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Birding Nonggang, Guangxi, China – half 1 – 10,000 Birds

Nonggang is a rural place in Guangxi with a pleasant panorama considerably paying homage to coastal Northern Vietnam (effectively, it’s not too distant). One of many causes for birders to come back right here is to see the Nonggang Babbler.

The Nonggang Babbler‘s declare to fame is having solely been found in 2008 (as a meaningless reference, it ought to be added that the primary iPhone was launched in 2007, one 12 months earlier).

It’s listed as Weak, as its vary is fairly restricted, although it has been discovered outdoors of China as effectively, e.g., in Vietnam, although the HBW doesn’t appear to have learn that paper but.

Apparently, one research discovered that Nonggang Babbler nests steadily visited by chicken photographers had the next hatching success charge than these not photographed. My speculation is that being watched and recorded, the babblers intensify their efforts as they don’t wish to be publicly seen as unhealthy mother and father.

A paper describing interspecific allopreening between the Nonggang Babbler and the Spot-necked Babbler might effectively describe observations from precisely the identical conceal the place these photographs of the Nonggang Babbler have been taken.

Is there a development towards extra literary paper titles? The title of the one simply talked about begins with “Intimacy throughout species boundaries” …

The Spot-necked Babbler is “shy and social”, based on eBird, which sounds a bit like a contradiction to me.

Bianchi’s Warbler is fairly good wanting (for a leaf warbler). (Spot the reference?)

Alternatively, eBird – with a slight trace of desperation – calls the species “one in every of various mind-numbingly related Seicercus warblers”.

eBird continues to elucidate that its “gray of the crown is weaker than that of White-spectacled and Plain-tailed Warblers, however this function is troublesome to see within the shade of the understory, the place it often forages” – after all, my ID is simply primarily based on vary maps fairly than on evaluating the relative power of the gray of the crown.

For the Black-crested Bulbul, eBird remarks that its “pale eyes give it a perpetually offended or shocked look”. I assume I might be offended too if I used to be completely in comparison with Elvis Presley.

Some ornithologists are so determined so as to add papers to their resumes that they write about new information of Black-crested Bulbul subspecies inside China. Isn’t that unhappy?

David’s Fulvetta will get the anticipated destructive evaluation on eBird – each the looks (“fairly plain”) and its similarity to different fulvetta species (“very related in look to Huet’s and Yunnan fulvettas”) are criticized.

On the plus facet, it appears fairly humorous when moist.

eBird rightly calls the Giant Scimitar Babbler a “good-looking and barely primal-looking babbler”. I don’t fairly know what makes the babbler “primal-looking” however by some means the assertion rings true.


This species appears to steadily be a part of mixed-species flocks – in analysis in Thailand, the species was present in 20% of the mixed-species flocks.


In an fascinating experiment that includes a stuffed mannequin of a Collared Scops Owl, Crested Goshawks arrived when listening to the mobbing name of Mild-vented Bulbuls that they use when encountering such a scops owl, however not when listening to different mobbing calls.


This will imply that the operate of the bulbul mobbing name is simply that – to draw an excellent fiercer predator. Apparently, that is known as the “appeal to the mightier” speculation.

If you realize a Purple-whiskered Bulbul and dislike that particular person, you may ask it to have a look at a paper titled “Eradication and management applications for invasive mynas (Acridotheres spp.) and bulbuls (Pycnonotus spp.)”, by which the Purple-whiskered Bulbul is known as as one of many two most closely focused chicken species.

May give the chicken some sleepless nights, or at the very least one thing to consider. I don’t watch horror motion pictures myself, however apparently some individuals like them.

I disagree with eBird calling the Gray-throated Babbler “nondescript”.

Based on the HBW, the nest is generally constructed by the feminine (my guess is within the distant previous, the males tried a number of instances however have been at all times criticized for his or her efforts, so ultimately they gave up).

Presumably, Gray-throated Babblers will not be very keen on monkeys, particularly the (doubtlessly misnamed) Gray Leaf Monkey. One was reported to have raided the nest of a Gray-throated Babbler, consuming at the very least two eggs and presumably one nestling (supply).

The Latin species title of the Scarlet Minivet is speciosus, or “splendid, stunning, sensible”. Whereas I don’t disagree with this title, it does appear to supply an excellent differentiation from a number of the different, equally splendid, stunning, and sensible minivet species.

That is the feminine – within the male (which flew away too shortly for my sluggish response time), the yellow elements are orange-red. My cats – which find out about this stuff – inform me that regardless of rumors on the contrary, there isn’t a distinction in style between the male and the feminine. Nevertheless, they declare that there are some marginal variations in style between the 19 acknowledged subspecies.

It doesn’t sound very shocking that the morning singing of birds such because the Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler is a approach of indicating possession of a territory. In actual fact, a research discovered that if the birds hear the track of different males of the identical species, they sing louder the following morning, a bit like soccer followers being incensed by the yells of the followers of the other staff.

Apparently, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babblers begin their morning singing later when the temperature is increased.

Whereas the German title of the species, “Rotnackensaebler”, sounds fairly absurd to me (regardless of being German, I’m not accustomed to German chicken names as I’ve not lived there for a very long time), it’s really sort of correct and a lot better aligned with the Latin species title ruficollis (which means red-necked, “Rotnacken” in German).

Solely when engaged on this publish – however not when really seeing the chicken – did I study that the Silver-eared Mesia is sexually dimorphic (ornithologists converse for women and men wanting in a different way). Based on the HBW description, the 2 sexes ought to look fairly distinctive given the variety of variations indicated (“Feminine has duller, paler brow patch, throat and breast, uninteresting golden-olive nuchal collar and uppertail-coverts, much less yellow central underparts, pale yellowish-rufous undertail-coverts, paler and duller reddish wing patch and yellow wing fringing”) however at the very least to me, the distinction in look will not be huge. As an excuse, I can deliver up the truth that the MacKinnon “Information to the Birds of China” additionally doesn’t point out any intercourse variations (the writer may need wished to search for the HBW when writing the information, however then, neither did I earlier than going to Nonggang).

Perhaps it is a male because the rump is sort of crimson …

… whereas this yellow rump might point out a feminine (nonbinary birds are likely to have orange rumps).

Presumably, this picture exhibits each sexes.

Given its title, the white tail feathers of the White-tailed Robin are sometimes remarkably invisible. That is the male with an invisible white tail …

… whereas it’s seen right here.

And the feminine, as regular going for a extra informal look.

On the morning of day 4 at Nonggang, I had a sore throat however a covid check was destructive, so birding continued …

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