Khao Dinsor
Chumphon Province


Thailand


World

 

Overview

Khao Dinsor was placed firmly on the birding map when, in 2008, it was realised that large numbers of raptors pass close to and along the ridge on their southward, autumn, migration between mid August and mid November. In the years since, a raptor centre - for educational purposes - has been constructed, and each year in mid to late October a Raptor Migration Weekend is held. Volunteers, observing the migration, are present yearly with all of September and October monitored. Migration varies with month, and on a day to day basis, heavily dependent on wind, cloud cover and rain. It is estimated that somewhere between 250,000 - 500,000 raptors, of more than 25 species, pass annually. In addition, each year several species, rarely recorded in Thailand, turn up. Other migrants also pass through with all three species of needletail recorded. Information on this page verified/accurate as of 28 November 2015.

 

Crested Serpent Eagle
Crested Serpent Eagle

Khao Dinsor map

Access

The summit of Khao Dinsor, at 450 metres, lies 20 kilometres east-northeast of Chumphon. The most straightforward access is to turn east off the main north-south Highway 4 at the Tha Sae junction, 25 kilometres north of Chumphon, onto Highway 3180. Follow Highway 3180 for 11.8 kilometres and turn left, northward, onto Highway 3201 heading to Chumphon Airport. After 4.0 kilometres the winding road to the Raptor Centre is well signposted on the left hand side. After 800 metres park at the Raptor Centre. From here it's a 20-45 minute walk to the summit of Khao Dinsor.

Accommodation and Facilities

Basically, at Khao Dinsor, no facilities are available. If the Raptor Centre is open it will have toilet facilities and on a busy weekend it might be possible to find a coffee. Bring all food and water for the day. As it's a hike to the summit it's usually preferable to carry everything required up the hill. On the trail to the summit, and around the highest viewpoints, a few shelters have been built providing protection from the sun. How long these remain in a working condition will depend on funding for maintenance.

 

Accommodation can be found in several of the beach resorts along the coast as well as in Chumphon city. Most popular with birders is to stay in the village of Thung Wua Laem, ten kilometres to the south, where several guesthouses and small restaurants are found along the beach. The Nana Beach Resort offers more up-market accommodation, or the Albatross Guesthouse offers budget choice. Other, more up market resorts are available nearby.

Jerdon's Baza
Jerdon's Baza

Black Baza
Black Baza migrating

Eastern Buzzard
Eastern Buzzard

Shikra
Shikra

Birding

The slopes of Khao Dinsor are mainly covered with scrub and low secondary growth, and as such do not contain much of interest, other than some migrants that occasionally shelter and feed while passing. The main interest is to hike up to the shelters and platforms to watch the raptor migration. The climb up is not particularly steep or arduous, but takes from 20 to 45 minutes depending on fitness. Once on the hill, several shelters are found near the top offering views toward the southwest and west. A full panoramic view is possible from the platform at the summit. The majority of the raptor migration takes place between 09:00 and 13:00, although other groups of birds can move past at any time. The five most numerous raptors, together with their peak periods are: Black Baza - late October; Chinese Sparrowhawk - late September to early October; Oriental Honey Buzzard - late September to early October; Japanese Sparrowhawk - late September; and Grey-faced Buzzard - mid October. Jerdon's Baza is a particular speciality, with Khao Dinsor being the most reliable place to see it in Thailand, although its passage is usually confined to just a week at the very end of October and early November.

 

White-bellied Sea Eagle
White-bellied Sea Eagle

Black Baza
Black Baza

Oriental Honey Buzzard
Oriental Honey Buzzard

Checklist

Checklist of species.

Gallery

Additional images from Khao Dinsor available in the Thailand photo gallery.

Sunrise and Sunset

Detailed sunrise and sunset times.