Monday, April 16, 2018

Birding Vietnam (part V)

Better finish this accounting while these birds are still somewhat fresh in my mind. Other amazing specimens we saw include a couple of woodpeckers:

Speckled Piculet (Picumnus innominatus). Photo by hydroscwan
Black-and-buff Woodpecker (Meiglyptes jugularis).
Photo by Mark van Beirs

And then we got into some colorful birds, including broadbills, minivets (in the cuckoo-shrike family), shrike-babblers (aka Vireo allies), orioles, and monarch flycatchers—beautiful all:

Black-and-red Broadbill (Cimbirhynchus mnacrorhynchos).
Photo by Phil Liew
Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae).
Photo from
Male Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus) (the female is
bright yellow and gray, also very pretty). Photo by James Eaton
Blyth's Shrike-babbler (Pteruthius aeralatus). Photo by uzair ar
Maroon Oriole (Oriolus traillii). Photo by Craig Brelsford
Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi).
Photo from

One of the more spectacular sights of the trip involved a greater racket-tailed drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) hectoring a great hornbill (Buceros bicornis) over the jungle of Cat Tien National Park. Imagine our surprise when, later that day, a couple of our party, leader Susan and Matt, stopped in at a park lodge simply to check out the accommodations and spied the very same scene in a painting on a room wall! This event must happen frequently. I was so glad Matt shared the picture with me—good ol' AirDrop.

Here's a greater racket-tailed drongo more lifelike; seeing one always made me happy:

Photo by Nitin Srinivasamurthy

I'll leave you with two more birds for now (there will be a part VI, it seems, when we will venture into the land of fulvettas, yuhinas, and sunbirds, oh my!).

Sultan Tit (Melanochlora sultanea).
Yellow-billed Nuthatch (Sitta solangiae). Photo by Craig Brelsford

There's nothing like a nuthatch to fill me with cheer—I could say, the more colorful the better, but even our drab West Coast white-breasted nuthatches are delightful as they scamper up and down trees, searching for insect prey. They're determined little clowns, defying gravity all the way.

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