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6 March 2011

A Raptor Day - Hanoi

Today (6th March) I went to the Red River island, more precisely the cultivation and scrub between the "forest" and the main trail, a small area of around 2-3 hectares. I just sat and waited the actors enter the scene.

Highlights : 1 Black-faced Bunting male, a flock of 15 Grey-capped Greenfinches, 2 Pied Harriers (1 male, 1 juvenile), 1 Eastern Marsh Harrier male, 1 Siberian Rubythroat male, 2 Bluethroats, 2 Chinese Blackbirds.
Grey-capped Greenfinch
This bird is fairly common along the coast, but seems to be also not scarce inland, at least in East Tonkin. Indeed, it’s my second sighting of this species this winter far from the coast, the first one near Dông Mô lake, 50km west of Hanoi (26th December).

In this flock, there were also some juveniles begging for food and still being fed by parents. So they were born in the middle of the winter ?!

A stunning Pied Harrier male
As I was trying to hide myself behind a ridiculous bush to photograph the Bunting, I suddenly realized that a big guy was flying towards me. It tried to catch something in a cornfield and flew over me, very close, not scared.

Pied Harrier immature

Eastern Marsh Harrier male
Black-shouldered Kite
I added this crap pic below because it shows well a form of display I have observed sometimes : the bird raises and lowers the tail (around 1 time per second), with a soft call (“piu.. piuu”), when the partner is around.

This guy belong to the pair of the northern tip of the island. The small wooded area where they tried to nest last year has been cut down...


Sébastien Delonglée

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