Summary of Records from Red River Island, March 5th to May 16th 2016

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A rare clear day in Hanoi, looking north from the edge of the North Wood towards the Red River and airport bridge (photo taken on May 16th).

Site: Red River Island, Hanoi, Vietnam (Google Maps location)
Visits/days: 43 visits covering 42 days, between March 5th and May 16th
Months (days) visited: March (15), April (18), May (10).
Species recorded: 176
General notes: At least 90% of my time was spent in the North Wood and surrounding farmland/grassland at the northern tip of the island, with infrequent visits to other areas. Almost all of my visits were between the hours of 7.00am and 12.00pm, with a typical duration of between 2 and 3 hours. I was usually alone, but sometimes joined by other birders – most often Hung Le and Joy Ghosh.

In the table below, the second column indicates the number of visits on which the bird was recorded (out of 43). The third column is the high count for that species. The fourth column contains notes about a species’ status in the area, or other general comments. Thanks to Dave Sargeant (North Thailand Birding) for inspiration about how to present this information!

Common Name Number of Visits High Count Notes
Japanese Quail 3 1 Presumably a regular migrant
Little Grebe 3 3 Single group on pond along western edge
Asian Openbill 3 42 Occasional flocks soaring high to the east
Yellow Bittern 1 1  
Cinnamon Bittern 2 1  
Grey Heron 4 9  
Purple Heron 2 1  
Cattle Egret 3 2  
Chinese Pond Heron 21 10  
Striated Heron 2 1  
Black-crowned Night Heron 1 11 Single flock
Black-shouldered Kite 26 2 Resident pair
Oriental Honey Buzzard 3 1  
Jerdon’s Baza 2 3 Seen twice in April, coinciding with heavy passage at Tam Dao
Black Baza 1 7 Single flock
Grey-faced Buzzard 8 4  
Pied Harrier 1 1 Male
Crested Goshawk 1 1  
Chinese Sparrowhawk 1 1 Male
Japanese Sparrowhawk 4 1  
Black Kite 1 1  
White-breasted Waterhen 7 3  
Ruddy-breasted Crake 3 2 One seen, the others heard only
Common Moorhen 3 2  
Grey-headed Lapwing 1 1  
Red-wattled Lapwing 1 1  
Kentish Plover 1 1  
Little Ringed Plover 21 4 Presumably attempts to breed in the area
Common Sandpiper 10 2  
Green Sandpiper 7 2 Perhaps overwinters
Common Greenshank 3 11  
Barred Buttonquail 8 2 Scarce resident
Oriental Pratincole 1 1  
Rock Dove (feral) 12 5  
Oriental Turtle Dove 14 4 Regular migrant
Red Collared Dove 16 10  
Spotted Dove 14 8  
Wedge-tailed Pigeon 4 2 Photos show that these birds are all Wedge-tailed and not the perhaps more expected White-bellied
Chestnut-winged Cuckoo 3 1  
Large Hawk Cuckoo 3 1  
Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo 2 1  
Indian Cuckoo 2 1 Heard only
Common Cuckoo 4 2 Other “cuculus sp.” unidentified
Oriental Cuckoo 4 1 Other “cuculus sp.” unidentified
Plaintive Cuckoo 40 6 Common and vocal resident
Asian Koel 2 1  
Greater Coucal 38 3 Common resident
Lesser Coucal 9 2 Unclear whether resident or migrant
Northern Boobook 1 1  
Grey Nightjar 3 1 Three singles in North Wood
Large-tailed Nightjar 1 1  
Germain’s Swiftlet 4 5  
Asian Palm Swift 3 2  
Common Kingfisher 7 2  
White-throated Kingfisher 1 1  
Black-capped Kingfisher 6 2  
Pied Kingfisher 21 5 Presumably resident
Dollarbird 2 1  
Eurasian Wryneck 2 1  
Eurasian Kestrel 3 2  
Eurasian Hobby 1 1  
Peregrine 1 1  
Red-breasted Parakeet 3 1 Presumably escapee(s)
Ashy Woodswallow 1 2  
Ashy Minivet 3 2  
Rosy Minivet 2 4 Only in March
Black-winged Cuckooshrike 6 2  
Tiger Shrike 4 1 Only in May
Brown Shrike 18 10 Most numerous in May
Burmese Shrike 21 10 Recorded throughout the period
Long-tailed Shrike 1 1  
Black-naped Oriole 14 10 Fairly common migrant, often with drongos
Black Drongo 8 12 Many drongos in banana plantations not specifically identified
Ashy Drongo 24 15 Common migrant, some individuals of leucogenis and salangensis races
Crow-billed Drongo 7 5 Late April onwards. Presumably a regular late season migrant but difficult to tell from other drongos at a distance
Hair-crested Drongo 19 65 Common migrant
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 1 1 Recorded in March, well before the start of other drongo passage
White-throated Fantail 19 3 Resident in the Hanoi area
Black-naped Monarch 26 5  
Amur Paradise-Flycatcher 3 2 Scarce migrant in late April/early May
Blyth’s Paradise-Flycatcher 4 1 Passage at same time as Amur
Red-billed Blue Magpie 20 5 Resident in the area, numbers apparently decreased from 5 to about 2 during the period
Racket-tailed Treepie 1 1  
Grey-throated Martin 22 60 Fairly common resident
Barn Swallow 30 12 Common migrant
Red-rumped Swallow 13 15 Regular migrant
Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher 10 5 Late March/early April
Japanese Tit 15 2 Resident
Chinese Penduline Tit 1 2 Regularly winters in area but hard to locate
Red-whiskered Bulbul 18 12  
Light-vented Bulbul 21 15  
Sooty-headed Bulbul 27 10  
Black Bulbul 1 1 White-headed race, in early March
Pale-footed Bush Warbler 4 3 Only located when singing, so others perhaps overlooked
Asian Stubtail 12 3 Regular early season migrant
Manchurian Bush Warbler 4 1 Presumably regular migrant
Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler 1 1 Probably overlooked due to very skulking habits
Dusky Warbler 38 15 Common migrant
Radde’s Warbler 17 3 Regularly seen, especially late in the season
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler 1 1  
Yellow-browed Warbler 34 10 Commonly seen until late April
Arctic Warbler 10 8 Not seen before end of April
Pale-legged Leaf Warbler 7 1  
Eastern Crowned Warbler 8 3  
Claudia’s Leaf Warbler 17 2 Common migrant in small numbers in March and April
Sulphur-breasted Warbler 4 1 Mainly in March
Grey-crowned Warbler 2 2 Many seicercus warblers didn’t call and therefore remained unidentified
Bianchi’s Warbler 2 1 Many seicercus warblers didn’t call and therefore remained unidentified
Thick-billed Warbler 18 12 Infrequently seen until early May when it became very common
Oriental Reed Warbler 5 1  
Black-browed Reed Warbler 25 12 Common migrant
Lanceolated Warbler 2 1 Probably overlooked due to very skulking habits
Baikal Bush Warbler 1 1  
Zitting Cisticola 40 7 Very common resident
Common Tailorbird 40 5 Very common resident
Yellow-bellied Prinia 43 20 Abundant resident
Plain Prinia 43 20 Abundant resident
Chestnut-flanked White-eye 2 2 Only in March
Japanese White-eye 38 40 Migrant/resident status unclear
Masked Laughingthrush 19 4 Resident in the area
White-crested Laughingthrush 4 2 Presumably escapees
Black-throated Laughingthrush 2 1 Presumably escapee(s)
Chinese Hwamei 3 2 Probably escapees
Blue-winged Minla 1 1 Presumably escapee
Dark-sided Flycatcher 11 3  
Asian Brown Flycatcher 19 8  
Grey-streaked Flycatcher 2 1 Individual for a few days in May
Oriental Magpie Robin 1 1 Surprisingly rare
Hainan Blue Flycatcher 12 4 Common early season migrant
Hill Blue Flycatcher 12 3 Common early season migrant
Blue-and-White Flycatcher 6 2  
Rufous-tailed Robin 1 1 Presumably regular migrant but very skulking
Japanese Robin 1 1  
Siberian Blue Robin 4 2 Very skulking here
Bluethroat 10 2 Presumably winters
Siberian Rubythroat 25 5 Common migrant and probable winterer
Blue Whistling Thrush 6 2 Both yellow-billed and dark-billed races seen
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher 13 3 Late April onwards
Green-backed Flycatcher 1 1 Male in April
Mugimaki Flycatcher 14 4  
Slaty-blue Flycatcher 1 1 One individual in March
Taiga Flycatcher 31 10 One of the few species that tolerates banana plantations
White-throated Rock Thrush 4 1 Two individuals (1m, 1f)
Siberian Stonechat 36 15 Last recorded at the beginning of May
Pied Bushchat 1 1 Male in March
Grey Bushchat 1 1  
Siberian Thrush 1 1 Adult male
Orange-headed Thrush 2 1 Two individuals
Grey-backed Thrush 6 1  
Black-breasted Thrush 1 1  
Japanese Thrush 8 6 Regular in March
Eyebrowed Thrush 4 7 Not seen outside of April
Daurian Starling 1 1 Female in March
Great Myna 1 2  
Crested Myna 3 2  
Olive-backed Sunbird 2 2  
Forest Wagtail 4 3  
Eastern Yellow Wagtail 2 2  
Citrine Wagtail 11 12  
Grey Wagtail 4 1  
White Wagtail 16 6  
Richard’s Pipit 27 6 Common migrant
Paddyfield Pipit 34 8 Common resident
Olive-backed Pipit 19 13 One of the few species that tolerates banana plantations
Red-throated Pipit 12 7  
Crested Bunting 3 1 Two different individuals seen
Tristram’s Bunting 6 2 Fairly regular in March but skulking
Little Bunting 12 10  
Yellow-breasted Bunting 6 7 Long-staying flock in dead cornfield
Chestnut Bunting 2 1  
Black-faced Bunting 13 4 Only in March
Common Rosefinch 2 3  
Oriental Greenfinch 11 35 Erratic
Eurasian Tree Sparrow 34 40  
White-rumped Munia 12 8  
Scaly-breasted Munia 37 40  

The following additional species were among those reported by other observers during the same period: Yellow-legged Buttonquail, Short-eared Owl, Blue-throated Bee-eater, Swinhoe’s Minivet, and Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher.

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