With our scheduled 2019 featuring 14-day Best Cambodia birding tours, starting from Siem Reap Angkor Wat to wetlands of the Tonle Sap floodplains Prek Toal, Ang Trapeang Thmor, Florican Grassland, then continue to the dry dipterocarp forests (DDF) in the northern plains at Tmatboey, Okoki, Vulture Restaurant, and then to finish with Kratie and the Seima in the eastern plains with evergreen forest. Our leader selected for this tour is gonna take you to explore the areas to see Cambodia target species (global significants) including Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis, Bengal Florican, Milky Stork, Greater Adjutant, White-winged Duck, Red-headed Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, White-rumped Vulture, Mekong Wagtail, Green Peafowl, Cambodian Tailorbird, and many other birds and mammals. With approximately 300 species expected on the list.
Accommodation in Siem Reap/Kratie/Mondulkiri are in comfortable air-con rooms (two single beds each room). In Tmatboey, the accommodation is basic with solar power. In Okoki and Boeng Toal, the accommodations are in safari style tented camp.
Single supplement is not valid for Tmatboey/OKoki/BoengToal, however, we could arrange it with no extra charge when there is a room available.
Arrive at Siem Reap International Airport and transfer to hotel. Overnight at Siem Reap.
Our first birding hotspot is chasing around the temple of Angkor where you can combine with historical, cultural tour as it one of the world attractive sites for tourists. A full day tour of the Angkor temples includes the magnificent 12th century Angkor Wat, the fabulous Ta Prohm Temple, embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers, the mysterious Bayon Temple. Beside temple, you can explore some bird species such as White-throated Rock-thrush, Black-capped Kingfisher, Black Baza, Alexandrine, and Red-breasted parakeet, Hainan Blue and Taiga Flycatchers. Overnight at Siem Reap.
An early start to transfer to Cambodia’s great lake, Tonle Sap. The day is spent birding at the Prek Toal Biosphere Reserve by boat and from watchtowers in the flooded forest. Prek Toal has one of the largest concentrations of waterbirds in South-East Asia with Oriental Darter, Spot-billed Pelican, Painted and Milky storks, Asian Openbill and Greater and Lesser adjutants among the species that can be seen. Return to Siem Reap in the late afternoon. The itinerary may vary depending on local conditions at Tonle Sap. Overnight at Siem Reap.
Today our birding hotspot is going to the wetlands at Ang Trapeang Thmor to look for Sarus Crane, duck, Black-necked Storks, Greater Spotted Eagle, Milky Stork, Painted Stork, Oriental Plover, and many other species. One globally threatened species – the Eld’s deer (Rucervus eldii). About 200 bird species recorded in the reserve.Overnights at Siem Reap.
Leave Siem Reap early morning for the grasslands at Kompong Thom to search for the rare and endangered Bengal Florican and wintering Manchurian Warbler. Raptors including Eastern Marsh Harrier, Pied Harrier, and Greater Spotted Eagle are often seen cruising over the grasslands here. In the afternoon continue to Tmatboey, one of the last strongholds of the very rare Giant Ibis and White-shouldered Ibis. Overnight at Tmatboey.
We’ll have the next two days to devote to the ibis and special birds of the dry dipterocarp forests here. Other rare species we’ll be on the lookout for include White-shouldered Ibis, Brown Fish-Owl, Spotted Wood-Owl, and White-rumped Falcon, with Crested Treeswift, Common and Greater flamebacks, and White-bellied, Black-headed, Grey-headed, Rufous-bellied, Rufous, Yellow-crested, and Great Slaty woodpeckers also in the area. We’ll spend tonight in Tmatboey Eco-lodge in simple wooden huts with mosquito nets.
After last morning birding around Tmatbeoy, the group will head toward Okoki passing Dongplet village from where the community that serves your services at the site. The group will arrive at Okoki around noon time then bird watching around the campsite especially waiting in the hide near the feeding pond for the White-winged duck. The group will stay here for 2 nights, rising early to walk through the forest to arrive predawn at hides constructed next to the pools favored by the duck. Bird watching throughout the day could produce a plethora of dry-forest specialists including Green Peafowl and White-rumped Pygmy-falcon. In the gallery forest, we can find a different suite of birds including Bar-bellied Pitta, Banded Broadbill and Banded Kingfisher. On our night walks, we are likely to encounter Oriental Bay Owl and Blyth’s Frogmouth. Overnight at Okoki camp tent.
In the late morning, we leave from Okoki to Beong Toal (vulture restaurant) arriving late afternoon then enjoy bird watching around the campsite especially Woodpeckers and Vultures. The Vulture Restaurant is a feeding program set up by the government of Cambodia and conservation NGOs to help sustain the 3 critically endangered species of vulture: Red-headed, White-rumped, and Slender-billed Vultures. Overnight at Beong Toal camp.
Before dawn, the group will make their way to a hide positioned not far from the vulture restaurant. The beautiful scene with up to 70 vultures may be present, often competing for the carcass with Golden Jackal usually happens. After the observing the vulture having their breakfast the group leave from vulture restaurant to Kratie arriving late afternoon where we will stay overnight looking for Asian Golden Weaver, Mekong River Dolphin, Mekong Wagtail, and other wetland birds.
We’ll take a 90-minute river trip from Kratie to look for Irrawaddy Dolphins, Mekong Wagtail and Small Pratincole on the Mekong River, then head up to Seima Forest and Mondulkiri, near the Vietnam border. Depending on how we are doing on time, we may have time for some late afternoon birding around Seima which holds good birds like several species of Barbets and Green-Pigeons, and much more, and then head for a site for the locally rare Green Peafowl. Overnight at Mondulkiri in a comfortable hotel.
Birding Seima Forest, and lunch at Oramis Resort which has a very productive strip of riparian forest, before heading out to some other pieces of great microhabitats, including some higher elevation spots. Crimson and Black-throated Sunbirds, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Banded Broadbill, Bar-bellied Pitta, Green-eared, Red-vented and Indochinese Barbet, Phylloscopus warblers, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Black Eagle and maybe Scaly-breasted Partridge are all exciting possibilities. Seima is home to the largest population of Black-shanked Douc in the world, along with Northern Pig-tailed and Long-tailed Macaque and Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon, all of which are regularly seen on our tours. Overnight at Mondulkiri in a comfortable hotel.
Dak Dam is hill evergreen forest located just an hour from Mondulkiri, the hills along the Vietnamese border reach over 800m asl. Remaining forest patches here hold an interesting collection of birds unlike any other site in Cambodia. Black eagle, Pale-capped pigeon, Indochinese Barbet, Blue-winged Siva, Silver-eared Mesia, White-cheeked Laughingthrush, Rufous-capped Babbler, Black-chinned Yuhina, Black-crowned Parrotbill, and Black-browed Fulvetta are some of the records from this site.
We will spend our last morning birding to Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary again until 9 am we will travel toward Phnom Penh. We will make a stop along the way to locate the newly discovered species of Cambodian Tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk). This area is also excellent for open-country species such as Plain- backed Sparrow and we often see large waterbirds such as Oriental Darter and Painted Stork. Tour finish in Phnom Penh hotel/airport, then it is time for both our guide and driver to say goodbye to the group.
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