Ang Trapaeng Thmor (ATT) is a vast ‘baray’ or man-made reservoir, originally built by slave labour. Aside from being a staging ground for more than 300 Sarus Crane in the dry (non-breeding) season, more than 200 species of other birds occur here, of which 18 have been classified as globally or near globally threatened. This is also one of the handful of sites in Cambodia where the endangered Eld’s Deer can be seen.
The best time to see the Sarus Crane is from January to May though an abundance of bird species makes it a worthwhile birding site all year – it’s not uncommon to see 80+ species in one day. It is one of our favorite spots for birdwatching and reviously we have found scarce birds such as Black-necked Stork, Greater Spotted Eagle and, during March and April, Oriental Plover.
ATT is a day trip from Siem Reap, though basic accommodation can be arranged, giving birdwatchers the chance of dawn sightings and offering the opportunity of visiting the massive Angkorian temple complex of Banteay Chma.
During the rainy season when we have few visitors SVC guides are training the local villagers in bird identification skills to maximise the opportunities for spotting the target species when SVC clients do visit, the fees for local guiding provide an incentive for the local community to look after their local environment and its fauna.
A Conservation Contribution is Included in the cost of all SVC trips, which supports projects that benefit the communities in the conservation areas. At ATT the CC has been used to fund a rice bank, which lends rice to families and repair roads.
Sarus Cranes arrive in early February and stay until May. This is also the best time for other large waterbirds, but interesting visitors can turn up at any time of year.
A large reservoir surrounded by rice paddies, with a range of grassland and sedge habitats on the northern edge, and a small area of degraded deciduous forest.
Planning a trip