Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bokor Birding

Bokor Mountain, 21-23 November.

We focused on a specific trail looking for partridges, but they remained only heard in the distance. We did have some good montane specific and other interesting sightings though.

On the plateau:
- Himalayan Buzzard

- Grey-faced Buzzard

On the trail (all likely seen above 800m if plateau is 1000m):
- Streaked Wren Babblers (four birds at one location and some more slightly further along the path)
- Red-headed Trogon (a pair)
- Siberian Blue Robin (both male and female)
- Orange-headed Thrush
- Great and Wreathed Hornbills (GH on upper part of trail and at least 12 individuals; WH: one male with two females flying over clearing on plateau and also one pair much lower down along main road, perhaps around halfway up)
- Mountain Imperial Pigeons
- Barred Cuckoo Doves
- Plain-tailed Warblers
- White-browed Scimitar Babbler
- Black-throated Sunbird

Heard onlys (along trail):
- Chestnut-headed Partridges
- Silver-breasted Broadbill
- Long-tailed Broadbill
- Barbets (Moustached/Blue-eared)

Also several unidentified snipes and a single pipit flying overhead in a large vegetated clearing on the plateau. Many pitcher plants there too.

It seemed like the housing development on the plateau has stalled. Let's hope the stop is permanent!

Intend to do more montane birding in Cambodia soon, also as a means to take a break from the coming heat.

Robert van Zalinge with John Kennedy

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Kampong Thom's House Sparrows

We were forced to stay a night at the Arun Ras Hotel in Kampong Thom. On waking found the tree opposite my room full of house sparrows and the occasional plain-backed. There must have been between 500-1,000 in this tree. At dawn they started flying off in groups, most towards the floodplain. It must be a lot safer for them to roost in the middle of town than out in the floodplain, or there is just a lack of nice tall trees where they can sit together in the hundreds.

RvZ, 11 September 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

White-rumped Falcon in KPWS

White-rumped Falcon (male) seen in southwest Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary on 19 August.


Indian Spotted Eagle in Preah Vihear

Saw an Indian Spotted Eagle at Veal Kbal Damrei, Preah Vihear Protected Forest on the 1st of July. It was being chased away by a Lesser Adjutant.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Some birds near Phnom Penh

On 31 July there was a Lesser Sand Plover with a juvenile Little Ringed and a few Black-winged Stilts on a sand-spit in Boeung Veal Basset. Chestnut-capped Babbler was seen carrying nest material on a hill slightly beyond the marsh. At Prek Ksach an adult Little Ringed Plover was present on 2 August.

Andrea Claassen, RvZ

Monday, June 1, 2015

Indian Thick-knee at Anlung Pring

On the 29th of May I found an Indian Thick-knee pair at Anlung Pring. This record is the most southern record in Cambodia (of course, further south would mean it occurring on an island). Most records in Goes 2013 are from the North.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

White-shouldered Ibis at Stoung

There has been a White-shouldered Ibis hanging around Stoung, since at least March. On the 25th (a few days ago) I saw it in Stoung's best wetland, although actually its just outside the reserve. The ibis moves up and down from the Neang Sar Lngeach river, nearby.

Also in this small wetland were 47 cranes and 120 Comb Ducks (not all in the photo below).


Thursday, April 30, 2015

A recent record of Cambodian Tailorbird from the Bassac Marshes

On 11 June 2014 (dry season) at about 6:55 AM, more than 2 Cambodian Tailorbirds were seen in inundated grasslands with scattered trees and scrub in Bassac Marshes, Kandal province, Cambodia. I was about 15 m from it and only obtained one photograph of it. I found it when I was trying for the Blue winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis) by using a broadcast with 20s of recorded song of the Pitta. On 21 August (flood season), I came back to the same location, but I did not see them that time. Water level in the Bassac Marsh then was about 1.2 m.

This species was found in mixed group with Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier), Sooty-headed Bulbul(Pycnonotus aurigaster) and Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis).

Record from Duy Le, posted by RvZ

Friday, April 10, 2015

Steppe Eagle at ATT

Yesterday a large eagle circled overhead while I was working in the southernmost area of Ang Trapeang Thmor reservoir grasslands. It flew in close enough to make some relatively good photos (see previous blog about an eagle at ATT). I believe it is an immature Steppe Eagle. It may be the same individual as seen earlier. If it is, the moult has progressed, but not completed yet. Pens are still bare at secondary/tail tips.

Markus Handschuh saw the first recorded Steppe Eagle for Cambodia in Tonle Sap grasslands in 2010, but was considered unconfirmed in Frederic Goes's checklist. Hopefully it can now be added to the list of eagles that overwinter in Cambodia.

Also what's probably a juvenile Pied Harrier flew by:


Thursday, March 19, 2015

ATT late dry season 2015

The low water levels at Ang Trapeang Thmor in the late dry season of 2015 make for some spectacular birding. Just from the embankment it is possible to see, particularly in the middle of the day:
- Various large waterbirds: Greater Adjutants (10-20 at roost), Black-necked Storks (family of 4), Spot-billed Pelicans,  Painted Storks, Sarus Cranes (>150 at roost)
- Small waterbirds: esp. Pheasant-tailed Jacanas (I didn't see Bronze-winged), Swamphens
- Waterfowl: Comb Duck (hundreds), Northern Pintail (at least 2), Garganey, Lesser Whistling Duck, Cotton Pygmy-Goose, Little Grebe
- Waders: thousands of Black-winged Stilts (much more than usual), Godwits (not sure of species), Ruff (two seen), Redshanks (at least Common), Kentish Plover (one male in breeding plumage), Long-toed Stints, Common Snipe

And all pretty much mixed up and standing side by side in the bit of water that remains.

As usual I didn't have a good opportunity to spend much time birding here, but I encourage others to go and properly assess what's there now. It is an unusual year at ATT and this is a rare opportunity to get a good overview of what's present. There are bound to be some rarities in there too.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Large Eagle at ATT

In the distance I saw a very large eagle yesterday at ATT, larger than the usual Greater Spots. I believe this may have been a juvenile/subadult Eastern Imperial Eagle or Steppe Eagle. It was undergoing heavy moult. It was noticeably larger and had a longer tail and wings than the Greater Spotted do. It's size also then excludes Tawny Eagle.

Here are some picture although they are unclear

In an earlier post from ATT I mentioned seeing a python while driving along the new irrigation channel which then seemed to have slipped in to the channel, well I can now add that this new irrigation channel is a major snake trap! Driving along 2-3 km of channel we came across two live snakes and one dead one! They can possibly escape where sections of the channel have been broken by local people upset that the channel blocks drainage from their ricefields, but the dead one indicates they don't always manage to get out.

Note (29 April): This is not a python, but a Russel's Viper. The lower part of the body was submerged which caused the confusion, but Timo Hartmann and Markus Handschuh passed on the correction. Other similar snakes in the channel were probably this species and perhaps the snake mentioned slipping in to the channel in an earlier post as well. So, lot's of vipers at ATT!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Some sightings in early January from Stoung and Ang Trapeang Thmor

While working in Stoung from 10-12 January we flushed what must have been a Great Bittern in a small wetland. When it flew up I thought at first it was a female florican as it was large, had the same tawny colouring with black markings, but from the side profile it was clear it was an Ardeidae.

Also in Stoung we had a Black-necked Stork fly by and the ponds were still full of Painted Storks and pelicans.

At Ang Trapeang Thmor between 13-14 January we came across a group of 5 mostly sub-adult Greater Adjutants....

and a Booted Eagle circling nearby....

The bittern and eagle are first time sightings for me in Cambodia. The bittern has only been recorded a few times before in the country according to Frederic Goes's annotated checklist, while the eagle is also infrequently seen. January is a good time to visit Stoung and ATT  :-)  RvZ.