After a fitful nights sleep and a pleasant buffet breakfast we set off after the rush hour traffic had died down and headed NE to Cat Tien NP. The drive took about 3 hours but a stop en-route at a service station yielded my first tick of the trip - a circling Chinese Sparrowhawk plus Southern Jungle Crow, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker and a couple of White-throated Kingfishers. After a 'ferry' crossing over the river at Cat Tien we arrived in time for a late lunch before heading out birding.
Around the reception and accommodation area were a showy Large Cuckooshrike, Streak-eared Bulbul, the ubiquitous Yellow-browed Warblers, Pale-legged Leaf-warbler and a self-found Racket-tailed Treepie.
We then headed out southwest along the track in our 4-wheel drive truck to what is known as the grassland area. Very quickly we scored with a much-wanted target as 2 Germain's Peacock Pheasants walked across the track! We birded the track from the back of the truck until dusk and had some great birds - the undoubted star was the no.1 target of this area - 6 Green Peafowl (all males) in weedy fields with 2 Burmese Shrikes, a Lesser Coucal and 3 Yellow-bellied Prinias in the same area. 2 Japanese Sparrowhawks were the sole raptors while 2 Red-collared Doves and 4 Red-breasted Parakeets showed nicely in bare trees. Indian Rollers and Dollarbirds were conspicuous and then both Laced Woodpecker and Common Flameback found their way onto the list. Blue-winged Leafbird was a new world bird for me, as were Ashy Minivet and Golden-crested Myna. Bulbuls were represented by Black-headed Bulbul, Black-crested Bulbul, Stripe-throated Bulbul and Grey-eyed Bulbul. A short venture into a small wooded area with a photographic hide (locked) gave us a lovely male Siberian Blue Robin, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Emerald Dove and White-rumped Shama. Streaked Spiderhunter, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Oriental Pied Hornbill and Black-naped Monarch were added as dusk started to fall. Then we saw one of my birds of the trip - 3 Great-eared Nightjars. These birds are massive with a slow almost harrier-like flight and we were treated to some great prolonged views. A Large-tailed Nightjar quickly followed and an Asian Barred Owlet on the drive back finished a rather splendid and productive day!
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Red Collared Doves