Why birding in Bach Ma National Park

At an average height of 1,450 meters and only 10 kilometers from the sea, Bach Ma has a very pleasant climate. Bach Ma stretches within an area of 37,487 hectares and comprises three zones: a strictly protected core area, an administrative area and a buffer zone. It still retains a quite good amount of immense primeval forest with diverse flora with 2,147 species and fauna with more than 1,500 species, in which 93 species appear on the Vietnamese Red List and Global Red List. Moreover, Bach Ma National Park is located in a mountainous area exactly on the border between the former North and South Vietnam.

Located 40 km south of Hue, a popular tourist destination in central Vietnam, Bach Ma encompasses a range of habitats including cultivation, secondary, scrub, lowland evergreen forest and above 900 m, spectacular montane evergreen forest. In the past Crested Argus, Coral-billed Ground-cuckoo, Red-collared Woodpecker and Blyth’s Kingfisher were occasionally encountered but there are few recent records of these species from the park.

What to see?

Bird fauna in Bach Ma national park – Birding in Bach Ma national park

Around 330 bird species have been recorded at Bach Ma National Park. Most notable is a recent record of the globally endangered Edwards’s Pheasant close to the park. However, extensive loss of forest at low elevations means that it is unlikely that the park itself supports a significant population of this species, and the chances of seeing this bird there is virtually nil.

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There are, however, plenty of other galliforms to attract birders, including Annam Partridge, Rufous-throated Partridge, and the beli subspecies of Silver Pheasant. Bach Ma is most famous for its population of Crested Argus, although this species is more often heard than seen. In addition, the abundant and diverse forest avifauna of Bach Ma provides visiting birders opportunities to observe many other birds, such as Blyth’s Kingfisher, Brown Hornbill, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, and Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler.

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Most highlights Birding in Bach Ma national park

Rufous-throated Partridge, Annam Partridge, Silver Pheasant, Crested Argus, Red-collared Woodpecker, Red-vented Barbet, Brown Hornbill, Red-headed Trogon, Blyth’s Kingfisher, Coral-billed Ground-Cuckoo, Blue-rumped Pitta, Bar-bellied Pitta, Long-tailed Broadbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, White-winged Magpie, Indochinese Green Magpie, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, Orange-headed Thrush, Siberian Thrush, Japanese Thrush, Sultan Tit, Masked Laughingthrush, White-crested Laughingthrush, Lesser-necklaced Laughingthrush, Black-throated Laughingthrush, Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler, Grey-throated Babbler, Spot-necked Babbler, Grey-faced Tit Babbler, Black-browed Fulvetta, Fork-tailed Sunbird.

When is the best time for birding in Bach Ma National park?

Before focusing on birding we must know

Bach Ma Weather

  • The hot season/summer is in April, May, June, July, August, September, and October.
  • On average, the warmest month is July with 91° Fahrenheit (33° Celsius).
  • On average, the coolest month is January with 72° Fahrenheit (22° Celsius).
  • The average annual maximum temperature is: 82° Fahrenheit (28° Celsius)
  • The average annual minimum temperature is: 70° Fahrenheit (21° Celsius)

Monthly Averages

Historical monthly average weather conditions for Bach Ma Np.

Historical monthly average weather conditions for Bach Ma Np.
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“The best time for birding in Bach Ma is from Oct to Mar when it is not much rain and migratory time”

Note that It will be cool, you should prepare for clothing

Where birding in Bach Ma Np.

Birding routes

Bach Ma offers a range of trails for visitors. Each trail takes less than one day and many small trails can be explored from the road to the summit. Visitors can get details from the park visitor centre.

Rhododendron Trail: begins at the summit road, about 2 km below the summit, and passes through montane forest to the top of a waterfall. From there, a steep path with 689 concrete steps leads to the bottom of the cliff, 300 m below. From the bottom, visitors can retrace their steps or continue to the Five Lakes Cascade Trail.

Pheasant Trail: starts 5 km from the park entrance and leads through lowland evergreen forest to a series of waterfalls. As the name suggests, several galliform species can be found along this trail, including, with a lot of luck, the elusive Crested Argus. Brown Hornbill and White-winged Magpie are among the other interesting species that can be seen along the Pheasant Trail as well as the rare Blyth’s Kingfisher on the river.

Good birding is also possible from the main road 2-3 km downhill from the park headquarters, past Khe Su village. This area, within the park’s buffer zone, is a known site for Annam Partridge. The surfaced road from the park headquarters to the summit can also yield many species, and the area around the summit guesthouses is particularly good for Long-tailed and Silver-breasted Broadbills, Sultan Tit and Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler.

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Tips for birding in Bach Ma

Transportation

Car or motorbike. Bach Ma National Park is 40 km from Hue city, which can be reached by train, bus or scheduled flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The park headquarters are located 3 km from Cau Hai town on National Highway 1A. It is easy to take a taxi or motorbike from Hue to the park headquarters, from where transport to the summit of Bach Ma, mountain 20 km away, can be arranged.

Accommodations

Bach Ma National Park has six guesthouses. Two guesthouses, providing 10 rooms, are close to the park entrance, and four guesthouses (Bach Ma, Saola, Do Quyen, and Kim Giao), with a total capacity of 26 rooms, are situated near the summit, at an altitude of 1,250 m asl.

The best tour cover Birding in Bach Ma

Hot-spot for Birding in Vietnam 

all birding in hot-spot informative info [updated Jan 2023]

Nr.: Nature reserve; Np. National Park; mt. Mountain

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