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GPS coordinates for birding


The Bali Myna day trip. 


Taiwan endemics count


Laos' Khammouane Bulbul


The count from Chiang Dao

canopy tower.


This morning in Subic Bay


Picop or Mt. Polis anyone?


Mt. Dulang-dulang


In Focus


Western Hoolock Gibbon


Asian Glossy Starling


















Orange-bellied Flowerpecker

1 out of 5 peckers seen

that morning























Best looking Bulbul ever?























































Grey-rumped Treeswift






































Yellow-eared Spiderhunter




All photos taken at

Tonpariwat WS







A guided morning birding at Tonpariwat Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand.


While bird guiding in SE-Asia might be much harder work than many would realize, there’s 1 aspect so important that it would make any guide keep going forever…excitement! Yes, we do visit the same areas repeatedly, I reckon some would get bored, but for myself I believe this adds to the intimidate knowledge one gathers about an area and it is sure that no visit can be the same as the previous one. There’s always something new and different and I strongly believe that there is no such as a bad morning. All right, the pain wake up even before 5am will always be there but then a positive approach and some fresh enthusiasm takes over soon. A new morning is bound to become good, very good or even better. Excitement fills the air, and then sometimes…very sometimes, it becomes so good you would hardly be able to believe it. Even rarer would be for the impossible to happen, I never thought it would be possible…our morning at Tonpariwat.


Scaly-breasted Bulbul is one of those excellent specialities regular at Tonpariwat. It's very scarce anywhere else in South-Thailand .


Tonpariwat Wildlife Sanctuary is a large tract of evergreen forest on steep terrain in southern Thailand. The area is largely inaccessible, that is –for everyday visitors and nature lovers- no proper trails, facilities or even forest guards are a feature in many of the smaller reserves in Thailand. So yes indeed, birding is very limited, but the last stretch of road to the headquarters, just about 500m or so, has some of the highest bird activity anywhere in South-Thailand and it is here some excellent roadside birding can be had. The forest immediately next to the roadsides looks like nothing, just second growth with decent trees far and few in between. Yet, this is a special place, and a variety of seeding and flowering scrubs and small trees usually attracts quite a few birds. I might have been over 15 times by now and to compare each of these visits gives one a good insight in what is possible here in a single morning. I would say about 45 species is a nice average score. Fifty would be good and 55 very good. Sixty would be very hard to ever manage and 70 I would have thought impossible…

A single morning birding along a 500m stretch of road, with only a single type of habitat present, yes that is in “slow birding” southern Thailand, and we notched up 73 species…please note that unlimited excitement came to me. Thank you so much!


                  The Whiskered Treeswift breeds at Tonpariwat.                                    We photographed this superb Red-billed Malkoha

                       If you look carefully, you’ll find proof above.                                           on one of our previous visits to the sanctuary.



Seventy-three species simply must include some real goodies and hard to find species! The list is long so will keep myself to a top-ten of favourites. The full morning list can be viewed below.


1) White-throated Rock-Thrush

2) Scaly-breasted Bulbul

3) Red-bearded Bee-eater

4) Green-backed Flycatcher

5) Great Hornbill

6) Banded Kingfisher

7) Dark-throated Oriole

8) Whiskered Treeswift

9) Chestnut-breasted Malkoha

10) Blyth’s Hawk Eagle


Aah, can’t leave it…too good, here’s another half a dozen;

Silver-rumped Needletail, Fiery Minivet, Grey-bellied Bulbul, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Yellow-eared Spiderhunter, Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker.


View Larger Map


Coordinates of HQ;  08.36.44 N    98.32.58 E

Altitude approx. 1150 feet / 350 meter


Here’s a sound recording I made at Tonpariwat of the superb song of White-handed Gibbon. Usually these can only be heard extremely distant from the birding area. Just once on many visits, on 3 Feb 2010, I was lucky enough to find a single Gibbon right by the entrance. If you didn’t believe me so far on high bird activity in the place, listen, you may recognize the odd 10 bird species in the background. Busy spot! You also may have noticed from the sonogram, our Gibbon goes heavy at the end!


Full bird list for 4 hours birding in the morning of 19 January 2010 at Tonpariwat WS, Thailand.


Oriental Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus


Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela


Blyth's Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus alboniger


Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis


Vernal Hanging-Parrot  Loriculus vernalis


Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii


Chestnut-breasted Malkoha Phaenicophaeus curvirostris


Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis


German's Swiftlet Aerodramus germani


Silver-rumped Needletail Rhaphidura leucopygialis


Asian Palm-Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis


Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus


Grey-rumped Treeswift Hemiprocne longipennis


Whiskered Treeswift Hemiprocne comata


Banded Kingfisher Lacedo pulchella


Red-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis amictus


Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops leschenaulti


Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis


Brown Barbet Calorhamphus fuliginosus


Red-throated Barbet Megalaima mystacophanos


Blue-eared Barbet Megalaima australis


Banded Broadbill Eurylaimus javanicus


Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica


Lesser Cuckoo-shrike Coracina fimbriata


Fiery Minivet Pericrocotus igneus


Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus


Black-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus atriceps


Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus


Scaly-breasted Bulbul Pycnonotus squamatus


Grey-bellied Bulbul Pycnonotus cyaniventris


Stripe-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus finlaysoni


Streak-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus blanfordi


Spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus erythropthalmos


Ochraceous Bulbul Alophoixus ochraceus


Hairy-backed Bulbul Tricholestes criniger


Grey-eyed Bulbul Iole propinqua


Streaked Bulbul Ixos malaccensis


Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis


Common Iora Aegithina tiphia


Great Iora Aegithina lafresnayei


White-throated Rock-Thrush Monticola gularis


Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus


Rufescent Prinia Prinia rufescens


Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius


Dark-necked Tailorbird Orthotomus atrogularis


Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus


Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis


Pale-legged Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus tenellipes


Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica


Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica


Brown-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa siamensis


Green-backed Flycatcher Ficedula elisae


Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki


Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus


Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis


White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus


Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea


Puff-throated Babbler Pellorneum ruficeps


Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis


Plain Sunbird Anthreptes simplex


Plain-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis


Olive-backed Sunbird Cinnyris jugularis


Eastern Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja


Yellow-eared Spiderhunter Arachnothera chrysogenys


Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus maculatus


Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus percussus


Thick-billed Flowerpecker  Dicaeum agile


Orange-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum trigonostigma


Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum


Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus


Dark-throated Oriole Oriolus xanthonotus


Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis


Asian Fairy-bluebird Irena puella


Total number of birds : 73                           Check it out; Tonpariwat WS bird list -134 bird species-


P.S. Not about Tonpariwat but on exactly that same day we went for lunch in nearby Phang-nga. Restaurant beautifully set by a mangrove lined channel. Nice food, cold drinks, Mangrove Pitta and Brown-winged Kingfisher calling nearby…and a new sign that made me change my mind about Thailand…I was almost convinced we weren’t interested at all in reducing Co2 emissions. We love our gas guzzling massive 4x4s, we do not believe in insulation so the air-cons can keep going at full power…but then, here it is.

We ARE making our contribution after all! Cheers! Love you!




This information page published 27 April 2010, copyright  Birding2asia All rights reserved.