protocol: Traveling
0,71 kilometer(s)
Checklist Comments: Bird watching with my Guide from Wild Bird Eco Tour
4 species

Black-winged Stilt X Many
Spotted Redshank 1 Alone in a group of Common Redshanks
Common Redshank 8
Little Cormorant 1

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S68167541

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

Back on road #4028 and we turn south and we drive by the eBird hotspot Laem Phak Bia--Environmental Research & Development Project that is closed due to the Wuhan Virus. A few hundred meter south of the Environmental Research & Development Project ve cross the bride over another eBird hotspot, the Laem Phak Bia--Canal where you can rent a boat to get you to the hotspot Laem Phak Bia--Sandspit.

Less than hundred meter south of the bridge you turn to East to reach the eBird hotspot Laem Phak Bia--Had Sai Med Rak Viewpoint

The road ends with a huge parking area next to the beach. And the area looks to be in dire need of maintenance and clean up. No birds except for a Chinese Pond Heron. My Guide spotted one Malaysian Plover through his binocular. But as I only saw it as a black dot I never put it on my list.

3 Terns that I could not ID was flying over the area.

There is a small area with dead trees when you reach the parking, but I could not see any Barbets. Maybe if I come back in the winter and I can see more birds.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia Salt pans, Thailand
Today´s track at Laem Phak Bia--Had Sai Med Rak Viewpoint


eBird

eBird Report


Laem Phak Bia--Had Sai Med Rak Viewpoint, Phetchaburi, TH May 1, 2020 10:08 - 10:16
Protocol: Traveling
0,19 kilometer(s)
Checklist Comments: Bird watching with my Guide from Wild Bird Eco Tour
1 species

Chinese Pond Heron 1

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S68167857

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

We left the viewpoint turning towards south and we followed the south beach going towards west until we reached the sluice. We turned in to the dirt track driving 200 meters north just to discover that the eBird hotspot Laem Phak Bia--Garbage dump was removed. No more Bee-eaters chasing flies at the garbage dump.

There were Barn Swallows sitting on a heap of dry bushes. We spotted the Red-wattled Lapwing and a Red Collared Dove, but when we left the previous garbage dump I had not get any good pictures.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia--garbage dump, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Red Collared Dove

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia--garbage dump, Phetchaburi, Thailand
Today´s track at Laem Phak Bia--Garbage dump


eBird

eBird Report


Laem Phak Bia--garbage dump, Phetchaburi, TH May 1, 2020 10:24 - 10:30
Protocol: Traveling
0,4 kilometer(s)
Checklist Comments: Bird watching with my Guide from Wild Bird Eco Tour
5 species (+1 other taxa)

Red Collared Dove 1
Black-winged Stilt 3
Red-wattled Lapwing 1
Barn Swallow X
Great Myna 1
Western/Eastern Yellow Wagtail 1 Bird pottering around on the ground, too far away for any pictures. Took off to the heap of dead bushes to sit with the barn swallows.

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S68168130

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

I stopped the tracking in my eBird app and I started a new track again. The eBird hotspot Laem Phak Bia--"Abandoned building" wetlands start where the garbage dump hotspot comes to an end. The first bird we spotted was a Lesser Sand Plover and one minute later we had an Pacific Golden Plover on the barrier to the pond.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia--Abandoned building wetlands

Pacific Golden Plover, Pluvialis fulva, นกหัวโตหลังจุดสีทอง

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia--Abandoned building wetlands - Painted Stork

We didn't spot so many birds, again, I think this is the place to be in during the winter when all the waders return from Europe with their babies. But it was nice to see the Painted Storks on top of the abandoned building. We drove around as much as we could on the dirt track but many of the dirt tracks came to a dead end.

Birding/ Bird watching at Laem Phak Bia--Abandoned building wetlands
Today´s track at Laem Phak Bia--"Abandoned building" wetlands


eBird

eBird Report


Laem Phak Bia--"abandoned building" wetlands, Phetchaburi, TH May 1, 2020 10:30 - 10:47
Protocol: Traveling
1,8 kilometer(s)
Checklist Comments: Bird watching with my Guide from Wild Bird Eco Tour
5 species

Pacific Golden Plover 1
Lesser Sand Plover 2
Painted Stork 9 Sitting on top of the abandoned building
Little Cormorant 2
Little Egret 4

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S68168502

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)

We left the "abandoned building" wetlands and we turned towards west when we were back at the sluice at road #4028. We areready with the Laem Pah Bia / Pak Thale area and we will stop at the nesting ground used by the Blue-tailed Bee-eater. And this area is another eBird hotspot, the Hat Chao Samran--Hwy. 3177 ricefields & marshes just south of Phetchaburi.

Click HERE to find out if we see any birds.



Bird watching trip report



       
                  


                                       

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