>From 6-20.4.01 was spent birding in southern Vietnam. There were five people
in our party (Gerry Richards, Ian and Sylvia Whitehouse and Martin Yapp).
Sites visited include Di Linh, Mount Lang Bian and Ho Tuyen Lam Reservoir
(both close to Dalat) and seven nights at Cat Tien National Park including
three nights at the Dac Lua Substation.
Highlights at Cat Tien were Malayan Night-heron, Lesser Adjutant, Germain's
Peacock Pheasant, Green Peafowl, White-browed Piculet, White-bellied
Woodpecker, Dusky Broadbill, Bar-bellied Pitta, Yellow-breasted Magpie and
Asian Golden Weaver. Our party recorded 140 species of birds here. My worst
dip was Pale-headed Woodpecker. Despite three days searching we could also
not locate White-shouldered Ibis or Orange-necked Partridge in the Dac Lua
area. Great views of Douc Langurs was another highlight.
At Mount Lang Bian highlights were Grey-headed Parakeet, Lesser Shortwing,
Grey-bellied Tesia, White-spectacled Warbler, White-tailed Robin, Collared
Laughing Thrush, Spot-throated Babbler, Rufous-capped Babbler, great views
of Cutia low down, Yellow-billed Nuthatch and Red Crossbill.
At Ho Tuyen Lam Reservoir we accessed some montane primary forest at the far
end of the reservoir by boat. We spent three days at this location.
Highlights were Bar-backed Partridge, Red-vented Barbet, Indochinese
Cuckoo-shrike, Black-hooded Laughing-thrush, Red-billed Scimitar-babbler,
Cutia, Grey-crowned Crocias, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Burmese Shrike,
Slender-billed Oriole and Vietnamese Greenfinch. Two other great sightings
were a family of Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbons when we were trying to stake
out an ultimately elusive Rusty-naped Pitta, and when celebrating our
Crocias sighting I noticed some moving leaves on the forest floor which
revealed a rare Impressed Tortoise.
The trip ran very smoothly with no illness, generally very good food, safe
driver and few mosquitoes although leeches at Cat Tien would have a similar
biomass to the wildebeest of the Serengeti. The local people were fantastic.
If anyone is heading there and needs info please email me directly.
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