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

11 March 2012

Botanical Gardens - Hanoi

A walk around the Botanical Gardens yesterday produced some migrants/winter visitors : a single Asian Brown Flycatcher, some Grey-Headed Canary Flycatchers, 1 noisy and very showy male Chinese Blackbird and the usual Yellow-browed Warblers and Olive-backed Pipits. Two Fire-breasted Flowerpeckers also.
It is still poor, but better than few weeks ago !

The Crested Goshawk has gone (confirmation by a coffee shop owner who has followed its "exploits"; particularly, he saw it catching a rat), and the female Fujian Niltava also.

This male Chinese Blackbird is significantly larger-looking and more powerful than our Common Blackbird of Europe. I also read somewhere that this species shows typically yellow "knees" and a bare yellow patch in front of and also behind the eyes. And look at its bill, clearly broader than the one of Merula.

In good light, this bird shows obvious bluish sheen on the coverts. In fact, only the flanks, belly and breast are really black.

In mid-winter/spring, when the plumage is worn, Yellow-browed Warblers lose some of their brightness and become greyer. The grey head contrasts with the green-olive coverts/wings as shown in the photo below.

Olive-backed Pipit. Individuals I encounter in this park are much tamer than elsewhere.


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