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

3 January 2013

Brambling, a VN tick to end the year

HANOI - Top news of the week was a sighting of a female type Brambling in an agricultural area around the city. Not really an exciting species for an European birder but a good bird for Vietnam. According to Robson (2005), Brambling is a (regular, rare?) vagrant in the northwestern part of the country (what we call here `West Tonkin`). A sighting in East Tonkin should be interesting.
Unfortunately the bird flew away before I could photograph it.

A bunch of shots of winterers taken recently :

Manchurian Bush-warbler
This is a true and proud bearer of the skulker label ! In the scruby areas around Hanoi sightings of this elusive and secretive bird are not uncommon, especially on passage (more likely to be detected by its call). Chance (and patience) is required to get good views - and big luck to get good pictures. Last year I managed to get half decent shots. But last week I had the opportunity to get much better images. At the edge of a pond I noticed a pile of dead branches frequenting by an individual. I just set up my hide in front of it and wait a couple of hours...

I am satisfied by these images 1/because there are not so many clean shots of Manchurian Bush-warbler on the internet; 2/ because they accurately reflect the color pattern of this species as seen in the field : light rufous-salmon crown and flight features, light buffy-salmon upperparts, pale buffy underparts, whitish throat, faint dark eyestripe, white-buffy supercilium...

Look at these legs!

Finally it stopped moving, preened and...

... seemed to pose a bit for the camera

Thanks for your collaboration little guy!

male Siberian Rubythroat
Another skulker but not a super one like the Manchurian Bush-warbler. It likes the dense undergrowth but can also be seen foraging in the open, never far from cover. Its slow foraging behavior make also photography much easier (the Manchurian Bush-warbler almost never stop moving!).

Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher
My best photo of this species so far (taken from a hide, like all the other shots of this post)

1st winter (buffy greater covert/tertial tips) Taiga Flycatcher
The commonest Flycatcher in/around the city in winter. Frequently spotted/heard in bushy/shrubby vegetation along field margins.

Dusky Warbler
This guy was frequenting the same pile of dead branches than the Manchurian Bush-warbler

A perky little fellow :

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