Subject: Vietnam
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 12:31:49 +0800

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
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email :

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