Monday 22 May 2017

Cambodia - May 2017 : Searching for the World's Rarest Birds - Part 2

Bengal Florican - one of our main target species in Cambodia

Day 5: Ang Trapaeng Thmor

Kunthea met us at 5am again and we set off to Ang Trapaeng Thmor (ATT) mainly for Sarus Cranes. ATT is a large reservoir built during the Khmer Rouge era in the 1970s north west of Siem Reap, mainly as part of an irrigation project. It wasn't until 1999 that the site was designated as a wildlife sanctuary, the reserve is the feeding ground of more then 300 Sarus Cranes during the non-breeding season, where they feed on the paddies and wetlands within the reservoir. Other then cranes, the surrounding area of ATT holds various habitats where other species can be found, with a site record of around 200 species in total.

We stopped enroute to check on a few birds next to some fields, Great Mynas sang from their morning perch. We were soon met by a few Baya Weavers busily building their new nests. There weren't too many interesting birds around so we moved on towards ATT.

Great Myna

Baya Weaver - probably one of the more elaborate nest we saw

Our Land Cruiser stopped at the Wildlife Conservation Agency (WCA) station, where we picked up our local guide and had breakfast. Just outside the building I found a few more Baya Weaver nests, this time much closer and I managed some better photos. The young male here looked to be quite new to this and it's nest requires a lot of working on...A female came over to inspect his nest but wasn't impressed.

Baya Weaver - this young male have much to learn before mastering his nest building skills...

The reservoir was huge, we drove along the dam to look for birds on both sides. Black-backed Swamphens and Bronze-winged Jacanas were nice to see. There were also plenty of Watercocks skulking along in the tall grass. By the roadside bushes Kunthea spotted a small flock of Red Avadavats, a species that always brings plenty of excitement.

Black-backed Swamphen

Bronze-winged Jacana


Red Avadavat

Lesser Whistling Ducks were nice addition to our trip list. Cotton Pygmy Geese were very common here, and we encountered small flocks of these good looking dabblers throughout. The males were particularly handsome and some of them swam close to the road. Little Grebes were also in good numbers, we never seen them flock together as they did like this in Hong Kong.

Lesser Whistling Duck

Cotton Pygmy Goose

Little Grebe

A small flock of Painted Stork fed in the nearby field, which provided some decent views. We spotted a single Arctic Warbler in the roadside bushes.

Painted Stork

Arctic Warbler

We stopped at a point to look over the large open grassland and paddies to scan for Cranes, but we came up with none. We only got a few Pheasant-tailed Jacanas not too far away. Kunthea managed to pick up an extremely distant Black-necked Stork, which was merely a tiny spec at the far end of the reservoir, the rising hot air distorted it's shape but it was clear what it was, I didn't even bother to take a photo of it. Our local guide located a large congregation of Storks with Egrets and a few Black-headed Ibis, so we went closer to investigate and to scan for any possible Milky Storks, but they turned out to be all Painted, still nice to see nonetheless. A single immature Asian Openbill gave close views, allowing us to study the difference with the adults, they don't have an "openbill"!

Pheasant-tailed Jacana - in full breeding plumage

Can you spot the Black-headed Ibis?

Painted Stork

Asian Openbill - immature lacking the "openbill"

Water Buffalos

Seeing that no cranes were around, Kunthea suggested we continue moving forward to try another spot where the cranes could be feeding. It didn't take long to get there, along the way we picked up a Rufous-winged Buzzard. We also got a Black-shouldered Kite nearby. When we got to the location we saw that no cranes were in sight, our disappointment was eased off slightly by a few Red-wattled Lapwings.

Rufous-winged Buzzard

Black-shouldered Kite

Red-wattled Lapwing

We finally gave up on the cranes and decided to move into the slightly wooded area to look for some other birds. Good thing we did as one of the first birds we saw was a Spotted Owlet, new bird for us and we managed to get quite close to it! A tiny owl with a lot of character indeed.

Spotted Owlet

Our Land Cruiser went deeper into the wooded marsh, soon after we got out of the car we saw a Black-headed Woodpecker on top of a bare tree! Another lifer for us! This handsome woodpecker had been quite high on my wanted list and it's great to finally see it with my own eyes. An immature Shikra came along and chased the woodpecker off. Around the same area we were also greeted by a Lineated Barbet perched in the open which gave quite good views. Greater Racket-tailed Drongos constantly calling and one showed briefly.

Black-headed Woodpecker

Shikra - immature

Lineated Barbet

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

Black Bitterns were quite common here and we saw at least four individuals, but all were flying views. Another woodpecker came along in form of a Common Flameback, another lifer for us! It's not difficult to see why they have been named "Flamback", they do look like a small ball of flame when they are in the air!

Black Bittern

Common Flameback

Kunthea and the local guide led us to a patch of tall trees and as soon as we got there large birds started flying out, which turned out to be Barn Owls! The day roost hosted at least 15 Owls and many of them gave quite good inflight views, although none of them perched in the open. I never knew this species roosted communally, so it's a new thing for me. The only other new bird added was a single Rufous Treepie.

Barn Owl

Rufous Treepie

On the way we saw two young men wading around in a shallow pond, turned out they were fishing with their bare hands in the murky water! And seems they were quite successful, as one of them had a whole baskets full of fishes including a few Snakeheads! They say that this pond was created from a recent flood, where fish were washed here from the main reservoir.

Catching fish with bare hands...that requires some skills!

Fishing basket

We had lunch at the WCA station and a bit of rest, after the delicious lunch we decided to give the Cranes another try. We again drove back up to the reservoir, scanning for any possible cranes, but all we saw were people working on their fields. Kunthea led us to a lotus pond, quite a lot of people were fishing in the area, Kunthea stated that it was a public holiday so many people are coming out here to enjoy the countryside. Streak-eared Bulbuls came along and gave good views, a few Plain-backed Sparrows sang above us.

Leisure fishermen

Streak-eared Bulbul

Plain-backed Sparrow

We stationed ourselves under the shade of a tree. Things started to pick up as we scanned the tall grass, with Black Bitterns, Yellow Bitterns, Black-backed Swamphen, Bronze-winged Jacana and Pied Kingfishers. The best bird here was however a White-browed Crake that decided to show itself in the open! My last encounter (and only) was one found in Long Valley a few years back, so it's very nice to see them in their natural range.

Black Bittern

Yellow Bittern

Black-backed Swamphen

Bronze-winged Jacana

Pied Kingfisher

White-browed Crake

Despite the lack of cranes, the supporting cast were more then enough to make it up for us, plus the amazing views of the reservoir was certainly something to remember, so we headed back into Siem Reap for some rest.

Amazing view over ATT...

Day 6: Florican Grassland - Tmatboey

We again started our day early, driving south east towards the east side of the Tonle Sap flood plain where the Bengal Florican Reserve is situated. This seasonal flooded grassland is where the now critically endangered Bengal Florican breeds during the dry season, and the main reason for our trip here. The Bengal Florican is considered to be the rarest and most endangered Bustard in the world, with a global population of around 1,000 birds. The population here is Cambodia is likely one of the world's most concentrated.

The road going into the reserve is quite tough going (for the Land Cruiser), the heavy rain late last month had made some roads muddy and flooded. It was a very bumpy ride in. Still, we managed to stop next to a Blue-tailed Bee-eater which posed very well for a photo in the morning sun.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater

Our car stopped under a tall tree over looking some fields, we were joined by two local guides on their scooters (how they manage in such road conditions I will never know), as we got out of the car Kunthea told us that they have already located a flock of Sarus Cranes in the distance! Small numbers are regularly sighted here, and good thing we got them here after missing on them the day before! We enjoyed some good scope views along with some breakfast by the car.

Sarus Crane - luckily not dipped!

We were soon joined by another Land Cruiser, turned out they were other staffs from SVC on a bird guide training programme. The trainer Howie Nielsen from the US specifically came to help with the training. It was nice to see them training more young people to become bird guides and more aware about the wildlife conservation in Cambodia.

SVC guide training

The open grassland provided perfect habitat for Oriental Pratincoles, which hundreds breed on the plains. Paddyfield Pipits are quite common here. As we slowly cruised (very bumpy) along the muddy tracks, the local guides stopped their scooters ahead of us and pointed on the ground near them. We got out of the car and walked towards where they were pointing but saw nothing. Kunthea told us that a Small Buttonquail is sitting on the ground only a meter away from where I was standing! Suddenly a small brown blob moved quickly and stopped at another patch of grass nearby, this time I got a much better look and you simply have to marvel on the level of camouflage this tiny bird had achieved! It blended right into it's surroundings!

Oriental Pratincole - adult and juvenile

Paddyfield Pipit

Small Buttonquail

It wasn't too long before we finally caught up with our target bird, as a few of them flew up from the grass and across the sky, giving us quite good flight views! They were all males and their black necks and breasts contrasted nicely with their wings. We continued to a disused farm house in the middle of the grassland, where we stopped our car to scan for more of these amazing birds.

Bengal Florican - main attraction at Florican Grassland

Sure enough we counted seven more of them, all walking along the tall grass, although they were really far for any effectively good photographs, but to see them through the scope out in this open grassland was itself an amazing experience. We later went to another location to look for Manchurian Reed Warblers, we managed some fleeting glimpses of these skulking warblers which were good enough for ID but not enough for any photographs. Blue-tailed Bee-eaters were in particularly good numbers and many were very photogenic.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater - you can't get bored looking at them...

Seeing that we have had a successful morning connecting with two target species, we turned back to exit the reserve. On our way out we encountered many more Oriental Pratincoles, including a few pairs with chicks. Paddyfield Pipits were again everywhere. A couple of Indian Rollers were added.

Oriental Pratincole - adult pair standing their grounds over their chick

Paddyfield Pipit

Indian Roller

Suddenly, I spotted a male Bengal Florican trotting along the tall grass nearby, I immediately called out to stop the car! We enjoyed several minutes of amazing views of this brilliant looking bustard feeding, before it finally took to the air and out of sight! Although we saw the Floricans in good numbers, I simply don't know whether this species can hang on in the wild, with ongoing lost to their already limited habitat, their survival does not look particularly bright, let's hope they can continue to thrive in Cambodia for the many generations to come.

Bengal Florican - best view I could have only dreamed of!

We hit the road towards Tmatboey before noon, there are no such things as motorways in Cambodia, so travelling takes a bit of time. We stopped briefly for lunch, Kunthea went to the market to grab so food for our stay at Tmatboey the next two days. The journey was overall uneventful, we only stopped at a supposed stakeout for White-rumped Pygmy Falcons, but no matter how hard Kunthea tried the Falcons were a no show and seems to have abandoned their previous nest hole. Although we did managed to add White-browed Fantail, Indochinese Bush Lark and Burmese Shrike onto our list.

White-browed Fantail - at nest

Burmese Shrike

Indochinese Bush Lark

It was 3:30pm by the time we arrived at the Tmatboey Eco-lodge, this lodge is situated within the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in the northern plains of Cambodia. This area was once very remote and not many travellers will go there, but since the rediscovery of the extremely rare Giant Ibis, the area had been designated as a protected area. Sam Veasna Centre brought in tourist and birders who wish to see these rare birds, and the money coming into the community benefits the people living in the village. Other then funding the village to have better amenities such as schools and better roads, the villagers are also encouraged to be more aware of the conservation of these rare birds through promoting sustainable ecotourism.

It's important to note that the rooms were very basic, if you wish to visit Tmatboey don't expect anything fancy. There are no AC in the rooms, and the windows are wooden boards that you can either open or close, there's a single ceiling lamp and a fan in the room. The windows were not fitted with glass or any mosquito mesh, so expect a lot of insects! There is a mosquito net for the bed which seemed to be adequate for keeping those annoying blood suckers out. There is a shower and toilet inside the rooms, even solar heated water if you want, but I can't imagine anyone would ever need a hot shower in Cambodia...

Tmatboey Eco-lodge

After we settled down we went out with Kunthea and Mr. Krum (again sorry if I spelt this wrong) our local guide, although my mum decided to stay at the lodge to rest. The plan was to get to one of the known Giant Ibis roosting site to see if any of them at dusk where we hope to see this mythical bird returning to roost. Heavy rain last month broke a bridge that we were supposed to cross with our car, so we could only go so far and had to walk the rest of the way. We encountered a small bird wave with Small Minivet, Common Woodshrike, Large Cuckooshrike and Common Flameback. Above a few Crested Treeswift circled around, with one perched on top of a tall tree. Green Bee-eaters were commonly seen.

Common Woodshrike

Small Minivet

Large Cuckooshrike

Common Flameback

Crested Treeswift

Green Bee-eater

Things slowed slightly afterwards, we came across a single Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker. We continued walking towards the supposed roosting site, but to make life difficult, the footpaths were muddy and some places flooded. We finally reached the roost site before dusk, a tall bare tree stuck out from the canopy marked the site. We waited quietly for any movement, but nothing came after 6:30pm, which probably meant the ibises had roosted somewhere else.

Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker

On our way back we found two more species of woodpeckers, including a Lesser Yellownape and a White-bellied Woodpecker, the later is apparently not very common in Cambodia, but it was so dimmed that I only managed a very rough record shot. The return journey felt very long, probably because we were very tired.

Lesser Yellownape

White-bellied Woodpecker

We turned in early that night after dinner and shower, night time at Tmatboey was considerably cooler. I fell asleep pretty quickly and slept through the night.

Day 7: Tmatboey

We met at the common dining area at 6am. The plan was to first visit the known site for White-rumped Pygmy Falcon, then try for other woodpeckers in the area.

The car drove only five minutes from the lodge and stopped at a small turn off by the main road. We gave the Falcons a little try, Kunthea whistled and played the playback hoping to get a respond from the falcons, but none came. After a while we decided breakfast was probably more suitable, fried rice with omelettes; a common Cambodian breakfast item. A Rufescent Prinia came along when we were having breakfast.

Rufescent Prinia

We tried again after filling ourself up with food, but the falcons were once again no show! Two no shows at two known locations were pretty frustrating, and by that time I kind of gave up on them. We followed the muddy track into the forest, but bird activities didn't increase much despite the morning mist lifting, and had mainly common species here and there. All of a sudden we heard the distinctive maniac laughter of the Great Slaty Woodpecker, we followed their calls and soon had three landed on a nearby dead tree! I later moved to a position with better light, the three huge woodpeckers put on quite a show for me in full glory of the morning sun! Calling and stretching out their wings to display! A truly magnificent sight for the largest species of Woodpecker alive (no I don't believe in the Ivory-billed)!

Great Slaty Woodpecker - amazing encounter!

Things quietened down a little afterwards, we encountered yet another Black-headed Woodpecker, but it stayed pretty far away. Ashy Drongos were numerous, the race nigrescens are much darker then any other races I have seen so far and resembles a Black Drongo from the distance. We also spotted our only flycatcher of the trip in form of a Dark-sided Flycatcher. An immature Burmese Shrike made an appearance.

Black-headed Woodpecker

Ashy Drongo - race nigrescens

Dark-sided Flycatcher

Burmese Shrike

Small Minivets were pretty common along this stretch of forest, and we encountered several flocks. Brown Prinias showed briefly, slightly larger and longer tailed then other prinias in the area with plain head. A male Purple Sunbird basked in the sun allowing quite good views was a plus.

Small Minivet

Brown Prinia

Purple Sunbird

One of the better bird in the morning came in form of a Chestnut-capped Babbler, a species I wanted to see at Nonggang in Guangxi last time but missed. Although this one gave good views it never perched still enough for a good photo, so I got some pretty poor representation of this very good looking babbler. A Grey-breasted Prinia also made a brief appearance afterwards, pretty similar looking to Rufescent Prinias but longer tailed and have a faint greyish breast band. A more familiar bird came along in form of a Red-billed Blue Magpie.

Chestnut-capped Babbler

Grey-breasted Prinia

Red-billed Blue Magpie

We encountered a pair of Besras in the forest, we later saw the nest that must have belonged to them. Around the same area couple of Crested Serpent Eagles circled high above whistling constantly.


Crested Serpent Eagle

A few Nuthatches came along, first the more familiar Velvet-fronted Nuthatch which we see in Hong Kong all the time. The Burmese Nuthatch was the other species, which was new to us. I do however prefer their other name, the Neglected Nuthatch, which is so much more stylish! They never came close enough for any decent views though. We also had a Lesser Adjutant drifted past in the distance.

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

Burmese Nuthatch - also known as the Neglected Nuthatch

Lesser Adjutant

It was getting really hot by 11am, and my dad was really feeling the heat and had started developing a headache. At which point we decided to head back for shower and lunch. Birding in Cambodia during one of their hottest month of the year was not easy, dehydration could set in extremely quickly if you're not careful as you are constantly sweating. After some rest and lunch, I took some time at the bird hide created behind the lodge to see if any birds will come along, nothing much came except for a single Green-billed Malkoha and a pair of Black-naped Monarchs, but only the latter provided any decent views.

Black-naped Monarch

After a nap and a bit of rest, we were ready to take on the Cambodian heat again! My mum decided to stay behind to rest, so me and my dad went ahead and ventured out into the forest of Tmatboey once more. Kunthea had heard news from another local ranger that a Giant Ibis was seen earlier in the day at a pond, so we went and investigated. The Land Cruiser took a bit of a beating going in, a hidden stump ripped the left side of the bumper off, our driver improvised on the spot and fixed the car in no time!

Our driver fixing the Land Cruiser on the spot

The Ibis was as expected not where it was supposed to be, so we walked to an old nest where they fledged earlier in the month before our visit. We walked around the area and suddenly Kunthea pointed towards the tall tree and exclaimed that she had spotted a White-rumped Pygmy Falcon! We soon locked onto a male that perched beautifully, allowing us to study it's every detail. With adrenaline up we headed back to the car and off to our next stop.

White-rumped Pygmy Falcon - an amazing stroke of good luck!

The plan was to try and catch the White-shouldered Ibis coming back to their roost, there are several known roosting site at Tmatboey, but you just can't be 100% sure where they roosted each night. Our car stopped and we walked into an open area with rice paddies, as we were walking along I noticed two large birds flying straight towards us, and before I realised what they were Kunthea shouted "Giant Ibis!", I scrambled for my camera and clicked away! The pair flew slowly passed us under the setting sun, while making their haunting and mournful cries which echoed through the forest. We were completely over our heads after they drifted into the distant and disappeared into the woods as we high-fived loudly! The Giant Ibis is likely one of the rarest bird in the world, with an estimated population of no more then 290 individuals and with an on going threat of habitat loss the future of this amazing bird is unclear. It is now restricted to northern Cambodia and southern Laos. I truly wish that further protection effort made here in Cambodia will pay off and the future of this ancient looking bird will be secured for generations to come. This brief encounter will no doubt go down as one of the most unforgettable birding experience, and once again proves that sometimes it's better when the birds comes to you.

Giant Ibis - a sight I will never forget

We walked further in and crossed the river to get to the roosting tree (and got our shoes wet in the process as there was no bridge!). The White-shouldered Ibis was a no-show despite our efforts to wait until 6:30pm. Only an Indian Roller bothered to perch onto the supposed roosting tree. So, still exhilarated after the encounter with the Giant Ibis, we went back to the lodge smiling.

Ibis roosting tree...without any Ibis

Day 8 : Tmatboey - Siem Reap

I woke up to the calls of Asian Barred Owlet next to my lodge. It was fried rice with omelette for breakfast again at 6am. I the Owlet perched on an open branch not too far form my lodge, so this was probably the same bird that woke me up.

Asian Barred Owlet

After breakfast we started our morning walk behind the lodge, hoping to get the White-shouldered Ibis onto our trip list on our last morning here at Tmatboey. A few birds perched on top a tree turned out to be Orange-breasted Green Pigeons. Red-breasted Parakeets were quite common along this stretch and were seen repeatedly. Further along a White-rumped Shama sang from an open perch, a species always exciting to see. Hair-crested Drongos were also around the same area.

Orange-breasted Green Pigeon

Red-breasted Parakeet

White-rumped Shama

Hair-crested Drongo

We reached an open clearing amongst the trees, the field provided feeding grounds for plenty of Hoopoes. There were also a lot of Red-wattled Lapwings in the area, a lot of them calling noisily as we walked across the field, it's likely that they have a nest somewhere and wanted us gone. Rufous-winged Buzzards perched high on bare trees early in the morning.

Eurasian Hoopoe

Red-wattled Lapwing

Rufous-winged Buzzard

Suddenly, we noticed a large dark bird flying towards us, an Ibis! I first thought it was a Giant Ibis, but soon realised it has the diagnostic white patch on it's shoulder! A White-shoulderd Ibis indeed! The bird gave a fairly good flyby view for everyone, completing our quest for the two species of Ibis here at Tmatboey! Exhilarated, we heard another ibis calling from the woods further ahead, so we pushed on to investigate. As we walked through the forest scanning the trees, Kunthea spotted an ibis perching right on top of one of the tree near us! We managed to get a clear look through a tiny window amongst the trees! It gave amazing views before flying off into the distance. This critically endangered species is a clear reminder how easily we could lose species to extinction if we are not careful, as this species was once widespread throughout South East Asia, ranging all the way to Yunnan in south west China. Now, it's only limited to a few pockets of population mainly in Cambodia and Laos. It will be a great loss to everyone if this or the Giant Ibis are lost forever.

White-shouldered Ibis - Great views through the small opening

We turned back towards the lodge after the great success, on the way picking up a few more birds such as a pair of Rufous Treepies which sang their metallic and machine like song. A Blossom-headed Parakeet also made an appearance, although a little bit far away. A Black-hooded Oriole finally decided to reveal itself to us after glimpses of flying views and replaced those with a prolonged perched view. A pair of Green-billed Malkoha provided plenty of entertainment and showed well. Finally, a Rufous-winged Buzzard which provided the closest view we had of this species all trip, which ended our early morning and last walk at Tmatboey on a perfect note.

Rufous Treepie

Blossom-headed Parakeet

Black-hooded Oriole - juvenile

Green-billed Malkoha

Rufous-winged Buzzard

We packed our bags and had an early lunch at the lodge, with excellent food as always! As we were about to get into the car, I noticed a few Hair-crested Drongos behind the lodge, turned out a pair were feeding their fledglings.

Hair-crested Drongo - feeding young at the Eco-lodge

We said our goodbyes with the staffs at the lodge and hit the road back to Siem Reap, feeling very contented and blessed with what we have seen. Not just because we saw nearly all of our target species we have set out to see here in Cambodia, but we felt a certain degree of hopefulness for the future of this country once battered by wars and political unrest. The amazing people we have met throughout the trip, the bountiful natural resources of the fertile land (Cambodia's fruits are one of the best I've ever had!), have all made our trip very special and memorable. Most importantly, to see new groups of young people who care and love their own country and want to make an effort to conserve the remaining natural beauty which this country has to offer is something very touching. I truly wish this country and the people here all the best, and I look forward to returning once again in the near future to this unique and beautiful country.

Last but not least, a close up shot of an Indian Roller which Kunthea delivered upon request, as I told her on our way back to Siem Reap that I have yet to get a good shot of this species on this trip. Huge thanks to her and other SVC staffs for helping on our logistics and caring for our every needs throughout. 

Indian Roller - a great bird to end our trip with!


I failed to find any birding trip reports from May previously, which had me worried about my visit in May. It is of course nowhere near the best Cambodia can deliver, but in truth May was not really that bad, except for the missing migrant species which have already gone north, you should have no problem finding the key species at this time of the month with a bit of luck. The only place that was more difficult to bird during this month was Prek Toal, but even then we got some great birds there and I really enjoyed the whole experience.


It was HOT. Bring hats and sun screen if you're prone to sunburn.


Cambodian foods were very delicious, it's somewhat a mix between Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. You will not be disappointed if you're a foodie. In general the tourist restaurants and the places our guides took us were clean. Fruits here were heavenly, with some of the best mangoes I've ever tasted (And I am a big fan of mangoes).


There is risk of malaria still in more rural parts of the country, especially if you are going to places like Tmatboey. We all took Mephaquin Antimalarial tablets. There were plenty of mosquitoes during May, so make sure you wear enough protective clothing and take plenty of mosquito repellent. 


USD was used throughout the country, but Cambodian riel will be given to you as change on occasions. Please note that any teared or scribbled USD notes will not be accepted, so check carefully when you receive change from shops, as some will try to give you old notes that you likely can't use in other shops. In case you do get an unusable note, you can go to their banks and get it changed.


The hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap were both excellent and inexpensive, with great and helpful staffs. Tmatboey Eco-lodge was basic, but I will say adequate for birders (I've stayed in worst places before...).

Phom Penh: Blue Lime, 42, Street 19z, Phnom Penh

Siem Reap: La Residence Blanc D' Angkor, 194 Krous Village, Svay Dangkum, 6 NR6, Siem Reap


Jackie was very good, if you're visiting Phnom Penh I highly recommend using his service, he is very friendly and spoke good english. He drove safely and knew his way around the confusing city well. We used Tuk-tuks around Siem Reap town, most places within the city costs around 2-3USD.

Bird Guide:

Sam Veasna Centre was very professional and organised the logistics very well. There are now more tour operators in Cambodia so you can source around if you're looking for another company, but we were very happy with our tour. Kunthea our guide was very knowledgable and friendly, I highly recommend her as your guide.

Species List:

1 Lesser Whistling-Duck - Dendrocygna javanica
2 Comb Duck - Sarkidiornis melanotos
3 Cotton Pygmy-Goose - Nettapus coromandelianus
4 Indian Spot-billed Duck - Anas poecilorhyncha
5 Chinese Francolin - Francolinus pintadeanus
6 Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis
7 Asian Openbill - Anastomus oscitans
8 Black-necked Stork - Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus
9 Lesser Adjutant - Leptoptilos javanicus
10 Greater Adjutant - Leptoptilos dubius
11 Painted Stork - Mycteria leucocephala
12 Little Cormorant - Microcarbo niger
13 Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo
14 Indian Cormorant - Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
15 Oriental Darter - Anhinga melanogaster
16 Spot-billed Pelican - Pelecanus philippensis
17 Yellow Bittern - Ixobrychus sinensis
18 Cinnamon Bittern - Ixobrychus cinnamomeus
19 Black Bittern - Ixobrychus flavicollis
20 Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea
21 Purple Heron - Ardea purpurea
22 Great White Egret - Ardea alba
23 Intermediate Egret - Mesophoyx intermedia
24 Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
25 Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis
26 Chinese Pond Heron - Ardeola bacchus
27 Javan Pond Heron - Ardeola speciosa
28 Black-crowned Night-Heron - Nycticorax nycticorax
29 Glossy Ibis - Plegadis falcinellus
30 Black-headed Ibis - Threskiornis melanocephalus
31 White-shouldered Ibis - Pseudibis davisoni
32 Giant Ibis - Pseudibis gigantea
33 Black-winged Kite - Elanus caeruleus
34 Black Baza - Aviceda leuphotes
35 Crested Serpent-Eagle - Spilornis cheela
36 Rufous-winged Buzzard - Butastur liventer
37 Shikra - Accipiter badius
38 Besra - Accipiter virgatus
39 Brahminy Kite - Haliastur indus
40 Grey-headed Fish-Eagle - Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus
41 Bengal Florican - Houbaropsis bengalensis
42 White-browed Crake - Amaurornis cinerea
43 Watercock - Gallicrex cinerea
44 Black-backed Swamphen - Porphyrio indicus
45 Common Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
46 Sarus Crane - Antigone antigone
47 Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus
48 Red-wattled Lapwing - Vanellus indicus
49 Pheasant-tailed Jacana - Hydrophasianus chirurgus
50 Bronze-winged Jacana - Metopidius indicus
51 Oriental Pratincole - Glareola maldivarum
52 Small Pratincole - Glareola lactea
53 White-winged Black Tern - Chlidonias leucopterus
54 Whiskered Tern - Chlidonias hybrida
55 Rock Dove - Columba livia
56 Red Collared Dove - Streptopelia tranquebarica
57 Spotted Dove - Streptopelia chinensis
58 Zebra Dove - Geopelia striata
59 Orange-breasted Pigeon - Treron bicinctus
60 Yellow-footed Pigeon - Treron phoenicopterus
61 Greater Coucal - Centropus sinensis
62 Lesser Coucal - Centropus bengalensis
63 Green-billed Malkoha - Phaenicophaeus tristis
64 Asian Koel - Eudynamys scolopaceus
65 Plaintive Cuckoo - Cacomantis merulinus
66 Indian Cuckoo - Cuculus micropterus
67 Barn Owl - Tyto alba
68 Collared Scops Owl - Otus lettia
69 Asian Barred Owlet - Glaucidium cuculoides
70 Spotted Owlet - Athene brama
71 Brown-backed Needletail - Hirundapus giganteus
72 Germain's Swiftlet - Aerodramus germani
73 Asian Palm-Swift - Cypsiurus balasiensis
74 Crested Treeswift - Hemiprocne coronata
75 Eurasian Hoopoe - Upupa epops
76 Oriental Pied-Hornbill - Anthracoceros albirostris
77 White-throated Kingfisher - Halcyon smyrnensis
78 Pied Kingfisher - Ceryle rudis
79 Green Bee-eater - Merops orientalis
80 Blue-tailed Bee-eater - Merops philippinus
81 Indian Roller - Coracias benghalensis
82 Coppersmith Barbet - Psilopogon haemacephalus
83 Lineated Barbet - Psilopogon lineatus
84 Grey-capped Woodpecker - Dendrocopos canicapillus
85 Freckle-breasted Woodpecker - Dendrocopos analis
86 White-bellied Woodpecker - Dryocopus javensis
87 Lesser Yellownape - Picus chlorolophus
88 Laced Woodpecker - Picus vittatus
89 Black-headed Woodpecker - Picus erythropygius
90 Common Flameback - Dinopium javanense
91 Greater Flameback - Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus
92 Great Slaty Woodpecker - Mulleripicus pulverulentus
93 White-rumped Falcon - Polihierax insignis
94 Alexandrine Parakeet - Psittacula eupatria
95 Blossom-headed Parakeet - Psittacula roseata
96 Red-breasted Parakeet - Psittacula alexandri
97 Large Woodshrike - Tephrodornis virgatus
98 Common Woodshrike - Tephrodornis pondicerianus
99 Common Iora - Aegithina tiphia
100 Small Minivet - Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
101 Scarlet Minivet - Pericrocotus speciosus
102 Large Cuckooshrike - Coracina macei
103 Burmese Shrike - Lanius collurioides
104 Black-naped Oriole - Oriolus chinensis
105 Black-hooded Oriole - Oriolus xanthornus
106 Black Drongo - Dicrurus macrocercus
107 Ashy Drongo - Dicrurus leucophaeus
108 Hair-crested Drongo - Dicrurus hottentottus
109 Greater Racket-tailed Drongo - Dicrurus paradiseus
110 Malaysian Pied-Fantail - Rhipidura javanica
111 White-browed Fantail - Rhipidura aureola
112 Black-naped Monarch - Hypothymis azurea
113 Red-billed Blue-Magpie - Urocissa erythroryncha
114 Rufous Treepie - Dendrocitta vagabunda
115 Racket-tailed Treepie - Crypsirina temia
116 Large-billed Crow - Corvus macrorhynchos
117 Indochinese Bushlark - Mirafra erythrocephala
118 Oriental Skylark - Alauda gulgula
119 Sand Martin - Riparia riparia
120 Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
121 Red-rumped Swallow - Cecropis daurica
122 Burmese Nuthatch - Sitta neglecta
123 Velvet-fronted Nuthatch - Sitta frontalis
124 Sooty-headed Bulbul - Pycnonotus aurigaster
125 Yellow-vented Bulbul - Pycnonotus goiavier
126 Streak-eared Bulbul - Pycnonotus blanfordi
127 Arctic Warbler - Phylloscopus borealis
128 Manchurian Reed-Warbler - Acrocephalus tangorum
129 Oriental Reed Warbler - Acrocephalus orientalis
130 Striated Grassbird - Megalurus palustris
131 Zitting Cisticola - Cisticola juncidis
132 Common Tailorbird - Orthotomus sutorius
133 Dark-necked Tailorbird - Orthotomus atrogularis
134 Cambodian Tailorbird - Orthotomus chaktomuk
135 Brown Prinia - Prinia polychroa
136 Rufescent Prinia - Prinia rufescens
137 Grey-breasted Prinia - Prinia hodgsonii
138 Yellow-bellied Prinia - Prinia flaviventris
139 Plain Prinia - Prinia inornata
140 Chestnut-capped Babbler - Timalia pileata
141 Dark-sided Flycatcher - Muscicapa sibirica
142 Oriental Magpie-Robin - Copsychus saularis
143 White-rumped Shama - Copsychus malabaricus
144 Pied Bushchat - Saxicola caprata
145 Common Hill Myna - Gracula religiosa
146 Black-collared Starling - Gracupica nigricollis
147 Common Myna - Acridotheres tristis
148 Vinous-breasted Starling - Acridotheres burmannicus
149 Great Myna - Acridotheres grandis
150 Golden-fronted Leafbird - Chloropsis aurifrons
151 Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker - Dicaeum cruentatum
152 Ruby-cheeked Sunbird - Chalcoparia singalensis
153 Purple Sunbird - Cinnyris asiaticus
154 Olive-backed Sunbird - Cinnyris jugularis
155 Paddyfield Pipit - Anthus rufulus
156 Red-throated Pipit - Anthus cervinus
157 House Sparrow - Passer domesticus
158 Plain-backed Sparrow - Passer flaveolus
159 Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus
160 Streaked Weaver - Ploceus manyar
161 Baya Weaver - Ploceus philippinus
162 Red Avadavat - Amandava amandava
163 Scaly-breasted Munia - Lonchura punctulata