Cambodia birding trip report of a 7-day Cambodia birding tour in January 2023 with Sam Veasna Conservation Tours (SVC).

Dates: 15th to 21st January 2023

Report Written By: Mony Sang, SVC Bird Guide

SVC Client: Tate Klaus, Germany

Locations: Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, Angkor WatAng Treapang ThmorBengal Florican GrasslandsTmat Boey, KratieCambodian Tailorbird Grasslands (Phnom Penh)

Total No. of Bird Species: 205

Map of Locations (not exact locations of birding spots):


This is the start of the best birding season in Cambodia and it is also a dry season so it is easy to access all birding sites across the country. This is a 7-day trip with a single client from Germany.

We will be starting from Prek Toal Waterbird Breeding Colony to look for Lesser & Greater Adjutants, Milky Stork, Oriental Darter, Little & Indian Cormorants, including other water bird species. 

Angkor Wat complex to look for Brown Boobook, Brown Wood Owl, Asian Barred Owlet, White-throated Rock-Thrush, Forest Wagtail. 

Ang Trapaeng Thmor to look for Sarus Crane, Waterfowls, Pheasant-tailed & Bronze-winged Jacanas, Gray-headed Swamphen, Lanceolated Warbler, Oriental & Black-browed Reed Warblers. 

Prolay Grassland to look for Bengal Florican, Sarus Crane, Australasian Bushlark, Oriental Skylark, Red Avadavat.

 Tmatboey to look for Giant & White-shouldered Ibises, Black-headed & Great Slaty Woodpecker, Brown & Spotted Wood Owls, Savanna Nightjar, Common & Large Wood Shrikes, Indochinese Cuckooshrike. 

Kratie to look for Mekong Wagtail, Irrawaddy Dolphin, Asian Golden Weaver, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, Gray-throated Martin, Watercock, White-browed Crake. 

Phnom Penh to look for the endemic bird species called Cambodian Tailorbird which is located outskirts of the city.

Highlights of the tour

  • Lesser Adjutant
  • Greater Adjutants
  • Milky Stork
  • Sarus Crane
  • Bengal Florican
  • White-shouldered Ibis
  • Savanna Nightjar
  • Giant Ibis
  • Collared Scops-Owl
  • Brown Boobook
  • Spotted Wood-Owl
  • Brown Fish-Owl
  • Mekong Wagtail
  • Small Pratincole

Trip Report

Day 1: Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary and Angkor Wat

We went bird watching to the Prek Toal Waterbird Breeding Colony, we saw our target bird species such as Lesser & Greater Adjutants, Milky Stork, Oriental darter, Little & Indian Cormorants, Spot-billed Pelican, Gray-headed Fish-Eagle, including some other water bird species.

As we planned to visit Angkor Wat, we left Prek Toal after lunch and spent our late afternoon in the forest behind the temple complex for a few hours and we spot some Brown Wood Owl, Asian Barred Owlet, White-throated Rock-Thrush, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Ashy Drongo and some other forest bird species.

Day 2: Ang Treapang Thmor (ATT)

We spent a whole day bird watching in Ang Trapaeng Thmor the Protected Landscape for Sarus Crane, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Lanceolated Warbler, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Garganey, Easter Marsh & Pied Harriers and some of other wetland bird species in this area. We missed the Crane as they did not arrive at the site yet according to water still existing in the rice paddy field. But we have had a good time here including a quick stop at the Lyle’s & Large Fruit-Bat colony in the center of Siem Reap town.

Day 3: Siem Reap to Tmat Boey via Bengal Florican Grasslands

Prolay Grassland is one of the best sites to look for Bengal Florican, Sarus Crane, Manchurian Reed Warbler, Australasian Bushlark, Oriental Skylark, Eastern marsh & Pied Harriers, Bluethroat, Siberian Rubythroat and some of other open grassland bird species.

We saw 3 Sarus Cranes flying directly to us when we were driving into the site and other locals flashed a molting male Bengal Florican which we had a great view of in flight.

We left the site at about 10:00 AM and continued to Tmatboey- Ibis Site for a 2 nights stay in the community eco-lodge.

We also went to look for White-shouldered Ibis in the roosting tree, and there were 12 birds that came to the roost at about 5:35 PM and other 7 birds came afterwards but they all roosting in the 2 different roost dead trees.

Day 4: Tmat Boey

We will spend our whole day bird watching here to look for the Giant Ibis in the nesting tree in the early morning and then we went to look for the Brown Wood Owl in the other different spot, and some of the other bird species in this dry dipterocarp habitat.

In the late afternoon we went to look for the Savanna Nightjar, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Oriental Scops-Owl, and some of the other bird species in the spot called Phnom Raeng which is located on the outskirts and near the highway. Oriental Scops-Owl was called in a few different spots but did not show up.

Day 5: Tmat Boey to Kratie

This is our last morning birding in Tmatboey and we managed to look for Spotted Wood-Owl, Brown Fish-Owl, and Velvet-fronted Nuthatch in the same areas.

First, we spotted a Brown Fish-Owl in its day roost but this guy was very skittish even though we were about 200m away from him/her. It flies away and disappears for ages. Then we went to look for Spotted Wood-Owl, 2 birds flashed by Mr. Suet (local guide) and luckily we spotted a bird perching on the bamboo beyond our guide. Later our local guide spotted Brown Fish-Owl again and we managed to get some distant shots then it flew again, then we left it alone and started to track back to the vehicle, and drive to Kratie in the late morning.

We spend about 2 hours birding in the Marsh Land of Kratie but it was so windy and we only spotted some birds species we saw about 120 Small Pratincoles fly out from the Mekong River to their roosting site, which is several flocks of 20, 15, 10 and less than 10 birds keeping flying over our head before sunset.

Day 6: Kratie to Cambodian Tailorbird Site (Phnom Penh)

In the morning we went to Kampi Pool to look for Mekong Wagtail, Irrawaddy Dolphin, Grey-throated Martin, Small Pratincole, and some other target bird species. We saw the rest of them except Small Pratincole and Irrawaddy Dolphin as he was keen on birding and then seeing the other animals, so we continued to do some birding somewhere outside of the town before we departed.

After about a 5-hour drive from Kratie to Phnom Penh we had spent more than an hour looking for the Cambodian Tailorbird somewhere in the 7NG area before heading to the hotel, we saw at least 4 Cambodian Tailorbirds and some other shrubland and wetland bird species.

Day 7: Phnom Penh

This is the last day of our 7-day trip and we went to Wat Pich M’Kot for a few hours before departure. So, we have to take a ferry and cross to the other side then cross back and take Klaus to the Airport.


Mony Sang

Mony Sang

SVC Guide


Mony has over 15 years of bird guiding experience with SVC and has often represented SVC at international birdfairs including the Global Birdfair in 2022 and Asian Bird Fair in South Korea in 2022. Giant Ibis and White-shouldered Ibis are his favourite species to show clients in Cambodia.

Complete Bird List

Total No. of Bird Species: 205
See detailed bird lists for each location on the following link:


  1. Lesser Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna javanica
  2. Cotton Pygmy-Goose Nettapus coromandelianus
  3. Garganey Spatula querquedula
  4. Indian Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha
  5. Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus
  6. Chinese Francolin Francolinus pintadeanus
  7. Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
  8. Rock Pigeon Columba livia
  9. Red Collared-Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica
  10. Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis
  11. Zebra Dove Geopelia striata
  12. Green Imperial-Pigeon Ducula aenea
  13. Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis
  14. Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis
  15. Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis
  16. Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis
  17. Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus
  18. Asian Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx maculatus
  19. Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus
  20. Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris
  21. Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus
  22. Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis
  23. Germain’s Swiftlet Aerodramus germani
  24. Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis
  25. Crested Treeswift Hemiprocne coronata
  26. Eurasian Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  27. Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
  28. Gray-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus
  29. Watercock Gallicrex cinerea
  30. White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
  31. Ruddy-breasted Crake Zapornia fusca
  32. Sarus Crane Antigone antigone
  33. Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
  34. Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus
  35. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
  36. Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
  37. Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus
  38. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
  39. Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
  40. Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator
  41. Small Pratincole Glareola lactea
  42. Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
  43. Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans
  44. Asian Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus
  45. Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus
  46. Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius
  47. Milky Stork Mycteria cinerea
  48. Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala
  49. Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster
  50. Little Cormorant Microcarbo niger
  51. Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
  52. Indian Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
  53. Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis
  54. Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis
  55. Gray Heron Ardea cinerea
  56. Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
  57. Great Egret Ardea alba
  58. Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia
  59. Little Egret Egretta garzetta
  60. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
  61. Chinese Pond-Heron Ardeola bacchus
  62. Striated Heron Butorides striata
  63. Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
  64. White-shouldered Ibis Pseudibis davisoni
  65. Giant Ibis Pseudibis gigantea
  66. Osprey Pandion haliaetus
  67. Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
  68. Oriental Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus
  69. Jerdon’s Baza Aviceda jerdoni
  70. Black Baza Aviceda leuphotes
  71. Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela
  72. Rufous-winged Buzzard Butastur liventer
  73. Eastern Marsh-Harrier Circus spilonotus
  74. Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos
  75. Shikra Accipiter badius
  76. Besra Accipiter virgatus
  77. Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
  78. Gray-headed Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus ichthyaetus
  79. Barn Owl Tyto alba
  80. Collared Scops-Owl Otus lettia
  81. Oriental Scops-Owl Otus sunia
  82. Brown Fish-Owl Ketupa zeylonensis
  83. Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides
  84. Spotted Owlet Athene brama
  85. Spotted Wood-Owl Strix seloputo
  86. Brown Wood-Owl Strix leptogrammica
  87. Brown Boobook Ninox scutulata
  88. Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
  89. Oriental Pied-Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris
  90. Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
  91. White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
  92. Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris
  93. Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
  94. Asian Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
  95. Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus
  96. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops leschenaulti
  97. Indochinese Roller Coracias affinis
  98. Coppersmith Barbet Psilopogon haemacephalus
  99. Lineated Barbet Psilopogon lineatus
  100. Gray-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Yungipicus canicapillus
  101. Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus
  102. Common Flameback Dinopium javanense
  103. Black-headed Woodpecker Picus erythropygius
  104. Great Slaty Woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus
  105. White-rumped Falcon Neohierax insignis
  106. Blossom-headed Parakeet Psittacula roseata
  107. Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri
  108. Golden-bellied Gerygone Gerygone sulphurea
  109. Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
  110. Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus speciosus
  111. Ashy Minivet Pericrocotus divaricatus
  112. Large Cuckooshrike Coracina macei
  113. Indochinese Cuckooshrike Lalage polioptera
  114. Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis
  115. Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus
  116. Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus
  117. Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus
  118. Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus
  119. Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
  120. Malaysian Pied-Fantail Rhipidura javanica
  121. White-browed Fantail Rhipidura aureola
  122. Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus
  123. Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus
  124. Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus
  125. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus
  126. Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea
  127. Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
  128. Burmese Shrike Lanius collurioides
  129. Red-billed Blue-Magpie Urocissa erythroryncha
  130. Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda
  131. Racket-tailed Treepie Crypsirina temia
  132. Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
  133. Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis
  134. Horsfield’s Bushlark Mirafra javanica
  135. Indochinese Bushlark Mirafra erythrocephala
  136. Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula
  137. Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius
  138. Dark-necked Tailorbird Orthotomus atrogularis
  139. Cambodian Tailorbird Orthotomus chaktomuk
  140. Ashy Tailorbird Orthotomus ruficeps
  141. Brown Prinia Prinia polychroa
  142. Rufescent Prinia Prinia rufescens
  143. Gray-breasted Prinia Prinia hodgsonii
  144. Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris
  145. Plain Prinia Prinia inornata
  146. Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
  147. Black-browed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps
  148. Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis
  149. Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler Helopsaltes certhiola
  150. Lanceolated Warbler Locustella lanceolata
  151. Striated Grassbird Cincloramphus palustris
  152. Gray-throated Martin Riparia chinensis
  153. Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
  154. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
  155. Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
  156. Black-headed Bulbul Brachypodius melanocephalos
  157. Black-crested Bulbul Rubigula flaviventris
  158. Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster
  159. Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier
  160. Streak-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus conradi
  161. Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
  162. Radde’s Warbler Phylloscopus schwarzi
  163. Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus
  164. Two-barred Warbler Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus
  165. Pale-legged Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus tenellipes
  166. Pin-striped Tit-Babbler Mixornis gularis
  167. Abbott’s Babbler Malacocincla abbotti
  168. White-crested Laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus
  169. Burmese Nuthatch Sitta neglecta
  170. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis
  171. Common Hill Myna Gracula religiosa
  172. Black-collared Starling Gracupica nigricollis
  173. Siamese Pied Starling Gracupica floweri
  174. Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnia malabarica
  175. Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
  176. Vinous-breasted Myna Acridotheres leucocephalus
  177. Great Myna Acridotheres grandis
  178. Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica
  179. Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis
  180. Hainan Blue Flycatcher Cyornis hainanus
  181. Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus
  182. Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
  183. Siberian Rubythroat Calliope calliope
  184. Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla
  185. White-throated Rock-Thrush Monticola gularis
  186. Amur Stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri
  187. Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata
  188. Thick-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum agile
  189. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum
  190. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis
  191. Brown-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis
  192. Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus
  193. Olive-backed Sunbird Cinnyris jugularis
  194. Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus
  195. Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata
  196. White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata
  197. Chestnut Munia Lonchura atricapilla
  198. Red Avadavat Amandava amandava
  199. House Sparrow Passer domesticus
  200. Plain-backed Sparrow Passer flaveolus
  201. Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
  202. Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus
  203. Mekong Wagtail Motacilla samveasnae
  204. Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus
  205. Milky x Painted Stork (hybrid) Mycteria cinerea x leucocephala 

Mammal List

  1. Variable Squirrel Callosciurus finlaysonii
  2. Cambodian Striped Squirrel Tamiops rodolphii
  3. Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis

Reptile List

  1. Common Sun Skink Eutropis multifasciata
  2. Speckled Forest Skink Eutropis macularia