Thailand Raptor Migration Autumn 2018

This is a record of the  Thailand Raptor Migration for 2018 as observed from my home in Na Ngua,  Phetchabun, Northern Thailand between early September and the end of November. Fortunately my home is located pretty close to the North Eastern Migration Flyway which raptors and other birds use as they head further south.

Raptors Observed on Thailand Raptor Migration Autumn 2018

This is a list of the species observed, with the first migrating birds being observed on 13th September 2018. Images, where available may be viewed by clicking the link in the birds name.

1. Japanese Sparrowhawk is my first bird on the Thailand Raptor Migration Autumn 2018.  I initially had difficulty getting the correct ID for this bird as it was flying very low and fast, in fact I thought it was a Falcon species. First recorded in the early morning of 13th September 2018.

2. Shikra although these birds are resident in my area there is evidence that several thousand migrate south through Thailand towards Malaysia. Several birds observed moving south along with Japanese Sparrowhawks. First recorded 14th September 2018.

3. Pied Harrier. An early record for this bird at Na Ngua. Both Pied and Eastern Marsh Harriers can be found over-wintering in the local rice fields(after cutting). A well marked male first recorded 18th September 2018.

4. Chinese Sparrowhawk only distant glimpses of juveniles initially but managed to view an adult female over the house on 29/9/18. First recorded 21st September 2018.

5. Oriental Honey Buzzard several birds passing through. First recorded 21st September 2018.

6. Black-eared Kite somewhat of a rarity on passage here. However on 9th October 2018 saw 22 birds low over the house at sunset. First recorded 26th September 2018.

7. Eastern Marsh Harrier, one of the two Harrier sp. that inhabit the local rice fields once the crop is harvested. First recorded 1st October 2018.

8. Grey-faced Buzzard, a distant single bird at the time of writing. First recorded 10th October 2018.

9. Booted Eagle, a distant view of this bird, a new species for me. First recorded 22nd October 2018.

10. Amur Falcon(probable), this bird was very high and ID difficult. It is also a rare passage migrant/vagrant. First recorded 30th October 2018.

11. Greater Spotted Eagle, again a long way off but ID clear. Rare passage migrant and another new species. First recorded 31st October 2018.

12. Black Baza, although 3/4 birds were seen in late August it is believed they are residents that do not migrate in the rainy season. True migration from the Northern population usually seen in early November here. First recorded 31st October 2018.

13. Common Kestrel, only one bird observed on 1 November 2018.

Note: Several Accipiters and Harriers could not be identified to specific species and are shown as Accipiter sp. or Harrier sp. in the species number table below. This is often because immature/juvenile birds are present on migration or simply because the birds were too far away to confirm ID.

Thailand Raptor Migration Autumn 2018 Species and Numbers Observed

SpeciesSeptember 2018October 2018November 2018Total 2018Total 2017
Accipiter Sp.1320154
Amur Falcon01010
Black Baza02024
Black-Eared Kite1471495
Booted Eagle01010
Chinese Sparrowhawk33060
Common Kestrel00111
Eastern Marsh Harrier06067
Greater Spotted Eagle01010
Grey-faced Buzzard0300301
Harrier sp.02020
Japanese Sparrowhawk1600163
Oriental Honey Buzzard91312329
Pied Harrier35194


Comparison between my 2017 and 2018 records for observations of the Thailand Raptor Migration show that more species were observed in 2018, a total of 12 fully identified species, compared to 9 in 2017.

In 2017 I observed a total of 62 raptors on passage between early September and mid-November while in 2018 the total was 166. However I spent more time carrying out observations in 2018. My identification skills have also improved.

2018 saw a significant increase in Black-eared Kite observed although around 22 of these birds were observed in a single group as they approached a roost near my home. There were also significant increases in both Japanese and Chinese Sparrowhawk observed. The latter species being positively identified here for the first time.

You can read about my observations of non-raptor migrants that I saw in my garden during Autumn 2018 here.

Last updated 4th March 2019