Birding Dalat (3) : Datanla Waterfalls

When:  January 2017    3-4pm                         Weather:  Warm  20C

Nikon P900    Leica M240 35 summmilux


As birders, we often travel far and wide to get to birding grounds or national parks but often some of the best birding can be at your doorstep and not infrequently in the most unlikely of places.   I’d read on another birder’s blog that the Datanla Falls was a place worth visiting as several species frequented the trees there.  So after morning trips to Cong Troi on day 1 and Bidoup NP on day 2, we went to Datanla for afternoon tea both afternoons to see what we could get.     Datanla waterfalls (which we never actually got to see) is one of these ‘tourist attractions’ where there are activities like ‘flying fox’ with zip lines, downhill luges on rails, music blaring out over loudspeakers and a cafe.  Oh and also a ton of tourist buses with kids running all over the place…it did not look good!  Little did we know….

Entering the cafe, our guide told us to sit on the right side of the cafe overlooking the luge rails below and the zip lines on the right….after ordering a Vietnamese drip coffee we settled down and this is what we saw…


The outlook from the cafe window to the luge rail below and the zip lines on the top of the picture….every few minutes the luge would descend to screams and zip lines would zip….not promising…


Before long though…..our guide started pointing out the birds that began to arrive…


First up, the wonderful little chestnut vented nuthatch that we had barely glimpsed earlier in the day on the road to Cong Troi….



A pair of the were climbing up and down the tree trunk…



and flashing his honeycomb like vent for all to see! The chestnut vented nuthatch



A streaked spider hunter then appeared



streaked spiderhunter



streaked spiderhunter



Ashy Drongo



and then a star bird and another lifer…the Vietnamese subspecies of Blue winged Minla…which is not at all blue….



Blue Winged Minla



Another Bar winged flycatcher shrike



grey bush chat



Mrs Gould’s sunbird also popped up



showing off his purple cap



and then a black throated sunbird also appeared…



a few cherry blossoms were struggling to bloom….



female bush chat



and then this beauty appeared on the tree barely 10 feet from our table…a Mugimaki Flycatcher, another lifer for me.



spectacularly coloured Mugimaki FC



female mugimaki FC


back view of mugimaki FC



a brown shrike to end the day


Datanla Falls is a little gem just a few km from Dalat town.  Just sit down in the cafe for a couple of hours with a coffee and enjoy the buffet of birdwatching served up to you in comfort.  You can also take a little walk nearer the trees to get closer to the birds….highly recommended!




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