CHIANG RAI – According to the Chiang Rai Provincial Livestock Office, hundreds of migratory open-billed storks are now occupying rice fields in Chiang Rai and Chiang Saen Lake, having migrated from either Siberia or Upper China.
Sightings of open-billed storks are rare in Chiang Rai, residents reportedly feel excited by their presence.
The birds will move back to their native region when the weather becomes warmer, although some might stay longer if there is enough food.
Chiang Saen Lake
Nong Beung Kai, or Chiang Saen Lake, is a natural lake and marsh area just outside town and one of the country’s prime bird-watching spots, particularly in the winter months from November to February, when large numbers of waterfowl and waders migrate here from cold, northern climes.
It is worth visiting throughout the year though, as the lake is home to various resident species of duck, geese, herons, storks, kingfishers and so on, as well as raptors and smaller reed and scrub species on the lake’s perimeters.
Chiang Saen Lake is conveniently located, its turn off just five kilometres outside town off Route 1016, from where a couple more clicks of country lane takes you to the lakeside.The lake and surrounds are very scenic, so even if you have no interest in bird-life whatsoever, it is still well worth a visit.