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BURMA (Custom Tour)

Tuesday 2nd April - Monday 15th April 2013

DAVE FARROW

White-throated Babbler at Bagan (Dave Farrow)

White-throated Babbler at Bagan (Dave Farrow)

This Birdquest tour to Burma was the first part of a two country extravaganza that would continue on to Arunachal Pradesh in India, with a private group organised by Frank Gill following the itinerary of the standard Birdquest tour. It was a hugely enjoyable affair, and we saw all seven of the Burmese endemics – Hooded Treepie, Jerdon’s Minivet, White-throated Babbler, Burmese Bushlark, White-browed Nuthatch, Burmese Tit and Davison’s Bulbul (the ‘newest’ of the set). We also found six taxa that could be described as near-endemics - Collared Myna, Mount Victoria Babax, Striped and Brown-capped Laughingthrushes, Chin Hills Wren-babbler, and the recently split Buff-breasted Parrotbill. In addition we found a great array of special birds such as Laggar Falcon, White-eyed Buzzard, Rain Quail, White-tailed Stonechat and Striated Babbler at Bagan. In the rich forest habitats that lie between the Irrawaddy and the Chin Hills we found White- umped Pygmy Falcon, Blossom-headed and Grey-headed Parakeets, White-bellied and Great Slaty Woodpeckers, Himalayan Flameback and Neglected Nuthatch. On Mount Victoria we enjoyed Stripebreasted Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, Spot-winged Grosbeak, Grey-sided and Long-billed Thrushes, White-bellied Redstart, Black-bibbed Tit, Crested Finchbill, Broad-billed Warbler, Spot-breasted Parrotbill, Rusty-capped Fulvetta, Spot-breasted Scimitar-babbler, Spotted Wren-babbler, Assam Laughingthrushes, Crimson-faced Liocichla, Grey Sibia, Streak-throated and Rusty-fronted Barwings, Aberrant, Russet and Brown Bush-warblers and many gorgeous Fire-tailed Sunbirds. The last section of our tour was to the Shan State in the east of the country, where at Inle Lake we had great looks at Chinese Grass-babblers of a newly-discovered population , plus numerous Jerdon’s Bushchat and Collared Mynas and in the mountain forests around Kalaw we found Pin-tailed Green-pigeon, Black- eaded Greenfinch, Brown-breasted Bulbul, White- rowed Laughingthrush, Martens’s Warbler, Spectacled Barwing, Dark-backed Sibia, Black- reasted Thrush, Ruddy Kingfisher and Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo, while the near-endemic Burmese Yuhina (which also occurs in Thailand) was only heard. We recorded 387 bird species, including 20 heard only.

White-browed Nuthatch, another sought-after Burmese endemic! (Dave Farrow)

White-browed Nuthatch, another sought-after Burmese endemic! (Dave Farrow)