Birding Shanghai in September 2022 – 10,000 Birds

In case you are an ornithologist who for no matter purpose desires to go to Rome, you might need to contemplate 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 line with this paper, nearly all 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 – a gorgeous male. The title is a puzzle although – even the HBW states that the fowl has “small or no crest”. These pictures have been taken on Sep 26, indicating that the birds handed Shanghai moderately late (in line 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 steadily be seen on migration, definitely is not going to assist.

A very latest (2022) paper describes the migration route of a Blue-and-white Flycatcher. The fowl “spent 5 months on Mindoro Island within the Philippines in the course of 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 prime of this submit).

The feminine.

An immature male, nonetheless learning tips on how to work on its blue shade.

Judging from the facial features of this White-shouldered Starling, I’d moderately not have an irritated fowl of this species as a roommate.

The Black-collared Starling was fairly uncommon right here however has not too long ago been seen extra steadily. The naked yellow pores and skin round and behind the eyes provides it a barely vulture-like look.

The Crimson-billed Starling is kind 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 standard sentence of such entries: “This Cettiidae-related article is a stub. You may assist Wikipedia by increasing it.” I’m not positive they’re conscious of their very own joke there.

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

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

When Crimson-necked Phalaropes move Shanghai in autumn, a black-and-white picture is adequate, because the purple 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. Nevertheless, for many of females, that is extra theoretical than actual – in a examine, solely 8% of females truly discovered a second mate. And that’s not because of time restrictions – pair bonds lasted a median of 11 days …

A number of (apparently pretty ruthless) Pied Avocets have discovered 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 moderately indirect means: “sub-optimal habitat choice by Pied Avocets because of an incorrect evaluation of the potential for profitable copy”. Sounds a lot nicer.

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

Eurasian Bitterns equally attempt to keep out of sight.

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

Just 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 fowl such because the Asian Brown Flycatcher deserve a paper that’s considerably extra boring? Apparently, the authors of this paper suppose so. Or perhaps they’re fairly enthusiastic about clarifying that Muscicapa latirostris is the fallacious title for this fowl whereas Muscicapa dauurica is true.

For some butterflies, this fowl will not be boring however moderately the equal of a Nice White Shark.

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

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

Possibly an professional might even title the colourful breakfast this fowl has simply had.

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

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

The Gentle-vented Bulbul was restricted to Southern China however has expanded its vary prior to now few a long time. Whereas that alone will not be significantly attention-grabbing, plainly 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”. Sort of like Darwin’s finches, simply with sounds, not fowl species …

The juvenile bulbuls have the standard “washed a bit too lengthy” look that juvenile birds apparently appear to seek out modern.

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

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

Probably, it is a Widespread Cuckoo. An unlucky position mannequin for some avocets.

Plainly lots of ornithological analysis is predicated on fascinated about what is smart from an evolutionary standpoint, after which checking whether or not this truly the case. An instance is this examine exhibiting 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 title of the Yellow-rumped Flycatcher is Bai mei ji weng, “white-browed flycatcher” – sounds a bit counterintuitive at first however is smart provided 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. Unsure I can see the ‘crouched’ however hey, it’s a stunning fowl.

Little Egrets have been truly talked about in a latest 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 fowl with a reputation that makes one surprise in regards to the sanity of early naturalists. The e-book “Australian Fowl Names – A Information” wrily remarks that the title is “Finest defined by a vivid creativeness – in the precise mild it would seem greenish-brown …”. The Latin species title ochropus will not be that significantly better – it means pale yellow-footed, which whereas not completely fallacious will not be a robust function of the species both.

In our common part of birds that went out with out carrying an umbrella (perhaps they’re male birds with a silly notion – much like mine – that carrying an umbrella is sort of effeminate), in the present day we’ve Gentle-vented Bulbul (once more) …

White-cheeked Starling

Oriental Magpie-robin

… and Brown Shrike.

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

Certainly, the German title of 1 shrike species (the Crimson-backed Shrike) is “Neuntoeter”, “Killer of 9”, which is derived from the people thought that the fowl 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 after all, many bugs will overlook 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 highway. Not less than one fowl that also feels at house at Nanhui.

In distinction, this Whimbrel would in all probability moderately stroll on mud than on concrete. Not straightforward at Nanhui lately 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 appears to be like elegant, the feminine (proven right here) is significantly better camouflaged.

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

In line with “The Fowl Identify Guide”, the title 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 e-book additionally states that “The Historical Romans and Greeks traced the fowl’s mythological origins to a sorceress named Lynx who was remodeled right into a wryneck as punishment for a spell she solid on Zeus.” Lesson discovered 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 a gorgeous fowl …

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, perhaps they’ll use this one?

The opposite info 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 bought as meals (described as ‘sparrows’ or ‘rice-birds’); this observe, beforehand restricted to small space of S China, has change into extra widespread … As well as, every year, in China, 1000’s of males are killed, stuffed and bought as mascots, their presence within the house being believed to convey happiness to the human occupants.” A bizarre idea of happiness introduced on by killing harmless birds, when you ask me (which after all no one does).

A Chinese language buddy informed me that some folks in China now catch and eat Little Buntings as an alternative. I ponder whether this counts as progress.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *