Just wondering if you were too early for most of the
migrants? Dollarbirds, many of the raptors, shrikes, bitterns?, pond
herons?, kingfishers?, pipits? wagtails, swallows, swifts, some of
the pittas (Blue-winged, Hooded), etc are migratory. Maybe you were
also too early for some of the residents to be breeding or holding
territory, and so they may not have been singing as much.
I went to Vietnam on a tour with Phil Maher quite a few years ago,
and we went in April. We used a Thai guide Uthai Treesucom. We did
very well. We were mainly in the parks (Tam Dao, Cuc Phuong, Da Lat,
Cat Tien) but there were birds in the other areas. In particular on
the way to Cuc Phuong there were many birds in an area of limestone
outcrops with surrounding fields and ponds.
No direct evidence of shooting or poisoning that we saw. There was
trapping in Da Lat which is meant to be illegal. There was a cage
with a Little Pied Flycatcher in, that was attracting another LPF
which seemed destined to being caught. There was another cage with
another species close by. There were certainly many birds in cages
for sale in various areas of Vietnam, so this certainly could be a problem.
Pheasants are tough, but at Cat Tien we had (Siamese?) fireback and
the peacock-pheasant on the road in the early morning as we drove out
to be dropped off for the walk to Crocodile Lake (never seen so many
leeches anywhere else!!!). The pittas were tough. From memory we saw
Garnet at Cuc Phuong (breeding beside the road), Blue-winged (quite
common) and I think from memory Eared or another at Cuc Phuong. We
heard several others at Cuc Phuong and Cat Tien but they mostly proved elusive.
I stayed the first night in a hotel in Hanoi, and I was pleasantly
surprised at the birds moving through the trees in the narrow street.
Hopefully the situation of the birds in Vietnam has not deteriorated
as badly as David found. It was an excellent country to go birding in.
Frank O'Connor Birding WA http://birdingwa.iinet.net.au
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email :
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