The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s office in Prachuap Khiri Khan has launched the “River of Raptors” event on Radar Hill in the Sai Thong sub-district of Bang Saphan, between September and November 2014. The event features watching many raptors (birds of prey) migrating from other countries. The Director of the TAT’s Prachuab Khirikhan office, Mrs. Orasa Awuthkhom, describes this as an annual event held when many hawks and other birds migrate from cold weather and the food shortages in Russia, Mongolia, Korea, China and Japan to stay temporarily in Thailand where the weather is warmer.
These birds fly for 2,000 to 4,000 kilometres to the south of Thailand as well as to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Once they arrive, they will find food and form in large groups whch fascinate bird watchers. Mrs. Orasa said that there were two routes which the birds use to when flying in Thailand. The first one is the northeastern route where the birds take a shortcut along the South China Sea from Korea, Japan or China and pass Vietnam and Laos.
When they arrive in Thailand, the birds will pass the Phetchabun mountains in the northeast before going south to Dong Phaya Yen Mountain. They pass through central Thailand before going south towards Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram and Phetchaburi. The second route is to the west where the birds move from the south of China to the north of Thailand before forming a large group with the birds that take the first route at the mountains in the western part of Thailand. All of them will pass Prachuap Khirikhan towards Chumphon and finally Malaysia. The “River of Raptors” event is initiated by Assistant Professor Dr. Chaiyan Kesorndokbua, a lecturer of the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Kasetsart University, along with members of the Thai Raptor Group.
This is an important area for watching various species of migrating hawks. “This year, we can expect to see many hawks including the Japanese Sparrowhawk, Chinese Sparrowhawk and Oriental Honey Buzzard. Over 10,000 Chinese Sparrowhawks have already visited Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chumphon. Others, including the Oriental Honey Buzzard, Grey-Faced Buzzard, Shikhra Sparrowhawk and Black Baza, will stay for about three weeks,” said Asst. Prof. Dr. Chaiyan. The Event is held on 11th and 12th October 2014 on Radar Hill which is located before the Khao Pho Highway Service Center on Phetchakasem Road in Bang Saphan, Prachuab Khirikhan.
Those who would like to take part can go to Radar Hill at 7 AM on these days. If possible, they should bring with them some equipment for bird watching, especially a camera, as the equipment provided by the organisers may not be enough for all participants. The event is free of charge and will be conducted personally by Asst. Prof. Dr. Chaiyan. Alternatively visitors can go for bird watching by themselves from September to November at either 7 – 11 AM or 2 – 5 PM. For more information and related activities, please contact staff member at Radar Hill, Ms. Praphin Buasong; tel. 086 165 1352, visit the website: www.BirdsofThailand.org or contact the TAT’s Prachuab Khirikhan Office at tel. 032 513 885 and 032 513 871.