Wednesday, 1 March 2017

1st March 2017 Tam Dao to Ba Be NP

Our plan was to spend the morning along the Water Tank trail and then drive to Ba Be NP to arrive in time for an evening boat trip to look for White-eared Night-Heron. However, we awoke to thick fog and heavy drizzle. We therefore cut our losses and decided to head straight to Ba Be NP in the hope of better weather there. The drive took longer than anticipated but the weather was good on arrival and it didn't take long to find a Limestone Leaf-Warbler near the top of the hill once through the entrance gate to the National Park. The limestone karst views were spectacular albeit the clarity was unfortunately lost by the smog that blankets so much of southeast Asia at this time of year due to the widespread burning of forest that takes place. We arrived at Mr. Chat's guesthouse and he recommended heading straight out onto the lake. On the walk to the boat finding a Chinese Blackbird was a surprise. We trawled the riverbank checking some dense trees as best we could for any roosting Night-Herons but unfortunately to no avail. We were then shown a nest that had recently been abandoned. We then moored at the entrance to a newly-cleared coffee grove that Mr. Chat recommended as being a good site for Pied Falconet and we were soon enjoying distant flight views of one there. We returned to the boat and Mr. Chat took us to an inlet and moored the boat to await dusk albeit there were still a couple of hours of daylight. He promptly fell asleep on a neighbouring boat. Trees being hacked, cleared and burnt in front of us did little to make us feel confident of success so it wasn't entirely surprising that it got dark without us seeing any Night-Herons. Mr. Chat recommended that we ought to be at the quay at 4am the next morning to try again... 

Eastern Cattle Egret 10
Little Egret 2
Chinese Pond-Heron 2
Common Snipe 1
Black Bulbul c.50
Grey-throated Babbler 1
Chinese Blackbird 1
Fork-tailed Sunbird 1
White-rumped Munia 10

Ba Be NP

Rice paddies at Ba Be NP

Water Buffalo grazing in Ba Be NP

Pig on its way to market from Ba Be NP

Limestone karst forest at Ba Be NP

Limestone Leaf-Warbler at Ba Be NP

Black Bulbul of the form leucothorax at Ba Be NP

Male Fork-tailed Sunbird at Ba Be NP

White-rumped Munia at Ba Be NP

Chinese Blackbird at Ba Be NP

the walk to Mr. Chat's boat

Tony out front with Mr. Chat

Looking for roosting Night-Herons

Chinese Pond-Heron at Ba Be NP

Abandoned nest of White-eared Night-Heron

Stop for Pied Falconet

Pied Falconet clearing being planted with coffee at Ba Be NP

Pied Falconet at Ba Be NP

Fisherman at the Ba Be NP Night-Heron stakeout

Not the sight that we hoped to see at the Ba Be NP Night-Heron stakeout

Eastern Cattle Egrets and a Little Egret at Ba Be NP

Sunset over Ba Be NP