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Field Guides Tour Report
Feb 27, 2020 to Mar 13, 2020
Doug Gochfeld & Thiri Htin Hla

We were quite the happy group as we looked down over the sprawling temple complex of the old city of Bagan on our final morning. And given what a splendid trip we had through Myanmar, why not?! Photo provided by participant Kathleen John.

When we met in Yangon on leap day 2020, we were embarking on the inaugural Field Guides tour to the wonderful country of Myanmar, long known as Burma during the colonial era.

Our day around Yangon, in addition to familiarizing us with some of the avifauna of the region, gave us our first immersion in the rich culture and storied history of this land, from the impressive Temple, with its dizzying array of gilded stupas, to the distinctive architecture of the former colonial downtown, with its large edifices that still stand today.

Once we had taken our taste of Yangon, we headed up to the hills of Kalaw, to spend a couple of nights among a diversity of foothill species in an area that used to be a French hill station. Over the course of our short visit in the area, we neared a hundred species, including regional such headliners as Spectacled Barwing, Burmese Yuhina, Black-backed Sibia, and a surprise Blue-bearded Bee-eater. We then relocated some miles to the east, to the shores of Inlé Lake. The people who dwell on and around this lake have a unique lifestyle. The town of Inlé is a floating village out on the lake itself, and between their leg-manipulated oar operation, their meticulous lotus harvesting and weaving, and other skills long honed over time here, our boat rides here were fascinating. It wasn’t only culture here, though, because where there is water there are birds. We started out with a wonderful experience with the big waterbird colony (mostly Asian and Little Cormorants, but with a surprise Black-headed Ibis) in the gorgeous setting sun, and we followed that up with a morning visit to a waterfowl-rich section of the lake, where we scoured the flocks of Ferruginous Ducks and were able to come up with at least TWO of the Critically Endangered Baer’s Pochard. This was a major highlight, and given that their population has been in free-fall for the past several decades (with perhaps between 250-700 individuals left on Earth), it was pretty darn unexpected!

After the eastern part of our route, we flew towards the western side of the country, to the central dry zone, where we would call the ancient city of Bagan our home for a few nights. Bagan is a fantastic place to bird: it combines birding in the dry zone, which has the highest concentration of Burmese endemics, with a sense that you are always walking through history, given that over 3000 of the original 4446 temples built several hundred years ago are still around, and the habitats around them can be stupendous. We never seemed to be out of sight of an ancient temple as we birded our way around Bagan, and indeed most of the best birding we did here was temple-adjacent. The sharp-looking Jerdon’s Minivet, with its monochrome tuxedo splashed with sunny rays of orange on the breast, joined many a bold Burmese Bushlark, plenty of inquisitive and gregarious White-throated Babblers, the lemon eyerings of Burmese Collared-Doves, and of course the phantom of the temple-scape: Hooded Treepie.

After the dry heat of the Irrawaddy River lowlands around Bagan, we enjoyed a welcome change of climate on cool Mount Victoria, a high point in the Chin Hills, part of the foothills of the Himalayas. While it was indeed a respite from the heat, it wasn’t at all a respite from seeing a wonderful collection of birds. We saw such range-restricted treasures as White-browed Nuthatch, Chin Hills Wren-Babbler, Black-headed Shrike-Babbler, Striped Laughingthrush, Mount Victoria Babax, Brown-capped and Assam laughingthrushes, and of course a troop of the amazingly charismatic Himalayan Cutia--surely one of the coolest birds around.

All of these birds were experienced in the all-encompassing embrace of the intoxicating montane forests, a pine-scape with a dense and varied understory full of flowering Rhododendrons. We even got out for some night birding here, where we had a magical experience (after a bit of sweating) with a female Hodgson’s Frogmouth.

Thanks for joining me on Field Guides’ inaugural (and successful!) tour to Myanmar. It was a pleasure to bird with you all, and to get to know those whom I had just met. Stay safe and well out there, and I look forward to seeing you on another tour somewhere in this great big universe. Until then, ciao!


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

Take a dive into the wonderful world of our Myanmar tour with this engaging video chock full of great birds, fun people, and a fascinating culture. Video by guide Doug Gochfeld.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
LESSER WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna javanica) – A shockingly high concentration of over one thousand four hundred at Hlawga Park on our first birding day, and another couple of small flocks on Inlé.
RUDDY SHELDUCK (Tadorna ferruginea) – A small group at Inlé Lake was a surprise, as this species is more expected along the mudbanks of the Irrawaddy, where we also had several individuals.
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus coromandelianus) – A handful of these cute little ducks were mixed into the first flocks of Lesser Whistling-Ducks we encountered in Hlawga.
GARGANEY (Spatula querquedula) – Good numbers of these around Lake Inlé, including some nice looks at a few dapper males which allowed a reasonably close approach by us in the boats.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata) – A flew flybys during our morning boat trip on Inlé Lake.
GADWALL (Mareca strepera) – A handful of these low density winterers on both of our boat trips on Inlé Lake.
EURASIAN WIGEON (Mareca penelope) – Small numbers in the evening, but then nice looks at a flotilla during our morning excursion on Inlé Lake.

Sunrise amongst the rhododendrons and pines up on Mount Victoria is a sublime experience. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

INDIAN SPOT-BILLED DUCK (Anas poecilorhyncha) – All of the Spot-billed Ducks we were able to scrutinize were Indian Spot-billed Ducks, which is the commoner of the two species in the region.
NORTHERN PINTAIL (Anas acuta) – Several of these distinctively long-necked dabblers were seen flying during our trips on Inlé.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (EURASIAN) (Anas crecca crecca) – A few of them in the fading light on our evening excursion on Inlé.
FERRUGINOUS DUCK (Aythya nyroca) – The common Aythya on Inlé Lake, we got lots of good looks at these milk chocolate divers as we scanned through them in search of other aythya species.
BAER'S POCHARD (Aythya baeri) – This was an incredible experience with an incredibly rare bird. This species isn't just rare from a regional perspective, but globally rare. The current population estimate is 150-700 individuals, so seeing two of these on Inlé Lake was really special. Getting looks as good as we did from the boats of these oft-shy ducks was the cherry on top.
TUFTED DUCK (Aythya fuligula) – We saw a couple of these mixed into the ducks on Inlé, seemingly a female and a young male, and some folks even saw an adult male during the duck fiesta.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
RAIN QUAIL (Coturnix coromandelica) – After playing rope-a-dope with these on our island landing in the Irrawaddy, we actually got some reasonable in-flight views on terra firme around Bagan the next day.
RED JUNGLEFOWL (Gallus gallus) – A few around Hlawga which looked very good for wild-type birds, and then Dean had a rooster trot its way across the road at the forktail spot amidst the dry dipterocarp forest on the final day.

Baer's Pochard is one of the most sought-after species of waterfowl on the planet, owing to its extreme rarity. We felt very fortunate to see at least two during our Inlé Lake boat trip. Pictured are an adult male on the right, and a female or young male on the left, with a Ferruginous Duck in the middle for some balance. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – three or four of these around a floating patch of grass on Inlé Lake.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – We did fortunately manage to miss these on a few days, up in the Mt. Victoria section. [I]
ORIENTAL TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia orientalis) – During our drive down from the lodge at Kalaw to the Kalaw Forest early in the morning.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (BURMESE) (Streptopelia decaocto xanthocycla) – With that bold yellow eye-ring, the near endemic Burmese Collared-Dove is a subspecies that is definitely a few notches above its nominate counterparts. It's separated well enough from the range of the nominate that it seems ripe for a split at some point.
RED COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia tranquebarica) – Common in open areas in the lowlands
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) – The most widespread and common native dove across our travels.
YELLOW-FOOTED GREEN-PIGEON (Treron phoenicopterus) – A great pickup on our final morning was a pair of these seemingly stacked right on top of one another, up high in a tree as we birded the dry dipterocarp forest.
MOUNTAIN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula badia) – A flyover in the montane evergreen forest at Mount Victoria.

The landscape of temples in Bagan is truly breathtaking. Over 4000 Buddhist temples were constructed between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, and more than half of those are still standing. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER COUCAL (Centropus sinensis) – Several days with sightings of these versatile cuckoos. We observed them in the hot lowlands at Hlawga, to the paddy fields at Kalaw, the reedbeds on Inlé Lake, and even the mid-elevation forests at Mt. Victoria.
LESSER COUCAL (Centropus bengalensis) – One did a close flyby and then landed mostly in view for the second boat during our morning trip through the marshes of Inlé Lake.
GREEN-BILLED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus tristis) – A couple of typically brief and obscured views early on in the tour, but then something must've been in the Malkoha water on the final day, as they seemed to be absolutely everywhere we stopped that morning, including singing from open perches with seemingly little regard for our presence.
ASIAN KOEL (Eudynamys scolopaceus) – The typical background soundtrack of the Southeast Asian forest. [*]
BANDED BAY CUCKOO (Cacomantis sonneratii) – We heard this distinctive song back at our waterside resort on Lake Inlé after returning from our morning boat ride. [*]
LARGE HAWK-CUCKOO (Hierococcyx sparverioides) – The "brain fever" bird in the highlands, where its song rained down upon us in all forests except for the highest elevation pine forests. They are incredibly difficult to spot while perched, especially considering their vocal conspicuousness, but we did see these raptor-like cuckoos fly by a couple of times, and perched once briefly.
Podargidae (Frogmouths)
HODGSON'S FROGMOUTH (Batrachostomus hodgsoni) – Perhaps the most unexpected highlight of the tour (up there with the Baer's Pochard), was the full spectrum of experience we got with this species. First, we were able to get a great view of a female at night, which in and of itself would have been a magical experience. Then, the very next morning, we stumbled upon a male sitting on a nest, which Thiri found almost directly over our heads while we were birding.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
GRAY NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus jotaka jotaka) – Heard very well during our Hodgson's Frogmouth experience, and then multiples every evening at our lodging on Mount Victoria. Then, on our final morning driving up the mountain, we flushed one or two individuals off the sides of the road in the gloaming.

Jerdon's Bushchat is not an easy bird to see in most of its localized range, but Inlé Lake is one of the best places in the world to track it down. We had great views of several pairs during our morning boat ride on the lake. Photo by participant Kathleen John.

Apodidae (Swifts)
HIMALAYAN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus brevirostris) – Only a couple of these around, including one high up around Mt. Victoria, at over 8,500' in association with some Asian House-Martins.
COOK'S SWIFT (Apus cooki) – A couple of these flew by us and over us at the stork colony on Inlé.
HOUSE SWIFT (Apus nipalensis) – Nice experiences with these seekers of human-made structures on our first and last birding excursions, neatly bookending the tour. At Shwedagon we got to see them swarming all around the temple complex and flying low through their nesting sites, and at Bagan we had them zipping around at eye level carrying feathers- very cool stuff!
ASIAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus balasiensis) – Widespread in the lowlands, notably in Bagan, though not particularly abundant at any one place.
Hemiprocnidae (Treeswifts)
CRESTED TREESWIFT (Hemiprocne coronata) – We had a few of these massive, graceful, swift relatives gliding around over a valley at our pre-lunch stop as we headed towards Mount Victoria.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – A couple of these on the first Whistling-duck pond at Hlawga.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra) – Abundant of Inlé Lake- by far the most common waterbird on the open lake.

As soon as we found the Baer's Pochards on the lake, our excitement spiked, and our excellent boat drivers (under the sharp direction of Thiri) were able to put us in a position where we could watch them at our leisure without flushing them. Some great fieldcraft all around--and for a phenomenal species! Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

GRAY-HEADED SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio poliocephalus) – A couple of these big rallids, flew off in their awkward, gangly way as we rode down the canal at Inlé Lake.
BLACK-TAILED CRAKE (Zapornia bicolor) – Excellent views of one feeding out in a small mud puddle on the edge of rice paddies at Kalaw. the views were so good and prolonged that we ended up having to just walk away from it--not the way most rail encounters go!
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – A flock of these flew by as we were in the boats on Inlé, and then we had a couple on the Irrawaddy as well.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
RIVER LAPWING (Vanellus duvaucelii) – This scarce shorebird is patchily distributed around the region, and we had great views of it at a couple of our birding locations along the Irrawaddy. It's a handsome one indeed!
RED-WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus indicus atronuchalis) – A couple of these boldly marked lapwings at Hlawga.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (DUBIUS/JERDONI) (Charadrius dubius jerdoni) – Hlawga and around the Irrawaddy.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) – We saw a handful of these around Inlé Lake, but the most memorable was certainly the adult male that was coming into breeding plumage, giving an appearance on the water that was very much reminiscent of a Long-tailed Duck. Then it gave us a couple of real close flybys, showing off its newly black (for the breeding season) body.

Spending a late afternoon with the waterbird colony, especially the Asian Openbills, on Lake Inlé was an amazing experience. It's one of the few species in the world whose bill is open even when it's closed! Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – A handful of these along the Irrawaddy, including at our boat landing beach.
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus) – A couple of these at the wetlands near Heho and again at one of our pre-lunch stops along the Irrawaddy.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – Distant views of a few around the Irrawaddy.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
BLACK-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) – This exceptionally widespread gull was the scarcer of the two common gulls on Inlé Lake, and we got to see them in some instructional close comparisons with their Brown-headed Gull relatives.
BROWN-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus) – This montane south/central Asian breeder drops down to lower elevations during the winter, and is very common along Inlé Lake, where even non-birding tourists will sometimes feed them from boats. Their pale eyes and bold black-white-and-gray wing patterns make for very striking gulls.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
ASIAN OPENBILL (Anastomus oscitans) – What a fantastic experience at their colony on Inlé Lake. Most of the birds we saw were well grown young birds, almost the size and pattern of adults, but there were some adults hanging out, as well as a couple of newer youngsters.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LITTLE CORMORANT (Microcarbo niger) – Abundant at Inlé Lake.
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo) – Just a couple encountered through the route, including three or four perched at the colony at Inlé.

Buff-breasted Parrotbill was voted one of the Birds of the Trip by the group. We came across a flock of dozens of these tiny balls of unlimited energy and charisma on Mount Victoria. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
CINNAMON BITTERN (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus) – Brief views of one flushing up from the marsh briefly before disappearing into a reed bed where we could not follow.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Fairly widespread in appropriate habitat, but not particularly common.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – A few of these colorful herons around Inlé Lake.
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta) – Just a handful around, and very much outnumbered by the next lookalike species.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Ardea intermedia) – Abundant, and perhaps the most common Ardea heron we encountered on the tour. We got good comparisons between them and both Great and Cattle Egrets, between which it truly is intermediate.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – The Old World analog to our Snowy Egret was quite common along our route.
CATTLE EGRET (EASTERN) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) – Common, widespread, even seen perched on a head of cattle at least once.
INDIAN POND-HERON (Ardeola grayii) – These are the expected Ardeola at Hlawga Park, though their cryptic winter plumage makes it difficult to say whether all or just some were of this taxon.
CHINESE POND-HERON (Ardeola bacchus) – We even had a breeding-plumaged adult on Inlé Lake, allowing for quick separation from its identical-in-winter cousins.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – A bunch of these were hanging out around the big lake at Hlawga Park, and then we heard one flying over us on our final night along the Irrawaddy in Bagan, as we ate dinner.

This pair of Shikras gave us a great show with this display flight as we made our way from Bagan to Mount Victoria. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – A lot of these showing off their iridescent plumage in excellent light around Lake Inlé, with especially good views at the colony.
BLACK-HEADED IBIS (Threskiornis melanocephalus) – Karen spotted a young one of these atop the colony attempting to blend into the more numerous storks and cormorants. This declining species is a pretty scarce one in much of Myanmar, so it was an unexpected surprise. Then, we found a flock of 16 individuals foraging along the Irrawaddy River near a flock of openbills!
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – One was teed up on the power lines at Hlawga on our first morning.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-WINGED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Several of these east of Kalaw and then during our boat trips around Inlé Lake.
ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis ptilorhynchus) – The most common raptor we encountered was this large, almost eagle-like honey-buzzard, seen from the lowlands, to the middle elevations of Mount Victoria.
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE (Spilornis cheela) – It somehow took until the final morning to connect with this widespread and oft-conspicuous hallmark of the region. We had one flying circles and calling, and then a few hours later had one perched up in a tree near the road, showing off its crest.

Himalayan Cutia is certainly the cream of the crop of high-elevation species found on and around Mount Victoria, and we had a dandy experience with a small group of them near our lunch site. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

BLACK EAGLE (Ictinaetus malaiensis) – A brief look at one cruising over the ridge above us on our final morning at Mt. Victoria.
WHITE-EYED BUZZARD (Butastur teesa) – A great stop in the lowlands on the way to Mt. Victoria was to look for (and find!) this regionally-restricted dry country specialist, which perched up for reasonable scope views.
EASTERN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus spilonotus) – A couple of these, at Inlé and at along the Irrawaddy.
PIED HARRIER (Circus melanoleucos) – A stonking knock-it-outta-the-park adult male coursing over the fields of the Irrawaddy River island as we wound down our late afternoon there running around after Rain Quail.
CRESTED GOSHAWK (Accipiter trivirgatus) – A great view of one of these hulking accipiters on our morning birding the middle elevations of Mt. Victoria.
SHIKRA (Accipiter badius) – Common and widespread, including a couple of pairs that seemed to be on territory and in courtship/nesting mode.
BESRA (Accipiter virgatus) – A pair of these popped up and circled over us during our first attempt at White-rumped Falcon.
EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter nisus) – A quick flyby at Kalaw.

We finally caught up with a friendly Hume's Treecreeper (or did it catch up to us?) during our lunch in the bamboo on Mount Victoria. Photo by participant Kathleen John.

BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans) – A couple around Shwedagon Pagoda in the evening and then also around the Irrawaddy River.
HIMALAYAN BUZZARD (Buteo refectus) – The buteo we encountered from the middle to high elevations at Mt. Victoria.
EASTERN BUZZARD (Buteo japonicus japonicus) – A couple of these put in brief appearances over the forest at Kalaw.
Strigidae (Owls)
COLLARED OWLET (COLLARED) (Glaucidium brodiei brodiei) – We heard this familiar tooting in real life as we birded the upper elevations of the broadleaf evergreen forest on the east side of Mt. Victoria early on our final morning birding the mountain.
ASIAN BARRED OWLET (Glaucidium cuculoides) – A great view of one that had been vocalizing on our final morning of birding, as we birded the dry forest on the way back to Bagan.
SPOTTED OWLET (Athene brama) – We unwittingly flushed one out of a small temple we were admiring in Bagan, but then the next afternoon we found one perched for good views elsewhere in the area, as we quested for Hooded Treepie.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (Upupa epops) – A few of these unique and charismatic avian icons of Eurasia, all in the lowlands, and mostly in the Bagan area.

This brilliant blue Verditer Flycatcher was captured in all its excellence by participant Kathleen John.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis) – A couple around, with the best views being at the wetlands near Heho.
WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER (Halcyon smyrnensis) – These seemed to be all over the place during our day at Hlawga Park.
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – A couple showed well during our boat ride on the Irrawaddy River.

Rufous-bellied Woodpecker is one of the most attractive of the large stable of woodpeckers possible on this tour. Photo by participant Kathleen John.

Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
BLUE-BEARDED BEE-EATER (Nyctyornis athertoni) – A great surprise was one of these big bee-eaters perched up as we at lunch during our forest hike at Kalaw. It sat long enough for multiple scope views for each person amidst our yummy lunch- what a distinctive profile they cut as they sit in the canopy surveying their surrounds!
GREEN BEE-EATER (Merops orientalis) – A fun one, which we got to see lots of around our time in various lowland birding locations.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
INDOCHINESE ROLLER (Coracias affinis) – These massive bee-eater/kingfisher/barbet cousins were common along the road between Bagan and Mt. Victoria. They're especially showy in flight, when they unfurl their wings sporting several shades of brilliant blue.
Megalaimidae (Asian Barbets)
COPPERSMITH BARBET (Psilopogon haemacephalus) – A common soundtrack to our time in the lowlands, and we got some really nice views to boot.
BLUE-EARED BARBET (BLUE-EARED) (Psilopogon duvaucelii cyanotis) – We heard these smaller barbets in the distance at Kalaw. [*]
GREAT BARBET (Psilopogon virens) – These big barbets provided lots of audio background for us as we birded our way around Mt. Victoria. We also got to hear some cool and un-barbet-like interaction calls from a pair as we birded along the road there.
LINEATED BARBET (Psilopogon lineatus)
GOLDEN-THROATED BARBET (Psilopogon franklinii)
BLUE-THROATED BARBET (Psilopogon asiaticus) – After being inundated by their never-ending metronomic vocalizations throughout our time in Kalaw, we finally found one perched up atop a tree at the end of our hike there. Huzzah!
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
EURASIAN WRYNECK (Jynx torquilla) – One of the great birds of the world, we encountered a handful of these around the dry country of Bagan, and it was our first and only woodpecker species of the trip for quite a while until we left Bagan and set our sights on Mt. Victoria.
GRAY-CAPPED WOODPECKER (Yungipicus canicapillus) – A pair of these showed well high in a tree just before we had lunch on the way to Mt. Victoria.
RUFOUS-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos hyperythrus hyperythrus) – A really knock-your-socks-off woodpecker, with those deep chestnut underparts set against the typical black-and-white barred upperparts of most Dendrocopos woodpeckers. We saw a handful of these through all the elevations we tested at Mt. Victoria.
STRIPE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos atratus) – Nice views on the middle elevations of Mt. Victoria.

The Tha Bin Nyu Temple in Bagan has an impressive golden buddha, and the whole setting gets even more impressive as the sun sets and it gets illuminated by lights from below. Photo by participant Kathleen John.

DARJEELING WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos darjellensis) – This big-billed Dendrocopos put on a big show on our first morning on Mt. Victoria, allowing us to parse the differences between this species and some of its similar congeners (including the off-white underparts and Hairy Woodpecker-like bill.
CRIMSON-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Dryobates cathpharius) – This diminutive, but good looking and appropriately named, woodpecker gave us a good show during our late afternoon excursion to the evergreen forest on Mt. Victoria.
GREATER FLAMEBACK (Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus) – Some great looks in the dry forests between Bagan and Mt. Victoria.
HIMALAYAN FLAMEBACK (Dinopium shorii anguste) – This regional specialty can be difficult to differentiate from its close flameback congeners, but we were treated to excellent views of a male at close range on our final full morning of birding.
GRAY-HEADED WOODPECKER (BLACK-NAPED) (Picus canus hessei) – An excellent experience with one of these sucking down nectar from a blooming Erythrina tree in the dry forest west of Bagan. It was even sharing the tree with a Rufous Treepie, Black-naped Oriole, and a couple of Red-vented Bulbuls- what a motley (and sugar-starved) crew!
WHITE-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus javensis) – This big charismatic woodpecker can be tough to track down, but we had a fantastic views of a male on the way out to Mt. Victoria, and then a showy pair on the morning we headed back to Bagan.

The huge White-bellied Woodpecker is often reluctant to reveal itself, but we had two very good encounters with them in the foothills between Bagan and Mount Victoria. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
WHITE-RUMPED FALCON (Polihierax insignis) – An eleventh hour save, we improbably tracked down a pair of these on our final afternoon as the sun baked the dry dipterocarp forest in the hills to the west of Bagan.
EURASIAN KESTREL (Falco tinnunculus) – Several of these scattered through the landscape between Kalaw and Bagan.
LAGGAR FALCON (Falco jugger) – Perched high up on a temple surveying its surroundings on a couple of mornings in Bagan. An excellent drive-up bird!
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – A pair of these were perched as if sentinels upon the side of the impressive golden stupa in the middle of Shwedagon Pagoda on our first evening birding in the country.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
ALEXANDRINE PARAKEET (Psittacula eupatria) – A great view of a couple of these big parakeets on our final morning birding on the way back to Bagan.
ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (Psittacula krameri) – A couple of sightings included one that gave great scope views as it fed on the blossoms of a flowering Erythrina tree.

Fire-tailed Sunbirds were our constant companions up at the highest elevations of Mount Victoria, where we were endlessly enchanted by these bright little sprites. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

GRAY-HEADED PARAKEET (Psittacula finschii) – A few sightings in the dry dipterocarp forest.
BLOSSOM-HEADED PARAKEET (Psittacula roseata) – A cryptically plumaged young one gave us some scope views before a group of three including a beautiful adult male flew in a few minutes later in the morning of our final full day of birding.
RED-BREASTED PARAKEET (Psittacula alexandri) – Only a few flyovers, but no perched views of this species.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
JERDON'S MINIVET (Pericrocotus albifrons) – A fantastic experience with this unique-looking endemic minivet on a couple of occasions. The males are really pretty, with that orange wash accenting their otherwise monochromatic palette. [E]
SMALL MINIVET (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus) – The first birds we had when we arrived for our first attempt at White-rumped Falcon.
LONG-TAILED MINIVET (Pericrocotus ethologus) – The go-to minivet we encountered at higher elevations in the Mt. Victoria area.
SCARLET MINIVET (Pericrocotus speciosus) – Kalaw and the forest on the way back to Bagan.
ROSY MINIVET (Pericrocotus roseus) – One of the very first birds we saw upon our arrival to the Hlawga Park road.
LARGE CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina macei) – Very brief view of one flying away at Hlawga, but then a good experience with a pair that was perching in view and flying around on our final birding day in the dry dipterocarp forest.
BLACK-WINGED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Lalage melaschistos) – One perched in a difficult-to-spot part of a tree in Hlawga.

Shwedagon Pagoda simply defies words. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BLACK-HEADED SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius rufiventer) – One of the hardest species to track down on Mt. Victoria, this high elevation broadleaf evergreen specialist can be tricky up on Mt. Victoria, but during our final full day on the mountain we found a wonderful and cooperative singing male.
BLYTH'S SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius aeralatus) – In with a mixed flock including Silver-eared Mesias in the forest at Kalaw.
GREEN SHRIKE-BABBLER (EYE-RINGED) (Pteruthius xanthochlorus hybrida) – This distinctive subspecies is restricted to Assam in India and the Chin Hills in Myanmar, and we had a couple of excellent experiences with obliging singing birds.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
BLACK-NAPED ORIOLE (Oriolus chinensis) – More widespread than its very similar relative which comes next on this list. We had them at Hlawga, Bagan, and in the dry dipterocarp forest.
SLENDER-BILLED ORIOLE (Oriolus tenuirostris) – A hill forest pine-lands specialist in the region, we saw a few of these at Kalaw, including a couple that were gorging themselves on flowers.
BLACK-HOODED ORIOLE (Oriolus xanthornus) – Our best views of this species were in the dry forest as we came back down towards the Irrawaddy from Mt. Victoria.
MAROON ORIOLE (Oriolus traillii) – Nice looks at a couple of individuals for those who hiked out of the forest at Kalaw.
Artamidae (Woodswallows, Bellmagpies, and Allies)
ASHY WOODSWALLOW (Artamus fuscus) – A few the morning we left Kalaw and then a small group over some agricultural land in Bagan.

Bar-tailed Treecreeper breeds in high-elevation pine forest in Asia, where it has two widely separated strongholds. A third population occupies a razor-thin line of the highest parts of the mountains running north from Mount Victoria, and we found a couple of these latter birds. Photo by participant Kathleen John.

Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
COMMON WOODSHRIKE (Tephrodornis pondicerianus) – Brief views in the dry dipterocarp on the way to Mt. Victoria.
BAR-WINGED FLYCATCHER-SHRIKE (Hemipus picatus) – An adult male appeared in front of us as we were birding on our final full morning of birding in the dry stuff.
Aegithinidae (Ioras)
COMMON IORA (Aegithina tiphia) – Then subspecies around Bagan and to the west is very distinctive when compared with the taxa farther east in Southeast Asia (including A.t.cambodiana), though it's a bit unclear if this is A.t.deignani (likely), or A.t.philipi. The one around Hlawga park near Yangon was a different form, likely A.t.horizoptera, without the starkly contrasting black on the head and back.
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
WHITE-THROATED FANTAIL (Rhipidura albicollis) – One seen in the forest at Kalaw.
WHITE-BROWED FANTAIL (Rhipidura aureola burmanica) – Heard singing during our first crack at the White-rumped Falcon on our way out towards Mt. Victoria.

The sun rises over the marshes of Inlé Lake as we search for Chinese Grassbird, Jerdon's Bushchat, and other goodies. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Dicruridae (Drongos)
BLACK DRONGO (Dicrurus macrocercus) – Most open lands had some of these exceptionally widespread Southeast Asian staples.
ASHY DRONGO (Dicrurus leucophaeus) – Widespread from the lowlands to the highlands.
BRONZED DRONGO (Dicrurus aeneus) – Really nice views of at least a trio of these on our hike in Kalaw.
LESSER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus remifer) – A couple of these diminutive drongos with the jaw-dropping tails were playing their games around the forest at Kalaw.
HAIR-CRESTED DRONGO (Dicrurus hottentottus) – A few of these at Hlawga, and then each time we passed through the forests between the Chin Hills and Bagan.
GREATER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus paradiseus) – A couple of adults in full-tailed glory on our final full day of birding.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Hypothymis azurea) – We heard this at Kalaw, but then a few folks saw a male on our final day of birding.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
BROWN SHRIKE (Lanius cristatus) – Widespread, but not particularly common. We had them scattered in ones and twos through around half of the tour days.

We encountered a good number of flowering Erythrina trees during the tour, and they were often utilized by birds. This one had the uncommon juxtaposition of Slender-billed Oriole and Gray-headed Woodpecker slurping the nectar out of its flowers. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

BURMESE SHRIKE (Lanius collurioides collurioides) – Despite having Burmese in the name, this species is also found in China, eastern India, and throughout Indochina.
LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanius schach) – Quite a few of these on our walk through the pines at Kalaw.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
EURASIAN JAY (WHITE-FACED) (Garrulus glandarius leucotis) – A few folks had a couple of these around our lodgings in Kalaw on the afternoon after our hike.
YELLOW-BILLED BLUE-MAGPIE (Urocissa flavirostris schaferi) – Despite its long-tail and vocal conspicuousness, this high elevation specialist corvid is quite shy. We heard it well on our full day in the high elevations of Mt. Victoria, and most folks got at least a glimpse, despite their shyness.
RED-BILLED BLUE-MAGPIE (Urocissa erythroryncha) – Three of these were feeding on some Erythrina flowers we stopped to check on as we drove back towards Bagan from Mt. Victoria.
RUFOUS TREEPIE (Dendrocitta vagabunda) – A good show for these, with at least five on our drive out to Mt. Victoria, and another one perched up nicely on the drive back down a few days later.
RACKET-TAILED TREEPIE (Crypsirina temia) – Very good views on our first morning birding at Hlawga.

This male Blue Rock-Thrush of the pandoo subspecies greeted us as we arrived at our picnic lunch spot during the climb up from the dry plains towards the Chin Hills. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

HOODED TREEPIE (Crypsirina cucullata) – One of, if not the, most difficult endemics to track down. Kathy spotted one while we were birding on our second afternoon/evening at Bagan, and after some tense minutes where it was mostly concealing itself inside the crown of a palm tree, we eventually all got looks at it! [E]
HOUSE CROW (Corvus splendens) – Abundant (indeed too abundant) around Bagan, and also Yangon.
LARGE-BILLED CROW (Corvus macrorhynchos) – Widespread, but not particularly common. This was the only one present in the mountains, giving us a respite from the House Crows that lord over many of the settled areas of the country.
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
YELLOW-BELLIED FAIRY-FANTAIL (Chelidorhynx hypoxanthus) – A couple of brief encounters with these flitty little things in the evergreens of Mt. Victoria.
GRAY-HEADED CANARY-FLYCATCHER (Culicicapa ceylonensis) – A couple were showing over the gully during our excellent morning of birding near the hotel grounds, and they were heard on several other days.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
YELLOW-BROWED TIT (Sylviparus modestus modestus) – This drab, almost featureless, crested tit (it looks something like a compressed Orange-crowned Warbler) is distributed sparsely through the evergreen forest of Mt. Victoria, and we were able to connect with pairs on a couple of occasions.
BLACK-BIBBED TIT (Poecile hypermelaenus) – A high elevation pine forest specialist, this is the tit in the region that most resembles our North American ones, looking fairly similar to our Carolina Chickadee. Not an easy one but we had a good encounter on our first morning up on Mt. Victoria.

Burmese Tits greeted us on several of our visits to the high-elevation forests of Mount Victoria. This near-endemic species is still considered by some to be a subspecies of Black-browed Tit, though it seems a candidate ripe for the splitting. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

GREEN-BACKED TIT (Parus monticolus) – Common at the elevation of our lodging at Mt. Victoria, and we saw multiple indications of breeding, with one bird carrying food to a nest and another being followed around by a very vociferous youngster begging for food.
JAPANESE TIT (JAPANESE) (Parus minor nubicolus) – A bunch of these around Kalaw.
Alaudidae (Larks)
BURMESE BUSHLARK (Mirafra microptera) – A great part of the soundscape of central Myanmar, we were around this endemic on several days, and it was frequently serenading us with its flight song. [E]
SAND LARK (Alaudala raytal raytal) – This is a lark of sandbars and barren landscapes of Southern Asia, but it just sneaks into Southeast Asia along Burma's Irrawaddy River, and we encountered a couple during our boat trip there.
ORIENTAL SKYLARK (Alauda gulgula) – A few of these singing and skylarking at the island on the Irrawaddy River during that excursion.

Burmese Bushlark is yet another Burmese endemic only found in the central dry zone. We had a bevy of them singing and skylarking all over the place during our Bagan birding. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
COMMON TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus sutorius) – Commonly heard in open habitats, and seen best on the drive back to Bagan.
DARK-NECKED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus atrogularis) – Seen and heard well at Hlawga.
BROWN PRINIA (Prinia polychroa) – The morning we left Kalaw.
BLACK-THROATED PRINIA (RUFOUS-CROWNED) (Prinia atrogularis khasiana) – A sparsely distributed higher-elevation species, we connected with this near the entrance to Natma-Taung National Park.
HILL PRINIA (Prinia superciliaris) – Good views as we birded the pines on the way to the evergreen forest at Kalaw.
RUFESCENT PRINIA (Prinia rufescens) – A small group working the treetops as we headed back into Bagan.
GRAY-BREASTED PRINIA (Prinia hodgsonii) – The common small prinia during our time around Inlé and Bagan.

Yellow-eyed Babbler was one we picked up on our final morning in Bagan. Photo by participant Kathleen John.

YELLOW-BELLIED PRINIA (Prinia flaviventris) – Lots of these being very showy and singing their little brains out along the canal at Inlé Lake during our morning boat ride.
PLAIN PRINIA (Prinia inornata) – Fairly common in the open lands around Bagan.
ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis) – A couple of these being absurdly cooperative just hopping around in the open at close range while we birded the island in the Irrawaddy River.
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
THICK-BILLED WARBLER (Arundinax aedon) – A very out of place individual made our heads spin for a while, when we encountered it in a stand of bamboo in the dry dipterocarp forest on our final full day of birding as we came down from Mt. Victoria. Photos finally bore out this identification, allaying our initial befuddlement.
BLACK-BROWED REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus bistrigiceps) – A couple of these along the canal at the south end of Inlé Lake.
ORIENTAL REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus orientalis) – Abundant and conspicuous on Inlé Lake, and also present in appropriate habitat along the shores of the Irrawaddy River.

A close-up of one of the many temples which we birded around at Bagan. Photo by participant Kathleen John.

Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
STRIATED GRASSBIRD (Megalurus palustris) – These bruisers were widespread in wet and grassy habitats, notably at Inlé Lake.
BROWN BUSH WARBLER (Locustella luteoventris) – Excellent views of this oft-skulky bush warbler as it perched up and sang its heart out up on Mt. Victoria. Pretty amazing for a Locustella!
RUSSET BUSH WARBLER (Locustella mandelli) – Brief views of one of these as it dropped in front of us as we listened to some Annam Laughingthrushes singing above us along the road in the mid-elevations of Mount Victoria one afternoon.
Pnoepygidae (Cupwings)
SCALY-BREASTED CUPWING (Pnoepyga albiventer) – This one was singing down the gully below us during our late morning birding the mid-elevations on Mt. Victoria. [*]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
GRAY-THROATED MARTIN (Riparia chinensis) – A riverine sand bank specialist, we saw quite a few of these around and on the island in the Irrawaddy River during our boat trip.

Here we are trying to entice both Black-headed Gulls and Brown-headed Gulls to drop in with offerings of the local crispy treats. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – Inlé Lake was teeming with this widespread species which is distributed around the globe.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – The most widespread swallow on our route, and only absent from Mt. Victoria.
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – Some good views at Tha Mai Kham Wetlands on both of our visits there, and then also at the Heho airport and the stork colony on Inlé Lake.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – Around Kalaw and Inlé.
ASIAN HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon dasypus) – We encountered flocks of over 50 birds on two occasions while birding on Mt. Victoria.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
BLACK-HEADED BULBUL (Brachypodius atriceps) – Hlawga and Kalaw.
BLACK-CRESTED BULBUL (Rubigula flaviventris) – Pretty widespread: Hlawga, Kalaw, Heho, and the dry dipterocarp forests between Bagan and Mt. Victoria.
CRESTED FINCHBILL (Spizixos canifrons) – A handful of these seen across several days up on Mt. Victoria.
STRIATED BULBUL (Pycnonotus striatus) – Just a couple on Mt. Victoria, mostly in the lush high elevation evergreen forest.

We found this spiffy male White-tailed Stonechat on an island in the middle of the Irrawaddy River during our boat trip out of Bagan. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

RED-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus cafer melanchimus) – Exceptionally widespread, and perhaps our only BINGO bird of the trip, as we saw it on every birding day.
RED-WHISKERED BULBUL (Pycnonotus jocosus) – Hlawga, Kalaw, and Inlé, in pretty good numbers. Heartening, given how hard this species is hit elsewhere in the world by the cage bird trade.
BROWN-BREASTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus xanthorrhous) – A very local and sparsely distributed species, we had a couple of encounters with this one.
STRIPE-THROATED BULBUL (PALE-EYED) (Pycnonotus finlaysoni davisoni) – Known as either Pale-eyed Bulbul or Davison's Bulbul, this subspecies is very distinctive, with its obvious pale iris. We had two or three of them at Hlawga Park, which is not in the core of their range, but is usually good for a couple. [E]
FLAVESCENT BULBUL (Pycnonotus flavescens) – One at Kalaw and a few around Mt. Vitoria.
AYEYARWADY BULBUL (Pycnonotus blanfordi) – A regionally endemic species, after having been split from the more widespread Streak-eared Bulbul, this bulbul went from being a happily ticked regional specialty to being an imposition getting in the way of looking for other species just a short time after we commenced our birding around Bagan. [E]
BLACK BULBUL (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) – A couple in the hill forest at Kalaw.

Spectacled Barwing was one of the species we put a special effort into seeing near Kalaw, and we got some great views. This was the first of our three species of barwings on the tour, which is nearly half the species of barwing on the planet. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

ASHY BULBUL (Hemixos flavala) – One followed by a pair during our long walk in the forest at Kalaw.
MOUNTAIN BULBUL (Ixos mcclellandii) – Quite a few of these distributed through the forest at Kalaw.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
ASHY-THROATED WARBLER (Phylloscopus maculipennis) – This was one of the more distinctive of the phylloscopus we encountered on the tour, with their contrasting gray-washed head and throat set off from the yellowish underparts frequently making it pop as we birded the high elevations of Mt. Victoria.
BUFF-BARRED WARBLER (Phylloscopus pulcher) – The most abundant phylloscopus (perhaps the most abundant bird, full stop) which we encountered during our time on Mt. Victoria. Their high-pitched metallic call note filled the air on our early mornings, and they were our frequent companions as we sorted through flocks to find new species.
YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER (Phylloscopus inornatus) – Very widespread winterer in Southeast Asia, we encountered plenty, but not in as overwhelming numbers as one is confronted with in lowland forests across the region.
HUME'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus humei) – We had nice looks at a couple of these Yellow-browed Warbler döpplegangers at Sky Palace, which we also recorded giving their diagnostic call notes.
YELLOW-STREAKED WARBLER (Phylloscopus armandii) – The common phylloscopus in the dry forests around Bagan. Distinctive in their call notes, unmarked upperparts (no wingbars), and yellowish underparts with some light, blurry smudging on the flanks and breast.

Here's an image from our magical nocturnal experience with Hodgson's Frogmouth. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

DUSKY WARBLER (Phylloscopus fuscatus) – A widespread winterer in open and human-impacted areas of the region.
BUFF-THROATED WARBLER (Phylloscopus subaffinis) – One at Kalaw played hard to get in the middle of a small pine tree, but we saw a handful on Mt. Victoria that were more cooperative.
GRAY-CROWNED WARBLER (Phylloscopus tephrocephalus) – A nice "get" on our final evening of birding on Mt. Victoria, just up the road from our lodgings. This former Seicercus (before that genus got subsumed into Phylloscopus) was calling up a storm and then even began singing once we were watching it.
MARTENS'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus omeiensis) – Another of the former Seicercus genus, we got one to come in and show itself during our hike in Kalaw.
GREENISH WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochiloides) – A couple of these around the grounds of our hotel on Mt. Victoria.
TWO-BARRED WARBLER (Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus) – One of the most common Phylloscopus at Hlawga Park, and also encountered at Kalaw.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED WARBLER (Phylloscopus castaniceps) – A fantastic looking little Phylloscopus on Mt. Victoria, where it was a welcome departure from the lookalikes that comprise most of the rest of the genus.
BLYTH'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus reguloides assamensis) – Very starkly contrasting pale and green Phylloscopus warblers singing away in the dense broadleaf evergreen up high on Mt. Victoria.

River Lapwing can be a difficult bird to track down some years, but we found at least two pairs during the tour, including this one which was fairly close on a high beach. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

CLAUDIA'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus claudiae) – A couple of these on Mt. Victoria.
GRAY-HOODED WARBLER (Phylloscopus xanthoschistos) – One of these hanging out in the vicinity of our Green-tailed Sunbird in the middle elevations at Mt. Victoria.
DAVISON'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus intensior) – Good experiences with singing individuals at Kalaw, where they breed.
Scotocercidae (Bush Warblers and Allies)
SLATY-BELLIED TESIA (Tesia olivea) – A lithe no-tailed golf ball of a bird, the group that walked back from the reservoir got to reckon with one of these little green bouncing balls as it darted around the undergrowth, even appearing briefly on top of logs a couple of times.
CHESTNUT-HEADED TESIA (Cettia castaneocoronata) – Heard very well and very close on Mt. Victoria, but as is so often the case, it stayed behind a layer of vegetation. [*]
YELLOW-BELLIED WARBLER (Abroscopus superciliaris) – Heard calling and singing from a stand of bamboo on our final full day of birding, and most folks got looks at it as it flitted around, mostly in the shaded recesses of the vegetation.

Striated Babbler is yet another of the scarce and locally declining birds that we found in the Bagan area, this time on the Irrawaddy River island. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

BROAD-BILLED WARBLER (Tickellia hodgsoni) – This was singing its ultra high-pitched song as we started our birding in the montane evergreen forest on Mt. Victoria, but never came out of its bamboo haven. [*]
BROWNISH-FLANKED BUSH WARBLER (Horornis fortipes) – Nice views of a robustly singing bird behind our lodge on Mt. Victoria.
ABERRANT BUSH WARBLER (Horornis flavolivaceus) – A conspicuous songster of rank patches of understory on Mt. Victoria, mostly in the high elevation pine forest.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BLACK-THROATED TIT (BLACK-THROATED) (Aegithalos concinnus manipurensis) – This exceptionally good-looking tit was of the subspecies we encountered a couple of times on Mount Victoria, and it's endemic to Myanmar's Chin Hills and very Northeast India.
BLACK-THROATED TIT (BLACK-THROATED) (Aegithalos concinnus pulchellus) – This near endemic (it just barely makes it to NW Thailand) form of Black-throated Tit was seen a couple of times in the forest at Kalaw, and the second encounter was of a pair working on building a nest in a vine tangle just off the trail.
BLACK-BROWED TIT (BURMESE) (Aegithalos iouschistos sharpei) – This is also known as Burmese Tit, and is endemic to the high elevations around Mt. Victoria. We had quite a few encounters with it, including alongside the manipurensis Black-throated Tit, and the iconic White-browed Nuthatch. [E]
Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers, Parrotbills, and Allies)
YELLOW-EYED BABBLER (Chrysomma sinense) – Nice views of a conspicuously vocal and inquisitive pair around Bagan.
WHITE-BROWED FULVETTA (Fulvetta vinipectus) – Quite common in the higher elevations of Mt. Victoria.

This pair of range-restricted Collared Mynas really raised the roof during our evening sojourn as mariners on Inlé Lake. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

SPOT-BREASTED PARROTBILL (Paradoxornis guttaticollis) – What a pair of adorable little dumplings! These birds seem like their bodies should be about three times their size to accommodate their puffy heads. On our first morning birding there, a pair of these put on a good show in a patch of their unique high elevation bamboo habitat amongst the pines on Mt. Victoria.
BLACK-THROATED PARROTBILL (Suthora nipalensis) – We encountered a flock of more than 20 of these on one of our afternoons up high on Mt. Victoria, and it ended up being such a perfect experience, with these fantastic looking birds zipping this way and that and chattering away at point blank range, that they were voted the bird of the trip, just squeaking it out ahead of Black-backed Forktail!
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
WHISKERED YUHINA (Yuhina flavicollis) – A couple of these in the canopy of the evergreen forest atop Mt. Victoria, hanging out nearby a couple of Stripe-throated Yuhina for comparison.
BURMESE YUHINA (Yuhina humilis) – This is a scarce, sparsely distributed species that only occurs in the mountains around eastern Myanmar and northwestern Thailand, and we were fortunate to run across a couple of them in the forest at Kalaw!
STRIPE-THROATED YUHINA (Yuhina gularis) – A large yuhina, we had these on a couple of occasions up in the evergreen forests of Mt. Victoria.
INDIAN WHITE-EYE (Zosterops palpebrosus) – A couple of these in the forest at Kalaw.
Timaliidae (Tree-Babblers, Scimitar-Babblers, and Allies)
PIN-STRIPED TIT-BABBLER (Mixornis gularis) – Several heard singing conspicuously around the forktail spot on our final full day of birding. [*]

Here we are having a picnic lunch amidst the bamboo on Mount Victoria. There were even some nice birds at this site and nearby, including Hume's Treecreeper, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, and a group of Himalayan Cutia! Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

GOLDEN BABBLER (Cyanoderma chrysaeum) – Its distinctive song was heard frequently at Kalaw, where it was also seen a couple of times, and then heard a few times again up on Mt. Victoria where it was merely glimpsed.
CHIN HILLS WREN-BABBLER (Spelaeornis oatesi) – A very range restricted endemic, these small songsters are heard without a tremendous amount of trouble, but seeing them is a whole 'nother story. We had an excellent experience with them in the mid-elevations on Mt. Victoria, where we eventually got to watch a pair of them on a branch in the open at point blank range, loudly dueting at a fever pitch! [E]
STREAK-BREASTED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus ruficollis) – We did run into these easy-to-hear but not-so-easy-to-see (as most members of this family are) scimitar-babblers in the middle and higher elevations of Mt. Victoria, and we saw the species on at least three occasions.
WHITE-BROWED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus schisticeps) – Nice views during our hike to the forest at Kalaw, and then exceptionally good views on our final morning in the region!
RUSTY-CHEEKED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Megapomatorhinus erythrogenys) – This one had to remain as a heard only, as they remained rooted to their scrubby habitats and out of sight. [*]
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)
RUFOUS-WINGED FULVETTA (Schoeniparus castaneceps castaneceps) – An excellent view of this tiny forest-dweller with the intricate face pattern.
CHINESE GRASSBIRD (Graminicola striatus striatus) – It is a triumph if you even detect one in the first place, so hearing this exceptionally shy songster in the marsh grasses along the canal at Inlé Lake was great. We saw some blades of grass moving, and if we had even weak x-ray vision we certainly would've seen it, but it slyly remained hidden by the outer layer of vegetation, and we settled for a serenade. [*]
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
BROWN-CHEEKED FULVETTA (Alcippe poioicephala) – Several confiding troops of these shapeshifting small brown jobs on our final morning, sometimes looking quite small, sometimes rather large (for a fulvetta), but always fairly nondescript.
YUNNAN FULVETTA (Alcippe fratercula) – A couple of these were heard chattering, but as is often the case with these Alcippes, none of them popped into view for us. [*]

Black-backed Forktail was a great surprise at a roadside stop to look at some flowering Erythrina trees on our way down from Mount Victoria. This photo was knocked out of the park by participant Kathleen John.

NEPAL FULVETTA (Alcippe nipalensis stanfordi) – We heard these chattering from the understory between the road and our lodge on Mt. Victoria during the Barwing/Laughingthrush extravaganza, but we couldn't draw these skulkers out into view. [*]
HIMALAYAN CUTIA (Cutia nipalensis) – One of the most memorable moments of the tour was when we were graced with the presence of a troop of these downright awesome birds on our final day of birding up on Mt. Victoria. These are Thiri's favorite birds on the mountain, and it's easy to see why. Wow, simply wow!
STRIATED BABBLER (Turdoides earlei earlei) – Another great pickup, these range-restricted habitat-specific babblers are very hard to track down along accessible parts of the Irrawaddy River these days, but we found a very vocal, inquisitive and cooperative pair on the island during our boat trip out of Bagan!
WHITE-THROATED BABBLER (Turdoides gularis) – Another of the Central Myanmar dry zone endemics, this one is widespread and easy to see. It's bold and charismatic antics were a fun constant accompaniment to our birding around Bagan. [E]
LESSER NECKLACED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax monileger) – Heard singing away in several locations at Hlawga Park. [*]
GREATER NECKLACED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla pectoralis) – We had a nice flock of these pouring out of the scrub on one side of the road and across the road to the brush on the other side during our final full day of birding, in the dry dipterocarp forest. We saw several of them perched out for brief spurts as well, though it's pretty incredible how such a large bird can disappear into such seemingly insubstantial vegetation.

Here is our group having a picnic lunch at the reservoir within the boundaries of the Kalaw forest. At one point we had to drop everything because a Blue-throated Bee-eater popped up in the top of a nearby tree! Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

WHITE-BROWED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla sannio) – An easy-to-see laughingthrush, for a change. Their habit of being in open land habitats lends itself to making this one an easy pickup once you get to where they live. We had a cooperative group on the morning we left Kalaw.
MOUNT VICTORIA BABAX (Ianthocincla woodi) – A unique bird currently taxonomically embedded in the laughingthrushes, this taxon was finally split from Chinese Babax, and so is now unanimously considered its very own endemic species. Often difficult to see, we managed excellent views of singing individuals on two occasions during our time on Mt. Victoria, its only known stronghold. [E]
STRIPED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron virgatum) – An excellent experience with a pair of these range restricted and often difficult-to-see laughers during our magical morning birding the middle elevations of Mt. Victoria.
BROWN-CAPPED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron austeni victoriae) – We finally did get some good views of this shy high-elevation specialist. This species is confined to montane forests of Southern Assam, but the subspecies here is endemic to Mt. Victoria (hence the subspecific epithet).
ASSAM LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron chrysopterum erythrolaemum) – Some excellent views of this mountain-loving laughingthrush, and perhaps on average the easiest to see of the special laughingthrush species that occur on Mt. Victoria.

Striped Laughingthrush is a specialty of the mountains surrounding the border between Northeast India and Myanmar, and they're also quite skulky. A pair put their shyness aside as they came in for drinks of water during an early morning vigil in the middle elevations of Mount Victoria. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

GRAY SIBIA (Heterophasia gracilis) – Very common on Mount Victoria, where they often masquerade as whatever rarer species you're currently looking for.
BLACK-BACKED SIBIA (Heterophasia melanoleuca) – Their unique call rained down upon us sporadically through our walk through the forest at Kalaw, but seeing them was another story. We did eventually get great looks at a pair though, after a bit of cat-and-mouse.
SILVER-EARED MESIA (Leiothrix argentauris) – Among a mixed flock in the forest at Kalaw, and then a couple of large (including on with 20+ individuals) flocks in the mid-elevations of Mt. Victoria- what an outstanding looking creature!
RED-TAILED MINLA (Minla ignotincta) – A few of these striking minlas with the bandit masks in a mixed flock on our first full day on Mount Victoria, and then another brief sighting on day number three.
RED-FACED LIOCICHLA (Liocichla phoenicea) – One of the most difficult-to-see laughingthrushes around, we had one that was singing its heart out to us at close range, and everyone eventually got looks ranging from glimpses to very good perched views of this beautiful skulker.
STREAK-THROATED BARWING (Actinodura waldeni poliotis) – A couple of fairly cooperative pairs of this Mt. Victoria endemic subspecies in the middle elevations there.
RUSTY-FRONTED BARWING (Actinodura egertoni ripponi) – We finally tracked these down for some very good looks on Mt. Victoria.

White-throated Babbler is perhaps the easiest Burmese endemic to see, as it is fairly widespread in the dry lowlands and is also quite confiding and curious. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

SPECTACLED BARWING (Actinodura ramsayi) – The first piece in our hat trick of barwings was this open country scrub specialist, which we got phenomenal views of during our final morning at Kalaw.
BLUE-WINGED MINLA (Actinodura cyanouroptera) – A couple of these showed very well on our morning birding behind the lodge on Mt. Victoria.
CHESTNUT-TAILED MINLA (Actinodura strigula) – A great looking bird, and very common in the mixed broadleaf evergreen forests high up on Mt. Victoria. They're often an indicator of the presence of a mixed flock, so it's always exciting to see them no matter how numerous they are up there.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
BURMESE NUTHATCH (Sitta neglecta) – We pulled this one out at the eleventh hour, upon arriving at our final birding stop of the tour, and it showed very well!
CHESTNUT-VENTED NUTHATCH (Sitta nagaensis) – Fairly widespread through the various habitats we birded on Mt. Victoria.
WHITE-TAILED NUTHATCH (Sitta himalayensis)
WHITE-BROWED NUTHATCH (Sitta victoriae) – One of the most legendary birds in Myanmar, it had been lost to science for 60 years until a 1995 expedition (made possible in part by Thiri's father as a guide) was able to head up to Mt. Victoria, where birders had never been and scientists hadn't been for a long, long time. We had several encounters with this charismatic and distinctive which is endemic to the alpine forests of Southwestern Myanmar (primarily Mt. Victoria). [E]
VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH (Sitta frontalis) – A couple of these in the shady upper stories of the forest at Kalaw.

White-browed Nuthatch, another species endemic to Myanmar, was re-discovered to science in 1996, when an expedition of visiting ornithologists guided by Thiri's father explored the region, becoming the first ornithologists to visit the area in over half a century. We had a very good time with them, encountering perhaps ten or more individuals during our days on the mountain. What a fantastic little bird! Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
BAR-TAILED TREECREEPER (Certhia himalayana ripponi) – A very cooperative individual on one of our afternoons in the high elevation pine forest on Mt. Victoria. This subspecies is a fascinating outlier in comparison to the rest of the species, residing in just a narrow band of high elevation forests in the Chin Hills concentrated around Mt. Victoria.
HUME'S TREECREEPER (Certhia manipurensis) – We finally got excellent looks at this bird which we had only heard previously, during our picnic lunch up on Mt. Victoria.

The legendary golden dragon boat in drydock in its boathouse at Inlé. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Sturnidae (Starlings)
COMMON HILL MYNA (Gracula religiosa) – A flock of seven of these perched up in a bare tree in the vicinity of some flowering erythrina trees just before lunch on the day we headed out to Mount Victoria.
BLACK-COLLARED STARLING (Gracupica nigricollis) – This large Starling which could just as well be called a Myna was widespread everywhere except the mountains, but not particularly common in any one place.
ASIAN PIED STARLING (Gracupica contra) – A couple of these flew by as we first got into the marsh at Inlé, surprising us in a big way and bringing us to a halt as we got some looks at them after they landed nearby.
CHESTNUT-TAILED STARLING (Sturnia malabarica) – A few of these in the open lands around Kalaw, including a couple foraging on flowering trees at point blank range.
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – Widespread, common.
VINOUS-BREASTED STARLING (BURMESE) (Acridotheres burmannicus burmannicus) – The majority of this taxon's population resides in Myanmar, and it is fortunately quite common within that range.
JUNGLE MYNA (Acridotheres fuscus torquatus) – One of the more common mynas in the lowlands.
COLLARED MYNA (Acridotheres albocinctus) – A small group of these regional endemics fortuitously appeared as we were leaving the Asian Openbill on Inlé Lake.
GREAT MYNA (Acridotheres grandis) – Very common around Kalaw and Inlé Lake.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
GRAY-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Turdus boulboul) – One was hanging out at our lodging, and we got some great views at first light on one morning.
BLACK-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus dissimilis) – Quite a few of these around our lodging on Mt. Victoria, though getting good looks at them was another story (though we eventually did get cracking looks at both male and female).
GRAY-SIDED THRUSH (Turdus feae) – One of these showed well for scope views lower down on Mt. Victoria, and then we flushed dozens of them from the road while driving up the mountain in the dark on our final morning.

White-eyed Buzzard is another of the scarce and localized South Asian targets that we found as we headed up to Mount Victoria. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
DARK-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa sibirica) – One of these long-winged migrants was relentlessly foraging from a dead pine snag one late afternoon on Mt. Victoria.
ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa dauurica) – Common at Hlawga Park.
ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN (Copsychus saularis) – Widespread in open areas.
BLUE-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Cyornis rubeculoides)
HILL BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis banyumas)
LARGE NILTAVA (Niltava grandis) – A pair in the middle elevations of Mount Victoria, and the female showed really well.
VERDITER FLYCATCHER (Eumyias thalassinus) – An electric addition to the common avifauna around our lodging at Mt. Victoria, and always appreciated no matter how often we encountered them. In the right light the males have an unreal glow about them.
LESSER SHORTWING (Brachypteryx leucophris) – This skulker was a surprise in the understory during our return hike at Kalaw while we were trying to see a Slaty-bellied Tesia that was also flitting around the ground cover. It even perched up a couple of times on a water pipe running through the forest!
BLUETHROAT (Luscinia svecica) – One at the wetlands near Heho, a few on our morning boat ride through the marshes of Inlé Lake, and then also on the island in the Irrawaddy River.
BLUE WHISTLING-THRUSH (YELLOW-BILLED) (Myophonus caeruleus temminckii) – A couple of these were on the grounds of our lodge in Kalaw, and then we had another one on the grounds of the lodge on Mt. Victoria. These detections likely reveal more about the crepuscular nature of the species than of their spatial preferences for our particular lodges!
BLACK-BACKED FORKTAIL (Enicurus immaculatus) – An incredible surprise on our final birding day as we made our way through the hot dry forest towards Bagan. While we were stopped near some flowering Erythrina trees, Kathy spotted one of these along a barely-running stream that ran under the road, and in short order it turned into a pair. A fortuitous roadside stop if ever there was one!
SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT (Calliope calliope) – A male teed up briefly in the marsh during our morning boat trip on Inlé Lake.
HIMALAYAN BLUETAIL (Tarsiger rufilatus) – Plenty of these around the higher elevations of Mt. Victoria, though the vast majority were females.
SLATY-BACKED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula erithacus) – In the forest at Kalaw and then again at the camp up on Mt. Victoria.

Chin Hills Wren-Babbler has a big song for such a small bird, and it is as stealthy as it is loud. Here it is defying that skulky stereotype as it sings to its (presumed) mate early one morning in the middle elevations of Mount Victoria. This high- priority bird is endemic to the mountains straddling the border between Northeast India and Myanmar. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

SLATY-BLUE FLYCATCHER (Ficedula tricolor) – At least one dapper male, and perhaps some females, around our lodge on Mt. Victoria.
RUFOUS-GORGETED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula strophiata) – A spiffy looking common denizen of the higher elevations on Mt. Victoria.
LITTLE PIED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula westermanni) – This cutie dropped in above us while we were having our excellent Hume's Treecreeper experience after our also excellent picnic lunch on Mt. Victoria.
TAIGA FLYCATCHER (Ficedula albicilla) – Common throughout.
BLUE-FRONTED REDSTART (Phoenicurus frontalis) – The redstart which we encountered in the high elevation forests upon Mt. Victoria.
HODGSON'S REDSTART (Phoenicurus hodgsoni) – Brief views of a male perched low in the pines as we started our big hike at Kalaw.
DAURIAN REDSTART (Phoenicurus auroreus) – We heard this calling around Bagan, and then Kathy had a male up on Mt. Victoria.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola rufiventris) – Some nice views of both males and females in the high elevation pine and rhododendron forest on Mt. Victoria. We got to see them working on those bright red rhododendron flowers on multiple days.
BLUE ROCK-THRUSH (PANDOO) (Monticola solitarius pandoo) – Nice views of a male perched quietly on a rock along the roadside at our lunch stop as we drove through the dry forests towards Mount Victoria.

Thomas Caverhill Jerdon was one of the most prominent British zoologists in South Asia, and it shows in the litany of species named after him (including the afore-pictured Jerdon's Bushchat). Jerdon's Minivet (here) is yet another one, and we had very good experiences with this species on several occasions around Bagan. The males are especially striking, with their bright orange bibs brightening their otherwise monochromatic plumage. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

SIBERIAN STONECHAT (PRZEVALSKI'S) (Saxicola maurus przewalskii) – This regional resident tends to be darker and less contrasty overall than its visiting cousin, the next taxon.
SIBERIAN STONECHAT (STEJNEGER'S) (Saxicola maurus stejnegeri) – These are winter visitors from their breeding grounds that stretch from Eastern Siberia to Japan, including Korea. While difficult to separate from the other taxa of Siberian Stonechat, these tend to be paler overall, and the males have less extensive orange on the underparts, than their Przevalski's cousin. This often gives them a bolder and more contrasty look.
WHITE-TAILED STONECHAT (Saxicola leucurus) – We saw this regional specialty during our walkabout on the island in the Irrawaddy River, and wow did we see it well! In addition to point-blank views of the distinctive male, we even got to watch a female repeatedly visit a nest site (likely with young inside).
PIED BUSHCHAT (Saxicola caprata) – Plenty common in open areas, though absent from the higher elevations of Mt. Victoria, where we were exempt for its presence for three days.
JERDON'S BUSHCHAT (Saxicola jerdoni) – A sparsely distributed and habitat specific species, Inlé Lake is one of the best places to see this rarity, and we saw several pairs of them during our morning boat trip on the lake.
GRAY BUSHCHAT (Saxicola ferreus) – This is the common bushchat of high elevations, dwelling from open montane forest all the way down to foothill forest (including at Kalaw), where it overlaps with the very different looking Pied Bushchat.
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
PLAIN FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum minullum) – A couple around the middle elevations of Mt. Victoria.
FIRE-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (FIRE-BREASTED) (Dicaeum ignipectus ignipectus) – In the forest at Kalaw, and then again in the mid-elevations of Mt. Victoria.
SCARLET-BACKED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum cruentatum) – Our best views were at Hlawga Park, and then we also had one on the way to the Heho airport.

A striking male Pied Harrier gave us a flyby as we were looking for Rain Quail along the Irrawaddy River. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
RUBY-CHEEKED SUNBIRD (Chalcoparia singalensis) – A pair of these (including a boldly plumaged male!) on our final full day of birding were a pleasant surprise.
PURPLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris asiaticus) – The common sunbird of open, dry country, we encountered this one most frequently of all of the sunbirds.
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris jugularis) – A few around Hlawga Park, and then a couple of females around the dry forests of Bagan.
FIRE-TAILED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga ignicauda flavescens) – What a stunner! Regardless of how many times we saw this incredible species at the highest elevations of Mt. Victoria, it never got old. Abundant with a concurrent abundance of beauty.

We had a continuous stream of delicious regionally specific meals throughout the tour. This one was our tastebud-friendly feast at Lake Inlé. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

BLACK-THROATED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga saturata) – A nice male during the walk back through the Kalaw forest after lunch.
MRS. GOULD'S SUNBIRD (Aethopyga gouldiae) – A few females around the middle elevations on Mt. Victoria.
GREEN-TAILED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga nipalensis) – Excellent views of a stonking male during our afternoon birding in the mid-elevations of Mount Victoria!
Chloropseidae (Leafbirds)
BLUE-WINGED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis cochinchinensis) – A group of three of these were feeding mostly out of sight during our final morning's birding, and then they all took off and flew by us and out of sight.
GOLDEN-FRONTED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis aurifrons) – We saw a couple of these in the dry forests on the way down from Mt. Victoria to Bagan.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
BAYA WEAVER (Ploceus philippinus) – Hordes of these were feeding in the agricultural areas on the Irrawaddy River island.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
WHITE-RUMPED MUNIA (Lonchura striata) – A brief glimpse of a flock of 8 flying over on our final morning of birding.
SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) – A few flocks here and there.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus indicus) – Less common than Eurasian Tree Sparrow, except for the flybys at the dry forest of Bagan, but still quite widespread.
RUSSET SPARROW (Passer cinnamomeus) – Some excellent views of this smart looking passer just before we left Kalaw hill.
PLAIN-BACKED SPARROW (Passer flaveolus) – Over and over, as we saw these birds around Bagan, we just couldn't figure out why they decided to name this bird plain-backed. Yes, it lacks streaks on the back, but the males are such a striking combination of yellow, rusty, and interesting patterning, that surely they could've come up with something better.
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus) – Common throughout.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea) – Lots of them at the wetland west of Heho when we visited it on our first evening in the area, and then a couple of brief sightings elsewhere.
EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (Motacilla tschutschensis) – Just around the reedbeds of Inlé Lake.

This Plain-backed Sparrow was anything but plain, and was one of four species of the very recognizable genus of Passer sparrows which we saw on the tour. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

CITRINE WAGTAIL (Motacilla citreola) – A handful of these were mixed in with the Gray Wagtails at the wetlands west of Heho.
WHITE WAGTAIL (CHINESE) (Motacilla alba leucopsis) – Fairly widespread, this was the only taxon of White Wagtails which we identified with certainty, and in fact there were very few White Wagtails that weren't obviously this subspecies.
RICHARD'S PIPIT (Anthus richardi) – Flushed calling from the fields on the island in the Irrawaddy.
PADDYFIELD PIPIT (Anthus rufulus) – Scope views at the wetlands near Heho were the most time we spent looking at this species, which is pretty common in open lands throughout the region.
LONG-BILLED PIPIT (BURMESE) (Anthus similis yamethini) – We found a Long-billed Pipit on a tilled field in Bagan, and the subspecies here is indeed endemic to the central dry plain of Myanmar.
ROSY PIPIT (Anthus roseatus) – A nice surprise as we checked on some rice paddies on our way to the Heho airport before heading to Bagan.

This Common Tinsel dropped in to join our picnic as we made our way up to Mount Victoria. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus hodgsoni) – The commonest pipit during our travels, especially at the higher elevations. It's odd, at first, to see pipits perching in trees, but these are very closely related to Tree Pipits, so it makes some sense to see these forest-loving pipits perching up at eye level or higher after flushing from the sides of roads or footpaths.
RED-THROATED PIPIT (Anthus cervinus) – Quite a few of these flying back and forth at Irrawaddy River island.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
BLACK-HEADED GREENFINCH (Chloris ambigua) – We heard lots of them during the hike at Kalaw, but only a couple showed themselves, and even then they only gave in-flight views. Then, just as time was about to run out on the species, Thiri found a male perched up at the edge of the wetland between Kalaw and Inlé.
Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)
YELLOW-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza aureola) – A big surprise was a female Yellow-breasted Bunting in a pepper field as we walked around the island in the Irrawaddy River attempting to track down Rain Quail. It was a great consolation prize, and actually a much rarer bird in the region these days, given its population decline over the past decade plus.

This Yellow-breasted Bunting was a big surprise in a pepper field on the river island during our boat trip out of Bagan. A rarity in the region, its rare status has been compounded in recent years by a precipitous population decline across its range. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

RHESUS MACAQUE (Macaca mulatta) – Feral at Hlawga Park, where they were released many years ago, and which they have now overrun, unfortunately.
PALLAS'S RED-BELLIED SQUIRREL (Callosciurus erythraeus) – In and around Kalaw.
FINLAYSON'S SQUIRREL (Callosciurus finlaysoni) – Common around Hlawga Park.
HOARY-BELLIED (IRRAWADDY) SQUIRREL (Callosciurus pygerythrus) – The common squirrel seen during our time around Bagan, including the relatively confiding ones around our hotel.
HIMALAYAN STRIPED SQUIRREL (Tamiops macclellandi) – These tiny arboreal squirrels were scampering through the subcanopy on Mt. Victoria.
ORANGE-BELLIED HIMALAYAN SQUIRREL (Dremomys lokriah) – This was the small, mostly uniformly dark, squirrel which some folks saw on a couple of occasions up on Mount Victoria.
YELLOW-THROATED MARTEN (Martes flavigula) – Eric and Min got a brief view of one of these widespread but difficult to see mustelids as it clambered up the slope of a dry gully during our final morning's birding.

This gorgeous orchid was spotted during our walk in the high- elevation forests of Mount Victoria, and we were able to identify it after the fact, with some help, as Pleione humilis. Photo by guide Doug Gochfeld.

COMMON HOUSE GECKO (Hemidactylus frenatus) – Common around our habitations, especially at Bagan.


Other beings of interest:

Two of the orchids we saw up on Mt. Victoria were Pleione humilis (the white petaled one with pink splotching on the inside of the flower),

The intricately-patterned mantis we saw as we left the hotel at Inlé Lake was potentially Hierodula multispina.

We saw a good variety of butterflies on the tour, and a very partial list follows:

Common Windmill (Byasa polyeuctes)- the big black, red, and white swallowtail-like butterfly flying around high on Mount Victoria

Common Tinsel (Catapaecilma major)- the striking little hairstreak/blue which was climbing on the ziploc bags of food during our picnic lunch on the way up to Mount Victoria

Blue Admiral (Kaniska canace)- in both the Kalaw forest and along the road at Mt. Victoria.

Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya)- near the reservoir at Kalaw

Dark-edged Snow Flat (Tagiades menaka)- Kalaw

Rustic (Cupha erymanthis)- Kathy photographed one of these around Bagan

Common Jester (Symbrenthia lilaea)- roadside in the middle elevations of Mt. Victoria

One of the Blue Tiger butterflies (genus Tirumala)- Common around Kalaw and beyond

Totals for the tour: 342 bird taxa and 7 mammal taxa