Wednesday, 8 March 2017

8th March 2016 Prey Veng

A pre-dawn start in the hope of seeing Oriental Scops Owl resulted in us hearing one but only obtaining an untickable flight view that was disappointing. More so was our local guide then taking us to a place situated between two roost sites for Giant Ibis to await them calling as it got light, in that it got light, but sadly the only noise was provided by the onslaught of chainsaws in the area. With two Danish birders and the local guides we then walked to several small pools set in the dry forest in the hope of finding a feeding Giant Ibis but the local guides had trouble enough finding the pools, and for such a shy species, for my liking they all seemed to be located too close to dwellings with the occupants clearly making their living from slashing and burning, resin-tapping and logging so it felt an incredibly saddening situation. We stopped at one dwelling where the family were eating Chinese Francolins to ask of any recent Ibis sightings and they pointed in the direction of a pool set in the forest. As we approached a Lesser Adjutant took flight, and perhaps cynically, none of us were advocating a likely two-bird theory! Whilst the others searched for feathers and footprints, rather disheartened, we wandered off and found a Neglected Nuthatch so at least we had something to show for the morning. Back at the vehicles there was a lengthy discussion about where to try next and our guide was consistently suggesting an area along the entrance track. We hadn't got far when a large tree that had been felled since we had driven-in along the track less than 24 hours earlier had completely blocked the track! Despite the soaring temperatures we continued on foot but I think it's fair to say with no expectations when suddenly the loud alarm call of a Giant Ibis cried out and it wasn't far away! In fairness our guide picked it out almost immediately stood on the branch of a large tree and she started dancing around in excitement! The scope was soon on the bird and we all obtained brief views before it took flight when it appeared very impressive. It truly felt like an encounter with the last of the Giants! We returned to the eco-lodge and took it easy for the heat of the day. Our local guide then suggested we should visit a more reliable site for White-winged Duck but that we needed to obtain the permission of the village chief before doing so. Our guide telephoned the chief, but for reasons that were not made clear to us, permission wasn't granted. It therefore seemed our only option was to return to the makeshift hide although the Danes, like us, rather felt we would just be going through the motions. Whilst driving through the village the local chief was seen driving a small bulldozer. Our guide stopped to ask again, but despite lots of smiles from him, the answer was frustratingly the same that seemed impossible to understand when staying at the village 'eco-lodge'. The drive to the hide produced fine views of a Green Peafowl but the remainder of the afternoon and evening proved unmemorable and an evening attempt at seeing an Oriental Scops ended in one being heard distantly.

Chinese / Javan Pond Heron 1
Lesser Adjutant 1
Grey-headed Fish-Eagle 2
Rufous-winged Buzzard 2
Changeable Hawk-Eagle 1
Chinese Francolin 1
Green Peafowl 1 female
Red-wattled Lapwing 2
Yellow-footed Green-Pigeon 1
Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon 2
Red Turtle Dove 2
Spotted Dove 6
Alexandrine Parakeet 1
Blossum-headed Parakeet 4
Red-breasted Parakeet 6
Lesser Coucal 1
Oriental Scops Owl h
Collared Scops Owl h
Indian Nightjar h
Crested Treeswift 15
Green Bee-eater 6
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater 2
Indian Roller 2
Hoopoe 4
Black-headed Woodpecker 2
Common Flameback 1
Great Slaty Woodpecker 4
Freckle-breasted Woodpecker 4
Large Cuckooshrike 1
Black-crested Bulbul 2
Ashy Drongo 1
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 2
Black-hooded Oriole 2
Rufous Treepie 2
Large-billed Crow 2
Indochinese Bushlark 2
Asian Brown Flycatcher 2
White-browed Fantail 2
Burmese Shrike 1
Chestnut-tailed Starling 2
Black-collared Starling 2
Hill Myna 8

Dry forest at Prey Veng

Our guide pointed out an endangered species of tree

Yellow-footed Green-Pigeon at Prey Veng

Great Slaty Woodpecker at Prey Veng

Burmese Shrike at Prey Veng

Rufous-winged Buzzard at Prey Veng

Juvenile Changeable Hawk-Eagle at Prey Veng

Lesser Adjutant at Prey Veng

Neglected Nuthatch at Prey Veng

Giant Ibis at Prey Veng

Recently bulldozed clearings under smoke-laden skies at Prey Veng

Not looking suitable for Giant Ibises here anymore

the forest edge where most trees are horizontal and on fire

Rufous Treepie at Prey Veng

Chinese Francolin at Prey Veng

Female Green Peafowl at Prey Veng