Cambodia Itinerary -1 by victoriacapron

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									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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