Tuesday, 21 February 2017

21st February 2017 Cat Tien NP

Our final full day at Cat Tien NP and a decision to make as to whether to take a jeep to the Bau Sau Trail or stay local to the HQ to continue searching for Blue-rumped Pitta. We chose the latter option and first walked the Museum Trail. We then walked to the Forest Floor Lodge enjoying an aerial display by two species of Needletails and then heard a Blue-rumped Pitta calling from a large stand of bamboo probably 200m short of the lodge. On trying to look for it, frustratingly, silence then prevailed. We returned to HQ seeing a small group of Black-and-red Broadbills at the edge of the clearing. We again walked the Museum Trail where at last we saw a pair of Grey-faced Tit-Babblers and the male Bar-bellied Pitta again before taking up residence in the fist photographic blind having been told that has been a favourite spot for Blue-rumped Pitta. We were joined by the Japanese birder hoping for the same species. Despite staying until dusk unfortunately no success.

Crested Serpent-Eagle 1
Scaly-breasted Partridge 2
Green-billed Malkoha 2
Great Eared Nightjar h
Brown-backed Needletail 2
Silver-backed Needletail 3
Asian Palm-Swift 1
Dollarbird 1
Black-and-red Broadbill 3
Bar-bellied Pitta 1
Swinhoe's Minivet 1
Common Iora 2
Great Iora 2
Golden-fronted Leafbird 2
Stripe-throated Bulbul 2
Bronzed Drongo 2
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 2
Black-naped Oriole 2
Asian Fairy-Bluebird 1
Racket-tailed Treepie 2
Ashy Woodswallow 2
Abbott's Babbler 2
Pin-striped Tit-Babbler 1
Siberian Blue Robin 3
Oriental Magpie-Robin 1
White-rumped Shama 2
Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf-Warbler 1
Common Tailorbird 1
Asian Brown Flycatcher 2
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher 2
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker 1

Adult Golden-fronted Leafbird at Cat Tien NP

Swinhoe's Minivet at Cat Tien NP
Whilst watching it I remained undecided whether it was an Ashy or Swinhoe's but the images compare rather favourably with the identification detailed here

Brown-backed Needletail at Cat Tien NP
Note the white supraloral and brownish saddle

Silver-backed Needletails at Cat Tien NP

Black-and-red Broadbill at Cat Tien NP

Abbott's Babbler at Cat Tien NP

Male Bar-bellied Pitta at Cat Tien NP

Monday, 20 February 2017

20th February 2017 Cat Tien NP

We decided to walk the Heaven's Rapids track. As we walked through the HQ area a calling male Ashy-headed Green-Pigeon sat in the treetops proved to be one of the species we hoped that we might see today. The Heaven's Rapids trail itself produced Laced and Great Slaty Woodpeckers but generally proved rather quiet. It is more of a jeep track through regenerating secondary forest rather than a forest trail. It lacked much shade and soon became hot. There was an impressive stand of bamboo at the rapids themselves but unfortunately we found no sign of either Orange-necked Partridge or Pale-headed Woodpecker. Whilst returning we stopped for a drink at the Forest Floor Lodge. On walking the start of a forest trail that commenced directly opposite the entrance to the Lodge I heard the arresting call of a Blue-rumped Pitta and it was close. The bad news was that it was calling from a bamboo thicket and on trying to approach it the bird fell silent. I waited a while but heard no further calls. I left it for an hour and then tried again but failed to hear let alone see it. Very frustrating. Back at the HQ we met Thang at lunchtime who had arrived accompanying one of his tour groups. He pointed us in the direction of the first block of forest to the west of the HQ as a good area to see Germain's Peacock-Pheasant. We gave it a try and heard one calling mid-afternoon but the trail then literally went quiet. An obliging male Hainan Blue Flycatcher and a Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf-Warbler were looking set to be the afternoon's highlights when fortunately a male Germain's Peacock-Pheasant showed well. On emerging from the forest we bumped into Thang and his group all of whom had also seen one at the side of the road. We then walked the Museum trail as Thang mentioned Blue-rumped Pittas had been seen along it recently albeit not every day. There was no sign for us although the male Bar-bellied Pitta was seen again. At dusk we overlooked the river and enjoyed watching and listening to 8 Harrier-like Great Eared Nightjars fly from their roost and across the river to feed.

Chinese Pond-Heron 6
Scaly-breasted Partridge 1
Red Junglefowl 1 female
Green Imperial Pigeon 2
Great Eared Nightjar 8
Pied Kingfisher 2
Oriental Pied Hornbill 1
Laced Woodpecker 2
Great Slaty Woodpecker 2
Bar-bellied Pitta 1 male plus others heard
Swallow 2
Red-rumped Swallow 2
Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike 1
Ashy Minivet 1
Common Iora 2
Blue-winged Leafbird 1
Stripe-throated Bulbul 1
Puff-throated Babbler 2
Scaly-crowned Babbler 2
Siberian Blue Robin 2
Oriental Magpie-Robin 2
White-rumped Shama 6
Pale-legged/Sakhalin Warbler 1
Dark-necked Tailorbird 1
Hainan Blue Flycatcher 1 male
Black-naped Monarch 1
Golden-crested Myna 2
Purple-naped Sunbird 1
Crimson Sunbird 1

Views of the Dong Nai River, Cat Tien NP from the Forest Floor Lodge

Heaven's Rapids Track at Cat Tien NP

Male Ashy-headed Green-Pigeon at Cat Tien NP

Male Laced Woodpecker at Cat Tien NP

Male Great Slaty Woodpecker at Cat Tien NP

Common Birdwings at Cat Tien NP

Dragonfly pool at the Forest Floor Lodge

Dragonfly at Cat Tien NP

Lesser Mouse-Deer at Cat Tien NP

Red Junglefowl at Cat Tien NP

Stripe-throated Bulbul at Cat Tien NP

Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf-Warbler at Cat Tien NP

Male Hainan Blue Flycatcher at Cat Tien NP

Male Germain's Peacock-Pheasant at Cat Tien NP

Male Bar-bellied Pitta at Cat Tien NP

Last ferry crossing of the day

Great Eared Nightjar at Cat Tien NP