Tmat Boey and Preah Vihear Temple Tour Report covers a 3-day Cambodia birding tour in December 2023 with Sam Veasna Conservation Tours (SVC). 

Client at Preah Vihear Temple pictured above.

Dates:
 20th to 22nd December 2023

Report Written By: Hang Oeang, SVC Bird Guide

Locations:  Tmat Boey, Preah Vihear Temple

Total No. of Bird Species: 71

Clients and reviews: Mr. Steven Barry

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

Introduction

This is a 3-day trip that travels from Siem Reap to Tmat Boey ecolodge to visit the endangered species such as Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis and other species. After seeing all our target birds, then, we moved to visit the main temple called Preah Vihear Temple close to the border between Cambodia and Thailand.

Tmat Boey ecolodge is the home of two critically endangered species that was in the Northern Plain of Cambodia. The priority birds are Giant Ibis and White-shouldered Ibis. Other species such as Savanna Nightjar, White-rumped Falcon, Indochinese Roller, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-crowned Woodpeckers, Black-headed Woodpeckers, and Brown Fish-owl.

After seeing our key birds, we spent a half day visiting the main temple near the Thai border called Preah Vihear Temple, one of the most spectacular historical sites in Cambodia. Then, we returned to the lodge for lunch and prepared our stuff before checking out. We were leaving from Tmat Boey ecolodge to the meeting point with another tour guide from another company at the crossroad to Tbeng Meanchey at 12:15 pm.

Highlights of the tour

1. Giant Ibis
2. White-shouldered Ibis
3. Brown Fish-owl
4. Indochinese Roller
5. Burmese Shrike
6. Scarlet Minivet
7. Asain barred Owlet
8. Black-headed Woodpecker
9. Savana Nightjar
10. Radde Warbler
11. Eurasian Hoopoe
12. Indochinese Bushlark

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: Siem Reap and Tmat Boey Ecolodge

On this tour we left Siem Reap province at 10:00 am and drove to Tmat Boey community ecolodge in Preah Vihear province. We arrived at the ecolodge at 1:00 pm, did a small greeting to the people who waited at the lodge, and then, checked in before lunch.

We started our tour at 3:00 pm to visit the White-shouldered Ibis’s rooting tree. We spent about 3:30 pm to observe the birds around that area. Along the trail to the White-shouldered Ibis’s rooting, we saw many birds such as Black-headed Woodpeckers, Large Cuckooshrike, Grey- Capped pygmy Woodpecker, Large Woodshrike, Common Woodshrike, and Small Minivet.

We saw about 14 White-shouldered Ibis before we headed back to the lodge. We arrived at the lodge at 6:30 pm, refreshed a little bit, and got a shower before dinner.

Indochinese Silver Langur

White-shouldered Ibis

Scaly-crowned Babbler

Dinner at Tmat Boey Ecolodge

Day 2: Tmat Boey 

We planned to leave a bit early to see the Giant Ibis at its nesting tree so we left the lodge at 5:30 am. We drove about 20 minutes to the site, then we had to walk about 15 minutes more to see the Giant Ibis. We had a beautiful time with the birds in their nest for about 20 minutes. After that, we walked back to the car park for our breakfast. Along the way back we saw many birds such as Rufous-winged Buzzard, Common Flameback, Green Imperial Pigeon, Small Minivet, and Scarlet Minivet.

After breakfast, we moved to another place called Srah Toeuk, looking for the White-rumped Falcon. When we arrived at the area of falcon’s spot, we observed around there about 20 mn, finally, we saw 3 of the White-rumped Falcons. We did not return to the lodge yet because we tried to see another species of bird called Brown Fish-owl. We drove to the outskirts of the village and walked about 20 minutes to find the Brown Fish-owl’s rooting tree. Such a lucky day for us, we saw what we wanted to see! Finally, we saw one. Back to the lodge, refreshing about an hour before lunch and then breaking time.

At the afternoon time, we left the lodge at 3:30 pm to go to the site called Phnom Raeng for other key birds such as Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Streak-throated Woodpecker, and Savana Nightjar.
When we arrived in the area, we felt so quiet from the nature. We did not hear much about the bird’s song and call. We keep walking along the trail to find our key species. Along the trail, we saw the Black-hooded Oriole, White-browed Fantail, Large Cuckooshrike, Burmese Shrike, Gray-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, and Savanna Nightjar. 

After exploring around about 3 hours, we walked back to the car and returned to the lodge. Refreshing with shower and dinner at 7:00 pm.

Indochinese Silver Langur

Giant Ibis nesting

Scaly-crowned Babbler

Spotting the Giant Ibis

Day 3: Tmat Boey and Preah Vihear Temple

We woke up at 6:00 am, and had breakfast before we visited Preah Vihear Temple. We spent an hour and a half at the car park of Preah Vihear temple, then we changed the vehicle to pick up the car and drove to the temple at the top of Dang Raek Mountain cliff.

The weather at that time was not so good for us because it was cools and windy, feel like we gonna fly to the sky. We could not observe any birds at that time and we spent three hours walking around the temple. After exploring the temple, we went back to the lodge packed our stuff and had lunch before check-out. We left the lodge at 12:30 pm, to meet another guide from another company at Tbeng Meanchrey crossroad.

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: 71
E-bird Trip Report: https://ebird.org/tripreport/186326

 

1. Chinese Francolin – Francolinus pintadeanus
2. Red Collared-Dove – Streptopelia tranquebarica
3. Spotted Dove – Spilopelia chinensis
4. Zebra Dove – Geopelia striata
5. Green Imperial-Pigeon – Ducula aenea
6. Banded Bay Cuckoo – Cacomantis sonneratii
7. Large-tailed Nightjar – Caprimulgus macrurus
8. Savanna Nightjar – Caprimulgus affinis
9. Germain’s Swiftlet – Aerodramus germani
10. Crested Treeswift – Hemiprocne coronata
11. Red-wattled Lapwing – Vanellus indicus
12. Chinese Pond-Heron – Ardeola bacchus
13. White-shouldered Ibis – Pseudibis davisoni
14. Giant Ibis – Pseudibis gigantea
15. Crested Serpent-Eagle – Spilornis cheela
16. Rufous-winged Buzzard – Butastur liventer
17. Brown Fish-Owl – Ketupa zeylonensis
18. Asian Barred Owlet – Glaucidium cuculoides
19. Spotted Wood-Owl – Strix seloputo
20. Eurasian Hoopoe – Upupa epops
21. Common Kingfisher – Alcedo atthis
22. White-throated Kingfisher – Halcyon smyrnensis
23. Black-capped Kingfisher – Halcyon pileata
24. Asian Green Bee-eater – Merops orientalis
25. Indochinese Roller – Coracias affinis
26. Lineated Barbet – Psilopogon lineatus
27. Gray-capped Pygmy Woodpecker – Yungipicus canicapillus
28. Common Flameback – Dinopium javanense
29. Lesser Yellownape – Picus chlorolophus
30. Black-headed Woodpecker – Picus erythropygius
31. Great Slaty Woodpecker – Mulleripicus pulverulentus
32. White-rumped Falcon – Neohierax insignis
33. Blossom-headed Parakeet – Psittacula roseata
34. Red-breasted Parakeet – Psittacula alexandri
35. Small Minivet – Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
36. Scarlet Minivet – Pericrocotus speciosus
37. Large Cuckooshrike – Coracina macei
38. Black-hooded Oriole – Oriolus xanthornus
39. Large Woodshrike – Tephrodornis virgatus
40. Common Woodshrike – Tephrodornis pondicerianus
41. Common Iora – Aegithina tiphia
42. White-browed Fantail – Rhipidura aureola
43. Black Drongo – Dicrurus macrocercus
44. Ashy Drongo – Dicrurus leucophaeus
45. Burmese Shrike – Lanius collurioides
46. Red-billed Blue-Magpie – Urocissa erythroryncha
47. Rufous Treepie – Dendrocitta vagabunda
48. Large-billed Crow – Corvus macrorhynchos
49. Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher – Culicicapa ceylonensis
50. Indochinese Bushlark – Mirafra erythrocephala
51. Rufescent Prinia – Prinia rufescens
52. Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica
53. Red-rumped Swallow – Cecropis daurica
54. Black-crested Bulbul – Rubigula flaviventris
55. Sooty-headed Bulbul – Pycnonotus aurigaster
56. Yellow-browed Warbler – Phylloscopus inornatus
57. Chestnut-capped Babbler – Timalia pileata
58. White-crested Laughingthrush – Garrulax leucolophus
59. Burmese Nuthatch – Sitta neglecta
60. Black-collared Starling – Gracupica nigricollis
61. Common Myna – Acridotheres tristis
62. Vinous-breasted Myna – Acridotheres leucocephalus
63. Great Myna – Acridotheres grandis
64. Asian Brown Flycatcher – Muscicapa dauurica
65. Verditer Flycatcher – Eumyias thalassinus
66. Taiga Flycatcher – Ficedula albicilla
67. Amur Stonechat – Saxicola stejnegeri
68. Purple Sunbird – Cinnyris asiaticus
69. Ornate Sunbird – Cinnyris ornatus
70. Golden-fronted Leafbird – Chloropsis aurifrons
71. Plain-backed Sparrow – Passer flaveolus