Welcome to Vietnam Bird News

Bird news from Vietnam, from Vietnam's resident and visiting birders.

29 October 2010

Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Hi all,

1 adult Black-crowned Night Heron and 1 Little Heron (image) were seen at Hoan Kiem lake on the 28th.

Observer: Roland Männel (image)


Grey Bushchat - Lenin Park

if problem, please use settings 480p (and not 360p) to watch this video

28 October 2010

Lenin Park, Hanoi - Siberian Thrush, Blue-and-White Flycatcher

Hi all,

amongst others the following was seen at Lenin Park today (28th):

1 male Grey Bushchat (northern entrance, thanks Sebastien!)
1 male Siberian Thrush (flower nursery - only poor views)
1 female Blue-and-White Flycatcher (still behind the toilets)
1 Thick-billed Warbler (in the Bamboo stands near the nursery)
1 Dusky Warbler (in the hedge row next to the nursery)
1 Asian Brown Flycatcher
8-10 Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers
3 White Wagtails

Roland Männel, Falk

27 October 2010

Botanical Gardens, Hanoi

Hi all,

While looking for the Blue-and-White Flycatcher (and not finding them!) in the Bot. Gardens today (27th) some other species turned up:

1 male Siberian Rubythroat
1 White-breasted Waterhen (both species under the Palm Trees near the - guess what - toilets)
3 Taiga Flycatchers
1 Dark-sided Flycatcher
2 Eastern Crowned Warblers
1 Arctic Warbler
11 (counted them, just for fun) Yellow-browed Warblers


26 October 2010

A tasty brownie at lunch

Hi all,

A quick noon bash around the Botanical Garden produced a few birds but still enough to keep me busy.
The best on offer for the camera was a stunning male Blue-and-White Fly accompanied by a female.

1 Taiga Fly, 1 Yellow-Browed Warbler and 1 Dark-sided Fly provided further distraction.

This is all getting a bit repetitive, but I'm sure we will have new and good stuff soon !


25 October 2010

Lenin Park, Hanoi

Hi all,

Today (25th) a very quiet (bird-wise only!) Lenin Park held pretty much the same birds as yesterday. 1 Asian Stubtail, 2 Orange-headed Thrushes and 3 Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers.


Morning stroll over there produced few birds, highlights were 1 Blue-and-White Flycatcher female - probably the one seen the 20th October/same area almost the same perches ! - and a cute Grey Bushchat male buzzing from tree to tree. If you want to see them, check out the corner near the moto parking of the north entrance. Maybe you will have to share the place with a Red-Whiskered Bulbuls trapper, the one who have caught the Blue Whistling Thrush two weeks ago...

24 October 2010

Lenin Park, Hanoi

Hi all,

a walk around the known areas in Lenin Park today (24th) produced only some good birds.

1 Asian Stubtail (finally!!!)
1 Ashy Minivet
2 Orange-headed Thrushes
1 Seicercus sp.(most likely to be Grey-crowned but not calling)
1 Olive-backed Pipit
1 male Brown Shrike
3 White Wagtails
Tons of Yellow-browed Warblers all over the place.

Falk, Florian

23 October 2010

Barn Owl, West Lake, Hanoi

Barn Owl flying over my house today (8.30 pm). Also heard it calling yesterday.

Rufous-ckeeked Laughingthush! Ba Vi

After numerous fruitless attempts I finally managed to see the Rufous-cheeked Laughingthrush in Ba Vi. No tape or effort needed, they were just there, a quiet party of six birds, at the beginning of the steps up to the left peak (Uncle Ho's). Seen once more on the way down, really good and close views, beautiful birds!
Other interesting birds: 2 Orange-headed thrushes, 2 Siberian Thrushes (female and male), 1 first winter Blue-and-white Flycatcher. And one more lifer, but I won't tell which one ;-)
Florian, with Christian and Nils

Trip list here.

Orange-breasted Laughingthrush at Crazy House!

OBLT and friend at Crazy House, Dalat

Doing the Dalat tourist thing with the family and some friends this morning came across another captive Orange-breasted Laughingthrush this time at the fantastically kitsch "Crazy House". At least this bird looked healthy sharing a small aviary with a Black-throated Laughingthrush - nowhere near as crazy as the poor two OBLTs at the bird shop.

Richard Craik

22 October 2010

Crocias - the good & the bad news

Grey-crowned Crocias in Dalat bird shop

Poorly-looking OBLT in same bird shop

Site of proposed restaurant, Ta Nung Valley

In Dalat for a few days and the good news is despite the mess at Ta Nung Valley where the long-awaited eco-tourism resort construction (er, make that destruction) has finally begun there were still plenty of Grey-crowned Crocias about this morning. Orange-breasted Laughingthrush were singing and most the other Ta Nung Valley stars where out and about. Crocias were also very vocal and found in good numbers at Ho Tuyen Lam.

Now for the not so good news, and there always has to be some of that I am afraid, Luyen and I also found Grey-crowned Crocias and Orange-breasted Laugingthrush in a bird shop in Dalat. Apologies for poor quality mobile phone photos.

Richard Craik

Botanical gardens

On 22/10/2010:

Orange-headed Thrush 2
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher 3
Blyth's Leaf-warbler 1
Arctic Warbler 1
Two-barred Greenish Warbler 2
Yellow-browed Warbler 4
Seicercus sp. 2 - feeding in the grass

Simon Mahood

On 21/10/2010:

Orange-headed Thrush 3
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher
Hainan Blue Flycatcher 1
Asian Brown Flycatcher 1
Seicercus sp. 1

Simon, Florian, John Parr

20 October 2010

Blue-and-white Flycatcher - Lenin Park

Mid-afternoon stroll in the Lenin Park produced the following :

- 1 Siberian Rubythroat male
- 7-8 Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers
- 1 Blue Whistling Thrush
- 1 Asian Brown Flycatcher
- 1 Hill Blue Flycatcher male
- 1 Blue-and-white Flycatcher female


Thrushes in Botanical Gardens

During a quick morning visit we found a nice selection of thrushes in the botanical gardens:

Eyebrowed Thrush 1 female/1st winter
Siberian Thrush 1 female (prob. the same seen by Sebastien yesterday)
Orange-headed Thrush 5
Blue Whistling Thrush 1
Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher 1

Simon and Florian

19 October 2010

Siberian Thrush - Botanical Garden

Hi all,

Today 19th October a lunchtime visit to the Red River Island produced nothing special (if I refer to the observations of the 16-17th October), except 1 female Grey Bushchat.

In the Botanical Garden, I came across a Thrushes party around the huuuge banian at the eastern part of the park, with :

- 5 Orange-headed T.

- 1+ Blue Whistling T.

- 1 (probably 2) Siberian T. /pics below

after an active foraging, it stayed motionless a long time on the ground in this position. Strange bird...

An Asian Stubtail was still hanging around the toilets.
Three cheers for hanoian`s public toilets !


18 October 2010

Botanical Garden, Hanoi

Pre-work visit to the botanical gardens:
Blue Whistling Thrush 5
Orange-headed Thrush 2
Scaly Thrush 1
Siberian Blue Robin 1 female


Lunchtime visit to the botanical garden:
Blue Whistling Thrush 2
Orange-headed Thrush 1
Siberian Rubythroat 1 male
Siberian Blue Robin 1 female


17 October 2010

Red River Island

I tried to find the Brown-breasted Flycatcher, but didn't see any Flycatcher at all... otherwise:
Oriental Honey Bussard 3
Eurasian Hobby 1
Kestrel 1
Sparrowhawk sp. 1 (Walking in the grassland near the little forest, I flushed a bird from the ground, which was taken right in front of me by the Sparrowhawk. He took it to the trees and I could hear the poor bird screaming quite a while from there. Felt a little guilty after this...)
Spangled Drongo 10+
Black Drongo 5
Ashy Drongo 1
Thick-billed Warbler 1
Black-crowned Night-heron 1
Barred Buttonquail 3

Florian, 17.10.2010, afternoon

16 October 2010

Red River Island in the afternoon

A mid-afternoon stroll around the island produced a load of birds in the rain:
Large-hawk Cuckoo 1
Cuculus cuckoo sp. 2
Blue Whistling Thrush 2
Orange-headed Thrush 2
Asian Stubtail 1
Brown Flycatcher 1
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher 1
Brown-breasted Flycatcher 1
Siberian Rubythroat 1
Dusky Warbler 2
Yellow-browed Warbler 1
Thick-billed Warbler 5
Spangled Drongo 30
Black-winged Cuckooshrike 3
Peregrine 1 + 1 at my house
Grey Heron 1

Simon 16/10/10

Rainy morning in Botanical Garden

1 Asian Stubtail, 2 Orange-headed Thrush, 1 female Siberian Blue Robin, 1 White-breasted Waterhen, 1 Verditer Flycatcher, all around that big Rattan near the Toilets...
Further a couple of Spangled Drongos, 2 Black or Ashy Drongos, 1 lucionensis Brown Shrike.
Sebastien, Florian

15 October 2010

Thick-billed Warbler, Lenin Park, Hanoi

Hi all,

to make a long story short - lots of birds, few species. Around mid-day (15th October) not too many exciting birds, best of all:

- at least 1 Thick-billed Warbler (maybe 2 birds) in the hedge row between the bamboo and the flower garden allowing great views!
- 1 female-type Siberian Blue Robin behind the toilet
- 1 female-type White-tailed Robin behind the toilet
- a huge bird-wave consisting of 2 Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers, at least 4 Yellow-browed Warblers, 1 possible Pale-legged Leaf Warbler and tons of White-eyes

No sign of any trappers or Ferruginous Flycatchers.

The toilet was locked on my arrival which means there'll be more 'business' going on behind it - mind your steps!


Seen also the same day but in the morning, behind the toilet, a female or juv Siberian Rubythroat. Shy and secretive, difficult to approach.


Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers

Although they're never the most interesting birds when you are out in the forest, I've not seen many Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers in Hanoi. However, today in an all too quick visit to the botanical gardens I saw three of this short range migrant.

There was also one Taiga Flycatcher (my first for over one week), plenty of y-brows calling and the good old Orange-headed Thrush was still hanging around.

Simon 15/10/10

Woodcock in the Botanical Garden

Yesterday, short stroll in the Botanical Garden 1 hour after Simon.

When I was admiring the Ferruginous Fycatcher I saw something big landing at about 40 meters. A Woodcock ! Being disturbed by people, it took off again and flew directly in my direction, and landed at around 5 meters ! It walked quickly to hide itself under the shrubs along the wall. I approached a little, it flushed again and disappeared between the trees.

15 minutes later, an another one - or maybe the same bird which had discreetly came back ?- flushed from those shrubs . When I moved out of the park (south gate), I saw it again flying above... the bia hoi restaurants. Assuredly this park is not a good rest area for Woodcocks.

The Ferruginous Flycatcher juvenile

In the Lenin Park : Ferruginous Flycatcher still there (and have diversified a lot its perches network !), Hainan Blue Fly, Siberian Blue Robin. No Thrushes...
And again a bird trapper, trying to catch Red-whiskered Bulbuls with a captive bird.

14 October 2010

Another Ferruginous Flycatcher!

Today I took a stroll at lunch in the botanical gardens where I found another Ferruginous Flycatcher! This juvenile was much scalier, especially on the mantle, than the one in Lenin Park.

Also about were 1 Black-naped Monarch, 1 Seicercus warbler sp., 1 Orange-headed Thrush, 3 Arctic Warblers and 5 Yellow-browed Warblers.



13 October 2010

Bird trapper in action - Lenin Park

Hi all,

It seems our mozzy corner is not only a paradise for rare migrants and crazy birders...

This morning, after a short stroll around, I decided before leaving to go though this area a last time. Behind the toilets, near the favorite perch of the Ferruginous Flycatcher – which was still there !-, I came across an unexpected scene : the Blue Whistling Thrush was struggling in a trap !
I took quickly a picture and released it immediately. A guy with a nasty face appeared, ran towards me and threatened me. Luckily, I had my monopod in the hands… After a short friendly discussion, he went away with its two traps. He was using roach as bait and its goal was clearly this thrush.
Sure he will not give up.

Thrushes are intelligent birds, I hope this one has a good memory…

The Thrush, 30 minutes before being trapped...

Ferruginous Flycatcher - video

Ferruginous Flycatcher superstar

Hi all,

Below some pics of the star bird of yesterday.

It was perching very low, using the same perch making quick raids from there to catch insects in the air. Have no fear of humans and very approachable.

and the Blue Whistling Thrush was still hanging around, seems to be less and less shy...

12 October 2010

Ferruginous Flycatcher in Lenin Park!

This morning I met Sebastian in Lenin Park, when I arrived he was already photographing a Ferruginous Flycatcher - a second record for East Tonkin! The bird was hanging out behind the toilets. Photos and video will follow...watch this space!

Also about were an Orange-headed Thrush, Hill Blue Flycatcher, Asian Stubtail, Dusky Warbler and Siberian Blue Robin.


Also, in the Botanical Gardens at lunch were 3 Orange-headed Thrushes, lucionensis Brown Shrike, 4 Yellow-browed Warblers, 1 Pale-legged Warbler and plenty of Spangled Drongos.


P.S. Ferruginous Flycatcher seems to have found its favorite spot - until 12.30 pm always behind the toilets!
Other birds of note that add up to the list were at least 1 Blue Whistling Thrush and 1 Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher (near the 'starling tree').

11 October 2010

Blue Rock Thrush, Hanoi

Two nice male Blue Rock Thrushes, Ssp philippensis, on the rooftop near my house, one of them singing. One of the nicest birds I can see from my house...
Am I correct that female philippensis look similar to pandoo, without red on the belly?

Lenin Park, Hanoi

Hi all,

today (11th October) a quick walk around the more interesting corners (including toilet area) produced:

1 Blue Whistling Thrush
0.1 White-tailed Robin
1.1 Hainan Blue Flycatchers
2 Orange-headed Thrushes

Florian, Falk

P.S. Maybe Sebastien has something to add...

Edit: I just add a little picture from birding behind the toilets sunday afternoon ;), Florian

10 October 2010

Lenin Park / 6-10th October

Hi all,

Everyday noon/morning strolls at the Lenin Park, from 6th to 10th October, produced the following, amongst others (of course the numbers of birds seen are the maxi for 1 stroll) :

Nota : I focused on 3 mozzies areas : behind the toilets (A), scrubs around the vegetable garden (B) and the disused orchid garden (C).

Ashy Drongo
Spangled Drongo : 3-4
Orange-headed Thrush : 3+ (A, B, C)
Hill Blue Fly : at least 1 male, some females
Hainan Blue Fly : at least 1 male
Verditer Fly : 2 (male & female)
Asian Brown Fly
Taiga Fly : 1
Grey Headed Canary Fly : 1
Black-naped Monarch : 1
Seicercus Warbler (at least 1 everyday)
Siberian Blue Robin : (seen every day, at least 2 at the same time, B)
Grey Bushchat : 1 (C)
Siberian Rubythroat : 1 male (B)
White-tailed Robin : 1 male the 4th (B), 1 female the 9-10th (B)
Thick-billed Warbler : 1 (B)
Dusky Warbler : 1
Pale-legged Warbler : 1
Asian Stubtail : 1 (A)
Blue Whistling Thrush : probably 2 (A, B, C)
Black-naped Oriole : 2
Accipiter sp : 1
Black-capped Kingfisher : 1
Brown Shrike : 2-3
Grey Wagtail : 1

White-tailed Robin

Asian Stubtail

Grey Bushchat

Dusky Warbler

Blue Whistling Thrush (seen every day, shy, feeding in the vegetable garden early in the morning, with Orange-headed Thrushes)

Thick-billed Warbler

Siberian Blue Robin

Verditer Fly

Hainan Blue Fly

Spangled Drongo

Hill Blue Fly

Black-naped Monarch

Orange-headed Thrush (best place : the muddy thickets around the vegetable garden). Not so shy I thought. Secretive but confident bird. Many close-ups.

Video of the Asian Stubtail

The Thrush and the worm

1 male Orange-headed Thrush grappling with a tough vietnamese worm.

6th October - Lenin Park.


7 October 2010

Migration at Xuan Thuy

Good trip to Xuan Thuy, 4th to 6th October.

One long morning we (Richard and Florian) went to the outer island, the rest we birded around the shrimp ponds and the dike.

The tide was low on the morning but Truong had the very good idea not to land at the usual spot on the island but on the southern tip instead, which saved us a lot of wading and made things very comfortable, just 50 m through knee deep water. The island has changed drastically again, the long southern part that used to be a sparsely vegetated sand bank is now densely covered with man-high Casuarina trees. On the northern part, most of the tall trees have been cut and the northern tip is being quite eroded now. Reassuringly, the styrofoam and light-bulb cover of the island is still there.

Throughout the whole morning there was a constant flow of Black Drongos (certainly more than 2000), hundreds of Japanese Sparrowhawks and Barn Swallows drifting southwards. Very impressive. Otherwise we saw 2 Slaty-legged Crake, 1 Oriental Scops Owls, a few Pied Harriers, Oriental and Eurasian Hobby, 3 Wrynecks, 1 Siberian Thrush, lots of Oriental Cuckoos, Chestnut-winged Cuckoos and Koels, Dusky Warbler, Radde's Warbler, Oriental Reed Warbler, Grey-crowned Warbler, lots of Yellow-browed Warbler, a few Siberian Blue Robins, Asian Brown and Hainan Blue Flycatcher. Not too many smaller passerines yet, but also the extensive and very dense Casuarina growth made it difficult to find them.

The shrimps ponds had 10 Painted storks, 7 Black-faced Spoonbills, Spot-billed Ducks and Garganys. One morning there were several huge flocks of Black-crowned Night-herons circling above, undecided where to roost.

The mudflats in the ponds just opposite to the headquarter head a nice selection of waders, among the usual ones there where 2 Common Ringed Plover. 3 birds were Long-billed Dowitchers, we thought, but not 100% sure now that we learned that it would be only the 2nd record there.

The evening of 5th had big influx of Black-naped Orioles, quite a few roosted just around the accommodation at the headquarters

An Orange-headed Thrush was seen on the way back under some Casuarina trees along the dike.

Full list here.

Birding trash island

The backs of Richard and Truong (Xuan Thuy NP staff)

Oriental Scops Owl watching us

Orange-headed Thrush in the botanical gardens

Quick pre-work walk around the botanical gardens today produced males of Orange-headed Thrush and Hill Blue Fly, as well as a single Taiga Fly. There were plenty of phylloscs, Y-brows, Greenish and Arctic at least.

Also, one large tree held about 10 Black-naped Orioles, 10 Spangled Drongos and at least 30 Ashy Drongos (of races salangensis and one of the other races that look superficially like Black Drongo at lest least). Realising that this tree was visible from my flat I rushed home and with use of the 'scope added these three species to the house list. A very satisfying morning!

7th October 2010


5 October 2010

Thrushes - Lenin Park

Hi all,

Nice birding stroll yesterday morning (4rd October) in the Lenin Park : 1 Blue Whistling Thrush and 2 Orange-headed Thrushes (male & female).

Female greyish-brown above

Male bluish-grey above

The 2 Thrushes on the ground, among detritus. They seems like the place... Soooo nice background for pics !

Also seen 1 Taiga Flycatcher and 1 Brown-Chested Jungle Flycatcher : 1st winter like the one observed the 26th September (darkish lower mandibule) and perched on the same favorite branch than this one - 50cm above the ground -, so...

I tried a small video.


3 October 2010

Red River Island - 03-10-2010

Richard and me, Florian, tried to find the Citrine Wagtails. We didn't find them. What we saw:
Barred Buttonquail 10+
Grey-headed Lapwing 1
Marsh Harrier 1
Oriental Honey Buzzard 1
Black-naped Oriole 1
White Wagtail 30+
Little Ringed Plover 20+
Green Sandpiper 1
Common Kingfisher 2
Black-headed Kingfisher 1
Pied Kingfisher 2
Hoopoe 1
Stonechat 3
Black Drongo 10+
Black-collared Starling 2
White-crested Laughingthrush 3+

2 October 2010

Citrine Wagtails - Red River Island

Hi all

Seen again Citrine Wagtails at the Red River Island (northern tip), the 1st October, during a photo blind near a small pond.

The 1st contact with this species over there was the 17/09 with 2-3 individuals at least, the 2nd the 19/09 with 6-7 ad + some juv., the 3rd the 21/09 with 2 ind. - 1 ad + 1 juv - and the 4th was yesterday (1 ad + 1 juv, in two separate flocks of White Wagtails).

So some Citrine Wagtails are still hanging around, good news. They don't stay on this pond, but come sometimes there to take a bath. During 3 hours of photo blind, not more than 15 minutes of observation.


PS : please watch this video in the format below, in full screen the quality is bad