Khao Dinsor (and nearby sites)

Around 2008, Khao Dinsor in Chumphon province was discovered to be a fantastic site to observe the autumn raptor migration. Khao Dinsor sits only a few kilometres from the coast, and from a north-facing platform at a slight elevation, thousands of raptors – along with other migrants and resident species – can be seen making their way south on their annual migration. Khao Dinsor itself is located about 20 kilometres north of Chumphon’s provincial capital, close to the popular tourist area, Thung Wua Laen Beach as well as Chumphon Airport. Along with raptor watching at Khao Dinsor, there is a bay south of Thung Wua Laen Beach called Phanang Tak Bay where small numbers of waders can also be found at the right time of year. 

Khao Dinsor – eBird Hotspot

The site at Khao Dinsor itself consists of a small visitors centre and a single trail that leads up the mountain to several viewing platforms. The visitors centre has information boards about birds, especially raptors, that can be seen at Khao Dinsoir, as well as other fauna. The hill itself is forested, but is fragmented from any substantial tracts of forest which lie much further to the west, on the other side of the Asian Highway. Given this, the resident birds here are what one might expect from such a fragmented forest site. However, as mentioned above, Khao Dinsor’s main attraction is as a site to watching raptor’s migrating south, with the best time of year being from late September to early November. On my only visit (so far) in October 2019, I saw 36 species, of which 17 were raptors, including large flocks of Chinese  and Japanese Sparrowhawks, Black Bazas, Oriental Honey-buzzards, smaller numbers of Grey-faced Buzzards and Shikra, as well as some more uncommon migrants such as Booted Eagle, and a single Eurasian Sparrowhawk.

October 2019 Checklists: Oct 21stOct 22ndOct 23rd

Ao Phanang Tak – eBird Hotspot

About 10km south of Thung Wua Laen Beach – a quiet beach area near Khao Dinsor – is a long, secluded bay where wintering waders have been observed, and makes for a nice change in pace from sitting in the hot sun on the viewing platforms at Khao Dinsor. The site itself seems have only really been explored in the last 5 or so years, and in that time some good birds have shown up, including Little Stint, Brown-headed Gull, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Terek Sandpiper, and even Pale-capped Pigeon.

On my one visit to the site in October 2019, I came across several of these species, including Terek Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone,  and Sanderling, along with other waders such as Malaysian and Kentish Plovers and Whimbrel, and non-waders such as Vinous-breasted Starling, Black-capped Kingfisher and Greater Racket-tailed Drongo.

Phanang Tak Bay, Chumphon
Phanang Tak Bay, Chumphon

October 2019 Checklist: Oct 22nd

BIRD LIST – Khao Dinsor (36 species identified)

  1. Germain’s Swiftlet
  2. Pacific Swift
  3. House Swift
  4. Asian Palm-swift
  5. Asian Openbill
  6. Oriental Darter
  7. Osprey
  8. Black-winged Kite
  9. Oriental Honey-buzzard
  10. Black Baza
  11. Crested Serpent-eagle
  12. Booted Eagle
  13. Grey-faced Buzzard
  14. Eastern Marsh Harrier
  15. Pied Harrier
  16. Crested Goshawk
  17. Shikra
  18. Chinese Sparrowhawk
  19. Japanese Sparrowhawk
  20. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  21. Black Kite
  22. Brahminy Kite
  23. Blue-tailed Bee-eater
  24. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
  25. Dollarbird
  26. Peregrine Falcon
  27. Ashy Minivet
  28. Black-naped Oriole
  29. Barn Swallow
  30. Red-rumped Swallow
  31. Asian House-Martin
  32. Black-headed Bulbul
  33. Stripe-throated Bulbul
  34. Sakhlin Leaf Warbler
  35. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
  36. Olive-backed Sunbird

BIRD LIST – Phanang Tak Bay (29 species identified)

  1. Red Collared-Dove
  2. Spotted Dove
  3. White-breasted Waterhen
  4. Lesser Sand-plover
  5. Greater Sand-plover
  6. Malaysian Plover
  7. Kentish Plover
  8. Whimbrel
  9. Ruddy Turnstone
  10. Red-necked Stint
  11. Sanderling
  12. Terek Sandpiper
  13. Common Sandpiper
  14. Yellow Bittern
  15. Great Egret
  16. Little Egret
  17. Cattle Egret
  18. Black-capped Kingfisher
  19. Blue-tailed Bee-eater
  20. Indochinese Roller
  21. Lineated Barbet
  22. Common Flameback
  23. Black Drongo
  24. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
  25. Large-billed Crow
  26. Common Myna
  27. Vinous-breasted Starling
  28. Great Myna
  29. Taiga Flycatcher

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