Sunday, 26 February 2017

26th February 2017 West Ho Tuyen Lam

We wanted to walk the ridge trail at West Ho Tuyen Lam but our driver initially took us to another site on the east side of the lake. After querying and checking the GPS, he made a quick phonecall to Thang, and rectified the situation with us still arriving at the Dalat Star sign soon after dawn. We were then pleased to find the skeleton of the metal shed and the start of the trail was then easy to find. Only 100m or so along the trail we heard a Grey-crowned Crocias calling and located it in the top of a tree viewed directly above us. Whilst its grey crown was seen as it moved around and its long tail was easy to appreciate they weren't the best of views but quite a relief after hearing one but failing to see it at Cong Troi. Another couple of Crocias were then heard but we didn't make any concerted effort to see them. The steep climb had begun in earnest that was enlivened by encountering many mixed-species flocks and among one we found a pair of Black-headed Sibia being another of our target species for the day. At this time we had inadvertently lost the trail and the various options all soon petered out. After some backtracking we found a blue arrow painted on a tree and refound the trail. Shortly after and another mixed-species flock played host to some Yellow-billed Nuthatches something that we really hoped but did not expect to see. The top of the ridge was through good forest throughout where we found some flowering Rafflesia plants that after an internet search appear to be the endangered Sapria himalayana. It was with reluctance that we turned back mid-afternoon, but almost immediately we did so, we stumbled across a Rufous-browed Flycatcher that are always good to see. Whilst descending we heard a cacophony of Laughingthrushes, with birds soon erupting from cover and they proved to be the exquisite Black-hooded Laughingthrushes. It proved to be my favourite of the sites that we visited around Dalat. 

Little Grebe 3
Chinese Pond-Heron 1
Green-billed Malkoha 1
White-throated Kingfisher 1
Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike 2
Common Woodshrike 2
Grey-chinned Minivet 4
Mountain Bulbul 2
Ashy Drongo 1
Bronzed Drongo 3
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 4
Maroon Oriole 2
Grey-crowned Bushtit 3
Rufous-capped Babbler 4
Clicking Shrike-Babbler 2
Blue-winged Minla 6
Mountain Fulvetta 6
Rufous-backed Sibia 2
White-bellied Erpornis 6
Siberian Blue Robin 1
Yellow-browed Warbler 1
Kloss's Leaf-Warbler 6
Rufous-browed Flycatcher 1
Little Pied Flycatcher 1
Large Niltava 3
Pale Blue Flycatcher 1
Grey-headed Flycatcher 4
White-throated Fantail 1
Black-collared Starling 4
'Vietnamese' Crossbill 1

Ho Tuyen Lam

Black-headed Sibia at West Ho Tuyen Lam

Yellow-billed Nuthatch at West Ho Tuyen Lam

Female Grey-chinned Minivet at West Ho Tuyen Lam

Sapria himalayana at West Ho Tuyen Lam

Butterfly sp. at West Ho Tuyen Lam

Black-hooded Laughingthrush at West Ho Tuyen Lam

Black-hooded Laughingthrush illustrated in The Ibis 1919 attributed to Henrik Gronvold
A quick read of p.575 Ibis 1919 reveals Kloss gave its latin name G. milletii in honour of  Monsieur F. Millet, the Officer in charge of the forests of  the Langbian Province and a big-game hunter!

Moth sp. at West Ho Tuyen Lam