Birding Shanghai in September 2022 – 10,000 Birds


In case you are an ornithologist who for no matter motive needs to go to Rome, you might wish to take into account asking for a grant to put in writing a paper on “The Feeding Habits of the Black Kite (Milvus migrans) within the Garbage Dump of Rome”

In accordance with this paper, the vast majority of Eurasian Kestrel discovered breeding in city websites in Israel used open-type nests, particularly flower pots on windowsills. This isn’t actually an possibility at Nanhui although.

The third raptor of the month was the Black-winged Kite.

The fourth and final was the Crested Honey buzzard – an attractive male. The identify is a puzzle although – even the HBW states that the chook has “small or no crest”. These pictures have been taken on Sep 26, indicating that the birds handed Shanghai fairly late (in keeping with the HBW, “autumn migration from early to late Sept”).

The Japanese Paradise Flycatcher is listed as Close to Threatened. The continuing destruction of Nanhui, the place the species can continuously be seen on migration, actually is not going to assist.

A very current (2022) paper describes the migration route of a Blue-and-white Flycatcher. The chook “spent 5 months on Mindoro Island within the Philippines through the non-breeding season and migrated by Taiwan, the Chinese language east coast, and the Korean peninsula” and on to the Russian Far East (indicating a sure lack of solidarity with Ukraine).

That is the darkish blue grownup male (additionally proven on high of this submit).

The feminine.

An immature male, nonetheless finding out find out how to work on its blue colour.

Judging from the facial features of this White-shouldered Starling, I might fairly not have an aggravated chook of this species as a roommate.

The Black-collared Starling was fairly uncommon right here however has just lately been seen extra continuously. The naked yellow pores and skin round and behind the eyes offers it a barely vulture-like look.

The Pink-billed Starling is sort of frequent in Shanghai.

As is the White-cheeked Starling.

Predictably, the Wikipedia article on the Asian Stubtail is brief and thus ends with the same old sentence of such entries: “This Cettiidae-related article is a stub. You possibly can assist Wikipedia by increasing it.” I’m not certain they’re conscious of their very own joke there.

Opposite to frequent perception, the chook is definitely named for its stubby tail fairly than after its discoverer, the Welsh naturalist James Stub (1734-1783).

Chinese language researchers have truly been capable of determine particular person Asian Stubtails on the premise of their songs (supply).

When Pink-necked Phalaropes move Shanghai in autumn, a black-and-white picture is adequate, because the crimson necks of the breeding plumage are gone. A bit unfair to Shanghainese birders, I really feel.

The species has reversed intercourse roles, with the males doing the incubating. Nonetheless, for many of females, that is extra theoretical than actual – in a research, solely 8% of females truly discovered a second mate. And that isn’t because of time restrictions – pair bonds lasted a median of 11 days …

A couple of (apparently pretty ruthless) Pied Avocets have realized from cuckoos and parasitize their very own species (supply).

In one other paper, the creator shies away from calling Pied Avocets silly however hints at this in a fairly indirect method: “sub-optimal habitat choice by Pied Avocets because of an incorrect evaluation of the potential for profitable replica”. Sounds a lot nicer.

Had I not seen this Purple Heron land the place it did, I doubt very a lot I might have seen it in any respect – and it’s not a small chook.

Eurasian Bitterns equally attempt to keep out of sight.

The Gray Heron is just not as invisible, although it often flies off the second a digicam is turned on it.

Much like the state of affairs amongst people, amongst Gray-capped Greenfinches, “high-quality people desire to mate with one another” (supply).

Does a barely boring-looking chook such because the Asian Brown Flycatcher deserve a paper that’s considerably extra boring? Apparently, the authors of this paper suppose so. Or possibly they’re fairly enthusiastic about clarifying that Muscicapa latirostris is the incorrect identify for this chook whereas Muscicapa dauurica is true.

For some butterflies, this chook is just not boring however fairly the equal of a Nice White Shark.

Even amongst boring birds, there may be some stage of variation – see this Gray-streaked Flycatcher.

And because the aggressive panorama for greyish flycatchers is sort of aggressive, evolution or god (relying in your background and pondering) has additionally offered a goth model which is aptly named Darkish-sided Flycatcher.

Possibly an knowledgeable may even identify the colourful breakfast this chook has simply had.

The picture under exhibits a Sakhalin Leaf Warbler except, in fact, it exhibits a Pale-legged Leaf Warbler. Your alternative.

An alternate for these looking for out boring ornithological papers is to learn this one on the entire mitochondrial genome of Oriental Pratincole. We always remember that you simply, the reader, have a alternative.

The Mild-vented Bulbul was restricted to Southern China however has expanded its vary up to now few many years. Whereas that alone is just not significantly attention-grabbing, evidently the newer, extra Northern populations have totally different dialects with far fewer songs – one thing that the authors of this paper name the “founder impact”. Type of like Darwin’s finches, simply with sounds, not chook species …

The juvenile bulbuls have the same old “washed a bit too lengthy” look that juvenile birds apparently appear to search out trendy.

In Frequent Snipes, apparently, the wing form is correlated with the migration technique of particular person birds. In a research, birds with wings tailored for environment friendly migration (pointed/concave wingtips) stayed for shorter occasions on the stopover website than snipes with a wing form tailored for predator evasion (rounded/convex wingtips).

In accordance with the HBW, the Chinese language Grosbeak is “extensively trapped for the cagebird commerce in China”. Disgrace on the trappers.

Almost definitely, it is a Frequent Cuckoo. An unlucky function mannequin for some avocets.

Evidently lots of ornithological analysis is predicated on fascinated by what is sensible from an evolutionary standpoint, after which checking whether or not this truly the case. An instance is this research displaying that certainly, cuckoo eggs are stronger than the eggs of the host species.

Right here’s one other cuckoo present process a pre-flight test.

The Chinese language identify of the Yellow-rumped Flycatcher is Bai mei ji weng, “white-browed flycatcher” – sounds a bit counterintuitive at first however is sensible on condition that the considerably similar-looking Narcissus Flycatcher additionally has a yellow rump however a yellow forehead.

Some extra flycatchers: Mugimaki Flycatcher

… and Taiga Flycatcher.

eBird describes the Siberian Blue Robin as a “slender, long-legged songbird with a ‘crouched’ profile. Undecided I can see the ‘crouched’ however hey, it’s a lovely chook.

Little Egrets have been truly talked about in a current version of The Economist – in an article highlighting their elevated inhabitants in Britain. Poor Britons – Brexit didn’t shield them from being invaded by birds from the continent.

The Inexperienced Sandpiper is one other chook with a reputation that makes one marvel in regards to the sanity of early naturalists. The guide “Australian Chook Names – A Information” wrily remarks that the identify is “Finest defined by a vivid creativeness – in the appropriate gentle it’d seem greenish-brown …”. The Latin species identify ochropus is just not that significantly better – it means pale yellow-footed, which whereas not fully incorrect is just not a powerful function of the species both.

In our common part of birds that went out with out carrying an umbrella (possibly they’re male birds with a silly notion – much like mine – that carrying an umbrella is form of effeminate), at this time we have now Mild-vented Bulbul (once more) …

White-cheeked Starling

Oriental Magpie-robin

… and Brown Shrike.

Shrikes are recognized to impale a few of their victims to eat them later. Almost definitely, that is what the picture under exhibits.

Certainly, the German identify of 1 shrike species (the Pink-backed Shrike) is “Neuntoeter”, “Killer of 9”, which is derived from the folks thought that the chook would first kill 9 prey gadgets earlier than consuming one. Effectively, belief the Germans to give you a legend like that.

Nanhui shrikes in September included Brown Shrike

Tiger Shrike

Bull-headed Shrike

… and naturally the resident Lengthy-tailed Shrike.

The Ashy Drongo is one other candidate for a future (in all probability not forthcoming) version of a submit on cartoon birds.

Although in fact, many bugs will fail to notice the humor of such a submit.

In becoming with its pure habitat, this Blue Rock Thrush posed on a pile of concrete pillars stacked up subsequent to the street. A minimum of one chook that also feels at residence at Nanhui.

In distinction, this Whimbrel would in all probability fairly stroll on mud than on concrete. Not straightforward at Nanhui today although.

This juvenile Black-naped Oriole could even have been born in Shanghai as this species breeds right here in summer time.

Whereas the male Siberian Thrush seems to be elegant, the feminine (proven right here) is significantly better camouflaged.

The juvenile male doesn’t fairly attain the class requirements of the grownup male.

In accordance with “The Chook Identify E book”, the identify of the Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) “originated within the late 1500s, within the compound formation of the phrases wry and neck, the phrase wry that means ‘distorted, contorted or twisted to 1 aspect’.” The guide additionally states that “The Historical Romans and Greeks traced the chook’s mythological origins to a sorceress named Lynx who was reworked right into a wryneck as punishment for a spell she solid on Zeus.” Lesson realized for all of us: don’t solid spells on Zeus.

When wrynecks resent being photographed, they usually point out this with their tongue.

Sure, the Oriental Dollarbird was the duvet star of final month’s Shanghai submit however I noticed it once more this month, and it’s such an attractive chook …

On the finish of September, the primary winter guests arrive in Shanghai – such because the White’s Thrush.

In distinction, the Yellow-breasted Bunting solely passes by on migration. The HBW states that “many cease in Yangtze Valley (China) to moult” – in the event that they ever want a photograph illustrating this, possibly they’ll use this one?

The opposite data on this species is far sadder. It’s listed as Critically Endangered, and the HBW explains why: “Flocks roosting in reedbeds are flushed after which caught in mist-nets, cooked and offered as meals (described as ‘sparrows’ or ‘rice-birds’); this observe, beforehand restricted to small space of S China, has develop into extra widespread … As well as, every year, in China, 1000’s of males are killed, stuffed and offered as mascots, their presence within the residence being believed to carry happiness to the human occupants.” A bizarre idea of happiness introduced on by killing harmless birds, in case you ask me (which in fact no person does).

A Chinese language buddy advised me that some individuals in China now catch and eat Little Buntings as a substitute. I wonder if this counts as progress.

Economist articles often finish with a predictable and fairly lame joke or wordplay. This weblog submit ends with the photographic equal of this components (Frequent Sandpiper).







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