BIRDING IN CAMBODIA AND LAOS DECEMBER 2018 - JANUARY 2019
Wednesday 19th December 2018
Bengal Florican Grasslands / Tmatboey Forest
Target today was Bengal Florican, so early morning we drove to the grassland area 20 km south-east of Kampong Kdei. This is an extensive flat area consisting of rice paddies and grassland. When we arrived, we walked out along the various tracks throughout the area. The first birds we saw were Richard’s, Paddyfield and Red-throated Pipits, as well as Oriental Skylark, Zitting Cisticola, Eastern Marsh and Pied Harriers, Black-winged Kite, Green-billed Malkoha, Indian Roller, Scaly-breasted and Chestnut Munias, Black-collared Starlings and Green Bee-eaters. We could hear Chinese Francolins calling. We also had flight views of King Quail and Common Buttonquail.

After a few hours walking around, no sign of any Bengal Floricans, but we did see 4 Sarus Cranes flying in the distance. At this stage we were getting a bit worried, but after about an hour we eventually picked up a Bengal Florican flying in the distance. We went to the area where we thought it landed, and we could just see its head peeking over the grass. These were not great views, but after a while it got up and flew past us giving a great flight view. In another area, a Cinnamon Bittern flew out suddenly from a small pool. Anyway, nice birding around here and worth a bit more time exploring, but we had to drive 170 km north-east to Tmatboey in the afternoon.

Along the road to Tmatboey we stopped a few times to try to see if we could get White-rumped Falcon. No joy with this but to our surprise we saw a Black-headed Woodpecker along the road about an hour from Tmatboey. Glad we did as it was the only one we saw on the trip. After we left the Woodpecker, a Collared Falconet gave great views on the wires further along the road.

Arrived at Tmatboey Forest which is the location for Giant and White-shouldered Ibis. As soon as we arrived, we went straight to a known roosting site for White-shouldered Ibis. A group of birds flew in over our heads, and they landed on the roosting trees just before dusk - a memorable sight and some great birds seen today. In the evening we heard Spotted Wood Owl, Spotted Owlet and Brown Hawk Owl.

December 17th, 2018.Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm Temples
December 18th, 2018.Tonle Sap Lake
December 19th, 2018.Bengal Florican Grasslands / Tmatboey Forest
December 20th, 2018.Tmatboey Forest
December 21st, 2018.Tmatboey Forest / Boeng Toal Vulture Feeding Station
December 22nd, 2018.Boeng Toal Vulture Feeding Station / Kratie Wetlands
December 23rd, 2018.Kratie Wetlands / Kampi and Mekong River / Mondulkiri and Keo Seima
December 24th, 2018.Dak Dam Forest / Keo Seima Forest
December 25th, 2018.Jahoo Gibbon Camp, Keo Seima / Dak Dam Forest
December 26th, 2018.Drive to Mount Aural via Cambodian Tailorbird site
December 27th, 2018.Ascent of Mount Aural, Cardamom Mountain Range
December 28th, 2018.Mount Aural Forest
December 29th, 2018.Descent of Mount Aural / Drive to Pursat Grasslands
December 30th, 2018.Pursat Grasslands
December 31st, 2018.Phnom Penh, Cambodia / Vientiane, Laos
January 1st, 2019.Vientiane, Laos / Ban Na Hin
January 2nd, 2019.Ban Na Hin, Laos - Km 33 to Km 50
January 3rd, 2019.Ban Na Hin / Dragon Cave / Vietnam-Laos border
January 4th, 2019.Ban Na Hin / Vientiane
January 5th, 2019.Vientiane / Mekong River at Thailand - Laos border
Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus), Florican grasslands, near Kampong Kdei, Cambodia.
Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus)
Florican grasslands, near Kampong Kdei, Cambodia. December 19th, 2018.
Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis), Florican grasslands, near Kampong Kdei, Cambodia.
Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis)
Florican grasslands, near Kampong Kdei, Cambodia. December 19th, 2018.
Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis), Florican grasslands, near Kampong Kdei, Cambodia.
Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis)
Florican grasslands, near Kampong Kdei, Cambodia. December 19th, 2018.
Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis), Florican grasslands, near Kampong Kdei, Cambodia.
Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis)
Florican grasslands, near Kampong Kdei, Cambodia. December 19th, 2018.
Typical view of Bengal Florican in the long grass
Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus), Florican grasslands, near Kampong Kdei, Cambodia.
Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus)
Florican grasslands, near Kampong Kdei, Cambodia. December 19th, 2018.
Chestnut-tailed Starling (Sturnia malabarica), Near Tmatboey, Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia.
Chestnut-tailed Starling (Sturnia malabarica)
Near Tmatboey, Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia. December 19th, 2018.
Black-headed Woodpecker (Picus erythropygius), Near Tmatboey, Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia.
Black-headed Woodpecker (Picus erythropygius)
Near Tmatboey, Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia. December 19th, 2018.
Collared Falconet (Microhierax caerulescens), Near Tmatboey, Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia.
Collared Falconet (Microhierax caerulescens)
Near Tmatboey, Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia. December 19th, 2018.
White-shouldered Ibis (Pseudibis davisoni), Near Tmatboey, Preah Vihear 
Province, Cambodia.
White-shouldered Ibis (Pseudibis davisoni)
Near Tmatboey, Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia. December 19th, 2018.
Roost site
Florican grassland site, South-east of Kampong Kdei, Cambodia.
Florican grassland site
South-east of Kampong Kdei, Cambodia. December 19th, 2018.