CAMBODIA & VIETNAM


Brian and Pat Wetton joined the Birdwatching Breaks group to Cambodia and Vietnam in February- March 2013. The group was very ably led by Chris Bradshaw with four other participants. The Sam Veasna Centre also provided a good bird guide, Mony, for the Cambodian section. A total of 324 species of birds were recorded personally of which 310 were seen.

Itinerary: 

    Feb 12th    London to Singapore (Singapore Airlines)

    Feb 13th    Singapore to Siem Reap via Da Nang (Silkair)

    Feb 14th    Angkor Wat (AW), Bayon & Ta Phrom

    Feb 15th    Siem Reap to Prohoot Grasslands (PG), Kampong Cham & Kratie (K)

   Feb 16th    Mekong River (MR), Kratie, Kampong Cham & Tmatboey (TB)

   Feb 17th    Tmatboey

   Feb 18th    Tmatboey

   Feb 19th    Tmatboey, Kokher Temple (KT) & Siem Reap

   Feb 20th    Siem Reap, Phnom Krom (PK), Ho Chi Minh City (Cambodian Angkor Air) & Cat Tien (CT)

   Feb 21st    Cat Tien (3km Road & Ta Lai Grasslands)

   Feb 22nd    Cat Tien (Crocodile Lake & HQ Trails)

   Feb 23rd    Cat Tien (Road to Heaven's Rapids & Crocodile Lake Trail

   Feb 24th    Cat Tien (Ta Lai Road), Deo Sui Lin Pass (DS) & Di Linh

   Feb 25th    Di Linh, Deo Siu Lin & Da Lat (DL) (Ta Nung)

   Feb 26th    Da Lat (Suoi Tia, Ho Tuyen Lam & Ta Nung)

   Feb 27th    Da Lat (Mt Lang Bian & Ho Tuyen Lam)

   Feb 28th    Da Lat (Ta Nung & Suoi Tia)

   March 1st  Da Lat to Ho Chi Minh City (Cambodian Angkor Air) & Singapore (Singapore Airlines)

   March 2nd Singapore to London (Singapore Airlines)

Site Profiles:

Angkor Wat

The archaeological complex of the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire dating from 800AD to 1500AD. Located just north of Siem Reap, we visited Angkor Wat temple itself plus the temple of Bayon in Angkor Thom and the temple of Ta Phrom. We also walked several deciduous forests seperating the temples.

Prohoot Grasslands

Near Kampong Thom are extensive low-lying grasslands around the settlement of Prohoot. Protected by agreement between the Sam Veasna Centre and the local community, the grasslands and dykes provide good habitat for several rare birds including Bengal Florican.

Kratie

Adjoining the town of Kratie is a small area of reedmarsh and wet paddy with surrounding bushes all providing a patchwork of habitats for wetland and scrub species.

Mekong River

The huge Mekong River near Kratie has a local population of Irrawaddy River Dolphins and riverine birds including, on the islets in the river, the endemic Mekong Wagtail. Local boatmen take tourists and birders out to view these from a small quay north of Kratie.

Tmatboey

In the north of Cambodia is the settlement of Tmatboey where the local community has agreed with the Sam Veasna Centre to protect the dry deciduous forest and has collaborated in building a small lodge to accommodate visiting birders. The lodge has a feeding station attracting a few species. Local guides escort groups to see the forest birds including Giant and White-shouldered Ibis. The forest undergrowth is burnt during the dry season to facilitate access and provide improved pasture. There is also an area of riverine forest along a small river.

Kokher Temple

A Khmer temple complex north east of Siem Reap with surrounding dry forest and open agricultural land.

Phnom Krom

On the outskirts of Siem Reap, the wet paddies and marshes of Phnom Krom provide a patchwork of wetland habitats with a good variety of birds of marshes and open land.

The intervening areas of Cambodia were desolate with extensive rubber plantations, burnt forest, cleared forest and deserted agricultural land in which hardly a bird was seen in hundreds of kilometres of travel.


Cat Tien

Cat Tien National Park is located along the Dong Nai river about 100kms north-east of Ho Chi Minh City. It has good mixed deciduous forest with a good trail network, riverine forest, areas of dense bamboo and an area of open managed grassland along the Ta Lai Road. The Park has accommodation, restaurants and a visitor centre and provides some lorry transport within the park on the main roadway.

Deo Sui Lin

Near the town of Di Linh, in the hills en route to Da Lat, is the forested pass of Deo Sui Lin. There is good forest and forest birding is possible from the road but traffic is increasingly a problem and care is needed.

Da Lat

The town of Da Lat is situated on the southern edge of the Da Lat Plateau. The town is an old hill station dating back to the French imperial period and now a popular Vietnamese tourist venue. The plateau still contains some good forested sites where it is possible to find a range of Annam specialities and endemics. Ta Nung valley with an extensive forested ridge, a small area of conifers, a small pool and a stream in a forested gorge was one such site. It has a locked gate and permission (and payment) are needed to enter. However we did also see bird trappers operating there. Another forested hillside was at Suoi Tia near the Ho Tuyen Lam lake. Suoi Tia has decent forest and good birds but it was hard to find them on our visit and Ho Tuyen Lam is being gradually developed with hotel and rich lakeside residential properties. Finally Mount Lang Bian, the highest peak on the Da Lat Plateau, has good forest and can be accessed at the higher level by jeeps from the park headquarters.




Birds Recorded (see itinerary for site codes):

Species No Days Max Sites
Chinese Francolin 2 1 TB
Scaly-breasted Partridge Partridge 4 H CT
Red Junglefowl 3 7 CT
Silver Pheasant 1 2 DL(Lang Bian)
Siamese Fireback 2 4 CT
Germain's Peacock-Pheasant 4 H CT
Green Peafowl 1 2 CT(Ta Lai)
Indian Spot-billed Duck 3 10+ K,PK
Little Grebe 3 6 DL(Ho Tuyen Lam)
Painted Stork 2 50+ PG,PK
Asian Openbill 3 1 K,PK
Woolly-necked Stork 3 10 TB
Black-necked Stork 1 1 PG
Lesser Adjutant 2 3 TB
White-shouldered Ibis 2 4 TB
Giant Ibis 1 4 TB
Cinnamon Bittern 1 1+ K
Black-crowned Night-Heron 1 6 K
Striated Heron 1 1 DL(Ho Tuyen Lam)
Chinese Pond Heron 14 50+ various
Species No Days Max Sites
Eastern Cattle Egret 7 20+ various
Grey Heron 3 2 K,TB
Purple Heron 3 1 K,PK
Great Egret 5 10+ various
Intermediate Egret 3 10+ K,PK
Little Egret 5 10+ various
Spot-billed Pelican 1 1 PG
Little Cormorant 2 200+ K,MR
Oriental Darter 4 2 AW,PG,MR
Peregrine  1 1 PG
Osprey 2 1 DL(Ho Tuyen Lam)
Black Baza 2 5 AW,KT
Oriental Hoey-Buzzard 1 2 CT
Black-shouldered Kite 1 2 PG
BlackKite 1 1 DL
Lesser Fish-Eagle 1 1 CT
Grey-headed Fish-Eagle 1 1 TB
Crested Serpent Eagle 3 2 AW,TB
Eastern Marsh Harrier 1 12+ PG
Crested Goshawk 1 1 TB
Species No Days Max Sites
Shikra 3 3 AW,TB,CT
Rufous-winged Buzzard 3 6+ TB
Greater Spotted Eagle 1 1 PG
Mountain Hawk-Eagle 3 1 DS,DL
Bengal Florican 1 5+ PG
Watercock 2 3 K
Black-backed(Purple) Swamphen 1 1 K
Common Moorhen 1 2 K
Sarus Crane 1 3 PG
Barred Buttonquail 1 2 PG
Small Buttonquail 1 2 PG
Black-winged Stilt 1 15 PK
Grey-headed Lapwing 2 2 K
Red-wattled Lapwing 3 4 PG,CT
Little Ringed Plover 1 1 PK
Pheasant-tailed Jacana 1 15 PK
Common Snipe 1 2 PK
Common Greenshank 1 2 PK
Marsh Sandpiper 1 9 PK
Wood Sandpiper 1 1 PK
Species No Days Max Sites
Pacific Golden Plover 1 8 PG
Oriental Pratincole 2 3 PG,PK
Little Pratincole 1 2 MR
Rock Pigeon (Feral) 5 10+ various
Red Collared Dove 8 50 various
Spotted Dove 7 10+ various
Barred Cuckoo-Dove 1 1 DL(Suoi Tia)
Emerald Dove 4 1 CT,DL(Suoi Tia)
Zebra Dove 1 1 TB
Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon 5 3+ TB,CT
Thick-billed Green-Pigeon  6 2 CT,DS,DL
Wedge-tailed Green-Pigeon 1 2 DL(Ho Tuyen Lam)
Green Imperial Pigeon 5 2+ TB,CT
Mountain Imperial Pigeon 5 5 DS,DL
Vernal Hanging Parrot 3 10 CT
Alexandrine Parakeet  2 12 AW,TB
Blossom-headed Parakeet 2 2 TB
Red-breasted Parakeet 7 20+ AW,TB,CT
Chestnut-winged Cuckoo 2 1 K
Indian Cuckoo 1 H TB
Species No Days Max Sites
Banded Bay Cuckoo 3 1 TB,CT
Plaintive Cuckoo 4 6 PG,TB,PK
Violet Cuckoo 1 1 CT
Drongo Cuckoo 1 H CT
Asian Koel 5 H TB,DL
Green-billed Malkoha 5 2 CT,DS
Greater Coucal 3 1+ PG,CT,DL
Lesser Coucal 2 2 PG,PK
Oriental Scops Owl 2 1 K
Brown Fish-Owl 1 1 TB
Brown Wood Owl 1 1+ TB
Spotted Wood Owl 1 1 TB
Collared Owlet 4 2 DS,DL(Lang Bian)
Asian Barred Owlet 4 1 TB,CT
Spotted Owlet 1 1 TB
Brown Hawk-Owl 2 H TB,CT
Hodgson's Frogmouth 1 1 DS
Great-Eared Nightjar 2 2 CT
Grey Nightjar 1 1 DL(Ta Nung)
Large-tailed Nightjar 2 1 CT
Species No Days Max Sites
Germain's Swiftlet 2 2 AW,CT
White-throated Needletail 1 4 DS
Brown-backed Needletail 2 6 AW,CT
Asian Palm-Swift 10 50+ various
House Swift 2 10 AW,CT
Crested Treeswift 4 20 TB
Orange-breasted Trogon 3 H CT
Indian Roller 7 5 various
Dollarbird 2 4 CT
Banded Kingfisher 3 1 CT
White-throated Kingfisher 5 2 TB,CT,DL
Common Kingfisher 1 1 TB
Pied Kingfisher 1 1 MR
Blue-bearded Bee-eater 5 2 TB,CT,DL(Ta Nung)
Little Green Bee-eater 2 5 TB
Blue-tailed Bee-eater 3 10 PG,K,PK
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater 3 2 TB,CT
Common Hoopoe 1 2 Di Linh
Oriental Pied Hornbill 7 20 AW,TB,CT
Red-vented Barbet 5 1 CT,DL
Species No Days Max Sites
Lineated Barbet 5 2+ AW,TB,CT
Green-eared barbet 2 2 CT
Golden-throated Barbet 2 2 DL
Annam(Black-browed) Barbet 5 10+ DS,DL
Blue-eared Barbet 3 2 CT
Coppersmith Barbet 3 1 AW,TB,CT
White-browed Piculet 3 2 CT,DS
Rufous-bellied Woodpecker 1 2 TB
Grey-capped Pygmy-Woodpecker 5 2 TB,DL(Ho Tuyen Lam)
Rufous Woodpecker 1 2 TB
White-bellied Woodpecker 1 H CT
Black-headed Woodpecker 1 2 TB
Grey-headed Woodpecker 1 2 CT
Laced Woodpecker 2 2 K,CT
Common Flameback 3 1 TB,CT
Greater Flameback 2 1 TB,CT
Pale-headed Woodpecker 2 H CT
Bay Woodpecker 1 2 DL(Suoi Tia)
Black-and-Buff Woodpecker 1 4 CT
Heart-spotted Woodpecker 2 3 TB,CT
Species No Days Max Sites
Great Slaty Woodpecker 1 4 TB
Long-tailed Broadbill 3 1 DL
Dusky Broadbill 1 1 CT
Black-and-Red Broadbill 1 2 CT
Blue Pitta 3 H CT,DS,DL
Rusty-naped Pitta 1 1 CT
Blue-rumped Pitta 2 1 CT
Bar-bellied Pitta 1 3 CT
Dalat(White-browed) Shrike-Babbler  4 2+ DL
Clicking(Chestnut-fronted) Shrike-Babbler 2 1 DL(Suoi Tia & Ta Nung)
White-bellied Erpornis 3 2 DL
Large Cuckooshrike 3 4 TB,DL(Lang Bian)
Indochinese Cuckooshrike 6 6 TB,CT,DL
Swinhoe's Minivet 4 6+ CT,DS
Ashy Minivet 1 2 TB
Small Minivet 2 6 TB
Grey-chinned Minivet 2 6 DS,DL(Ta Nung)
Long-tailed Minivet 2 6 DL(Ta Nung & Lang Bian)
Scarlet Minivet 1 1 TB
Slender-billed Oriole 1 1 DL(Ho Tuyen Lam)
Species No Days Max Sites
Black-naped Oriole 4 8 AW,CT
Black-hooded Oriole 5 2 TB,CT
Maroon Oriole 2 2 DS
Ashy Woodswallow 2 6 CT
Large Woodshrike 4 3 TB,CT,DS
Common Woodshrike 3 10+ TB
Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike 5 4 CT,DL
Common Iora 3 6 TB,CT
Great Iora 4 6 CT
White-browed Fantail 2 1 TB
White-throated Fantail 3 2 DL
Black Drongo 4 10+ PG,K,CT
Ashy Drongo 12 10+ various
Bronzed Drongo 4 2+ CT
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo 4 4 DL
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 5 2 TB,CT
Hair-crested Drongo 2 2 TB
Black-naped Monarch 5 4 AW,CT,DS
Asian Paradise-Flycatcher 1 1 CT
Southern Jungle Crow 4 2+ PG,TB
Species No Days Max Sites
Eurasian Jay 2 2 DL(Ho Tuyen Lam)
Red-billed Blue Magpie 4 6+ TB
Racket-tailed Treepie 3 2 K,CT
Brown Shrike 3 1 K,CT
Burmese Shrike 7 5 various
Brown-throated Sunbird 3 1+ AW,CT
Van Hasselt's Sunbird 4 1 TB,CT
Purple Sunbird 3 5+ TB
Olive-backed Sunbird 4 2 AW,T,CT
Mrs Gould's Sunbird 1 1 DL(Lang Bian)
Black-throated Sunbird 3 2+ DL(Ta Nung & Lang Bian)
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird 2 1 CT
Purple-naped Sunbird 2 2 CT
Streaked Spiderhunter 4 4 CT,DS,DL 
Little Spiderhunter 1 2 CT
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker 1 1 DL(Ta Nung)
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker 1 1 DL(Ta Nung)
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker 1 1 CT
Blue-winged Leafbird 3 2 CT
Golden-fronted Leafbird 3 4 TB
Species No Days Max Sites
Asian Fairy Bluebird 6 2+ CT,DL
Asian Golden Weaver 1 1+ K
Red Avadovat 1 10+ PG
White-rumped Munia 2 10 PG,TB
Scaly-breasted Munia 3 6+ TB
House Sparrow 2 2 K,Siem Reap
Plain-backed Sparrow 2 5 PG
Eurasian Tree Sparrow 12 20+ various
Red-throated Pipit 1 6 PG
Olive-backed Pipit 1 10 DL(Ho Tuyen Lam)
Richard's Pipit 2 2 PG,PK
Paddyfield Pipit 2 2+ PG,K
Forest Wagtail 1 1 AW
Mekong Wagtail 1 3 MR
Grey Wagtail 3 2 DL(Ta Nung)
Eastern Yellow Wagtail 2 2 K
Red Crossbill 1 6 DL(Suoi Tia)
Vietnamese Greenfinch  4 3 DL(Ta Nung & Ho Tuyen Lam)
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch 1 2 DS
Chestnut-vented Nuthatch 2 2 DL(Suoi Tia & Lang Bian)
Species No Days Max Sites
Neglected Nuthatch 2 4 TB
Common Myna 6 10+ various
Vinous-breasted Myna 1 15 CT
Black-collared Starling 7 4 various
Chestnut-tailed Starling 1 2 TB
Golden-crested Myna 2 2 CT
Common Hill Myna 3 6+ AW,K,TB,CT
Eye-browed Thrush 1 1 DL(Ho Tuyen Lam)
Green Cochoa 1 H DL(Suoi Tia)
Lesser Shortwing 1 1+ DL(Ta Nung)
Bluethroat 1 3 PG
White-tailed Robin 1 1 DL(Lang Bian)
Siberian Blue Robin 1 1 CT
White-throated Rock-Thrush 3 1 CT,DS,DL(Ta Nung)
Blue Rock-Thrush 2 2 AW,CT
Grey Bushchat 3 2 TB,DL
Eastern(Siberian) Stonechat 5 5 AW,PG,TB,PK,CT
Pied Bushchat 5 5 AW,PG,TB,CT
Slaty-backed Forktail 1 2 DL(Ta Nung)
Blue Whistling-Thrush 1 1 DL(Ta Nung)
Species No Days Max Sites
Hainan Blue Flycatcher 3 1 TB,CT
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher 1 1 CT
Verditer Flycatcher 4 10 DS,DL
Large Niltava 3 1 DL
Mugimaki Flycatcher 2 1 DL(Ta Nung, Lang Bian)
Rufous-browed Flycatcher 1 1 DL(Suoi Tia)
Snowy-browed Flycatcher 1 1 DL(Lang Bian)
Little Pied Flycatcher 2 2 DL(Ta Nung,Ho Tuyen Lam) 
Taiga Flycatcher 2 1 TB,DL(Ta Nung)
Dark-sided Flycatcher 2 1 DS
Asian Brown Flycatcher 7 2+ various
Oriental Magpie Robin 2 1 K,CT
White-rumped Shama 4 2+ CT
Grey Tit 1 1 TB
Green-backed Tit 3 6+ DL
Yellow-cheeked Tit 1 2 DL(Lang Bian)
Grey-headed canary-Flycatcher 2 6+ DL
Australasian Bushlark 2 1 PG,PK
Indochinese Bushlark 2 1 TB
Black-headed Bulbul 3 4 AW,TB,CT
Species No Days Max Sites
Black-crested Bulbul 6 10+ AW,TB,CT,DS
Stripe-throated Bulbul 6 10+ TB,CT
Flavescent Bulbul 3 10+ DS,DL
Streak-eared Bulbul 3 6+ CT
Red-whiskered Bulbul 1 2 DL(Ta Nung)
Sooty-headed Bulbul 4 10+ TB,CT
Grey-eyed Bulbul 1 1 CT
Ochraceus Bulbul 3 2+ CT,DL
Ashy Bulbul 2 2 DS
Mountain Bulbul 3 5+ DL
Yellow-vented Bulbul 3 2+ K,PK
Himalayan Black Bulbul 4 20 DS,DL
Asian House Martin 1 10+ DS
Common Sand Martin 2 2+ PG,DL(Ta Nung)
Barn Swallow 11 100+ various
Red-rumped Swallow 4 5+ PG,K,TB,CT,DL
Yellow-bellied warbler 2 1 CT,DL(Lang Bian)
Mountain Tailorbird 1 1 DL(Ta Nung)
Grey-bellied Tesia 1 1 DL(Lang Bian)
Grey-crowned Tit 3 10+ DL
Species No Days Max Sites
White-spectacled Warbler 1 1 DL(Suoi Tia)
Plain-tailed Warbler 1 2 DS
(Kloss's) White-tailed Leaf-Warbler 4 6+ DL
Pale-legged Leaf-Warbler 2 1 CT
Two-barred(Greenish) Warbler 6 2+ AW,TB,CT
Ashy-throated Warbler 1 2 DL(Lang Bian)
Yellow-browed Warbler 8 6+ various
Radde's Warbler 2 1 DS,DL(Ta Nung)
Dusky Warbler 1 1 K
Black-crowned Parrotbill 3 5 DS,DL(Suoi Tia)
Oriental White-eye 3 2 TB,DS
Mountain Fulvetta 4 5+ DS,DL
Large Scimitar-Babbler 1 H DL(Ta Nung)
White-browed Scimitar-Babbler 1 H DL
Pygmy Wren-Babbler 1 1 DL(Lang Bian)
Rufous-capped Babbler 3 2 DL
Striped Tit-Babbler 2 5+ CT
Grey-faced Tit-Babbler 3 10+ CT
Chestnut-capped Babbler 2 1 TB,PK
Buff-breasted Babbler 3 2+ CT
Species No Days Max Sites
Puff-throated Babbler 2 1 CT
Spot-throated Babbler 1 2 DS
Scaly-crowned Babbler 2 4 CT
White-cheeked Laughing-Thrush 4 30 DS,DL
Black-hooded Laughing-Thrush 1 H DL(Suoi Tia)
White-crested Laughing-Thrush 3 4 TB,CT
Orange-breasted Laughing-Thrush 1 2 DS
Collared Laughing-Thrush 1 3 DL(Lang Bian)
Blue-winged Minla 4 10+ DS,DL
Grey-crowned Crocias 2 5 DL(Ta Nung,Suoi Tia)
Black-headed Sibia 3 2 DL(Ta Nung,Suoi Tia)
Rufous-backed Sibia 2 1 DL(Ta Nung)
Black-browed Reed Warbler 2 4 K,PK
Oriental Reed Warbler 2 5+ PG,PK
Lanceolated Warbler 1 1 PK
Striated Grassbird 3 5 PG,K,PK
Zitting Cisticola 1 1+ PG
Dark-necked Tailorbird 4 2+ CT
Common Tailorbird 1 2 Siem Reap
Rufescent Prinia 1 1+ CT
Species No Days Max Sites
Grey-breasted Prinia 2 10 TB
Plain Prinia 1 2+ PG,K
Brown Prinia 1 1 TB
Hill Prinia 3 1+ DL(Ta Nung)

Mammals:

Pallas's Squirrel, Finlayson's (Variable) Squirrel, Cambodian Striped Squirrel, Maritime (Eastern) Striped Squirrel, Black-shanked Douc Langur, Long-tailed Macaque, Pig-tailed Macaque, Buff-cheeked Gibbon (H), Small Asian (Javan) Mongoose, Northern Smooth-tailed Tree Shrew, Eurasian Wild Boar, Sambar Deer, Irrawaddy River Dolphin

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