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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Indochina 2023: Cambodia, southern Vietnam, and Laos (1 Viewer)

Dec 17: Da Lat

We started out this morning with a couple of hours walking the grounds of Hoa Son Dien Trang in Ta Nung Valley. This was a rather strange resort/tourist attraction, with an assortment of unoccupied cabins and tents and gardens featuring odd sculptures intended for selfies. We had the place to ourselves at 6:00 am, and the grounds and surrounding forest were full of birds. First up, we flushed a Large-tailed Nightjar, which obligingly perched for photos. We walked farther down and watched some of the mixed-species flocks, notably containing our main target for this spot, the endemic Gray-crowned Crocias. Here we also connected with Rufous-backed Sibia (endemic black-backed form). A walk up the stream at the bottom of the resort gave us brief views of Slaty-backed Forktail. Some of the grass near the buildings contained actual Hill Prinias, with their masks and very long tails, and a small group of obliging Vietnamese Greenfinches that came to forage right on the road in front of us before being flushed by the approaching groundskeepers. We made our way back to the entrance just as the place opened up for day tourists, with a busload of Korean tourists making their way down and rain starting to fall - a good time to move on!

We spent much of the afternoon at a different hide, again waiting in vain for Collared Laughingthrush. This hide had much less activity than the one we had visited the previous day, with long stretches of no birds to be seen. Large Niltava and Little Pied Flycatcher were the only somewhat regular visitors, with brief visits by Mountain Fulvetta, Lesser Shortwing, and Eyebrowed Thrush. A Mountain Tailorbird made a couple of rounds, singing its delightful song. I occasionally wandered the short trail between the hide and the road, picking up Black Eagle overhead and Necklaced Barbet sitting in a tree overhead.



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