Cambodia Itinerary -1 Day 1. Arrive in Siem Reap from Hanoi. We shall spend the afternoon visiting the historic temples of Angkor Wat, which will also provide some initial birding around the temples. Night in Siem Reap. Day 2 On our first full day we will visit Prek Toal Wildlife Sanctuary, a world biosphere site, situated on the huge freshwater lake of Tonle Sap. It is of global importance since it holds the largest remaining waterbird breeding colony in South-east Asia. Venturing into the colonies by boat we can expect to see literally thousands of waterbirds including Oriental Darters, Asian Openbills, Spot-billed Pelicans, Painted Storks, Black-headed Ibis, Lesser Adjutants – a truly amazing sight. We will make a special visit to another side of the colony in search of our two target birds here, Milky Stork and the impressive Greater Adjutant, both of which breed here in small numbers. En-route we have the opportunity to encounter Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Black-backed Gallinule, Common Flameback and Rufous Woodpecker. Night in Siem Reap. Day 3 An early morning visit to Ang Tropeang Thmor, a large inland wetland birding en-route. This area is well known as the wintering grounds of over 40% of the endangered sharpei race of Sarus Crane. While searching for these magnificent birds feeding in the surrounding area we will come across many other waterbirds, many of which are rare elsewhere in Southeast Asia, including Comb Duck, Cotton Pygmy Goose and both Bronze-winged & Pheasant-tailed Jacana. Additionally we can expect to see Pied and Eastern Marsh Harriers quartering the open fields with Greater Spotted Eagle also possible. The paddy fields and surrounding scrub are home to a wide variety of wintering species, possibilities include Oriental Reed- & Dusky Warblers, White- shouldered Starling, Paddyfield & Red-throated Pipits, Baya Weaver, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Brown Shrike and Eastern Yellow Wagtails. Night in Siem Reap. Day 4 An early morning drive will be required to reach this mornings destination, as we will be heading for the grasslands that surround the Tonle Sap. This habitat is the home of the Bengal Florican, a beautiful bird that is becoming increasingly endangered due to current farming practices within the open landscape around Tonle Sap. Birding in this area will also produce a wide variety of passerines wintering Richard’s & Red-throated Pipits, Australasian Bushlark, Small Buttonquail, Red Avadavats and Black-shouldered Kites are all possible. After lunch we shall head north into the remote region of Preah Vihear province, accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicles and only during the few months after water levels recede and before the onset of the next monsoon. This north-eastern province is home to some of the rarest and most difficult species to observe in South-east Asia. The landscape of this province is dominated by open, dry savannah interspersed with extensive tracts of deciduous forest along the waterways. Eventually we arrive at our basic yet charming and comfortable accommodation in the village of Tmat Boey, home of the rare Giant Ibis. Night in Tmat Boey. Day 5-6 During our two full days exploring the surrounding area we can hope to see most our of our target species. We will walk through the open forest in search of small waterholes, or ‘tropeangs’, which offer us the best chance of locating the near-mythical Giant and White-shouldered Ibis’s, which use these tropeangs to feed. In between visiting these waterholes good numbers of other species will be encountered, including an array of wintering passerines found in large feeding flocks. Up to twelve species of woodpecker make this forest their home, including the spectacular Black-headed. Other localised species here include Burmese Shrike, Orange-breasted and Yellow-footed Green- Pigeon, Rufous-winged Buzzard, 4 species of Prinia including the localised Brown, Blossom-headed, Red-breasted & Alexandrine Parakeets, Indochinese Cuckoo-shrike, Indochinese Bushlark, Golden- fronted Leafbird, Black-hooded Oriole and possibly White-rumped Falcon. Nights in Tmat Boey. Day 7 After a final mornings birding in the area searching for any missing species, we head back to Kompong Thom after breakfast. Another late afternoon visiting the grasslands that surround the Tonle Sap in search of any species missed previously in this area, including Bengal Florican. Night in Kompong Thom. Day 8 The grasslands in the Kompong Thom area hold many species of wintering passerines. Our main target this morning will be the Manchurian Reed Warbler, which winters in small numbers around Kompong Thom. While searching for this species, we hope to come across a number of other winter visitors Black-browed Reed Warbler, Bluethroat, Yellow-breasted Bunting and Lanceolated Warbler are all present. Large densities of raptors also winter here, including Greater Spotted Eagle and both Pied and Eastern Marsh Harriers. Following a late breakfast we’ll take the drive east and then north to the scenic town of Kratie, situated on the banks of the mighty Mekong River. Late afternoon birding here will hopefully produce Asian Golden Weaver, which is sadly in decline owing to extensive habitat loss. Night in Kratie. Day 9 The morning will be spent on board small boats along the Mekong to the north of Kratie searching the small vegetated islands for the recently described Mekong Wagtail. An added attraction while searching for these birds is the small population of the critically endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin, which are resident in small numbers here, and we can hope to be entertained by several of these wonderful creatures. During the afternoon we shall drive back to Phnom Penh and share our final evening meal together while we reflect on the wonderful birds and sites that Cambodia has shown us. Night in Phnom Penh. Day 10 Depart for Home Morning departure from Phnom Penh International Airport.
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