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Burma 2010

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Burma 2010 Powered By Docstoc
                                    16 – 31 JANUARY 2010

                                  TOUR REPORT

After a gap of just over three years, we set off on the fourth Birdquest tour to Burma. The itinerary was
slightly different this time, without the visits made to Hlawgaw Park, and Moyengyi and Shwe Sattaw
Wildlife Sanctuaries in 2006. Despite this, we still clocked-up a surprisingly high species total of 351,
including another 21 write-ins! All six endemics (Hooded Treepie, Jerdon’s Minivet, White-browed
Nuthatch, Burmese Tit, White-throated Babbler, and Burmese Bushlark) were found without too
much difficulty, though the treepie proved elusive initially. We also found five species that could be
described as near endemics (Collared Myna, Striped, and Brown-capped Laughingthrushes, Chin Hills
Wren Babbler, and the recently split Buff-breasted Parrotbill). The cream of the other highlights
included a male Baer’s Pochard at Inle Lake (an endangered species that has not been seen at the site
for many years), prolonged scope views of White-rumped Falcon, scope views of Himalayan
Flameback, large numbers of Grey-sided Thrushes, loads of White-tailed Stonechats, tame Jerdon’s
Bushchats, several Black-bibbed Tits, close views of calling Martens’s Warblers, great views of Spot-
breasted Parrotbill, the woodi race of Chinese Babax, Assam Laughingthrush, Spectacled and Streak-
throated Barwings, Grey Sibia, and the castanoptera race of Dark-backed Sibia, scope views of Spot-
winged Grosbeak, some close Brown Bullfinches, and Black-headed Greenfinch. The best of the rest
included Pied Harrier, White-eyed Buzzard, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Grey- and Blossom-headed
Parakeets, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, Sand Lark, Vinous-breasted Myna, another four species of
Nuthatch (including White-tailed and the recently split Neglected), Crested Finchbill, Brown-breasted
Bulbul, Vivid Niltava, White-browed and Silver-eared Laughingthrushes, a profusion of other babblers
such as the grass-loving Striated Babbler, Nepal, Grey-cheeked and Brown-cheeked Fulvettas,
Crimson-faced Liocichla, Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, Himalayan
Cutia, Rusty-fronted Barwing, and Brown Prinia.

After our arrival in Yangon, we had time for a little introductory birding. Our local guide, Thiri, took
us to Yangon University Boat Club. Here we found a nice variety of birds, including two migrant
salangensis Ashy Drongos, and a fruiting tree with Asian Koels, Black-naped Oriole and Jungle Myna.
A single Asian Golden Weaver in non-breeding plumage was surprising, and we wondered if it had
been released nearby as part of a religious festival. In the evening we waited at the entrance to
Yangon’s most famous attraction, the glittering Shwedagon Pagoda. As dusk gathered, we marvelled
at the incredible number of bats leaving the complex in two dense plumes, which headed off in

                                         1 Birdquest: Burma 2010
different directions. The spectacle went on and on, and was much more impressive to my mind than
what I had previously seen at Gomantong in Borneo for example. The species involved seem not to
have been documented, but may well be Tomb Bats. After this superb show we took an early evening
walk around the pagoda (clockwise of course) under a canopy of stars.

Early next morning we took a flight north to Bagan, and settled into our very nice hotel on the shores
of the timeless Irrawaddy River. Our first Burmese endemic was almost instantaneous, with an
extremely tame flock of White-throated Babblers in the flower-beds! We spent the rest of the day and
the following morning exploring Dry Zone habitats in the vicinity of the so-called Sitsana Temple (or
Saytanargyi Pagoda) to the south of town. The beautiful Jerdon’s Minivet turned out to be easy to
locate, and we had four separate observations, including their characteristic behaviour of feeding
close to and even on the ground. Burmese Bushlarks were regularly flushed and we scoped-up the
local xanthocyclus race of Eurasian Collared Dove with its sharp yellow orbital ring, as well as a more
distant White-eyed Buzzard. Several Spotted Owlets, the endemic yamethini race of Long-billed Pipit
and Brown Prinia were also all seen well, as well as wintering Yellow-streaked Warblers and small
flocks of striking Plain-backed Sparrows. Exploring one of the small shafts in the base of the
impressive pagoda, we found several small bats roosting – probably Blyth’s Horseshoe Bat. After dark,
Barn Owl and Indian Nightjar entertained us. Our last afternoon at Bagan saw us cruising down the
Irrawaddy to a grassy island that is home to a large population of White-tailed Stonechats. We had
seen several before we even got off the boat, and they subsequently allowed a close approach. A
calling group of Striated Babblers provided a nice write-in, and Pied and Western Marsh Harriers
made aerial contact. Along the river banks, Sand lark was much in evidence, and large numbers of
wagtails impressed, with Amur, Swinhoe’s, Grey-headed, Beringian and Citrine all noted.

We packed-up our things and headed off for the Chin Hills in our comfortable four-wheel drive
vehicles. Our first stop was for breakfast, and also to look for another endemic, the often elusive
Hooded Treepie. Methodically searching the surroundings, we started off with a false alarm when our
first Rufous Treepie appeared! Shortly afterwards however, Heidi spotted the real thing and, after a
hot pursuit we eventually tracked the bird to a feeding site where we could watch it at close range as
long as we wanted. Amazingly, a small group of Jerdon’s Minivets appeared in the same bushes and
trees and we even had them in the same field of view. It was too hot when we reached the Dry
Dipterocarp forest, and a search for White-rumped Falconet turned-up nothing. Shady semi-evergreen
forest closer to Saw proved more fruitful, particularly when we found a mixed flameback flock which
contained a single male Himalayan. Our first Rosy Minivet was also much appreciated. We arrived at
the Pine Tree Resort above Kanpetlet, on the lower slopes of Mt Victoria not long after dark.

We spent five full days on this seldom visited mountain, birding the different habitats at various
altitudes. On each of the first four days we explored a different stretch of the dirt road that ascends the
mountain from Kanpetlet and, by the end of our stay, we had pretty much covered all of it! We also
explored the first few kilometres of the track that continues on to Mindat. The higher oak and
rhododendron forests are the habitat of the regions most famous endemic, the restless White-browed
Nuthatch (its specific name, victoriae, being a bit of a giveaway). Needless to say, on our first
morning we drove straight up to the higher reaches of the mountain to look for it. As soon as the sun
hit the tree-tops, its familiar nasal piping could be heard, and we were soon getting great views of our
first pair. Later on, we were to see it on many occasions. Several other specialities are only to be
found at the higher levels, and it was here that we had great views Assam and Brown-capped
Laughingthrushes, the local woodi race of Chinese Babax, and floppy-crested Streak-throated
Barwings. Our first group of heinrichi Yellow-breasted Greenfinches were less expected up here and
we were also lucky enough to see an annoyed Collared Owlet, a pair of Hill Partridges that sneaked
off up-slope, and a small group of Brown Bullfinches, of the distinctive near-endemic victoriae race,
at very close range. Some of the higher-level evergreen forests have an extensive bamboo understorey

                                          2 Birdquest: Burma 2010
and, in this habitat, we got great views of the huge feisty Spot-breasted and tiny hyper-active Buff-
breasted Parrotbills; the latter a near endemic now it has been split from other species in the Black-
throated group. Openings with fine old pine trees and scattered oaks and rhododendrons were the
haunt of Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, which was frequently encountered, and the restricted-range
Black-bibbed Tit. Bar-tailed Treecreeper and Chestnut-vented Nuthatch also liked this habitat, as did
Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Blue-fronted Redstart, Olive-backed Pipit and Little Bunting. Needless
to say, bird-waves were a common feature on the mountain, and often responded well to the sound
of Collared Owlet. Sorting through each flock in turn brought us multiple close encounters with the
fantastic little Burmese Tit (recently split from Black-browed), Yellow-browed Tit, several White-tailed
Nuthatches, abundant Buff-barred Warblers, as well as Ashy-throated and the occasional Whistler’s
Warbler, two flocks of nervous Black-faced Warblers, White-browed, Green and Black-eared Shrike
Babblers, an excellent male Himalayan Cutia, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, all three minlas,
moss-gleaning Rufous-winged Fulvettas, Whiskered and Stripe-throated Yuhinas, numerous Grey
Sibias and White-browed Fulvettas, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, and Green-tailed Sunbird. Large
numbers of Fire-tailed Sunbirds were visiting the red-flowered rhododendrons. The margins of the
track consistently turned up Himalayan Red-flanked Bush Robins (split from Northern Red-flanked
Bush Robin), and pre-dawn we twice disturbed a Grey Nightjar with the lead vehicle. The secondary-
growth and scrub dominated middle altitudes also hold some important birds, and here we had
multiple observations of the attractive near-endemic Striped Laughingthrush, though the first one was
most memorable as we blazed a trail down through the weeds to a position where we could see a
calling pair. Another restricted range species, Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler, and the more
widespread Blue-winged Laughingthrush proved more difficult to get onto, while several co-operative
Chin Hills Wren Babblers were much appreciated. Certain fruiting trees around the lower evergreen
forest limit were attracting large concentrations of the scarce Grey-sided Thrush, numerous Slaty-
backed Flycatchers, and groups of the unusual Crested Finchbill. The lower level pine forests with
their weedy, bushy and grassy understorey brought us further great birds like Slender-billed Oriole,
Nepal Fulvetta, Crimson-faced Liocichla (the western part of the two-way division of Red-faced),
Silver-eared Mesia, and flocks of Chestnut-flanked White-eyes. Lengthy attempts to see a pair of
Hodgson’s Frogmouths proved fruitless, and we had to accept that this was not the right season for
them to show well. Other goodies during our stay on Mt Victoria included Crimson-breasted and
Stripe-breasted Woodpeckers, Great and Golden-throated Barbets, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Ashy Wood
Pigeon, Himalayan Buzzard, displaying Black Eagles, Striated Bulbul, Large, Rufous-bellied and Vivid
Niltavas, the recently split Hume’s (or Manipur) Treecreeper, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Chestnut-
headed Tesia, Buff-throated and Grey-hooded Warblers, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Scaly-breasted Wren
Babbler, and some nice male Mrs Gould’s Sunbirds.

Not displeased to return to the warmth of the lower altitudes, we headed back towards the Irrawaddy
River and the comfortable hotel at Bagan, stopping frequently in the roadside forest that lined our
route, where pleasant birding was enhanced by the almost total absence of traffic. Some fruiting trees
at our first stop were attracting a good gathering of Yellow-footed Green Pigeons, Lineated and
Coppersmith Barbets, and Hill Mynas, while some White-bellied Woodpeckers proved rather more
elusive. Around the corner we tracked down a pair of Neglected Nuthatches (recently split from
Chestnut-bellied) and had rather brief views of a pair of Black-backed Forktails. Blossom-headed
Parakeet, Blue-throated Flycatcher, Puff-throated Babbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, and Yellow-
bellied Warbler all put in their first appearances, and we finally got some decent looks at Asian
Barred Owlet. Crested Goshawk and Changeable Hawk Eagle were both seen well in flight, and some
were lucky enough to see a White-browed Piculet. A nice male Kalij Pheasant slowly crossed the
road in front of the lead vehicle. After a typically table-born and cooked roadside lunch, we headed
off for the Dry Dipterocarp forest to continue our search for White-rumped Falcon. Several hours at
the usual site proved fruitless but, as we drove on to an older site, I was lucky enough to spot a

                                         3 Birdquest: Burma 2010
female resting in an open small tree not far from the road – what a huge relief, and what great walk-
away scope views.

After a pleasant night at Bagan, we flew to Heho airport in south-west Shan State, and then drove the
relatively short distance to Inle Lake. Along the way, we passed through some scrappy open forest,
where we were lucky enough to scope a perched Besra. Further on, we passed through rice-paddies
with scattered trees. A brief stop here to search for mynas proved fortuitous. After initially viewing
some distant White-vented Mynas, Kevin noticed a pair of the much rarer Collared Myna in a
flowering tree right by the road, one of our biggest target birds in Burma! Inle Lake is set in a basin-
like depression at 900m, surrounded by low hills, and is famous for it’s leg-rowers. Local people who
make their living from the lake stand on the back of their canoes, one leg firmly planted on the deck,
the other foot wrapped around the oar which is then paddled using the whole leg in an action worthy
of a Yogic master! Our very nice hotel overlooked the lake, and indeed our rooms were actually on
stilts over the water. In the late morning we boarded two long-tail boats and sped off south for a very
nice lunch at a lakeside restaurant. Then we headed up to the north end of the lake with its extensive
marshes. Holed-up in a stilted reserve building we scanned the surroundings until the sun began to
drop and the temperatures eased off. Both species of marsh harrier were watched together and we
scoped flocks of Burmese Spot-billed Ducks and Grey-headed Swamphens. Several Black-browed
Reed Warblers were watched feeding below us. As the air cooled, we got back in our boats and
headed off to a different area of marshland, in search of perhaps our main target at the lake, the glossy
Jerdon’s Bushchat. Water levels were very low and we had been warned that it might not be possible
for our bats to get down the usual channels. We need not have worried however, as we were soon
getting views of two different pairs of these excellent birds. Heading back to the open water, we
passed a few more Collared Mynas before checking the rafts of waterfowl huddled away from the
frequently encountered fisherman. Common Coot formed the great bulk and, scanning through their
thousands, we managed to pick out a reasonable number of Ferruginous Pochards, as well as an
unexpected pair of Red-crested Pochards and several Common Pochards. We returned to the hotel
well satisfied. Next morning was freezing cold! This did not deter us from birding the edge of the
excellent marsh right next to the hotel however. Here we had great looks at Rusty-rumped, Black-
browed Reed and Oriental Reed Warblers, Yellow-bellied Prinias, and Chestnut-capped Babblers. A
Ruddy-breasted Crake showed briefly. Before heading off for Kalaw, we had time for another boat trip
and what a good decision that proved to be. Carefully manoeuvring the boat around the rafts of
wildfowl, we saw again all the interesting species that we had seen the evening before but, just as we
had decided to head back to the hotel, we hit the jackpot in the form of a male Baer’s Pochard -
perhaps the first of this now endangered species to be seen at the lake since the 1980’s!

On the way to Kalaw we stopped at a small wetland known as Dhan Ma Kan Bridge. Eight loafing
Grey-headed Lapwings wee picked-out on a small island, a single Black-collared Starling was good,
and we all caught up with Wire-tailed Swallow; one having showed only briefly at Heho airport
earlier on. Arriving at the old hill station of Kalaw at 1350m, we settled into the Hill Top Villa with its
flowery surroundings. In the afternoon, we hooked-up with a local guide, Gideon, and travelled the
short distance to a trail leading to Dhein Taung. The open pine woods and scrub-covered slopes
provided excellent habitat for birds, and we were soon scoping some lovely Black-headed
Greenfinches and Slender-billed Orioles. Further on we eventually had good looks at some Brown-
breasted Bulbuls, and then two species of scimitar babbler performed, first a pair of White-browed
oddly high up in some pines and then the usually more skulking (though not on this occasion) Rusty-
cheeked. A foraging flock of White-browed Laughingthrushes also showed really well.

Our last full days birding in Burma saw us walking the two or three kilometres to Yay Ayekan
reservoirs, which are set amongst some quite nice secondary broadleaved evergreen forest. We
passed through open pine forests along the way, where we saw lots of Oriental Turtle Doves. Even

                                          4 Birdquest: Burma 2010
before we had reached the best forest, we had found two of our target birds, Spectacled Barwing and
Dark-backed Sibia, and had great views of both. A flighty party of Red-billed Blue Magpies dazzled.
Following the stream into the forest we soon disturbed some foraging Silver-eared Laughingthrushes,
and then a pair of White-crowned Forktails played hide-and-seek. Although with an equally
Himalayan base, the avifauna here was subtly different from that on Mt Victoria. In the occasional
bird-waves we noted Speckled Piculet, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Velvet-
fronted Nuthatch, Black-throated Tit (of the grey-crowned pulchellus race), Ashy Bulbul, Davison’s
Warbler (split from White-tailed Leaf), Grey-cheeked Fulvetta and Black-throated Sunbird. Several
recently described Martens’s Warblers, a winter visitor from China, where watched giving their subtly
distinctive calls. In the forest understorey, Hill Blue Flycatchers were common and we were also
lucky to get great views of a nice White-gorgeted Flycatcher. After finding a flock of four rare Spot-
winged Grosbeaks we had a bit of a sweat-on waiting for them to settle, but eventually had lengthy
looks through the scope. A noisy pair of Blue-bearded Bee-eaters were also unexpected. This is the
kind of place that can turn-up a lot of species over time. Having failed to find the elusive Burmese
Yuhina, we decided to make a relatively brief return visit on the following morning. There was still no
yuhina, but we found plenty of other new things to look at. A Black-backed Forktail showed
uncharacteristically well and a fruiting tree attracted a mixed flock of Pin-tailed and Thick-billed
Green Pigeons. Before we knew it our time was up, and we had to return to Heho airport for our final
internal flight back to Yangon.

                                        5 Birdquest: Burma 2010

Species which were heard but not seen are indicated by the symbol (H).
Species which were not personally recorded by the leader are indicated by the symbol (NL).

Hill Partridge Arborophila torqueola: A pair showed quite well on Mt Victoria, and several others
             were heard.
Mountain Bamboo Partridge Bambusicola fytchii (H): Two birds/groups were heard calling at dusk
             one evening on Mount Victoria.
Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus: A single male was seen at c. 2450m on Mt Victoria; a lot higher than
             the species has previously been recorded in the region. Also heard between Saw and
             Chauk, and at Yay Ayekan.
Kalij Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos: At least two were seen along the road from Saw to Kazunma
             and Saw. These birds would refer to the race lathami.

Lesser Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna javanica: Flocks on Inle Lake totalled at least 500 birds.

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea: Plentiful on the Irrawaddy River at Bagan, with at least 200
           there, plus another four on Inle lake.
Burmese Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha: 40 on the Irrawaddy at Bagan, and 120 on Inle
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata: Two amongst the rafts of wildfowl at Inle Lake.
Northern Pintail Anas acuta: Ten on the Irrawaddy at Bagan, and five on Inle Lake.
Garganey Anas querquedula: At least 150 on Inle Lake.
Common Teal Anas crecca: About ten at Inle Lake.
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina: A nice pair were seen several times at the north end of Inle Lake.
Common Pochard Aythya ferina: At least six on Inle Lake.
Baer’s Pochard Aythya baeri: We were extremely fortunate to locate a male of this now endangered
           species, with a small group of the next species on Inle Lake. It may not have been
           recorded from the site since the 1980s. It just goes to show that hard work can pay off!
Ferruginous Pochard Aythya nyroca: Some 20 or more of these handsome ducks at Inle Lake.

Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla: Two or three at Bagan and, more surprisingly, one near Kalaw.
Speckled Piculet Picumnus innominatus: One seen very well at Yay Ayekan, near Kalaw.
White-browed Piculet Sasia ochracea (NL): Thiri and Kevin saw one during the journey from Saw to
Grey-capped Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus: Seen on several occasions in various forest
Stripe-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos atratus: Scope views of one on Mt Victoria.
Rufous-bellied Woodpecker Dendrocopos hyperythrus: Several seen on Mt Victoria where they were
            vocal and obvious. A very handsome bird!
Crimson-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos cathpharius: Good views of a single male on Mt
            Victoria. Assumed to be of the race pyrrhothorax, though it has never been collected
White-bellied Woodpecker Dryocopus javensis: A single bird was seen fleetingly in flight near Saw,
            with others heard drumming and calling there.

                                       6 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus: A single bird was seen in roadside forest between Kazunma
            and Saw; a surprising write-in.
Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus: A single bird seen at Nagabwet, and also heard on Mt
Himalayan Flameback Dinopium shorii: We were fortunate to get great views of one in with the next
            species at Nagabwet.
Greater Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus: A flock of four at Nagabwet.
Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis: Seen a couple of times on Mt Victoria. Good flight views.

Great Barbet Megalaima virens: Quite common at Mt Victoria and also heard at Yay Ayekan.
Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata: Common and easily seen this year, along the roadside between
            Saw and Kazunma.
Golden-throated Barbet Megalaima franklinii: Several sightings of this colourful barbet on Mt
Blue-throated Barbet Megalaima asiatica: A few were found at Yay Ayekan.
Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala: Common in the lowlands.

Common Hoopoe Upupa epops: Just one near Bagan.

Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis: Frequently seen in lowland open areas and forest edge.

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis: Regularly encountered by various wetlands, and even along the
         stream at Yay Ayekan.

White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis: Regularly encountered.

Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis: One along the Irrawaddy at Bagan.

Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni: We were surprised to see a pair of these superb birds at
            Yay Ayekan.
Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis: Common in typical dry lowland habitats.
Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus: A handful in Yangon and one near Chauk.
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops leschenaulti: Several in the hotel grounds in Yangon, on our first

Large Hawk Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides: After tracking a bird on Mt Victoria, we all had
           prolonged scope views.
Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii: A calling bird was scoped at Yay Ayekan.
Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopacea: Several in a fruiting tree at the boat club in Yangon.
Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis: Occasional sightings, mainly of singles, along our

                                        7 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis: A few during the journey from Saw to Chauk. Heard in Yangon.
Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis: Several I the marshy grasslands of Inle Lake.

Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria: At least 45 of these loud parakeets along the Chauk to Saw
Grey-headed Parakeet Psittacula finschii: Common between Chauk and Saw, with smaller numbers
           on Mt Victoria and around Kalaw.
Blossom-headed Parakeet Psittacula roseata: Three during the return journey from Saw to Kazunma.
Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri: Just one fly-over on the way from Kazunma to Saw.

Himalayan Swiftlet Collocalia brevirostris: One at Mt Victoria, and 40 at Yay Ayekan.
Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis: Common during the first half of the tour; at lower elevations.
House Swift Apus affinis: A handful in Yangon and the same at Heho.

Crested Treeswift Hemiprocne coronata: A few birds were seen along the way to the Hupin Hotel, at
           Inle Lake.

Barn Owl Tyto alba: Two were seen just after dark at Sitsana, near Bagan.

Collared Scops Owl Otus lempiji (H): A calling bird in the pine forests of Mt Victoria, couldn’t quite
           be tempted in.
Collared Owlet Glaucidium brodiei: Occasionally heard at both Mt Victoria and Yay Ayekan. One
           was tracked down and scoped for a long time at the former.
Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides: Seen near the Pine Tree Resort on Mt Victoria and
           several times along the road from Saw to Kazunma. Commonly heard between Chauk
           and Saw, as well as in Yangon and at Inle Lake.
Spotted Owlet Athene brama: Some great views of these around Bagan, and also heard near Chauk.

Hodgson’s Frogmouth Batrachostomus hodgsoni (H): We tried our best on two separate occasions
          but a pair on Mt Victoria just wouldn’t call frequently enough for us to track them down.

Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka: One pre-dawn on two separate mornings on the way up Mt
Indian Nightjar Caprimulgus asiaticus: One was seen several times at dusk, by Sitsana Temple, near
           Bagan. Another flew up from the road as we headed for Chauk.

Rock Pigeon Columba livia: Widespread sightings of feral-type birds.
Ashy Wood Pigeon Columba pulchricollis: At least ten on Mt Victoria, including two for a long time
           in the scope. Very nervous!
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis: Only seen near Yay Ayekan, where it was common in
           the pine forests and small fields.
Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis: Frequently encountered in the lowlands.

                                        8 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Red Collared Dove (R Turtle-D) Streptopelia tranquebarica: Two at Bagan.
Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto: About ten birds near Bagan. The race xanthocyclus is
            an interesting taxon, with an isolated population in the Burmese Dry Zone, a bold yellow
            eyering, darker overall plumage and more vinous underparts.
Thick-billed Green Pigeon Treron curvirostra: At least two with the Pin-taileds.
Yellow-footed Green Pigeon Treron phoenicoptera: A fruiting tree near Saw attracted a busily feeding
            flock of at least 20 birds.
Pin-tailed Green Pigeon Treron apicauda: On our second morning at Yay Ayekan we scoped-up at
            least five resting in a tree.
Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea: Three fly-overs near Saw.
Mountain Imperial Pigeon Ducula badia (H): Two heard distantly at Yay Ayekan.

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus: One at Inle Lake.
Ruddy-breasted Crake Porzana fusca: One briefly by our hotel at Inle Lake.
Grey-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus: At least 20 at Inle Lake.
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus: Three at Inle Lake and, surprisingly, about 25 at Yay
Common Coot Fulica atra: Huge rafts totalling c. 5000 birds on Inle Lake.

Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus: Two along the Irrawaddy at Bagan.
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia: Five at Bagan.
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus: Just one at Bagan.
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola: Two at Inle Lake.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos: Scattered sightings of small numbers.
Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii: Five seen along the Irrawaddy at Bagan.

Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus: At least 60 at Inle Lake.
Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus: A pair from the university boat club in Yangon.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius: About 20 along the Irrawaddy River at Bagan.
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus: At least seven at Bagan.
River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii: Five seen by the river at Bagan.
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus: Heidi found us eight resting birds at Dhan Ma Kan Bridge,
             on the way to Kalaw.

Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus: Plentiful at Inle Lake where we saw some 300 or so, and
           were able to attract feeding groups over our boats as we sped along.
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus:

Oriental Honey-Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus: A scattering from Yangon and Bagan to the lower
            slopes of Mt Victoria.
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus: Particularly common and conspicuous at Inle Lake.
Black Kite Milvus migrans: About 40 in Yangon, and a single bird along the Irrawaddy at Bagan.
Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela: Perched birds were seen near Saw and twice at Yay Ayekan.

                                       9 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus: One with the Pied Harrier and another at Inle Lake both
Eastern Marsh Harrier Circus spilonotus: Four at Inle Lake; an adult female and three juveniles.
Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos: A beautiful male was seen over the grassy river islands at Bagan.
Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus: A single male came low overhead between Saw and
Shikra Accipiter badius: The typical Accipiter of open habitats, with three seen at scattered sites.
Besra Accipiter virgatus:
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus: Six sightings during the first half of the tour; from Bagan to the
            higher reaches of Mt Victoria.
White-eyed Buzzard Butastur teesa: Singles were seen well at Bagan and near Kazunma.
Himalayan Buzzard Buteo burmannicus: The commonest raptor, being seen on all but four days of
            the tour. This is a recent split from Common Buzzard B. buteo, following Rasmussen &
            Anderton’s Birds of South Asia.
Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis: Seen a number of times on Mt Victoria, with at least three birds
            involved, and display-flight noted.
Changeable Hawk Eagle Spizaetus limnaeetus: Two over roadside forest between Saw and Kazunma
            and two over hills on the way to Inle Lake. Spizaetus cirrhatus of the Indian subcontinent
            is now a separate species, Crested Hawk Eagle.

White-rumped Falcon Polihierax insignis: We really sweated-it-out in the Dry Dipterocarp forests
            near Kazunma for this one. Finally, a female was seen sitting right in the open, as we
            drove by. We had nice lengthy scope views in the soft evening sunlight. Superb.
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus: Frequently seen in Yangon, Bagan and the Kalaw area.
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus: Singles were seen in Yangon and at Bagan. Both were thought to
            be subspecies peregrinator (Shaheen Falcon).

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis: Just a few at Inle Lake.

Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster: Four at the boat club in Yangon.

Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger: A few in Yangon, and then up to 100 at Inle Lake.
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo: Six birds seen on the Irrawaddy at Bagan.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta: A small number seen at Yangon, Bagan and Inle Lake.
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea: One in Yangon and four at Inle Lake.
Great Egret Casmerodius albus: Just one on the Irrawaddy at Bagan.
Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia: In good numbers at Inle Lake, and Dhan Ma Kan, near
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus: Widespread sightings in cultivated and grazed areas.
Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii: This should be the commoner (and resident) pond heron. If dusky
             wing-tips are a good feature for Chinese Pond Heron, then we definitely saw both, with
             this species at Yangon, Bagan and on the way to Kazunma.
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus: Ten at Inle Lake and a handful en route to Kalaw. All with
             dusky wing-tips.

                                         10 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis: Great views of a pair foraging at the roadside
           between Saw and Kazunma.
Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons: Two seen in the dry lowland forests.
Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii: Two at Yay Ayekan.

Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus: Regular sightings away from Mt Victoria.
Burmese Shrike Lanius collurioides: Common from Bagan to Kazunma.
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach: Frequent in Shan State. All birds were of the black-headed tricolor
Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus: Two singles in the Kalaw area.

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius: A handful of the very distinctive white-faced leucotis race near
Common Green Magpie Cissa chinensis (H): Unfortunately this beauty was only heard at Yay
Red-billed Blue Magpie Urocissa erythrorhyncha: A small colourful group was encountered at Yay
Rufous Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda: Several seen in the lowlands west of the Irrawaddy.
Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae: Although heard on several occasions on Mt Victoria and at Yay
            Ayekan, only one was seen at the latter site.
Hooded Treepie Crypsirina cucullata: Much time spent looking for this attractive endemic proved
            fruitless at Bagan, where the habitat was sub-optimal. Fortunately Heidi spotted one for us
            in some nice lowland habitat between Chauk and Kazunma, which we were able to get
            prolonged views of – even in the same bush as Jerdon’s Minivet. Another bird was seen
            from the lead jeep soon afterwards.
House Crow Corvus splendens: Not uncommon around Yangon and Bagan. These dark, almost
            uniform birds that had us momentarily confused refer to the insolens race.
Eastern Jungle Crow Corvus levaillantii: A small number were seen on Mt Victoria. Note that ,
            following Rasmussen & Anderton’s Birds of South Asia, the former Large-billed Crow C.
            macrorhynchos has been split into four species, the other three being: Large-billed Crow
            C. japonensis, Indian Jungle Crow C. culminatus, and Southern Jungle Crow C.
Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus: 30 in a single tree on the way to Saw, and 16 or so in the Inle
            Lake-Kalaw area.
Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis: A few in Yangon and during the journey to and from Saw.
Slender-billed Oriole Oriolus tenuirostris: Small numbers in the pines on Mt Victoria, and around
Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus: A small number were seen in the lowland forests between
            Saw and Chauk.
Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii: Regularly encountered in the evergreen forest on Mt Victoria, and also
            at Yay Ayekan, but mainly heard only.
Large Cuckooshrike Coracina macei: Several from the lower slopes of Mt Victoria to Kazunma, and
            one at Yay Ayekan.
Black-winged Cuckooshrike Coracina melaschistos: A few in the bird-waves at Yay Ayekan,
            including one scoped.
Rosy Minivet Pericrocotus roseus: Three were seen in the semi-evergreen forests between Kazunma
            and Saw.

                                        11 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus: A few showed nicely whilst we searched the Dry
            Dipterocarp forests for White-rumped Falcon near Kazunma.
Jerdon’s Minivet Pericrocotus albifrons: At least five different sightings this year, involving six males
            and a female at Sitsana Temple, Bagan, and a male and two females along the way to
            Kazunma from Chauk. This stunning bird is often tricky to pin down, and is a good split
            from the equally isolated White-bellied Minivet P. erythropygius of India.
Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris: Several encountered in the evergreen forest at Mt
Long-tailed Minivet Pericrocotus ethologus: The most frequently seen minivet on Mt Victoria, and
            also at Kalaw.
Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus: A few were seen in forest between Saw and Kazunma, and
            many more at Yay Ayekan.
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus: Four on the way to Saw and two at Yay Ayekan.
Yellow-bellied Fantail Rhipidura hypoxantha: Just a few of these odd little birds on Mt Victoria.
White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis: Bizarrely scarce, one on Mt Victoria and one at Yay
White-browed Fantail Rhipidura aureola: Just one was seen by some of us along the Chauk to Saw
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus: Often seen, in lowland open country, but particularly
            numerous at Inle Lake.
Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus: Frequently seen away from the lowlands (subspecies mouhoti).
            We also had two pale grey migrant salangensis at Yangon University Boat Club; the first
            to be seen in S Myanmar.
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer (NL): Thiri and Kevin saw one along the road from Saw
            to Kazunma.
Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus: A few seen in lowland mixed forests between Saw and Kazunma,
            and two more at Yay Ayekan.
Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus: Good numbers this year on Mt Victoria, where they were
            gathering to visit the red-flowered rhododendrons, close to the upper limit of their
            altitudinal range. Another on the way to Inle Lake from Heho.
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus: At least one seen very nicely in a slow-moving
            bird-wave by the roadside, between Saw and Kazunma.
Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea: Occasionally encountered in evergreen and semi-
            evergreen forests.
Common Iora Aegithina tiphia: Common at Bagan and also seen between Saw and Kazunma, and at
            Yay Ayekan.
Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus: Just a single bird in Dry Dipterocarp forest near

Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush Monticola rufiventris: Excellent views of a singing male on Mt Victoria,
           and another bird heard calling
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius: Two in the Bagan area, and another near Saw.
Blue Whistling Thrush Myophonus caeruleus: Two by the roadside between Saw and Kazunma, and
           another at Yay Ayekan.
Grey-sided Thrush Turdus feae: This year years tour saw large numbers of this scarce species on Mt
           Victoria, with over 100 seen, and some excellent views. I am sure that all depends on the
           fruiting time of certain trees.
Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus: Just two were identified, with the above species on Mt Victoria.
Slaty-backed Flycatcher Ficedula hodgsonii: Very common at middle altitudes on Mt Victoria, and
           also in small numbers at Yay Ayekan.

                                         12 Birdquest: Burma 2010
White-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula monileger: This neat little flycatcher was totally unexpected at
             Yay Ayekan, but we had excellent views of a nice boldly marked one in a quiet gully.
Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata: Quite common on Mt Victoria.
Red-throated Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla: A few in the lowlands and three around Kalaw.
Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula westermanni: Single males on Mt Victoria and at Yay Ayekan.
Slaty-blue Flycatcher Ficedula tricolor: Good views of a female lower down on Mt Victoria. The race
             was cerviniventris, with prominently uniform rich buff underparts.
Verditer Flycatcher Muscicapa thalassina: Occasional sightings throughout.
Large Niltava Niltava grandis: A pair were found feeding on small berries on Mt Victoria.
Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara: A fine male on Mt Victoria and three more at Yay Ayekan.
Vivid Niltava Niltava vivida: A prolonged close look at a male and two females on Mt Victoria. A
             rather mysterious and localised niltava.
Blue-throated Flycatcher Cyornis rubeculoides: Two, including a male that we scoped, in roadside
             forest between Saw and Kazunma. The fully blue-throated nominate race.
Hill Blue Flycatcher Cyornis banyumas: Common at Yay Ayekan.
Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis: Just a couple in evergreen forest on Mt
             Victoria, one between Saw and Kazunma, and then a few at Yay Ayekan.
Siberian Rubythroat Luscinia calliope: A female showed briefly at Inle Lake, and Kevin saw another
             bird at Yay Ayekan. Others were heard at both places.
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica: A single bird was seen nicely on the White-tailed Stonechat island near
Himalayan Red-flanked Bush Robin Tarsiger rufilatus: Quite common on Mt Victoria. Rasmussen &
             Anderton split the former Orange-flanked Bush Robin or Red-flanked Bluetail T. cyanurus)
             into two species, the one we saw, which is a Himalayan breeder, and Northern Red-
             flanked Bush Robin T. cyanurus which breeds in Siberia.
Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis: Odd ones seen, most commonly around Kalaw.
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus: One male was scoped briefly on the way to Yay Ayekan,
Blue-fronted Redstart Phoenicurus frontalis: Common higher up on Mt Victoria, with more than 30
Black-backed Forktail Enicurus immaculatus: A pair briefly at a roadside stream between Saw and
             Kazunma, and then excellent views of one along the stream at Yay Ayekan, though
             somewhat lower down than the next species.
White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti: Several sightings of a very vocal pair along the stream
             at Yay Ayekan.
Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maura: Common during the latter part of the trip in Shan State.
White-tailed Stonechat Saxicola leucura: A nice treat to find these staked out near Bagan, where we
             saw about 15 on an island with tall grass; the males showing especially well.
Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata: Plenty seen in open country in the lowlands.
Jerdon’s Bushchat Saxicola jerdoni: Lengthy close views of two pairs at Inle Lake, from the comfort of
             our boats. This must surely be the best place to see this skulking shiny chat in the world.
Grey Bushchat Saxicola ferrea: Seen frequently in the Chin Hills and Kalaw area.

Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus: Just the two birds that we saw in a fruiting tree at
            Yangon University Boat Club.
Black-collared Starling Sturnus nigricollis: Just one by a small wetland on the way to Kalaw.
Vinous-breasted Starling Sturnus burmannicus: Common at Bagan, between Heho and Inle Lake, and
            on the way to Kalaw. These red-billed birds are of the nominate race, which perhaps in
            due course will be recognised as a separate species from the larger yellow-billed
            leucocephalus form found in the rest of South-east Asia.

                                        13 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis: Scattered sightings around human habitation in Yangon, Bagan
           and the Heho-Inle Lake area.
Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus: Small numbers of this colonial breeder at Yangon and Bagan.
White-vented Myna Acridotheres grandis: A dozen in the Inle Lake area and ten at Dhan Ma Kan
           Bridge near Kalaw.
Collared Myna Acridotheres albocinctus: After the endemics, this was one of the most wanted
           species of the tour. Fortunately our luck was in this year and, even before we had reached
           our first accommodation in Shan State, Kevin picked out two in a flowering tree. Later, we
           saw another four at Inle Lake. It is restricted in range to parts of Myanmar and adjacent
           Manipur, India and west Yunnan, China.
Hill Myna Gracula religiosa: A flock of 11 birds going to fruiting trees near Saw.

Chestnut-vented Nuthatch Sitta nagaensis: The most frequently seen Nuthatch, in the open pine
            forests on Mt Victoria.
Neglected Nuthatch Sitta neglecta: Our fifth Nuthatch of the trip! A pair were tracked down in semi-
            evergreen forest along the road from Saw to Kazunma. A recent split from S. castanea
            Indian Nuthatch and S. cinnamoventris, which is now called Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch.
White-tailed Nuthatch Sitta himalayensis: Four in the evergreen forest on Mt Victoria, and some great
White-browed Nuthatch Sitta victoriae: The crown jewel of Burmese endemics was commonly found
            this year, over a wide area, with at least 20 individuals recorded. Endemic to Mt Victoria
            and its adjoining ridges.
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis: Two between Saw and Kazunma, and then eight at Yay

Bar-tailed Treecreeper Certhia himalayana: Quite commonly seen on Mt Victoria. This population
            (race ripponi) is isolated from the western Himalayan and Chinese populations, but the
            calls seem the same.
Hume’s Treecreeper (Manipur T) Certhia manipurensis: Quite often encountered in the evergreen
            forest on Mt Victoria, the nominate manipurensis race here showing the most orangey
            throat of all the races. This is a recently split taxon, covering all the races found in South-
            east Asia and south-western China, separated from Brown-throated Treecreeper C.
            discolor that occurs in the Himalayas.

Black-bibbed Tit Parus hypermelaena: This excellent, sprightly tit was found on several occasions at
            the higher levels of Mt Victoria. It’s population here in the Chin Hills is very remote from
            the main population in south-west China. Nevertheless, it is still considered monotypic.
Grey Tit Parus cinereus: A few seen in dryer lowland forests, a recent split from Great Tit P. major.
Japanese Tit Parus minor: A few seen around Kalaw. Another recent split from Great Tit.
Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus: A small number seen with mixed flocks at lower levels on Mt
            Victoria. Surprisingly difficult to get onto here.
Yellow-browed Tit Sylviparus modestus: Frequent in bird-waves at the higher forest on Mt Victoria.

Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus: Great views of two distinct races: manipurensis on Mt
            Victoria, and grey-crowned pulchellus at Yay Ayekan.

                                         14 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Burmese Tit Aegithalos sharpei: Common this year at the higher levels of Mt Victoria, with many
           small flocks totalling more than 50 birds. Split from Black-browed Tit A. bonvaloti from
           which it is separated by 600km and shows marked plumage differences.

Sand Martin Riparia riparia: One along the Irrawaddy at Bagan, and two at Inle Lake.
Grey-throated Sand Martin Riparia chinensis: Fairly numerous around the Irrawaddy sandbanks at
            Bagan. Rasmussen & Anderton split Plain Martin R. paludicola into this form R. chinensis
            of Asia and Brown-throated Sand Martin R. paludicola of Africa
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica: Common in the lowlands near water.
Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii: Singles were seen at Heho airport and Dhan Ma Kan Bridge,
            near Kalaw.
Striated Swallow Hirundo striolata: Common around Kalaw.
Red-rumped/Striated Swallow Hirundo daurica/striolata: 20 at Bagan.
Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus: At least 40 feeding over the lower slopes of Mt Victoria.

Crested Finchbill Spizixos canifrons: Common this year on Mt Victoria, with large concentration in
            search of certain fruit.
Striated Bulbul Pycnonotus striatus: Fairly plentiful and eventually obliging in the evergreen forest on
            Mt Victoria. Not bad for a Bulbul!
Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus: A few seen at lower and middle elevations around Mt
            Victoria and at Kalaw.
Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus: Small numbers at Inle Lake and Kalaw.
Brown-breasted Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthorrhous: Gideon found us four at Dhein Taung, near Kalaw.
Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer: The default bulbul of lower and middle altitudes in degraded
            habitat. The races were melanchimus at Bagan and along the way to Saw, and stanfordi
            around Kalaw.
Flavescent Bulbul Pycnonotus flavescens: Several seen in marginal habitats at Mt Victoria and around
Streak-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus blanfordi: Rather common in the lowlands. Endemic blanfordi.
Ashy Bulbul Hemixos flavala: Only seen at Yay Ayekan where we found five or so. Race hildebrandi.
Mountain Bulbul Hypsipetes mcclellandii: Several of these noisy birds seen on Mt Victoria, and at
            Yay Ayekan. Subspecies ventralis and tickelli respectively.
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus: Two on Mt Victoria and quite a few at Yay Ayekan.
            Surprisingly scarce. Races nigrescens and concolor respectively.

Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis: Quite common along the Irrawaddy at Bagan.
Brown Prinia Prinia polychroa: Three at Bagan showed very well, and we heard two in the Kalaw
Black-throated Prinia Prinia atrogularis: Rather fleeting views of two on Mt Victoria, and many heard.
             Rasmussen & Anderton split this from the following species, although khasiana (the form
             on Mt Victoria) differs quite markedly from Himalayan atrogularis, and should perhaps be
             considered as a separate species too.
Hill Prinia Prinia superciliaris: One, also fleetingly, this time at Yay Ayekan.
Rufescent Prinia Prinia rufescens: Small numbers around Kalaw.
Grey-breasted Prinia Prinia hodgsonii: Quite common in the western lowland forests, and at Bagan.
Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris: We finally latched onto several birds by the Hupin Hotel, at
             Inle Lake.
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata: Scattered sightings of this widespread and common prinia.

                                        15 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Chestnut-flanked White-eye Zosterops erythropleurus: A small number seen at the lower levels on Mt
Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus: A few at Yay Ayekan.

Chestnut-headed Tesia Tesia castaneocoronata: One bird came right out into the open on Mt
             Victoria. None were heard.
Slaty-bellied Tesia Tesia olivea (H): One or two were heard by the stream at Yay Ayekan.
Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler Cettia fortipes: Several showed, though mostly rather poorly, on Mt
Rusty-rumped Warbler Locustella certhiola: One seen and two heard by the Hupin Hotel at Inle Lake.
Black-browed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps: Quite common at the north end of Inle Lake,
             and very easy to see.
Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis: Two by our hotel at Inle Lake.
Thick-billed Warbler Acrocephalus aedon: Widespread sightings. Burma must be a major wintering
             area for the species.
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius: Regularly encountered throughout.
Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus: Frequent and widespread.
Tickell’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus affinis: Up to six were wintering around Bagan, particularly in
             the hotel garden shade-trees.
Buff-throated Warbler Phylloscopus subaffinis: Common at the higher levels of Mt Victoria, and
             around Kalaw.
Yellow-streaked Warbler Phylloscopus armandii: Frequently seen and heard from Bagan to Saw, and
             also in the Kalaw area.
Buff-barred Warbler Phylloscopus pulcher: The commonest warbler on Mt Victoria, most numerous
             at higher altitudes.
Ashy-throated Warbler Phylloscopus maculipennis: Eight or so, high up on Mt Victoria.
Lemon-rumped Warbler Phylloscopus chloronotus: Just one was identified at the lower levels of Mt
Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus: Common except at the very highest elevations.
Hume’s Warbler Phylloscopus humei: Plenty heard at mid-elevations on Mt Victoria, with a few seen
             near Pine Tree Resort. These birds refer to the mandelli taxon of Hume’s Warbler.
Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides:
Blyth’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus reguloides: Just a handful seen, on Mt Victoria.
Davison’s Warbler Phylloscopus davisoni: Common at Yay Ayekan. After DNA work, this is now
             considered to be a different species to P. ogilviegranti (with regional races klossi and
             disturbans), which retains the old name White-tailed Leaf Warbler.
Grey-crowned Warbler Seicercus tephrocephalus: Two calling birds were seen quite briefly at Yay
             Ayekan. This and the following two species were formerly lumped together as part of
             Golden-spectacled Warbler S. burkii.
Whistler’s Warbler Seicercus whistleri: A total of three birds seen at high elevations on Mt Victoria.
Martens’s Warbler Seicercus omeiensis: Good views of three at Yay Ayekan. Fortunately this and the
             previous two species were all calling, otherwise identification would have been
Grey-hooded Warbler Seicercus xanthoschistos: A small number were seen with busy bird-flocks at
             mid-elevations on Mt Victoria. Recent DNA studies place it squarely amongst the
             Phylloscopus warblers.
Black-faced Warbler Abroscopus schisticeps: Two different flocks of these superb little warblers on
             Mt Victoria.

                                       16 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Yellow-bellied Warbler Abroscopus superciliaris: Just one rather briefly in roadside bamboo near
Striated Grassbird Megalurus palustris: Small numbers at Inle Lake and, more surprisingly, around
            field margins on the way to Yay Ayekan.
White-browed Laughingthrush Garrulax sannio: Pleasingly common and showy around Kalaw.
Striped Laughingthrush Garrulax virgatus: Restricted to the far-eastern states of India adjacent to
            Myanmar plus the Chin Hills (including Mt Victoria), we put a lot of effort into seeing this
            skulking laughingthrush. Needless to say, after all the initial hard work and trail-blazing, it
            showed several times more with no effort required!
Brown-capped Laughingthrush          Garrulax austeni: Another one of the several near-endemic
            laughingthrushes that we were on the lookout for. Luckily this species performed
            amazingly well for us on several occasions, even allowing scope views!
Blue-winged Laughingthrush Garrulax squamatus: Rather fleeting views of a pair crossing the track
            on Mt Victoria
Assam Laughingthrush Garrulax chrysopterus: One of the first birds that we saw on Mt Victoria,
            hopping around on the track in full view. Further good views were later obtained of
            several more. It was initially split from Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush G.
            erythrocephalus by Rasmussen & Anderton in their Birds of South Asia, the race here
            being chestnut-hooded erythrolaemus.
Silver-eared Laughingthrush Garrulax melanostigma: Small numbers at Yay Ayekan, but rather more
            skulking than the last species. Another recent split from Chestnut-crowned
            Laughingthrush, this time following Nigel Collar’s paper in Forktail 22 (A partial revision
            of the Asian Babblers). The range extends from E and SE Myanmar and NW Thailand to N
            and C Laos, NW Vietnam and SE Yunnan.
Crimson-faced Liocichla Liocichla phoenicea: Several on the lower slopes of Mt Victoria, including
            two that showed particularly well with some Streak-breasted Scimitar Babblers; showing
            off their intense colours without the need for a tape duel!
Puff-throated Babbler Pellorneum ruficeps: Fantastic views of two right by the roadside near Saw.
Spot-throated Babbler Pellorneum albiventre:
Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus mcclellandi: A very sneaky bird this time around, with
            just a couple of brief sightings in the undergrowth on Mt Victoria. Following the babblers
            section in Handbook of the Birds of the World, the former Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler
            P. erythrocnemis is now divided into four species, with this monotypic taxon retaining the
            English name Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler but with a change of scientific name.
Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus erythrogenys: Seen incredibly well at Dhein Taung,
            near Kalaw, in complete contrast to its very close relative preceding.
White-browed Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus schisticeps: Great views of three pairs in the Kalaw
            area. The race here is nuchalis.
Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis: Frequently encountered on Mt Victoria.
Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler Xiphirhynchus superciliaris (H): One was calling loudly from some
            bamboo on Mt Victoria, but mysteriously disappeared.
Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler Pnoepyga albiventer: Two were seen on Mt Victoria. Such great little
            birds, but recently shown to be totally unrelated to babblers!
Spotted Wren Babbler Spelaeornis formosus (H): Heard singing twice on Mt Victoria but out of reach
            on both occasions.
Chin Hills Wren Babbler (Long-tailed W B) Spelaeornis oatesi: Fortunately, this near endemic was
            tape responsive in the off-season, and we had great views of three birds. Many others
            were heard at varying elevations. Following Rasmussen & Anderton and Handbook of the
            Birds of the World, the former Long-tailed Wren Babbler S. chocolatinus has been divided
            into four species, with the current former being restricted to the Chin Hills and adjacent
            Mizoram, India.

                                         17 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Golden Babbler Stachyris chrysaea: Not uncommon in bird-waves on Mt Victoria, and also seen at
            Yay Ayekan. At the former site we saw the race binghami with grey ear-coverts, while in
            the east, the form was aurata.
Striped Tit Babbler Macronous gularis: A small number in roadside bamboo and scrappy forest
            between Saw and Kazunma.
Chestnut-capped Babbler Timalia pileata: Excellent views of two groups in the marsh by the Hupin
            Hotel, at Inle Lake; even in the scope.
Yellow-eyed Babbler Chrysomma sinense: Quite a few around Bagan.
Striated Babbler Turdoides earlei:
White-throated Babbler Turdoides gularis: This highly distinctive endemic was a garden bird at
            Bagan, where a group gathered around the hose-pipe amongst the flower-beds. Widely
            recorded during our travels in the Dry Zone.
Chinese Babax Babax lanceolatus: Very responsive at the higher levels on Mt Victoria, with
            prolonged scope views. In Birds of South Asia, Rasmussen & Anderton suggest that the
            near-endemic local race, woodi, might be considered a distinct species from Chinese
            birds. However, the plumage distinctiveness that they suggest is not born-out by
            specimens, and it was not split by Collar & Robson in HBW. No doubt future DNA work
            will shed light o the matter.
Silver-eared Mesia Leiothrix argentauris: A few at the lower levels on Mt Victoria, and also at Yay
            Ayekan that showed rather better. The races were aureigularis in the west, and galbana in
            the east.
Himalayan Cutia Cutia nipalensis: Walk-away scope views of a lazy male on Mt Victoria. Always a
            bonus-bird. A change in the common name occurred when Vietnamese Cutia C. legalleni
            was split off.
White-browed Shrike Babbler Pteruthius flaviscapis: Just a pair seen on Mt Victoria, and heard there
            and at Yay Ayekan.
Green Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius xanthochlorus: Seen several times in mixed bird-flocks at higher
            elevations on Mt Victoria. The eye-ringed form hybrida.
Black-eared Shrike-Babbler Pteruthius melanotis: Several handsome males and a female in mixed
            bird-flocks higher up on Mt Victoria.
Rusty-fronted Barwing Actinodura egertoni: A few were seen in the evergreen forests on Mt Victoria.
            Subspecies ripponi.
Spectacled Barwing Actinodura ramsayi: A fine show by two or three birds calling in the cold
            morning sunshine at Yay Ayekan.
Streak-throated Barwing Actinodura waldeni: A rather rare babbler with a restricted range. We were
            fortunate to find about four rather tame and very responsive birds during our first full day
            out on Mt Victoria. This was subspecies poliotis.
Blue-winged Minla Minla cyanouroptera: Occasionally encountered on Mt Victoria, and at Yay
            Ayekan. The races were aglae at the former, and wingatei at the latter.
Chestnut-tailed Minla Minla strigula: Seen often in the higher evergreen forests on Mt Victoria.
            Subspecies yunnanensis.
Red-tailed Minla Minla ignotincta: A total of nine individuals seen with mixed flocks on Mt Victoria.
            The nominate race.
Rufous-winged Fulvetta Alcippe castaneceps: Regular parties seen on Mt Victoria, busily searching
            mossy boughs in the evergreen forest.
White-browed Fulvetta Alcippe vinipectus: Very common at the higher altitudes on Mt Victoria. The
            highly distinctive race ripponi.
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe poioicephala: Very vocal and encountered in several small flocks in
            roadside forest between Saw and Kazunma. Rather plain-headed phayrei.
Grey-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe fratercula: A few at Yay Ayekan. Following the splitting off of more
            eastern forms, the specific name of this fulvetta has changed.

                                        18 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Nepal Fulvetta Alcippe nipalensis: Surprisingly secretive, though regularly encountered in bird-flocks
             at lower levels on Mt Victoria.
Rufous-backed Sibia Heterophasia annectens: At least one briefly in a bird-wave at Yay Ayekan.
             Leader-only unfortunately!
Grey Sibia Heterophasia gracilis: Common and highly visible throughout the evergreen forest on Mt
Dark-backed Sibia Heterophasia melanoleuca: A good number of these in the forest at Yay Ayekan,
             the race here is castanoptera that shows bright rufous tertials and inner greater coverts.
Whiskered Yuhina Yuhina flavicollis: Small parties were encountered in the evergreen forest on Mt
             Victoria, particularly on our last day.
Stripe-throated Yuhina Yuhina gularis: Small numbers were regularly seen at the higher altitudes on
             Mt Victoria.
White-bellied Yuhina Yuhina zantholeuca: One at Yay Ayekan. DNA studies have recently
             discovered that this is not a yuhina, or even a babbler, and it is now referred to as White-
             bellied Erpornis Erpornis zantholeuca, a relative of the vireos.
Spot-breasted Parrotbill Paradoxornis guttaticollis: Excellent prolonged close views of two pairs on Mt
             Victoria. What a stonker!
Buff-breasted Parrotbill Suthora ripponi: This near endemic was recently split from the former Black-
             throated Parrotbill Paradoxornis nipalensis. We were very lucky to bump into a manic
             flock of about 30 of these unbelievably hyper-active little babblers in a bamboo area on
             Mt Victoria. This is the nominate race which is endemic to the south Chin Hills. Another
             race, patriciae, occurs in adjacent Mizoram, India.

Burmese Bushlark Mirafra microptera: This Burmese endemic was first encountered quite commonly
            around the old pagodas of Bagan, and also seen along the way to Kazunma.
Sand Lark Calandrella raytal: Many seen scurrying along on the sandbanks of the Irrawaddy River at
Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula: Five on ‘stonechat island’, near Bagan, including singing birds. You
            don’t have to cultivate much to pull these in!

Yellow-vented Flowerpecker Dicaeum chrysorrheum: One seen well and scoped in Dry Dipterocarp
             forest near Kazunma.
Plain Flowerpecker Dicaeum concolor: One or two in Dry Dipterocarp forest near Kazunma, and
             another at Yay Ayekan.
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus: Frequently seen in montane areas.
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum: A male in roadside forest on the way to Saw from
Purple Sunbird Nectarinia asiatica: A small number were seen in the dry lowlands.
Mrs Gould’s Sunbird Aethopyga gouldiae: Quite a few seen on Mt Victoria in various states of
             plumage, and a single moulting bird at Yay Ayekan. Subspecies isolata and dabryii
Green-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga nipalensis: Small numbers of victoriae at the higher levels on Mt
Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata: The race assamensis was a frequent component of bird-
             waves at Yay Ayekan. A lovely, sultry sunbird.
Fire-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga ignicauda: Very common this year at the higher altitudes on Mt
             Victoria, although none were males in full breeding plumage. Particularly around the
             flowering rhododendrons.

                                         19 Birdquest: Burma 2010
House Sparrow Passer domesticus: Plenty at Yangon and Bagan.
Plain-backed Sparrow Passer flaveolus: Some good looks at these colourful sparrows at Bagan, where
            it was not uncommon.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus: Seen at Yangon and Kalaw.
Amur Wagtail Motacilla [alba] leucopsis: The default wagtail seen frequently throughout the tour.
Swinhoe’s Wagtail Motacilla [alba] ocularis: Two first winter birds by the Irrawaddy at Bagan.
Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola: Two at Bagan and another at Inle Lake.
Grey-headed Wagtail Motacilla [flava] thunbergi: One by the Irrawaddy at Bagan.
Beringian Wagtail Motacilla [flava] tschutschensis:
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea: One on Mt Victoria and two at Yay Ayekan.
Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus: Small numbers at Bagan.
Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis: Great views of one in fields at Sitsana Temple, near Bagan. This is
            the endemic race yamethini.
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni: Commonly encountered throughout.
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus (H): One flew over calling at Bagan.
Asian Golden Weaver Ploceus hypoxanthus: One bird in non-breeding plumage was seen at close
            range near the Yangon University Boat Club. Although the species occurs naturally in the
            area, it was not altogether clear if it had been released as part of some religious festival.
Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata: Several small flocks encountered, at Bagan and Yay

Yellow-breasted Greenfinch Carduelis spinoides: Two colourful flocks of these were found on Mt
             Victoria. This population (heinrichi) is disjunct from the Himalayan range of the species,
             and shows strong plumage differences with a black forehead, more black on the head-
             sides, and blacker upperside. It is also smaller.
Black-headed Greenfinch Carduelis ambigua: Some nice views around Kalaw, where the species is
Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus: Occasional on Mt Victoria, and also found at Inle Lake.
Brown Bullfinch Pyrrhula nipalensis: Great close, though rather brief views of three high up on Mt
             Victoria. The distinctive near-endemic victoriae race, which just gets into Mizoram, India.
Spot-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas melanozanthos: We were very lucky to find four of these
             impressive spotty finches at Yay Ayekan, and even managed to scope them.
Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla: Very common in flocks on top of the ridge on Mt Victoria.

Burmese Hare Lepus peguensis: One briefly near Kalaw.
Orange-bellied Himalayan Squirrel Dremomys lokriah: Not uncommon in the evergreen forest on Mt
Pallas’s Squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus: Small numbers of this thick-set arboreal squirrel in the Chin
Finlayson’s Squirrel (Variable S) Callosciurus finlaysoni: One in Yangon.
Irrawaddy Squirrel Callosciurus pygerythrus: The ‘default’ squirrel in the lowlands and Irrawaddy
Himalayan Striped Squirrel Tamiops mcclellandii: Frequently seen on Mt Victoria, often with bird-
Tomb Bat Taphozous theobaldi: The most likely core species roosting at the Shwedagon Pagoda.
Blyth’s Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus lepidus: It was probably this species in the shaft we explored at
            Sitsana Temple. It has been found in nearby areas recently.

                                         20 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Asian Palm Civet (Common P C) Paradoxurus hermaphroditus: One ran across the road when we
          returned to Pine Tree Resort, Mt Victoria one evening.
Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta: One small troupe at Yay Ayekan.

Lime Butterfly Papilio demoleus: Roadside, Saw to Chauk. Looks like a European Swallowtail.
Common Emigrant Catopsila pomona: Roadside, Saw to Chauk.
Great Orange Tip Hebomoia glaucippe: Roadside forest, Chauk to Saw.
Yellow Orange Tip Ixias pyrene: Bagan.
Common Wanderer Pereronia valeria: Frequent in the lowlands; Bagan, Kazunma etc.
Psyche Leptosia nina: Bagan.
Indian Oakblue Arhopala atrax: Photographed by the road, Saw to Chauk.
Green Sapphire Heliophorus androcles: Mt Victoria.
Red Pierrot Talicada nyseus: Photographed at Bagan, and also seen in the garden at Hill Top Villas,
Pea Blue (Long-tailed B) Lampides boeticus: Bagan. The same as in Europe.
Tailed Judy Abisara neophron: One near Kalaw.
Striped Tiger Danaus genutia: Roadside, Saw to Chauk, and near Kalaw.
Plain Tiger Danaus chrysippus: Common at Bagan etc.
Chestnut Tiger Parantica sita: One a Yay Ayekan.
Magpie Crow Euploea radmanthus: Bagan and roadside forest from Kazunma to Saw.
Common Jester Symbrenthia hippoclus: One photographed on Mt Victoria.
Blue Admiral Kaniska canace: This superb butterfly was seen at Mt Victoria and near Kalaw.
Blue Pansy Junonia orithiya: Roadside forest Chauk to Saw, and Kalaw.
Grey Pansy Junonia atlites: Near Kalaw.
Lemon Pansy Junonia orithiya: Roadside forest Chauk to Saw, and Mt Victoria.

                                      21 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Characteristic Dry Zone birds included the lovely Jerdon’s Minivet

and Burmese Bushlark

Spotted Owlets were common at Bagan

                                       22 Birdquest: Burma 2010
The xanthocyclus race of Eurasian Collard Dove is very distinct

White-throated Babblers were tame in the hotel garden at Bagan

The endemic nominate race of Vinous-breasted Myna was plentiful

                                       23 Birdquest: Burma 2010
To see White-tailed Stonechat we went downriver by boat

Striated Babblers were on the same grassy island near Bagan

En route to Mt Victoria we found the endemic Hooded Treepie

                                       24 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Black-bibbed Tits were found at higher levels on Mt Victoria,

as were endemic Burmese Tits

Near-endemic Brown-capped Laughingthrushes showed very well

                                        25 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Grey-sided Thrushes were surprisingly common on Mt Victoria,

where Himalayan Cutia was a bonus

We saw this White-rumped Falcon on the way back to Bagan

                                     26 Birdquest: Burma 2010
Jerdon’s Bushchat was easily seen at Inle Lake

Spectacled Barwing was one of the highlights at Kalaw,

as was Black-headed Greenfinch

                                       27 Birdquest: Burma 2010