Might is a busy month for birds migrating by way of Shanghai – and naturally, final Might was fully missed as a result of lockdown. So, I spent plenty of time birding this month, and to maintain this publish at a manageable size, it principally solely covers the primary half of Might.
It begins with a fowl 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 “quite drab brownish-grey treepie”, which sounds a bit too adverse 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 Weak. The video is notable for the fowl principally refusing to maneuver in any respect.
The fowl on the photograph is among the estimated 3500-15,000 people nonetheless alive in accordance with 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).
Word 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.
In case you like to look at Black-winged Stilts, check out this video. In case you don’t, simply have 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 “on no account 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 wish 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 a minimum of one right merchandise out of three.
The Chinese language title 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 incapability to distinguish between warbler species than in regards to the rarity of the fowl – however the fowl was kindly singing.
Nonetheless, the flexibility to determine a leaf warbler by track is a worrying improvement on the highway to changing into a really nerdy birder. It’s most likely all downhill from right here. What’s subsequent? Identification of subspecies?
Through the breeding season, some Cattle Egrets seem like teenage ladies who’ve simply found the existence of make-up, and consequently massively overdo it. However what do I do know in regards to the style preferences of Cattle Egrets. Perhaps 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.
If you’re an individual who can get enthusiastic about subspecies (I’m not amongst them – I plan to disregard subspecies a minimum of till I retire from work), it’s possible you’ll wish to have a look at a paper on a proposed new subspecies of Black-tailed Godwits.
The Giant Hawk-Cuckoo seems like an excellent species for me to get a good video regardless of my restricted expertise – 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 more moderen addition to the species being deceived into elevating little hawk-cuckoos because the babax has a decrease fee of egg rejection.
Not solely does this species instantly 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 title of sparverioides, which simply means sparrowhawk.
Whereas to my data the Giant Hawk-Cuckoo solely migrates by way of Nanhui, the Widespread Cuckoo stays right here in summer time and appears for host species, notably the Oriental Reed Warbler.
Whereas having any person else elevate your chicks like a lovely technique to me, it’s not with out risks. A paper studies on how a feminine Widespread Cuckoo was mobbed and killed by Oriental Reed Warbler hosts.
The photographs of the lifeless cuckoo revealed within the paper wouldn’t look misplaced in a horror film for a cuckoo viewers. And the small print described will not be 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 demise of the cuckoo”. So, for those who consider dropping off your child with some unsuspecting host mother and father, ensure that to not be seen and depart rapidly afterward.
And don’t appeal to as a lot consideration to your self because the Widespread Cuckoo in this video.
The Journal “Advances in Ophthalmology & Visible System” is just not a daily supply for bird-related info. Nonetheless, 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 Harm 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 is just not answered, and (the person most likely having gotten bored of all of the fuss in regards to the fowl assault) “subsequently affected person was misplaced to follow-up”.
That appears a little bit of a waste from the facet of the person – I can think about Eric Hosking by no means had to purchase drinks for himself after having misplaced an eye fixed 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 is just not notably delicate to the sentiments 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 fowl household.
Confusingly, the HBW lists the species as Weak and marks its conservation standing as Not Globally Threatened (Least Concern) – a stronger give attention to precise particular info may need been useful.
Birdlife Worldwide – which presumably focuses extra on birds than the HBW does – lists the species as Weak: “Though this species has a particularly giant vary and sure exceeds 10,000 mature people, the inhabitants development seems to be reducing with occupancy and reporting fee traits suggesting fast declines throughout the previous three generations”.
A number of male Siberian Rubythroats have been nonetheless round at Nanhui within the first half of Might as a substitute of heading to their breeding areas, presumably being equally unenthusiastic in elevating younger as me.
The Latin title Calliope calliope seems 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 effectively deserved given the great and quite jazzy track of the fowl. If you don’t consider me, please hear here to what’s most likely my favourite of all fowl track recordings.
Sidenote: the recording is ascribed to Siberian Rubythroat (Calliope calliope calliope), giving extra urgency to my level about overkill in fowl names … The third calliope within the title is a bit puzzling although, because the HBW calls the species monotypic.
There are additionally a number of movies of the fowl here and here and here – the final one is definitely a Siberian Rubythroat not solely listening to passing automobiles but additionally to Chinese language Grosbeaks.
In fact, if you don’t like the colour purple, we will additionally supply a blue fowl – the Siberian Blue Robin. Right here at 10,000 Birds, we always remember that you simply, the reader, have a selection.
In accordance 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 think the final principally being unhealthy quick meals with the discriminating labels ripped off).
Bugs appear to even be the principle meals merchandise of Brown Shrikes, as this video additionally reveals. Individuals who love moths could wish to chorus from watching it although.
The quite elegant-looking Tiger Shrike additionally principally feeds on bugs however was not variety sufficient to let me take a video or photograph of this (the species thinks that such recordings could lead to a adverse 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 respectable sound on movies continues 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 will be continued for one more technology.
A number of extra birds with out phrases – however don’t neglect, 1001 phrases are value a couple of image.
White-throated Rock Thrush (feminine)
Narcissus Flycatcher (video)
Japanese Thrush, feminine (video)
Black-capped Night time Heron (video)
Gray-streaked Flycatcher (video)
Brown-breasted Flycatcher (video)
Lastly, within the dismissive “Different” part, right this moment we now have a mammal and a non-mammal, each seen at Nanhui.