Northern Laos Birding.
I got up before six am this morning and had the bird photography lens ready to go. I rented a bicycle from a few doors down and headed off into the sunset, or sunrise in this case if it wasn’t overcast. I pedalled around the back street of Luang Nam Tha but there was nothing doing except some awesome breakfast of fresh bread rolls with vegetable filling.
I headed up the road towards Nam Dee waterfall and the road pretty soon turned into a muddy, rocky dirt road. Not really appropriate for my old one-gear bike. Most of the time I got off and walked. I did see some Sooty-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster klossi) and Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata) but not much else except Eurasian Tree Sparrow, which are everywhere.
I was thinking at first that this was a Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) but no, the barring is too strong on the belly, and unbroken. All the other Accipiters have orange or chestnut breast-bands so this is not them. I cannot work it out yet. This one has grey frontal bands. It is similar to a Hawk-eagle but it has no crest. I cannot work it out properly. I will have to check what raptors are in this area. We are pretty close to China, so that may have some bearing on it. Later: It is a Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus), possibly female.
Some tribal people planting rice in the sawah or rice paddies. Everything is done by hand. Although they do not use buffalo any more to pull the plough, they have hand-driven tractor-ploughs.
Here is one of those tractor-ploughs doing a field. I have no idea what the other crew are looking at, but it seems fascinating. It started raining after this, so I was stuck in a hut with some kids at the shop. The nice lady made me up some two-minute noodles. They are called mee wi-wi in Lao.
Nam Tha birding resources