Welcome to Vietnam Bird News

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

11 September 2011

Hanoi, Gia Lam, Sunday Sept 11: Mystery bird

I sneaked in to the small forest (OK, tree'd area that Sebastian found) for a peak early, and in-between heavy showers saw a few birds around, including one very large mystery bird.

It was large and heavy set, dwarfing a solitary Sooty-headed Bulbul that sat on a nearby branch for a brief time - I would estimate 45-60cm long (including its long tail). It sat twice in very thick areas, giving me a long time to scope it with binoculars. The thick areas it sat in meant it was difficult to ever see the whole bird, and I never saw the head. Its back was dark brown with a few random, (appearing) feather tips being a cream colour. When I Googled images of Asian Koel and Greater Coucal immature, both had many more light spots that this bird. What I thought would be distinctive, but have not been able to find was the wing. The upper wing had a blackish-blue area near the shoulder, and the cream feather-tips formed two (imperfect) rings below this coloured area, that circled the lower half of it. Any help greatly appreciated with this one. Will cross-post on Birdforum as well, in hope of getting an ID.

Apart from this, in my brief stay, I saw
  • Bulbul, Sooty headed (1)
  • Flycatcher, Asian briown (at least 2)
  • Flycatcher, Dark-sided (1)
  • Flycatcher, Hainan Blue (at last 2)
  • Flycatcher, Yellow-rumped (at least 4)
  • White-eye, Japanese (lots)
I also saw a man with an air rifle, trying to shoot birds but thankfully, his aim sucked. I heard quite a few calls I have not heard in Hanoi before as well.


1 comment:

  1. Responses from Birdforum have lead me to believe that the mystery bird was an Asian Koel, but moulting into an adult, so it showed the blue shoulder of an adult, but the rest of the bird still showed the juvenile colouration.

    I thought this bird was considerably bigger than the Koel I saw last year, but who knows... the image on OBC was just too close to what I saw