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21 October 2011

Crested Serpent-eagle at Hanoi !

Hi all,

A crazy end of afternoon (21 October) around the wooded area of the Red River Island, with 3 BIG surprises.

The first one was a Racket-tailed Treepie, perching on top an isolated tree, not far from the edge. What the hell this guy is doing here, in the agricultural plain ?! I first thought it was a Drongo so I didn't pay much attention, until I noticed its characteristic head shape and bill.
The second one is much bigger - and I am sure you will not believe me :(

While I was in the wooded area watching for the slightest movement inside the dense vegetation, I saw a large raptor flying between the trees and landing on a branch at 30-40 meters in front of me. I put my bins on it and I could not believe my eyes : a Crested Serpent-eagle ! An adult (black nuchal crest, brown below, bright yellow cere/face-skin). During 20 seconds, I enjoyed great views. It finally detected me as I was moving a little bit to find a `hole` in the vegetation in order to try some shots.

The third one appeared just before sunset : two medium-sized raptors landing at the edge of the wooded area. I first thought it was 2 Oriental Honey-Buzzards but when I put my bins on them, I noticed their long crests. I am now almost certain it is Jerdon's Baza, a species already recorded on this patch (by Simon, last April)

Despite the distance, I tried some shots. That's not the best photos in the world, but maybe enough to confirm the ID.
The long erectile crest is well visible on the pic below.

Apart those 4 guys, I spotted :

- 1 Thick-billed Warbler

- 1 Accipiter sp

- 1 Spangled Drongo

- 1 local Black-shouldered Kite (still not exterminate ?!)

- 1 female Asian Koel

- 1 Homo hunter ssp vietnamensis, dressed in full camouflage (even the hat)...



  1. Hi Sebastian,

    great to see that raptor migration in Hanoi still throws up surprises, including birds which just seem to use this time of year to wander.

    This is the second recent Hanoi record of Jerdon's Baza - I saw one on the Red River Island in autumn last year.

    Great to see you posting again!


  2. Hi Simon,

    In which country are you now ?
    You saw an another Jerdon's Baza this year, in mid-April...