Birding Shanghai in Could 2023 – Half 1 – 10,000 Birds

Could is a busy month for birds migrating by means of Shanghai – and naturally, final Could was fully missed as a result of lockdown. So, I spent quite a lot of time birding this month, and to maintain this submit at a manageable size, it largely solely covers the primary half of Could.

It begins with a chook I final noticed (and wrote about) in December final yr, the Gray-headed Canary Flycatcher.

It shouldn’t actually be in Shanghai however apparently, it isn’t excellent at studying its distribution map on the HBW web site.

The HBW describes the Gray Treepie as a “reasonably drab brownish-grey treepie”, which sounds a bit too unfavorable to me.


I prefer it for its simply recognizable vocalizations which eBird describes as follows: “Raucous, with a various repertoire; squawks and chatters loudly, but additionally whistles tunefully”.

Frankly, the Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher (video) doesn’t appear to be a lot – however it’s uncommon at Nanhui and listed as Susceptible. The video is notable for the chook mainly refusing to maneuver in any respect.

The chook on the picture is likely one of the estimated 3500-15,000 people nonetheless alive based on the HBW – a daunting thought given the (too) massive variety of people, of which there are about 1 million occasions extra (and naturally, every of which weighs 5000 occasions greater than the flycatcher).

Be aware to different species: higher don’t depend on mature main forests, as this will likely result in extinction. Additionally, don’t smoke as it isn’t good to your well being.

In case you like to observe Black-winged Stilts, check out this video. In case you don’t, simply have a look at the photographs or take a time machine again to the final century.

Voltaire as soon as said that the Holy Roman Empire was under no circumstances holy, nor Roman, nor an empire”. Taking a cue from him (in spite of everything, on his deathbed, when a priest requested him to resign Devil, he apparently replied “Now, now my good man, that is no time to be making enemies”), I wish to level out that the Black-winged Cuckooshrike is neither black-winged, nor a cuckoo, nor a shrike.

In truth, different names for it are lesser gray cuckooshrike or darkish gray cuckooshrike, scoring not less than one right merchandise out of three.

The Chinese language identify additionally describes it as “anhui”, or darkish gray.

Radde’s Warbler is migrating by means of Shanghai, and it’s truly the primary time I’ve consciously seen it right here. This says extra about my incapability to distinguish between warbler species than concerning the rarity of the chook – however the chook was kindly singing.

Nonetheless, the flexibility to establish a leaf warbler by music is a worrying improvement on the highway to turning into a really nerdy birder. It’s most likely all downhill from right here. What’s subsequent? Identification of subspecies?

Through the breeding season, some Cattle Egrets appear to be teenage ladies who’ve simply found the existence of make-up, and consequently massively overdo it. However what do I do know concerning the style preferences of Cattle Egrets. Perhaps they like this Barbie doll look.

The Black-tailed Godwit is Close to Threatened, although not fairly as threatened as Nanhui, the place the development areas get nearer and nearer to the final remaining fields.

If you’re an individual who can get enthusiastic about subspecies (I’m not amongst them – I plan to disregard subspecies not less than till I retire from work), you could wish to have a look at a paper on a proposed new subspecies of Black-tailed Godwits.

The Giant Hawk-Cuckoo feels like species for me to get a good video regardless of my restricted expertise – the HBW states that when foraging, it usually stays “nearly immobile for lengthy durations”.

The principle hosts for this parasitic cuckoo are the White-browed Laughingthrus and the Chinese language Babax – a paper causes that the latter one is a more moderen addition to the species being deceived into elevating little hawk-cuckoos because the babax has a decrease fee of egg rejection.

Not solely does this species immediately parasitize different species but additionally metaphorically, by imitating the sparrowhawks in its look and thus deterring potential predators.

That is additionally mirrored within the Latin species identify of sparverioides, which simply means sparrowhawk.


Whereas to my information the Giant Hawk-Cuckoo solely migrates by means of Nanhui, the Widespread Cuckoo stays right here in summer time and appears for host species, notably the Oriental Reed Warbler.

Whereas having anyone else elevate your chicks like a lovely technique to me, it isn’t with out risks. A paper studies on how a feminine Widespread Cuckoo was mobbed and killed by Oriental Reed Warbler hosts.

The photographs of the useless cuckoo printed within the paper wouldn’t look misplaced in a horror film for a cuckoo viewers. And the main points described will not be encouraging for potential nest parasites both: “The cuckoo emitted wailing cries and suffered deadly bodily trauma from the frantic pecking and scratching by a number of ORWs, and finally the extended and sustained aggressive mobbing led to the demise of the cuckoo”. So, if you happen to consider dropping off your child with some unsuspecting host mother and father, be certain that to not be seen and go away shortly afterward.

And don’t entice as a lot consideration to your self because the Widespread Cuckoo in this video.

The Journal “Advances in Ophthalmology & Visible System” will not be a daily supply for bird-related info. Nonetheless, in 2017, the journal printed a paper with the (spoiler alert!) title “A Peck of Affection or a Peck of Aggression: Case Report of an Eye Damage As a result of Black-naped Oriole“. Wherein a Chinese language man in Singapore picks up a juvenile Black-naped Oriole, which in flip assaults the affected person’s left eye inflicting extreme ache and tearing. Sadly, the implicit query posed within the title of the paper will not be answered, and (the person most likely having gotten bored of all of the fuss concerning the chook assault) “subsequently affected person was misplaced to follow-up”.

That appears a little bit of a waste from the aspect of the person – I can think about Eric Hosking by no means had to purchase drinks for himself after having misplaced a watch to an owl assault …

In any case, at Nanhui, the Black-naped Orioles are among the many shyest of birds – no hazard for the eyes of birdwatchers right here.

The Journal of the Bombay Pure Historical past Society will not be notably delicate to the emotions of kingfishers, calling them a “stockily constructed birds”. The Black-capped Kingfisher is among the many extra enticing ones, which isn’t a straightforward feat amongst this chook household.

Confusingly, the HBW lists the species as Susceptible and marks its conservation standing as Not Globally Threatened (Least Concern) – a stronger give attention to precise particular info might need been useful.

Birdlife Worldwide – which presumably focuses extra on birds than the HBW does – lists the species as Susceptible: “Though this species has a particularly massive vary and certain exceeds 10,000 mature people, the inhabitants development seems to be reducing with occupancy and reporting fee traits suggesting speedy declines inside the previous three generations”.

A number of male Siberian Rubythroats had been nonetheless round at Nanhui within the first half of Could as an alternative of heading to their breeding areas, presumably being equally unenthusiastic in elevating younger as me.

The Latin identify Calliope calliope feels like a little bit of an overkill to me (no “so good they named it twice” for me), however the reference to “Calliope, fine-voiced chief of the Muses, who presided over eloquence and heroic poetry” (HBW) is effectively deserved given the great and reasonably jazzy music of the chook. If you don’t consider me, please pay attention right here to what’s most likely my favourite of all chook music recordings.

Sidenote: the recording is ascribed to Siberian Rubythroat (Calliope calliope calliope), giving extra urgency to my level about overkill in chook names … The third calliope within the identify is a bit puzzling although, because the HBW calls the species monotypic.

There are additionally a couple of movies of the chook right here and right here and right here – the final one is definitely a Siberian Rubythroat not solely listening to passing automobiles but additionally to Chinese language Grosbeaks.

In fact, if you don’t like the colour pink, we are able to additionally supply a blue chook – the Siberian Blue Robin. Right here at 10,000 Birds, we always remember that you simply, the reader, have a selection.

In response to the HBW, meals introduced by Siberian Blue Robins to nestlings in Japan was 36% grownup bugs, 28% insect larvae, 18% spiders, and 18% unidentified (I believe the final largely being unhealthy quick meals with the discriminating labels ripped off).

Bugs appear to even be the principle meals merchandise of Brown Shrikes, as this video additionally reveals. Individuals who love moths might wish to chorus from watching it although.


The reasonably elegant-looking Tiger Shrike additionally largely feeds on bugs however was not type sufficient to let me take a video or picture of this (the species thinks that such recordings might end in a unfavorable public picture). It was okay for me to take a video of it doing nothing a lot although. Higher flip off the sound whereas watching the video as my functionality of getting first rate sound on movies remains to be very restricted.


In the meantime, the native resident bully of a shrike – the Lengthy-tailed Shrike – is busy assuring that the custom of bullying the smaller birds could be continued for an additional era.


A number of extra birds with out phrases – however don’t overlook, 1001 phrases are value multiple image.

Yellow-browed Bunting

Hair-crested Drongo

Black Drongo

Oriental Magpie

Noticed Redshank

Swinhoe’s Minivet


White-throated Rock Thrush (feminine)


Narcissus Flycatcher (video)

Japanese Thrush, feminine (video)

Black-capped Evening Heron (video)

Gray-streaked Flycatcher (video)

Brown-breasted Flycatcher (video)

Lastly, within the dismissive “Different” part, immediately we’ve a mammal and a non-mammal, each seen at Nanhui.


Autor Kai Pflug


Journalist specialized in online marketing as Social Media Manager. I help professionals and companies to become more Internet and online reputation, which allows to give life to the Social Media Strategies defined for the Company, and thus immortalize brands, products and services. I have participated as an exhibitor in various forums nationally and internationally, I am the author of several articles in digital magazines and Blogs.

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