Past weekend (14.-16.8.2010) in Sapa, very wet weather and non-birders as company, so not the ideal pre-conditions for great birding. This is why I put my hope for the short stroll down to the "Golden Stream Love Waterfall" at the National Park Headquarters near Tram Tom pass. However that visit turned out rather depressing as they seem now following the Dalat example of tourist attractions and are working hard to turn that place into another Love Valley (starting with the name). Where last November was only a single path leading to the rather nice waterfall, they are now busy constructing paths all over, and it looks like there will be benches, pavilions and concrete mickey-mice as well soon. Two big concrete tanks look like there will be trout farming and restaurants too. I guess this place will be still ok for birding in future, but probably only early morning before the crowds arrive or with getting off the trails into the forest... It was not all gloom though, a little flock had some Golden-breasted Fulvettas, lifer for me.
Another depressing sight was a Silver-eared Laughingthrush in a cage at Sapa market, which I would have much preferred to see as lifer on Fansipan instead.
Ps: forgot to mention a bird in Ham Rong garden, that looked like a non-breeding male Sapphire Flycatcher, though the head seemed darker than the plate in the Robson. Are there non-breeding plumaged birds at this time of the year?