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23 March 2012

Little gems - Hanoi

The spring migration of Flycatchers is now well underway. Recently, in the Hanoian’s patches (city parks and Red River Island), I have seen a nice selection of those colorful little buggers including Asian Brown, Taiga, Hill Blue, (supposed) Chinese Blue, Verditer, Hainan Blue, Grey-Headed Canary, but also Black-napped Monarch...
Some photos taken this week during noon strolls :

Asian Brown Flycatcher (Botanical Garden)

Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher (Lenin Park / 5-6 together)

Male Hill Blue Flycatcher (Red River Island)

I picked up this female Cyornis flycatcher at the Lenin Park. First, I have been surprised by its warm brown upperparts, and its rusty tail. I took the photo above but I wasn't satisfied so I came back 2 or 3 times to get better shots.
Not a easy job, this guy was very skittish and was always foraging on or near the ground, in shrubs and piles of dead wood (near the northern entrance of the park, actually the last good birding area there - the other ones have been `cleaned up`, the famous `mozzy corner` included...). Never spotted a flycatcher with such secretive behavior ! Fortunately, its frequent sharp "tak" calls helped me to locate it.

I believe this bird is a Chinese Blue Flycatcher, due to the strongly orange breast with contrasting pale throat.

The orange is not restricted to the breast and extending onto the flanks. Look at the tail : rusty/rufescent

Curiously, the forehead/lores are also orange-tinted

A cracking male Black-napped Monarch (Red River Island)

Male Hainan Blue Flycatcher (Red River Island)

Female Hainan Blue Flycatcher (Red River Island)

Eastern Crowned Warbler (Red River Island)

Seicercus Warbler (Grey-crowned ?) - Red River Island

Red River Island : a juv Pied Harrier comes and goes above the small wooded area where I am chasing Flycatchers, apparently also in search of something, I don't know what.


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