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3 October 2016

Hanoi: Some autumn passage records, 19th Sept.-3rd Oct. 2016

The past 15 days have seen much less migrants passing through Hanoi compared to the 2 first weeks of September. The weather is now probably too good ; many migrants simply passed through without stopping. Unfortunately, no overcast skies, contrary winds or rain in the forecast for the next few days.

The lush microforest at Vuon Nhan yielded both Hill Blue and Chinese Blue Flycatchers, 2 other Brown-breasted Flycatchers (on 20th Sept. and 3rd Oct.), Brown-chested Jungle Flycatchers regularly seen, three species of Drongos (Hair-crested and Ashy D. (leucogenis/salangensis and hopwoodi races) in the wood, Black D. in the open landscape), first Siberian Rubythroat on 2nd October, Siberian Blue Robins often seen/heard (mostly female but also 1 stunning ad. male and 1cy male), the first Orange-headed Thrush of the autumn on 20th Sept., 3-4 individuals on 3rd Oct., first Sulphur-breasted Warblers on 21th, often in mixed-species foraging flocks with Japanese White-eyes, resident Cinerous Tits, Pylloscs ssp. (Arctic, Claudia's, Eastern Crowned...), Amur Paradise Flycatchers...

First Baikal Bush-warbler and Black-browed Reed Warbler of the autumn on 25th. Pale-footed Bush Warbler heard on 3rd October. Seicercus warblers seen at almost each visits - didn’t call and therefore remained unidentified.
1 Black-capped Kingfisher and 1 Dollarbird on 2nd October. The same day, a lone Chestnut-crowned Warbler (excellent bird for the city!) and the first Grey-headed Canary-flycatchers of the season.

Some passage of Black-winged Cuckooshrikes also. A secretive Chestnut-winged Cuckoo noted on 21th, a Nightjar sp. (likeky Grey N.) photographed the 20th by Tuong Bach, 2 Wrynecks and 1 passage migrant Hoopoe on 21th. And another juvenile Malayan Night Heron on 29th.

No sighting of Tiger Shrike anymore (early autumn migrant), and much less Amur Paradise Flycatchers than 2 weeks ago. Few sightings of Yellow-rumped Fycatchers also (in Hanoi, most of autumn records are in the last ten days of August and the first twenty days of September) and none of Asian Koels (regularly seen at the beginning of September).

Mid-September, near Vuon Nhan, the mudflats along the Red River at Vinh Thuy bridge also yielded 90+ Grey-headed Lapwings.
At Botanical Gardens, a gorgeous male Siberian Thrush found on 3rd Oct..

In the same area (Vuon Nhan), Tom Kompier also spotted at least 8 Blue-throated Bee-eaters and 1 Thick-billed Green Pigeon on 24th Sept.- both are interesting records for Hanoi. Sightings of  Treron in the city are scarce (the other one recorded here is Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon). Most green pigeons are noted wanderers so there is always the possibility of encountering vagrants in unusual locations. 

And last but not least, Tom's girlfriend, Kameliya, found 3 Red-necked Phalaropes on 28th Sept. at West Lake, the largest lake of the city. Two individuals (juveniles) were still there on 29th, 30th Sept.and 1st Oct. incredibly tame as usual. At the Phalarope's spot, I spotted on 30th a distant flock of 7 unidentified Terns.

At this time of year, considering the number of bird photographers at Vuon Nhan and other small woodlots, we go out not hoping, but expecting to get interesting records. Recently, we have rarely been disappointed. Hey guys, keep up the great work and don't forget to share with me your data (species, count, location and date)  - and not only beautiful images on Facebook ;) !


Male Siberian Thrush, 3rd Oct., Botanical Gardens
It's been too long since I've seen this Thrush, my favorite one, in Hanoi. What a fantastic bird, both beautiful and elusive. The second Zoothera thrush seen this autumn. Turdus thrushes will arrive later (usually in late Oct.-early Nov.).

Male Orange-headed Thrush (top), Vuon Nhan, 28th Sept.
Female Orange-headed Thrush (below), Botanical Gardens, 3rd Oct.
Like the microforest of Vuon Nhan, the Botanical Gardens is a very effective migrant trap.

Brown-brested Flycatcher, Vuon Nhan. A scarce but regular passage migrant

Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus tenellipes/borealoides, Vuon Nhan. As is usually the case, because the bird in this photo was not singing (passage migrants can sing in spring), I was unable to identify it beyond the level of Pale-legged/Sakhalin

Juvenile Red-necked Phalarope, West Lake, 29th Sept.
A scarce passage migrant in Vietnam, mostly recorded along the coast in C. and S. Annam, Cochinchina, sometimes in large flocks at coastal aquaculture ponds. Also regularly recorded inland in the Da Lat Plateau. Rarer in the North, recorded at least from Xuan Thuy N.P.

Very tame, most approachable of all waders

Female Black-naped Monarch, Vuon Nhan

Female Siberian Blue Robin, Vuon Nhan

1st calendar year male Siberian Blue Robin, Vuon Nhan

Male Hill Blue Flycatcher, Vuon Nhan

Same individual

1st calendar year Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher, Vuon Nhan

Same individual, close-up on head

1st calendar year Dark-sided Flycatcher, Vuon Nhan, so weak and exhausted it cannot stand on a perch

Chestnut-crowned Warbler, 2nd October, Vuon Nhan
Scarce migrant (altitudinal I think) in Hanoi, all records in autumn (previous ones: 10th Oct. 2013, mid-Nov. 2014)

Sulphur-breasted Warbler, Vuon Nhan

Claudia's Leaf Warbler, 2nd Oct., Vuon Nhan - a common passage migrant

Black-browed Reed Warbler, 25th Sept., Vuon Nhan 

Juvenile Malayan Night Heron playing hide-and-seek, 29th Sept, Vuon Nhan

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