Flappy goes cuckoo and leads a merry dance

Flappy-24-may-2016-close-up1There was exciting news earlier this week when Flappy – or Flappy McFlapperson to give her full name: the female Cuckoo sponsored by the Oriental Bird Club through the Beijing Cuckoo Project—apparently began her southward migration.

Speculation was rife as to whether she would head towards Africa or South Asia. However, as the maps below demonstrate, she is not about to give her secret away just yet.

flappy-14-july-2016

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Flappy makes a flying start

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Close up of one of the tagged bird. Photo courtesy Beijing Cuckoo Project

An exciting new project is currently underway to find the wintering grounds of East Asia’s Common Cuckoos.

Through the Beijing Cuckoo Project, satellite transmitters have been placed on five Common Cuckoos in order to track their international movements.

The birds were all trapped in the Beijing area where local schoolchildren have chosen names for them and encouraged to follow their movements online as they move first to their breeding grounds then in the autumn to their as yet unknown wintering grounds.

The Oriental Bird Club has sponsored a transmitter on one of the cuckoos, which the pupils at Dulwich International School, Beijing, chose to name Flappy McFlapperson.

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Forktail 31 published

Front-cover-ForktailOBC Members will now have received, or shortly be receiving, their copy of 2015’s Forktail. Issue 31 appeared later than anticipated, for which the Club apologies. The delay was due to technical problems outside of our control.

However, we are sure members will consider it has certainly been worth the wait. The latest issue is packed full of 14 full papers and 7 short notes covering a wide variety of topics. Among the main papers is one documenting the extinctions or near-extinctions caused by excessive wild trapping and trade in a number of Asian bird species. This is an issue of growing concern, but there is gathering momentum for action to be taken.

A paper on the number of species and subspecies in the Red-bellied Pitta Erythropitta erythrogaster complex is certain to be of particular interest to pitta-listers.

Non-members will have to wait until 2018 before they can download all the papers from Forktail 31. The Club’s policy is to make the scientific information freely available three years after publication date. The papers from Forktail 29 will therefore soon be available on this website.

BirdingASIA 24 published

CoverBA24Oriental Bird Club members should now have received their latest issue of BirdingASIA.

Featuring a superb image of a Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara by Jainy Kuriakose on the cover, the issue is packed full of bird news from around the region.

Articles include the latest taxonomic updates – splits and other changes – through to little known birding areas in the Philippines, together with all the latest conservation news.

For anyone with an interest in birds of the Oriental region, subscribing to the Oriental Bird Club to receive your biannual BirdingASIA and the Club’s Journal, Forktail, is an absolute necessity – so if you  haven’t done so already, subscribe today!

OBC Autumn Meeting 2015

The OBC Autumn Meeting, incorporating the 31st AGM, will be held in the Wilkinson Room, St John the Evangelist, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8RN on Saturday 5th September 2015.

The meeting starts at 11:00 and all are welcome – please bring your friends. Snacks, cakes and hot and cold drinks will be available all day.

Sales by WildSounds
Prize draw in aid of the OBC Conservation Fund
The AGM, at which only OBC members may vote, will be held at 12:00

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100,000th image milestone for Oriental Bird Images

The 100,000th image on OBI: Bar-headed Goose at Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary, Dholpur, Rajasthan, India. (c) Sunil Singhal.

The 100,000th image on OBI: Bar-headed Goose at Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary, Dholpur, Rajasthan, India. (c) Sunil Singhal.

Oriental Bird Images, www.orientalbirdimages.org, the online photographic image resource library of the Oriental Bird Club today celebrated with the upload of its 100,000th image.

The stunning landmark image is a portrait of a Bar-headed Goose taken by Sunil Singhal at Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary, Dholpur, Rajasthan, India on 16 March this year. Bar-headed Geese are known to migrate over the Himalayas at altitudes of more than 7,000 metres (23,000 ft).

“The uploading of the 100,000th image is testament to the years of dedicated hard work put in by a multitude of unpaid volunteers over the past 13 years since OBI was launched,” said Krys Kazmierczak, who conceived the idea for a publicly accessible online image library for Asian bird species and subspecies.

“The library speaks volumes for the sheer dedication of more than 1,500 amateur and professional bird photographers who have freely contributed their stunning images to this resource for bird researchers worldwide.”

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Birding Viet Nam

The following is based on an article by OBC member Andy Mears that first appeared on the Birdguides website. Many thanks to Birdguides for granting the OBC permission to repost the article here.

Vietnam is a bird-rich country bordered by China, Laos and Cambodia and strategically placed on the OBC region’s eastern seaboard. From wintering Rufous-tailed Robins to breeding White-winged Magpies, the country has much to offer the travelling birder or interested reader.

Talk to non-birders about Vietnam and they are usually surprised to hear that it is a popular birding destination. In the same way that Ethiopia is perceived to be stark and famine-ridden, Vietnam is often viewed as war-torn and scarred. Neither perception is correct. Vietnam is in fact within an important area of endemism and retains some valuable tracts of rainforest that can easily be visited by birders today. Add to that accessible mountains and wetlands that host some of the rarest shorebirds on earth, and Vietnam becomes a stunning destination.

Vietnam-Cutia

Vietnamese Cutia photographed in the Da Lat uplands of Southern Vietnam by BirdtourASIA tour guide James Eaton. James is a regular contributor to the OBC’s Forktail and BirdingASIA journals. BirdtourASIA is a proud corporate sponsor of the Oriental Bird Club — many thanks to James for providing photos for this article.

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Jerdon’s Babbler rediscovered in Myanmar

Jerdon’s Babbler, rediscovered in Myanmar in May 2014 © Robert Tizard / WCS

5th March 2015—Jerdon’s Babbler Chrysomma altirostre has been rediscovered in Myanmar by a scientific team from WCS, Myanmar’s Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division – MOECAF, and National University of Singapore (NUS).

Jerdon’s Babbler had last been seen in Myanmar in July 1941 and was considered by many to be extinct in the country.

News of the exciting rediscovery has been unveiled in the latest issue of BirdingASIA, the six-monthly journal of the Oriental Bird Club.

The printed article will be distributed to Club members, while an electronic version can be downloaded here: BirdingAsia22 pp13-15 (PDF, 50 KB)

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Forktail 30 available

Forktail30-coverOBC members should already have received Forktail 30, the latest issue of the Club’s peer-reviewed journal of Asian ornithology.

As ever, the publcation is packed with the latest ornithological papers relating to the avifauna of the Oriental region.

The full contents from each issue are posted  on the OBC website, but it’s a publication you simply can’t afford to miss: so join OBC today and you will receive two issues of BirdingASIA every year, plus once a year, Forktail, the Club’s peer-reviewed journal publishing original ornithological research from the region.