Khlong Tamru salt pans – Chonburi

About 70-odd kilometres southeast of downtown Bangkok – about 1 hour on the raised expressway – in the province of Chonburi, there is a site filled with fishponds and salt pans that despite its proximity to the capital, doesn’t seem to be on too many birder’s radars, especially international birders.  Despite the ‘unpopular’ status of the area, Khlong Tamru salt pans (KT) seems to consistently turn up some great birds – in early 2018 Thailand’s first ever Booted Warbler was recorded here, and only a few months before that KT played host to an incredibly rare bird in Thailand, a River Tern – unfortunate, I never went down to this site for either bird. On top of this, KT is annually home to most of the more common species of waders that winter in or migrate through Thailand, but also to much rarer species such as River Lapwing, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Pied Avocet, Little Stint and even Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.  In fact in late 2019, at an adjacent site that houses more heavily-worked salt pans, the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper was even record.

As of April 2020, my current species list for the site is 85 species, but the site itself has seen closer to 200 species recorded.

As of April 2020, I’ve only visited the site three times, one of which was a quick, midday stop on the way back to Bangkok from Koh Si Chang, so I don’t have great knowledge of where is best to look for which species. Regardless, like lots of these types of sites, the bird numbers and variety can be highly variable, with numbers being far lower when the tide is low and the nearby mudflats are exposed. That said, just wondering around the trails that connect the different areas and scrutinizing the different ponds has the potential to turn up many birds over a couple of hours in the morning or afternoon. And like many of these sites, the waders are often joined by other waterbirds of interest such as storks, egrets, and ibis, while open country birds can also be found. Khlong Tamru saltpans is definitely a site I plan on exploring more in the future.

Ebird Checklists:  Sept 29 – 2019  –  Mar 15 – 2020  –  Apr 13 – 2020

BIRD LIST (85 species)

  1. Lesser Whistling-Duck – Apr 13th, 2020
  2. Feral (Rock) Pigeon – Sep 29th, 2019
  3. Red Collared-Dove – Sep 29th, 2019
  4. Spotted Dove – Mar 15th, 2020
  5. Zebra Dove – Sep 29th, 2019
  6. Pink-necked Green Pigeon – Apr 13th, 2020
  7. Greater Coucal – Apr 13th, 2020
  8. Asian Koel – Sep 29th, 2019
  9. Plaintive Cuckoo – Apr 13th, 2020
  10. Indian Nightjar – Mar 15th, 2020
  11. Germain’s Swiftlet – Mar 15th, 2020
  12. House Swift – Mar 15th, 2020
  13. Slaty-breasted Rail – Apr 13th, 2020
  14. White-breasted Waterhen – Apr 13th, 2020
  15. Ruddy-breasted Crake – Mar 15th, 2020
  16. Black-winged Stilt – Sep 29th, 2019
  17. Pied Avocet – Mar 15th, 2020
  18. Black-bellied Plover – Mar 15th, 2020
  19. Pacific Golden-Plover – Sep 29th, 2019
  20. Red-wattled Lapwing – Sep 29th, 2019
  21. Lesser Sand-Plover – Sep 29th, 2019
  22. Greater Sand-Plover – Apr 13th, 2020
  23.  Kentish Plover – Mar 15th, 2020
  24. Whimbrel – Mar 15th, 2020
  25. Eurasian Curlew – Apr 13th, 2020
  26. Black-tailed Godwit – Sep 29th, 2019
  27. Ruff – Sep 29th, 2019
  28. Broad-billed Sandpiper – Apr 13th, 2020
  29. Curlew Sandpiper – Sep 29th, 2019
  30. Long-toed Stint – Sep 29th, 2019
  31. Red-necked Stint – Sep 29th, 2019
  32. Little Stint – Apr 13th, 2020
  33. Terek Sandpiper – Apr 13th, 2020
  34. Common Sandpiper – Mar 15th, 2020
  35. Common Greenshank – Mar 15th, 2020
  36. Marsh Sandpiper – Sep 29th, 2020
  37. Wood Sandpiper – Sep 29th, 2020
  38. Common Redshank – Sep 29th, 2020
  39. Little Tern – Mar 15th, 2020
  40. Gull-billed Tern – Mar 15th, 2020
  41. Whiskered Tern – Sep 29th, 2019
  42. Asian Openbill – Sep 29th, 2019
  43. Painted Stork – Sep 29th, 2019
  44. Little Cormorant – Sep 29th, 2019
  45. Indian Cormorant – Mar 15th, 2020
  46. Spot-billed Pelican – Apr 13th, 2020
  47. Grey Heron – Mar 15th, 2020
  48. Purple Heron – Mar 15th, 2020
  49. Great Egret – Sep 29th, 2019
  50. Intermediate Egret – Mar 15th, 2020
  51. Little Egret – Sep 29th, 2019
  52. Cattle Egret – Mar 15th, 2020
  53. Chinese Pond-heron – Apr 13th, 2020
  54. Javan Pond-heron – Mar 15th, 2020
  55. Striated Heron – Mar 15th, 2020
  56. Black-crowned Night-heron – Mar 15th, 2020
  57. Black-headed Ibis – Sep 29th, 2019
  58. Osprey – Mar 15th, 2020
  59. Brahminy Kite – Sep 29th, 2019
  60. Common Kingfisher -Mar 15th, 2020
  61. Black-capped Kingfisher – Apr 13th, 2020
  62. Collared Kingfisher – Mar 15th, 2020
  63. Green Bee-eater – Sep 29th, 2019
  64. Blue-tailed Bee-eater – Mar 15th, 2020
  65. Golden-bellied Gerygone – Mar 15th, 2020
  66. Common Iora – Apr 13th, 2020
  67. Malaysian Pied-Fantail – Sep 29th, 2019
  68. Black Drongo – Sep 29th, 2019
  69. Brown Shrike – Sep 29th, 2019
  70. Common Tailorbird – Sep 29th, 2019
  71. Plain Prinia – Mar 15th, 2020
  72. Zitting Cisticola – Apr 13th, 2020
  73. Black-browed Reed Warbler – Mar 15th, 2020
  74. Barn Swallow – Sep 29th, 2019
  75. Streak-eared Bulbul – Apr 13th, 2020
  76. Dusky Warbler – Mar 15th, 2020
  77. Swinhoe’s White-eye – Sep 29th, 2019
  78. Asian Pied Starling – Sep 29th, 2019
  79. Common Myna – Sep 29th, 2019
  80. Oriental Magpie-Robin – Sep 29th, 2019
  81. Olive-backed Sunbird – Apr 13th, 2020
  82. Scaly-breasted Munia – Sep 29th, 2019
  83. Chestnut Munia – Mar 15th, 2020
  84. Eurasian Tree Sparrow – Sep 29th, 2019
  85. Eastern Yellow Wagtail – Sep 29th, 2019

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