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Birds return to their 'paradise' in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

Sunday, March 14, 2021, 11:01 GMT+7
Birds return to their 'paradise' in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta
Garganeys fly at the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

Editor’s note: Ngo Tran Hai An, a travel blogger, exclusively sent Tuoi Tre Cuoi Tuan (Tuoi Tre Weekly) magazine a piece recounting his recent trip to the Tram Chim National Park, which spans several communes of Tam Nong District in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap. During his trip, An had a rare chance to witness the return of flocks of birds to the sanctuary, dubbed a ‘bird paradise’ in the region.

Last weekend, when I heard that birds were flocking to Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap, I carried a 20-kilogram set of cameras and equipment there, a place that I can't remember how many times I have visited.

It was 4:00 am, the night still blanketed us, we were ready to begin our trip.

We started the engine of a small motorboat and rushed away on the river.

As the sun gradually began to rise, thousands of cajuput trees’ bodies reflected on the water surface, creating a shimmering scene like a magical world of three-dimensional space.

A common kingfisher is spotted in the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

A common kingfisher is spotted at the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

It took us about 40 minutes to arrive at the observatory located far in the A1 Section. 

The sound of birds chirping resounded through a corner of the sky. 

The observatory is quite small, so there is only enough room for one person and equipment.

At the top, wonderful scenery appeared before my eyes.

Tens of thousands of birds were either flying in the sky or gathering on the cajeput tops.

Never have I seen so many birds here.

A grey-headed swamp hen is spotted in the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

A grey-headed swamp hen is spotted at the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

Currently, in the park, there is a flock of tens of thousands of garganeys.

In addition, there are other species such as grey-headed lapwings migrating from Russia, black-capped kingfishers, Indian pheasants, cormorants, Oriental darters, Asian openbills, Chinese pond herons, crested serpent eagles, and grey-headed swamp hens.

By 7:30 am, most of the birds fly away for food. Their main feeding grounds are residential rice fields around the national park. 

An Indian pheasant is spotted in the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

An Indian pheasant is pictured at the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

This year, the natural environment is thriving here, providing a plentiful food source for birds to live.

The habitat at the Tram Chim National Park and the communes and towns in the adjacent areas is also getting better. 

At present, people’s awareness of conservation is also increasing.

The number of people trapping birds is not as high as before.

People even report those who hunt birds.

An Oriental darter is spotted in the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

An Oriental darter unfolds its wings at the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Van Lam, director of the Tram Chim National Park, said that he is trying to implement multiple professional measures to create a favorable environment for the red-headed cranes, one of the bird species that are facing the danger of extinction, to return to the sanctuary for food.

How can these amazing scenes boost tourism?

Le Hoang Long, director of the Tram Chim National Park’s Tourism and Environment Education Center, said that the center now offers many tourist packages, such as birding in flood seasons, seasonal flower viewing of golden bladderwort, purple bladderwort, and yellow-eyed grass, or experiencing a day as a farmer, accompanied by accommodation, canoe, and shuttle services.

A black-capped kingfishers is spotted in the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

A black-capped kingfishers stands on a branch at the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

An Oriental darter is spotted in the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

An Oriental darter is spotted at the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

A Chinese pond heron is spotted in the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

A Chinese pond heron stands on the water surface at the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

An Oriental darter is spotted in the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

An Oriental darter flies at the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

A flock of storks are spotted in the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

This image shows a flock of storks at the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

A large flock of garganeys fly in the sky in the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

Garganeys fly in the sky at the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An / Tuoi Tre

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