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HomeBirdBirding Shanghai in September 2023 – 10,000 Birds

Birding Shanghai in September 2023 – 10,000 Birds


In some months, I don’t get to see too many thrilling birds in Shanghai – so, as the tip of the month attracts nearer, I begin questioning what to write down about in my month-to-month put up (my contract with 10,000Birds states that I must have some birding-related info in every of my posts, although I’m generally tempted to disregard the related clauses). Nevertheless, this September, a good friend alarmed me to the presence of a Fairy Pitta a bit bit previous 6 a.m. on September 01, so these issues ended very early within the month.

A couple of days later, one other one confirmed up – as typical within the autumn season, the extra seen ones all are juveniles.

The adults presumably have already discovered that people will not be often excellent news even when not named Donald Trump.

Whereas research report that Fairy Pittas primarily feed on earthworms, at Nanhui additionally they appear to eat these weird-looking inexperienced caterpillars (if that’s what this stuff are) which can be the primary meals of cuckoos. I suppose you can’t be too picky whereas touring, as I’ve discovered when on journeys in Ecuador and different locations.

The White-shouldered Starling is just not quite common in Shanghai and even in China typically, regardless of its species identify sinensis.

It’s one other species on which restricted info is out there – there’s nonetheless work left for ornithologists exterior of the willpower of mitochondrial DNA.

In distinction, the Black-collared Starling is getting increasingly more widespread in Shanghai.

Actually, there’s already an enormous distinction between the vary map proven within the HBW (which exhibits the Northern finish of the vary to be a couple of hundred kilometers south of Shanghai) and the eBird distribution maps proven a bit additional down on the HBW web page (which covers areas fairly a bit north of Shanghai). As recommended earlier than, it could be time to get any individual with at the least a imprecise curiosity in birds concerned in engaged on the web version of the HBW.

After all, the White-cheeked Starling is much more widespread in Shanghai and may generally be seen in flocks of 20 or extra birds.

For some motive, I’m by no means very enthusiastic about pictures of raptors in flight. It could be a pure protection mechanism as I’m not good at taking such pictures anyway (the grapes are bitter and so on.). However raptors on the bottom or in a tree look very enticing to me, like this Japanese Marsh Harrier.

This needs to be an grownup feminine …

… and this a juvenile.

I used to be a bit shocked to see a juvenile Gray Treepie in Shanghai – it appears too younger to already be on migration, and there was an grownup close by, so almost certainly the species is breeding in Shanghai, together with roughly 24 million people.

The excitingly named Journal “Mitochondrial DNA Half B” has a paper on – look forward to it – the whole mitochondrial DNA of the Gray Treepie. I’m positive you might be as enthusiastic about it as I’m.

Roughly a couple of times on any birding journey to Nanhui, I cease someplace and intently take a look at one thing that then seems to be a rock or a considerably thickened a part of wooden fairly than a Gray Nightjar. It’s nonetheless definitely worth the effort for very sometimes seeing one among these birds. Additionally, I be taught loads about totally different rocks and items of wooden.

A paper mentioning the Gray Nightjar is just not actually a lot in regards to the species however offers an fascinating perception into how scientific information may be fabricated, or unhealthy information hidden – one thing the authors name “scientific information laundering”. Particularly, the paper describes how an evaluation of the mitochondrial genome of a fowl species was fabricated, concluding “The proof signifies that Liu et al. (2017) revealed phylogenies that weren’t based mostly on present information however have been fabricated to mirror preconceived concepts about phylogenetic relationships”.

The unlucky Brown Shrike shares its shade with that of fairly detestable German Nazi occasion.

Apparently, the colour brown was picked by the occasion for plenty of causes (esthetics presumably not one among them), together with practicality (low-cost to provide, straightforward to wash) and the necessity for a particular and uniform id. I’m not positive whether or not these causes are additionally those that made evolution push the Brown Shrike in the identical path.

(The Chinese language Postal service has a signature shade – a uninteresting darkish inexperienced. I as soon as requested my then-girlfriend whether or not this shade was in any means protected to be used by the postal service solely – as the colour yellow is to some extent related to the German mail service. She stated no, it was simply that no person else ever wished to make use of that shade).

Regardless of claims on the contrary, the Tiger Shrike was not named after a German tank.

Not many individuals might know this, however there’s a feline associated to the home cat that can be named tiger – that one is the namesake of the Tiger Shrike. Who would have thought.

In the meantime, a Lengthy-tailed Shrike cursed the climate report that had predicted a dry morning.

Juvenile Black-naped Orioles will not be notably black-naped regardless of their identify. The idea behind that is that if you happen to give a younger fowl a reputation like this, will probably be inspirational for them.

The Oriental Scops Owl might be my favourite species passing via Nanhui, Shanghai throughout migration.

Troopers might in all probability be taught loads about camouflage from this species.

A Lesser Cuckoo stayed in one of many Nanhui microforests for a couple of days, not being afraid of people in any respect. Perhaps it was raised by some caged birds in shut proximity to people, although I lack any proof of this concept in any way.

I can not assure that that is certainly a Swinhoe’s Snipe.

The HBW has a pleasant description of the motion of the Crested Myna: “Takes lengthy strides when strolling, typically hops or ‘gallops’”

The juveniles haven’t discovered but to keep away from the unlucky shade brown.

The Eurasian Wryneck additionally struggles a bit with regard to colours – it nonetheless seems to be like an experiment in numerous, not fairly matching patterns of assorted shades of brown.

Nanhui can be a very good place to see the Eurasian Hoopoe (really, as soon as, my house was too – a hoopoe had in some way received in and needed to be rescued by me from my excited cats – however that was extra of a one-off occasion. Going to Nanhui is extra dependable).

“Kai, why do yo all the time should put up pictures of us consuming bizarre issues?”

“I additionally put up pictures of you wanting good and with a pleasant background, okay?”

A couple of waders: a Whimbrel (and sure, I’ve pictures with out plastic trash within the background, however sadly, this picture exhibits a extra lifelike setting of the fowl) …

(under is the proof)

a Pink-necked Stint

… the unavoidable (avoidless?) Dunlins

Little Ringed Plover (apparently, in an space the place it appears they’re attempting to develop some mangrove seedlings – rewilding in Shanghai?) …

… and the Gray-tailed Tattler, a species I can determine comparatively simply regardless of my restricted wader ID abilities because it doesn’t appear to have any traits in any way.

And for individuals who are bored of studying however like to have a look at pictures of colourful birds, this put up covers the Siberian Blue Robin

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher

Japanese Paradise Flycatcher

Blue-and-white Flycatcher

Gray Heron

and the Oriental Dollarbird.

By some means I can not consider a very good ending to this month’s put up – I already wrote two totally different paragraphs (one on a track by AC Acoustics, “She kills for kicks”, and one on an Ernest Hemingway story, “Indian Camp”) however was not pleased with both of them, and that was not even as a result of neither had any believable connection to birds and birding (that has by no means saved me away from any matters up to now). Name it Author’s Block, although it was not likely a problem of being blocked however fairly of solely producing very mediocre writing.





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