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

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