- Bird

Birding Shanghai in Could 2023 – Half 1 – 10,000 Birds

Could is a busy month for birds migrating by way of Shanghai – and naturally, final Could was utterly missed as a result of lockdown. So, I spent a variety of time birding this month, and to maintain this submit at a manageable size, it largely solely covers the primary half of Could.

It begins with a chicken I final noticed (and wrote about) in December final 12 months, the Gray-headed Canary Flycatcher.

It shouldn’t actually be in Shanghai however apparently, it’s not excellent at studying its distribution map on the HBW web site.

The HBW describes the Gray Treepie as a “slightly drab brownish-grey treepie”, which sounds a bit too unfavourable to me.


I prefer it for its simply recognizable vocalizations which eBird describes as follows: “Raucous, with a various repertoire; squawks and chatters loudly, but additionally whistles tunefully”.

Frankly, the Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher (video) doesn’t seem like a lot – however it’s uncommon at Nanhui and listed as Susceptible. The video is notable for the chicken mainly refusing to maneuver in any respect.

The chicken on the photograph is among the estimated 3500-15,000 people nonetheless alive in response to the HBW – a daunting thought given the (too) giant variety of people, of which there are about 1 million instances extra (and naturally, every of which weighs 5000 instances greater than the flycatcher).

Notice to different species: higher don’t depend on mature major forests, as this may occasionally result in extinction. Additionally, don’t smoke as it’s not good in your well being.

When you like to observe Black-winged Stilts, check out this video. When you don’t, simply take a look at the photographs or take a time machine again to the final century.

Voltaire as soon as said that the Holy Roman Empire was by no means holy, nor Roman, nor an empire”. Taking a cue from him (in spite of everything, on his deathbed, when a priest requested him to resign Devil, he apparently replied “Now, now my good man, that is no time to be making enemies”), I want to level out that the Black-winged Cuckooshrike is neither black-winged, nor a cuckoo, nor a shrike.

In reality, different names for it are lesser gray cuckooshrike or darkish gray cuckooshrike, scoring no less than one right merchandise out of three.

The Chinese language identify additionally describes it as “anhui”, or darkish gray.

Radde’s Warbler is migrating by way of Shanghai, and it’s really the primary time I’ve consciously seen it right here. This says extra about my lack of ability to distinguish between warbler species than concerning the rarity of the chicken – however the chicken was kindly singing.

Nonetheless, the power to determine a leaf warbler by music is a worrying improvement on the street to changing into a really nerdy birder. It’s in all probability all downhill from right here. What’s subsequent? Identification of subspecies?

Through the breeding season, some Cattle Egrets seem like teenage women who’ve simply found the existence of make-up, and consequently massively overdo it. However what do I do know concerning the style preferences of Cattle Egrets. Possibly they like this Barbie doll look.

The Black-tailed Godwit is Close to Threatened, although not fairly as threatened as Nanhui, the place the development areas get nearer and nearer to the final remaining fields.

In case you are an individual who can get enthusiastic about subspecies (I’m not amongst them – I plan to disregard subspecies no less than till I retire from work), it’s possible you’ll wish to take a look at a paper on a proposed new subspecies of Black-tailed Godwits.

The Massive Hawk-Cuckoo appears like species for me to get a good video regardless of my restricted abilities – the HBW states that when foraging, it typically stays “nearly immobile for lengthy durations”.

The principle hosts for this parasitic cuckoo are the White-browed Laughingthrus and the Chinese language Babax – a paper causes that the latter one is a newer addition to the species being deceived into elevating little hawk-cuckoos because the babax has a decrease price of egg rejection.

Not solely does this species straight parasitize different species but additionally metaphorically, by imitating the sparrowhawks in its look and thus deterring potential predators.

That is additionally mirrored within the Latin species identify of sparverioides, which simply means sparrowhawk.


Whereas to my information the Massive Hawk-Cuckoo solely migrates by way of Nanhui, the Frequent Cuckoo stays right here in summer season and appears for host species, notably the Oriental Reed Warbler.

Whereas having any individual else elevate your chicks like a sexy technique to me, it’s not with out risks. A paper studies on how a feminine Frequent Cuckoo was mobbed and killed by Oriental Reed Warbler hosts.

The photographs of the useless cuckoo revealed within the paper wouldn’t look misplaced in a horror film for a cuckoo viewers. And the main points described aren’t encouraging for potential nest parasites both: “The cuckoo emitted wailing cries and suffered deadly bodily trauma from the frantic pecking and scratching by a number of ORWs, and ultimately the extended and sustained aggressive mobbing led to the loss of life of the cuckoo”. So, if you happen to consider dropping off your child with some unsuspecting host mother and father, make certain to not be seen and depart shortly afterward.

And don’t appeal to as a lot consideration to your self because the Frequent Cuckoo in this video.

The Journal “Advances in Ophthalmology & Visible System” will not be a daily supply for bird-related info. Nevertheless, in 2017, the journal revealed a paper with the (spoiler alert!) title “A Peck of Affection or a Peck of Aggression: Case Report of an Eye Damage Because of the Black-naped Oriole“. Wherein a Chinese language man in Singapore picks up a juvenile Black-naped Oriole, which in flip assaults the affected person’s left eye inflicting extreme ache and tearing. Sadly, the implicit query posed within the title of the paper will not be answered, and (the person in all probability having gotten bored of all of the fuss concerning the chicken assault) “subsequently affected person was misplaced to follow-up”.

That appears a little bit of a waste from the aspect of the person – I can think about Eric Hosking by no means had to purchase drinks for himself after having misplaced a watch to an owl assault …

In any case, at Nanhui, the Black-naped Orioles are among the many shyest of birds – no hazard for the eyes of birdwatchers right here.

The Journal of the Bombay Pure Historical past Society will not be notably delicate to the emotions of kingfishers, calling them a “stockily constructed birds”. The Black-capped Kingfisher is among the many extra engaging ones, which isn’t a simple feat amongst this chicken household.

Confusingly, the HBW lists the species as Susceptible and marks its conservation standing as Not Globally Threatened (Least Concern) – a stronger give attention to precise particular info might need been useful.

Birdlife Worldwide – which presumably focuses extra on birds than the HBW does – lists the species as Susceptible: “Though this species has an especially giant vary and certain exceeds 10,000 mature people, the inhabitants pattern seems to be lowering with occupancy and reporting price traits suggesting fast declines inside the previous three generations”.

A number of male Siberian Rubythroats have been nonetheless round at Nanhui within the first half of Could as an alternative of heading to their breeding areas, presumably being equally unenthusiastic in elevating younger as me.

The Latin identify Calliope calliope appears like a little bit of an overkill to me (no “so good they named it twice” for me), however the reference to “Calliope, fine-voiced chief of the Muses, who presided over eloquence and heroic poetry” (HBW) is nicely deserved given the great and slightly jazzy music of the chicken. If you don’t imagine me, please pay attention right here to what’s in all probability my favourite of all chicken music recordings.

Sidenote: the recording is ascribed to Siberian Rubythroat (Calliope calliope calliope), giving extra urgency to my level about overkill in chicken names … The third calliope within the identify is a bit puzzling although, because the HBW calls the species monotypic.

There are additionally just a few movies of the chicken right here and right here and right here – the final one is definitely a Siberian Rubythroat not solely listening to passing automobiles but additionally to Chinese language Grosbeaks.

After all, if you don’t like the colour purple, we will additionally provide a blue chicken – the Siberian Blue Robin. Right here at 10,000 Birds, we always remember that you just, the reader, have a selection.

In line with the HBW, meals introduced by Siberian Blue Robins to nestlings in Japan was 36% grownup bugs, 28% insect larvae, 18% spiders, and 18% unidentified (I believe the final largely being unhealthy quick meals with the discriminating labels ripped off).

Bugs appear to even be the primary meals merchandise of Brown Shrikes, as this video additionally reveals. Individuals who love moths might wish to chorus from watching it although.


The slightly elegant-looking Tiger Shrike additionally largely feeds on bugs however was not type sufficient to let me take a video or photograph of this (the species thinks that such recordings might lead to a unfavourable public picture). It was okay for me to take a video of it doing nothing a lot although. Higher flip off the sound whereas watching the video as my functionality of getting first rate sound on movies remains to be very restricted.


In the meantime, the native resident bully of a shrike – the Lengthy-tailed Shrike – is busy assuring that the custom of bullying the smaller birds could be continued for an additional technology.


A number of extra birds with out phrases – however don’t neglect, 1001 phrases are price a couple of image.

Yellow-browed Bunting

Hair-crested Drongo

Black Drongo

Oriental Magpie

Noticed Redshank

Swinhoe’s Minivet


White-throated Rock Thrush (feminine)


Narcissus Flycatcher (video)

Japanese Thrush, feminine (video)

Black-capped Evening Heron (video)

Gray-streaked Flycatcher (video)

Brown-breasted Flycatcher (video)

Lastly, within the dismissive “Different” part, at the moment we have now a mammal and a non-mammal, each seen at Nanhui.


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