Sunday, September 30, 2012

Western Baray and Wat Atwea, Siem Reap 29th September

The Western Baray was largely inaccessible today due to the increase in water levels, and viewing from the perimeter with the SVC guides this morning suggested that most of the habitat that the lapwings have been using is now underwater. 6 immature Black-crowned Night-Heron and a couple of Black-capped Kingfisher were present along with a bunch of distant terns. Also Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, Indochinensis Asian Paradise Flycatcher and Black-naped Monarch showed in the scrub around the southern edge.
After the disappointment of not getting onto the Baray, Naran (Chen Sophal) took me to Wat Atwea south of Siem Reap city because he had heard a lot of birds around there a couple of days ago.
In a couple of hours we recorded

2 Forest Wagtail
2 Black-naped Oriole
2 Hainan Blue Flycatcher
1 male odd Cyornis (Chinese/klossi Blue-throated type)
3 Taiga Flycatcher
6-7 Asian Brown Flycatcher
10+ Arctic Warbler
Yellow-browed Warbler, calling and seen
1 Black-browed Reed Warbler
as well as a Peregrine, displaying pair of Shikra, 2 Black-capped Kingfisher and many Common Kingfishers.
Asian Brown Flycatcher

Forest Wagtail

Hainan Blue Flycather

Cyornis flycatcher

Orange extending only a short way up the throat, and fairly washed out/pale orange.

Taiga Fly

Cambodian Striped Squirrel Tamiops rodolphei The two sets of stripes down the back are similar in size, with the inner tending to be more buff-orange than outer ones. Back of neck and and top of head dull brown in Cambodia. Outer pale stripe continuous with pale stripe on side of head. From Francis (2008): A Guide to the Mammals of Southeast Asia.

These Cyornis are very interesting, this one being similar to this bird seen in Hanoi just a few days ago. I'm very much learning about these birds from a low base, but the current situation seems very uncertain at present. As mentioned there the assigning of these birds to klossi Blue-throated is unsatisfactory unless there are other as yet undetected populations of Blue-throated present to the north of Indochina. I imagine that there may well be more revelations about this group following the splits of Chinese C. glaucicomans from Blue-throated C. rubeculoides and Large C. magnirostris from Hill C. banyumas, because it doesn't look to be resolved from here!

Rob Martin

Cyornis at SVC

At the SVC office in Siem Reap on Thursday 29th a female Cyornis flycatcher appeared, which I initially took to be Hainan Blue. Here's a couple of photos:

 A slightly unusual place for one to be and rather bright on the throat and breast with a clear demarcation between this and the very clean looking breast. These things are tough!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Western Baray, 22nd September 2012

27 River Lapwing, 4 Grey-headed Lapwing, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Long-toed Stint and at least 2 White-winged Tern with 10 Whiskered at the Baray this morning for a big SVC birding trip.
On board was Johnny, Srun, Kunthear, Nara, Tharath, Art, Naran, Mardy and myself, Rob Martin.

Curlew Sandpiper with Pacific Golden Plover

One of 4 Grey-headed Lapwing

Stunning Charadriid

Great to see so many at the Baray

Adult White-winged Tern, almost in complete winter plumage

Blue-winged Pitta in the city

Hot on the heals of last weeks House Sparrow, Phnom Penh out did itself this morning with a selection of unexpected colourful birds. Less than a minute after leaving my house on street 19 (at 05:45) a Blue-winged Pitta flew over the road! Unfortunately it pitched down behind the high palace walls, never to be seen again.

I continued to Wat Phnom where a flock of 11 Blossom-headed Parakeets were feeding high in a tree whilst a Little Green Bee-eater hawked insects from its perch 30 meters above the ground. Neither are birds I expected to see in the city center. To prove that it wasn't just a day for brightly coloured birds, four Brown Shrikes were also hanging about.

On my way back home I found another Little Green Bee-eater perched in a tree on street 240.


22nd September 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kampot 15-16th Sep 2012

Relaxing weekend in Kampot with Sarah, plenty of rain. On the Sunday took a boat to the saltpans with Rob Overtoom.

Yellow-rumped Fly - adult female
Great Knot 6
Black-tailed Godwit 2
Long-toed Stint 1

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wat Phnum

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher photographed at Wat Phnom on the 16 Sep 2012 by Ashish John.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

West Baray, Siem Reap

Brief visit to check out the West Baray for potential regular visits over the winter. Looks like a good bet to me. At least 11 River Lapwing were present on the southern edge of the land in the centre of the baray, towards the east end. Bit distant when viewed from the south bank, but I'll find my way amongst them when I can spend longer here. Half a dozen Pacific Golden Plover and a calling Common Sand were the only other waders I recorded in half an hour of scanning. About 60 Fork-tailed Swift patrolled high above with a couple of Brown-backed Needletails for good measure.
In the northeast corner of the baray, at the 'observation platform' a five minute stop produced White-rumped Munia.

Rob Martin

Koh Ker 15th September 2012

Virtually a full house of SVC guides took part in this training trip to Koh Ker, with excellent raptoring including an immature Changeable Hawk Eagle and an adult Oriental Honey-buzzard (on route) and excellent views of White-rumped Falcon.

Views of Collared Falconet were unexpectedly forced into the exceptional when a male we were watching flew straight into a fishing net that was drying outside a house. We quickly extracted the surprisingly placid miniature killing machine and released him to fly right back onto his previous perch, hopefully having learnt a lesson.
Some migrants included Asian Brown Flycatcher and 2 Arctic Warblers, but I'm not sure how far the incei Asian Paradise Flycatcher had travelled, nor this Hainan Blue Flycatcher.

Female Hainan Blue Flycatcher
Rob Martin

ACCB and Kbal Spean 13th September 2012

SVC guides Tarath and Sophoan visited the Kbal Spean area with Suzanne Kho and Robert Martin on 13th September. A 1st winter male Yellow-rumped Flycatcher was my highlight though 2 Violet Cuckoo were also good, as was a mighty ball of 350+ Brown-backed Needletail (counted from a photo) near to dusk looking towards Phnom Kulen.
Large numbers of swifts were a feature of the day, with over 100 Fork-tailed Swift together above the degraded forest at the MoE area, and a good number passing over the restaurant area at ACCB/Kbal Spean access. Amongst the latter was this swiftlet. I defer to others on swiftlets, I haven't spent time looking at them at colonies. Unfortunately no rump shot, it carried on straight and stubbornly refused to roll over!

Also Yellow-vented Flowerpecker, a single flying Blossom-headed Parakeet and at least 7 Hill Myna seen.
Further migrants included a group of about 20 White-shouldered Starling passed over to the southwest about 9am, and a badly seen Muscicapa that resembled Dark-sided when perched on top of a tree crown/inside the sun. 

Rob Martin

Things currently at ACCB include a Changeable Hawk Eagle, 4 Crested Serpent Eagle and the wobbly Giant Ibis. Well worth a look.

Stripe-throated Bulbul spotting

White-winged Terns at Chreav 11th September

Together with Ashish John and Sophoan I birded the flooded fields southeast of Siem Reap towards the lake . Two White-winged Tern were the highlight, an adult and a juvenile feeding with a small flock of about 12 Whiskered Tern. Unfortunately they were pretty distant so the photo is a shocker, and only of the adult!

A brief view of two Grey-headed Lapwing heading north some distance away from me was also a source of mild frustration, which seems to be the associated feeling with birding at this location. As another example we again saw a group of Long-toed Stints, but were unable to get within hundreds of metres apart from flight views.Good birding though, with a female Greater Painted Snipe seen again here and Green and Common Sandpiper amongst still good numbers of Wood Sandpiper.

Rob Martin  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

House Sparrow in downtown Phnom Penh

One male House Sparrow in a flock of c.10 Tree Sparrow feeding on the pavement outside the BirdLife office (No. 9, St. 29) in Phnom Penh at lunchtime today (11 September 2012).

The bird was in immaculate plumage, flew strongly, didn't come to bread etc and showed no signs of having been released at a nearby wat so presumably this was a wild bird - as far as I am aware this is the first record of this species in downtown Phnom Penh - it was only a matter of time before House Sparrow spread into the city.

In far less interesting news there was a Brown Shrike at Wat Phnom this morning. 

Simon Mahood

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at ATT

A first for Cambodia. On 9th September an SVC guide training trip found an adult Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at Ang Trapaeng Thmor. Here it is!
 Left, with a Wood Sandpiper
 Same again
with a Common Greenshank

It was certainly not the only highlight of the day, which had started with this group of approximately 3.75 Milky Stork and about 1.25 Painted Stork. 
The hybrid is partly hidden at the back, but the other three look pretty good for 'clean' Milky's. 
Another excellent bird seen well, if distantly was this Short-toed Snake-Eagle, another species with few Cambodian records against it's name. 

However, it was the waders that were the stars of the show today, with an excellent 23 species recorded. 
A Turnstone was a lifer for several guides as was Ruff, and other good species included a Broad-billed Sandpiper, at least 3 Long-toed Stint, one juvenile Red-necked Stint, and 2 Lesser Sandplover. A Greater Painted Snipe trailing two fluffy chicks was also great to see. 
Red-necked Stint
A fabulous day, and great training in those tricky waders that must come through Cambodia every year. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Check List Of ATT (Sarus Crane Protected Area)
On Sep 01st 2012

Bird List

Location: ATT                         Date:  01-09-2012                               Time:  Full day
Habitat: Rice field, Wetland, Shrub, Reservoir , open country, Mudflat
Participants:  Chea, Johnny, Kunthear, Naran, Sophoan, Heng,Mardy,Da
Leader: Mardy Sean

1.          Comb Duck    ( 50+ )
2.      Cotton Pygmy-goose  ( 200+ )
3.      Indian Spot-billed Duck  ( 3 )
4.      Little Grebe   ( 3 )
5.      Lesser Whistling Duck  ( 30+ )
6.      Milky Stork  ( 2 )
7.      Painted Stork   ( 200+ )
8.      Asian Openbill   ( 15 )
9.      Greater Adjutant   ( 10 )
10.  Black-headed Ibis   (50 )
11.  Little Cormorant (3)
12.  Great Cormorant   ( 10+)
13.  Yellow Bittern  (5)
14.  Cinnamon Bittern ( 6 )
15.  Black Bittern  ( 1 )
16.  Grey Heron   ( 10 )
17.  Purple Heron  ( 1 )
18.  Spot-billed Pelican   ( 60+ )
19.  Pond-heron SP  ( 20+ )
20.  Eastern Cattle Egret  ( Common )
21.  Little Egret          ( 30+ )
22.  Intermediate Egret       ( 5 )
23.  Great Egret       ( 4 )
24.  Black-shouldered Kite       ( 3 )
25.  Watercock        ( 5 )
26.  Black-backed Swamphen      ( 4 )
27.  Black-winged Stilt        ( 30+ 2juv )
28.  Pheasant-tailed Jacana       ( 2 )
29.  Bronze-winged Jacana        ( 5 )
30.  Oriental Practincole       ( 50 +)
31.  Red-wattled Lapwing        ( 5 )
32.  Lesser Sandplover        ( 6 )
33.  Greater Sandplover       (1 )
34.  Oriental Plover        ( 1 )
35.  Pacific Golden Plover   ( 5 )
36.  Little-ringed Plover       ( 3 )
37.  Common-ringed Plover       ( 10+ )
38.   Pintail Snipe       ( 2 )
39.  Bar-tailed Godwit      ( 5 )
40.  Wood Sandpiper       ( 3 )
41.  Common Greenshank      (10+ )
42.  Spotted Redshank       ( 5 )
43.  Common Redshank         ( 2 )
44.  Marsh Sandpiper        ( 1 )
45.  Red-necked Stint         ( 10+ )
46.  Broad-billed Sandpiper         ( 5 )
47.  Whiskered Tern      ( 30+ )
48.  Rock Pigeon              ( 20 )
49.  Spotted Dove               ( 5 )
50.  Red-collared Dove              ( 10 )
51.  Zebra Dove                ( 6 )
52.  Asian Palm-swift       ( Common )
53.  Common Kingfisher      ( 2 )
54.  Pied Kingfisher               ( 3 )
55.  Blue-tailed Bee-eater     ( 10+ )
56.  Little Green Bee-eater    ( 3 )
57.  Scarlet Minivet     ( 1 )
58.  Southern Jungle Crow      ( 2 )
59.  Brown Shrike                 ( 3 )
60.  Olive-backed Sunbird               ( V )
61.  Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker       ( 1 )
62.  Eurasian Treesparrow           ( 15 )
63.  Scaly-breasted Munia                ( 10 )
64.  Paddyfield Pipit                ( 5 )
65.  Eastern Yellow Wagtail              ( 2 )
66.  Streaked Weaver               ( 10 +)
67.  Baya Weaver        ( Common )
68.  White-vented Myna                ( 20+ )
69.  Common Myna         ( Common )
70.  Black-collared Starling               ( 5 )
71.  Eastern Stonechat         ( 5 )
72.  Pied Bushchat              ( 3 )
73.  Yellow-vented Bulbul          ( 1 )
74.  Streak-eared Bulbul          ( 1 )
75.  Barn Swallow        ( 10+ )
76.  Plain Prinia          (  5 )
77.  Yellow-bellied Prinia         ( 1 )
78. Common Tailorbird V

Saturday, September 1, 2012

This is the photo of Oriental plover as we all agreed .
We saw this one at ATT quite early on September, today.
1st Sep 2012
   This morning SVC group, Mardy, Johnny, Sophoan, Naran, Chea, Kunthea, Sokheng and our Drvier Mr. Da went to visit ATT Sarus Crane protected Area. Today we saw such wonderful and it was an unforgettable trip ever has. 10 Greater Adjutants are feeding among hundreds of Painted storks and 2 Milky stork are seen there in the reservoir, but one bird, Oriental Plover was standing over there which made all of us really happy with any species of Wader such as;
-Common Ring plover
-Little Ring Plover
-Lesser and Greater Sand Plover
-Common and Spotted Red Shank
-Common Green Shank
-Wood and Marsh Sandpiper

-Barred Tailed Godwit etc