The Mekong Delta is the region in southwestern Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea through a network of distributaries. The Mekong delta region encompasses a large portion of southwestern Vietnam of 39,000 square kilometer which 13 provinces and several national parks and nature reserves that are accessible to birders by road and ferry from Ho Chi Minh City and have some interesting sites for birders among the lakes, rivers, marshes, seasonally flooded natural grasslands, inter-tidal mudflats, mangroves and salt pans.
Tan Thanh intertidal is located in Go Cong district, Tien Giang province, 2 hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City which is relatively new site for Spoon-billed Sandpiper in Vietnam, besides that Nordmann's Greenshank, White-faced Plover, Red-necked Stint, Red and Great Knots, Whimbrel, Far Eastern Curlew are easy to see in Wintering time.
Tram Chim National Park is located Tam Nong district, Dong Thap province, more than 3-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City. The Sarus Crane can be seen easily in the dry season (Jan-May) and 200 bird species have been recorded in this National park which mostly are egrets, herons waterfowls, cormorants, kingfishers and bee-eaters…
Tra Su Proposed Nature Reserve is located near Chau Doc City (an hour-drive), An Giang province. The site is located in the Mekong Delta and has very flat topography. The site is seasonally inundated by floodwaters from the Bassac River. Whether any of these species of conservation concern may visit Tra Su during the non-breeding season has not yet been assessed. However, in May 2003, four adult Milky Storks were recorded at Tra Su; this is the only confirmed recent record of this species from Vietnam.
Bac Lieu bird sanctuary is located in the plain of the Mekong Delta. The site is a remnant of an elevated mangrove forest, which is waterlogged during the rainy season. The site is surrounded by paddy fields. A substantial colony of breeding waterbirds is to be found at Bac Lieu bird sanctuary, one of the most important in the Mekong Delta. Bac Lieu bird sanctuary is particularly important for Indian Cormorant: 930 birds were recorded at the site in 1999, constituting over 3% of the global population. Consequently, the site qualifies as an Important Bird Area.
Birds of Mekong Delta
About 350 species of birds have been recorded in this delta which mainly water birds. Many of them are endangered or threatened such as Sarus Crane, Lesser Adjutant, Bengal Florican. Egrets and heron are the most common in the national park or reserved areas.
Birds highlight of Mekong Delta
Sarus Crane, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmann's Greenshank, Asian Golden Weaver, Spot-billed Duck, Asian Dowitcher, Eastern Curlew, Chinese Egret, Oriental Darter, Spot-billed Pelican, Painted Stork.
Time for birding or bird photography in Mekong Delta
As a normal birder, you could visit Mekong Delta for birding throughout the whole year, but for someone who is interested in shorebirds should come from the end of December to the end of March. In early March, migration bird change the form of colour so this is the good time for you to take the photo of them in colourful appearance.