It’s been a very late update, dating back to May. After being side lined by house furnishing work and a couple of interesting butterfly adventures, finally i have got to get to the two weekend trips which we had in May. The no’s and variety of species have surely gone down but we sure had “unexpected” surprise of the spring. The “unexpected” definitely came with a bang, not one, not two but three unusual birds. On 21st May, we had a nice surprise with “Black Bulbul” and “Chestnut Bulbul” making perfect finish to bring an end to the spring watch.
On May 13, We had our spring’s first “Tiger Shrike“. A neat individual hopping across the Conifer trees give ample views to all of us. The slow morning picked up the pace as the sun started to climb. Also, large no of Lesser Coucals flirting across the reed beds showed the seasonal movement of these birds.
We casually picked up the passerines and what’s left of the shorebirds along the coast. Also, a bit of work needed to safely separate the Black-browed Reed Warbler from the abundant Oriental Reed Warbler. Even by May second week, Black-browed were not singing.
While we were busy on flushing out any grasshopper Warbler, Larry alerted us on a mega bird in the Car Park area. The wait was brief and the unexpected visitor popped out of the hedge for couple of seconds. The “Orange-headed Thrush“. As per Mark Brazil’s field guide, Z.c. melli reaches upto Hebei coast during migration. Birdforum Opus also mentioned Z.c. courtoisi occurs in Anhui province which is also in close quarters to Shanghai.
We continued our search for the Grasshopper warblers in the nearby raddish fields but we din’t score any but witnessed a classic natural history moment when a “Striped Field Mouse” was carrying its offspring in its mouth.
On May 21st, Rei Raz from Israel joined us for a quick morning session. Rei was fresh off from the “Champions of the flyway” bird race which held in Israel and he participated in the Green Teams category. The morning was once again slow except for superb views of Reed Parrotbills. The ultimate shocker came at noon when we briefly stopped under the mulberry trees.A noisy “Himalayan Bulbul” made its presence so obvious followed by slightly shy “Chestnut Bulbul” followed by a pair of Collared Finchbills. The Collared Finchbills have established a feral population in some of the city parks. So, Finchbill appearing in Nanhui doesn’t really seems to be a wild one. But with the other two Bulbuls showing up at the same time and same patch begs to differ.
Nothing fancy on the butterfly front except the entire city was almost smothered by Small Whites and Eastern Pale clouded Yellow.