Xuan Thuy, Vietnam, 2-4 September 2006

Published by toon de bruyn (toondebruyn AT gmail.com)

Participants: Toon De Bruyn, Peter Bijlmakers, John Pilgrim



This report was written after a 3-day trip to Xuan Thuy, East Tonkin Vietnam. During the holiday weekend of September 2-4, 2006, we birded most of the usual places (Con Giao Xuan and Shrimp Ponds) and some of the less usual (Con Xanh, Tien Hai). We arrived around noon on the first day (Liberation Day) and had brief discussions with the guards, working at the Park’s head quarters. Since a few months, HQ moved higher up the road leading to the shrimp ponds (closer to the main road) and the new building is more comfortable (not considering the lack of mattresses on the beds in the twin-rooms). The park’s staff was really helpful, speaks reasonable English and has good experience in helping birders. It was nice spotting Little Stints (a.o.) in a small puddle on the construction site in front of the HQ.

Conditions were not ideal with scorching sun making it difficult; the heat haze made it difficult to observe waders. Do take your time to discuss your exact plans with the staff and study the tide tables well. All three of us live in Vietnam, and at least one person speaks reasonable Vietnamese.






Day 1:

AM: Departure from Hanoi at 7 am (too late for a holiday: roads in Hanoi were packed!)
PM: Casuarinas and shoreline of Con Xanh Island (20 minutes by boat from the headquarters)

Day 2:

AM: Tien Hai nature reserve (with lighthouse) in the neighbouring province (15 minutes by boat) is not usually on the schedule of those going to XT but is a very promising piece of Casuarinas (still quite dense forest). Although its location is maybe not as ideal as the other islands, and although you need to get permissions (army base + different province/authorities), it should be explored again later on in migration season.
- Shrimp ponds and dike road between park and Red River
- Last part of casuarinas at Con Xanh Island.

Day 3:

- Short visit to the shrimp ponds and along the main dike up until the Red River
- Con Giao Xuan Island High Tide Wader Roost (2hours by slow boat): Do allow plenty of time to get there and back and try to ensure a well functioning boat, twice out of the six times I visited Xuan Thuy I had problems with the boat.
PM: Departure for Hanoi at 2pm


1500000 VND/person (75 EUR/person; 95 USD/person): Including boat trips, two dinners, entrance, water… (not included transportation to and from XT, 3 times breakfast, 3 times lunch)

Species Lists

1. Common Hoopoe
2. Common Kingfisher
3. Black Capped Kingfisher
4. White Throated Kingfisher
5. Pied Kingfisher
6. Oriental Cuckoo
7. Greater Coucal (HO)
8. Forktailed Swift
9. Barn Owl
10. Rock Pigeon
11. Spotted Dove
12. White Breasted Waterhen
13. Common Moorhen
14. Pintail Snipe
15. Black Tailed Godwit
16. Whimbrel
17. Eurasian Curlew
18. Green Sandpiper
19. Wood Sandpiper
20. Common Sandpiper
21. Ruddy Turnstone
22. Common Redshank
23. Marsh Sandpiper
24. Common Greenshank
25. Red-Necked Stint
26. Long-Toed Stint
27. Great Knot
28. Red Knot
29. Dunlin
30. Curlew Sandpiper
31. River Lapwing
32. Black-Winged Stilt
33. Little Ringed Plover
34. Kentish Plover
35. Lesser Sand Plover
36. Pacific Golden Plover
37. Grey Plover
38. Common Tern
39. Gull-billed Tern
40. Little Tern
41. Whiskered Tern
42. White-Winged Tern
43. Little Egret
44. Grey Heron
45. Great Heron
46. Cattle Egret
47. Chinese Pond Heron
48. Grey Heron
49. Black Crowned Night Heron
50. Yellow Bittern
51. Painted Stork
52. Brown Shrike
53. Long-Tailed Shrike
54. Grey Backed Shrike
55. Black Drongo
56. Large Billed Crow (HO)
57. Asian Paradise Flycatcher
58. Asian Brown Flycatcher
59. Siberian Blue Robin
60. Oriental Magpie Robin
61. Siberian Stonechat
62. Purple Backed Starling
63. White Shouldered Starling
64. Crested Myna
65. Great Tit
66. Barn Swallow
67. Red Whiskered Bulbul
68. Light vented Bulbul
69. Sooty Headed Bulbul
70. Yellow Bellied Prinia
71. Plain Prinia
72. Common Tailorbird
73. Japanese White-Eye
74. Paddyfield Pipit
75. Yellow Wagtail
76. Grey Wagtail
77. Eurasian Treesparrow
78. White Rumped Munia