10 Japanese Paradise Flycatcher in Shanghai

Japanese Paradise Flycatcher
Japanese Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata is the most numerous member of its genus to pass through Shanghai. Amur Paradise Flycatcher T. incei also passes through, but in smaller numbers. I found this individual, a male, in Microforest 2 (30.926138, 121.970795). Like most male paradise flycatchers on passage in Shanghai, it was missing its spectacular elongated tail feathers. For more on distinguishing Japanese and Amur Paradise Flycatcher, see Craig’s post ID Workshop: Paradise Flycatchers. (Craig Brelsford)

by Craig Brelsford
Founder, shanghaibirding.com

At Cape Nanhui and other area hotspots, veteran British birder Michael Grunwell, my wife Elaine Du, and I noted 71 species. Chief among them was Japanese Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata. We noted 10 on Sat., Sept. 17. Care must be taken to separate Japanese Paradise Flycatcher from Amur Paradise Flycatcher T. incei, which passes through Shanghai in smaller numbers. Male and female Japanese have a more extensive dark hood, extending almost to the belly, whereas that of Amur extends only to the upper breast. For more help distinguishing these species, see ID Workshop: Paradise Flycatchers.

Our team visited Cape Nanhui, the main birding hotspot in Shanghai, on the southeastern tip of Pudong; Lesser Yangshan Island; and the sod farm south of Pudong Airport (31.112586, 121.824742). At Nanhui we were joined by the crack high-school birding team of Larry Chen, Komatsu Yasuhiko, Chi Shu, and Andy Lee.

Other highlights:

White-winged Tern

We noted 2500 at Nanhui, by far the highest number of White-winged Tern that I have seen. They made quite a spectacle, fluttering like snowflakes over the reed beds.

Common Tern

Common Tern
One of the three Common Tern at a roost (30.920549, 121.963247) that contained Nordmann’s Greenshank. I massively overexposed the legs (inset) to reveal a hint of the red color, enough to clinch the ID of Common. (Komatsu Yasuhiko)

Three at a dry roost (30.920549, 121.963247) at Cape Nanhui. Michael and I discussed whether Aleutian Tern, similar to Common Tern in winter plumage, passes through Shanghai and has been overlooked. Check for the red legs of Common; if the legs appear black, then keep investigating; you may have an Aleutian.

Ruddy Shelduck

Ruddy Shelduck is uncommon in Shanghai; I have recorded flocks at Chongming but had never seen the species at Nanhui. We saw a single Ruddy in the marshy agricultural land north of Luchao (芦潮; 30.851111, 121.848528).

Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Great Knot, Red Knot, Grey-tailed Tattler

The godwits, knots, and tattlers were in the dry roost with Nordmann’s Greenshank.

Black-winged Cuckooshrike

The seven of us covered the microforests. Our teamwork paid off with a view of Black-winged Cuckooshrike, an uncommon passage migrant in Shanghai.

On Lesser Yangshan we found Oriental Dollarbird. Our final stop was the sod farm south of Pudong International Airport, where we found 4 Pacific Golden Plover and 200 Oriental Pratincole.
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Craig Brelsford

Craig Brelsford is the founder of shanghaibirding.com. Brelsford lived in Shanghai from 2007 to 2018. Now back home in Florida, Brelsford maintains close ties to the Shanghai birding community and continues his enthusiastic development of this website. When Brelsford departed China, he was the top-ranked eBirder in that country, having noted more than 930 species. Brelsford was also the top-ranked eBirder in Shanghai, with more than 320 species. Brelsford’s photos of birds have won various awards and been published in books and periodicals and on websites all over the world. Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, published in its entirety on this website, is the most Shanghai-centric field guide ever written. Brelsford is a graduate of the University of Florida and earned a master's in business administration at the University of Liege, Belgium.

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