Birding Trip Reports by bird guide Htay Ngwe

Ayeyawady Bulbul (Pycnonotus b. blanfordi)

Birding Trip Reports, March 2019

We, a group of nine people leading by David from BirdQuest started Premier Myanmar Birding Tour on March 2019. We focused Hlawgar wildlife park in Yangon, Bagan and Ayeyarwaddy river, Natmatung Nation Park (Kanpetlat and Mindat sites), Kalaw and Inle Lake. It was successfully birding indeed nevertheless the temperature is about 41’ Celsius a bit hot. We had seen 240 total bird species in the whole trip including endemic species, near endemic species, rare species, Himalayan species and highlight species.

In the early morning we started birding at Hlawgar Park outskirt of Yangon. Our highlight of Hlawgar wildlife park were Racket-tailed Treepie, Davason’s Bulbul and Thick-billed Warbler. In the evening we flied to Bagan. The next morning we did birding around the temples. The highlight were three Laggar Falcons at the top of the temple, three pairs of pretty Jerdon’s Minivet, Ayeyarwady Bulbul (common), White-throated Babbler(common), Burmese Bushlark, Burmese Collared-dove and Indian Nightjar, Yellow-eyed Babbler and Grey-breasted Prinia. In the evening we did bird watching in the Ayeyarwaddy river by fit wooden boat for all of us. Then, we approached to the island to look for Sand Lark, Pied Harrier, White-tailed Stonechat and Rain Quail. We came back to Bagan at the twilight. We enjoyed river sunset from the boat with nice green tea, tamarind plate and roasted peanut.

The next day we drove to Natmataung(Mt.Victoria). On the way Natmataung (Mt.Victoria) at the habitats broad leaved mixed deciduous forest White-rumped Falcon, White-eyed Buzzard, Neglected Nuthatch, Grey-headed Parakeet, Crested Serpent Eagle.And, we had seen two Hooded Treepie, four different Parakeet species, Pin Stripe Tit Babbler, Crested Treeswift, Puff-throated Babbler, Wire-tailed Swallow, River Lapwing in Saw Town.

We stayed in Kanpetlet town for four nights which is a cool climate small town at the foot of the Chin hill Natmataung. These are our highlights Hodgson’s Frogmouth, Grey Nightjar, Burmese Bush Tit, White-browed Nuthatch, White-tailed Nuthatch, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Black-bibbed Tit, Yellow-browed Tit, Grey Sibia, Chin Hills Wren Babbler, Spotted Wren Babbler, Victoria Babax, Assam Laughingthrush, Brown-capped Laughingthrush, Stripe Laughingthrush, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Green-tailed Sunbird, Buff-breasted Parrotbill, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Golden-throated Barbet, Great Barbet, Crimson-faced Liocichla, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Green Shrike Babbler, White-browed Shrike Babbler, Streak-throated Barwing, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Blue-winged Minla, Red-tailed Minla, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Rusty-capped Fulvetta, Black-throated Tit, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Grey-sided Thrush, Eyebrowed Thrush, Black Eagle, Oriental Hobby, Broad-billed Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Brown Bush Warbler, Russet Bush Warbler, Crested Finchbill, Striated Bulbul, Black Bulbul, Flavescent Bulbul, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Brown-throated Treecreeper, Blur-fronted Redstart, Grey Bushchat, Himalayan Bluetail, Little Pied Flycatcher, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Long-tailed Minivet, Maroon Oriole, Slender-billed Oriole, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Oriental Cuckoo and Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon.

After breakfast we moved to Mindat City. On the way, we did bird watching along the way, sometime we passed small mountain torrent. Evening we arrived to Mindat. After that we took birding on the Mindat – Matupi high way road site. We had found Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Long-tailed Broadbill, Spot-breasted Scimitar babbler, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Victoria Babax (again), Buff-breasted Parrotbill(again), Yellow-billed Blue Magpie and Whistler’s Warble there.

After two nights in Mindat, we back to Bagan for over night, birding along the way. The next day we flied to Heho airport. Then, proceed to Inle. We enjoyed our lunch at the restaurant in the lake. Evening after we took aroung the Inle we saw three Chinese Grassbird which is very highlight of the region. And a flock over 50 birds of Collared Myna, Spotted Bush Warbler and dozens of Jerdon’s Bushchat.

Kalaw was the last birding site for our trip. We spend there one and half days. The highlights what we had seen were 3 birds of Burmese Yuhinas, two Spectacled Berwings, Dark-backed Sebia, Silver-eared Laughingthrush, Asian Emerald Cuckoo, Black-throated Sunbird, Silver-eared Mesia, Golden Babbler, White-browed Laughingthrush, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Silver-breasted Broadbill and Black-tailed Crake.

In conclusion, our birding trip in March was ended with successfully for 2019 birding season.

Htay Ngwe(Mr.)
Bird Guide

Birding Trip Reports, December 2018

Gurney’s Pitta trip report

In late December 2018, we Mr. Harry his wife who came from England started our Gurney’s Pitta expedition trip to Leynya National Park at the southern most part of Myanmar.

On 6th Dec 2018 we flied to Myeik and we stayed over night in Myeik Grand Jade Hotel . The next day early morning, we went to Myeik bazaar to buy our necessary rations. Then, we strated to leave from Myeik at 9:30 am. After driving about 3 hours we had reached and lunch at the road site small local restaurant. After lunch we proceeded to Leynya National park. Although it was out of the rainy season in central and upper part of Myanmar, rain forest cause always wet in the region. All the surrounding was gloomy because of heavy rain and thick forest. The natural opportunity create good temperature and nice habitats to survive for Gurney’s Pitta(Endangered). We proceeded to the camp site by motorbikes. When we reach to our camp, the porters had well prepared for the dinner. We swim in the mountain creek. We joined delicious dinner under huge cliff. Then we slept well under sweet night birds song.

The next morning although the watch show 8 :00 o’ clock in the morning, no light yet in the forest. Thus is why, we had to wait to get light. After the gleam appeared, we arranged necessary things such as binocular, uniform with leech socks, digger, raincoat, torch…..etc. Then, we set out into the thick forest ,cutting rattan and bushes. In the forest we saw Orange-breasted Trogon, Large Green Pigeon, Ruffle Malkoha, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Banded Bay Cuckoo, Dollarbird, Red-beared bee-eater, Great Hornbill and Oriental Pied Hornbill. After we travel for one hour we tried and started calling him. No response at the first two sites. So, we proceeded to the farther after passing natural huge caves and cliff. We tried again at the foot of the cliff, suddenly he response for sometime then kept silent again . When we look around us a very pretty male Gurney’s Pitta had been seen around two meters far from us. So, we called it a day. We back to our camp setting happily.

The next two days we moved from place to place. We found again two Gurney’s Pitta(male and female) and other species such as Wreathed Hornbill, Bamboo Woodpecker, Maroon Woodpecker, Maroon Woodpecker, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Black and Yellow Broadbill, Ducky Broadbill, Great Iora, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Hairy-backed BulBul, Puff-throated Bulbul, Rufous-bellied Swallow, Dark-necked Tailorbird, Spot-necked Babbler, Abbott’s Babbler, Hill Myna, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Grey-breasted Spiderhunter, Asian Emerald Dove, Black-thighed Falconet and Dusky Langur, White-headed Gibbon.

After breakfast we returned to Myeik. We stayed in Myeik for overnight. Then, we flied back to Yangon the next day. Our trip, Gurney’s Pitta exploration was successfully finished.

Htay Ngwe
Bird Guide

January/February 2017

Ayeyawady Bulbul (Pycnonotus b. blanfordi)
Ayeyawady Bulbul (Pycnonotus b. blanfordi)

First trip: The two Canadian birders named Ms. Sharon Lee and her husband Barry trip was started on 3/1/17 and finished on 16/1/17. They all were keen birders especially they wanted to see Myanmar endemic species and highlight species of birds. Fortunately, not only 8 Myanmar endemic species  but also highlight species such as Osprey,Pied Harrier,Peregrine Falcon,Long-billed Pipit,Red Avadavat,Little Bunting, Black-bibbed Tit, Chin Hills Wren-Babbler, Babax, Cutia , Darjeling Woodpecker,Barwings,Shrike Babblers,Jerdon’s Bushchat, Burmese Yuhina and Collared Myna had been wounderfully seen. Total species 280  were found. 59 species were lifers for them.

Second trip: From 20/1/17 to 4/2.17 Mr. Mark Cowel and Ms. Tammie are from  USA. Mark is a teacher who taught  the University students about waders ( shore birds). Now he is already retired from his job.Tammie  helped us to find Jerdon’s Minivet in Bagan and other species in the trip. Total bird species 271 were recorded including all Myanmar endemic species and highlight species such as Chin Hills Wren Babbler, Babax, Darjeling Woodpecker,Jerdon’s Bushchat. Unfortunately, we missed Collared Myna….in that trip. Chestnut-headed Tesia and Spot-breasted Parrotbill were unexpected species.

Burmese Collared-dove
Burmese Collared-dove

Third trip: From 6/2/17 to 10/2/17 Peter is USA birder.That trip was short period one day was in Bagan and two days were in Natmataung.7 endemic species and rare species such as Chin Hills Wren Babbler, three different species Laughingthrushs, two different species Barwings, Babax and Darjeling Woodpecker,….. were  happily found. . Except Jerdon’s Minivet.  

Fourth trip: From 14/2/17 to 1/3/17 Vanda and David are UK birder who carried each Swarovski brand Binocular and Scope. Total bird species 302 had been recorded with them. All Myanmar endemic species,Chin Hills Wren Babbler, Babax, Darjeling Woodpecker, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Crested Treeswift, Grey Nightjar, Pied Harrier,Black-headed Ibis,Small Minivet, Sapphire Flycatcher, four different Shrike Babbler, Jerdon’s Bushchat and Collared Myna were joyfully found. Windy made to miss Burmese Yuhina,….. Large Hawk Cuckoo, Red-faced Liocichla, Black-tailed Crake and Ruddy-breasted Crake were unexpected species.  

Let’s me report about my day return trip to Hlawgar on 25/3/2017 with Peep who comes from Estonia . The temperature was about 36 Celsius and fine weather.On that day, 75 species of birds were recorded including Racket-tailed Treepie, Chinese Francolin, Plaintive Cuckoo, White-throated Babbler, Abbott’s Babbler, Puff-throated Babbler, Chestnut-capped Babbler,Ayeyawady Bulbul, Black-headed Bulbul and Stripe-throated Bulbul(davasoni).  

Htay Ngwe (Bird Guide)