Whitlingham Garganey and some stunning naturalised flowers, 28 & 29 March 2019

Yesterday I nipped out to a churchyard location I'd been given where the stunning Dog Toothed Violet  grows. Upon arrival I was greeted to a superb display of over 300 plants. These are now regarded as being naturalised as, despite them being a mainly Mediterrenean species they have been growing here happily for nearly 200 years!

This afternoon I paid Whitlingham a visit and eventually located the pair of Garganey on Little Broad that Jus had found yesterday. Kingfisher, Cetti's Warbler and Siskin plus plenty of Brimstones were also noted in a brief visit.

A few days ago (last Sunday to be precise) we had a Small White in the garden and a walk from Covehithe to Kessingland produced singles of Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Wheatear. The latter a male on the beach by Benacre Broad.   




Garganey





 Dog Toothed Violets

  

Wymondham Abbey Peregrine, 22 March 2019

I took a drive out to Wymondham this morning. To do some shopping but also to try for the regular Peregrine there. After doing a whole 360 around the abbey I found the bird perched high up on the last side of the second tower! After spending some time in the town I returned on the way back to the car at it was still in the same spot. Quite a small bird so presumably a male. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming too.

While passing I also had a quick check in Ashwellthorpe Woods and found a few rosettes of Early Purple Orchids showing that the season is nearly upon us. The first few Wood Anenomes and plenty of Early Dog Violets were also out. There was also a flock of c40 Yellowhammers in stubble/hedges on the walk to the wood.



Peregrine

      Early Purple Orchid rosette

New arrivals herald the start of spring, 21 March 2019

My first port of call today was Weybread GPs again where I hoped to photograph yesterdays Goldeneye. Just my luck that the bird was distant this morning and the light was awful! Nevertheless I did add a pair of Treecreepers, Common Buzzard and Redwing to the stuff I saw yesterday. The flock of Barnacle Geese were seen from the road on the other side of Ocean Pit and has grown to 18 individuals!

My main aim of the day was to see the adult Glossy Ibis on the marsh west of the harbour carpark at Walberswick. It duly obliged by being present on arrival but again it was never close. The same can't be said of a ridiculously showy Little Egret!

With not much else doing there I decided to head north to Lowestoft. An exploration of North Deans was a good idea with 5 Wheatears showing very nicely despite the pain in the arse dog walkers! The arrival of these dapper birds is always a highlight for me. A flock of c40 Linnets and a Chiffchaff were added before I retired to the Lighthouse Cafe for one of their famous breakfasts.

After that I needed to walk it off so worked the length of the bushes on the seaward side of the Birds Eye factory. There had been a bit of an arrival with 11 Chiffchaffs and 1 Blackcap counted.

Not being one to give up I called in to Weybread again on the way home and nailed the Goldeneye to some closer views and photographs at the 3rd time of asking! 3 Common Buzzards were circling (a site maximum) and a Chiffchaff singing.  


Treecreeper

Barnacle Geese

Glossy Ibis


Little Egret



Wheatears


Goldeneye

Weybread GPs, 20 March 2019

After work this afternoon I had a stroll alongside Ocean Pit and then Watermill Lane at Weybread.

It had more of a feel of the last of winter than the first of spring but the male of a pair of Siskins was singing strongly by the fishermens carpark followed by a pair of Stock Doves, 2 Little Egrets, 6 Oystercatchers, Reed Bunting and Song Thrush. A single drake Shoveler circled in with 3 Mallard and then a perusal of a small group of Tufted Ducks revealed a 1w drake Goldeneye, not a common bird here at all. Then I accidently disturbed a flock of c35 Fieldfares from the treetops before walking back. Displaying Great Crested Grebes were a joy to watch as always    

It was nice to see some of the common early wildflowers in bloom - Coltsfoot, Lesser Celandine, Ivy-leaved Speedwell, Groundsell, White Dead Nettle, Red Dead Nettle, Common Mouse-ear and Goat Willow.

I then did a walk along Watermill Lane down to the river and weir. A Little Grebe and Grey Heron were on the 'lillypad' pit and a nice male Grey Wagtail by the weir. 2 more Song Thrushes were singing and single Mistle Thrush flew over. When nearly back I heard the familiar song of a Blackcap that was really giving it some. It eventually gave some nice close views. Maybe spring is slowly creeping up on us!

Flashing back to yesterday - a singing Chiffchaff in the garden at home was the earliest site record by some way. 

Goat Willow

Coltsfoot

Lesser Celandine

White Dead Nettle

Ivy-leaved Speedwell

Groundsell

    Common Mouse-ear

Yomps around Kessingland & Southwold, 17 March 2019

Belinda and I donned our walking botts today and did a total of 12km in 2 separate walks at Kessingland and then around Town Marshes at Southwold.

It was one of those changeable early spring days when we enjoyed a picnic lunch in the sun and then got hailed on a short while later! Of note was a single White Wagtail amongst Pied Wagtails and a couple of Reed Buntings on the settling beds at Kessingland SW. A Chiffchaff was also singing there and another was singing in a copse further to the SW on our walk where Alexanders were out in profusion. A Small Tortoiseshell was also braving the elements!

Despite looking I failed to find a Wheatear anywhere, just adding Stonechat at Kessingland and Rock Pipit at Southwold where we finished the day with tea and cake in the Harbour Cafe and a soaking on the walk back to the car!

New film about birding in Colombia

A link to this film popped up on my Facebook a few days ago and I thought it was well worth sharing.
I was lucky enough to spend 2 weeks in Colombia in 2011 visting some of the areas highlighted in the film so it has brought back some happy memories. It's also whetted my appetite for a return visit to this amazingly diverse country!

The film is a journey through Northern Colombia, presented by ProColombia, with support of FONTUR and directed by Gregg Bleakney. It highlights Colombian local birdwatching guide, Diego Calderon-Franco and National Geographic photographer Keith Ladzinski, as they explore over 100 species of birds through the Colombian countryside.

The film takes viewers through one of the most diverse bird regions in the world to capture new and rare birds that have never been photographed before. The Birders, also takes people through the Colombian landscape, highlighting several of its’ top locations, culture, birds and music. As well as; Los Flamencos Fauna and Flora Sanctuary, in the Guajira Peninsula. El Dorado Bird Reserve, in the Santa Marta Mountains. Minca and surroundings, in the Santa Marta Mountains. Tayrona National Natural Park and El Chamicero del Perija Bird Reserve, in the Perija Mountains.

Enjoy - here's the link to youtube:



Ring-necked Parakeets, a Norwich rarity! 11 March 2019

Despite all my years of Norfolk birding I'd only ever seen one Ring-necked Parakeet in the county. That was at Caister many years ago. So with a group being seen, albeit a little erratically, in the Hellesdon Road area of Norwich I had a look today. Initially I looked in the Hellesdon Mill area with no luck. Then armed with a little more info due to some helpful tweets I found 5 Ring-necked Parakeets high in trees beside the Wensum on the other bit of Hellesdon Road. I know some people don't welcome them but I do!

On the way home a detour past Fritton Common resulted in a nice hunting Barn Owl and 2 Common Buzzards.


Ring-necked Parakeets

 Barn Owl

   

Vietnam, systematic list

CT = Cat Tien National Park
DL = Di Linh, Nui San Pass
BNP = Bidoup National Park
TL = Tuyen Lam Lake, Dalat
LM = Langbian Mountain
TN = Ta Nung Valley
YD = Yok Don National Park
MD = Mang Den
MNL = Mount Ngoc Linh
BM = Bach Ma National Park

Bold = world tick


  1. Scaly-breasted Partridge – 1 CT, 22/1
  2. Siamese Fireback – 2 fems, CT, 23/1
  3. Germain’s Peacock Pheasant – 2 CT, 21/1
  4. Green Peafowl – 6 CT, 21/1
  5. Indian Spot-billed Duck – c55 TN, 27/1 & 28/1
  6. Little Grebe – several TL on most days
  7. Asian Woolly-necked Stork – 1 CT, 21/1 & 23/1
  8. Mallard – 1 TN, 27/1
  9. Chinese Pond Heron – various locations on several days
  10. Eastern Cattle Egret – the common egret, seen almost daily
  11. Great White Egret – 1 CT, 24/1 & several on journeys
  12. Little Egret – seen on approx 40% of days
  13. Little Cormorant – 2 at roadside reservoir northwest of Dalat 29/1
  14. White-rumped Pygmy-falcon – 2 YD, 30/1
  15. Collared Falconet – 1 YD, 30/1
  16. Osprey – 1 YD, 22/1, up to 3 TL 25/1 & 26/1
  17. Jerdon’s Baza – 1 nr roadside reservoir northwest of Dalat 29/1, 1 whilst driving 2/2
  18. Black Baza – 1 YD, 29/1
  19. Oriental (Indochinese) Honey Buzzard – 1 YD, 30/1
  20. Black-shouldered Kite – 1 near YD, 30/1
  21. Crested Serpent Eagle – seen at CT, TN, YD & MD
  22. Chinese Sparrowhawk – 1 at roadside stop between Ho Chi Minh City & CT, 21/1
  23. Japanese Sparrowhawk – 2 CT, 21/1
  24. Crested Goshawk – 1 CT, 23/1
  25. Shikra – 2 YD, 30/1
  26. Besra – 1 MD, 31/1
  27. Black Eagle – 1 BM, 3/2
  28. Mountain Hawk-eagle – 1 BNP, 26/1
  29. White-breasted Waterhen – 1 TL, 26/1
  30. Black-backed Swamphen – 1 at roadside reservoir northwest of Dalat 29/1
  31. Barred Buttonquail – 1 at roadside reservoir northwest of Dalat 29/1
  32. Red-wattled Lapwing – 2 YD, 30/1
  33. Rock/Feral Pigeon – several
  34. Red Collared Dove – several CT, TL, TN, YD & MD
  35. Spotted Dove – several CT, TL, TN, YD & MD
  36. Emerald Dove – 1 CT, 21/1, 23/1 & 24/1
  37. Zebra Dove – 1 DL, 25/1
  38. Ashy-headed Green Pigeon – 1 CT, 23/1
  39. Thick-billed Green Pigeon – several CT, 22/1, 23/1 & 24/1
  40. Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon – 1 LM, 27/1
  41. Green Imperial Pigeon – 1 CT, 22/1 & 24/1, 2 YD, 30/1
  42. Mountain Imperial Pigeon – several DL, BNP, TN & MD
  43. Ashy Woodpigeon – 1 MNL, 2/2
  44. Vernal Hanging Parrot – c6 CT 23/1, singles DL & YD
  45. Red-breasted Parakeet – small numbers daily at CT, 1 YD 30/1
  46. Banded Bay Cuckoo – 1 CT, 22/1
  47. Square-tailed Drongo Cuckoo – 1 DL, 25/1
  48. Green-billed Malkoha – small numbers daily at CT, singles DL, 25/1 & TN, 27/1
  49. Greater Coucal – heard CT, 2 at roadside reservoir northwest of Dalat 29/1
  50. Lesser Coucal – 1 CT, 21/1
  51. Collared Scops Owl – heard only, CT
  52. Oriental Scops Owl – 2 TL, 25/1
  53. Brown Wood Owl – heard only MD
  54. Collared Owlet – 1 TL, 25/1
  55. Asian Barred Owlet – 1 CT, 21/1, 1 YD, 29/1 & 30/1
  56. Brown Boobook – 2 CT, 22/1
  57. Hodgson’s Frogmouth – heard only DL
  58. Great-eared Nightjar – 3 CT, 21/1
  59. Grey Nightjar – 1 DL, 24/1
  60. Large-tailed Nightjar – 2 CT, 21/1
  61. Germain’s Swiftlet – numerous and widespread
  62. Silver-backed Needletail – 1 CT, 23/1, c5 MD 31/1
  63. Brown-backed Needletail – 2 MD, 31/1
  64. Asian Palm Swift – numerous and widespread
  65. House Swift – large flock MD 31/1
  66. Crested Treeswift – up to 5 YD 29/1 & 30/1
  67. Orange-breasted Trogon – 2 CT, 22/1
  68. Red-headed Trogon – 2 DL, 25/1, 2 BM, 3/2
  69. Indian Roller – widespread, seen at CT, YD and at roadside
  70. Dollarbird – up to 2 daily CT
  71. White-throated Kingfisher – widespread in small numbers
  72. Common Kingfisher – 1 CT, 23/1, 1 YD, 29/1
  73. Blue-bearded Bee-eater – 1 CT, 22/1, 2 TN 28/1
  74. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater – widespread in small numbers
  75. Common Hoopoe – 1 YD, 30/1
  76. Oriental Pied Hornbill – up to 6 daily CT
  77. Great Hornbill – 1 CT, 22/1
  78. Red-vented Barbet – 1 TN, 28/1
  79. Lineated Barbet – 1 CT, 24/1, up to 6 YD 29/1 & 30/1
  80. Green-eared Barbet – 2 CT, 22/1
  81. Necklaced Barbet – 1 LM, 27/1, up to 2 MD, 31/1 & ½
  82. Annam Barbet – 1 DL, 25/1, 1 TN, 27/1 & 28/1, 1 MNL, 2/1
  83. Blue-eared Barbet – up to 2 CT, 22/1 & 23/1
  84. Coppersmith Barbet – 1 YD, 30/1
  85. Speckled Piculet – 1 MD, 31/1
  86. Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker – 1 TL, 25/1, 1 TN, 28/1, 2 YD, 30/1
  87. Stripe-breasted Woodpecker – 3 MD, 31/1
  88. Black-naped Woodpecker – 1 BNP, 26/1
  89. Rufous Woodpecker – 1 YD, 30/1
  90. Lesser Yellownape – 2 CT, 22/1
  91. Black-headed Woodpecker – 1 YD, 30/1
  92. Laced Woodpecker – up to 3 CT daily
  93. Common Flameback – 1 CT, 21/1, 22/1 & 23/1
  94. Greater Flameback – 1 YD, 29/1 & 30/1
  95. Pale-headed Woodpecker – 2 CT, 23/1
  96. Bay Woodpecker – 3 DL, 25/1, 1 MD, 1/2
  97. Black-and-Buff Woodpecker – 1 CT, 24/1
  98. Great Slaty Woodpecker – 2 CT, 22/1
  99. Long-tailed Broadbill – 1 DL, 24/1 & 25/1
  100. Dusky Broadbill – 1 CT, 22/1
  101. Black-and-Red Broadbill – up to 2 CT, 22/1 & 24/1
  102. Banded Broadbill – 2 CT, 22/1
  103. Blue Pitta – 1 DL, 25/1
  104. Blue-rumped Pitta – heard only CT & BM
  105. Bar-bellied Pitta – heard only CT
  106. Blyth’s Shrike-babbler – 1 MD, 1/2, 1 BM, 3/2
  107. Dalat Shrike-babbler – 1 TL, 25/1 & 26/1, 1 MNL, 2/1
  108. Clicking Shrike-babbler – 1 TL, 25/1, 1 LM, 27/1, 1 TN, 27/1, 1 MNL, 2/2
  109. White-bellied Epornis – widespread in small numbers
  110. Large Cuckooshrike – 1 CT, 21/1, 1 YD, 30/1, 1 MD, 31/1
  111. Indochinese Cuckooshrike – 2 MD, 1/2
  112. Black-winged Cuckooshrike – 1 DL, 24/1 & 25/1, 1 TN, 28/1, 2 MD, 31/1
  113. Ashy Minivet – several daily CT, several DL, 25/1
  114. Small Minivet – 2 YD, 30/1
  115. Grey-chinned Minivet – 1 BNP, 26/1, 1 MD, 31/1 & 1/2, 1 BM, 3/2
  116. Long-tailed(Annam) Minivet – 1 TL, 25/1, 2 MD, 31/1
  117. Scarlet Minivet – widespread in small numbers, most numerous MD
  118. Slender-billed Oriole – c4 BNP, 26/1
  119. Black-naped Oriole – 1 CT, 22/1 & 24/1, 1 YD, 29/1 & 30/1
  120. Black-hooded Oriole – 2 CT, 23/1, c5 YD, 30/1
  121. Maroon Oriole – 1 DL, 25/1
  122. Ashy Woodswallow – widespread in small numbers
  123. Large Woodshrike – 1 CT, 22/1
  124. Common Woodshrike – c6 YD, 30/1
  125. Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike – widespread in small numbers
  126. Common Iora – 1 CT, 24/1
  127. Great Iora – up to 3 CT, 22/1, 23/1 & 24/1
  128. White-throated Fantail -widespread in small numbers
  129. Black Drongo – several on journey Dalat to YD, 29/1
  130. Ashy Drongo – widespread and common
  131. Bronzed Drongo – up to 3 CT, 22/1, 23/1 & 24/1
  132. Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo – 1 CT, 22/1
  133. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo – up to 3 daily CT, several YD, 29/1 & 30/1
  134. Hair-crested Drongo – 1 CT, 22/1, 1 DL, 25/1, several YD, 30/1
  135. Black-naped Monarch – widespread in small numbers
  136. Asian Paradise Flycatcher – 1 white-phase CT, 22/1
  137. Southern Jungle Crow – widespread but only common at MD
  138. Eurasian (White-faced) Jay – 2 BNP, 26/1
  139. Indochinese Green Magpie – 2 TL, 28/1
  140. Rufous Treepie – up to 12 YD, 29/1 & 30/1
  141. Racket-tailed Treepie – 1 CT, 21/1 & 24/1, 3 YD, 29/1
  142. Ratchet-tailed Treepie – 2 MD, 1/2, 1 BM, 3/2
  143. Tiger Shrike – 1 CT, 24/1
  144. Brown Shrike – 1 DL, 25/1, 1 YD, 29/1
  145. Burmese Shrike – widespread in small numbers
  146. Long-tailed Shrike – small numbers from MD northwards
  147. Van Hasselt’s Sunbird – up to 4 CT, 23/1 & 24/1
  148. Purple Sunbird – 1 YD, 30/1
  149. Olive-backed Sunbird – up to 3 CT, 22/1 & 23/1
  150. Mrs Gould’s (Annam) Sunbird – 2 BNP, 26/1, 2 TN, 27/1 & 28/1, 1 MD, 31/1
  151. Green-tailed Sunbird – 1 MD, 1/2, 1 MNL, 2/2
  152. Black-throated (Langbian) Sunbird – 1 DP, 24/1, 1 TN, 27/1
  153. Black-throated Sunbird – up to 4 MD, 31/1 & 1/2
  154. Fork-tailed Sunbird – 1 MD, 31/1
  155. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird – 1 CT, 22/1
  156. Purple-naped Spiderhunter – 1 CT, 22/1 & 23/1
  157. Streaked Spiderhunter – small numbers CT, DL & TN
  158. Little Spiderhunter – 1 CT, 22/1, 23/1 & 24/1
  159. Yellow-vented Flowerpecker – 1 CT, 22/1, 1 LM, 271/
  160. Fire-breasted Flowerpecker – 1 MD, 31/1
  161. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker – small numbers CT & YD
  162. Blue-winged Leafbird – 2 CT, 21/1 & 22/1
  163. Golden-fronted Leafbird – up to 2 CT, 23/1 & 24/1
  164. Greyish-crowned Leafbird – 1 CT, 1/2, 2 BM, 3/2
  165. Asian Fairy Bluebird – 1 CT, 22/1 & 23/1
  166. White-rumped Munia – up to 6 TN, 27/1 & 28/1
  167. House Sparrow – only on journey 29/1
  168. Tree Sparrow – widespread and common
  169. Olive-backed Pipit – 1 YD, 30/1, 6 MD, 31/1, c4 BM, 3/2
  170. Grey Wagtail – widespread in small numbers
  171. Red (Vietnamese) Crossbill – 1 TL, 26/1
  172. Vietnamese Greenfinch – small numbers daily TL
  173. Hume’s Treecreeper – 3 LM, 27/1
  174. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch – 3 CT, 22/1
  175. Yellow-billed Nuthatch – up to 2 MD, 31/1 & 1/2
  176. Chestnut-vented Nuthatch – small numbers TL & LM
  177. Common Myna – 2 LM, 27/1
  178. Vinous-breasted Myna – up to 15 CT, 21/1 & 23/1, c5 MD, 31/1
  179. Black-collared Starling – 2 TL, 25/1, 4 north of Dalat, 29/1
  180. Chestnut-tailed Starling – up to 3 MD 31/1 & 1/2
  181. White-shouldered Starling – 2 MD, 31/1
  182. Golden-crested Myna – up to 40 CT 21/1 & 24/1, c5 YD, 30/1
  183. Common Hill Myna – 4 CT, 24/1, c20 YD, 30/1
  184. Orange-headed Thrush – 1 DL, 24/1
  185. Lesser Shortwing – heard only
  186. Siberian Blue Robin – 1 CT, 21/1 & 23/1, 2 DL, 24/1 & 25/1
  187. Grey Bushchat – several TL, 25/1 & 26/1 & LM, 27/1
  188. Red-flanked Bluetail – 2 BM, 3/2
  189. Slaty-backed Forktail – 2 TN, 27/1 & 28/1
  190. White-crowned Forktail – 2 MD, 1/2
  191. Blue Whistling-thrush – 1 BNP, 26/1, 1 TN, 28/1
  192. Hainan Blue Flycatcher – 1 CT, 22/1, 1 DL, 25/1
  193. Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher – singles CT, 21/1,22/1 & 23/1
  194. Hill Blue Flycatcher – 1 DL, 24/1
  195. Verditer Flycatcher – widespread in small numbers
  196. Large Niltava – 1 TL, 26/1, 2 TN, 28/1
  197. Mugimaki Flycatcher -1 DL, 25/1, 1 TL, 26/1, 2 LM, 27/1 & 1 TN, 28/1
  198. White-gorgetted Flycatcher – 1 BM, 3/2
  199. Rufous-browed Flycatcher – 1 MD, 1/2
  200. Snowy-browed Flycatcher – 2 LM, 27/1
  201. Little Pied Flycatcher – 1 TL, 25/1, 1 BNP, 26/1, 1 TN, 28/1
  202. Taiga Flycatcher – widespread in small numbers
  203. Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher – 2 MNL, 2/2
  204. Asian Brown Flycatcher – up to 2 CT, 21/1. 22/1 & 23/1
  205. Oriental Magpie Robin – 2 CT, 23/1
  206. White-rumped Shama – small numbers daily at CT
  207. Grey (Cinerous) Tit – 2 YD, 30/1
  208. Green-backed (Langbian) Tit – several TL, 25/1, LM, 27/1 & TN, 28/1
  209. Yellow-cheeked Tit – 2 MD, 31/1, 2 MNL, 2/2
  210. Sultan Tit – 2 MD, 1/2
  211. Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher – widespread in small numbers
  212. Black-headed Bulbul – 1 CT, 21/1
  213. Black-crested Bulbul - widespread in small numbers
  214. Stripe-throated Bulbul – up to 3 daily at CT & YD
  215. Flavescent Bulbul – widespread in upland areas
  216. Streak-eared Bulbul – several daily at CT & YD
  217. (Southern) Sooty-headed Bulbul – 2 TL, 25/1, numerous at YD
  218. Grey-eyed Bulbul – widespread in small numbers
  219. Puff-throated Bulbul – several BM, 3/2
  220. Ochraceous Bulbul – 1 CT, 22/1
  221. Ashy Bulbul – 1 DL, 25/1, 1 TL, 26/1, several TN, 28/1
  222. Mountain Bulbul – widespread in small numbers
  223. Himalayan Black Bulbul – widespread, white-headed birds at MD & MNL
  224. Asian House Martin – 10+ MD, 31/1
  225. (Eastern) House Martin – c5 BM, 3/2
  226. Pacific Swallow – 2 CT, 21/1
  227. Sand Martin – 1 YD, 29/1
  228. Barn Swallow – widespread
  229. Red-rumped Swallow – widespread in reasonable numbers
  230. Yellow-bellied Warbler – 2 CT, 23/1
  231. Rufous-faced Warbler – 2 MD, 31/1 & 1/2
  232. Mountain Tailorbird – 1 TN, 27/1
  233. Grey-bellied Tesia – 2 LM, 27/1
  234. Grey-crowned Tit – widespread in pairs and small groups
  235. Plain-tailed (Alstrom’s) Warbler – 2 DL, 25/1
  236. White-spectacled Warbler – 1 BNP, 26/1, 1 LM, 27/1
  237. Grey-cheeked Warbler – 1 DL, 25/1, 1 MNL, 2/2
  238. Chestnut-crowned Warbler – 3+ BNP, 26/1
  239. White-tailed (Kloss’s) Leaf-warbler – 1 DL, 24/1 & 25/1, 1 BNP, 26/1, 2 LM, 27/1, 1 TL, 28/1
  240. White-tailed (Davison’s) Leaf-warbler – 1 BM, 3/2
  241. Pale-legged Leaf-warbler – up to 2 CT, 21/1 & 23/1
  242. Two-barred Warbler – 1 MD, 31/1
  243. Ashy-throated Warbler – c3, MNL, 2/2
  244. Yellow-browed Warbler – widespread in good numbers
  245. Eastern-crowned Warbler – 1 MNL, 2/2
  246. Grey-headed Parrotbill – c10 MD, 31/1
  247. Black-headed Parrotbill – c4, TN, 28/1
  248. Rufous-winged Fulvetta – 1 MNL, 2/2
  249. (Annam) Golden-breasted Fulvetta – 2 MNL, 2/2
  250. Indochinese Fulvetta – c5, MNL, 2/2
  251. Stripe-throated Yuhina – 1 MNL, 2/2
  252. Black-chinned Yuhina – up to 6, DL, 24/1 & 25/1
  253. Indochinese Yuhina – c50, BM, 3/2
  254. Mountain Fulvetta – widespread in upland areas
  255. Black-crowned Fulvetta – c2 LM, 27/1
  256. Grey-throated Babbler – c4 DL, 25/1
  257. Red-billed Scimitar-babbler – 1 TN, 28/1
  258. Coral-billed Scimitar-babbler – 2 MD, 1/2
  259. Pygmy Wren-babbler – heard only
  260. Golden Babbler – c4 BM, 3/2
  261. Rufous-capped Babbler – 1 TN, 27/1, 1 MNL, 2/2
  262. Pin-striped Tit-babbler – 1 CT, 22/1
  263. Grey-faced Tit-babbler – up to 3 CT, 22/1 & 23/1
  264. Buff-chested Babbler – 1 BM, 3/2
  265. Puff-throated Babbler – 1 CT, 22/1
  266. Spot-throated Babbler – 1 DL, 25/1, also heard MD, 1/2
  267. Scaly-crowned Babbler – 1 CT, 22/1
  268. Streaked Wren-babbler – 1 BM, 3/2
  269. Indochinese Wren-babbler – 1 MD, 31/1 & 1/2, also heard BM 3/2
  270. Vietnamese Cutia – 2 DL, 25/1, 2 LM, 27/1
  271. White-cheeked Laughingthrush – 2 DL, 25/1, 11 TL, 26/1, 6 TL, 28/1
  272. Black-hooded Laughingthrush – c3 MD, 31/1
  273. White-crested Laughingthrush – 3 YD, 30/1
  274. Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush – up to 3 YD, 29/1 & 30/1
  275. Orange-breasted Laughingthrush – 4 DL, 24/1, 7 DL, 25/1
  276. Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush – heard only MD
  277. Golden-winged Laughingthrush – heard only MNL
  278. Collared Laughingthrush – 2 BNP, 26/1, c5 LM, 27/1
  279. Blue-winged (Plain) Minla – widespread in small numbers
  280. Blue-winged Minla – 1 MNL, 3/2
  281. Grey-crowned Crocias – 2 TN, 28/1
  282. Black-headed (Spectacled) Sibia – small numbers DL, LM & TN
  283. Black-headed Sibia – 2 MNL, 3/2
  284. Rufous-backed Sibia – 2 TN, 27/1 & 28/1
  285. Black-crowned Barwing – 2 MNL, 2/2
  286. Ashy Tailorbird – 1 MD, 31/1
  287. Dark-necked Tailorbird – several CT, 21/1 & 24/1
  288. Rufescent Prinia – 2 YD, 30/1
  289. Yellow-bellied Prinia – 3 CT, 21/1
  290. Plain Prinia – 2 YD, 30/1
  291. Hill Prinia – 2 TN, 27/1 & 28/1


282 seen
9 additional heard only
122 world ticks (including upcoming splits)


Mammals

Samba Deer
Red Muntjac
Buff-cheeked Gibbon
Black-shanked Douc Langur
Pig-tailed Macaque
Common Tree Shrew
Cambodian Striped Squirrel
Pallas’s Squirrel
Serow Goat

Minsmere amble, 9 March 2019

It was blowing a gale from the SW today but once the rain had moved out to sea we began our walk from the Eels Foot at Eastbridge. It wasn't exactly bird filled but reaching the beach we had a quick look on East Scrape where at least 50 Mediterranean Gulls were already in situ for the breeding season. Apart from a few Pintail there was little else of note. After a meander along the North Wall we dived into North Hide where we bumped into Jus and Andy. 3 Smew including a dapper drake were our reward. The cafe beckoned so we headed there next and then through the woods to Island Mere. It may not have been very springlike today but 2 Sand Martins over Island Mere were my earliest by 5 days (14 March in 1992!). Marsh Harriers were displaying, Bearded Tits pinging but those and a couple of Little Grebes were about it. Minsmere was gloriously quiet although it was nice to bump into Drew Lyness and Jane Ferguson. Obviously us dedicated birders are far more hardy than the usual day trippers!

On the walk back through the woods to Eastbridge we had Sweet Violets in flower and a new fungi for me - Blistered Cup.


Blistered Cup

Sweet Violet

Vietnam, Day 14, 3 February 2019 - Bach Ma National Park

Our last day. We woke up in our 'derelict' surroundings, had breakfast and headed out to walk the main entrance road through the national park.

Around the restaurant building area a delightful group of Indochinese Yuhinas kept us amused as did a Red-flanked Bluetail and a small party of Olive-backed Pipits. The walk itself was also a nice way to spend our final morning - 2 Red-headed Trogons, Grey-chinned Minivet, several Puff-throated Babblers, Blyth's Shrike-babbler, White-bellied Epornis and a nice Ratchet-tailed Treepie that refused to come out into the open!  Staring into the roadside woodland for a calling White-gorgetted Flycatcher eventually paid off with a brief perched view. In a memorable couple minute we scored with a Buff-chested Babbler and a stunning Golden Babbler (of which we went on to see 4). Other highlights included Dark-necked Tailorbird, another Red-flanked Bluetail, Mountain Fulvetta, Streaked Wren-babbler and Grey-crowned Tits. I also then got onto a leaf warbler that proved to be a Davison's Leaf-warbler

Up at the top of the walk a pair of Grey-crowned Leafbirds posed nicely and the view over the mountains was stunning.

To finish things off a gorgeous Black Eagle circled over the main hill and even swooped down right outside the restaurant window as we ate lunch - my camera was packed away in the minibus!

It was then just an hours drive to the airport at Hue where we flew back to Ho Chi Minh City for our international connections.

The trip had surpassed my personal expectations with 282 species which included 122 lifers


Indochinese Yuhinas

Red-flanked Bluetail

Ratchet-tailed Treepie

Puff-throated Bulbul

Davison's Leaf-warbler

       Grey-crowned Leafbird



Thanks Minh!

Vietnam, Day 13, 2 February 2019 - Mount Ngoc Linh

Our penultimate day in Vietnam and it turned out to be quite epic, in more ways than one!

It began at our hotel in Dak To with a start at 'stupid o'clock' (03.30 to be precise!) and a quick coffee in the foyer. Then it was on the road for a bumpy 3 hour drive north on deteriorating mountain roads to the start of the trail at Mount Ngoc Linh. This site has traditionally been off-limits to western birders and there have been several reports of people having trouble with local ginseng growers in the forest. Things are a little better now and with a native Vietnamese guide in Minh we had no problems despite meeting a couple of small groups of locals along the trail.

Now, to the trail itself - it was pretty tough going! Within the first couple of hundred meters we had one member of the group flat on his back in deep mud and then another member of the group had a serious fall down a steep muddy bank. Falling about 12 feet and after flipping over he landed on his back/head in a rocky stream. Miraculously he escaped with just a bump on his head and a bruised shoulder, it could have been a lot worse. Indeed, out of the group of 10 only 3 of us made it along the trail with everyone else turning back!

Due to the nature of the trail (steep, narrow, muddy and with numerous awkward stream crossings) birding was difficult. We did however notch up a good number of decent sightings. Before we'd even started our 'field breakfast' was interupted by a pair of Red-tailed Minlas, Black Bulbuls, Green-tailed Sunbird and Yellow-cheeked Tit. Along the trail Minh got very excited by a Stripe-throated Yuhina, the first he'd ever had at the site. I was more excited by 2 Black-crowned Barwings, 2 Rufous-gorgetted Flycatchers, Rufous-capped Babbler and Ashy Woodpigeon. We hit upon a lovely mixed group of fulvettas feeding low down in ground vegetation with superb Golden Fulvetta, Rufous-winged Fulvetta and c5 Indochinese Fulvettas. At 'the spot' on the trail we heard the main target Golden-winged Laughingthrush but rather frustratingly we only had 10 mins at the spot so couldn't look for long. Also along the trail were c3 Ashy-throated Warblers, Blue-winged Minla, Black-headed Sibia, Grey-cheeked Warbler, several Grey-crowned Tits, Mountain Bulbul, Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher, White-throated Fantail, Clicking Shrike-babbler, Dalat Shrike-babbler, Annam Barbet and Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike.


Stripe-throated Yuhina

Yellow-cheeked Tit






Then began the huge drive north to Bach Ma. After the mega early start it was a tiring drag that took more than 9 hours. We arrived at our national park accomodation at 21.30 and I didn't even bother with an evening meal. The accomodation itself looked like a derelict building, an impression that was to be seen in all it's glory in daylight the following morning. The rooms were better but with damp bedding it was a tough night spent in my clothes!