Chronicle of bird watching in Ta Nung valley in Dalat

I found the birds in the Ta Nung Valley on three mornings, three days of splendor with clear blue sky and sunshine.

It must say that I love Dalat city not only because of the birds. My wife also comes along with me, and she loves flowers very much. I enjoy bird watching in the morning and in the afternoon. I became a tourist again (a word I hate to use).

My previous trip to Dalat in 2001 was very interesting; I (Sebastian Delonglee) did it by bicycle. I still remember a peaceful city with French architectural style buildings on the green pine hill. Thirteen years later, I came back here and found out a bustling and noisy city, I did not realize it. It is not a good idea for a person to enjoy quietness when visiting “The City of Flowers” during Tet holiday.

Chronicle of bird watching in Ta Nung valley in Dalat

Chronicle of bird watching in Ta Nung valley in Dalat

Ta Nung valley is one of the places where popular birds in Dalat frequented.

It takes about 15-20 minutes from the city center to come here. I have found many websites with useful information about the birds at each my visiting, and can only say that this place is where better than anywhere I have been in Vietnam.

In the two mornings, I encountered a large flock of birds (20 – 30). For the first time, these birds crossed in front of my face, the second time they landed just down to the path and on the pine bushes. I tried to reach a flock and took a good photo of the Nightjar. At the same place, I also had a little enjoyment of a white-crown Scimitar – Babblers and Eurasian Jay (Leucotis subspecies). I heard the singing of some green sparrows, but I could not see them.

Eucotis Eurasian Jay

Eucotis Eurasian Jay

A few meters behind the gate, near the caretaker’s house, I saw two Rock-Thrushes birds, one male and another female. I also found a male Mugimaki Flycatcher. The dirt trail goes down, through a pine forest, bushes, and a broad-leaved tree forest. I took photo a group of black-headed Parrotbill (a family of Gray-headed), blue wings Minla, gorgeous Rufous Sibia of the subspecies Eximia, Maroon Oriole….

A few of Black-necked Sunbirds with red-breasted feathers ate something on flower of the trees. I also had a black-headed Sibia on the same tree, and I saw they ate on the same kind of flowers.

Gray-eyed Bulbul

Gray-eyed Bulbul

Flavescent Bulbul

Flavescent Bulbul

Mountain Bulbul

Mountain Bulbul

Black-headed Parrotbill

Black-headed Parrotbill

Black-headed Parrotbill 2

Black-headed Parrotbill 2

It did not take long for me to find another rare bird Gray-crowned Crocias. Only a single bird was searching for prey. This is probably the best area for rare species. This species was first discovered by the Swedish nobleman Count Gyldenstople in 1939 through three specimens collected at an unknown location by the young explorer BertilBjorkgren. For more than 50 years, there was no record of research on it, until it was discovered by Jonathan C Eames, Le TrongTrai and Nguyen Cu at Chu Yang Sin National Park in 1994. The Gray-crowned Crocias is one of the 13 typical bird species in Vietnam.

Blue-winged Minla

Blue-winged Minla

Blue-winged Minla 2

Blue-winged Minla 2

At the bottom of the valley, upstream of the dam, there is a short path into the jungle; near the dam also have some short trails, and a pair of beautiful Slaty-backed Forktails. At the end of the longest trail, I had a good view of the Indochinese Green Magpie and a male of the Large Niltava. In the same area, I happened to see a flock of Orange-breasted Laughingthrushes, another endemic species of Vietnam. They stopped about tens of seconds, a few meters away, allowing me to take photo close-ups. Unfortunately, the memory of the camera was full and lacking in light, some of the settings were wrong, there were some basic mistakes, and it was hard to accept.

Ashy-headed Green Pigeon stand on dry branches in big group

Ashy-headed Green Pigeon stand on dry branches in big group

Mrs. Gould's Sunbird is eating

Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird is eating

Black-throated

Black-throated

Black-throated 2

Black-throated 2

Black-throated 3

Black-throated 3

I ran follow a flock of Lesser Racket Drongo, Black-tailed Warbler, Gray-headed Canary Flycatcher, Mountain Fulvetta, White-bellied Erpornis, Rufous-backed robin… was eating. One of them, the second time I saw the Grey-crowned Crocias.

During the relaxing time along the stream, a special species approached us. That was Pygmy Wren Babbler. I also hear the song of the Tesia bird, a species that lives under the small coppice with gray under the belly. A nest of bird was also found further the dam about 50 meters.

Black-headed Sibia

Black-headed Sibia

Indochinese Cuckooshrike

Indochinese Cuckooshrike

Bay Woodpecker

Bay Woodpecker

Scarlet Minivet

Scarlet Minivet

Streaked Spiderhunter

Streaked Spiderhunter

Klossi Blue-throated Flycatcher

Klossi Blue-throated Flycatcher

Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo

Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo

Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike

Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike

According to the caretakers, the construction works will start again when investors have enough money. They planned to build hotels, restaurants and asphalt road at the bottom of the valley. Based on the ecotourism experience in Dalat, the landscape here will disappear in the near future. Unfortunately!

During the afternoon walk, when watching flowers, I added some interesting species with some males of Long-tailed Minevet, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch and Great Tit (from Black-throated Tit) in pine forest on Lang Biang Mountain. If you need a bird watching tour in Dalat look at ➤ Dalat Bird Watching Tour

I remember Collared Laughingthrush and Vietnamese Cutia are two typical bird species of this place, and this is a great reason for me to return to this place. Moreover, all that I got from the trip was great with the birds I really enjoyed. I will come back to them soon….

Chronicle of bird watching in Ta Nung valley in Dalat
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