Phuketbirdwatching.com

News and Information on Birding Sites Throughout Thailand and the Andaman

The Preacher in Jerusalem famously penned these words in the book of Ecclesiastes: “To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven … a time to be born, a time to die … a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which was planted …

As you may have guessed, this is the beginning of goodbye.

Phuket Birdwatching was a hobby of mine which started as simple blog in 2001 when I first stepped foot on this island. Back then there were few birders who birded this corner of the world, with most of the action taking place in Khao Nor Chuchi, just stone’s throw from Phuket. Back then the forested waterfall of Khao Prataow in central Phuket was little more than an overgrown swamp teeming with mosquitos and birds and Sri Phang Nga national park was relatively unknown to the outside world and the arrival of a foreign tourist was an event to celebrate – literally.

The blog grew from random postings and short reviews and after some positive feedback it expanded to a small website on a free domain – which was shut down by the author after I found the domain host forcing Cialis and Viagra ads on my site! From there we moved to a WordPress based platform and finally went all out and got our own domain and website.

All this work was done during free times, mostly on weekends and in the evenings. Most of the site reviews came from spare moments I had off after work when I was in the area – usually on an English Camp or other business related commitments.

Looking back I am pleased with how it came along and the wide range of skills that I was able to learn, from recognizing and understanding bird behavior to how to extract a car stuck in the sand on a remote beach without any rope or equipment, to writing lines of code for php scripts and other aspects of building websites. It was a fantastic journey and time well spent.

The goal of the website was to promote birdwatching in the region and to provide free information regarding sites, bird stakeouts and contacts in the southern region. From there we even took it a step further and even added some reviews from places as far away as Chiang Mai and Narathiwat.

With that mission in mind I believe that I accomplished my purpose in assisting many visiting birders and helping countless others get a better idea of the “big picture” down in Thailand’s enigmatic south.

I felt proud every time I met a birder in the field who told me they’d read my website and enjoyed it. I felt an equal sense of accomplishment every time I met a birder who didn’t know who I was but was clutching a handful of papers printed from my website – information which they were using to navigate their way through the myriad of national parks and other birding sites of southern Thailand. This was what I had set out to do and being at the receiving end of the compliments helped to justify the endless hours spent pressing my fingers into the keyboard at 2 AM.

But now I feel the curtain call is upon us and in a few months it will be time to take a final bow.

There are a number of reasons behind the decision to call quits, but the first has to be the time factor. As a father to three, there is a need to focus inward for a time, to nurture the culture of my family. While they are all supportive of my birdwatching and work on this site, I feel that it is time for me to give back to them a bit.

Next has to do with my change in career. It looks like I will be doing less of what I was doing and more of something else. While that sounds completely vague and directionless, all I can say is that there are changes blowing in the wind and right now and nothing is certain. All I know is that the time for change has come and I will be moving on with the wind.

Lastly is the subject of finances. Some may question why I don’t just let the site live on even if I am not planning on updating it. The truth is that for the past six years I’ve been playing for the site’s expense and upkeep and it hasn’t been cheap. There were a few birders who lovingly gave donations towards the cost of running the site as a token of appreciation but for the most part the expenses came from my pocket. I’m not complaining, but the way I see it, if I am moving in a new direction and leaving birding for a spell, I can’t see why I would continue funding it? Shouldn’t I be putting the needs of my family before charity?

So it looks like we’ll still be online until the end of January of 2018. After that …

However, I would also like to mention that not all goodbyes are forever.

No promises here, but if all goes well there is a chance I will reload a portion of this site to another server. There are no plans for that any time soon but … who knows what will happen in 2020.

As always I want to thank everyone who helped to make this website a success and those who provided input, advice, photos, technical know-how and funds to see this project through. Peter Ericsson, Punjapa “Games” Phetsri and Ian Dugdale contributed photos; Anton Schnell funded two trips to unfamiliar birdwatching sites in southern Thailand; Hans Van den Brink loaned me photographic equipment to use on some outings; everyone has been a help and inspiration to me.

Thank you all for reading, commenting and enjoying this website. I wish you all the fondest birding adventures and may your future be filled with wonderful and memorable birdwatching experiences.

Categories: Featured

One Response so far.

  1. brian hewitt says:

    sad to see you go…

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  • Noteworthy

    Special Thanks to Peter Ericsson, Ian Dugdale, Weine Drotz and Hermann Drotz for contributing their photos to this website. All photos displayed in this website are used with permission from the owner.
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