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

19 April 2012

Lenin Park - 19/04/12

Did the patch this morning with David Walsh, a visiting birder from UK.
Things began not too bad with 1 Spangled Drongo, 3 Ashy Drongos, 1 Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, 1 Taiga Fly, 3 Thrushes together (1 male Eyebrowed IDed), some Dusky Warblers and, more interesting, 1 Boobook (pach tick).
At 09h00, I had to go to work, and David added to the list Burmese and Brown Shrikes, Black-capped Kingfisher, Blue Whistling Thrush, female Yellow-rumped Fly, Lesser Coucal (patch tick), 2 Siberian Blue Robins, 1 Seicercus Warbler.

At noon, I went back and played hide and seek one hour with the Boobook. Finally, I managed to get some decent shots.

On the way back, I remembered a blog post of David Gandy, a birder based in Bangkok (Bangkokcitybirding.blogspot.com, September 2011). He wrote : "According to Philip Round, it seems that Brown Boobook (the common resident species in Thailand/Vietnam also) can be separated from Northern Boobook in the field - it was previously though to be separable only on biometrics (most notably, wing length) and call. The key in-the-field feature is the shape of the markings on the bird's lower breast and belly: Brown Boobook shows obvious heart-shaped spots whilst Northern shows tear-drop shaped spots".
Read also an article of P. Round in The Babbler number 40/February 2012, pp14-15.

This bird show drop-shaped spots, longer than broad, on the underparts and so I think it is a Northern Boobook, a species which breeds in eastern Russia, Korea, Japan and China, and winters in the Philippines and Indonesia. Note also that this guy has been spotted in a big city park, so it is more likely to be the passage migrant than the resident Boobook - nearest population is at least 40-50 km from here. Thoughts/suggestions/confirmation welcome !

Sebastien Delonglee


  1. Hi Seb,
    Apart from the ID features - it makes sense that this is a bird of the northern population as "our" birds don't really migrate, and there's no populations within Hanoi (to my knowledge). I didn't know they were split already?
    Anyway, very well done! What's up on the weekend?

    Also, where's the Sapa report? I want to hear about it!


  2. Hi Falk,

    I am ready to go to Cuu Thac Saturday morning if you want, but maybe it is a bit late to organize something.
    Concerning the Sapa trip, the report will arrive soon, next week for sure - we have zillions of photos to examine.