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

13 September 2012

Jungle Flycatcher in the urban jungle

HANOI : Productive noon stroll at my new patch (the carambola orchard at Gia Lam), with some different (and unexpected) migrants showing up. Cool weather means that the dry season has arrived, making birding much more comfortable - especially at noon!

After 15 minutes walking very slowly in the orchard (partly because I came face to face with a big snake resting on branches three days ago), I got a fleeting glimpse of "something brown" dropping to the ground, and flying up to the branches. My view was obscured by vegetation, so I decided to wait it out. After 10 minutes the bird dropped down to the ground again like a small Thrush or a Robin, caught something and perched on a branch at eye-level. I put my bins on it and recognized the familiar shape - chunky build, rather long and stout bill - of a Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher.
I approached it closer ; unfortunately, it was rather backlit and impossible to get better view.

In 2010, we (Florian, Falk, Simon and I) had many sightings of this scarce species in the main hanoian's parks (i.e. Lenin and Botanical Garden), between the 4th September and the 5th October.
The Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher is listed as globally threatened (read here).

An unobtrusive and quiet flycatcher, sitting still for long periods.

Note the hooked tip of the bill

Brownish upper breast, pinkish legs, rather long bill with yellowish lower mandible, whitish throat...

"Wow, I've never seen a fruit like that!"

Whilst chasing the Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher I also managed to photograph this female Chinese/Hill Blue Flycatcher :

... and much more interesting : a Sulphur-breasted Warbler (only a handful of sightings in the city patches) :


  1. The photos are so sharp and nice, always interesting to read about the birds you see there in Hanoi :)

  2. John Parr, Hung and I visited this site this morning (Sunday 16 Sept 09h30-12h30). It took us 2 hours to find the Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher, I think in the same area you found it by the old toilets. Hung was able to take several photos which I hope he will post here later today. In total we found 9 species of flycatcher today, which seems quite amazing! Jonathan

  3. Great to hear that the Jungle-flycatchers are back!

    It's likely that the "Hill Blue" Flycatchers are Chinese Blue instead...


  4. Hi Simon,

    And the most incredible is that Jonathan, Hung and John saw a 1 YC bird, so not "my" bird !
    Let`s see the Hung post !