23rd Nov 2023
Update from recent Thailand tour - Spoon-billed Sandpiper and more
The WildWings ‘Spoonie and more’ tour to Thailand concluded at the end of last week after a highly successful trip with 344 species being recorded in 12 days. One of our clients describing it as a “very good tour”, adding that our Thai guide, ’Jay’, or to give him his full Thai name, Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij, was “brilliant in the field”.
As always, an impressive list of species was recorded, with this undoubtedly headlined by the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Sadly, all the evidence continues to support Birdlife’s categorisation of this amazing bird as one of the world’s rarest and most threatened species, with only one individual being seen on the holiday.
Another wader which is also having real trouble is the tree nesting Nordmann’s Greenshank with the world population of this species potentially as low as 1,000 individuals or maybe even less. Our group saw this species on two dates, with up to four individuals noted, whilst they explored the saltpans and mudflats to the west of Bangkok.
The Gulf of Thailand is unquestionable one of the world's hotspots for wader diversity, with the tour recording 36 species of shorebirds and as well Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann's Greenshank, other noteworthy species included Grey-headed Lapwing, Greater Painted-snipe, Asian Dowitcher, Great Knot, Long-toed Stint and Oriental Pratincole.
The tour also visited two of the premier national parks in Southern Thailand, Khao Yai and Kaeng Krachan, with the sightings including Bar-backed Partridge, Siamese Fireback, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Pied Harrier, Orange-breasted and Red-headed Trogons, Great, Oriental Pied and Wreathed Hornbills, four species of bee-eaters, thirteen species of woodpeckers, Black-and-red, Banded and Black-and-yellow Broadbills, Western Hooded Pitta, Sultan Tit and the highly localised and endemic Rufous Limestone Babbler.
Our next holiday to Thailand will be in January 2024 when Jay will be co-leading the Limosa tour which visits the same sites as the recent WildWings trip plus there is a week in the Northern Mountains where an entirely new suite of birds can be found. To read more about joining the holiday, please click here.
WildWings will be returning to Thailand next winter for another visit and details will shortly be posted on our website. If, however, you would like to pre-register for the tour, please contact the office.
The highly endangered Nordmann's Greenshank was seen on two dates during the tour © Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij, November 2023
The group enjoyed stunning views of Bar-banded Partridge © Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij, November 2023
Orange-breasted Trogon © Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij, November 2023
Red-headed Trogon © Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij, November 2023
Black-and-yellow Broadbill © Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij, November 2023
Great Hornbill © Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij, November 2023
Sadly the once numerous Yellow-breasted Bunting is now considered critically endangered with the population having probably fallen by over 99% since the 1980s © Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij, November 2023