Vietnam, Day 11, 31 January 2019 - Mang Den

We awoke early again to see our surroundings in daylight for the first time as we'd arrived after dark the previous night. Mang Den is set at a similar altitude to Dalat and has the same slightly cooler climate. Indeed it has been billed as 'the 2nd Dalat' but judging by the number of half-finished new houses it's not quite taken off yet!

The good birding sites are about 10km NNW of Mang Den village so it was in this direction that we headed after breakfast. En-route several Chestnut-tailed Starlings and a Spotted Dove were perched up on dead trees. Walking the roads during both morning and afternoon sessions there was plenty of activity. First up was a small group of Vinous-breasted Starlings with a couple of White-shouldered Starlings and c6 Olive-backed Pipits. A pair of Stripe-breasted Woodpeckers were a welcome start to our main walk with a good numbers of Black Bulbuls including several stunning white-headed birds of the 'leucocephalus' form. I picked up a gorgeous Speckled Piculet which was quickly followed up by Scarlet, Grey-chinned and Long-tailed Minivets which provided a real id masterclass! Southern Jungle Crows were common here (the only place on the trip they were) and in roadside bushes we scored with Fork-tailed Sunbird and a pair of Black-throated Sunbirds (looking very different from their imminent split with Langbian Sunbird!) Fire-breasted Flowerpecker and Yellow-cheeked Tit were welcome trip ticks but were eclipsed by 2 Rufous-faced Warblers, a world tick!

As we walked back towards the bus an accipter shot past and we managed to find it a little further down the lane and confirm it as a splendid Besra. A group of c10 Asian House Martins were eventually positively id'd when we got to see their black underwing coverts!

Further north along the road Minh had a spot that came up trumps with several feeding Grey-crowned Parrotbills. What a curious genus this is!

We ventured into the forest a few times and tantalisingly heard Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush but did score nicely with 3 Black-hooded Laughingthrushes, a single Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Coral-billed Scimitar-babbler, Indochinese Wren-babbler, Two-barred Greenish Warbler, Mountain Fulvetta, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher plus Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Large Cuckooshrike, White-bellied Epornis and almost at dusk a superb Necklaced Barbet calling high up in a roadside tree.

At the hotel over lunch we were delighted to interupt our eating with a mixed flock of Silver-backed Needletails, Brown-backed Needletails and House Swifts as they screamed overhead.

Stripe-breasted Woodpeckers (m & f)

Olive-backed Pipit

Vinous-breasted and White-shouldered Starlings

Black-throated Sunbirds (f & m)

 Grey-crowned Parrotbill

Crested Serpent Eagle

    Necklaced Barbet

No comments:

Post a Comment