Trip Reports

Welcome to the birds 2013

(Tram Chim national park 2013)

Every year, over 50 million waterbirds make an epic journey along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, which connects the north-east Asian breeding grounds with wintering grounds in south-east Asia and Australia. For example, the Far Eastern Curlew travels the length of East Asia from its breeding grounds in Siberia to the wetlands of southern Australia, while the Bar-tailed Godwit holds the record for longest non-stop flight of over 11,000 km, travelling from Alaska to New Zealand.
We believe that the wonder of these annual migrations will be a way of gaining support for bird and habitat conservation amongst the broader public.

Welcome to the Birds provides BirdLife Partners with the opportunity to demonstrate that some of their country’s key species are shared by other countries, placing even more importance on the need to protect key sites. Welcome to the Birds provides the opportunity for a BirdLife Partner to do advocacy work and awareness-raising at a key site or for a threatened species by reaching out to specific groups such as schools, or to the general public.

Tram Chim national park 2013

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South Vietnam & Cambodia - March, 2013

(by Rirchard Knapton and Bao Nguyen - 9 days in the south Vietnam (Da Lat, Cat Tien, Mekong delta) and 7 days in Cambodia (Angkor, Florican Grassland, Tmatboey and Kratie))

Giant Ibis was just one of the many fabulous sightings we enjoyed on our Cambodia & South Vietnam tour – those exceptional White-shouldered Ibis, another critically endangered species, the splendid Bengal Florican that put on such a good show, that stunning male Green Peafowl, those Siamese Firebacks, both Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pittas – the latter right out in the open, the many raptors from Black Eagle to Black Baza, incredible sunbirds including just awesome Black-throated and Mrs. Gould’s, Vietnamese Cutias and Gray-crowned Crocias, stunning views of four species of bee-eaters, the many barbets and broadbills (those Black-and-red!!) and woodpeckers – especially those Great Slaty Woodpeckers and the fabulous White-browed Piculet – everyone’s favourite!, and a plethora of kingfishers, woodpeckers, malkohas, trogons, minivets, leafbirds, babblers and laughingthrushes, spiderhunters, flowerpeckers, and mammals including macaques, langurs, mongooses, squirrels and Muntjac and Sambar deer! And the fantastic Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Nordmann’s Greenshanks on our first day! Yes, lots of really fine sightings!. 

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Vietnam February 2nd - 21st, 2012

(John Clark and Tim Doran)

Birding in Vietnam is hard work. At most sites, birds are few and far between and bird waves are not easy to come by. There is intense hunting pressure on large birds in most areas – e.g. at Cuc Phuong, Vietnam’s first national park, I did not see any hornbills or pigeons and only one large raptor in three days birding. Only at Cat Tien were such birds fairly numerous. We saw five Brown Hornbills at the newly opened-up Mang Canh area but I wonder how long they will survive. Song birds are also extensively trapped for the cage bird trade and this presumably accounts for why many species are so shy. Playback produced good results for some species but it is important to make the best use of the initial response as that is often the only chance you get. Several desired species offered only the briefest of views and about ten potential lifers wouldn’t show at all!

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