Tag Archives: Malayan Night Heron

Weiyon Island May 13 – 15

Bird News from Tim Edelsten

In 48 hours on the Island (also at times accompanied by Robin Newlin) I recorded 78 species, including one or two especially interesting finds. Weather was dry, clear and sunny, with south-westerly winds-allowing for some visible migration viewed from the mountaintop on the 14th, followed by fog and fine rain through the morning of the 15th. This island is unfortunately patrolled by several well-nourished domestic cats.


Weiyon Island: South-facing bamboo interspersed with Japanese Camellia and Japanese Black Pine, Photo © Tim Edelsten


Night Heron Gorsachius spp. An individual flushed at very close quarters on the 13th showed characteristics shared by both Japanese G.goisagi and Malayan Night Heron G.melanolophus. Immediately striking was an extensive, bright sky-blue cere and bare parts around the eye, and in flight, thick and solid dark bars (not streaking or vermiculations) on the whitish-looking side of the body (- all features usually not or scarcely shown by Japanese?). It also posessed a dark crown that contrasted fairly noticeably with the rest of the head. Although extremely wary, and very unfortunately, not photographed due to its flight through trees and branches, it was subsequently briefly glimpsed twice, darting out of view along the shady trails through thick forest and bamboo. However, neither nuchal crest nor white-spotting on the upperwing were particularly noticable (if present), which perhaps points identification away from Malayan. I would welcome opinions as to its identity from observers experienced in both species. Does Japanese ever show thick barring?

Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax. Two circling overhead at dusk.
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus. One frequenting the pond area.
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus. One on the 13th and two the next day.
Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia. One arrived with the fog on the 15th.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta garzetta. One on the 14th.
Pelagic Shag Phalacrocorax pelagicus. Several offshore.
Temminck’s Cormorant Phalacrocorax capillatus. Four or five offshore.
Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus. One on the 14th.
Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis. Three headed east on the 14th, high overhead.
Japanese Lesser Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis. One male on the 14th, (mobbed by swallows).
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus. Two passing overhead on the 14th.
Grey-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus. One on the 14th.
Peregrine Falco peregrinus. Two adults with a juvenile, doing the talon-grasping cartwheeling on the 14th.
Pintail Snipe Gallinago stenura. One on the 14th.
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola. One at the pond daily.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos. One in the bay.
Black-tailed Gull Larus crassirostris. Numerous.
Mongolian Gull Larus mongolicus. Two 2CY individuals in the harbour.
Rufous Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis. Two or three seen.
Rufous Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx hyperythrus. One calling on the 14th.
Lesser Cuckoo Cuculus poliocephalus. Two, seen and also heard singing.
Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus optatus. One singing.
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus. One calling.
Oriental Scops Owl Otus sunia. Heard in late afternnoon.
Brown Hawk Owl Ninox scutulata. One calling at dusk on the 14th.
White-throated Needle-tailed SwiftHirundapus caudacutus. A pair over the mountain on the 14th.
Pacific Swift Apus pacificus. Approx 50 gliding into headwind on the 14th.
Oriental DollarbirdEurystomus orientalis. Three high overhead in gliding, undulating flight on the 14th.
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major One in the vicinity of the temple, active on trunks of Japanese Camellia Camellia japonica trees.
Ashy Minivet Pericrocotus divaricatus One on the 14th.
Tiger Shrike Lanius tigrinus. One on the 13th.

Tiger Shrike Lanius tigrinus, © Tim Edelsten


Bull-headed Shrike Lanius bucephalus. A male and a female present every day.
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus One confusus seen daily.
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach. One noticed hunting from a perch on the 13th and 14th, when seen to pounce on, kill, and later eat a Siskin. A second such victim was found impaled on a branch nearby.


Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach, © Tim Edelsten


Shrike larder: stored prey of Long-tailed Shrike, © Tim Edelsten


Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis. One on the 13th and 14th.
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius. Heard several times on the 13th.
Eastern Great Tit Parus minor. Apparently two or three pairs breeding near the village.
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis One heard on the 13th.
Brown-eared Bulbul Microscelis amaurotis. Several pairs on the Island.
Sand Martin Riparia riparia A “pure” flock of up to twelve individuals hurried east on the 14th.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica. Present daily, with c. 40 on the 14th.
Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus One on the 14th.
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica. Four or five seen daily.
Japanese Bush Warbler Horornis diphone. A fair number either heard singing or alarm-calling every day, evenly distributed throughout the island and apparently holding territory.
Manchurian (Korean) Bush Warbler Horornis borealis. One or two heard singing on the 14th.
Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus. Several heard or seen daily.
Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus. Only between one and three seen or heard.
Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus. One on the 14th.
Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus. Several seen or heard each day, including a pair apparently co-operatively hunting insects together.
Naummann’s Thrush Turdus naumanni. One on the 14th.
Rufous-tailed Robin Luscinia sibilans. Two or three heard singing daily.
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus. A female on the 14th.
Stejneger’s Stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri. A male and a female seen.
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius One singing in the harbour.
White-throated Rock Thrush Monticola gularis. One on the 14th.
Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta. One the sunny afternoon of the 14th I saw at least 30 on the island, most of them accumulated along the mountaintop.

Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta, © Tim Edelsten


Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica. One on the 14th.
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica Five or six on the 14th.
Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina. A male, then a female departing the mountaintop on the 14th.
Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki. A handful of females on the 13th and 14th.
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana. One on the 13th, three on the 14th (males).
Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis. One taivana on the 13th and one tschutschensis on the 14th.
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea. One at the pond daily.
Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi. One seen daily.

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni. Four on the 13th, two on the 14th.
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus. One on the 13th.

Brambling Fringilla montifringilla. Ten or less seen daily.
Grey-capped Greenfinch Carduelis sinica. Two heard on the 13th and 14th.
Siskin Carduelis spinus. A roving flock of ten or so had apparently been gradually reduced by the depredations of the neighborhood Long-tailed Shrike.
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria. One male singing on the 14th.
Tristram’s Bunting Emberiza tristrami. One or two seen daily.
Chestnut-eared Bunting Emberiza fucata. One on the 13th.
Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla. Seven or eight seen daily
Yellow-browed Bunting Emberiza chrysophrys. One or two seen each day.
Chestnut Bunting Emberiza rutila. Only three ( a male and two females) seen throughout the trip.
Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala. Numerous, with some 40-60 seen daily.