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BURMA

Sunday 19th March - Saturday 8th April 2017

Dave Farrow

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

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

This years' Birdquest tour to Burma was once again a splendid affair. We saw all eight – oh wait, there's one more now – nine Burmese endemics – Hooded Treepie, Jerdon’s Minivet, White-throated Babbler, Burmese Bushlark, White-browed Nuthatch (the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the endemic birds), Burmese Bushtit, Davison’s Bulbul, Burmese Collared Dove, and Irrawaddy Bulbul - the ‘newest’ of the set. We also found five taxa that could be described as near-endemics - Collared Myna, Striped and Brown-capped Laughingthrushes, Mount Victoria Babax, and Chin Hills Wren-Babbler. In addition to these sparkling headlines we found a great array of special birds such as White-eyed Buzzard, Rain Quail, White-tailed Stonechat and Striated Babbler at Bagan. In the varied forest habitats that lie between the Irrawaddy and the Chin Hills we found Himalayan Flameback, White-rumped Falcon, Collared Falconet, Blossom-headed and Grey-headed Parakeets, and Burmese Nuthatch. On Mount Victoria we enjoyed a splendid female Hodgson’s Frogmouth, Grey-sided Thrush, White-bellied Redstart, Black-bibbed Tit, Crested Finchbill, Spot-breasted Parrotbill, Rusty-capped Fulvetta, Assam and Blue-winged Laughingthrush, Crimson-faced Liocichla, Grey Sibia, Streak-throated and Rusty-fronted Barwings, Brown Bush-warblers and Fire-tailed Sunbirds, In the Shan State in the east of the country, at Inle Lake we saw Chinese Grassbird and numerous Jerdon’s Bushchats, and in the mountain forests around Kalaw we found nest-building Burmese Yuhinas, Slender-billed Oriole, Black-tailed Crake, Pin-tailed Green-pigeon, Sapphire Flycatcher, Black-breasted Thrush, Black-headed Greenfinch, White-browed Laughingthrush, Martens’s Warbler, Dark-backed Sibia, and some Collared Mynas. Our extension was altered – permission to visit the south for Gurney’s Pitta was withdrawn at a late stage, so we headed further west in Chin State to Matupi, on the way to the Bangladesh border. It was a successful and bird filled few days, with endless ridges of lush montane forest remaining here for our exploration. We found Slender-billed, Spot-breasted and Coral-billed Scimitar Babblers, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Mountain Bamboo Partridge, Crested Kingfisher, Dark-rumped Swift, Rufous-backed Sibia, Grey-cheeked Warbler, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, Vivid Niltava and Long-billed Thrush, to name a few. On our return journey, a random stop produced a great surprise in the form of several Upland Pipits, a hitherto unknown population here far removed from its known range.

Streak-throated Barwing (Dave Farrow)

Streak-throated Barwing (Dave Farrow)