MYANMAR ALBUM

 

 

 

Myanmar is a wonderful country where it feels like time has stood still. The countryside hasn't been hy-jacked by industrial scale agricultural schemes that have devastated the landscape. So habitats and a peaceful rural way of life remains. Of course it has political issues but it seems to have turned a corner now so tourists and investment is increasing. The wonderful thing is that much of Myanmar's wildlife populations are intact and the fact that thousands of Gurney's Pitta are thought to exist here bares testament to the scale of what natural gems are yet to be uncovered.

The last sizeable groups of wintering Spoon-billed Sandpipers cling on to Myanmar's estuaries and so it is here that we are trying to help them. Bird Holidays together with the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force have run tours that benefit the communities that protect them, while allowing birdwatchers to enjoy sightings without impacting on them at more sensitive sites.

These photographs were taken during our 2013 Tour.

If you wish to join us, please get in touch.

 

the ancient city of Bagan has 3000+ temples dating back to 900AD

 

Siberian Rubythroat, male at Bagan.                                                                    Black Baza displaying near Yangon

 

 

 

Blue Rock Thrush were common around and inside the temples.

 

a Pied Harrier hunts in the rice paddies

 

In the Gulf of Martaban, thousands of waders gather at high tide, giving us chance to see Spoon-billed sandpipers. These are mostly Greater and Lesser Sandplovers.

 

fishing is still done with traditional methods

 

 

hundreds of terns and egrets wait by nets set for fish in the bay

 

 

the waders gather on the mudflats before moving to the beaches by the village

 

 

 

 Spoon-billed Sandpipers are posted all over the villages to inform locals about how special they are.

We met this chap who was a bird hunter. As part of the Task Force's work, he was persuaded to stop hunting birds altogether. In fact most hunters took up the option to stop.

Through donations, they now have alternative employment. Some are fishermen, some opened small shops and this one counts & surveys shorebirds for BANCA (Birdlife Burma).

Our tour provides income for the ex-hunters, donates money to the village as a whole, and also raises awareness.

 

fishing boats by the village. Spoon-billed sandpipers roost on the grass here at high tide

 

Plain-backed Sparrows are surprisingly smart - how can anyone say sparrows are boring!

 

Yellow Bittern

 

Black-capped Kingfisher at Moeyengi

 

 

 

herons going to roost

 

 

 

the bats in Yangon are one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in Asia

 

 

 

millions emerge from the pagoda at dusk and rise into the sky like a plume of smoke

 

they are targeted by kestrels,

 

kites,

crows,

& Peregrines

 

Bagan's temples are unforgettable. Four of the Burmese endemics occur here and on our 2014 tour we will head off to Mount Victoria to catch up with the rest.

 

 

 

Taiga Flycatcher

 

 

Brown Shrike

 

mostly Whiskered Terns, on the fishing nets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oriental Honey Buzzards

Oriental Honey Buzzard

 

 

 

 

 

Crested Goshawk

 

 

Pacific Swifts

 

loads of Pied Harriers came to roost here

 

 

 

 

Pied Stonechat

 

Plaintive Cuckoo

 

 

spot the Spoon-billed Sandpiper !

 

 

the endemic Burmese Bushlark

 

the endemic White-throated Babbler

 

 

Spotted Eagle

 

Booted Eagle

 

Yellow-eyed Babbler

 

a mynah squabble........get it mynah/minor.... Oh please yourself!

 

Pin-striped Tit Babbler

Yellow-streaked Warbler

Pacific Swift

 

 

Sand Lark

 

 

the Irrawaddy River

Ashy Drongos

 

 

on the road to Mandalay

 

 

 

 

 

 

House Crows in Yangon

the 2013 Bird Holidays group  meeting with ex-hunters and the mayor of the village before going to count Spoon-billed Sandpipers.

 

 

Please note: The above photographs were taken on previous trips. Itineraries change from time to time and therefore you cannot rely on these photographs as being an exact representation of what can be expected on a future tour. For details of the each tour, you should refer to the brochure write-up.

 

click here for details of our next tour to this destination

 

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Christoph Zockler head of the Spoon-billed Recovery Team

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