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VIETNAM

Sunday 6th March - Sunday 27th March 2016

Craig Robson

Bar-bellied Pitta (Craig Robson)

Bar-bellied Pitta (Craig Robson)

2016 saw another epic tour of this bird-rich South-East Asian hotspot, and the 15th by this leader alone. Things have changed dramatically since our first pioneering tour here in 1991 and one thing is for sure, we see a hell of a lot more specialities these days. Amongst the highlights in the south were Siamese Fireback, Germain’s Peacock-Pheasant, Green Peafowl, Red-vented and Indochinese (or Annam) Barbets, Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pittas, Dalat (or Annam) Shrike-babbler, the soon to be split local form of White-spectacled Warbler, Grey-crowned Bushtit (spit from Black-throated), Grey-faced Tit-Babbler, Orange-breasted, Collared, Black-hooded and White-cheeked Laughingthrushes, Vietnamese Cutia, Grey-crowned Crocias, Black-crowned Fulvetta, Black-headed (or -crowned) Parrotbill, Vietnamese Greenfinch, and Vietnamese Crossbill. We were very fortunate to track down several singing Dalat Bush Warblers, another recent split that was a new species for the Birdquest world list. Relatively little known and unexplored Central Vietnam brought us Ratchet-tailed Treepie, the black-crested form of Sultan Tit, Limestone Leaf Warblers, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Sooty Babbler, Short-tailed Scimitar (or Indochinese Wren-) Babbler, Rufous-cheeked and Chestnut-eared Laughingthrushes, and Black-crowned Barwing. In the north, despite some poor weather, we found Malayan Night Heron, Pied Falconet, White-winged Magpie, Black-browed and Rufous-throated Fulvettas, Limestone Wren-Babbler, Grey Laughingthrush, and Fork-tailed Sunbird.

Special mammals that we saw well included Buff-cheeked Gibbon, both Black-shanked and Red-shanked Douc Langurs, and an incredible herd of rare Gaur.

Blue-naped Pitta (Craig Robson)

Blue-naped Pitta (Craig Robson)