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 isn’t too far-off). One of many causes for birders to return 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 must be added that the primary iPhone was launched in 2007, one yr earlier).

It’s listed as Susceptible, as its vary is moderately restricted, although it has been discovered exterior 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 incessantly visited by chicken photographers had the next hatching success fee 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 disguise the place these images 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”, in response to eBird, which sounds a bit like a contradiction to me.

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

Then again, eBird – with a slight trace of desperation – calls the species “one among quite a lot of mind-numbingly comparable Seicercus warblers”.

eBird continues to clarify 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 normally forages” – in fact, my ID is simply based mostly on vary maps moderately than on evaluating the relative energy of the gray of the crown.

For the Black-crested Bulbul, eBird remarks that its “pale eyes give it a perpetually indignant or shocked look”. I assume I might be indignant 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 damaging evaluate on eBird – each the looks (“moderately plain”) and its similarity to different fulvetta species (“very comparable in look to Huet’s and Yunnan fulvettas”) are criticized.

On the plus aspect, it seems to be moderately humorous when moist.

eBird rightly calls the Massive Scimitar Babbler a “good-looking and barely primal-looking babbler”. I don’t fairly know what makes the babbler “primal-looking” however one way or the other the assertion rings true.


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


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


This may increasingly imply that the perform of the bulbul mobbing name is simply that – to draw a good fiercer predator. Apparently, that is referred to as the “entice the mightier” speculation.

If you recognize 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.)”, during which the Purple-whiskered Bulbul is called as one of many two most closely focused chicken species.

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

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

In accordance with the HBW, the nest is usually constructed by the feminine (my guess is within the distant previous, the males tried just a few instances however have been all the time criticized for his or her efforts, so finally they gave up).

Presumably, Gray-throated Babblers aren’t very keen on monkeys, particularly the (probably 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 probably one nestling (supply).

The Latin species title of the Scarlet Minivet is speciosus, or “splendid, lovely, good”. Whereas I don’t disagree with this title, it does appear to offer a very good differentiation from a few of the different, equally splendid, lovely, and good 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 learn about these items – inform me that regardless of rumors on the contrary, there is no such thing as a distinction in style between the male and the feminine. Nonetheless, they declare that there are some marginal variations in style between the 19 acknowledged subspecies.

It doesn’t sound very stunning that the morning singing of birds such because the Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler is a manner of indicating possession of a territory. In truth, a research discovered that if the birds hear the tune 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 alternative crew.

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

Whereas the German title of the species, “Rotnackensaebler”, sounds fairly absurd to me (regardless of being German, I’m not acquainted with 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 (that means red-necked, “Rotnacken” in German).

Solely when engaged on this submit – 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 otherwise). In accordance with 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, boring 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 is just not huge. As an excuse, I can carry up the truth that the MacKinnon “Information to the Birds of China” additionally doesn’t point out any intercourse variations (the creator may need wished to search for the HBW when writing the information, however then, neither did I earlier than going to Nonggang).

Possibly it is a male because the rump is sort of pink …

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

Presumably, this picture reveals 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 standard going for a extra informal look.

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

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