Sunday, December 15, 2013

Eurasian Wryneck

A morning trip to Prek Ksach area turned up a Wryneck. Flushed from the ground and flew to a distant tree. Views and photographs (see below), not too great, but still distinguishable. What a great little site. Rapidly changing though. Haven't been around the site yet since around half a year ago, but the main Small Pratincole hill is now covered in short grass and no SP in sight.

Robert van Zalinge

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Grass Owl!


This morning Sarah and I were taking the dog for a walk at Preh Ksach (the site where we discvered the tailorbird). We flushed a Grass Owl from just off the path. It had been sitting on the ground on a dead rat, I saw it briefly on the ground as it hesitated before taking flight. As it flew off the gold and bronze plumage and long gangly legs with toes projecting well beyond the tail were obvious.

This made me very happy since I had left Hanoi just six months prior to Sebastian's discovery of a multitude of Grass Owls virtually in Hanoi itself. There are very few records of Grass Owl from Cambodia.

Simon Mahood

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Another garden Luscinia...

No, not another mega, and unfortunately not my garden either! Watching a first year female Siberian Blue Robin this afternoon in the Sam Veasna Center office garden brought back happy memories of autumn 2012.

Earlier the same day I saw a female type Yellow-rumped Flycatcher flying between emergent vegetation in Prek Toal, Battambong.

Migration is definitely underway!

Simon Mahood 15 October 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cambodian Tailorbird: a new species for the world!

Inception. 5:30 AM on 23 June 2012. The moment when my suspicions that the odd tailorbirds on the outskirts of Phnom Penh might represent an undescibed species were confirmed.

If you’re reading this then you probably already know the end of this story: a year ago a new species of tailorbird was discovered just outside Phnom Penh. The type description was released today, you might have already read it or seen the press release or read the news reports. However there isn’t enough space in a scientific paper or a news story to give the full account of what happened, so that’s what I’ll do here.
The first beginning. One of four Cambodian Tailorbirds caught and released in 2009.

Way back in 2009 I was working for BirdLife in Vietnam, and doing plenty of exciting birding. Unbeknownst to me at the time four Cambodian Tailorbirds were mist-netted near to Phnom Penh, and released. The birds provoked discussion among those present and it was decided that they were Ashy Tailorbirds, at the time the only records of that species for Cambodia. With the benefit of hindsight it is possible to see that the bird above is not an Ashy Tailorbird, but very few photos were taken, and those that were taken were poor and (with the exception of the above) suffered from colour bleeding.

Preh Ksach: lovely.

I moved to Cambodia with my wife Sarah in January 2012 to start a new job with WCS Cambodia. The first birding that I did was at Preh Ksach, a partially flooded construction site on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, 30 minutes drive on a good day. It was a Sunday afternoon in mid-January and we were doing the AWC count. We saw a good number of waders, the highlight was two Red-necked Stints, a good inland record. Two weeks previously Howie Neilsen had found another of those Ashy Tailorbirds at Preh Ksach. I had previously kept a very respectable Vietnam list, which had included Ashy Tailorbird in the mangroves near Saigon. I didn’t have any aspirations of competitive Cambodia listing, Howie was pushing 500 (over 80% of the Cambodian list!) and I didn’t see much point in competing. So I made little effort to look for his tailorbird, and guessed that since I would be using Preh Ksach as something approaching a local patch I was bound to bump into it eventually.

The second beginning. 9 June 2012, Preh Ksach, Ashish John.

A busy first dry season in Cambodia meant that little birding was done during spring. On 9 June 2012 my colleague and friend Ashish John took advantage of some free time and cycled to Preh Ksach for some bird photography. Ashish was very pleased to have photographed the Ashy Tailorbird, in the same place that Howie had seen it five months previously. He uploaded the photograph above to this blog and I immediately commented “Interestingly, there is more rufous on the crown than the Robson guide illustrates, Craig shows it going only as far as the eye, but on your bird the whole crown is rufous”. Ashish uploaded more photographs of the bird, reproduced here: 

This got me wondering. The plumage was clearly worn but these non-Ashy features were not a photographic artifact: why was it so dark on the breast? On 12 June I sent an email to various relevant people alerting them to the photographs on the blog and attaching some photographs of the 2009 birds (which at the time I thought were one bird). The answers I got back swung between Ashy with some non-standard features to odd Dark-necked. There was a general consensus that more work needed to be done. Some people started to sound excited. On Monday 18 June a hasty pre-work visit to Preh Ksach was arranged with Tom Evans and Ashish. We located the bird and Ashish got some more photographs of it and another similar individual:

The biggest revelation on that morning was that it didn’t sound anything like Ashy Tailorbird, it sounded like Dark-necked Tailorbird! Something was definitely up, but all of this took a while to sink in. On Monday I was still convincing myself that these were aberrant Dark-necked Tailorbirds. On Tuesday I emailed more people, this time listing the features by which these birds differed from Ashy and Dark-necked Tailorbirds. Broken down like this it was clear that other than the greyness they were more like Dark-necked Tailorbird than Ashy; Ashy was now completely out of the equation. By Wednesday I was writing that I thought they were neither species. Will Duckworth sent encouraging noises and drew comparison with the Bare-faced Bulbul discovery: it began with years of various people looking at the birds but not seeing what they really were, and wasn’t solved until Ian Woxvold stood so close to one bird that he could see the colour of the inside of its cloaca and the minds of those involved finally opened up and allowed their brains to see what the eyes had been looking at all along.

On Friday I noticed that the 2009 photographs showed at least two individuals. We now had at least four aberrant Dark-necked Tailorbirds or……! I didn’t want to say it. This wasn’t a bird on some remote mountain somewhere, or an unexplored island, it was in some dirty scrub, on the edge of Phnom Penh! Almost every Asian birder worth his salt had been here already (Craig Robson would probably like me to point out that he didn’t visit Cambodia until 2013) and driven past swathes of this awful habitat. Surely it couldn’t be what I thought it might be? Not here, in front of me!? But it was either ‘that’ or an aberrant Dark-necked, which was looking like an increasingly unlikely option. My thoughts on how to eliminate the aberrant hypothesis were Bulo Burti Bou Bou boob shaped: in the case of this taxonomic boo-boo it was impossible for those describing the species to find more than one individual fitting a novel plumage type, and what they described as a new species was eventually shown to be an aberrant individual, or more generously a morph, of one of those other African birds. So the proof, I thought, would be if we could find a population: you don’t get a localised population of aberrant birds that all look the same, that’s a subspecies, or if it looks different enough then you call it a species, and these things certainly looked different.... So with this in mind, I gathered Howie and Ashish early on 23 June 2012 (Sarah’s birthday, although she was away with work) to join me to test this theory.


And so on....!

Please excuse the horribly over-exposed photo of Howie and Ashish above, my brain was by this stage evidently non-functionando. The first bird flew in whilst it was still almost dark (see the very first photo on this post), I got my bins on it as it bombed across the marsh in response to the tape: a little grey blob with a rufous cap and white cheeks. It landed on the Mimosa in front of us and I knew then what we had done. We played the tape at every patch of scrub we found, and produced bird after bird after bird, all of them individuals of this new thing. We were wearing flip-flops! Excitingly, we saw both males and females; and the females looked exactly like you would expect a female version of a tailorbird that looked like the males to look. We also dropped in on a spot half-way between Phnom Penh and Preh Ksach, a mere 6 km straight line distance from our office, which Ashish had cycled past on 9 June and apparently heard one of these birds. Sure enough, they were there as well. We were back in Phnom Penh in time for lunch, so I wrote an email to those who had been involved in the initial email discussion, who gave it their blessing. I felt a bit strange for the rest of the day.

Summer in Cambodia is typically dire for birding, so it was good to have a distraction. Ashish and I, often joined by Colin Poole and sometimes joined by Hong Chamnan, embarked on a summer of ‘tailorbirding’, as it became known. This consisted of picking bits of suitable habitat on google earth, driving to them, winding down the car window, playing some tape, taking some photographs of the tailorbirds, taking a GPS point, and driving on somewhere else. In hindsight we should have brought more picnic items on these trips, but it was typically so hot by mid-morning that we were pleased to be back in Phnom Penh for lunchtime. All of this was done in a state of sheer incredulity: we had found a new bird species, in Phnom Penh!!!



One of the key questions we wanted to answer was ‘how does its range interact with that of Dark-necked Tailorbird?’, a species which also occurs in floodplain scrub, particularly at the north-western end of the Tonle Sap Lake where it is abundant. We still haven’t totally answered this question. We also wanted to look for hybrids, so we were shocked to see this abomination on 16 July 2012.

Aaaaaaarrgh! Was it a hybrid, had this whole thing come crumbling down in front of our faces? Or was it yet another new species? Two for the price of one! It felt like anything was possible. A couple of nervous weeks followed and then we saw this:

Phew! It’s moulting out those green-fringed feathers, that was the juvenile plumage! There were quite a lot of birds like this as well. The adults were also moulting into nice fresh plumage.

There’s not much else to add. I got on with the type description with the help of Ashish, Hong Chamnan and Colin at WCS, Jonathan Eames at BirdLife International, Fred Sheldon at LSU, Carl Oliveros and Rob Moyle at KU and Howie at the Sam Veasna Centre. I enjoyed visits to the collections at Leiden (with James Eaton who had just discovered that the parrotfinches that you’d all been seeing for years on the top of Gunung Mutis on Timor were an undescribed species!) and Tring (with my Mum). Nigel Collar, Brian Sykes, Stu Butchart and Richard Thomas at the OBC (you should join if you haven’t already: do it for the birds!) were immensely supportive, whilst a whole load of other people also played a part (I’m in danger of repeating the acknowledgements section of the paper here, so I’ll stop). Quite a number of people have enjoyed the bird in the field since we elucidated its true identity and many of them offered me much appreciated encouragement. Frank Rheindt and Martin Kennewell were particularly good company on the first ever 'Cambodian Endemics Clean-up Weekend'. If you’re also keen to see the tailorbird (it is the walk-in-the-park type bit of a weekend devoted to Cambodia's endemics) them I’m more than happy to give directions, just drop me a line. Even if you don't see the birds, spending a day in habitat like this is an uplifting experience.

For me this last year was an incredibly exciting learning experience. The first thing that I learned was that it’s better to be lucky than good. This was reinforced when a Rufous-headed Robin spent five days in my garden in November. It’s worth noting that since 1963, the year of the only other record of Rufous-headed Robin from outside of the breeding grounds, seven new bird species were described from Southeast Asia. I hope that this experience has taught me to question everything, to look at everything as if for the first time, evaluate it and not lapse into probability based identification. I now believe more strongly than ever that you almost always see only what you expect to see. Inattentional Blindness is rife in birding. When I could not conceive that the Cambodian Tailorbirds were a new species they looked rather like Ashy Tailorbirds, then gradually they looked like Dark-necked Tailorbirds, then..... Looking back at the photographs from 9 June 2012 it is so obvious that they are neither Ashy nor Dark-necked Tailorbirds, but initially I just couldn’t see what those birds really were. Looking at the pictures on this blog from your armchair you you're probably shouting at the computer right now, acting just like people who shout at the TV in incredulity when watching one of those documentaries about everything going wrong for inadequately equipped people on a mountain. Without wishing to unravel a whole new world of string, I think that you should expect to see rare birds, unexpected birds and even birds which haven’t even been conceived of yet. Unless you expect them, you will look at them but not see them, even if they drop into your garden….

Simon Mahood, 26 June 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

White-winged Black Terns on the Tonle Sap

From 04--6 June 2013 I was at Prek Toal for work. Tern numbers were much reduced from their winter high, but the species composition was much more interesting. During winter 1000's of Whiskered Terns can be found in the open water near to Prek Toal. I saw only 100 or so terns this time, but only about half of them were Whiskered...most of the rest were White-winged Black Terns!

White-winged Black Tern is thought to be barely annual on the Tonle Sap, but it seems that non-breeding birds might over-summer in some quantities, at least they are doing so in 2013. Most of the birds were in first-summer plumage, but about 20% were adults. The adults were in a complete mixture of plumages, from full summer to full winter with everything in-between.

For added value there were also two adult tibetana Common Terns and one adult Caspian Tern. 

Here's a couple of adult White-winged Black Terns

 Simon Mahood

Friday, May 31, 2013

Rufous-rumped Grassbird!

On 30 May 2013 Jonathan Eames and I found a Chinese Grassbird (part of the former Rufous-rumped Grassbird) at a site in Pursat Province that we were checking for potential future conservation action. Although this is a first for Cambodia there are historical records from grassland in central Thailand and northern Vietnam, whilst there are a few modern records from southern China, Hong Kong and Myanmar. All the same it is the first record in Thailand/Indochina since 1923 (I think). I had been expecting to find this species somewhere in the Tonle Sap floodplain so was not entirely surprised.

Jonathan saw it first about a mile off, but it wasn't clear what it was, so we followed it up, soon seeing a large, long-tailed babbler flushing from in front of us. Some pishing brought it in, whereupon it was immediately obvious what it was, those lovely black and white striations on the nape wrapping round and hugging the bend of the wing made it immediately identifiable. We swore a bit and then Chamnan and Virak brought the car over so that Jonathan could get some great photographs. It sang on and off from the top of low scrub for about an hour. I got a sound recording. More details to follow in the December BirdingASIA - free with OBC membership - if you're not already a member then you should be!

Also on site were five male Bengal Florican, five Comb Duck and lots of seed eating birds, Red Avadavat, Asian Golden and Baya Weaver, plus two Lesser Adjutants.

Simon Mahood


Jonathan and I returned to the site with Ashish, Howie and the SVC guys. We had a great time and saw about eight Rufous-rumped Grassbirds in just a few hours before it began to pour with rain. Plenty of other good birds about: Bengal Floricans, three species of weaver, munias, lots of Openbill Storks with a few Painted Storks and a Spot-billed Pelican thrown in for good measure.

This is a really exciting site which unfortunately won't be accessible again until the next dry season...I'm looking forward to heading back in the winter!

Here are some of Ashish's photos from the day:

Simon Mahood

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Other White-Winged Ducks

Greetings from Lisa Arensen. I do not have a beautiful photograph like Jeff--kudos to you, Jeff!
However, on April 13th, I saw a pair of white-winged ducks while with Ben Davis of ADRA, in a prospective ecotourism site in central Prea Vihear. To be precise, we were walking along Stung Bak Make, several miles from Ta Bos village in Sadou commune, Sangkhum Tmei district. The commune chief claims there are three pairs of white-winged ducks that roost along this quiet wooded river, but we can only confirm the one pair we saw. The area is dry deciduous forest with some evergreen patches, and we had hiked cross-country around five kilometres from the oxcart trail where we left the trail before we saw the ducks (at around noon). There is no trail that runs consistently along the stung/river, although there are resin tappers' and hunters' paths that wind in and out, so we had been coming down to the riverside intermittently as the terrain permitted. It had been a long hot morning, and we had actually given up on finding the ducks and were inspecting burned resin trees when we accidentally flushed a pair--they were quite close to us and we both got good looks at them as they flew away. We did not get a photograph, and neither of us has seen them before, but I feel confident that they were white-winged ducks, not simply because of habitat but also because of their large size, their white heads with dark spots, and their large white wing patches. Area villagers had reported that the tia brai roost on this river and that hunters hear them calling at night. Sadly, six of these rare ducks were reported as killed and eaten last year (this is an unverified number reported by the commune chief), and the commune chief remarked that ducklings are rarely seen. Local villagers hunt with dogs, so Ben suspects that this may be the fate of any ducklings, which I gather is also a threat to other white-winged ducks in Cambodia?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

March 28th Mekong Ramsar Site, White-Winged Duck

A somewhat belated report.  This observation occurred during a survey of the Mekong Ramsar Site north of Stung Treng for WWF

At 7AM on March 28th I was walking away from camp to begin my morning walk/survey.  Flying rapidly towards me from the west, I heard an unfamiliar bird calling (a nasally honking whistle) about 20-30m above me.  I quickly readied my camera and managed to get one half decent shot before it had passed over.  It then flew across the narrow channel and into the flooded forest beyond.  It was goose-sized and I knew immediately that it was a white-winged duck, though I had never encountered this bird before.  I traveled across the channel and after searching for half an hour or so I observed it again, flying a few hundred yards to the east.  I then looped way around hoping to by-pass the bird and approach it from the opposite direction.  After walking 300-400m I headed back towards the pools and flushed a pair of Indian spot-billed ducks.  A few seconds later I saw what I knew was the duck, hidden amongst the shrubs.  I tried to get a photo but as I tried to get around the vegetation it flushed, disappearing far to the east.  For the next three hours I wandered around trying to re-locate the duck but to no avail. 

Jeff Schwilk

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chi Phat list

This is the Chi Pat list of Colin Conroy, a visiting birder:

"I have done two lists as there are two very different habitats:- proper forest which I visited for one morning (most of which was spent on a boat trip up a tributary of the main river), and the more open, scrubby/secondary area around the village of Chi Phat (a roughly circular area about 13km in diameter, easily visible from Google Earth).
The first list seems fairly short - mainly this is because I couldn't ID a lot of calls that I heard and lots of small stuff was zipping across the river, never to be seen again.

List 1: Forest proper - (mostly in the order I saw them) visited on 16th March 2013, am
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Common Kingfisher
Asian Palm Swift
Green-billed Malkoha
Wreathed Hornbill (pair seen - another hornbill seen later was not identified)
Crimson Sunbird - 1
Vernal Hanging Parrot
Black and Red Broadbill (1 male seen perched on a post in river)
Black-naped Oriole (1 yellow oriole seen presumed to be this species)
Chestnut-winged Cuckoo (1 adult seen very well in bushed on riverbank)
Pompadour Green Pigeon (1 seen - only this species seemed to fit)
Blue-bearded Bee-eater (1 seen very well, twice)
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Crested Serpent Eagle 1 (identified later after discussion with birders resident in Cambodia)
Dollarbird (1 seen well, several others glimpsed)
Black-capped Kingfisher 1
Little Heron
Green Imperial Pigeon (several seen in flight)

List 2 Rest of Chi Phat area 15th-17th March 2013
Oriental Pied Hornbill 1
Great Hornbill 1  - Both Hornbills seen flying overhead, from moving motorcycle, and without bins, on journey from Andong Teuk to Chi Phat on the 15th March
Red-breasted Flycatcher
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Brown-backed Needletail (3 seen very well skimming low over water and drinking)
Hill Myna
Striated Swallow
Barn Swallow
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Green Bee-eater
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Germain's Swiftlet
Yellow-vented Bulbul
Streak-eared Bulbul
Common Kingfisher
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Common Tailorbird
Olive-backed Sunbird
Spotted Dove
Greater Coucal
Asian Palm Swift
Cattle Egret
Little Egret
Puff-throated Babbler
Striped Tit-babbler
Crested Tree-Swift
Asian Koel
Green-billed Malkoha
Little Spiderhunter
Rufescent Prinia
Common Iora
White-rumped Shama.

Regarding Chi Phat - I would definitely recommend a longer visit there, with a couple of days spent in the forest (they do treks of various lengths and would probably be willing to do tailor-made treks). The set-up is pretty good (and cheap), and very well integrated into the local community, but it is mainly geared towards back-packers rather than birders - I couldn't find anything out about birds there from the internet before I went, and very little of any sort on the internet (their website has some pics of hornbills on but some are still incorrectly labelled despite me telling them about it a few months ago), so I was surprised to find quite a lot of back-packers there, and even more surprised to learn that it gets a good write up in the Lonely Planet Guide, and is in Lonely Planet's top ten ecotourism sites in the world. They really need to do some bird ID training for local guides and to have some lists up of species that can be seen (even once I was there no-one could really tell me what birds I might see, apart from 'hornbills and Silver Oriole')."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Phnom Tamao (PP Bird Club Outing N°2)

On 16 March, ten birders from the PPBC harvested no less than 59 species during a morning birding in the secondary forest around Phnom Tamao despite a not-so-early start and an overcast sky.

Unexpected was a Lesser Adjutant seeming settled there (zoo offspring perhaps). Regular Tamao treats were Chestnut-capped Babblers (thriving in this bamboo-shrub habitat, with at least two building nest a few hundred meters from each others) and Common Hoopoes also up for the show.
Other good forest species were:
* a male Spot-breasted Woodpecker
** heard-only Puff-throated Babbler
*** several females and one male Red Junglefowl, to the great pleasure of all present
**** Stripe-throated Bulbul (together with 3 other bulbul species)

The regular open country birds and pond dwellers were present, as well as Indochinese Bushlark and Pintail Snipe.
Territorial and agitated Red-wattled Lapwing strongly indicated breeding too, and then a bird was seen dipping its belly in a pond, betraying nesting was indeed ongoing.

Photos by Senglim / Report by Fredbaksey

P.S. Thanks to Senglim for the organization, and wishing you keep up the bird outings.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Phnom Khieu in Pailin

I had the chance to visit Phnom Khieu with a kru khmer friend (who is not yet a birder, but might become one) on February 26th, and bird from half past seven to noon. Below is my list, and below that a bit of information on the mountain. All of my photos were terrible, so I won't inflict them on you...

1. calling, great coucals (2)
2. greater racket-tailed drongo (7 or 8)
3. black drongo
4. stripe-throated bulbul
5. black-headed bulbul (2)
6. black-crested bulbul
7. green-billed malkoha (at least 6)
8. large niltava
9. pr. Asian brown flycatcher
10. red-rumped swallows
11. barn swallows
12. ochraceous or puff-throated bulbuls
13. scarlet minivet (2 pairs)
14. ashy minivets, small flock, 4-5
15. hill myna
16. leafbird, pr. blue-winged
17. oriental honey-buzzard, dark morph
18. verditer flycatcher (2)
19. grey wagtails
20. pr. buff-breasted babblers, small flock
21. pr. Taiga flycatcher in early breeding plumage
22. pr. crested goshawk (according to Rob, when I described the circling raptor's strange puffy white feathers at the top of its tail and vent)
Phnom Khieu, Green Mountain (literally, Blue Mountain, but blue and green are used interchangeably in Khmer) is just east of Pailin city along National Highway 57. The waterfalls that Khmer holidayers head towards are marked by a large billboard on the south side of the highway, and are 7.3 km from the dirt entrance road off the highway. There is a small entrance fee per vehicle and per foreigner. The dense mountain range Phnom Khieu is part of may well be the last large patch of forest around Pailin. Nearly all of the land along the national highway has been cleared of forest in the three years since my last visit to Pailin, mostly for cassava plantations. It is roughly a kilometre up an increasingly steep and winding road up the mountain from the resort's entrance--nearly all of our birding was done along this forested road, which falls away to valleys on the right and is crossed by streams twice before ascending to the Khmer resort, a restaurant and a series of wooden shelters along seven small waterfalls. A tempting footpath leads up the side of the mountain beyond this resort. The locals said it eventually leads to some artisanal gem mines. We took this path for about a kilometre up the mountain before returning to the springs. That said, I would not recommend birding along this path, as there is a strong possibility that landmines remain in the area. This region was under Ieng Sary's faction of the Khmer Rouge until the mid-1990s and landmines were used to hinder civilians attempting to reach the gem mines. I very much doubt that all the mines have been removed. If anyone wishes to wander this trail, I advise extreme caution--as in, never leaving the rocky path for any reason.

Good birding to all,
Lisa Arensen

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Prek Toal 20-23 February 2013

After the big duck I spent a few days working at Prek Toal. The pond herons were starting to become identifiable, this one is clearly turning Chinese:

Whilst this one is probably going to become a Javan:

Prek Toal supports the only breeding colony of Black-headed Ibis is SE Asia.

Look! I took a sharp photo! Juvvy Indian Shaggy:

Visitors to Prek Toal are legally obliged to take photographs of trees heaving with large waterbirds. Here are mine:

Simon Mahood

White-winged Duck in PVPF

I spent a night with Ashish, Sony and the Community Management Committee in Okoki at Preah Vihear Protected Forest in the hope of seeing White-winged Duck. On the way in we saw a family of Eld's Deer. During the night we heard Bay Owl, Blyth's Frogmouth and an endless chorus of Brown Hawk Owl.

A 4Am start saw us hiding behind a blind of woven leaves overlooking a trapeang (forest pool) well before dawn. We ignored a calling Banded Broadbill in an attempt to stay quiet and wait for the ducks to come in, but by 7:30 it was starting to get hot and the constant White-breasted Waterhen parade was getting a little 7:45 we heard a quacking and looked up to see a single White-winged Duck flying overhead! Awesome to see the bird, but better views were required. Sony walked off to the other trapeang where one the community members was keeping watch...over a White-winged Duck! He ran back, fetched us we enjoyed this massive duck in the early morning sunlight. Later we taped in a calling Banded Kingfisher for poor views and saw some old elephant footprints.

 Simon Mahood 18 February 2013