Friday, 2 March 2012
The early risers headed out to the main road this morning and followed a quiet forest track where we found a number of new birds that included Indian Cuckoo, Large Hawk-cuckoo, Swinhoe’s Minivet and White-browed Fantail. As well as seeing some other goodies such as a Chinese Francolin scurrying across the road, Black-headed Woodpecker, Plaintive Cuckoo and Burmese Shrike amongst others. After returning to the lodge and getting a nice breakfast we set out on a three hour drive to the town of Kampong Thom where following lunch and a siesta we drove out into the wide open landscape of rice fields and spent the first hour scanning from a small shelter. A male Bright-headed Cisticola was particularly obliging and our first Red Avadavats were joined by Scaly-breasted Munias and Baya Weavers. Both male Pied Harrier and Eastern Marsh Harriers were quartering the fields, and several Oriental Pratincoles flew overhead. Further along the bumpy track we reached a small marsh and saw Yellow Bittern, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Watercock, Pintail Snipe, Bluethroat, Black-browed and Oriental Reed-warblers, and plenty of Striated Grassbirds. It was a shame the sun had to set as there were plenty of birds to watch and I personally look forward to returning early tomorrow, hopefully getting to grips with a Siberian Rubythroat that gave us the run around today.