Tom Gullick, the all-time number one world birder, added another 44 species to his list during a recent month-long custom tour to Vietnam and Cambodia with Vietnam Birding.
Restricted to the month of August by commitments in Spain and Morocco where Tom runs his own Tom Gullick Experience tours, birding conditions were about as tough as they get in Vietnam. With the rainy season in full swing in southern Vietnam and a typhoon lurking menacingly off the central coast much of the first two weeks was spent birding in the rain.
Despite the trying conditions Tom was ticking off life birds daily, the first of which was appropriately Vietnam Birding’s signature bird, Grey-crowned Crocias, a rare Dalat Plateau endemic. During eight soggy days spent birding around Dalat almost all the endemics and specialities of the area were seen. Our next destination, Cat Tien National Park, had been hit particularly badly by the recent storms and the Dong Nai River forming the boundary of the park was the highest it had been in years. Siamese Fireback, Germain’s Peacock Pheasant and Bar-bellied Pitta were among Tom’s lifers at Cat Tien.
The weather improved as we headed north to Bach Ma National Park where Annam Partridge, Blue-rumped Pitta and Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler were added to Tom’s life list along with a few other species. Grey Laughingthrush, Short-tailed and Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbills were new for Tom at Tam Dao while Cuc Phuong National Park provided Pied Falconet, Malayan Night Heron and Indochinese Green Magpie among others.The tour ended in northern Cambodia where White-shouldered Ibis and White-rumped Falcon were among the additions to Tom’s list. By the end of the tour Tom’s life list had passed the 8,700 species mark, a truly remarkable figure out of a total of 9,500 or so species of birds in the world today. To arrange your own custom birding tour to Vietnam contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org