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27 March 2012

Red River Island - Hanoi

Did the wooded area of the Red river Island at noon today. Few birds but good ones : 1 Brown-breasted Flycatcher, at least 5 "Blyth's Leaf Warblers" and a supposed Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler.

The Brown-breasted Flycacher is (with the Brown-chested Jungle Fly, the Ferruginous Fly and the Narcissus/Green-backed Flys) one of the best flycatchers we can hope to encounter in our Hanoi’s patches. This is the 4th sighting (by us) of this species here - the other three ones : end of August 2010 (Botanical Garden), mid-September 2010 (Lenin Park) and mid-October 2010 (Red river Island). Maybe our predecessors have spotted some also, I have no information.

I spotted those "Blyth's Leaf Warblers" at head height, and sometimes they were foraging a few dozen of cm over the ground, usually creeping up dead trunks and branches. A check of information on web sites once home confirms this special feeding behaviour likened to be rather tit-like.

Well-marked central crown stripe - more defined at the rear, and two obvious wingbars.

Blyth's has recently been split into 3 very similar species : P. reguloides (Blyth's Leaf-Warbler), P. claudiae (Claudia's Warbler) and P. goodsoni (Hartert's Leaf-Warbler), and it seems pretty difficult (impossible ?...) to assign a bird in the field to one or other of these species. Anyone want to try with those photos ? :)

This Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler (tell me if I am wrong) gave me poor views - so bad shots, but I was happy to get any look at this mega-skulker.
This guy was uniformly rufescent-brown above with a whitish supercilium, and light yellowish-brown below, paler on the centre of the throat and belly. Legs were pinkish-brown, the tail rather short. Its call was a harsh “churr-churr”, repeated persistently.


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