FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS: VIETNAM 2017
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Field Guides Tour Report
VIETNAM 2017
Nov 3, 2017 to Nov 23, 2017
Dave Stejskal


One of the pair of Black-crowned Barwings that we saw on our way to Mang Den. These near-endemics were just one highlight of our trip. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

We added this 2017 Vietnam tour at the last minute to substitute for the cancelled Yunnan tour, and I sure am glad we were able to make this one a 'go'! We switched the itinerary around a bit from our usual offering, dropping the now challenging Tam Dao NP north of Hanoi and substituting the productive and very interesting highlands of Central Annam in Kontum Province. Our first run of this itinerary, after Doug Gochfeld and I scouted this new area after last year's Vietnam tour was a big success, as I'm sure you will all agree!

Weather, as usual, played a role in our tour, but it wasn't as rainy this year as it was in 2016. We did have some rain, as expected, but I don't think it adversely affected our experience for the most part. Logistically, this trip ran very smoothly, thanks in large part to our local co-leader Nhan and our expert drivers.

Vietnam boasts more endemics (and near-endemics) than any other mainland s.e. Asian country, and they really showed well for us on this tour. Our first big prize, and arguably the star among many highlights, was that wonderful pair of Black-crowned Barwings en route to Mang Den. I had my doubts that we would ever find this one on that day, but it all worked out beautifully in the end! Mang Den produced some other quality endemics for us, notably the recently-described Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush and the dapper Gray-crowned Crocias, both of which were seen very well indeed. The Dalat/Di Linh area was our other endemic species center, where we added Vietnamese Greenfinch, Dalat Shrike-Babbler, Black-headed Parrotbill, Collared Laughingthrush, Vietnamese Cutia, and Black-crowned Fulvetta. Additionally, this area of Vietnam hosts a number of endemic or near-endemic distinctive subspecies – some of which will likely be split off as good species in the future – and we did well with these, too, making it a point to try to see as many of these distinctive forms as we could.

Among the non-endemics on this tour, the highlights were numerous as well. We did reasonably well with both Blue-rumped and Bar-bellied pittas at Cuc Phuong and Cat Tien NP, saw White-winged Magpie and Ratchet-tailed Treepie very well (Indochinese Green-Magpie less well), scored on such skulkers as Scaly-breasted Partridge, Germain's Peacock-Pheasant, Cinnamon Bittern, Malayan Night-Heron, Pygmy Cupwing, Gray-bellied Tesia, Lanceolated Warbler, Coral-billed, Red-billed, Large, and Short-tailed scimitar-babblers, Black-hooded and White-cheeked laughingthrushes, Lesser Shortwing, and Siberian Rubythroat, and had nice encounters with the likes of Green Peafowl, both Wooly-necked Stork and Lesser Adjutant, Black Eagle, both Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged jacanas, Collared Scops-Owl, Asian Barred Owlet, Brown Boobook, Great Hornbill, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Red-vented and Indochinese barbets, both Collared and Pied falconets, Racket-tailed Treepie, Sultan Tit (including the endemic black-crested race gayeti), Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Rufous-faced Warbler, Kloss's Leaf Warbler, Gray-headed Parrotbill, Gray-faced Tit-Babbler, Rufous-throated Fulvetta, Limestone Wren-Babbler, White-crested Laughingthrush, Black-headed Sibia (the endemic race robinsoni), Rufous-backed Sibia, Rufous-browed Flycatcher, White-crowned Forktail, Chinese Blackbird, Red Crossbill (the endemic race meridionalis), plus so many others!

Thanks to all of you for joining me on this enjoyable tour to Vietnam – a country that deserves so much more attention from birders and ornithologists alike. Thanks also to Nhan, our gracious and friendly co-leader from Vietnam Birding for making this one run as smoothly as it did – I certainly couldn't have done this trip without him! I wish all of you a fabulous birding year in 2018 and I hope to travel with you all again soon! Dave


KEYS FOR THIS LIST
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



Germain's Peacock Pheasant can be a real skulker! Participant Greg Griffith got this image that shows the beautiful tail-spots on this bird.

BIRDS
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus coromandelianus) – A single female spotted by George on Crocodile Lake.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
BAR-BACKED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila brunneopectus) [*]
SCALY-BREASTED PARTRIDGE (Arborophila chloropus) – That blind at Cat Tien proved worth the discomfort waiting in it when this species and others made an appearance.
GREEN PEAFOWL (Pavo muticus) – The road through the pastureland at Cat Tien was the place to see this Endangered species. We ended up with super views of several males.
GERMAIN'S PEACOCK-PHEASANT (Polyplectron germaini) – We hardly detected this species this year on the tour, but that blind really paid off with great looks at one bird that came in after a long wait.
RED JUNGLEFOWL (Gallus gallus) – A couple of females at the blind were the only ones seen by the entire group.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Nice looks at Crocodile Lake. Unlike the birds to the west in Europe, these eastern birds possess striking white eyes – I'm not really sure where in this bird's broad range the eye color changes, though
Ciconiidae (Storks)
WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (Ciconia episcopus) – Several good looks at this declining species at Cat Tien. There's been some talk recently of splitting these Asian birds from the widely disjunct birds in Africa.
LESSER ADJUTANT (Leptoptilos javanicus) – One bird in flight at Cat Tien was all that we found there.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ORIENTAL DARTER (Anhinga melanogaster) – Jenny spotted our only Darter of the trip while we waited out the afternoon rain at Cat Tien NP.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
CINNAMON BITTERN (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus) – One of the major rewards for our long hike into Crocodile Lake was the fantastic look we got of this distinctive bittern!
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Not a very common winterer here, at least in the areas that we visit.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – A couple of birds only at Crocodile Lake.


This White-browed Crake was Martha's 4000th bird! Photo by participant George Sims.

GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta) – Look for a split of these Old World birds from birds in the New World sometime – bare part color is different in the breeding season and the voice is actually quite different.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Ardea intermedia) – It was good to see this one flying with Great Egrets at Van Long Reserve on that first day, showing the difference in size between the two quite well.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)
CATTLE EGRET (EASTERN) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) – Most of the non-American taxonomists around the world already split these eastern birds from the birds in the western part of the range, calling this one Eastern Cattle-Egret (B. coromandus).
CHINESE POND-HERON (Ardeola bacchus) – Some of the birds in the south may have actually been Javan Pond-Heron, but these two are indistinguishable in the winter.
STRIATED HERON (OLD WORLD) (Butorides striata javanica) – Our only sighting was on the first afternoon at the park in Hanoi.
MALAYAN NIGHT-HERON (Gorsachius melanolophus) – Seeing this one in the road at a rain puddle was a really exciting find! I just wish that the driver had stopped a little sooner...
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Regular in winter on the Dong Nai River at Cat Tien NP.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis ptilorhynchus) – A single distant flyby bird on the final morning of the tour.
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE (Spilornis cheela) – Throughout much of S.E. Asia, this is the most commonly seen large raptor in the forested regions.
MOUNTAIN HAWK-EAGLE (Nisaetus nipalensis) [*]
BLACK EAGLE (Ictinaetus malaiensis) – A couple of cooperative adults at Lo Xo Pass during our short time there.
GRAY-FACED BUZZARD (Butastur indicus) – Those long, narrow wings make this one pretty distinctive in flight.
EASTERN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus spilonotus) – A nice find at the final hour at the Da Lat airport while we waited for our flight to Saigon on the final afternoon!
CRESTED GOSHAWK (Accipiter trivirgatus) – Strangely scarce on this trip.
JAPANESE SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter gularis) – A single flyby at Deo Nui San Pass near Di Linh.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN (Amaurornis phoenicurus) – Only seen on that first afternoon at the park in Hanoi.
WHITE-BROWED CRAKE (Amaurornis cinerea) – #4000 for Martha!!
RUDDY-BREASTED CRAKE (Zapornia fusca) [*]
BLACK-BACKED SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio indicus viridis) – The old Purple Swamphen was recently split up into six species. Despite the species name, this is not the form in India.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – Now split from our familiar Common Gallinule.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra novaeguinea) – Several at the Van Long Reserve this year.


Our group at Mang Den, where we saw such birds as the Ratchet-tailed Treepie, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, and Coral-billed Scimitar-Babbler. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
RED-WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus indicus atronuchalis) – This race, with the isolated white ear patch, might get split from the nominate subspecies to the west of here in India.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius dubius) – A single bird in the paddy mud on our way out of Cuc Phuong.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) – At least twelve of these unmistakable shorebirds at the Van Long Reserve at the start of the tour. I've yet to see this one in breeding plumage!
BRONZE-WINGED JACANA (Metopidius indicus) – Martha spotted our first at a distance at Crocodile Lake.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
ORIENTAL PRATINCOLE (Glareola maldivarum) – These odd shorebirds turned out to be rather plentiful at Cat Tien NP, though we never saw one on the ground.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
ORIENTAL TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia orientalis) – A single bird perched up at Mang Den was our only one of the trip.
RED COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia tranquebarica) – Numerous at Cat Tien in the open country there.
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis)
BARRED CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia unchall) – We had several encounters with this one, but the best was at Lo Xo Pass.
ASIAN EMERALD DOVE (Chalcophaps indica) – After a couple of brief flybys and a few others heard, it was nice to get this one on the ground at Cat Tien. Now split from the Pacific Emerald-Dove to the southeast.
ZEBRA DOVE (Geopelia striata) [I]


A lovely Common Kingfisher. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

ASHY-HEADED GREEN-PIGEON (Treron phayrei) [*]
THICK-BILLED PIGEON (Treron curvirostra) – Almost daily from the viewing platform at Cat Tien.
WEDGE-TAILED PIGEON (Treron sphenurus) – Deftly spotted by George along the roadside near Dalat.
GREEN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula aenea) – The numbers of this one have really dropped off at Cat Tien over the years.
MOUNTAIN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula badia) – Uncommon in the mountains on this tour.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER COUCAL (Centropus sinensis) – A couple of decent looks at Cat Tien NP.
LESSER COUCAL (Centropus bengalensis) – Sitting up nicely at Cat Tien - quite different from the Greater at this season.
GREEN-BILLED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus tristis) – A little scarce on the tour this year for some reason. One of the few non-parasitic cuckoos in Asia.
ASIAN EMERALD CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx maculatus) – This one sat up briefly uphill from the road at Deo Nui San Pass.
VIOLET CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus) – We got a male in the scope for some distant views at Cat Tien.
BANDED BAY CUCKOO (Cacomantis sonneratii) [*]
SQUARE-TAILED DRONGO-CUCKOO (Surniculus lugubris) – The old Asian Drongo-Cuckoo was recently split up into several species and it's thought that this one is the only member of the complex that regularly occurs in mainland S.E. Asia east of India.
Strigidae (Owls)
MOUNTAIN SCOPS-OWL (Otus spilocephalus) [*]
COLLARED SCOPS-OWL (Otus lettia) – This one capped off our three-owl evening at Cat Tien NP!
COLLARED OWLET (Glaucidium brodiei) [*]
ASIAN BARRED OWLET (Glaucidium cuculoides) – Owl #2 on our big nightbird evening.


The Yellow-billed Nuthatch was seen several times in mixed flocks near Mang Den. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

BROWN BOOBOOK (Ninox scutulata burmanica) – Formerly called the Brown Hawk-Owl, but all of the Ninox that were called Hawk-Owls are now referred to as Boobooks.
Podargidae (Frogmouths)
HODGSON'S FROGMOUTH (Batrachostomus hodgsoni) – This one never got close, unfortunately. [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
GREAT EARED-NIGHTJAR (Lyncornis macrotis) – Numerous looks of birds in flight in the fading light at Cat Tien.
GRAY NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus jotaka jotaka) – At least on responsive bird came in for a close look at us near Dalat.
Apodidae (Swifts)
BROWN-BACKED NEEDLETAIL (Hirundapus giganteus) – The only Needletails that we saw well in the Mang Den area proved to be this species.
GERMAIN'S SWIFTLET (Aerodramus germani) – Very common in the coastal lowlands the length of the country.
PACIFIC SWIFT (Apus pacificus) – A few birds seen at Cat Tien were likely late migrants heading south.
HOUSE SWIFT (Apus nipalensis) – Impressive numbers of these were seen in downtown Saigon.
ASIAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus balasiensis) – Not very numerous on this tour (not many palms along our route).
Trogonidae (Trogons)
RED-HEADED TROGON (Harpactes erythrocephalus) – We often heard this species, but it was really a pain to try and see!
ORANGE-BREASTED TROGON (Harpactes oreskios) – One brief look at this one on our way back out from Crocodile Lake.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
GREAT HORNBILL (Buceros bicornis) – I was really heartened to see a couple of pairs of these magnificent hornbills, where I hadn't seen them for several years.
ORIENTAL PIED-HORNBILL (Anthracoceros albirostris) – A 'regular' from the viewing platform at Cat Tien.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis) – A common winterer in Vietnam.
BLUE-EARED KINGFISHER (Alcedo meninting) – Briefly at Cat Tien.
BANDED KINGFISHER (Lacedo pulchella) – Seen only by Rick near our lodge at Cat Tien NP.
WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER (Halcyon smyrnensis) – Typically the most common and widespread of the kingfishers on this trip.
BLACK-CAPPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon pileata) – Seeing this one in the bamboo well above the forest floor was a bit surprising.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
BLUE-BEARDED BEE-EATER (Nyctyornis athertoni) – We had several good looks at this big Bee-eater; Vietnam is an excellent place to see this one.
BLUE-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops philippinus) – Numerous in the fields at Cat Tien.
CHESTNUT-HEADED BEE-EATER (Merops leschenaulti) – Numerous atop the bamboo stalks at Cat Tien.


A beautiful shot of an Oriental Magpie-Robin, by participant Greg Griffith.

Coraciidae (Rollers)
INDIAN ROLLER (Coracias benghalensis) – Not much to look at until it takes flight.
DOLLARBIRD (Eurystomus orientalis) – Good numbers of these wintering at Cat Tien NP.
Megalaimidae (Asian Barbets)
COPPERSMITH BARBET (Psilopogon haemacephalus) – This one is surprisingly hard to come by in Vietnam. [*]
BLUE-EARED BARBET (Psilopogon duvaucelii) – Excellent views of one bird at an active nest hole above the road. [N]
RED-VENTED BARBET (Psilopogon lagrandieri) – After hearing a few and getting some poor looks, we finally tracked this one down for some nice studies near Mang Den. A regional specialty, found mostly in Vietnam.
GREEN-EARED BARBET (Psilopogon faiostrictus) – We didn't run into this one until we got to Cat Tien NP.
LINEATED BARBET (Psilopogon lineatus) – Only in the open country at Cat Tien.
GOLDEN-THROATED BARBET (VIOLET-EARED) (Psilopogon franklinii auricularis) – The race here is much more ornate than the birds to the north and west of here and closely resembles the Indochinese Barbet.
INDOCHINESE BARBET (Psilopogon annamensis) – Great views in the Dalat area. A relatively recent split from the Black-browed Barbet.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
SPECKLED PICULET (Picumnus innominatus) – Seen by some along the Deo Nui San Pass road.
WHITE-BROWED PICULET (Sasia ochracea) [*]
GRAY-CAPPED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos canicapillus) – This one is extremely variable in plumage, and vocally, throughout its broad range and I wouldn't be surprised if there's some taxonomic revision needed for this one.
STRIPE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos atratus) – Nicely in the forests around Mang Den.


We got our best looks at the Great Iora at Cat Tien National Park. Photo by participant George Sims.

LESSER YELLOWNAPE (Picus chlorolophus) – Excellent scope views of this bird in the scopes near Mang Den.
GREATER YELLOWNAPE (Picus flavinucha) – Briefly seen by a couple of us along the Deo Nui San Pass road; others heard.
LACED WOODPECKER (Picus vittatus) – Like most Asian woodpeckers, this one proved to be pretty furtive!
RUFOUS WOODPECKER (Micropternus brachyurus) – The very dark race that we saw so beautifully at Cat Tien was M.b. annamensis, which is confined to Laos, Cambodia and s. Vietnam - a much different-looking bird than what I see in Thailand and Borneo!
BLACK-AND-BUFF WOODPECKER (Meiglyptes jugularis) – We really worked on trying to see these woodpeckers high in the canopy at Cat Tien, but it paid off (for the most part).
GREATER FLAMEBACK (Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus) [*]
BAY WOODPECKER (Blythipicus pyrrhotis) – A few lucky folks got to see this one perched - which rarely happens!
HEART-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Hemicircus canente) [*]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FALCONET (Microhierax caerulescens) – The usual bird across the Dong Nai R. from our lodging wasn't anywhere to be found this year, so we had to settle on a very distant bird perched above the far end of Crocodile Lake.
PIED FALCONET (Microhierax melanoleucos) – George spotted our first of these - at long range - but we all had good views in the scopes. This one replaces the Collared Falconet to the north of that one's range.
EURASIAN KESTREL (Falco tinnunculus)
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
RED-BREASTED PARAKEET (Psittacula alexandri) – Nice views right above the road!
VERNAL HANGING-PARROT (Loriculus vernalis) – Including some excellent views of perched birds this year (instead of the usual screeching green bullet over the forest!).
Eurylaimidae (Asian and Grauer's Broadbills)
BLACK-AND-RED BROADBILL (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) – Nicely at Cat Tien.
LONG-TAILED BROADBILL (Psarisomus dalhousiae) [*]
SILVER-BREASTED BROADBILL (Serilophus lunatus) – They just wouldn't come any closer! [*]
BANDED BROADBILL (Eurylaimus javanicus) – Quick looks at a couple of birds zipping overhead at Cat Tien.
Pittidae (Pittas)
RUSTY-NAPED PITTA (Hydrornis oatesi) [*]
BLUE-RUMPED PITTA (Hydrornis soror) – We found the ideal individual in an ideal set-up, which responded beautifully at Cuc Phuong.
BAR-BELLIED PITTA (Hydrornis elliotii) – We really worked on this, tying for some decent looks, which most folks eventually got with some patience.
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
BAR-WINGED FLYCATCHER-SHRIKE (Hemipus picatus) – Often in flocks of 6-10 birds.
Artamidae (Woodswallows)
ASHY WOODSWALLOW (Artamus fuscus) – I'm a little surprised that we didn't run into this one until we got to Cat Tien NP.
Aegithinidae (Ioras)
COMMON IORA (Aegithina tiphia)
GREAT IORA (Aegithina lafresnayei) – Our best looks were at Cat Tien NP. Very vireo-like in its behavior.


The Red-bellied Squirrel, or Pallas's Squirrel, was quite common throughout the tour. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
GRAY-CHINNED MINIVET (Pericrocotus solaris) – This seemed to be the most common Minivet in the Mang Den area.
SHORT-BILLED MINIVET (Pericrocotus brevirostris) – A pair at the Vietnamese Cutia spot on our final morning were the only ones of the trip.
LONG-TAILED MINIVET (Pericrocotus ethologus annamensis) [*]
SCARLET MINIVET (Pericrocotus speciosus) – Our most widespread Minivet of the tour.
ASHY MINIVET (Pericrocotus divaricatus) – This migrant from China was first spotted by Martha.
BROWN-RUMPED MINIVET (Pericrocotus cantonensis) – Another migrant from China, this dull Minivet tends to hang with fellow migrants like Ashy and Rosy minivets.
LARGE CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina macei) – A quick flyby in the Dalat area.
BLACK-WINGED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Lalage melaschistos) – Seen nicely in the north at Cuc Phuong NP and also in the Mang Den area.
INDOCHINESE CUCKOOSHRIKE (Lalage polioptera) – Decent views of at least one bird perched up above the road at Deo Nui San Pass.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
BROWN SHRIKE (Lanius cristatus) – Widespread, but very few overall.
BURMESE SHRIKE (Lanius collurioides) – I was really impressed by the numbers that we saw in the agricultural areas around Di Linh - it's got to be the highest density for this species anywhere that I've encountered it!
LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanius schach) – Widespread in a variety of habitats.
GRAY-BACKED SHRIKE (Lanius tephronotus) – Our single sighting of this one was at Bong Substation in Cuc Phuong NP - right where I've seen it before.


This Malayan Night-heron was quite a surprise! Participant George Sims was able to get this photo of the individual that we saw on the roadside.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
DALAT SHRIKE-BABBLER (Pteruthius annamensis) – Several sightings in the Dalat area. A recent split from the White-browed Shrike-Babbler. [E]
WHITE-BELLIED ERPORNIS (Erpornis zantholeuca) – I'm still trying to wrap my head around this bird being a vireo! AKA – White-bellied Yuhina.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
BLACK-NAPED ORIOLE (Oriolus chinensis) – Inexplicably scarce this year on the tour.
MAROON ORIOLE (Oriolus traillii) – Scarce this year, or maybe not as vocal as usual. All of our birds were the less vibrant race O.t. robinsoni.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
BLACK DRONGO (Dicrurus macrocercus) – In Thailand, this bird is a common sight along the roadsides in agricultural country. In Vietnam, not so much.
ASHY DRONGO (Dicrurus leucophaeus) – We recorded these daily once we reached the Mang Den area.
ASHY DRONGO (CHINESE WHITE-FACED) (Dicrurus leucophaeus leucogenis) – A few of the migrants that we saw along the way were these white-faced birds from China.
BRONZED DRONGO (Dicrurus aeneus) – A small, glossy drongo of forest openings.
LESSER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus remifer) – We had a couple of good looks at this generally shy forest species in the mountains and foothills.
HAIR-CRESTED DRONGO (Dicrurus hottentottus) – A few here and there, but nowhere near as common as they are in winter in Thailand.
GREATER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus paradiseus) – This species, like most drongos, has an impressive vocal repertoire.
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
WHITE-THROATED FANTAIL (Rhipidura albicollis) – Unlike most other places where I've seen this species, this one makes it all of the way down to sea level here in Vietnam – probably because there isn't another fantail to compete with it in most places here.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Hypothymis azurea) – Recorded daily at Cat Tien, but mostly heard there.
BLYTH'S PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone affinis) – A furtive pair at Cat Tien didn't really cooperate for the group. A recent split of the old Asian Paradise-Flycatcher.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
EURASIAN JAY (WHITE-FACED) (Garrulus glandarius leucotis) – Numerous looks at this very distinctive resident race in the pine woods near Dalat.
WHITE-WINGED MAGPIE (Urocissa whiteheadi) – YESSS!!!! One last walk in the morning at Cuc Phuong produced our only looks at this local specialty. As a N. American birder, it's a little hard to believe that a corvid, let alone something called a magpie, can be so shy as this species is!
COMMON GREEN-MAGPIE (Cissa chinensis) – Glimpsed by some folks along the trails at Cuc Phuong.
INDOCHINESE GREEN-MAGPIE (Cissa hypoleuca) – We had some decent views of four birds in flight crossing the road; yet another very shy magpie.
RACKET-TAILED TREEPIE (Crypsirina temia) – A few looks at this distinctive species at Cat Tien – mostly in bamboo.
RATCHET-TAILED TREEPIE (Temnurus temnurus) – I was getting pretty nervous about finding this one, since we dipped entirely at Cuc Phuong, but we came away with super views at the final hour in Mang Den!
LARGE-BILLED CROW (LARGE-BILLED) (Corvus macrorhynchos macrorhynchos) – Mostly in the Mang Den area.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – I would guess that most/all of the "Red-rumped" swallows that we left unidentified on the tour were this migrant species.
STRIATED SWALLOW (Cecropis striolata) – The only ones that checked out as this species were on that final day in Dalat.


This is the endemic Black-crested version of the Sultan Tit that we saw. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

ASIAN HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon dasypus) – Our only sighting of the trip was with the above Striated Swallows on the final day.
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
GRAY-HEADED CANARY-FLYCATCHER (Culicicapa ceylonensis) – Recorded almost daily, including on that first afternoon in Hanoi!
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
SULTAN TIT (Melanochlora sultanea) – The race we saw in Cuc Phuong was the 'normal' yellow-crested race M.s. sultanea.
SULTAN TIT (Melanochlora sultanea gayeti) – This was the very distinctive black-crested race that is confined to the highlands of s. Laos and c. and s. Annam in Vietnam. Somewhere between Da Nang and Bach Ma NP near Hue, there's a very abrupt change from yellow-crested birds and this black-crested form. Is there a split coming?
GREEN-BACKED TIT (Parus monticolus legendrei) – A common inhabitant of the pine forests near Dalat. An endemic (and very distinctive) race here.
JAPANESE TIT (Parus minor nubicolus) – The only one that we had was in Hanoi at the park on that first afternoon. Split now from Great Tit.
YELLOW-CHEEKED TIT (Machlolophus spilonotus) – Seemingly with every flock near Mang Den.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BLACK-THROATED TIT (GRAY-CROWNED) (Aegithalos concinnus annamensis) – We missed this one around Mag Den (!), but saw it well at Dalat. This 'race' has a distribution similar to that of the black-crested 'race' of Sultan Tit.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
CHESTNUT-VENTED NUTHATCH (Sitta nagaensis) – Fairly numerous in the pines near Dalat.
VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH (Sitta frontalis) – We had decent views of a responsive pair in the fog along the Deo Nui San Pass road near Di Linh.
YELLOW-BILLED NUTHATCH (Sitta solangiae) – Another scarce specialty, this one also seemed to be with every mixed flock near Mang Den.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
HUME'S TREECREEPER (Certhia manipurensis meridionalis) – Excellent studies on Mount Langbian. Another endemic race.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
BLACK-HEADED BULBUL (Pycnonotus atriceps) – A few birds only at Cat Tien NP.
BLACK-CRESTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus flaviventris) – Perhaps the most widespread of the many bulbuls seen on this tour.
RED-WHISKERED BULBUL (Pycnonotus jocosus) – Drastically declining in Vietnam due to the cagebird trade.
SOOTY-HEADED BULBUL (Pycnonotus aurigaster) – We saw both red-vented birds (north) and yellow-vented birds (south) on this tour.
STRIPE-THROATED BULBUL (Pycnonotus finlaysoni) – Numerous good looks, especially at Cat Tien NP.
FLAVESCENT BULBUL (Pycnonotus flavescens) – We needed to get above 1500 m or so before we started finding this one.
STREAK-EARED BULBUL (Pycnonotus conradi) – Common in the disturbed habitats of Cat Tien NP.
PUFF-THROATED BULBUL (Alophoixus pallidus) – Recorded daily at Cuc Phuong, but mostly heard only. Replaced farther south in Vietnam by the next species.
OCHRACEOUS BULBUL (Alophoixus ochraceus) – One of the most common forest bulbuls at Cat Tien NP.


We had great looks at Oriental Pied-Hornbill at Cat Tien. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

GRAY-EYED BULBUL (Iole propinqua) – There's been a major re-shuffling of the Iole bulbuls, and I'm betting that it's not done yet. The birds that we heard at Cuc Phuong NP (the ones whose call says 'Larry') are in a grouping of four subspecies (three of which occur in n. Vietnam!). [*]
GRAY-EYED BULBUL (INNECTENS) (Iole propinqua innectens) – This is the race found at Cat Tien NP, which doesn't sound like the northern birds and sounds more like what we've called Buff-vented Bulbul in s.w. Thailand. The interesting twist is that those birds in s.w. Thailand have now been reassigned to Olive Bulbul (I. viridescens), so these s. Vietnam birds might more appropriately be assigned to that species sometime in the future. We'll see...
BLACK BULBUL (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) – All of our Black Bulbuls were all-black – no white-headed birds among the bunch.
ASHY BULBUL (Hemixos flavala) – We eventually got looks at this one near Dalat.
MOUNTAIN BULBUL (Ixos mcclellandii) – A highland species found, on this tour, only around Mang Den and Dalat.
Pnoepygidae (Cupwings)
PYGMY CUPWING (Pnoepyga pusilla annamensis) – A highlight for many was the look that we got of this tiny bird of the forest floor in Bidoup NP near Dalat. The race here is endemic to the s. Vietnam and s. Laos highlands. The song, unlike any other population within the range of the species, is only two notes, instead of the typical three-note song elsewhere.
Scotocercidae (Bush Warblers and Allies)
ASIAN STUBTAIL (Urosphena squameiceps) – We had mixed results with this tiny forest floor inhabitant at Cu Phuong NP.
GRAY-BELLIED TESIA (Tesia cyaniventer) – After eluding some folks on Mount Langbian, we all nailed it a the feeding station on the final morning!
YELLOW-BELLIED WARBLER (Abroscopus superciliaris) [*]
RUFOUS-FACED WARBLER (Abroscopus albogularis) – Surprisingly common in the highland forests around Mang Den.
MOUNTAIN TAILORBIRD (Phyllergates cucullatus) [*]


This Coral-billed Scimitar-Babbler showed so well for us near Mang Den! Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
DUSKY WARBLER (Phylloscopus fuscatus) [*]
BUFF-BARRED WARBLER (Phylloscopus pulcher) – A couple of birds were seen briefly, but well, by some along the roadside at Cuc Phuong.
YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER (Phylloscopus inornatus) – Recorded every single day of this tour.
HUME'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus humei) – I believe that this was my first ever for Vietnam, which is a little surprising given the habitats that we visit. [*]
TWO-BARRED WARBLER (Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus) – A prevalent voice in the upperstory of the forest at Cat Tien NP.
PALE-LEGGED LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus tenellipes) – A common voice in the understory of the forest at Cat Tien NP.
BLYTH'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus reguloides ticehursti) – A single bird near Dalat may have been a local breeder.
CLAUDIA'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus claudiae) – A single wintering bird was seen by most at Cuc Phuong NP.
KLOSS'S LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus ogilviegranti klossi) – A rather recent split from White-tailed Leaf Warbler, this is the form that occupies the s. highlands in Vietnam.
LIMESTONE LEAF WARBLER (Phylloscopus calciatilis) – We got a brief view of a couple of these foraging with a mixed flock at Cuc Phuong NP. This previously unrecognized taxon was assumed for years to be Sulphur-breasted Warbler - until someone collected one.
PLAIN-TAILED WARBLER (Seicercus soror) [*]
MARTENS'S WARBLER (Seicercus omeiensis) – Heard only at Cuc Phuong. The call is reminiscent of our familiar Wilson's Warbler. [*]
WHITE-SPECTACLED WARBLER (Seicercus affinis affinis) – Excellent views of a bird singing on territory along the Mount Langbian trail.
GRAY-CHEEKED WARBLER (Seicercus poliogenys) – We called this one in to within a few feet of us near Mang Den.


Hume's Treecreeper is another endemic race that we saw well at Mount Langbian. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

CHESTNUT-CROWNED WARBLER (Seicercus castaniceps) – Nicely seen in the mixed forest near Dalat. I suspect if you've started to lose the high end of your hearing, you never heard this one sing during the tour.
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
THICK-BILLED WARBLER (Iduna aedon) [*]
BLACK-BROWED REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus bistrigiceps) – By some folks in the reeds at Van Long Reserve.
ORIENTAL REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus orientalis) – I think Steve was the only one to lay eyes on this one at Van Long Reserve.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
LANCEOLATED WARBLER (Locustella lanceolata) – It doesn't typically happen like that, but this one emerged from the dense cover several times for a look at us in the back of the park truck.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
COMMON TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus sutorius)
DARK-NECKED TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus atrogularis) – Recorded almost daily, but mostly by voice.
HILL PRINIA (Prinia superciliaris klossi) – Nicely at Lo Xo Pass and near Mang Den.
RUFESCENT PRINIA (Prinia rufescens) – Recorded only at Cuc Phuong this trip.
PLAIN PRINIA (Prinia inornata) – The race we saw at Cat Tien was P.i. herberti - a rather 'typical' Plain Prinia.
PLAIN PRINIA (Prinia inornata extensicauda) – The birds we saw at Van Long were this rather local race which is generally longer-tailed and much yellower overall than other races.
Paradoxornithidae (Parrotbills, Wrentit, and Allies)
YELLOW-EYED BABBLER (Chrysomma sinense) – One of these popped into the open for us late one afternoon at Cat Tien NP.
GRAY-HEADED PARROTBILL (Psittiparus gularis) – That big flock that we had near Mang Den was really impressive (and noisy!).
BLACK-HEADED PARROTBILL (Psittiparus margaritae) – Excellent looks for all along the road above Di Linh at this recently split species. This one's essentially a Vietnamese endemic, but it does barely get into e. Cambodia. [E]
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
BLACK-CHINNED YUHINA (Yuhina nigrimenta) – A flock of these tiny Yuhinas greeted us soon after we finished our breakfast at Deo Nui San Pass.
ORIENTAL WHITE-EYE (Zosterops palpebrosus) – I'm sure that we had some other White-eyes on this tour other than just this one, but the flocks we saw earlier in the tour never gave us any sort of look.
Timaliidae (Tree-Babblers, Scimitar-Babblers, and Allies)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BABBLER (Timalia pileata) – Another species that obligingly popped into the open for us late one afternoon at Cat Tien NP.
PIN-STRIPED TIT-BABBLER (Mixornis gularis) – Called Striped Tit-Babbler in the field guide (now split into two).
GRAY-FACED TIT-BABBLER (Mixornis kelleyi) – Very similar to the above species, but grayer on the face and back than that one. This one also seems to be partial to bamboo (which is abundant in places at Cat Tien NP).
GOLDEN BABBLER (Cyanoderma chrysaeum) – Seen really well near Mang Den – very unlike others in the same genus.
RUFOUS-CAPPED BABBLER (Cyanoderma ruficeps) – Rather warbler-like in appearance and actions and one that not all got onto near Dalat.
RED-BILLED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps) – We had a responsive group of birds in the mountains above Di Linh. Sometimes called the Orange-billed Scimitar-Babbler.
CORAL-BILLED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus ferruginosus) – It was fantastic to see this one so well near Mang Den! The near-endemic race here, P.f. dickinsoni, has the least amount of buff on the underparts, being restricted to the lower flanks only.


A nice portrait of a Common Tailorbird, by participant Greg Griffith.

WHITE-BROWED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus schisticeps) – This one turned out to be the Scimitar-Babbler that we saw the poorest on the tour – which wouldn't have been my prediction!
LARGE SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Megapomatorhinus hypoleucos) – Great looks next to the road in Cuc Phuong NP! What a bird!
GRAY-THROATED BABBLER (Stachyris nigriceps) – This furtive species made a couple of quick appearances at Cuc Phuong for some, but nowhere else.
SPOT-NECKED BABBLER (Stachyris strialata) – There was a lot of unsuitable habitat separating these birds from our spot on the road at Cuc Phuong, but some folks still managed a view in the giant grasses.
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED FULVETTA (Schoeniparus klossi) – This endemic species is now split from the similar Rufous-winged Fulvetta. We found the right mixed flock with a few of these mixed in shortly after we entered the forest. [E]
RUFOUS-THROATED FULVETTA (Schoeniparus rufogularis) – Cuc Phuong is an excellent place to see this rather local species.
PUFF-THROATED BABBLER (Pellorneum ruficeps) [*]
SPOT-THROATED BABBLER (Pellorneum albiventre) – This songster was mere feet away from us, but seeing it at all proved very difficult (some apparently did, though).
EYEBROWED WREN-BABBLER (Napothera epilepidota) – I think that these Eyebrowed Wren-Babblers were the shyest individuals that I've ever run across!
SHORT-TAILED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Napothera danjoui) – Another local specialty, this one had to be tried for on a few occasions for everyone to get some sort of a look at it. There are certainly a lot of shy birds in this country!
ABBOTT'S BABBLER (Turdinus abbotti) – A shy pair eventually came it for good views at Cat Tien. I still have a tough time thinking of this and the next species as being congeners!
LIMESTONE WREN-BABBLER (GRAYISH) (Turdinus crispifrons annamensis) – It didn't take long for that reliable family group to come in and check us out at Cuc Phuong. If this one gets split up into a couple of species, the one here at Cuc Phuong would be different from the birds most folks see in Thailand.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
MOUNTAIN FULVETTA (Alcippe peracensis) – The default Fulvetta species in the Annam highlands.


We found this male Red Crossbill along the Mount Langbian Trail. Look for this to be split from the rest of the Red Crossbills sometime in the future! Photo by participant George Sims.

BLACK-BROWED FULVETTA (Alcippe grotei) – This was the common Fulvetta species that we saw at Cuc Phuong NP, but I suspect we also let a few Brown-cheeked Fulvettas slip through the cracks, too (both are known from there).
VIETNAMESE CUTIA (Cutia legalleni) – This Vietnamese endemic species (now split from Himalayan Cutia) was infuriatingly difficult this year, hardly getting a peep out of them! [E]
WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax leucolophus) – These birds responded beautifully along the road at Cat Tien one afternoon. One of the most striking of the many Laughingthrush species, IMHO.
BLACK-HOODED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax milleti) – We certainly heard a lot more of these than we saw! A near-endemic.
ORANGE-BREASTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax annamensis) – Grrrrr... [E*]
CHESTNUT-EARED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla konkakinhensis) – We found this one on one of our first attempts, getting good views of a pair that snuck in next to the road. A very recently described (2001) Vietnamese endemic. [E]
WHITE-CHEEKED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla vassali) – Normally more common that just the one large group that we encountered near Di Linh. A local regional specialty.
COLLARED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron yersini) – One of the most local of the many local specialties and endemics that we saw on this tour and confined to the highlands near Dalat. Endangered due to the cagebird trade and loss of habitat. [E]
BLACK-HEADED SIBIA (LANG BIAN) (Heterophasia desgodinsi robinsoni) – This used to be an easy bird to find in the Dalat area, but it seems to have vanished from many of its usual haunts probably due to trapping for the cagebird trade.
RUFOUS-BACKED SIBIA (Minla annectens) – Great views of a pair near Dalat.
GRAY-CROWNED CROCIAS (Crocias langbianis) – We were pretty nonchalant about this one calling in the Dalat area after having seen it so well earlier in the trip! Only recently re-discovered after a long absence. [E]
BLACK-CROWNED BARWING (Actinodura sodangorum) – This was another recent discovery (1999) in the highlands of Vietnam and we saw it wonderfully well! A near-endemic, it's recently been found in neighboring Laos. [E]
BLUE-WINGED MINLA (Actinodura cyanouroptera orientalis) – The only place where we saw this widespread species was in the s. Annam highlands, where the endemic race there (A.c. orientalis) is almost unrecognizable as a Blue-winged Minla!
Irenidae (Fairy-bluebirds)
ASIAN FAIRY-BLUEBIRD (Irena puella) – Only in the Cat Tien NP area this year. It's normally more widespread.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
DARK-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa sibirica) – A single bird flycatching from a dead snag near Mang Den was our only sighting of the trip.
ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa dauurica) – All of ours were migrants from the north.
ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN (Copsychus saularis) – Surprisingly scarce here.
WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA (Copsychus malabaricus) – Plenty of these were heard, but very few were actually seen.
WHITE-GORGETED FLYCATCHER (Anthipes monileger) [*]


A beautiful Verditer Flycatcher, photographed well by participant Greg Griffith.

RUFOUS-BROWED FLYCATCHER (Anthipes solitaris) – This understory flycatcher snuck in while we were trying for something else near Dalat. Despite this population being quite disjunct from the rest of the population, it's still recognized as the same race as that in s.w. Thailand.
WHITE-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Cyornis concretus) [*]
HAINAN BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis hainanus) – One of the most common forest species at Cat Tien NP.
HILL BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis banyumas) – Decent looks on that first afternoon arriving into the Mang Den area.
TICKELL'S BLUE FLYCATCHER (Cyornis tickelliae) – I don't think that I've ever seen this one away from bamboo. Great looks from the blind at Cat Tien.
LARGE NILTAVA (Niltava grandis decorata) – Birds found just to the north of the s. Annam highlands sing a different tune altogether, sounding like 'typical' birds from the north and west of here. This makes me think that this endemic taxon might be a distinct species that has been overlooked to this point.
BLUE-AND-WHITE FLYCATCHER (Cyanoptila cyanomelana) – Greg's 5000th species photographed - quite an accomplishment!
VERDITER FLYCATCHER (Eumyias thalassinus) – What a beautiful color!
LESSER SHORTWING (Brachypteryx leucophris) – We finally all nailed this one at the feeding station on the final morning of the tour.
SIBERIAN BLUE ROBIN (Larvivora cyane) – A few folks glimpsed the calling female next to the road at Cat Tien.
BLUE WHISTLING-THRUSH (YELLOW-BILLED) (Myophonus caeruleus eugenei) [*]
WHITE-CROWNED FORKTAIL (Enicurus leschenaulti) – Very shy! We all got it with some patience.
SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT (Calliope calliope) – A female-plumaged bird obliged the group next to the trail at Cuc Phuong.


Stripe-throated Bulbul is common, but we enjoyed especially good looks at them in Cat Tien National Park. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

WHITE-TAILED ROBIN (Myiomela leucura) – Another species that we saw well at the feeding station on the final morning.
MUGIMAKI FLYCATCHER (Ficedula mugimaki) – A couple of birds only this year. Most winter in the Greater Sundas.
SNOWY-BROWED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula hyperythra) – One of the collateral discoveries while we were trying for the first Collared Laughingthrushes. Jenny picked up another while we were up the hill looking at our second group of Collared Laughingthrushes.
LITTLE PIED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula westermanni) – Not as prevalent this year as they often are.
TAIGA FLYCATCHER (Ficedula albicilla) – Surprisingly few here compared to Thailand, where they seem to be everywhere.
BLUE ROCK-THRUSH (PANDOO) (Monticola solitarius pandoo) – The males that we saw were this all-blue race.
SIBERIAN STONECHAT (SIBERIAN) (Saxicola maurus maurus) – We probably would have seen more of these if we'd birded some more open country.
PIED BUSHCHAT (Saxicola caprata) – A single adult male on two different afternoons at Cat Tien NP.
GRAY BUSHCHAT (Saxicola ferreus) – Only in the Dalat highlands.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
ORANGE-HEADED THRUSH (Geokichla citrina) – Excellent studies at both Cuc Phuong and Mang Den
JAPANESE THRUSH (Turdus cardis) – Seemingly very few migrants this year compared to last year.
CHINESE BLACKBIRD (Turdus mandarinus mandarinus) – A single male was scoped at Cuc Phuong. This bird was recently split from the familiar Eurasian Blackbird.
EYEBROWED THRUSH (Turdus obscurus) – A few birds flying straight away from us on the final morning. Perhaps some others in the Mang Den area.


This Tokay Gecko was seen at the lodge at Cat Tien. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

Sturnidae (Starlings)
COMMON HILL MYNA (Gracula religiosa) – Awfully quiet this year and we just barely saw it at Cuc Phuong NP. Another bird that's suffered mightily with the cagebird trade.
BLACK-COLLARED STARLING (Gracupica nigricollis) – We found some big flocks near Mang Den. Strictly a starling of open country.
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – Few and far between on this tour, with our most reliable place being Dalat. It's striking how different this trip is from the Thailand tour when comparing starling/myna numbers and diversity (they're everywhere in Thailand).
VINOUS-BREASTED STARLING (Acridotheres burmannicus) – Arguably our most common and widespread starling species on this tour.
Chloropseidae (Leafbirds)
BLUE-WINGED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis cochinchinensis) – Surprisingly scarce.
GOLDEN-FRONTED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis aurifrons) – We found this one daily at Cat Tien NP.
ORANGE-BELLIED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis hardwickii) – We had some decent views of this one in the mountains around Mang Den, where the female of the race found here (C.h. melliana) completely lacks any orange color on the underparts.
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
THICK-BILLED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum agile) – We had this one a couple of times, and at higher elevations than I would have expected it. It's possible that these birds in the Annam highlands might be an undescribed race.
YELLOW-VENTED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum chrysorrheum) – Daily in the fruiting tree just off of the deck at Cat Tien.
PLAIN FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum minullum) – One at Lo Xo Pass was a little higher in elevation than I would have expected.
FIRE-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (FIRE-BREASTED) (Dicaeum ignipectus ignipectus) – Common in the highlands (at least by voice).
SCARLET-BACKED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum cruentatum) – Daily at Cat Tien NP.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
RUBY-CHEEKED SUNBIRD (Chalcoparia singalensis) – We actually got this one in the scope at Cat Tien!
VAN HASSELT'S SUNBIRD (Leptocoma brasiliana emmae) – A brief adult male at Cat Tien was our only one. A split from the Purple-throated Sunbird, which is now confined to the Philippines.
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris jugularis) – Common at Cat Tien, but we did have an imm. male with other sunbirds near Mang Den on our final morning there.
BLACK-THROATED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga saturata ochra) – When I did my scouting last year of the Mang Den area, Doug Gochfeld and I didn't see a single Black-throated Sunbird there. This year, they were at nearly every stop!
BLACK-THROATED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga saturata johnsi) – This was the endemic race (species?) that some saw in the Dalat area - quite different from the birds to the north!
GOULD'S SUNBIRD (Aethopyga gouldiae) – I suspect that the birds that we saw in the Mang Den area were the race A.g. dabryii (it comes the closest), but it wouldn't surprise me if these birds are an undescribed race. These birds had much more extensive red on the underparts than the next race.
GOULD'S SUNBIRD (PURPLE-RUMPED) (Aethopyga gouldiae annamensis) – This near-endemic race (species?) has red limited to the throat and has a purple rump (vs. a yellow rump in other races). We had some super views of this one around Dalat.
CRIMSON SUNBIRD (Aethopyga siparaja) – We only saw a few, but that adult male in the scope in the late afternoon sun near Mang Den was really memorable!


It's easy to see why this is called the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

FORK-TAILED SUNBIRD (Aethopyga christinae) – We recorded this one daily on the first half of the tour.
LITTLE SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera longirostra) – Excellent views in the Mang Den area and heard daily at Cat Tien NP.
PURPLE-NAPED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera hypogrammicum) – Briefly at Cuc Phuong at the start of the tour and photographed by George at Cat Tien. Formerly known as Purple-naped Sunbird, but it's since been merged with the Spiderhunters (which are just specialized Sunbirds anyway).
STREAKED SPIDERHUNTER (Arachnothera magna) – Recorded daily in the highlands and at Cuc Phuong.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
FOREST WAGTAIL (Dendronanthus indicus) – A couple of birds foraging in the road at Cat Tien were nice to see, albeit briefly.
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea) – The most frequently encountered Wagtail on this trip.
WHITE WAGTAIL (Motacilla alba) – Hundreds of these were seen coming to roost in a few trees along the road in the heart of Old Hanoi on our first afternoon of the tour. What a spectacle! We saw darned few after this.
PADDYFIELD PIPIT (Anthus rufulus) – A single bird at Van Long Reserve was our only sighting of the trip. A.k.a. – Oriental Pipit.
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus hodgsoni) – Great looks on our hike to Mount Langbian.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
VIETNAMESE GREENFINCH (Chloris monguilloti) – Our first Dalat Highlands endemic of the tour was this one when a male was spotted in the top of a pine just as we exited the bus at our first stop on the first full morning in the area. Lifer #6000 for Greg! [E]
RED CROSSBILL (DA LAT) (Loxia curvirostra meridionalis) – This highly disjunct 'race' was seen incredibly well as we scoped a 'frozen' male in a pine along the Mount Langbian trail. Almost certainly to be split from the rest of the Red Crossbills in the future.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – A recent colonizer.
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus)
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
WHITE-RUMPED MUNIA (Lonchura striata) – Brief looks for some at Cat Tien NP.
SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) – Good looks for most from the boats at Van Long Reserve.

MAMMALS
NORTHERN TREESHREW (Tupaia berlangeri) – We had surprisingly good looks at this one at Cuc Phuong NP and at Bidoup NP.
CRAB-EATING MACAQUE (Macaca fascigularis) – A.k.a. – Long-tailed Macaque.
PIGTAIL MACAQUE (Macaca nemestrina) – Daily at Cat Tien NP.
DOUC LANGUR (Pygathrix nemaeus) – Seen on a couple of days at Cat Tien. Perhaps best referred to as Black-shanked Douc Langur if you split the other two forms in the country.
DELACOUR'S LANGUR (Trachypithecus delacouri) – We really had to search for this one at Van Long Reserve, but we finally located a small group of them in the karst behind the lake. This beautiful primate is Critically Endangered, with only an estimated 200-250 individuals surviving in the wild.
YELLOW-CHEEKED GIBBON (Nomascus gabriellae) [*]


The road at Cat Tien was a little muddy, but that didn't stop us from finding some fabulous birds! Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

BLACK GIANT SQUIRREL (Ratufa bicolor) – George and Nhen were the only ones to see this one, apparently.
RED-BELLIED SQUIRREL (Callosciurus erythraeus) – Generally known as Pallas's Squirrel and the most commonly seen squirrel species on this tour.
INORNATE SQUIRREL (Callosciurus inornatus) – Perhaps seen by Steve only at Cuc Phuong.
CAMBODIAN STRIPED SQUIRREL (Tamiops rodolphii) – This was the arboreal 'chipmunk' that we saw at Cat Tien NP.
FORMOSAN STRIPED SQUIRREL (Tamiops maritimus) – This one is now split from the Himalayan Striped Squirrel to the west of here.
ASIAN RED-CHEEKED SQUIRREL (Dremomys rufigenis) – One definitely i.d.'ed on the final morning.
NORWAY (BROWN) RAT (Rattus norvegicus)
WILD BOAR (Sus scrofa) – A big male in the fields at Cat Tien NP one evening.
LESSER MOUSE DEER (Tragulus javanicus) – One spotted at Cat Tien NP on our final morning there.
MUNTJAC (BARKING DEER) (Muntiacus muntjak) – A couple of these were seen well at Cat Tien NP, and another was heard extremely well along the Mount Langbian trail.
SAMBAR (Cervus unicolor) – Including an impressive buck at Cat Tien NP.
Herps
COMMON HOUSE GECKO (Hemidactylus frenatus) – I suspect that most of the geckos on the walls at night at our various accommodations were this species.
SIAMESE CROCODILE (Crocodylus siamensis) – We had to hike in 5 kms to get to Crocodile Lake to see these but, once there, seeing them was pretty easy! Another Critically Endangered species that has suffered from habitat loss and poaching. I'm not sure how many individuals are here at the lake, but it's obviously an important stronghold for them.
FLYING LIZARD SP. (Draco sp.) – Some folks got to see this one glide, or 'fly', from one tree trunk to another at Cat Tien NP.
TOKAY GECKO (Gekko gecko) – After hearing a number of these earlier in the tour, it was nice to actually see a few of these monster geckos at our lodging at Cat Tien NP.
BLUE-HEADED LIZARD (Calotes bachae) – I think this one was at Crocodile Lake, but I never saw it.
WATER MONITOR (Varanus salvator) – We found a moderately big one at the buildings at Crocodile Lake.
Other Creatures of Interest
BROWN LEECH (Haemadipsa zyelanica) – We all experienced these fascinating critters at Cat Tien this year!


Participant Greg Griffith got this image of the amazing Kon Ka Kinh Giant Earthworm that we saw. What a monster!

KON KA KINH GIANT EARTHWORM (Amynthas konkakinh) – This species was described to science only in 2016 from nearby Kon Ka Kinh NP, and I'm taking a leap assigning our individual to that species. There's a significant valley separating our site from the actual National Park where this one was collected, and ours may prove to be another undescribed species of giant earthworm. We'll probably never know the answer to that, though. Still, what a thrilling experience to see this one with it's entire 4.5 m length exposed on the road!
COMMON BIRDWING (Tioides helena (Papilionidae)) – This was the widespread yellow and black birdwing butterfly that we saw on the tour.
GREEN DRAGONTAIL (Lamproptera meges) – This was the tiny swallowtail that we found on the road at Cuc Phuong.
TARANTULA, SP. (Chilobrachys dyscalus) – Some folks got a first-hand experience with this one at Cat Tien!


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS


Totals for the tour: 321 bird taxa and 17 mammal taxa