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

20 November 2011

Vinh Tuy Sunday 20 November

After a fairly uneventful walk with the little guy in the Botanical gardens on Saturday, Jan and I headed to Vinh Tuy (and the semi-cultivated area behind it) for a few hours on Sunday morning. This place appeared to be more varied than the woods on the Red River Island, and much larger, and may well be worth keeping an eye on during the migration. Today was like walking in a fairy-land, as there were thousands of butterflies covering many of the shrubs.

The highlight of the day was two large raptors being attacked by a Common Kestrel. We could not ID these, but they were large and very long winged, suggesting some type of eagle.

Birds seen :
  • Buzzard, Himalayan (2)

  • Eurasian Tree sparrow (lots)

  • Falcon, Peregrine (1 female)

  • Fantail, White-throated (4)

  • Flycatcher, Grey-headed canary (1)

  • Flycatcher, Taiga (2)

  • Greenshank, Common (few)

  • Heron, Grey (27 )

  • Hunter, Camouflaged well (1) – note no shots fired (Yay!!!)

  • Kestrel, Common (2)

  • Kingfisher, Common (1)

  • Kingfisher, Pied (1)

  • Pipit, Olive-backed (4)

  • Plover, Kentish (many many)

  • Plover, Little-ringed (few)

  • Plover, Long-billed (1)

  • Prinia, Plain (lots)

  • Raptor, Unidentified, large and very long winged (2)

  • Stint, Temminck's (few)

  • Stonechat, Siberian (1 female)

  • Tailorbird, Common (few)

  • Thrush, unidentified, dark (2)

  • Wagtail, White (lots)

  • Warbler, Unidentified (large green, single bar on wing, stuck to larger branches and walked along, even walking down steep areas head first)
  • Warbler, Yellow-browed (few)
Wayne Hodgkinson & Jan De Groot

Common Kestrel

Himalayan Buzzard

Here are the terrible images of the two very large raptors. Neither really shows the length of the wings. I could not get a focus lock on them, so quickly took these on manual, knowing they would not be so good.


  1. Arrgh Wayne, why you didn't try some shots of those 2 large guys, you have much better material than me ! Let's dream it was 2 Greater-spotted Eagles...


    Ps : Your 2 pics are very nice, congratulations

  2. Thanks Sebastian

    Personally, I think your Commando missions sound better than my local trips. I only managed a very blurry silhouette shot. Did you get my Email about the trip this coming Sunday


  3. yes Wayne, I got you message for a trip to Cuu Thac. Thanks for the invitation.
    But I will not go with you, sorry. My girlfriend want to go to Cat Ba, and if I don't take care, she will fly away ;)
    I have been 4 or 5 times to Cuu Thac last summer, only for odonata. But I remember a flock of Rufous-headed Parrotbills, probably the Lesser one. At the end of the paved track, there is another track, rather hard to follow, along the river bed. It is a little bit adventurous, you have to go down to the river many times... I will send you a hand-made map by email.

  4. Hi Wayne,

    Some great photos as usual. Do you think you could post the blurry pic of the eagle? We wouldn't think any worse of your photos if you did...


  5. Hi Simon

    Done. They were a long way away, and in the lowish cloudy light, could not get a focus lock on them. 400mm lens hand held, with manual focus is not so flash. I spent too long trying to get a focus lock on them when they were closer. We learn... Neither of the shots in the image does justice to the length of their wings!


  6. If the pics all show the same bird, it can only be Black Eagle because of the shape of wings and tail (or Golden Eagle, but that hasn't been recorded in the region).