Phuket Bird Watching
To the left is a little cormorant drying drying its wings, with an interesting reflection. Phuket’s abundant mangrove forests, lagoons, marshes and other wetlands mean the habitat here can support an astonishing cast of characters. A favorite is the Little Cormorant – shown twice here drying their wings.
One of the best bird watching areas is the golf course at Laguna Resorts. Get there before sunrise or right before sunset and you’ll be surprised at the wide range of birdlife you’ll see. Most shots here are from that area.
Chinese Pond Heron
Most common at the golf course are Chinese Pond Herons, which tend to stand about on the course and you’ll get quite close to them before they take off. When flying overhead they’ll look totally white from beneath.
Below: Chinese Pond Heron
Early in the morning you’ll hear the Kingfishers with their trilling call staking out their territory and the whooping call of the frog-hunting Coucals
Coucal – the frog hunter!
Brahminy Kite – keep an eye out near lagoons and the seaside
Below: Brahminy Kite
The Brahminy Kite looks a bit like a Fish Eagle – but has a differently shaped head. The kites are often seen cruising the coastlines – but are also seen around lagoons. Groups of as many as ten can be seen hunting in lagoons on the northeastern part of the island – it makes the Phuket Best Island Drives section worth checking out!
Around the edges of the lagoons you’ll often hear burbling type sounds coming from the Purple Swamp Hens, or the tooting calls of the Red-Wattled Lapwing (see them below).
Below: Purple Swamp Hen Purple Swamp Hen and Red-wattled Lapwing
Don’t forget your binoculars, but if you do forget them, quite good quality field glasses can be found here, for reasonable prices (as can digital cameras). A good camera with a good optical zoom is helpful as many of the birds are a bit shy.
If you love bird watching, you might want to consider a professional tour in the area or at least check out their webpage. They are much more knowledgeable than I am and much better photographers. Try here: Thailand Birding
At the Thai Birding site is a great page of links to other birding sites. Very worth checking out!