Welcome to Vietnam Bird News

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

30 January 2015

A few good birds from Hanoi

We've been spoiled by several weeks of great weather, the kind that makes it hard to stay inside and work. But this winter is one that definitely will not go down in Hanoi birding history. The unusually warm weather (but also dry and sunny, which did not displease me…)  has kept wintering bird numbers down.
Nevertheless, just need to keep getting out - even when it feels like there's NOTHING to see! 

Below some shots taken recently around the city, of both resident and wintering birds:

Local Masked Laughingthrush (still alive, quite amazing !!!) - one out of the two or three in a small flock

male Chinese Penduline Tit in its favorite habitat
Flock of 5 individuals found at a small pond on 30th December, still hanging around mid-January. Hopefully they will stick around all winter.
Vagrant in Vietnam

An Indian Roller shaken by the wind. Recently found a pair around the city. 
A common South Asian species, but surprisingly scarce in East and West Tonkin (northeastern range limit?). Not recorded in Robson for East Tonkin.

Hmm.... what’s that ? A dull brown guy with 2 obvious wing-bars which turned out to be...

 ....a juv. Common Rosefinch (broader buffy wing-bars, richer brown tone above than the ad. female). It did show briefly, this is the best shot I could get.

Grey-capped Greenfinch feeding on Parthenium histerophorus - an invasive weed common in field margins

Little Bunting a presumably female-type Black-faced Bunting

Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler
Photographing this skulker needs luck and a bit of perseverance.

Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher

And here's a bonus non-bird - an Oriental Garden Lizard  Calotes versicolor enjoying the winter sun... An amazing looking little chap.
A quite common sight in cultivation, thickets.This is a male showing breeding colors. A nice consolation prize when there are no birds around!


  1. Hi Sebastian, I don't think your "Little Bunting" is a Little Bunting. Could it be Black-faced, or something else? Best wishes, Dave

    1. Yes, you’re right, Little B. would show a rufous-tinged face, black lateral crown-stripes...
      The facial pattern, the pale yellowish wash below points to a female-type Black-faced. In any case, after looking carefully at the bunting’s plates of the Robson, I don`t see other options. Thanks a lot David!

  2. Love that lizard! R