Thursday, April 12, 2018

More from Khok Kham

 As the season progress the waders are assuming more and more color.
Here is the lovely Red-necked Stint followed by Curlew Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit and a Red Knot in flight!




Friday, March 30, 2018

Khok Kham

I got up too late but still decided to visit Khok Kham as the weather looked gloomy which means any photography would still be ok. I don't like glaring light.

Traffic was bad so didnt make it till 9:45. Ouch, the tide was already out and very few birds in the pans. Well, you actually only need one bird at the time and as I sat in my car I spotted a few individuals who for some reason hadn't gone out to the mud flats.

Waders undergo an amazing transformation of color to fit them better in their upcoming breeding grounds on the Siberian tundra. Camouflage is the name of the game.


The Red-necked Stints were there in various stages of moulting.




Lesser Sand Plover is another bird that a bit of color quickly adds to its attraction.
















Broad-billed, Marsh and Curlew Sandpiper added to the variety.





Sunday, March 25, 2018

Experimental rice fields Tanyaburi, Pathum Thani.

White-rumped Munia


Plain Prinia

House Sparrow (indicus)

 It is always fun to bird in a new place. This place is only a few hundred meters from a very busy road but it is run by the state and thus protected from all kinds of disruptions. Also the farming is done organically which allows for insect and birds to co-exist.





 Open area birding can be a lot of fun as birds are always around, not hiding in the trees!

This is the race of House Sparrow found in Thailand, indicus, somethings called Indian House Sparrow.







Paddyfield Pipit

Stejnegeri's Stonechat




 Paddyfield Pipit is a resident very common
bird in paddies. Isolated it can be hard to ID from Richard's but call and size do differ a lot.

Sorting races out can be tricky with taxonomy often changing. Our Eastern Stonechat i.e. is
held up to species level: Stejnegeri's Stonechat.
















Yellow Wagtail has more races then one can even dream of. This one, myornyx belongs to Eastern Yellow Wagtails.
Eastern Yellow wagtail, myornyx

Baya Weaver

Asian Golden Weaver

Baillion's Crake
 Baya Weaver is one of 3 Weaver species we have here. In contrast to Asian Golden Weaver it does not have an all out golden plumage in breeding plumage.
Baillion's Crake




















But the 'best bird' was a cryptic Baillion's Crake that I lured out of the paddies with the help of meal worms!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Central and North, one on one!


Oriental Hobby

Mrs Gould's Sunbird
Ultra-marine Flycatcher

Black-breasted Thrush

Daurian Redstart

Orange-bellied Leafbird

4-11th of December, Thailand

Peter Ericsson and Kerry Morris



No trip is ever the same. Now why is that? Mostly because of the people involved as we are all so different. Of course there are such things as weather, seasons and bird activity but mostly what colors or makes a good trip is decided by the contentment of the birders themselves and not necessarily what has been seen, strange as it may seem to some.

This trip was in the making for a long time. Kelly Morris from Los Angeles is a very keen botanist turned birder. She badly wanted to see Spoon-billed Sandpiper which is what spurred this 8 day long birding adventure.

Day1. Paktaley – Lung Sin hide

I picked up Kerry at her downtown hotel and we arrived at Pak Taley around 7 am. The conditions always vary at the pans and with somewhat weird weather for this time of year the pans were filled with water making it hard to find any small shorebirds. It took well over an hour to find the Spoonie and it wasn’t until the 3rd time we found it that it stayed around for prolonged views. Distance was far but it was seen well in the scope. We watched the bird for half an hour. It was preening and sleeping. Water level being too deep for any feeding.

We also took time to go through all the many other species of shorebirds  and it must have been a bit overwhelming for a birder from the US not having seen peeps outside of the Americas. A great opportunity to study and learn.

And, yes, we did get the other rarities such as Nordmann’s Greenshank and Asian Dowitchers.
Normally I would visit the sand spit for White-faced Plover, Malaysian Plover and Chinese Egret but since our schedule  looked rather compressed we choose to spend the afternoon at Lung Sin  feeding station. This proved to be a good move as we got to see 23 forest species come to bathe and drink. All new for Kerry.

When visiting Kaengkrachan I almost exclusively stay at www.baanmaka.com The resort has new ownership and some improvements as a result. The garden is as impressive as usual and Kerry with her interest in plant life thoroughly enjoyed it. Actually I didn’t hear a negative word about the birding throughout the whole trip. If there were no birds around Kerry immediately went for the plants photographing both birds and plants as we went along.

Day 2. Baan Krahng

The weather was appalling for this time of year with drizzle and dark clouds over the park. So instead of going straight in to the park we visited another feeding station to see some birds we had not seen from the day before and then we stayed outside and enjoyed the more open areas which still had birds in view. Late morning around 10 am we entered the park and though we didn’t get the early morning activity we still got to view a pair of Great Hornbills feeding in a fig tree along with many Pied Hornbills. Also an Orange-breasted Trogon was a great delight as it is a true tropical bird.

It was weekend and lots of campers. Some idiot had snuck up past the check point with his sedan and then proceeded up to the very top of Panern Thung. This resulted in a ban for sedans to drive past the campground. Normally I would drive to the streams a further 1 km away but with drizzle in the air we decided not to do the walk but to slowly go back out of the park and enjoy the garden of Baansongnok feeding station.

Day 3. Panern Thung

To get to the top I always hire a 4WD with driver. Early pick up and off we went after a breakfast of toast, eggs and fresh coffee.

It is a long drive to the top but once up it is totally worth the dramatic scenery with mountain peaks as far as the eye can see, tree covered hill sides, Gibbons singing and birds joining in.
We found a place for ourselves away from the crowds. Most locals go up to see the sun rise and then head down at 9 am leaving the place just about empty.

Birding was a bit slow but that was not felt by Kerry as she absorbed all the sights and sounds.
I like to point out the sounds I hear to help birders understand what is in the area. Hearing the birds does not mean you automatically will see them as some seem to think. It is much more to create an awareness of the richness of the surrounding and what we have a chance of seeing as we bird along.

A day at the top also gave 2 new primate species in addition to the Stump-tailed Macaques and Dusky Langurs  from the day before: Banded Langur and White-handed Gibbons! Behind the restaurant there was a Yellow-throated Marten roaming about in the food scraps.

By now, Kerry had already started to enjoy some of the spicier Thai dishes. Just lovely to eat a warm cooked meal at the top full of flavor!

Day 4 Pak Taley and Doi Inthanon

We discussed our many options for the following morning and it was decided to go back to Paktaley for the Spoonie.  A very wise choice I think as one never knows how much longer it is able to see this beauty. Flexibility in the schedule is a great with customized trips. Well, the weather had resulted in some heavy flooding with sea water levels higher then recorded in many years. We couldn’t find the Spoonie but instead got on to many other birds in the hinterlands adjacent to wetlands.

A midday flight to Chiang Mai went well where we picked up a rented vehicle and headed to Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s tallest mountain.

We headed strait for Daeng’s Homestay, halfway up the mountain after we had our supper at the dining area by headquarters.

Day 5. Doi Inthanon

First thing in the morning we headed up to the Summit. Oodles of people and cars. Birds are still present but not immediately seen. They prefer some light and warmth. Still, the area is great for people watching, plant watching and a cup of coffee.

We spend a few hours in the area and got on to many of the birds found there. Doi Inthanon is still a must on a Northern Thailand itinerary but I am cutting back on time spent on the mountain as it simply has way too many tourists in the dry season.

We visited 2 waterfalls on our way out of the park and did the rather long drive to Fang, North of Chiang Mai.

Day 6. Doi Lang

As it was Saturday we settled for Doi Lang. Doi Lang is simply the best place for birds in the North and still without too many people around. However it was misty and hard to see birds. We fortunately got on to a birdy area around the 2nd checkpoint and there the birding started in all earnest. Ultramarine, Slaty Blue, Slaty-backed, Sapphire Flycatcher, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Siberian Rubythroat, Spot-breasted Parrotbill, Giant Nuthatch, Spectacled Barwing, Crested Finchbill, Oriental Hobby, Mountain Bamboo Partridge, White-bellied Redstart and Gold-throated Barbet was some of the birds seen.

Day 7. Thatorn - Doi Angkhang

 We know it would be crowded at Doi Angkhang in the early morning so instead we set out for the fields of Thatorn. This was a smart move as we added about 20 new species for the trip and the fields kept us busy with our bins.

After that we drove up to Doi Angkhang where people were still about but many getting ready to head back home. At the feeding station birds were waiting. Instead of the lone White-tailed Robin from the week before we now also got to see Black-breasted Thrush, Rufous-bellied Niltava and Hill Blue Flycatcher. All these birds at close range.

At the border point of Nor Lae village Kerry got to shop strait from the hill tribe community as she wanted to bring stuff back home for some charity work she supports. We did support the shopping with excellent views of a stunning male Daurian Redstart.

Lunch in the village and then a scenic drive along the spectacular mountain range that separates Thailand from Myanmar.

In the late afternoon we spend an hour eagerly waiting for the renowned Spotted Eagle Owl that supposedly shows at Doi Chiangdao. But, nix, only an Asian Barred Owlet for us. Grr!

Day 8. Doi Chiang Dao

A lovely breakfast with homemade bread and jam plus fresh coffee at Malee’s Resort. Her garden is simply full of plants and even host a collection of 900 orchids. An amazing plant paradise!

The morning hours were spent in the tranquil surroundings at the temple that nestles itself in a ravine…..the steps up to the temple are adjoined by wonderful rocks and vegetation.
Some new birds for the trip and then off to Chiang Mai airport.

I was very happy that Kerry took to the Thai food (I love making sure the trip is a culinary one as well), loved the plant life, showed interest in people and culture and was very keen to get on to the birds.

We departed ways at Don Muang airport in Bangkok.

It was a great trip!

PS. Kerry wrote me a nice note:

"Peter, Thank you for making my dream a reality by helping me see the amazing Spoon-billed Sandpiper! You have been a wonderful, patient and often hilarious guide! Your knowledge has enabled me to see so many amazing birds, and such beautiful parts of Thailand. The whole trip has been fantastic!
I look forward to the list you've created to see just how many things we saw and heard [ I know it is a lot!
I have so many beautiful memories of birds, plants, places, views, food, people and drives. Thank you so much!"
Kerry Morris

1.    Green-legged Partridge
2.    Rufous-throated Partridge – heard
3.    Mountain Bamboo Partridge
4.    Red Junglefowl
5.    Kalij Pheasant
6.    Lesser Whistling Duck
7.    Little Grebe
8.    Painted Stork
9.    Asian Openbill
10.    Black-crowned Night Heron
11.    Javan Pond Heron
12.    Chinese Pond Heron
13.    Eastern Cattle Egret
14.    Grey Heron
15.    Great Egret
16.    Intermediate Egret
17.    Little Egret
18.    Little Cormorant
19.    Indian Cormorant
20.    Brahimy Kite
21.    Rufous-winged Buzzard
22.    Common Kestrel
23.    Oriental Hobby
24.    White-breasted Waterhen
25.    Ruddy-breasted Crake
26.    Black-winged Stilt
27.    Grey-headed Lapwing
28.    Red-wattled Lapwing
29.    Pacific Golden Plover
30.    Grey Plover
31.    Little Ringed Plover
32.    Kentish Plover
33.    Lesser Sand Plover
34.    Greater Sand Plover
35.    Asian Dowitcher
36.    Black-tailed Godwit
37.    Bar-tailed Godwit
38.    Eastern Curlew
39.    Spotted Redshank
40.    Common Redshank
41.    Marsh Sandpiper
42.    Common Greenshank
43.    Nordmann’s Greenshank
44.    Green Sandpiper
45.    Wood Sandpiper
46.    Common Sandpiper
47.    Ruddy Turnstone
48.    Great Knot
49.    Red Knot
50.    Sanderling
51.    Red-necked Stint
52.    Long-toed Stint
53.    Curlew Sandpiper
54.    Spoon-billed Sandpiper
55.    Broad-billed Sandpiper
56.    Brown-headed Gull
57.    Gull-billed Tern
58.    Caspian Tern
59.    Little Tern
60.    Common Tern
61.    Whiskered Tern
62.    White-winged Tern
63.    Rock Dove
64.    Red Turtle Dove
65.    Spotted Dove
66.    Zebra Dove
67.    Common Emerald Dove
68.    Thick-billed Green Pigeon
69.    Mountain Imperial Pigeon
70.    Vernal Hanging Parakeet
71.    Grey-headed Parakeet
72.    Greater Coucal
73.    Green-billed Malkoha
74.    Asian Koel – heard
75.    Banded Bay Cuckoo – heard
76.    Collared Scops Owl – heard
77.    Asian Barred Owlet
78.    Large-tailed Nightjar – heard
79.    Germain’s Swiftlet
80.    Asian Palm Swift
81.    Cook’s Swift
82.    Orange-breasted Trogon
83.    Red-headed Trogon
84.    Indian Roller
85.    Oriental Dollarbird
86.    White-throated Kingfisher
87.    Black-capped Kingfisher
88.    Collared Kingfisher
89.    Common Kingfisher
90.    Blue-bearded Bee-eater
91.    Green Bee-eater
92.    Blue-tailed Bee-eater
93.    Eurasian Hoopoe
94.    Oriental Pied Hornbill
95.    Great Hornbill
96.    Wreathed Hornbill
97.    Great Barbet – heard
98.    Lineated Barbet – heard
99.    Green-eared Barbet
100.    Golden-throated Barbet
101.    Blue-throated Barbet
102.    Blue-eared Barbet
103.    Coppersmith Barbet
104.    Eurasian Wryneck
105.    Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
106.    Stripe-breasted Woodpecker
107.    Common Flameback – heard
108.    Greater Flameback
109.    Bay Woodpecker - heard
110.    Black-buff Woodpecker
111.    Long-tailed Broadbill
112.    Ashy Woodswallow
113.    Common Iora
114.    Large Cuckooshrike
115.    Black-winged Cuckooshrike
116.    Rosy Minivet
117.    Swinhoe’s Minivet
118.    Short-billed Minivet
119.    Scarlet Minivet
120.    Brown Shrike
121.    Long-tailed Shrike
122.    Grey-backed Shrike
123.    Blyth’s Shrike-Babbler
124.    Black-naped Oriole
125.    Black-hooded Oriole
126.    Maroon Oriole – heard
127.    Black Drongo
128.    Ashy Drongo
129.    Bronzed Drongo
130.    Hair-crested Drongo
131.    Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
132.    Pied Fantail
133.    White-throated Fantail
134.    Black-naped Monarch
135.    Eurasian Jay – heard
136.    Grey Treepie
137.    Racket-tailed Treepie
138.    Ratchet-tailed Treepie – heard
139.    Eastern Jungle Crow
140.    Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher
141.    Yellow-browed Tit
142.    Crested Finchbill
143.    Striated Bulbul
144.    Black-headed Bulbul – heard
145.    Black-crested Bulbul
146.    Red-whiskered Bulbul
147.    Sooty-headed Bulbul
148.    Stripe-throated Bulbul
149.    Flavescent Bulbul
150.    Streak-eared Bulbul
151.    Yellow-vented Bulbul
152.    Puff-throated Bulbul – heard
153.    Ochraceous Bulbul
154.    Grey-eyed Bulbul – heard
155.    Olive Bulbul (Baker’s)
156.    Mountain Bulbul – heard
157.    Ashy Bulbul
158.    Black Bulbul
159.    Barn Swallow
160.    Wire-tailed Swallow
161.    Pygmy Wren Babbler – heard
162.    Yellow-bellied Warbler
163.    Mountain Tailorbird – heard
164.    Aberrant Bush Warbler
165.    Slaty-bellied Tesia – heard
166.    Dusky Warbler
167.    Ashy-throated Warbler
168.    Yellow-browed Warbler
169.    Hume’s Warbler
170.    Two-barred Warbler
171.    Pale-legged Warbler
172.    Sakhalin’s Leaf Warbler
173.    Claudia’s Leaf Warbler
174.    Davison’s Leaf Warbler
175.    Marten’s Warbler
176.    Chestnut-crowned Warbler
177.    Oriental Reed Warbler – heard
178.    Black-browed Reed Warbler – heard
179.    Hill Prinia – heard
180.    Grey-breasted Prinia
181.    Rufescent Prinia
182.    Yellow-breasted Prinia – heard
183.    Plain Prinia
184.    Common Tailorbird
185.    Dark-necked Tailorbird
186.    Large Scimitar Babbler
187.    White-browed Scimitar Babbler
188.    Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler
189.    Buff-chested Babbler – heard
190.    Pin-striped Tit-babbler
191.    Rufous-winged Fulvetta
192.    Brown-cheeked Fulvetta
193.    Southern Grey-cheeked Fulvetta
194.    Collared Babbler
195.    Golden Babbler
196.    Puff-throated Babbler
197.    Buff-breasted Babbler – heard
198.    Bar-throated Minla
199.    Spectacled Barwing
200.    Silver-eared Mesia
201.    White-browed Laughingthrush
202.    Silver-eared Laughingthrush
203.    Rufous-backed Sibia
204.    Dark-backed Sibia
205.    Spot-breasted Parrotbill
206.    Chestnut-flanked White-eye
207.    Japanese White-eye
208.    Asian Fairy-bluebird
209.    Giant Nuthatch
210.    Great Myna
211.    Common Myna
212.    Vinous-breasted Starling
213.    Asian Pied Starling
214.    Black-collared Starling
215.    Blue Whistling Thrush
216.    Orange-headed Thrush
217.    Black-breasted Thrush
218.    White-browed Shortwing – heard
219.    Siberian Rubythroat
220.    Siberian Blue Robin
221.    Oriental Magpie-Robin
222.    White-rumped Shama
223.    Daurian Redstart
224.    White-bellied Redstart
225.    Plumbeous Water Redstart
226.    White-tailed Robin
227.    Stejneger’s Stonechat
228.    Pied Bush Chat
229.    Grey Bush Chat
230.    Asian Brown Flycatcher
231.    Slaty-backed Flycatcher
232.    Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher
233.    Taiga Flycatcher
234.    Ultramarine Flycatcher
235.    Slaty-blue Flycatcher
236.    Sapphire Flycatcher
237.    Verditer Flycatcher
238.    Hill Blue Flycatcher
239.    Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher
240.    Chinese Blue Flycatcher
241.    White-gorgeted Flycatcher
242.    Rufous-browed Flycatcher – heard
243.    Rufous-bellied Niltava
244.    Blue-winged Leabird
245.    Golden-fronted Leafbird
246.    Orange-bellied Leafbird
247.    Fire-breasted Flowerpecker – heard
248.    Olive-backed Sunbird
249.    Mrs Gould’s Sunbird
250.    Green-tailed Sunbird
251.    Black-throated Sunbird
252.    Little Spiderhunter
253.    Streaked Spiderhunter
254.    House Sparrow
255.    Eurasian Tree Sparrow
256.    Asian Golden Weaver
257.    Scaly-breasted Munia
258.    Grey Wagtail
259.    White Wagtail
260.    Richard’s Pipit
261.    Paddyfield Pipit
262.    Olive-backed Pipit
263.    Common Rosefinch
264.    Yellow-breasted Bunting
265.    Pink-necked Pigeon






Sunday, November 5, 2017

Spoon-billed Sandpiper November 2017



There are so so many things that have to come together for certain images to happen as is the case of this set of pix. 

!. The miracle of having access to a small population of wintering Spoon-billed Sandpiper in relative closeness to Bangkok.
2. Finding the birds in the midst of thousands of other shorebirds.
3. Having the time and money to get to the place.
4. Being aware of the tidal schedule.
5. Decent if not good weather.
6. Having the camera gear to take the picture.
7. Knowing how to operate your camera.
8. Having good relations with the workers of the salt pans so as to not wear out your welcome.
9. Preferably no other people around in order to best approach the birds.
10. The blessing of God probably should be on top of the list though! 

So, on our way back towards Bangkok we wanted to stop by Paktaley for another try at the Spoonies having seen them a day earlier. Weather was not the best with drizzling rain being a constant.
About 5 km before our spot the drizzle ceased. It was still very gloomy and clouds looming.
Birds were scattered all over the place. We decided to remain in the car in the hope of finding the Spoonies in a nearby pan. And we did! For the next half an hour or more we worked our cameras till batteries died. It was not easy in the light given and somehow the birds never got as close as one would want. Still, we were treated to a real show and felt extremely blessed! 









Monday, October 16, 2017

Wilson's Bird of Paradise!

 It finally happened! 10 days of birding on West Papua with a team of 5 Norwegians, 1 Swiss and one Indian. It truly was a milestone of a birding endeavor and something I will never forget. The main focus was on Birds of Paradise and we saw several. This one, Wilson's BOP, an endemic from the island of Waigeo performed wonderfully! 

It was so interesting to see how hard the male worked to attract a female. He would clean up his mating area making sure it was suitable for a lady. He would dance around his pole. He let out the loudest of calls. And when the female showed up he eventually got 'down on his knees' in admiration of her presence while 'begging' for her approval!






 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Phylloscs

Time for some fun LBJ's (Little Brown Jobs)..

Dusky Warbler ...Phylloscopus fuscatus
Radd'es Warbler Phylloscopus schwarzi

During mid winter these birds inhabit different habit zones. During migration they may overlap.

Dusky has a strong preference to mangroves, scrub near water causes.
It has a soft but sharp tick call that is easy to ID.
The bill is smaller and the bird is slightly smaller then Radde's as well.

Radde's has more color to it, looks chunkier and with a stronger bill. The supercilium is stronger and slightly bordered darker above. The call is a chuck with more strength then Dusky but not as intense.
Most often found in forested areas near to forest breaks.


Dusky Warbler

Radde's Warbler

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Owls of Sweden

Tawny Owl

Long-eared Owl
 During a 4 weeks visit to Sweden in May/June 2018 I had the opportunity to visit several friends and relatives. I had a secret wish for this visit and that was to see owls as I had previously only seen Tawny Owl.

Through the help of these friends and details posted online plus my own birding I was able to add another 6 species to my collection.

All these owls were seen during day hours as well making it possible to photograph them in good light.

I have yet to see Snowy Owl, Barn Owl and Little
 Owl  in Sweden so there is reason to look for more in the future.















 Great Gray Owl

Northern Hawk Owl












Short-eared Owl

Ural Owl

Friday, September 1, 2017

Brown Prinia

Back in 2001 I got a picture of a Brown Prinia at Nam Nao National Park. It was the 1st image to be uploaded to www.orientalbirdimages.org of the species. I haven't seen this bird ever since. It has a limited presence in Thailand and is seldom seen on regular birding trips.

This time I hoped to get on to the bird again. It was very quiet to be honest but I did find a pair. I recorded the birds and stayed with them for a while learning their various sounds. Contact call, alarm call and territorial song.
http://www.xeno-canto.org/384875
http://www.xeno-canto.org/384876


The birds dont have any obvious supercilium as opposed to Rufescent Prinia. There also is nothing white on the tail. Easiest quick way to ID is through vocalizations. 


It was very difficult to get pictures as they kept on the move and often obscured by vegetation. In the end I got something to show for even though I forgot to extend my lens to its full 400mm and instead shot at 248. Grr!






Saturday, May 6, 2017

Vietnam March 2017

Vietnam 14-21st of March 2017

This was a long overdue trip. For various reasons I had not visited Vietnam previously but this time everything seemed just right.

My friend Stijn de Win and I left from Bangkok to Ho Chi Min with Airasia.  Less than 2 hours away we landed in a modern airport.

Getting luggage and going through immigrations was a breeze. Our prearranged agent was waiting for us with transportation and soon we were on the roads of Ho Chi Min. Lots of both motorbikes and cars made it slow to get out of town but once out we find ourselves on a new multiple lane highway we whisked through the landscape.

Once off the highway the road was more crowded but still nicely paved and we arrived to Cat Tien National Park just after noon.

We stayed at spacious AC accommodations inside the park where there also was a restaurant with good food and plenty of cold beers.

A lot of the birds here are the same as in Thailand so I recognized a lot of the sounds. But the reason for coming here does not occur in Thailand: Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pittas. Both these species are pretty common around HQ. Our guide had arranged for us the use of a couple of hides for the purpose of photographing the aforementioned Pittas. This worked out wonderfully! We even had a Germain’s Peacock Pheasant,Siamese Firebacks and Slaty-legged Crake show at the hide.

Blue-rumped Pitta

Bar-bellied Pitta



Germain's Peacock Pheasant
Siamese Firback
Slaty-legged Crake



We did some conventional birding as well along the one road from our stay which took us through a variety of habitats. Indian Peafowl, Woolly-necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Black-red Broadbill, Orange-necked Partridges, Violet Cuckoo and Grey-faced Tit Babbler being some of the better ones.

3 nights at Cat Tien and it was time for a drive to Dalat in the highlands. Again the roads were not at all what people had told me and we found ourselves in the highland in time for some afternoon birding inspite of leaving Cat Tien around 10:30.

From Dalat town we visited 3 or 4 different sites in search of the many special birds up here. There are many endemic and near endemic birds in the area. Dalat is at 1500m asl and had lovely temperatures ranging between 16-27C. The city has a French colonial architecture, often with wide streets in the rolling pine covered hills surrounding the city.

The food was excellent. Something in between Thai and Chinese. Lots of fresh vegetables as well as generous portions of meat. Both Stijn and myself are used to Asian dining so we had an assortment of dishes between us.

The birding was as good as hoped. My own targets were Collared and Orange-breasted Laughingthrushes and again our local guide knew exactly where we should wait for them.

An array of other great birds: White-cheeked, Black-hooded Laughingthrushes, Grey-capped Black-throated Tit, Indochinese and Necklaced Barbet, Klossi, White-spectacled and Grey-cheeked Warbler, Indochinese Wren Babbler, Grey-bellied Tesias, Grey-crowned Crocias, Dalat Shrike Babbler, Blue-winged Minla, Clicking Shrike Babbler, Lesser Shortwing, Vietnamese Cutia, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Black-headed Sibia, Green-backed Tit, Long-tailed Broadbill  to name a few.
Vietnames Red Crossbill

Vietnamese Greenfinch
Collared Laughingthrush



4 nights at Dalat and a short flight back to Ho Chi Min where I boarded a plane back to Bkk.

My 4 main targets had all been photographed. I had seen 21 new species and had a jolly good time in a birding pace of my own. The Dalat high plateau is a magnificent hot spot for birding. No where else on mainland SEA can so many endemics be found.
Orange-breasted Laughingthrush

White-throated Rock Thrush, fem

Slaty-bellied Tesia



Thanks to Stijn for being a good companion and thanks to Tim D for all the hard labour involved in making it run smooth.

Pictures of birds are  found here: http://www.pbase.com/peterericsson/birdsofvietnam

Chinese Francolin
Francolinus pintadeanus
Rufous-throated Partridge
Arborophila rufogularis
Orange-necked Partridge
Arborophila davidi
Green-legged Partridge
Arborophila chloropus
Red Junglefowl
Gallus gallus
Siamese Fireback
Lophura diardi
Germain's Peacock-Pheasant
Polyplectron germaini
Green Peafowl
Pavo muticus
Little Grebe
Tachybaptus ruficollis
Woolly-necked Stork
Ciconia episcopus
Lesser Adjutant
Leptoptilos javanicus
Cinnamon Bittern
Ixobrychus cinnamomeus
Striated Heron
Butorides striata
Chinese Pond Heron
Ardeola bacchus
Eastern Cattle Egret
Bubulcus coromandus
Great Egret
Ardea alba
Little Egret
Egretta garzetta
Oriental Darter
Anhinga melanogaster
Crested Honey Buzzard
Pernis ptilorhynchus
Crested Serpent Eagle
Spilornis cheela
Black Eagle
Ictinaetus malaiensis
Crested Goshawk
Accipiter trivirgatus
White-bellied Sea Eagle
Haliaeetus leucogaster
Slaty-legged Crake
Rallina eurizonoides
White-breasted Waterhen
Amaurornis phoenicurus
Red-wattled Lapwing
Vanellus indicus
Rock Dove
Columba livia
Spotted Dove
Spilopelia chinensis
Common Emerald Dove
Chalcophaps indica
Zebra Dove
Geopelia striata
Orange-breasted Green Pigeon
Treron bicinctus
Green Imperial Pigeon
Ducula aenea
Mountain Imperial Pigeon
Ducula badia
Greater Coucal
Centropus sinensis
Lesser Coucal
Centropus bengalensis
Green-billed Malkoha
Phaenicophaeus tristis
Violet Cuckoo
Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus
Banded Bay Cuckoo
Cacomantis sonneratii
Plaintive Cuckoo
Cacomantis merulinus
Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo
Surniculus dicruroides
Asian Barred Owlet
Glaucidium cuculoides
Brown Hawk-Owl
Ninox scutulata
Great Eared Nightjar
Lyncornis macrotis
Germain's Swiftlet
Aerodramus germani
Silver-backed Needletail
Hirundapus cochinchinensis
House Swift
Apus nipalensis
Orange-breasted Trogon
Harpactes oreskios
Red-headed Trogon
Harpactes erythrocephalus
Oriental Dollarbird
Eurystomus orientalis
Banded Kingfisher
Lacedo pulchella
White-throated Kingfisher
Halcyon smyrnensis
Common Kingfisher
Alcedo atthis
Blue-bearded Bee-eater
Nyctyornis athertoni
Oriental Pied Hornbill
Anthracoceros albirostris
Lineated Barbet
Psilopogon lineatus
Green-eared Barbet
Psilopogon faiostrictus
Necklaced Barbet
Psilopogon auricularis
Indochinese Barbet
Psilopogon annamensis
Blue-eared Barbet
Psilopogon duvaucelii
Coppersmith Barbet
Psilopogon haemacephalus
Heart-spotted Woodpecker
Hemicircus canente
Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
Yungipicus canicapillus
Greater Yellownape
Chrysophlegma flavinucha
Common Flameback
Dinopium javanense
Bay Woodpecker
Blythipicus pyrrhotis
Rufous Woodpecker
Micropternus brachyurus
Great Slaty Woodpecker
Mulleripicus pulverulentus
Red-breasted Parakeet
Psittacula alexandri
Vernal Hanging Parrot
Loriculus vernalis
Black-and-red Broadbill
Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos
Long-tailed Broadbill
Psarisomus dalhousiae
Blue-rumped Pitta
Hydrornis soror
Bar-bellied Pitta
Hydrornis elliotii
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
Hemipus picatus
Large Woodshrike
Tephrodornis virgatus
Ashy Woodswallow
Artamus fuscus
Common Iora
Aegithina tiphia
Great Iora
Aegithina lafresnayei
Black-winged Cuckooshrike
Coracina melaschistos
Swinhoe's Minivet
Pericrocotus cantonensis
Grey-chinned Minivet
Pericrocotus solaris
Long-tailed Minivet
Pericrocotus ethologus
Scarlet Minivet
Pericrocotus speciosus
Brown Shrike
Lanius cristatus
Burmese Shrike
Lanius collurioides
White-bellied Erpornis
Erpornis zantholeuca
Dalat Shrike-Babbler
Pteruthius annamensis
Clicking Shrike-Babbler
Pteruthius intermedius
Black-naped Oriole
Oriolus chinensis
Black-hooded Oriole
Oriolus xanthornus
Maroon Oriole
Oriolus traillii
Ashy Drongo
Dicrurus leucophaeus
Bronzed Drongo
Dicrurus aeneus
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo
Dicrurus remifer
Hair-crested Drongo
Dicrurus hottentottus
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Dicrurus paradiseus
White-throated Fantail
Rhipidura albicollis
Black-naped Monarch
Hypothymis azurea
Oriental Paradise Flycatcher
Terpsiphone affinis
Eurasian Jay
Garrulus glandarius
Common Green Magpie
Cissa chinensis
Racket-tailed Treepie
Crypsirina temia
Large-billed Crow
Corvus macrorhynchos
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher
Culicicapa ceylonensis
Green-backed Tit
Parus monticolus
Black-headed Bulbul
Pycnonotus atriceps
Sooty-headed Bulbul
Pycnonotus aurigaster
Stripe-throated Bulbul
Pycnonotus finlaysoni
Flavescent Bulbul
Pycnonotus flavescens
Streak-eared Bulbul
Pycnonotus conradi
Puff-throated Bulbul
Alophoixus pallidus
Grey-eyed Bulbul
Iole propinqua
Mountain Bulbul
Ixos mcclellandii
Black Bulbul
Hypsipetes leucocephalus
Barn Swallow
Hirundo rustica
Red-rumped Swallow
Cecropis daurica
Mountain Tailorbird
Phyllergates cuculatus
Grey-bellied Tesia
Tesia cyaniventer
Black-throated Bushtit
Aegithalos concinnus
Yellow-browed Warbler
Phylloscopus inornatus
Two-barred Warbler
Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus
Pale-legged Leaf Warbler
Phylloscopus tenellipes
Sakhalin Leaf Warbler
Phylloscopus borealoides
Kloss's Leaf Warbler
Phylloscopus ogilviegranti
White-spectacled Warbler
Seicercus affinis
Hill Prinia
Prinia superciliaris
Rufescent Prinia
Prinia rufescens
Yellow-bellied Prinia
Prinia flaviventris
Dark-necked Tailorbird
Orthotomus atrogularis
White-browed Scimitar Babbler
Pomatorhinus schisticeps
Grey-throated Babbler
Stachyris nigriceps
Rufous-capped Babbler
Stachyridopsis ruficeps
Pin-striped Tit-Babbler
Macronus gularis
Grey-faced Tit-Babbler
Macronus kelleyi
Mountain Fulvetta
Alcippe peracensis
Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler
Jabouilleia danjoui
Abbott's Babbler
Malacocincla abbotti
Puff-throated Babbler
Pellorneum ruficeps
Buff-breasted Babbler
Pellorneum tickelli
White-crested Laughingthrush
Garrulax leucolophus
Black-hooded Laughingthrush
Garrulax milleti
White-cheeked Laughingthrush
Garrulax vassali
Orange-breasted Laughingthrush
Garrulax annamensis
Collared Laughingthrush
Trochalopteron yersini
Vietnamese Cutia
Cutia legalleni
Silver-eared Mesia
Leiothrix argentauris
Grey-crowned Crocias
Crocias langbianis
Rufous-backed Sibia
Heterophasia annectans
Black-headed Sibia
Heterophasia desgodinsi
Black-headed Parrotbill
Psittiparus margaritae
Asian Fairy-bluebird
Irena puella
Chestnut-vented Nuthatch
Sitta nagaensis
Yellow-billed Nuthatch
Sitta solangiae
Golden-crested Myna
Ampeliceps coronatus
Common Hill Myna
Gracula religiosa
Vinous-breasted Starling
Acridotheres burmannicus
Black-collared Starling
Gracupica nigricollis
Chestnut-tailed Starling
Sturnia malabarica
Green Cochoa
Cochoa viridis
Oriental Magpie-Robin
Copsychus saularis
White-rumped Shama
Copsychus malabaricus
Dark-sided Flycatcher
Muscicapa sibirica
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Muscicapa dauurica
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher
Cyornis tickelliae
Large Niltava
Niltava grandis
Blue-and-white Flycatcher
Cyanoptila cyanomelana
Verditer Flycatcher
Eumyias thalassinus
Lesser Shortwing
Brachypteryx leucophris
Siberian Rubythroat
Calliope calliope
White-tailed Robin
Myiomela leucura
Blue Whistling Thrush
Myophonus caeruleus
Taiga Flycatcher
Ficedula albicilla
Snowy-browed Flycatcher
Ficedula hyperythra
Blue Rock Thrush
Monticola solitarius
White-throated Rock Thrush
Monticola gularis
Stejneger's Stonechat
Saxicola stejnegeri
Grey Bush Chat
Saxicola ferreus
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker
Dicaeum ignipectus
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Dicaeum cruentatum
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird
Chalcoparia singalensis
Brown-throated Sunbird
Anthreptes malacensis
Van Hasselt's Sunbird
Leptocoma brasiliana
Olive-backed Sunbird
Cinnyris jugularis
Mrs. Gould's Sunbird
Aethopyga gouldiae
Little Spiderhunter
Arachnothera longirostra
Streaked Spiderhunter
Arachnothera magna
House Sparrow
Passer domesticus
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Passer montanus
White-rumped Munia
Lonchura striata
Grey Wagtail
Motacilla cinerea
Richard's Pipit
Anthus richardi
Olive-backed Pipit
Anthus hodgsoni
Vietnamese Greenfinch
Chloris monguilloti
Red Crossbill
Loxia curvirostra