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Bird news from Vietnam, from Vietnam's resident and visiting birders.

4 September 2011

Central Vietnam - 40km West of Nha Trang (Sept 02)

Family weekend in Nha Trang, and I managed to get a morning pass, shooting off to a patch of forest 40km to the west. Lots of great birds again, and some good images. There are two birds I cannot ID (and there were no takers on Birdforum either) - images, with descriptions, below. Also saw many birds that I had no chance to identify or photograph.

The birds currently were:

  • Bea-eater-Chestnut capped

  • Bluebird-Asian fairy

  • Bulbul-Grey eyed

  • Bulbul-Sooty Headed

  • Coucal-Greater

  • Drongo-Ashy (both mouhoti and the more common races)

  • Drongo-Black

  • Eagle-Crested serpent

  • Flycatcher-Darksided

  • Iora-Common

  • Iora-Great

  • Kingfisher-White throated

  • Kingfisher-Common

  • Leafbird-Blue winged

  • Malkoha-Green billed

  • Minivet-Scarlet

  • Minivet-Long tailed

  • Monarch-Black naped

  • Sunbird-Crimson

  • Swallow-Barn

  • Wagtail-Forest

  • Wagtail-Grey

  • Woodpecker-Unidentified (small, B&W, plain wings, big head on small neck, no easily visible red, very good singer, varied song)

When I saw the bird below, I initially thought it was yet another Drongo, but when scoped, there was blue on it. As I watched, I saw it dive and catch something from the surface of a small lake three times before it disappeared. Multiple images, as none are so clear.

This bird sat very still in the bamboo. When a small brown bird (sorry) caught a moth / butterfly and was sitting on the ground with it, this bird dive-bombed the smaller bird a couple of times before disappearing.

And a few images I just like. LOL

Asian fairy bluebird

Black Naped Monarch

Green-billed Malkoha

Dark sided Flycatcher



  1. Hi Wayne,

    Your first guess was right - it's a Drongo, Spangled Drongo.

    The other bird is definitely a juvenile Bulbul, something like Grey-eyed but don't have my books here at the moment.

    The bird you identified as Blue Whistling Thrush is an Asian Fairy Bluebird.


  2. Thanks Falk

    You know way more than me. A couple of people from Birdforum [http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=210121] have now identified these two birds as
    1. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
    2. Grey-eyed Bulbul

    How does that sit with you?

    ps: Am super keen to head up to Tam Dao in the near future, as things start to warm up.


  3. Hi Wayne,

    The R-t Drongo was my first guess but the bill looked somewhat thin and the crest not prominent enough but I guess I'm wrong on this one.

    Just drop me a note when you would want to go out birding, even in Hanoi (as it should be really interesting now in the parks). I'll be busy this weekend though...