Xuan Thuy National Park

Xuan Thuy National Park

The first Ramsar Site in Vietnam, Xuan Thuy is situated in Nam Dinh province and covers an area of 7,100 ha. The major habitats are estuaries, mangroves, mudflats, sandy flats and shrimp ponds.

Birding highlights : Black-faced Spoonbill, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Spotted Greenshank, Saunders's Gull and Asian Dowitcher.

Bird fauna : To date, more than 200 bird species have been recorded at Xuan Thuy. The site is the most important staging and wintering area for migratory waterbirds in the coastal zone of the Red River Delta. It regularly supports large numbers of commoner migratory waterbird species, including Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank and Eurasian Curlew. Many rare species can also be found at Xuan Thuy, including the largest wintering population of Black-faced Spoonbill in Vietnam, with around 60 birds each winter in recent years. Other rare species that regularly occur at the site include Saunders's Gull, Spotted Greenshank, Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Asian Dowitcher. In addition to its importance for waterbirds, Xuan Thuy is also an important migratory stop-over for non-waterbirds, with large numbers of passerines and cuckoos passing through the site during the spring and autumn migrations. During the summer months, small numbers of Painted Stork and Spot-billed Pelican occur as non-breeding visitors.

Other features : Estuarine habitats and traditional aquaculture activities.

Transportation : Car and boat. Xuan Thuy is about 150 km by road from Hanoi or three and half hours by car. The site is not well known and, for this reason, may be difficult to find. From the national park headquarters, the site can be visited by boat or by foot. It is important to take account of tide times when planning a trip to Xuan Thuy, as some of the best birdwatching areas can only be reached at high tide.

Accommodation : At the moment, accommodation at Xuan Thuy is basic. The park has only one four-bed guestroom with no hot water or electricity. However, a new guesthouse with 10 standard rooms is currently under construction. In addition, there are two guesthouses in Ngo Dong town (20 km from Xuan Thuy) and a resort area in Quat Lam (40 km from Xuan Thuy), where there are many hotels and restaurants.

Permission : An entrance fee system has not yet been established; visitors should contact the park authorities in advance to arrange permission. Both Vietnamese and foreign visitors can visit the park, providing they secure the approval of the park staff and the local border army station.

Birding routes :

As a staging and wintering site on the East Asian-Australian flyway, the best time to visit Xuan Thuy is September to April. In August and September, it is still possible to see non-breeding Painted Stork, as well as early migrants, such as Black-winged Stilt. Later, from October onwards, it relatively easy to find wintering Black-faced Spoonbills, particularly at their roost sites in the shrimp ponds.

Visitors can ask for assistance from the national park staff, who know the site well, and can advise on places to look for particular species. Hiring a guide from the park is recommended.

Birding routes: Visitors can travel by foot to some places of interest; others can only be reached by boat at high tide.

Walking routes: Walking through the shrimp ponds on Con Ngan island, where the park headquarters is located, can be rewarding, especially at high tide when Black-faced Spoonbills and various gulls, ducks and waders come to roost and feed in the shrimp ponds.

Boating routes: At high tide, boats can be chartered to reach the offshore mudflats and sandy flats, where Spoon-billed Sandpiper can be found among large flocks of waders. Saunders's Gull can also be found here during December and January, as well as other gulls and ducks.

An alternative boat route involves visiting Con Xanh island, which is planted with Casuarina, which shelters migrating passerines, including pittas, and the outer edge of Con Ngan island, where waders, ducks and herons feed in the Tra river mouth.


Contact details

Xuan Thuy National Park, Giao Thuy district, Nam Dinh province.

Tel.: +(84 350) 741501/895125

Fax: +(84 350) 893065/895008



Bird list (source: BirdLife International Vietnam Programme)



1. Japanese Quail

2. Greylag Goose

3. Common Shelduck

4. Gadwall

5. Falcated Duck

6. Eurasian Wigeon

7. Mallard

8. Spot-billed Duck

9. Northern Shoveler

10. Northern Pintail

11. Garganey

12. Common Teal

13. Common Pochard

14. Baer's Pochard

15. Tufted Duck

16. Red-breasted Merganser

17. Buttonquail sp.

18. Eurasian Wryneck

19. Dollarbird

20. Common Kingfisher

21. White-throated Kingfisher

22. Black-capped Kingfisher

23. Collared Kingfisher

24. Pied Kingfisher

25. Blue-tailed Bee-eater

26. Chestnut-winged Cuckoo

27. Large Hawk Cuckoo

28. Indian Cuckoo

29. Lesser Cuckoo

30. Plaintive Cuckoo

31. Asian Koel

32. Greater Coucal

33. Lesser Coucal

34. Fork-tailed Swift

35. Oriental Turtle Dove

36. Spotted Dove

37. Red Collared Dove

38. Emerald Dove

39. Thick-billed Green Pigeon

40. Slaty-breasted Rail

41. White-breasted Waterhen

42. Ruddy-breasted Crake

43. Purple Swamphen

44. Common Moorhen

45. Common Coot

46. Eurasian Woodcock

47. Pintail Snipe

48. Common Snipe

49. Black-tailed Godwit

50. Bar-tailed Godwit

51. Whimbrel

52. Eurasian Curlew

53. Eastern Curlew

54. Spotted Redshank

55. Common Redshank

56. Marsh Sandpiper

57. Common Greenshank

58. Nordmann's Greenshank

59. Wood Sandpiper

60. Terek Sandpiper

61. Common Sandpiper

62. Grey-tailed Tattler

63. Ruddy Turnstone

64. Long-billed Dowitcher

65. Asian Dowitcher

66. Great Knot

67. Red Knot

68. Sanderling

69. Spoon-billed Sandpiper

70. Little Stint

71. Red-necked Stint

72. Long-toed Stint

73. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

74. Dunlin

75. Curlew Sandpiper

76. Broad-billed Sandpiper

77. Ruff

78. Red-necked Phalarope

79. Pheasant-tailed Jacana

80. Great Thick-knee

81. Eurasian Oystercatcher

82. Black-winged Stilt

83. Pacific Golden Plover

84. Grey Plover

85. Little Ringed Plover

86. Kentish Plover

87. Lesser Sand Plover

88. Greater Sand Plover

89. Grey-headed Lapwing

90. Oriental Pratincole

91. Black-tailed Gull

92. Heughlin's Gull

93. Pallas's Gull

94. Black-headed Gull

95. Saunders's Gull

96. Gull-billed Tern

97. Caspian Tern

98. Common Tern

99. Little Tern

100. Whiskered Tern

101. White-winged Tern

102. Black Baza

103. Eurasian Marsh Harrier

104. Pied Harrier

105. Chinese Sparrowhawk

106. Japanese Sparrowhawk

107. Eurasian Sparrowhawk

108. Grey-faced Buzzard

109. Common Buzzard

110. Common Kestrel

111. Amur Falcon

112. Merlin

113. Eurasian Hobby

114. Peregrine Falcon

115. Little Grebe

116. Little Egret

117. Chinese Egret

118. Pacific Reef Egret

119. Grey Heron

120. Purple Heron

121. Great Egret

122. Intermediate Egret

123. Cattle Egret

124. Chinese Pond Heron

125. Little Heron

126. Black-crowned Night Heron

127. Yellow Bittern

128. Cinnamon Bittern

129. Black Bittern

130. Great Bittern

131. Black-headed Ibis

132. Eurasian Spoonbill

133. Black-faced Spoonbill

134. Spot-billed Pelican

135. Painted Stork

136. Fairy Pitta

137. Tiger Shrike

138. Brown Shrike

139. Long-tailed Shrike

140. Grey-backed Shrike

141. Black-naped Oriole

142. Maroon Oriole

143. Cuckooshrike sp.

144. Rosy Minivet

145. Ashy Minivet

146. White-throated Fantail

147. Black Drongo

148. Ashy Drongo

149. Spangled Drongo

150. Black-naped Monarch

151. Asian Paradise-flycatcher

152. White-throated Rock Thrush

153. Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush

154. Blue Rock Thrush

155. Blue Whistling Thrush

156. Orange-headed Thrush

157. Siberian Thrush

158. Scaly Thrush

159. Eurasian Blackbird

160. Asian Brown Flycatcher

161. Ferruginous Flycatcher

162. Yellow-rumped Flycatcher

163. Red-throated Flycatcher

164. Blue-and-white Flycatcher

165. Small Niltava

166. Fujian Niltava

167. Hainan Blue Flycatcher

168. Blue-throated Flycatcher

169. Siberian Rubythroat

170. Bluethroat

171. Siberian Blue Robin

172. Oriental Magpie Robin

173. Common Stonechat

174. Grey Bushchat

175. White-shouldered Starling

176. White-vented Myna

177. Great Tit

178. Sand Martin

179. Barn Swallow

180. Striated Swallow

181. Red-whiskered Bulbul

182. Light-vented Bulbul

183. Sooty-headed Bulbul

184. Plain Prinia

185. Japanese White-eye

186. Lanceolated Warbler

187. Rusty-rumped Warbler

188. Black-browed Reed Warbler

189. Manchurian Reed Warbler

190. Oriental Reed Warbler

191. Thick-billed Warbler

192. Common Tailorbird

193. Dusky Warbler

194. Radde's Warbler

195. Yellow-browed Warbler

196. Arctic Warbler

197. Greenish Warbler

198. Pale-legged Leaf Warbler

199. Blyth's Leaf Warbler

200. White-tailed Leaf Warbler

201. Sulphur-breasted Warbler

202. Golden-spectacled Warbler

203. Australasian Bushlark

204. Oriental Skylark

205. Eurasian Tree Sparrow

206. Forest Wagtail

207. White Wagtail

208. Yellow Wagtail

209. Richard's Pipit

210. Olive-backed Pipit

211. Red-throated Pipit

212. Scaly-breasted Munia

213. Chestnut-eared Bunting

214. Yellow-breasted Bunting





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