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Field Guides Tour Report
Cambodia 2013
Feb 16, 2013 to Mar 1, 2013
Phil Gregory

Most of the 7 stork species we saw on this tour are rare and declining in the country; Painted Storks, like this one, are one of the few species that is still relatively common. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

This was the third Field Guides Cambodia tour, and we had a really terrific trip with a nice combination of World Heritage temple sites around Angkor Wat and spectacular endangered birds. Our local guide Srun was a real character with characteristic calls of "uh-oh" and "hurry up" as we got onto all sorts of nice things, and he and the drivers took very good care of us; we greatly enjoyed their contributions. I am happy to say we also got Srun a few life birds as well, and we had some very good luck with unexpected species, plus it was not as hot as last year overall, and a fair bit drier, which also made a difference.

Our first birding afternoon saw us out in some wet paddies, with nice looks at Pin-tailed Snipe, Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-naped jacanas, a bonus calling Watercock, and both Long-toed Stint and Kentish Plover as unexpected trip additions.

The Siem Reap area is, of course, temple central, with Angkor the centerpiece and some amazingly atmospheric and scenic jungle covered ruins nearby, which can also be quite good for birds. Black Baza, Alexandrine and Rose-breasted parakeets, Germain's (not German's) Swiftlet, Hainan Blue Flycatcher, White-throated Rock Thrush, and Asian Barred Owlet were nice finds, as were two individuals of Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo. The wonderful ruins at Bayon (Angkor Thom) were not too overrun by tourists this year, and Angkor was not overly crowded either, so we had a nice visit there, with an excellent local guide explaining the complex interplay of Buddhist and Hindu traditions and cultures.

Lake Tonle Sap was a fascinating (albeit very slow!) boat ride out into the swamp at Prek Toal, with Greater and Lesser adjutants, Painted Storks, and luckily a single Milky Stork, plus Spot-billed Pelican, Oriental Darter, and many egrets and herons. There is now a 3-year moratorium on what was previously industrial scale fishing, so all the huge traps and nets of 2011 have gone and it is back to just subsistence fishing, a much better situation for the environment at least, if only in the short-term.

The great wetland at Ang Trepeang Thmor (ATT) gave us a big soaring flock of 130 Spot-billed Pelican, around 70 Painted Stork, and a hybrid Painted x Milky Stork, plus Yellow Bittern, another fine Watercock, both jacanas, and Black-backed Swamphen, with a trepeang wetland en route stop giving great looks at Sarus Crane, which we even saw dancing, as well as a fine male Pied Harrier and the first of several Eastern Marsh Harriers. The very rare Eld's Deer was a good mammal tick here too; we saw a fine stag with those odd brow antlers, and several hinds with fawns.

Kompong Thom grassland gave us really good sightings of Bengal Florican, and some nice flight views of Small Buttonquail, plus 6 more Sarus Cranes. Two visits later in the late afternoon and early morning to the paddies near the town itself gave Pied Harrier, the second Cambodian record of Rose-coloured Starling, a flock of Yellow-breasted Bunting, Red Avadavat, and Himalayan Swiftlet, so well worth the visit.

Our next stop was down in the former Khmer Rouge forest strongholds around Tmatboey in Preah Vihear Province, where it was quite hot but very birdy in the cooler times of day, and our rustic wooden hut site was well set up. Owls were just amazing here with Brown Fish-Owl, Spotted Wood-Owl, Brown Wood-Owl, Spotted Owlet, Brown Hawk-Owl and Asian Barred Owlet in the daylight, plus Oriental Scops-Owl very nicely one dusk.

Woodpeckers were also outstanding with Great Slaty, Black-headed, White-bellied, Gray-capped Pygmy, the very uncommon Rufous, Common Flamebacks, Greater Yellownape, and Grey-headed Woodpecker. The two megas here are of course Giant and White-shouldered ibises, and our guides took us to roost areas where we heard the birds calling and had some nice looks at these rare creatures, a highlight of the tour. Surprises were also a feature, and a Black-necked Stork that flew over us at our picnic breakfast was just fantastic, followed by a Blue-bearded Bee-eater that landed in a tree right above us on the riverbank, and a wonderful male Violet Cuckoo, plus a flock of Swinhoe's minivets, quite a morning!

This year we added the night in the large safari tents at the vulture restaurant site, which is not too far from Tmatboey, and had great views of Slender-billed, White-rumped, and Red-headed Vultures at a cow carcass there. All are Critically Endangered and Cambodia is one of the last places where you can see them. Chestnut-tailed and Vinous-breasted starlings were nice additions, as were the two species of needletail here, so close we could see the needle-like tail spines on the Brown-backed species. Asian Golden (Common) Jackal and giant flying-squirrel were two nice mammals to get as well.

Our finale was at Kratie on the Mekong River, where we birded a paddy site for views of the rare Asian Golden Weaver and some fine looks at Watercock. The last morning boat trip was for the recently described Mekong Wagtail, which inhabits sandy islets in the river and even sang for us this year, with the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins showing nearby and a full-fledged tourist industry now developed around seeing them. All this, plus a shipwrecked timber carrying boat sunk on a rock near the wagtails with the crew camped forlornly on a tiny islet alongside. All part of the cultural experience!

Back to Phnom Penh, where the road from Kompong Cham has been utterly dismembered by Chinese road builders since last year and resembles a scene from hell, with random markers, vast dust clouds, and traffic everywhere. Boy would I be unhappy if I lived out along this chaos where the villages are utterly blighted by the roadworks. However, we did have one last major bonus with what may well be a new species of tailorbird at a site not far from the capital. We are sworn to secrecy but let's just say it sure looks distinctive...

So, the Last Chance to See tour really lived up to its name and we again got wonderful looks at some very rare and hard to find species. Cambodia is also fascinating culturally, with good manners not yet extinct here. Driving in the cities has some highly unorthodox techniques that wouldn't function in the west but which somehow work here. I will long remember the 3 people on a motorbike, the middle one with a saline drip in his arm and the bag being held up by the person at the back! Food was also surprisingly good, with some tasty curries and amok soups, though the deep-fried tarantulas and crickets were one taste too far this time for most.

Angkor is quite simply marvellous, and the nearby temples are fantastic, with Bayon absolutely gorgeous; it is amazing to think just how large, wealthy, and powerful Angkor was in the 12th century. These alone make the tour worth doing, and a bit of birding is a nice sideshow here.

My thanks to the Sam Veasna Centre for organizing our schedule—one important feature of the trip is that much of the money paid goes back into conservation initiatives that give some hope for the continued survival of some very rare species, and it also helps the villagers earn income. Our local guides were excellent, and particular thanks to the very skilled Ieng Sary at Tmatboey and the very engaging and entertaining Srun for his exemplary handling of our diverse requests, and his good and enthusiastic birding skills. Great drivers also in Koarn, Riet, and Samvath who were expert, patient, and uncomplaining. It was a good-humoured and relaxed group who took it all in their stride and greatly enjoyed the diverse experiences, and my thanks to Bernie and Chris for sharing their scope so generously. The tour around some of the key Phnom Penh sites before the main tour was also a big hit that we should include in future.

Thanks to Karen at Field Guides HQ for excellent logistics; we have the main tour pattern down nicely. Why not join us for what is sure to be an unforgettable experience in 2014?


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
LESSER WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna javanica) – One flying over the paddies near Siem Reap and about 750 in paddies at ATT.
COMB DUCK (OLD WORLD) (Sarkidiornis melanotos melanotos) – Just a single female seen nicely at ATT, quite a rare bird in Cambodia and now often split from the Comb Duck of the New World, this is the Knob-billed Duck.
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus coromandelianus) – Up to 25 in the moat at Angkor Thom and about 50 at ATT. plus two counts of 3 around Angkor itself.
INDIAN SPOT-BILLED DUCK (Anas poecilorhyncha haringtoni) – Four in the paddies on the first afternoon, about 20 at ATT and one at Kompong Thom grasslands.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
CHINESE FRANCOLIN (Francolinus pintadeanus) – A fabulous look at a male in the track at Tmatboey, where they are very vocal early morning and late afternoon but remarkably hard to see!
RED JUNGLEFOWL (Gallus gallus gallus) – A fine male in the track at Tmatboey for all the group and much to Bernie's delight, then a female next day on a sandbank by the river, this race has the whitish ear coverts.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (LITTLE) (Tachybaptus ruficollis poggei) – Seen at Prek Toel then at ATT where there was a juvenile with an adult. This race has yellow eyes.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
ASIAN OPENBILL (Anastomus oscitans) – Four day records, with 30 at both ATT and Prek Toal and a big flock of 120 at Kompong Thom.
WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (Ciconia episcopus) – Four day records from the Tmatboey area, max. 4 per day.
BLACK-NECKED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus asiaticus) – Yes! A major trip highlight and a Cambodia tick for Phil, this rare bird flew right over us at Tmatboey as we had breakfast near the river. It is also a potential split from the very isolated Australian race too. It has disappeared in recent times from almost all the SE Asian countries and we were lucky to get it.

Among the rare storks are both species of adjutant. We had especially good views of the Lesser Adjutant this trip. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

LESSER ADJUTANT (Leptoptilos javanicus) – Ten at Prek Toal were seen well, and then a couple at Tmatboey, another rare bird.
GREATER ADJUTANT (Leptoptilos dubius) – As usual only seen at Prek Toal, where we had the customary distant views of one from atop the tower, and a flyover for those who did not make the ascent. Another very rare species.
MILKY STORK (Mycteria cinerea) – Talking of rare species, this is another such and this year we had a fine bird visible from the platform at Prek Toal. There was another at ATT but this one had hybrid genes as it had a pink wash on the back, a shame as it's always a tough bird to get.
PAINTED STORK (Mycteria leucocephala) – Six day records, with great views at Prek Toal and ATT where we saw about 70 birds, with 13 at Kompong Thom grasslands one afternoon.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
INDIAN CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) – About 350 at Prek Toal and quite a few flying upriver at Kratie.
GREAT CORMORANT (EURASIAN) (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) – Just a few at Prek Toal and ATT.
LITTLE CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax niger) – That bird with the white chin in the paddies on the first afternoon is this species, which we also saw at Prek Toal (just 5) and then a handful over the Mekong at Kratie.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ORIENTAL DARTER (Anhinga melanogaster) – A nice flock of 12 at Preah Khan wetland, then around 150 at Prek Toal, a very good count, and 5 at ATT.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
SPOT-BILLED PELICAN (Pelecanus philippensis) – A very good count of 150 at Prek Toal, and around 130 soaring over at ATT, another of the big rare and declining waterbirds.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
YELLOW BITTERN (Ixobrychus sinensis) – Very few this trip, just a male at Prek Toal, and a female which sat out very nicely for us at Ang Trepeang Thmor.
CINNAMON BITTERN (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus) – Two were seen by the group from the boat en route to the tower at Prek Toal.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Small numbers at Kompong Thom grasslands.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – A few at Prek Toal, ATT and Kompong Thom.
GREAT EGRET (EURASIAN) (Ardea alba alba) – 90 at Prek Toal and 50 at ATT, with a few in paddies on the first day.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia) – Just one bird at Trepeang Rolum Thom, they seem amazingly scarce in Cambodia. This is the nominate race.
LITTLE EGRET (LITTLE) (Egretta garzetta garzetta) – Six day records, max. 10 birds.
CATTLE EGRET (ASIAN) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) – Small numbers, we had about 70 on the day at Siem Reap paddies as the most. Split by the IOC as Eastern Cattle Egret, the breeding dress is very different.
CHINESE POND-HERON (Ardeola bacchus) – This one we saw every day of the trip, with up to 150 at Prek Toal.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (EURASIAN) (Nycticorax nycticorax nycticorax) – Sixty at ATT and 4 at Kratie.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – Valerie saw one from the boat as we neared the Prek Toal channel - it would have been a lifer for Srun!
BLACK-HEADED IBIS (Threskiornis melanocephalus) – We saw about a dozen birds as we went into Prek Toal, another of the rare waterbirds.
WHITE-SHOULDERED IBIS (Pseudibis davisoni) – Two flying by and then one in an amazingly flimsy nest right by the road. Later on the local guys took us to a roost site where we had scope views of 9 birds on a big dead tree late pm, with 10 next morning. Two more flew over later, this species is Critically Endangered, and this is one of the last places to see it.
GIANT IBIS (Pseudibis gigantea) – We again went to a roost site pre-dawn, and heard their evocative bugling duet at dawn before seeing 2 very nicely in the scope. This is the last place to see this very rare species, and the calls were marvellous. Later two flew right overhead and Phil finally got some photos!
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – One on the banks of the Mekong near Kratie.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK BAZA (Aviceda leuphotes) – Five at Angkor were a nice sight, with 2 next day and then one at Veal Krous later.
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – 5 day records, with 3 at ATT and Kompong Thom the most.
BLACK KITE (BLACK) (Milvus migrans govinda) – Just one single at the ATT grasslands, they seem curiously rare in Cambodia.
BRAHMINY KITE (Haliastur indus) – Phil saw one at ATT during lunch, then luckily we had one fly right by at the pond at Veal Krous vulture site. Another very scarce raptor here.
GRAY-HEADED FISH-EAGLE (Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus) – Two sightings at Prek Toal, one from the tower with the eagle being mobbed by a drongo, and one from one of the boats later.
WHITE-RUMPED VULTURE (Gyps bengalensis) – Our visit to the vulture feeding site worked well and we had great looks at around 50 of this very rare species.
SLENDER-BILLED VULTURE (Gyps tenuirostris) – The rarest of the rare, we saw just 2 individuals at the vulture site.

Vultures are another group of birds in peril in SE Asia, and without a visit to the vulture feeding site near Tmatboey, we would have been lucky to see any. This is the Critically Endangered Red-headed Vulture. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

RED-HEADED VULTURE (Sarcogyps calvus) – Another really rare one, we saw about 5 individuals of this large-billed species at the cow carcass.
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE (Spilornis cheela) – Vocal and widespread in the wooded areas in very small numbers.
EURASIAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus aeruginosus) – A male at Kompong Thom grasslands was a good find of a rare migrant.
EASTERN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus spilonotus) – Four day records with a male on each occasion, and 3 males in the ATT/Trepeang Rohul Thom area. One female at ATT.
PIED HARRIER (Circus melanoleucos) – A fine male at the Sarus Crane trepeang, then another (with yellow eyes! !at very close range at Kompong Thom when neither Bernie or I were ready with the cameras! Also a couple of female plumaged birds there.
SHIKRA (Accipiter badius) – Six day records, this is the default Accipiter here. 3 at Angkor Wat showed very well and may have been breeding.
CHINESE GOSHAWK (Accipiter soloensis) – A male soaring over at Angkor Wat was an unexpected sighting, the very black wingtips and whitish underwing really stood out.
RUFOUS-WINGED BUZZARD (Butastur liventer) – The first were at ATT, then some singles from Tmatboey.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
WHITE-RUMPED FALCON (Polihierax insignis) – Johnny and Srun still had a great site for this rare bird en route to Tmatboey, and we had excellent views of a pair there, in quite degraded habitat. It's clearly a pygmy falcon of sorts, indeed almost shrike-like, and most references now call it White-rumped Pygmy Falcon, a far better name.
EURASIAN KESTREL (Falco tinnunculus) – One at Kompong Thom was a good trip addition.
Otididae (Bustards)
BENGAL FLORICAN (Houbaropsis bengalensis) – This was great this year as we had views of one standing on the edge of unburnt grassland, then flight views of some later with the white wings a spectacular sight, I reckon we saw at last 9 males and 2 females this morning. Critically Endangered, habitat degradation is a major issue as is disturbance when breeding, Cambodia is one of the best places to see it.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN (Amaurornis phoenicurus) – Just one bird, walking about on a sandbank on the Sen river at Tmatboey.
RUDDY-BREASTED CRAKE (Porzana fusca) – One seen out in the paddies at Siem Reap on the first afternoon.
WHITE-BROWED CRAKE (Porzana cinerea) – Very good looks at two of them amongst the lotus at ATT.
PURPLE SWAMPHEN (BLACK-BACKED) (Porphyrio porphyrio indicus) – This one (indicus) is one of the grey-faced taxa with a black back, often split out as Black-backed Swamphen when the superspecies is divided up into 5 or 6 species. We saw them at Siem Reap paddies, ATT and Prek Toal, also very nicely at Kratie.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – Three day records, max 3 at ATT.
Gruidae (Cranes)
SARUS CRANE (Grus antigone sharpii) – A nice experience with about 11 of this rare bird at Trepeang Rolum Thom, seeing them in flight and dancing, and hearing them call. Also a very good look at two family groups of 3 at Kompong Thom grasslands.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
RED-WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus indicus) – Five day records, max 2 birds. Two lapwings in flight at Kratie rice paddies had a lot of white in the wings and were almost certainly Grey-headed Lapwing, a shame the view was so brief.

Good numbers of Little Ringed Plovers were present in the rice paddies at Siem Reap. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

KENTISH PLOVER (Charadrius alexandrinus) – Two at the paddies at Siem Reap amongst masses of Little Ringed Plovers were a surprise, they had quite rufous napes, orange cap, narrow white forehead edged black and black legs and pectoral patches.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (SOUTHERN) (Charadrius dubius jerdoni) – Forty out in the paddies at Siem Reap, then one at Trepeang Rolum Thom and 3 at Kratie. This race jerdoni has quite different calls to both nominate birds and those in Europe.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – 50 in the paddies at Siem Reap and 2 at ATT were all we saw.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) – A really good year for the striking species, we saw 5 at Siem Reap and about 120 at ATT, plus a couple near Tonle Sap.
BRONZE-WINGED JACANA (Metopidius indicus) – A good year for this striking species too, we had one near Siem Reap and 20 at ATT.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED REDSHANK (Tringa erythropus) – One at Trepeang Rolum Thom and then 25 in a wetland as we came back to Siem Reap, always a treat to see this elegant species.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – Four day records. with 15 on a sandbar in the Mekong at Kratie on March 1 the maximum.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – Six day records, with 20 in the paddies at Siem Reap the most.
COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago) – Six in the paddies at Siem Reap and 2 singles later in the trip.
PIN-TAILED SNIPE (Gallinago stenura) – Two at Siem Reap paddies, and one seen by some at Kompong Thom.
Turnicidae (Buttonquail)
SMALL BUTTONQUAIL (Turnix sylvaticus) – Great looks in flight at Kompong Thom where we flushed three singles at close range.
BARRED BUTTONQUAIL (Turnix suscitator) – A good view of one at Tmatboey where the first vehicle folks saw 2 nicely and then kept one for the rest of us.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
ORIENTAL PRATINCOLE (Glareola maldivarum) – Good views at the grassland sites of ATT and Kompong Thom, I am sure these must be resident birds and not migrants.

The aptly-named Small Pratincole could easily be mistaken for a swallow in flight due to its diminutive size! (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

SMALL PRATINCOLE (Glareola lactea) – An insurance tick of a distant bird on the Mekong the day before, then very nice views of about 4 on rocks and pillars in the Mekong at Kratie.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – Fifteen on the Tonle Sap trip were the only sightings.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Just a few in the cities only. [I]
PALE-CAPPED PIGEON (Columba punicea) – Our local guide knew the spot this year, and at last Phil got his lifer Pale-capped Pigeon, with great looks at a pair at Tmatboey, a much nicer bird than expected. There was a second pair nearby too but it was the first two that really stole the show, I had not realised the female had such a dark grey cap.
RED COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia tranquebarica) – Very scarce, we had singles on five days, mostly flying by.
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) – Widespread in small numbers.
ZEBRA DOVE (Geopelia striata) – A few around at Siem Reap, ATT and Tmatboey, vocally quite distinct to Peaceful Dove.
PINK-NECKED PIGEON (Treron vernans) – One showed very well at Tmatboey, another good find by Max.
ORANGE-BREASTED PIGEON (Treron bicinctus) – Seen well at Tmatboey and the vulture site, but only a few birds.
THICK-BILLED PIGEON (Treron curvirostra) – One at Tah Prohm, and a flock over the river at Tmatboey.
GREEN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula aenea) – A nice view of one at Tmatboey and three flyovers near the river.
Psittacidae (Parrots)
ALEXANDRINE PARAKEET (Psittacula eupatria) – Seen nicely at Tah Prom and again at Preah Khan and Tmatboey, but clearly very scarce in Cambodia, nice to see wild birds and not feral stock!
BLOSSOM-HEADED PARAKEET (Psittacula roseata) – Good looks at Tmatboey on 3 days, it is a very attractive species.
RED-BREASTED PARAKEET (Psittacula alexandri) – About 20 at Tah Prom, they showed well, and 6 at Preah Khan. One at Tmatboey showed very well in the orange blossomed tree where it was feeding.
VERNAL HANGING-PARROT (Loriculus vernalis) – A couple of flyovers at Tmatboey, with one perched right by the cars, that took off just as I found it!
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
LARGE HAWK-CUCKOO (Hierococcyx sparverioides) – Max found one perched quietly at Tmatboey.
HIMALAYAN CUCKOO (Cuculus saturatus) – One flew by at Angkor Thom, identified on range as basically looks just like Oriental Cuckoo.
BANDED BAY CUCKOO (Cacomantis sonneratii) – A fine view of one at the vulture site.
PLAINTIVE CUCKOO (Cacomantis merulinus) – Seen well at Siem Reap paddies, Kratie and Tmatboey.
VIOLET CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus) – Two female plumaged birds were giving a persistent trilling call at Tmatboey, and we saw a fabulous male perched up by the river next day.
ASIAN DRONGO-CUCKOO (FORK-TAILED) (Surniculus lugubris dicruroides) – A big surprise at Tah Prohm was two Fork-tailed Drongo-cuckoos, a lifer for Phil who only realised what he had when he saw the small narrow bill on the first. Clements is out of date here as the group is usually now split into 4 species. The call was an odd quite deep scolding series, not the usual whistles, maybe an alarm note?
ASIAN KOEL (Eudynamys scolopaceus) – A good view of a female at Angkor Wat, and then a male at Tmatboey later, as well as being heard on most days.
GREEN-BILLED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus tristis) – One by the river at Tmatboey and then another at the vulture site, a spectacular long-tailed bird.

Of the seven species of owl seen at Tmatboey (and on the tour!) the Oriental Scops-Owl was the only one we didn't see during the day, though we remedied that a few days later with this day-roosting bird at Kratie. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

GREATER COUCAL (Centropus sinensis) – Heard at Prek Toal. [*]
LESSER COUCAL (Centropus bengalensis) – Seen well at Kratie and briefly at Angkor Thom.
Strigidae (Owls)
ORIENTAL SCOPS-OWL (Otus sunia) – A great view of one in the forest at Tmatboey just after dark, after hearing it on a previous attempt. Amazingly our driver Koarn knew of one roosting in a hedgerow at Kratie and it was still there for us, great daylight views of it!
BROWN FISH-OWL (Ketupa zeylonensis) – One was roosting right by the lodge at Tmatboey, it flushed but landed so we could see it from the camp itself! Later a second bird not far from the village was rumoured to be a Buffy Fish Owl, but the close barring underneath I believe rules that out, and it looked just like a Brown Fish Owl to me. Great views of this huge bird both times.
ASIAN BARRED OWLET (Glaucidium cuculoides) – We did well for these at Angkor and had nice daylight views of them there, then a very good pair at Tah Prohm which sat right out, before one final one at Tmatboey.
SPOTTED OWLET (Athene brama) – There was one roosting in a tree hole near the lodge at Tmatboey, but it was not there the first time we checked. We went back next day in the heat, and though the hole was vacant our amazing local guide located the owl perched up high in a nearby tree, for great scope views! A Cambodian tick for Phil.
SPOTTED WOOD-OWL (Strix seloputo) – The local guide knew a roost, and we had a very good view of this elusive species at Tmatboey, one of 6 species of owl we saw in daylight here!
BROWN WOOD-OWL (Strix leptogrammica) – Harder to find than its congener, but again our guide knew the spot and we had nice looks at two birds there, always very wary but quite co-operative this year.
BROWN HAWK-OWL (BROWN) (Ninox scutulata burmanica) – Another great daylight sighting, this time a pair were perched up high in a leafy tree at Tmatboey, my first daytime sighting too.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LARGE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus macrurus) – Mr Sary is just the best, and he had a roost site for this species, where we got both perched and flight views of what I felt looked pretty different to Australasian birds, though they do sound very alike. This is the race bimaculatus.
SAVANNA NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus affinis) – One was calling well at a site we tried for the scops owl, and I think everyone but me got views of it as it flew nearby several times. It was also calling at the vulture site at dawn.
Apodidae (Swifts)
SILVER-BACKED NEEDLETAIL (Hirundapus cochinchinensis) – One over the pond at Veal Krous showed really well, the small white throat patch was clearly seen as well as the silvery back. Two needletails at Angkor Wat may well have been this species.
BROWN-BACKED NEEDLETAIL (Hirundapus giganteus) – Fantastic views of three drinking from the pond at Veal Krous late afternoon and again early morning next day Feb 28. We even saw the needle spines on the tail which are usually invisible on the sort of views you get.
HIMALAYAN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus brevirostris) – Ah dark swiftlets in Cambodia- well this one at Kompong Thom sure looked good for Himalayan, being all dark, slightly forked tail, fluttery flight etc
GERMAN'S SWIFTLET (Aerodramus germani) – We saw 3 or 4 at Angkor Wat early morning, the only ones of the trip. Note this is really Germain's Swiftlet not German's, the next Clements update is at last going to correct it.
HOUSE SWIFT (Apus nipalensis) – One as we came onto Lake Tonle Sap from the boarding ramp, the only one we saw.
ASIAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus balasiensis) – Common and widespread, seen most days except at Tmatboey in the forest.
Hemiprocnidae (Treeswifts)

The group poses at the foot of a giant fig tree in the ruins of Tah Prohm. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

CRESTED TREESWIFT (Hemiprocne coronata) – Nice views from Tmatboey and the vulture site.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis taprobana) – A few at each of the wetlands and at most streams, seen nicely.
STORK-BILLED KINGFISHER (Pelargopsis capensis) – Just one at the vulture site was it, a large bird with an orange Concorde stuck on its face!
WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER (Halcyon smyrnensis perpulchra) – One at the vulture site at Veal Krous was a surprise.
BLACK-CAPPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon pileata) – This beautiful striking bird showed well in the moat at Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat.
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis leucomelanurus) – We had five day records, all just singles bar 3 at ATT. I remain surprised at how few there are here.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
BLUE-BEARDED BEE-EATER (Nyctyornis athertoni athertoni) – Srun told us this was here but I thought it would be in the riparian forest, so imagine my surprise when one flew into the tree right above us on the river bank at Tmatboey, and was then refound perched up in big leafy tree for wonderful scope views. A Cambodian tick for Phil.
GREEN BEE-EATER (Merops orientalis ferrugeiceps) – Six day records, all ones and twos, starting at ATT and ending at Tmatboey. I suspect this complex will be broken up up into various species as they sure look different to the African and Omani birds
BLUE-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops philippinus) – Five day records, starting near Siem Reap, with 10 up around ATT the most.
CHESTNUT-HEADED BEE-EATER (Merops leschenaulti) – This lovely bird was seen well at Tmatboey, what a great family are the Meropidae.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
INDIAN ROLLER (Coracias benghalensis) – The best was at Angkor Thom, right by the entrance, and we had 7 day records, ending at Tmatboey.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (Upupa epops) – One at Tmatboey then a much better look at a bird at Veal Krous.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
ORIENTAL PIED-HORNBILL (Anthracoceros albirostris) – Just one at Tmatboey this trip.
Megalaimidae (Asian Barbets)
LINEATED BARBET (Megalaima lineata) – Noisy and fairly conspicuous, we saw them well at the temple sites and again at Tmatboey.
BLUE-EARED BARBET (Megalaima australis) – This was heard at Tmatboey early one morning but got lost in the rush of birds at the river. [*]
COPPERSMITH BARBET (Megalaima haemacephala) – Heard at the temples, and 3 seen really well at Artisans D'Angkor when we made a brief shopping foray there.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
GRAY-CAPPED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos canicapillus) – This diminutive species showed well at Tmatboey and Veal Krous on every day there.
FULVOUS-BREASTED WOODPECKER (SPOT-BREASTED) (Dendrocopos macei analis) – Two along the track at ATT were a surprise, and calling too, a quiet "pic" note. Split these days as Spot-breasted Woodpecker D. analis.
RUFOUS WOODPECKER (Celeus brachyurus) – Two at Tmatboey, the odd crested head shape very striking. Note that this is no longer in the South American genus Celeus but moved to Micropternus.
WHITE-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus javensis) – We had two separate sightings of singles at Tmatboey and some very nice views of this big, spectacular creature with the big white wing patch.
GREATER YELLOWNAPE (Picus flavinucha) – Two calling at Tmatboey and showing briefly in the scope before flying over.
BLACK-HEADED WOODPECKER (Picus erythropygius) – A great view of 3 at Tmatboey, always high on the wants list, with a single a day later.
GRAY-FACED WOODPECKER (Picus canus hessei) – This was elusive and unexpected at Tmatboey, seen twice and showing quite well on the second sighting. The red cap has a black border. More usually called Grey-headed Woodpecker cf. European Field Guides, SE Asia guide etc.
COMMON FLAMEBACK (Dinopium javanense) – One at Angkor and one at Tmatboey.
GREATER FLAMEBACK (Chrysocolaptes lucidus) – A fine view of one drumming at Angkor, the long heavy bill was distinctive.
HEART-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Hemicircus canente) – Phil and Karen got a brief flight view of one at Tmatboey, a tiny short-tailed woodpecker with a white patch on the back, shame it didn't hang about.
GREAT SLATY WOODPECKER (Mulleripicus pulverulentus) – A fine but quite wary pair at Tmatboey which eventually sat for us, a spectacular species, I love the way they perch with the wings held out open.
Prionopidae (Helmetshrikes and Allies)

This brilliant Small Minivet show nicely at Tmatboey. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

LARGE WOODSHRIKE (Tephrodornis gularis) – Just a single at Tmatboey.
COMMON WOODSHRIKE (Tephrodornis pondicerianus) – Quite common and vocal at Tmatboey.
Aegithinidae (Ioras)
COMMON IORA (Aegithina tiphia) – A couple of sightings at Tmatboey.
Campephagidae (Cuckoo-shrikes)
LARGE CUCKOO-SHRIKE (Coracina macei) – One flyby at Tmatboey.
INDOCHINESE CUCKOO-SHRIKE (Coracina polioptera) – Seen twice, at Angkor Thom then at Tmatboey.
BROWN-RUMPED MINIVET (Pericrocotus cantonensis) – A flock of 6 or 7 by the river at Tmatboey, always a nice pick-up. Called Swinhoe's Minivet in the SE Asian FG, a much nicer and less boring name.
ASHY MINIVET (Pericrocotus divaricatus) – A good year for them, we had 20 at Angkor Thom and 10 at Preah Khan, then 6 at Veal Krous.
SMALL MINIVET (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus) – Great looks at Tmatboey on two days.
SCARLET MINIVET (Pericrocotus flammeus) – A fine pair near the river at Tmatboey on one day.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
BROWN SHRIKE (Lanius cristatus) – Very few, one at the Sam Veasna Centre and one in the paddies at Siem Reap was it.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
BLACK-NAPED ORIOLE (Oriolus chinensis) – Some nice views of this one at Angkor Wat and Tah Prohm.
BLACK-HOODED ORIOLE (Oriolus xanthornus) – A good view at Tmatboey where it was more heard than seen, and again at the vulture site.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
BLACK DRONGO (Dicrurus macrocercus) – Seen most days in open country with counts of up to 40 birds.
ASHY DRONGO (Dicrurus leucophaeus) – A few around Angkor and at Tmatboey, both pale grey and a darker race were seen.
HAIR-CRESTED DRONGO (Dicrurus hottentottus) – Quite common in the forest at Tmatboey and Veal Krous, and seen nicely at Angkor Thom.
GREATER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus paradiseus) – Good views by the entrance gate at Bayon, and then again at Tmatboey.
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
WHITE-BROWED FANTAIL (Rhipidura aureola) – Just a couple at Tmatboey, they seem curiously scarce.
PIED FANTAIL (Rhipidura javanica) – Seen near Siem Reap, at ATT and at Kompong Thom paddies.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Hypothymis azurea) – Just a handful in the woods at Angkor.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLUE MAGPIE (Urocissa erythrorhyncha) – Seen several times at Tmatboey but they are always very wary here.
RUFOUS TREEPIE (Dendrocitta vagabunda) – These were coming in to food at the new feeding site at Tmatboey, and we also met 3 in the forest late one afternoon.
RACKET-TAILED TREEPIE (Crypsirina temia) – Somehow we'd always missed this before, but this tour we had one in a thicket near the ferry site for Tonle Sap, then one at Tmatboey and one at the Kompong Thom paddies.
LARGE-BILLED CROW (LARGE-BILLED) (Corvus macrorhynchos macrorhynchos) – Small numbers on 7 days, often now split as Southern Jungle Crow.
Alaudidae (Larks)
AUSTRALASIAN BUSHLARK (Mirafra javanica horsfieldii) – Nice looks in grassland near ATT and at Kompong Thom.
INDOCHINESE BUSHLARK (Mirafra erythrocephala) – This elusive species was seen well at Tmatboey and the whispery song was heard in the forest there.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)

Though not as well-known as Angkor Wat, the ruins at Bayon are no less spectacular and well worth a visit. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

GRAY-THROATED MARTIN (Riparia chinensis) – Just one over the Mekong on the last day!
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – Widespread in the more open habitats.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – The default Cambodian swallow, seen in all the open habitats.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – This was the common swallow at Tmatboey and the vulture site.
COMMON HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon urbicum) – A single at Veal Krous pond was unexpected.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH (Sitta frontalis) – Just one sighting this trip, from Tmatboey.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
BLACK-CRESTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus flaviventris) – Amazingly scarce, some folks saw it at Angkor and others saw one at Veal Krous, I managed to miss them all!
SOOTY-HEADED BULBUL (Pycnonotus aurigaster) – Quite common in the forests at Tmatboey and Veal Krous.
STRIPE-THROATED BULBUL (Pycnonotus finlaysoni) – Just one sighting, from the riverine thickets at Tmatboey.
YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus goiavier) – Quite widespread in the suburban habitats.
STREAK-EARED BULBUL (Pycnonotus blanfordi) – Six day records, seen first at Angkor and last at Kratie.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf-Warblers)
DUSKY WARBLER (Phylloscopus fuscatus) – Often heard, and seen nicely at Angkor and Kompong Thom paddies.
RADDE'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus schwarzi) – A fine view of one at Veal Krous, and also seen briefly at Tmatboey.
YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER (Phylloscopus inornatus) – Vocal, and seen well at Angkor Thom and then at Tmatboey.
PALE-LEGGED LEAF-WARBLER (Phylloscopus tenellipes) – A nice one at Tah Prohm, picked up by the metallic single call. A lifer for Srun.
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
BLACK-BROWED REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus bistrigiceps) – One was seen quite well at ATT, and they were heard at Prek Toal.
ORIENTAL REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus orientalis) – Seen at ATT, Kompong Thom and Kratie.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
LANCEOLATED WARBLER (Locustella lanceolata) – We got this skulker really well at Kompong Thom in long grass by the track, Bernie even got a photo!
STRIATED GRASSBIRD (Megalurus palustris) – Quite common and very vocal this trip, we saw them at all the wetland sites, and in display at Kompong Thom.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis) – Heard at various sites, and seen well at Kompong Thom and Kratie.
GOLDEN-HEADED CISTICOLA (Cisticola exilis) – Heard at Veal Krous, but the vultures were more important!
COMMON TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus sutorius) – Five day records and some nice views of singles of this long-billed species.
DARK-NECKED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus atrogularis) – Just one at Angkor Thom, in the forest by the moat. I will add here a note about the new tailorbird we were shown en route back to Phnom Penh. This was found and thought to be Ashy Tailorbird, BUT it has a rusty cap. no rusty face, and a blackish throat like Dark-necked Tailorbird, but it is grey above and not olive. We saw a pair in thickets by the awful new highway, and they sound pretty distinct too, it is likely to be a new species, the Cambodian Tailorbird no less. My thanks to the guides for sharing this with us, an exciting finish for the tour!
BROWN PRINIA (Prinia polychroa) – A couple were seen at Veal Krous where I again managed to miss them.
GRAY-BREASTED PRINIA (Prinia hodgsonii) – Quite common in the forest at Tmatboey, they do remind me of Lesser Whitethroat!
YELLOW-BELLIED PRINIA (Prinia flaviventris) – Two on small sandy islet in the Mekong at Kratie.
PLAIN PRINIA (Prinia inornata) – Six day records, the most widespread prinia but again mostly singles.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes)
WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax leucolophus) – More often heard than seen, the new feeder at Tmatboey was the charm and we had some terrific looks at 3 birds coming in to feed and drink.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN (Copsychus saularis) – A few sightings from the forest areas, and the lovely song was heard a few times.
WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA (Copsychus malabaricus) – This is one spectacular species, we saw it nicely at Tah Promh at two sites, then again at Tmatboey.

The spectacular ruins of Angkor Wat are a highlight of the tour, plus there are some good birds to be seen there, such as Hainan Blue-Flycatcher and Blue Rock-Thrush, among others. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

HAINAN BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis hainanus) – These were very visible at Angkor this year, with 3 males and 2f the first day and 5 males and a female next day. They are often much harder to see than this.
VERDITER FLYCATCHER (Eumyias thalassinus) – A single at Tmatboey was a surprise.
BLUETHROAT (Luscinia svecica) – Just one this year in the dry conditions, we chased it down at a marshy area at Kompong Thom paddies.
TAIGA FLYCATCHER (Ficedula albicilla) – Six day records, the first at the Sam Veasna Centre.
WHITE-THROATED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola gularis) – This one is always hard, but we got a beautiful male in the forest at Preah Khan late one afternoon, a very good find.
BLUE ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola solitarius philippensis) – A couple at Angkor Wat with one of the blue-bellied race pandoo, and a fine female at Angkor Thom.
STONECHAT (SIBERIAN) (Saxicola torquatus przewalskii) – Siberian Stonechats are widespread, the females have distinct supercilia and pale buff rumps, and most checklists split this group now.
PIED BUSHCHAT (Saxicola caprata) – Five day records, with good views of both sexes, the first near Siem Reap and the last at Kratie.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
COMMON HILL MYNA (Gracula religiosa) – As always only seen at Angkor, where we saw 2 birds on two days.
GREAT MYNA (Acridotheres grandis) – White-vented Myna were quite common, we had 7 day records with up to 30 birds.
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – Quite common in the urban areas.
VINOUS-BREASTED STARLING (Acridotheres burmannicus) – One at Tmatboey and a single at Veal Krous.
BLACK-COLLARED STARLING (Gracupica nigricollis) – Five day records, with 2 on each occasion starting near Siem Reap, but 6 at Tmatboey.
WHITE-SHOULDERED STARLING (Sturnia sinensis) – A single near Siem Reap, then one at Tmatboey before we saw about 100 at Kompong Thom paddies.
CHESTNUT-TAILED STARLING (Sturnia malabarica) – A nice view of 8 birds by the pond at Veal Krous, a good trip addition.
ROSY STARLING (Pastor roseus) – Great excitement at Kompong Thom paddies when we found two adults of this vagrant with the White-shouldered Starling flock at Kompong Thom paddies on Feb 27. Srun had found the first for Cambodia at ATT last year and now has the second as well. It's a dispersive vagrant to all sorts of places including Australia and Kenya. These two were adults with dull pinkish plumage with black heads and wings, yellow bills with dark tips and noticeably larger than the White-s Starlings.
Chloropseidae (Leafbirds)
BLUE-WINGED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis cochinchinensis) – Just one at Tmatboey river.
GOLDEN-FRONTED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis aurifrons) – Three sightings from Tmatboey which included two males on the first day.
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
SCARLET-BACKED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum cruentatum) – Just one female at Tah Promh, I am always amazed and how scarce flowerpeckers are here.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
PLAIN-THROATED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes malacensis) – A pair at the Sam Veasna Centre were the only ones we saw!
PURPLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris asiaticus) – Five day records, the first from ATT then daily at Tmatboey.
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (OLIVE-BACKED) (Cinnyris jugularis flammaxillaris) – Four day records, the best being a pair by the moat at Angkor. These are vocally totally unlike the Australian birds and the males have a big orange pectoral tuft with purplish margin to the breast, there is no way this is the same species as we have in Australia! The complex awaits genetic analysis but I anticipate several new species to emerge.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (Motacilla tschutschensis simillima) – Well yes and no, the race we saw looks like macronyx which Clements bizarrely places under Western Yellow Wagtail, which is just plain wrong.
MEKONG WAGTAIL (Motacilla samveasnae) – Very nice, we heard them singing and had great views of a pair plus one other on islets in the Mekong, quite easy this year. Recently described, pretty distinctive in a restricted habitat, a near endemic and named for Sam Veasna.
RICHARD'S PIPIT (Anthus richardi) – One bird at Kompong Thom paddies looked very large and was a good bet for this species, but sadly I did not hear it call.
ORIENTAL PIPIT (Anthus rufulus) – Five day records of what is more usually known as Paddyfield Pipit, a much nicer name.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus hodgsoni) – Five at Tmatboey near the Giant Ibis roost.
RED-THROATED PIPIT (Anthus cervinus) – Four day records, with some good views at Trepeang Rolum Thom and Kompong Thom, max 10 birds.
Emberizidae (Buntings, Sparrows and Allies)
YELLOW-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza aureola) – A very nice find at Kompong Thom paddies which were unexpectedly rewarding, we had 3 males and 3 females the first afternoon, then 11 birds next morning, nice to see the males already well into breeding dress.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Three day records, the most being at Kratie paddies.
PLAIN-BACKED SPARROW (Passer flaveolus) – Two the first afternoon in paddies near Siem Reap, then 4 near the ferry terminal and one at ATT.
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus) – Widespread.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
BAYA WEAVER (Ploceus philippinus) – Five males attending nests at the visitor centre at ATT, and 6 birds near Preah Vihear temple.
ASIAN GOLDEN WEAVER (Ploceus hypoxanthus) – Well, we did very well with this rare bird seeing a fine male in reeds at Kratie, then another male next day in grassland nearby, but strangely there were no other weavers in evidence at all.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
RED AVADAVAT (Amandava amandava) – A small flock of 7 at Kompong Thom paddies included a super male, and we had 3 at Kratie which included another male.
WHITE-RUMPED MUNIA (Lonchura striata) – Three day records, the first from the river at Tmatboey, and seen well at Kratie.
NUTMEG MANNIKIN (Lonchura punctulata) – Four in the paddies near Suwon village, and then 5 at Kompong Thom paddies and 12 at Kratie.

LYLE'S FLYING FOX (Pteropus lylei) – A good camp of them in the middle of Siem Reap. one of the smaller members of the fruit bat family.
LARGE FLYING FOX (Pteropus vampyrus) – A camp of this larger fruit bat was at ATT.
CRAB-EATING MACAQUE (Macaca fascigularis) – Long-tailed macaques were common at some of the Angkor temples but amazingly well behaved, one even climbed up on Srun and sat on his shoulder for a bit without any damage being done! A couple on power lines in Phnom Penh might be short-lived......
FINLAYSON'S SQUIRREL (Callosciurus finlaysoni) – Usually called variable squirrel it's an attractive dark red species with a white patch at the base of the tail in Cambodia. We saw them at Bayon and Tmatboey.
CAMBODIAN FLYING SQUIRREL (Tamiops rodolphii) – The small striped squirrels we saw at Tmatboey are this species, the Cambodian Ground Squirrel, which does not fly.
INDIAN GIANT FLYING SQUIRREL (Petaurista philippensis) – Man this was a nice one, a big heavy squirrel with a dark outer third of the tail and reddish brown undersides contrasting with grey upperparts, This one came out of its roost hole at the vulture site, but sadly no-one saw it glide.
IRRAWADDY DOLPHIN (Orcaella brevirostris) – Some nice encounters with maybe 3 or so of them on the Mekong at Kratie, where about 40 animals provide a good living for the boatmen who take the tourists out to see them. One of the dolphins had a small baby that showed briefly. Classified as Critically Endangered, there are just 78-91 in a 190 km (118.1 mi) freshwater stretch of the Mekong River in Cambodia and Laos.
ELD'S DEER (Rucervus eldii) – A small herd of 11 at Koh Klong near ATT, including a fine brow-antlered stag and a couple of fawns. A very rare species with a highly restricted range.



A dark, banded, rather large snake was dead in the water at Prek Toal.

Srun and I saw a small one with a large head vanish into the ruins at at gateway at Preah Khan.

The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the world's longest venomous snake, we were lucky enough to see a small one in the track at Tmatboey one night, which even flared its hood for the cameras.


A couple of small flying lizards Draco sp. were seen at Veal Krous in the forest there. A quite specatcular larger lizard with orange side flaps was nearby.

Favourite birds of the trip were unusually varied, but the Bengal Florican and Black-necked Stork were up there, as was the tailorbird on the last day, followed by the Sarus Cranes and Giant Ibis, the Mekong Wagtail, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Red Avadavat male, all the storks, the Blue-bearded Bee-eater and White-crested Laughing-thrush, also the Coppersmith Barbet, Crested Treeswift, Racquet-tailed Drongo and even the macaques at Angkor.

Totals for the tour: 231 bird taxa and 8 mammal taxa