Cambodia Culture and Wildlife Tour Report covers a 3-day tour in November 2023 with Sam Veasna Conservation Tours (SVC). 

Exploring Koh Ker Temple pictured above.

Dates:
 1st to 3rd November 2023

Clients: Miss Sarah Martin and Mr. Alexander Edwards

Report Written By: Hang Oeang, SVC Bird Guide

Locations: Tmat BoeyBengal Florican Grasslands, Koh Ker Temple

Total No. of Bird Species: 111

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

Introduction

Cambodia Culture and Wildlife Tour Report covers a 3-day tour in November 2023 with Sam Veasna Conservation Tours (SVC).  The sites included Bengal Florican Grassland, Tmat Boey Ecolodge and Koh Ker Temple.

We started our tour from Siem Reap to Bengal Florican Grassland is Seasonally inundated outer-floodplain grassland with some small areas of scrub with our targets such as Bengal Florican, Eastern Marsh-Harrier, Indochinese Bushlark, Oriental Skylark, Bluethroat, Oriental Pratincole, Painted Stork, and Sarus Crane.

Tmat Boey is the home of two critically endangered species that was located in the Northern Plain of Cambodia, so, the priority bird is Giant Ibis and White-shouldered Ibis. Other species such as Savanna Nightjar, Yellow-crowned Woodpeckers, Streak-throated Woodpeckers, Black-headed Woodpeckers, Brown Boobook, and Brown Fish-owl.

Highlights of the tour

1. Giant Ibis
2. White-shouldered Ibis
3. Brown Fish-owl
4. Yellow-crowned Woodpecker
5. Rufous-bellied Woodpecker
6. Streak-throated Woodpecker
7. Black-headed Woodpecker
8. Savana Nightjar
9. Spotted Wood-owl
10. White-rumped Shama
11. Changeable Hawk-eagle

Giant Ibis Birding Tour: 3 Days, 2 Nights

Join SVC to see Giant Ibis and White-shouldered Ibis at Tmat Boey Ecolodge. This private tour also offers packages to see Bengal Florican and visit Preah Vihear Temple on Day 2.

Giant Ibis Birding Tour: 2 Days, 1 Night

Giant Ibis Birding Tour in a hurry! 2 days, 1 night at Tmat Boey Ecolodge – home of Giant Ibis and White-shouldered Ibis. Option to see Bengal Florican on the way to Tmat Boey Ecolodge.

Tonle Sap Waterbirds and Floating Village Adventure

This 1-day, private tour to Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary is essential for all birders!

Prek Toal is globally important for eight species of bird; Spot-billed Pelican, Greater Adjutant, Lesser Adjutant, Milky Stork, Painted Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Oriental Darter and Grey-headed Fish-Eagle. Thousands of commoner waterbirds also breed here, and over 150 species have been recorded.

Trip Report


Day 1: Bengal Florican Grassland and Tmat Boey Ecolodge

We left early from our hotel in Siem Reap to Bengal Florican grassland on national #6 to the east of Siem Reap, Cambodia. Yes, we spend an hour and half to reach our destination, then met our local guide at Preah Hout Community along the way to the birding spotted area. Even though, the birding tour start a bit early of the season for Bengal Florican and another bird species because they are not migration yet.

We had a good weather to observe all the bird around us. We have seen many birds such as Painted Stork, Knob-billed Duck, Oriental Skylark, Chestnut Munia, Asain green Bee-eater and some more species of starling. We did bird watching in Preah Hout area for around 3 hours and then we moved to Tmatboey Ecolodge in Preah Vihear province.

We drove for around 5 hours to our next destination, and we had a small break for lunch near Beng Mealea temple for about 30 min. We reached our Tmatboey Community Ecolodge at 2:30 p.m.  We did check in at the lodge and did some rest after a long drive.

We met our local guide called Mr Ry. We left our lodge at 3:00 pm looking for our target bird with our local guide, we went to see the White-shouldered Ibis at its rooting tree with a local tractor called “Koyun”. We saw around 35 White-shouldered Ibis at its rooting tree. Back to the lodge at 6:30 pm, got some rest and had dinner at 7 pm.

Indochinese Silver Langur

Bird watching at Preah Hoot Community

Scaly-crowned Babbler

Dinner at Tmat Boey Community Lodge

Day 2: Tmat Boey 

We planned to leave not so early this time because we went to see the Giant Ibis at the nesting tree. We travelled with Koyun for about 45 min and then walked for around 30 min more to reach the tree of Giant Ibis’s nest. We had a good time with a good view of the Giant Ibis in its nest while we had breakfast.

Pair of White-rumped Pygmy Falcons

Giant Ibis nesting

 

We stayed there for about 1 hour then we moved to another place to find another species. In the morning, we see many birds such as Rufous-winged Buzzard, Rufous Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Changeable Hawk-eagle, and Giant Ibis known as our key bird species, and so on. Then, back to the lodge for lunch and break!

At the afternoon time, we left at 2:30 pm to go to the site called Phnom Raeng for other key birds such as Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Streak-throated Woodpecker, and Savana Nightjar. After that back to the lodge for dinner and rest.

Indochinese Silver Langur

Clients on Koyun

Scaly-crowned Babbler

White-shouldered Ibis

Day 3: Tmat Boey, Koh Ker temple and Siem Reap

This morning we plan to leave at 7 am after our breakfast. And we drive about 2 more hours to reach Koh Ker temple site.

Before visiting the main temple, we did some bird watching around the Elephant temple looking more birds such as White-rumped Falcon, Greater Yellownap, Minivets, Woodshrikes, Laughingthrushes, and White-rumped Shama. We spent 1:30 pm birding and then we went to visit the main temple called Koh Ker temple.

After we finished our temple tour, we moved directly to Siem Reap town. We reached our hotel at Siem Reap town around 3 pm.

Birding at Tmat Boey

Common Kingfisher

Return to Siem Reap

Hang Oeung

Hang Oeung

SVC Bird Guide

Hang has over 7 years of bird-guiding experience with SVC but has also worked for over 15 years prior as one of Cambodia’s best temple guides. 

 

Complete Bird List

Total No. of Bird Species: 111

 

1. Knob-billed Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos
2. Indian Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha
3. Red Collared-Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica
4. Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis
5. Zebra Dove Geopelia striata
6. Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis
7. Germain’s Swiftlet Aerodramus germani
8. Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis
9. Crested Treeswift Hemiprocne coronata
10. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
11. Pin-tailed Snipe Gallinago stenura
12. Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
13. Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
14. Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
15. Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
16. Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum
17. Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala
18. Little Cormorant Microcarbo niger
19. Little Egret Egretta garzetta
20. Chinese Pond-Heron Ardeola bacchus
21. Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus
22. Great Egret Ardea alba
23. Medium Egret Ardea intermedia
24. Gray Heron Ardea cinerea
25. White-shouldered Ibis Pseudibis davisoni
26. Giant Ibis Pseudibis gigantea
27. Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
28. Black Baza Aviceda leuphotes
29. Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela
30. Changeable Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus cirrhatus
31. Rufous-winged Buzzard Butastur liventer
32. Shikra Accipiter badius
33. Brown Fish-Owl Ketupa zeylonensis
34. Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
35. Asian Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
36. Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus
37. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops leschenaulti
38. Indochinese Roller Coracias affinis
39. Coppersmith Barbet Psilopogon haemacephalus
40. Gray-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Yungipicus canicapillus
41. Yellow-crowned Woodpecker Leiopicus mahrattensis
42. Rufous-bellied Woodpecker Dendrocopos hyperythrus
43. Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus
44. Rufous Woodpecker Micropternus brachyurus
45. Common Flameback Dinopium javanense
46. Streak-throated Woodpecker Picus xanthopygaeus
47. Black-headed Woodpecker Picus erythropygius
48. Greater Yellownape Chrysophlegma flavinucha
49. Great Slaty Woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus
50. White-bellied Woodpecker Dryocopus javensis
51. White-rumped Falcon Neohierax insignis
52. Blossom-headed Parakeet Psittacula roseata
53. Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri
54. Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
55. Ashy Minivet Pericrocotus divaricatus
56. Rosy Minivet Pericrocotus roseus
57. Large Cuckooshrike Coracina macei
58. Indochinese Cuckooshrike Lalage polioptera
59. Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis
60. Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus
61. Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis virgatus
62. Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus
63. Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
64. White-browed Fantail Rhipidura aureola
65. Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus
66. Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus
67. Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea
68. Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
69. Burmese Shrike Lanius collurioides
70. Red-billed Blue-Magpie Urocissa erythroryncha
71. Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda
72. Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
73. Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis
74. Indochinese Bushlark Mirafra erythrocephala
75. Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula
76. Brown Prinia Prinia polychroa
77. Rufescent Prinia Prinia rufescens
78. Plain Prinia Prinia inornata
79. Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis
80. Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris
81. Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
82. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
83. Black-crested Bulbul Rubigula flaviventris
84. Streak-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus conradi
85. Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier
86. Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster
87. Pale-legged Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus tenellipes
88. White-crested Laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus
89. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis
90. Burmese Nuthatch Sitta neglecta
91. Common Hill Myna Gracula religiosa
92. Black-collared Starling Gracupica nigricollis
93. Siamese Pied Starling Gracupica floweri
94. Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnia malabarica
95. Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
96. Great Myna Acridotheres grandis
97. Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica
98. White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus
99. Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassinus
100. Hainan Blue Flycatcher Cyornis hainanus
101. Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla
102. Amur Stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri
103. Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata
104. Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus
105. Ornate Sunbird Cinnyris ornatus
106. Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons
107. Chestnut Munia Lonchura atricapilla
108. House Sparrow Passer domesticus
109. Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis
110. Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi
111. Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus