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