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

10 March 2013

Cuc Phuong / 8th-10th March

Hi all, 

A relatively productive weekend in Cuc Phuong produced the following species
  • Residents : Limestone and Streaked Wren Babblers, Blue-winged Leafbird, Grey-eyed, Puff-throated, Black-crested, Black Bulbuls, Pied Falconet (Bong Substation), Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested Goshawk, Puff-throated, Striped Tit, Grey-throated and Buff-breasted Babblers, Red-headed Trogon, Ratchet Tailed and Racket Tailed Treepies (NP Headquaters), White-winged Magpie (Botanical Garden + Valley Trail), Greater Yellownape, Bianchi’s Warbler, Blue-rumped (h, Bong Substation, near the `swimming-pool`) and Bar-bellied Pittas (Loop Trail), Rufous-throated Fulvetta, Hainan Blue Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Fork-tailed and Crimson Sunbirds, Plain Flowerpecker, Hill Myna, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Red-vented and Green-eared Barbets, 1 male Silver Pheasant (Loop Trail), Asian Barret (h) and Collaret Owlets (h), Collared Scops Owl (h), Rufescent Prinia, Red Junglefowl (h), Emerald Dove, White-rumped Shama, White-bellied Erpornis, Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike, Common Iora, Lesser Coucal, Russet Bush Warbler, Scarlet Minivet, Little Spiderhunter (1 individual dead - hit a glass window - found at NP Headquaters, picture here. Interesting record for Cuc Phuong I think).
  • Winterers : Blue Rock Thrush, Japanese Thrush, Common Hoopoe (resident?), phylloscs of the Blyth’s or Davidsoni complex, Radde’s and Yellow-browed Warblers, Asian Stubtail, Fujian Niltava, Grey Bushchat, Olive-backed Pipit, Red-flanked Bluetail.

+ 100-150 Asian Openbill Storks at Van Long.

male Bar-bellied Pitta
A sighting of a pitta species is always the pinnacle of a day's birdwatching ! These birds are difficult to find, and this, combined with their intense beauty makes them so desirable.

male Fujian Niltava

 White-winged Magpie
A conspicuous and noisy bird, but surprisingly very few images on the web.

Limestone Wren Babbler, a specialist of limestone forest

At Cuc Phuong, the Streaked Wren Babbler frequents the same habitat than the Limestone (crags in the forest). The Streaked WB is obviously smaller than the Limestone, has wings spots, grey face, and lacks bold black and white throat streaks.

 Russet Bush Warbler

Pied Falconet

 Crested Goshawk in display flight with fluffed out undertail coverts and stiff wing-flaps

And a Flying Squirrel to end with. I spotted this guy along the Valley Trail, at the end of the day. I saw it glide, land on a huge tree trunk, then climb into the canopy. Big size.
Maybe someone on here can help me to ID the species, I don't have documents in hand.



  1. Wow! I'm happy to see a Pitta, but getting such a Picture... amazing! And the Squirrel too!

    Also Tien's pics, really nice!

    Thanks guys!

  2. Yes, Little Spiderhunter, not too unusual in northern Vietnam I think?

    As for the flying squirrel, you're a lucky man Sebastian to find one of those during the day...I think that it's an Indian Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista philippensis.

    Super photos, I particularly like the Limestone Wren-babbler!


  3. Thanks a lot guys for your comments,

    In fact, I used tape playback to attract the Pitta and the Limestone Wren Babblers, so it was not so hard to get good shots.

    The Pitta crossed the trail 2 times quickly. The third time, it stopped 3-4 seconds (thank you my Lord!..), long enough to be snapped !

    As for the Little Spiderhunter, this species is not in the Cuc Phuong List, and Tien has never recorded it within the park`s boundaries.


  4. Hi all,
    Little Spiderhunter is definitely on the CP list. I have it right in front of me.
    As for the pics, lovely to see some CP birds again - thanks for bringing back great memories!
    Tien, good on you for setting up this bird bath with hide - very good idea!


  5. Thanks Falk for that information and clarification, I must have an outdated list.


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