Birding Shanghai in October 2023

I’m positive none of you puzzled why my Shanghai submit for September was already revealed on the twenty eighth. Nevertheless, I’ll clarify the rationale to you anyway. I simply pressed the mistaken button when engaged on the submit on September 28 (be happy to insert your individual joke about untimely one thing right here).

In fact, that signifies that the birds I noticed on September 30 at the moment are someplace in blogpost limbo, not having appeared within the September submit but in addition not legitimately belonging within the October one. The answer (have in mind, I’m a administration marketing consultant who is meant to dazzle his purchasers together with his sensible and inventive concepts) is to make an exception and begin this submit with a devoted September 30 part.

After this longish and fully irrelevant introduction, lastly right here is a photograph of the primary chook of September thirtieth, a Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike.

If you wish to faux to mix studying Mandarin and studying about this species, watch this video.

There may be additionally the standard article concerning the first sighting of the species at a brand new location. How thrilling.

In fact, I must faux to not brag about it, however the HBW web page on the species nonetheless makes use of the picture of a China-based German photographer as its essential illustration. It’s really a lot better than the pictures proven on this submit.

The tip of September and early October can be the very best time to see Oriental Scops Owls in Shanghai – although they are often arduous to identify, being superb at hiding.

Should you assume that these pictures of the owl are adequate …

… you must most likely skip the principle a part of this submit.

If you wish to guess the identify of this species, please comply with my directions.

Take out a magnifying glass. Use it to have a look at the beak of the chook. Then transfer a bit of bit downwards. Should you actually focus, it’s possible you’ll now see a tiny whitish spot. Seen it? Then you may simply guess that this can be a White-throated Rock Thrush.

That is the feminine. She generally thinks that her husband seems a bit too flashy – who’s he attempting to impress? Definitely not her, not less than not all the time – so she is a bit suspicious. However she loves him anyway.

(Would any individual please write a remark stating that I might have a fantastic future in writing romance novels?)

Then, on to October correct – normally additionally a fairly good month in Shanghai.

It’s the time to see Daurian Redstarts once more – fairly just a few of them.

The primary autumn I don’t get pleasure from seeing this chook anymore might be the time to surrender birding.

The tune of the Daurian Redstart has each elements particular to the person chook and to its broader location – so, there are totally different dialects (supply).

When there are cuckoos round – which parasitize Daurian Redstarts – the females have the next fee of egg rejection. Higher secure than sorry, I suppose. You wouldn’t wish to find yourself feeding a baby that may be as much as ten instances heavier than you’re your self (11-20 g for the redstart versus 106-133 g for the grownup cuckoo).

Equally, some Eurasian Siskins

… and Bramblings are again and can spend the winter in Shanghai.

eBird calls the Asian Stubtail a “well-named tiny songbird, ‘a head with wings’” …

… whereas the HBW will not be so positive whether or not to name the chook “plump” or “full-bellied” and subsequently plumps (sure, embarrassing wordplay) for utilizing each descriptions.

Asian Stubtails presumably aren’t any pals of sika deer – a Japanese examine discovered that the stubtails appear to keep away from these elements of the forest which might be overgrazed by deer and as an alternative give attention to these areas that the deer dislike.

Some native Eurasian Hoopoes dream of getting an enormous profession in shadow performs.

Apparently, the excessive genetic range of the critically endangered Yellow-breasted Bunting signifies that the decline has been fairly fast (a sluggish decline is accompanied by a discount in genetic range, as outlined right here – there’s a good little graph in there illustrating the rationale behind it). Based mostly on the mannequin described within the paper, the decline began 147 generations in the past (which to me sounds a bit too exact).

One other paper appeared on the subspecies of the Yellow-breasted Bunting – notably the variations in tune – and concluded that “all populations and subspecies are distinctive and ought to be protected to keep up intraspecies tune range”. Good luck with that so long as the species is edible, says a cynical voice inside my head …

Surprisingly, the HBW entry for the Blue-and-white Flycatcher solely reveals two illustrations regardless that the juvenile male has a really distinctive separate look (and is definitely fairly lovely):


However, they use my picture of the grownup male as the principle illustration, so all is forgiven.


To finish the set, that is the feminine. It wish to level out that it has a lovely soul.

The Yellow-browed Warbler most likely counts itself fortunate that its English identify isn’t just a translation of the scientific species identify inornatus – in any other case, this could be the Plain Warbler.


Earlier, I threatened to indicate extra pictures of the Oriental Scops Owl. Right here they’re. Various them, I’m afraid.









Sure, a few of them are a bit bizarre.




In rock songs, one of many capabilities of guitar solos is for the singer to have an opportunity to take a sip from (normally) his beer whereas the remainder of the band continues working. In weblog posts, picture galleries presumably have an analogous perform: Brown Shrike

Amur Stonechat

Mugimaki Flycatcher



Pink-flanked Bluetail


Rufous-tailed Robin


Japanese Paradise Flycatcher


… and Taiga Flycatcher.

After the change in administration of the ten,000 Birds web site, one reader advised altering the weblog title to one thing extra prone to entice guests. His suggestion was “Birds ‘n’ Chicks” whereas one other suggestion was “Japanese Tits and extra”. Ultimately, for the sake of custom and household values, it was determined to maintain the unique title – however not less than this little story provides me an opportunity to indicate a photograph of a Japanese Tit with out having to provide you with any sleazy jokes.

The Yellow-bellied Tit suffers a bit much less from such jokes.

Not too long ago, it has turn out to be trendy amongst Siberian Rubythroats to go for a barely extra subdued throat coloration (no supply as I simply made this bit of knowledge up).


In fact, the feminine is much more subdued-looking.

If I had been a designer of overpriced however stylish-looking purses, I’d attempt to provide you with one thing that appears as elegant as this Siberian Thrush. The male, after all, I’m afraid.

In fact, not everyone cares that a lot about magnificence. Others are simply within the full mitochondrial genome of the Siberian Thrush. Higher keep away from these individuals at events.

The HBW states that “in China, migrants typically comply with mountain ranges, with little use of lowland areas” – so possibly what I’ve seen will not be actually a Siberian Thrush in any respect, as Nanhui is as lowland as land can get.

Whereas the Siberian Thrush solely passes via, the Gray-backed Thrush

Pale Thrush

and White’s Thrush might all winter in Shanghai.

Not too long ago, I instructed you about my normally futile quest to search out Gray Nightjars. This is among the issues that from afar appeared like a Gray Nightjar to me this month.

Sure, looking back, I do not likely perceive how I might consider this as a nightjar both. However happily, I additionally discovered the true factor this month – all the time price seeing.

The Gray Nightjar will not be actually affected by actual property costs (all the time an necessary subject in China) because it doesn’t construct a nest – the eggs are merely laid on leaf litter or naked floor. It sounds a bit too ascetic to me, however then the chook’s coloration resembles the colour of monks’ robes anyway. 

If as an alternative of studying non-scientific info on birds, you like to learn scientific info on cats, I like to recommend the paper “On the rheology of cats”.

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