An important occasion this August for birders in Shanghai and possibly elsewhere was after all the discharge of a brand new The Nationwide tune, “Space Invader“. Luckily, it seems to be an excellent tune (word: Grammarly helpfully means that I ought to change “excellent” to “good”, however then Grammarly has not listened to the tune – it’s simply excellent, not good), although as normal with The Nationwide songs, I solely have a obscure thought what the lyrics imply and particularly why the tune known as “House Invader” when it primarily appears to be about randomness shaping our (love)life. However then, I’ve by now realized to understand Matt Berninger’s lyrics with out understanding them.
The observe has two components – one is mainly a daily (reasonably good) tune whereas the final three minutes are largely simply an instrumental, with Matt mumbling some phrases however being more and more drowned by the music, particularly the drums. Significantly on the finish, this jogs my memory of the final sentence of a terrifying Franz Kafka story, “Das Urteil” (The Judgement), which is “In diesem Augenblick ging über die Brücke ein geradezu unendlicher Verkehr” (“At that second, virtually infinite site visitors was crossing the bridge”). If that sounds a bit innocent, learn the story and you’ll not be shocked about Kafka biographies highlighting his tough relationship along with his father (and presumably, with many of the remainder of the world, too).
And now for one thing fully completely different – birds. Fairly a number of reasonably widespread ones this month, I’m afraid, as the correct migration season solely began throughout the previous couple of days of August.
As you may inform from this submit beginning with leaf warblers, the ornithological equal of watching paint dry (okay, a bit unfair and probably not an excellent comparability anyway, however hey, write your personal weblog if you don’t like mine). Just like the Japanese Topped Warbler (which eBird mysteriously calls a “boldly marked songbird” regardless of its similarity to about 50 different warbler species) …
… and the Arctic Warbler (or possibly another warbler wanting very comparable). For that species, there’s a paper with the considerably puzzling title “Habitat Alternative in captive Arctic Warblers” (much like the seminal paper inspecting location preferences of prisoners within the US penal system, I suppose. Sure, I made that up).
On a extra constructive word, the tip of August additionally noticed the return of some Japanese Paradise Flycatchers like this one. Thoughts you, no lengthy tails on this season. That retains away about 80% of the pesky chicken photographers away from the males (although in all probability additionally a justifiable share of the feminine birds – can’t have it each methods).
Daniel Gustafsson and coauthors looked at chewing lice of the Gray-headed Lapwing. Their objective is straightforward but lofty: “We hope these redescriptions will arouse some curiosity within the chewing lice of shorebirds amongst researchers working with lapwings”.
As I discussed in certainly one of my posts this spring, for me the non-public begin of the migration season is once I see my first male colourful flycatcher. For the autumn season of 2023, this could be the sighting of a male Yellow-rumped Flycatcher on August 27.
The feminine is much less colourful and in addition generally appears to be in want of some good brushing, just like the one I generally give to these of my cats who don’t run away quick sufficient.
The Asian Brown Flycatcher doesn’t depend as a season-starting chicken – discrimination, after all.
For some purpose, Lengthy-tailed Shrikes at all times remind me a little bit of Donald Trump, despite the fact that I fairly just like the species (I’m not notably keen on Mr. Trump). Maybe it’s as a result of loudmouth behaviour may be charming in a chicken however is way much less so in a serial liar.
Here’s a mugshot of a Lengthy-tailed Shrike. T-shirts will probably be out there quickly.
Luckily, the Brown Shrike doesn’t make me consider Mr. Trump. The Latin species title “cristatus” is a little bit of a puzzle because it means “crest” – not an apparent characteristic of the species, so far as I can inform.
The third shrike seen in Shanghai this month was the Tiger Shrike.
Luckily – as that is China, not the US – there isn’t any “Three shrikes and you’re out” rule right here (and if this isn’t the worst joke you could have ever heard, then your life actually sucks).
When in search of papers on chicken species, it’s at all times a thrill to search out very latest ones – a paper on the Black-winged Kite was simply revealed in Could 2023.
It appears at components figuring out the presence of Black-winged Kites on Taiwan, the place the species is a brand new resident. Curiously, the components cited there may clarify the increasing presence of the species in Shanghai.
The Oriental Magpie-robin additionally appears to be getting increasingly more widespread in Shanghai. Even in my compound, they appear to have fairly a steady presence now.
Heron/Egret medley (sure, I do know medleys suck, however with out the oral part, they may simply be okay):
Black-crowned Night time-heron …
… Cattle Egret …
… Chinese language Pond Heron.
After I began watching birds in Shanghai, I used to be confused by this one:
It’s a juvenile Mild-vented Bulbul – and naturally, the information I used then (Information to the Birds of China, John MacKinnnon) didn’t present the juvenile plumage (and extra disappointingly, the second version nonetheless doesn’t present it).
Anyway, not a nasty search for a juvenile given the tasteless look of among the bulbuls I lately noticed in Borneo, although after all, the grownup chicken appears extra distinct.
The younger generally don’t get taken critically by the adults – one thing that this juvenile Oriental Dollarbird in all probability experiences each day.
It comforts itself by listening to Taylor Swift (“Cardigan”) – “If you find yourself younger they assume nothing”. Any person understands it in spite of everything.
Sometimes, the chicken even sings alongside.
City males typically have a neighborhood pub that they go to usually – they’re conversant in the clientele, the beer on faucet, the everyday environment, the songs within the musicbox … for girls, such consistency is a bit much less widespread. For Pacific Golden Plovers, the state of affairs is comparable – in one study, males confirmed robust breeding floor constancy, with 100% (8 of 8 birds) returning to a web site in Western Alaska whereas solely certainly one of 4 females (25%) returned. Perhaps the males weren’t that spectacular. Perhaps the males in your native pub should not that spectacular both.
In case you needed to go from location A to location B, would you be keen to take a detour of 1500–3400 km simply to eat loads? If sure, have a look in a mirror – you could be a juvenile Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. And also you may suppose the detour is value it as a result of it lets you double your physique mass earlier than beginning a nonstop flight of 7000-9000 km (source).
I additionally noticed a number of Snipe species however lack the ID abilities to provide the actual species names. You work it out your self. I suppose when it comes to likelihood Widespread Snipe is the perfect finest, however who is aware of …
Deep of their hearts, Cuckoo species in all probability know that their approach of elevating (or reasonably, not elevating) children is incorrect and morally repulsive (it’s best to hear Ron DeSantis discuss this). As penitence, they often power themselves to eat objects that look as disgusting as doable, as proven beneath.
Within the ongoing competitors for the nicest-looking blue chicken, the Siberian Blue Robin continues to be a promising candidate.
In Whiskered Terns, offspring desertion – that’s, leaving the chicks whereas they nonetheless require feeding – is sort of widespread. Surprisingly (at the very least from a biased human perspective), 97% of the deserters are feminine (source).
General, the paper doesn’t appear to suppose too extremely of the maternal qualities of feminine Whiskered Terns: “Females make investments a lot much less in parental care than males, offering much less meals and deserting extra continuously”. Perhaps the females simply need to keep away from being cliches.
This juvenile White-cheeked Starling appears to have already got misplaced one foot however nonetheless struggles on. When I’m in the proper temper (that’s, in all probability the incorrect temper, as not useful for my very own survival), such a sight can virtually make me cry.
After this temporary interlude about birds (considerably annoying I do know, however essential on account of my contractual obligations spelled out in my multi-year, multi-million greenback contract with 10,000 Birds, the worldwide market chief in chicken running a blog), again to music. I by no means actually received very a lot into Constructed to Spill however “Understood” makes me suppose possibly I missed out on one thing.
And (virtually) lastly, Boygenius in “Not Strong Enough” not solely have an incredible tune but in addition quote a probably even higher one within the lyrics: “Drag racing by the canyon … Singing ‘Boys don’t cry’” …