Birding Dalat (2) : Bidoup National Park

 

When:  January 2017                  Weather:  Cool 15C

Nikon P900.  Leica M240  35mm Summilux

 

Day 2 saw us starting a little later at 6am and the Dalat plateau was enveloped in mist with very poor visibility.

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A misty start to the morning…

 

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A 35 km journey to the main entrance to Bidoup National Park….good coffee at the cafe just next to this gate whilst we waited for the mist to clear…

 

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Driving in the narrow road up to the Park Headquarters, this Burmese shrike posed willlingly…

 

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The mistiness up at the park headquarters slowly melted away as the sun rose…

 

 

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male grey  bushchat

 

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female grey bushchat

 

We’d come up to the park headquarters as our guide said that the Vietnamese Red Crossbill was reliably seen at the fountain water feature in front of the building itself. As it was still misty and early we just birded around the building…

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a green backed tit watched over us in the mist

 

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and after a while we heard the distinctive call of the Vietnamese Red Crossbill….here the male in his darker orangy red plumage perched on the pylons

 

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and here, the female red crossbill in olive green livery

 

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and another female in yellowish plumage

 

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the crossbills then finally descended on the rocks over the fountain….the Vietnamese red crossbills have apparently just been reclassified as an endemic subspecies

 

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and here a close up of the crossbill’s bill…the upper and lower mandibles of which cross each other to the right and left…the better to crack pine cones to get at the seeds

 

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these are the lush pine forests which is the home of the crossbills….

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leaving the park HQ, we drove along heading to another part of the park…along the way, we stopped at a ranger station where the cherry blossoms were blooming….

 

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Nondescript Ranger Station on the main road with a few cherry blossom trees in bloom…

 

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a black and white bird was moving about among the sakura

 

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It was another endemic subspecies…the black headed or spectacled sibia…

 

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Another endemic subspecies, the black headed sibia

 

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Alternating with the sibia, Mrs Gould’s sunbird also came out to play….here providing a nice colour contrast to the cherry blossoms

 

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Mrs Gould’s sunbird

 

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violet head…

 

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and this time the female Mrs Gould’s sunbird also came out to play…

 

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Now what does one call the female Mrs Gould’s sunbird? Do two negatives make a positive?

 

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Mountain bulbul

 

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plumbeous redstart

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Common kingfisher to end the morning…

 

Bidoup NP and the surrounding areas were very interesting but without a guide, we’d probably never have known where to stop and seek…. We stopped about 1pm for lunch and headed back to Dalat and Datanla….

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