Saturday, 25 February 2012

Cambodia - 25th Feb 2012

Took my group to a 'new' area this morning called Kbal Spean. It is the highest ‘hill’ in the region at 450m and as such holds a number of interesting species. Along the way we stopped to view a couple of Orange-breasted Green-pigeons and a mixed group of Silver-backed and Brown-backed Needletails that flew repeatedly very low over the road for several minutes and made for spectacular viewing. Very close to the parking area is a small stream with a nice unobstructed view across the hillside above us and we spent quite a while here enjoying good views of numerous new birds. First up was a party of Striped Tit-babblers, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Dark-necked Tailorbird and a close Two-barred Warbler. As we had our picnic breakfast a Puff-throated Bulbul became the first of several of this genus to be seen, along with Streak-eared, Yellow-vented and Stripe-throated from this one spot. Then a Crimson Sunbird flew in and was quickly followed by Green-eared Barbet and Great Iora. Walking up the hill gave us brief Grey-eyed Bulbul and Pale-legged Leaf-warbler, White-rumped Shama, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher and a small group of White-crested Laughingthrushes. Rather frustratingly both White-browed Scimitar-babbler and Banded Broadbill were just heard in the distance. At the base of the hill is an animal rescue centre which kindly opened to let us look around and we scored with a pair of White-throated Rock-thrush, Brown-throated Sunbird, Hainan Blue Flycatcher and a flock of Olive-backed Pipits. After a great lunch at a nearby restaurant we drove to a couple of temple sites, the first one was called the Pink Temple - a bit dubious if you ask me but we had our first Red-breasted Parakeets, Indian Roller and Black-collared Starling. At a large lake just down the road some Cotton Pygmy-goose were present and a Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker was perched nearby before we reached the the last temple, made famous by a Lara Croft movie which was full of parakeets, with Alexandrine being new. Several Lineated Barbets were also seen and quite a few Pale-legged Leaf-warblers called from the dense forest. Not a bad day but very hot and humid - the joys of birding in SE Asia!

Dark-necked Tailorbird

White-throated Rock-thrush

Great Iora

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