Thailand

Thailand Raptor Tour

Combine it with our Nepal Raptor Tour, 5-19 November
and target 60+ Asian raptor species!

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The best raptor migration in Southeast Asia!

Every autumn hundreds of thousands of raptors in Indochina follow four main migration routes originating in remote Siberia, northern China and Mongolia, across the region through Thailand and Malaysia, into Indonesia, the Philippines, to Papua New Guinea, and even northern Australia.

 

Wieder eine für Greifvogelfans in gewohnter Weise perfekt geplante Reise von Raptours, mit bester fachkundiger Führung, Unterkunft und Verpflegung."

Dr. Dieter G. Haas, Germany. 2013 Edition

 

"Un viaje con 32 especies de rapaces avistadas resulta sorprendente. Un guía experto en el tema que contrata guías locales para no perder detalle de otras especies no es habitual. Resultado, una excursión ornitológica para guardar en forma indeleble en el espíritu.”

Norberto Oste, Argentina. 2015 Edition

 

One of these routes, the East Asia Continental Flyway, lies along the Kra Isthmus, the land bridge connecting the Thai‑Malay Peninsula with the continent. Located on the coast of the South China Sea, Khao Dinsor—much like Veracruz in southeastern Mexico—is witness to a fantastic raptor migration. Over one quarter million of diurnal birds of prey of some 25 species fly past this point every autumn.

View to the north from Khao Dinsor, Thailand
View to the north from Khao Dinsor, southern Thailand.
© S. Seipke

The raptor highlights here include up to 125,000 Chinese Sparrowhawks, over 40,000 Oriental Honey Buzzards, 15,000 Gray‑faced Buzzards, more than 10,000 Japanese Sparrowhawks, and thousands of Shikra. The jewel of Khao Dinsor is, however, the massive flight of over 150,000 Black Bazas!

Bird the oldest rainforest on Earth!

At 160 million years-old lowland tropical forests at the wondrous Khao Sok National Park—a few hours’ drive from Khao Dinsor—are considered to be the oldest in the world. Here we will target resident raptors including Lesser, and Gray-headed Fish Eagles, Bat Hawk, and Black‑thighed Falconet.

Khao Sok National Park, Thailand by Sergio Seipke.
Lowland forests surrounding Khao Sok reservoir are home to a breathtaking number of bird species, including five species of hornbills, and raptor rarities such as Bat Hawk.
© S. Seipke

A visit to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand (2016) will allow us to look for Rufous‑winged Buzzard, Mountain Hawk‑Eagle, and White‑rumped Falcon.

Hawks, culture, seafood, and beaches… the Perfect Raptor Vacation!

Witness the spectacular raptor migration that takes place in this new hawk‑watching Mecca, and experience the wonderful local seafood and culture. Relax in our comfortable hotel by the beach near the hawk‑watch, and in comfy floating cabins at the Khao Sok reservoir. Take a dip in the hotel’s swimming pool, or take an authentic Thai massage. After the flight easies down in the afternoon enjoy your favorite drink at the hotel’s beachside bar.

Swimming pool at the Nana Beach Hotel, Thailand
Cool off in our hotel's swimming pool or take an authentic Thai massage after the flight is over—you are entitled to it!
© S. Seipke

Make a difference!

Hawk Mountain logoChumphon Raptor Center logoRaptours®, L.L.C. will make a financial contribution to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary for every member that signs up for this tour. Join us on this tour and make a lasting contribution to raptor conservation.

Raptours®, L.L.C. is also a sponsor of the Chumphon Raptor Center. Join us on this tour and learn about raptor identification and migration ecology while helping fund raptor conservation worldwide.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival at Suvarnabhumi International Airport (IATA Code BKK), meet with Raptours staff, and transfer to hotel. Dinner at the hotel (also lunch if arriving in the morning). Welcome briefing in the evening.

Day 2

8:00 AM, breakfast at hotel restaurant. 9:00 AM, check‑out. 9:15 AM-4:30 AM, drive to Saphli area, our base for the next few days. Check‑in at the Nana Beach Hotel. 7:00 PM, dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Evening presentation “Common Raptors at Khao Dinsor”, by Sergio Seipke. Night in the Nana Beach Hotel.

Days 3–7

For the next 5 days our daily routine will be quite the same. Most days will go as follows: 7:00 AM, breakfast at our hotel. 8:00‑8:10 AM, drive to the Chumphon Raptor Center. Hike uphill on concrete trail to the lookouts or stay in the Center’s parking lot according to preference (the hike uphill is a moderately demanding one, tour leader will discuss with individual participants about the best course of action here). All the raptors species at Khao Dinsor can be seen from both the lookouts up the hill and from the Center’s parking lot. Picnic lunch or snacks, or drive back to hotel for a late lunch depending on flight circumstances. Between 3:00 and 4:00 PM, go back to the hotel. Relax at swimming pool or hotel room, get a Thai massage, take a dip in the sea, or enjoy a drink at the hotel’s beachside bar. 6:30 PM, dinner at hotel or short walk to eat out. Night in the Nana Beach Hotel.

The flight at Khao Dinsor is dominated, in approximate order of abundance, by Black Baza, Chinese Sparrowhawk, Gray‑faced Buzzard, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Shikra, Japanese Sparrowhawk. Less abundant migrants include Eastern and Pied Harriers, Crested Serpent Eagle, Besra, Booted Eagle, and Steppe and Japanese Buzzards. At all times, resident raptors such as Brahminy Kite, Crested Goshawk and White‑bellied Sea Eagle may pop up at the lookouts. Rarities at Khao Dinsor include Short‑toed Snake Eagle, Indian Black Eagle, Eurasian Sparrowhawk and Greater Spotted Eagle.

Short local trips in the afternoon to see resident raptors will be also a possibility. We may also visit an alternative migration site: Radar Hill, depending on flight conditions. On Day 7 Sergio will give the evening presentation “Raptors of Khao Sok National Park”.

Day 8

7:00 AM, breakfast. 8:00 AM, checkout. 8:15 AM, head south to be at the Khao Sok reservoir by noon. 12:15‑1:15 PM, boat ride to floating hotel. 1:30 PM, check‑in and lunch at the hotel’s restaurant. 2:30-6:00 PM, boat ride to look for Oriental Hobby, White‑bellied Sea Eagle and Lesser Fish Eagle, among other raptors. 6:30 PM, dinner at hotel. Night in floating hotel.

Days 9–10

7:00 AM, breakfast. 8:00 AM, ride on long-tailed boat to target raptors including Osprey, Lesser and Gray‑headed Fish Eagles, White‑bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Crested Honey Buzzard, Blyth’s and Wallace’s Hawk‑Eagles, among others. If we are lucky, Black‑thighed Falconet, too. 1:30 PM, lunch either at floating hotel or at another floating restaurant. In the afternoon another boat ride, and before sundown visit place where a pair of Bat Hawks roost to see them take off. 7:30 PM, dinner. Night in floating hotel.

Day 11

6:30 AM, breakfast, 7:30 AM, checkout. 7:45-8:45 AM, boat ride back to pier. 9:00-11:00 AM, drive to Phuket to target Black-thighed Falconet and local Peregrine Falcons, lunch and birding at the beach. Catch our flight to Bangkok in the afternoon. Check‑in at the hotel upon arrival. 9:00 PM, dinner. Night in hotel near airport.

Day 12

7:00 AM, breakfast at hotel restaurant. 8:00 AM, check‑out. 8:15-10:30 AM, drive to Kaeng Krachan National Park. We may see Jerdon’s Baza, Oriental Honey Buzzard, and Gray‑faced Buzzard. If we are lucky, maybe even a leopard! 2:30 PM, late lunch and check‑in at hotel. Watch raptors in the rice fields around Petchaburi in the afternoon. We expect to see Brahminy and Black-shouldered Kites. We will visit a bat cave before sunset. Several accipiter species, Gray-faced Buzzard and Peregrine Falcons come to catch them when millions leave the cave in a 15-minute window! 8:00 PM, dinner at hotel. Overnight near the park.

Day 13

7:00 AM, breakfast and checkout. 8:00 AM, visit nearby bird water-holes to try to see red jungle fowl and pheasants. At mid-morning drive into the park once again. This time we will drive to the highest reaches of the park to target Mountain Hawk‑Eagle. Picnic lunch in the park. 2:00‑6:30 PM, drive back to Bangkok where the tour ends.

Day 14

Catch flights back home… or, stick around in Bangkok for a relaxing couple of days and then fly on to Kathmandu, Nepal and meet with participants of the Nepal Raptor Tour (5-19 November) to target a combined total of 60+ Asian raptor species on both tours!

Target SpeciesDownload as checklist in PDF format

common name

  1. Osprey
  2. Oriental Honey Buzzard
  3. Crested Honey Buzzard
  4. Black Baza
  5. Jerdon’s Baza
  6. Crested Serpent Eagle
  7. Black Kite
  8. Brahminy Kite
  9. Chinese Sparrowhawk
  10. Japanese Sparrowhawk
  11. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  12. Shikra
  13. Besra
  14. Crested Goshawk
  15. Eastern Marsh Harrier
  16. Pied Harrier
  17. White-bellied Sea Eagle
  18. Lesser Fish Eagle
  19. Gray-headed Fish Eagle
  20. Short-toed Snake Eagle
  21. Bat Hawk
  22. Changeable Hawk-Eagle
  23. Mountain Hawk-Eagle
  24. Blyth’s Hawk-Eagle
  25. Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle
  26. Greater Spotted Eagle
  27. Booted Eagle
  28. Rufous-winged Buzzard
  29. Gray-faced Buzzard
  30. Eastern Buzzard
  31. Steppe Buzzard
  32. Black-thighed Falconet
  33. Collared Falconet
  34. White-rumped Falcon
  35. Common Kestrel
  36. Oriental Hobby
  37. Peregrine Falcon

Latin Name

  1. Pandion haliaetus
  2. Pernis ptilorhynchus orientalis
  3. Pernis ptilorhynchus torquatus
  4. Aviceda leuphotes
  5. Aviceda jerdoni
  6. Spilornis cheela
  7. Milvus migrans
  8. Haliastur indus
  9. Accipiter soloensis
  10. Accipiter gularis
  11. Accipiter nisus
  12. Accipiter badius
  13. Accipiter virgatus
  14. Accipiter trivirgatus
  15. Circus spilonotus
  16. Circus melanoleucos
  17. Haliaeetus leucogaster
  18. Ichthyophaga humilis
  19. Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus
  20. Circaetus gallicus
  21. Macheiramphus alcinus
  22. Nisaetus cirrhatus
  23. Nisaetus nipalensis
  24. Nisaetus alboniger
  25. Lophotriorchis kienerii
  26. Clanga clanga
  27. Hieraaetus pennatus
  28. Butastur liventer
  29. Butastur indicus
  30. Buteo japonicus
  31. Buteo buteo vulpinus
  32. Microhierax fringillarius
  33. Microhierax caerulescens
  34. Polihierax insignis
  35. Falco tinnunculus
  36. Falco severus
  37. Falco peregrinus
Pandion haliaetus Pernis ptilorhynchus orientalis Pernis ptilorhynhus torquatus Aviceda leuphotes Aviceda jerdoni Spilornis cheela Milvus migrans Haliastur indus Accipiter soloensis Accipiter gularis Accipiter nisus Accipiter badius Accipiter virgatus Accipiter trivirgatus Circus spilonotus Circus melanoleucus Haliaeetus leucogaster Icthyophaga humilis Icthyophaga ichthyaetus Circaetus gallicus Macheiramphus alcinus Nissaetus cirrhatus Nissaetus nipalensis Nissaetus alboniger Lophotriorchis kienerii Clanga clanga Hieraaetus pennatus Butastur liventer Butastur indicus Buteo japonicus Buteo buteo vulpinus Microhierax fringillarius Microhierax caerulescens Polihierax insignis Falcon tinnunculus Falco severus Falco peregrinus

Suggested Field Guides

Kasorndorkbua, C., C. Chinuparawat, and C. Nualsri.. 2008. A Photographic Guide to the Raptors of Thailand. Amarin Printing and Publishing Co., Bangkok, Thailand. (Thai, with English common names).

Robson, C. 2002. Birds of Thailand. Princeton Field Guides, Princeton, New Jersey.

Need to Know

Tour Dates

2018 Dates TBA | 10 Places

Booking Closes On

1 August

Group Size Limit

10 participants

Tour Price

$4,850 per person

Single Supplement

$450

Raptor Species Expected

30

Country Entry Requirements

Passport holders from the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, and most of Europe don’t need a visa

Difficulty

Easy to Moderate

Comfort

Good to Excellent

Weather & Clothing

Humid and hot. Showers expected | Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent, and a folding umbrella

Health

Some travel vaccines and malaria prophylaxis are advisable

Local Currency

Baht

Tour Map

Thailand Tour map
Click on the map to see more details

Tour Raptor Expert

Sergio Seipke (Argentina) started traveling to Thailand to watch and photograph raptors in 2013.

Thai Expert Guide

Games Punjapa
Games Punjapa is a top‑birder and licensed bird guide active in Thailand since 2005.

Tour Showcase

White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), 3rd-4th plumage
Four species of fish‑eating raptors are regular at Khao Sok: Osprey, Gray‑headed, and Lesser Fish Eagles, and White‑bellied Sea Eagle!
© S. Seipke
Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela), juvenile by Sergio Seipke.
Plumage variation in migrant juvenile Crested Serpent Eagles at Khao Dinsor warrants additional research. Most juveniles here show dark bodies.
© S. Seipke
Japanese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter gularis), juvenile by Sergio Seipke.
Up to 10,000 Japanese Sparrowhawks are tallied every autumn at Khao Dinsor—juveniles show heavily marked under-wing coverts.
© S. Seipke
Besra (Accipiter virgatus), juvenile by Sergio Seipke.
Juvenile Besra are difficult to tell in the field. Most of the birds are identified after‑the‑fact on people's computer screens in the evening.
© S. Seipke
 
Black Baza (Aviceda leuphotes), by Sergio Seipke.
Numbers of charismatic Black Bazas at Khao Dinsor are staggering—between 75,000 and 150,000 are recorded every fall! The species migrates in dense flocks, sometimes passing the hawk‑watch at eye‑level or below.
© S. Seipke
Shikra (Accipiter badius), adult by Sergio Seipke.
Accipiter diversity at Khao Dinsor is among the highest anywhere: five species of migrants and one resident. Mid‑sized Shikra are a delight to watch.
© S. Seipke

Terms


Raptours, L.L.C. reserves the right to alter this itinerary as necessary, or to cancel the tour prior to departure, with full refund to participants.

Raptours, L.L.C. or its agents may decline to accept or retain any person as a member of this tour at any time.

No smoking will be permitted while with the group, either when indoors or in the field.

Travel medical insurance is strongly recommended.

All passengers will be required to sign a hard copy of the Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk form upon meeting with the tour leader in Phuket.

No participants will be allowed in the group without a signed copy of the Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk form.

Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk Form
(including Terms)
Download as PDF