Skip to content

Birding Nonggang, Guangxi, China – half 1 – 10,000 Birds


    Nonggang is a rural place in Guangxi with a pleasant panorama considerably paying homage to coastal Northern Vietnam (nicely, it’s not too distant). One of many causes for birders to come back right here is to see the Nonggang Babbler.

    The Nonggang Babbler‘s declare to fame is having solely been found in 2008 (as a meaningless reference, it needs to be added that the primary iPhone was launched in 2007, one yr earlier).

    It’s listed as Susceptible, as its vary is quite restricted, although it has been discovered exterior of China as nicely, e.g., in Vietnam, although the HBW doesn’t appear to have learn that paper but.

    Curiously, one examine discovered that Nonggang Babbler nests steadily visited by chicken photographers had the next hatching success price than these not photographed. My speculation is that being watched and recorded, the babblers intensify their efforts as they don’t wish to be publicly seen as dangerous mother and father.

    A paper describing interspecific allopreening between the Nonggang Babbler and the Spot-necked Babbler could nicely describe observations from precisely the identical disguise the place these pictures of the Nonggang Babbler had been taken.

    Is there a pattern towards extra literary paper titles? The title of the one simply talked about begins with “Intimacy throughout species boundaries” …

    The Spot-necked Babbler is “shy and social”, in line with eBird, which sounds a bit like a contradiction to me.

    Bianchi’s Warbler is fairly good trying (for a leaf warbler). (Spot the reference?)

    Then again, eBird – with a slight trace of desperation – calls the species “considered one of a variety of mind-numbingly related Seicercus warblers”.

    eBird continues to elucidate that its “gray of the crown is weaker than that of White-spectacled and Plain-tailed Warblers, however this function is tough to see within the shade of the understory, the place it often forages” – after all, my ID is simply based mostly on vary maps quite than on evaluating the relative energy of the gray of the crown.

    For the Black-crested Bulbul, eBird remarks that its “pale eyes give it a perpetually offended or shocked look”. I assume I might be offended too if I used to be completely in comparison with Elvis Presley.

    Some ornithologists are so determined so as to add papers to their resumes that they write about new information of Black-crested Bulbul subspecies inside China. Isn’t that unhappy?

    David’s Fulvetta will get the anticipated destructive overview on eBird – each the looks (“quite plain”) and its similarity to different fulvetta species (“very related in look to Huet’s and Yunnan fulvettas”) are criticized.

    On the plus facet, it seems to be quite humorous when moist.

    eBird rightly calls the Giant Scimitar Babbler a “good-looking and barely primal-looking babbler”. I don’t fairly know what makes the babbler “primal-looking” however by some means the assertion rings true.


    This species appears to steadily be part of mixed-species flocks – in analysis in Thailand, the species was present in 20% of the mixed-species flocks.


    In an fascinating experiment that includes a stuffed mannequin of a Collared Scops Owl, Crested Goshawks arrived when listening to the mobbing name of Gentle-vented Bulbuls that they use when encountering such a scops owl, however not when listening to different mobbing calls.


    This will likely imply that the perform of the bulbul mobbing name is simply that – to draw a good fiercer predator. Apparently, that is known as the “appeal to the mightier” speculation.

    If a Crimson-whiskered Bulbul and dislike that particular person, you may ask it to take a look at a paper titled “Eradication and management packages for invasive mynas (Acridotheres spp.) and bulbuls (Pycnonotus spp.)”, through which the Crimson-whiskered Bulbul is called as one of many two most closely focused chicken species.

    Would possibly give the chicken some sleepless nights, or a minimum of one thing to consider. I don’t watch horror motion pictures myself, however apparently some individuals like them.

    I disagree with eBird calling the Gray-throated Babbler “nondescript”.

    Based on the HBW, the nest is usually constructed by the feminine (my guess is within the distant previous, the males tried a number of instances however had been at all times criticized for his or her efforts, so ultimately they gave up).

    Presumably, Gray-throated Babblers should not very keen on monkeys, particularly the (probably misnamed) Gray Leaf Monkey. One was reported to have raided the nest of a Gray-throated Babbler, consuming a minimum of two eggs and presumably one nestling (supply).

    The Latin species title of the Scarlet Minivet is speciosus, or “splendid, stunning, sensible”. Whereas I don’t disagree with this title, it does appear to offer a great differentiation from among the different, equally splendid, stunning, and sensible minivet species.

    That is the feminine – within the male (which flew away too shortly for my sluggish response time), the yellow elements are orange-red. My cats – which learn about these items – inform me that regardless of rumors on the contrary, there isn’t any distinction in style between the male and the feminine. Nonetheless, they declare that there are some marginal variations in style between the 19 acknowledged subspecies.

    It doesn’t sound very shocking that the morning singing of birds such because the Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler is a method of indicating possession of a territory. In reality, a examine discovered that if the birds hear the track of different males of the identical species, they sing louder the subsequent morning, a bit like soccer followers being incensed by the yells of the followers of the alternative crew.

    Apparently, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babblers begin their morning singing later when the temperature is larger.

    Whereas the German title of the species, “Rotnackensaebler”, sounds fairly absurd to me (regardless of being German, I’m not acquainted with German chicken names as I’ve not lived there for a very long time), it’s really sort of correct and significantly better aligned with the Latin species title ruficollis (which means red-necked, “Rotnacken” in German).

    Solely when engaged on this publish – however not when really seeing the chicken – did I study that the Silver-eared Mesia is sexually dimorphic (ornithologists converse for men and women trying in a different way). Based on the HBW description, the 2 sexes ought to look fairly distinctive given the variety of variations indicated (“Feminine has duller, paler brow patch, throat and breast, uninteresting golden-olive nuchal collar and uppertail-coverts, much less yellow central underparts, pale yellowish-rufous undertail-coverts, paler and duller reddish wing patch and yellow wing fringing”) however a minimum of to me, the distinction in look is just not massive. As an excuse, I can deliver up the truth that the MacKinnon “Information to the Birds of China” additionally doesn’t point out any intercourse variations (the writer might need wished to lookup the HBW when writing the information, however then, neither did I earlier than going to Nonggang).

    Possibly it is a male because the rump is sort of purple …

    … whereas this yellow rump could point out a feminine (nonbinary birds are likely to have orange rumps).

    Presumably, this picture exhibits each sexes.

    Given its title, the white tail feathers of the White-tailed Robin are sometimes remarkably invisible. That is the male with an invisible white tail …

    … whereas it’s seen right here.

    And the feminine, as standard going for a extra informal look.

    On the morning of day 4 at Nonggang, I had a sore throat however a covid check was destructive, so birding continued …