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24 January 2011

Van Long - A cold of duck... but no ducks

Short visit to Van Long Natural Reserve last Sunday.

The marsh was full of Egrets of 4 species (Cattle ones seems the most numerous). Behind the dyke, the flooded rice paddy fields hold many wetland birds, notable species were 14 Pheasant-tailed Jacanas, 1 Citrine Wagtail and 18 Black-winged Stilts. I flushed some waders but failed to identify them. Many Fork-tailed Swifts were also hunting insects above the water.

No ducks. It seems that the french expression “il fait un froid de canard” = it’s biting cold (literal translation is “it makes a cold of duck”, a sentence which comes from the hunters) doesn’t work here…

A smart Grey Wagtail sitting on one of the few perches available
White-browed Crakes were in good numbers Those Black-winged Stilts were a nice surprise, but this species is probably regular here

A huge flock of Egrets congregating at dusk, looking for somewhere to roost for the night.

They chose the eucalyptus trees and the rocks around. It was truly an amazing sight enough to justify this motorbike trip, despite the brass monkey weather.



  1. Hi Sebastién,

    Nice to see such a huge congregation of egrets/herons! Are you sure the majority are Cattle Egrets? That'd be a bit unusual.

    Sad that there's no ducks around...


    P.S.The Yellow Wagtail on your photo is a Grey Wagtail.

  2. Hi Falk,

    yeeees.. a Grey Wagtail ! lack of concentration..

    Well, you instil a doubt into my mind. I used binoculars not scope, and scan quickly the birds. All the egrets were resting with the neck retracted onto shoulders, so a mistake on my part is possible.

    Happy birding,

  3. Nice pics of Delacour`s Langur at Van Long here: http://terry.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Endangered-Primates-Vietnam/G0000GNJ0xeKWql0/I0000ELdQt1Ris2g
    and here :
    Visit the gallery of Terry Whittaker. Wonderful !