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

12 November 2011

Red River Island, 12-11-2011

Hi all,

Quite a few birds were seen today - the northern parts and the woodland was checked, unfortunately no sign of L-b Plover or C-e Bunting.
Most notable records were,

- 3 or 4 Pied Kingfishers
- 2 White-breasted Waterhens
- a couple of Temminck's Stints, Green, Common and Wood Sandpipers
- 1 Common Buzzard
- 1 female Siberian Thrush
- 2 very showy male Siberian Rubythroats
- 1 Bluethroat
- a couple of Siberian Stonechats
- 1 Striated Grassbird
- 1 (very unexpected and of unknown origin) Hill Prinia
- a few unidentified bush warblers but 1 probable Baikal Bush Warbler and 1 possible Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler
- the commoner Phylloscs but one possible Hume's Warbler
- 2 Hwameis
- 1 Richard's Pipit amongst some Paddyfield Pipits
- 1 macronyx Yellow Wagtail
- 2 Citrine Wagtails

Also, a couple of bird trappers near the ferry. The old guy who runs the ferry in summer time demanded money for crossing the little dam. Is that a new thing, as I've never been asked to pay there. I didn't pay this time but I surely don't want to piss off people there.

Falk Wicker, Frank Momberg


  1. Hi Falk
    Very impressive list !
    Please tell me where did you spot the grassbird, I would like to take some photos if possible.


  2. Hey Falk,

    Hill Prinia is a great record for Hanoi, albeit a rather unexpected one!


  3. The grassbird was seen along the northern end of the island. Starting at the ferry point/dam road we drove northwards on our bikes and after about 0.5km hit a small path to the left back to the river (or what is left of it), driving through banana stands. We then had to walk across a field. The grassbird was in tall reed stands, quite actively hopping around (relatively obvious). Not sure if you can find this place but it could be along the reeds anywhere. Give it a try though!

    The Hill Prinia came out of nowhere and was seen in the small woodland, in an area where dense cover meets vines and more open habitat - very unexpected, and I don't know what to do with this record. It was definitely a Hill Prinia but was it an escaped bird? I hope not...

    Regarding the Hwameis - do you guys think there are any wild populations left around our region (as in greater Hanoi) or should all birds seen these days be classified as escapees?

    P.S. The bush warblers freak me out a bit - thank god the new bush warbler book is out now, great book btw!

  4. Hi Falk

    Great list. I too was on the North end of the island this-morning (walking over from my house near 374 Au Co - no boat needed and could be done on a bike), but I had the litle guy with me, so could do little real birding. I did see quite a few birds that I did not recognise though, in the open scrub / grasslands on the NE corner of the island. Long Billed Plovers were round early on, between island and Hanoi, towards the North end. I have always had to pay the boat guy and was surprised to hear you had it free. I thought it was his living.


  5. I'd also hope that the Hill Prinia is a genuine bird, rather than just something thrown out of a bag of Laughingthrushes brought in from the hills, but we'll never know.