This week, morning watches of the 3 or 4 city patches has been revealing large numbers of Phylloscs - among them my first Dusky, Radde's and Sulphur-breasted of the season.
But the best bird of the week was a female Ficedula spotted at the Botanical Gardens, showing a rufescent tail, drooping wings and the peculiar habit of flicking tail constantly.Other features: rufous-brown wings, mantle and below brownish-buff, paler throat, buffish eye-ring.
show the actual colour more accurately than the bright ones.
After a search on the OBCs image database, I confidently identified it as a female Slaty-blue Flycatcher, a lifer, a patch tick and the 18th species* of ‘flycatcher’ (of the genera Rhinomyias, Muscicapa, Ficedula, Cyornis, Cyanoptila, Eumyias and Culicicapa) being observed in the Botanical Gardens.
These bring the list of species (that I am aware of) being recorded in the 2 biggest downtown parks of Hanoi (Botanical Gardens + Lenin Park) to 115. Another recent patch tick was Common Hoopoe, spotted at Lenin Park by Tom Kompier, a Hanoi-based dragonfly/bird watcher who, hopefully, will post soon his sightings here ;)
The parks in Hanoi can turn up some real surprises in spring and autumn. It’s not that these places are particularly maintained in any way to attract birds – with all the ‘grooming’, it’s the opposite – but a reflection of the fact that there are so few wooded area in/around the city (and so many birds migrating above it) that these places act as a real magnet for migrants.
* the 17 others are : Brown-chested Jungle Fly, Grey-headed Canary Fly, Dark-sided, Asian Brown, Brown-breasted, Ferruginous, Verditer, Yellow-rumped, Green-backed, Mugimaki, Taiga, Snowy-browed, Slaty-backed, Rufous-gorgeted, Blue-and-White sensu lato, Hainan Blue, Chinese/Hill Blue (excluded : Fujian Niltava, Asian Paradise Fly, Black-caped Monarch).
The other surprise bird of the week was this Chestnut-crowned Warbler seen in an orchard at Hanoi, the first time I have seen this species so low down and presumably a migrant (altitudinal migrant I think - originating from as close as the mountains of northern Vietnam). A great bird for the city!