As I started my morning walk around the garden this morning, I didn’t expect much.  It was pretty smoggy and fairly still and, after several days of settled weather, I didn’t expect there to be any new grounded migrants.

In some longish grass I caught a glimpse of a warbler probing around at the bases of the stems..  and it didn’t take long to realise it was a Radde’s Warbler – my first in the garden.  It hopped around, rarely fully in view – typical of a Radde’s  – before flying a short way into dense cover.  A nice start.

A bit further along I flushed a Taiga Flycatcher – the first I have seen for a while (they were pretty common in early September but most seem to have gone through by now) and a female Daurian Redstart (possibly the same bird that has been present since Tuesday) darted out and then back into cover.  Several Pallas’s Warblers foraged in the tallest shrubs but, with lots of dog walkers around and Chinese people doing their morning shouty shouty stuff, I decided to call it a morning and go back to the flat for breakfast.

A nagging feeling that there might be more birds around caused me to take another stroll around after lunch.  Almost immediately, in the same spot as the Radde’s earlier that day, I caught sight of some movement on the ground.  Probably the Radde’s, I thought…  This time I had my camera with me so I thought I would try to get an image or too..  I crept up the steps so that I was at eye-level with the bird.. suddenly it called a very sharp ‘tick’ and sat up on a stem.  The bird had plain brownish upperparts and a very marked supercilium that grew stronger behind the eye.  It turned and I could see it had a very short tail – it was clearly an Asian Stubtail!  Wow!  I grabbed my camera and it flew up onto a branch momentarily before flying off round the corner and out of sight.  I managed a few dark record images…


Asian Stubtail, Central Park, Beijing, 8 October 2010


Almost immediately, two Pallas’s Warblers came down to some low branches nearby and performed very well…  I do love these bright little gems!


Pallas's Warbler, Central Park, 8 October 2010



Pallas's Warbler, Central Park, 8 October 2010

I enjoyed watching one of the Pallas’s as it repeatedly picked off insects from an infested stem and, in so doing, I realised that I may have achieved a photographic first – a Pallas’s Warbler pooing.  He must have felt embarrassed as, no sooner had he relieved himself, he flew off in a hurry…




Pallas's Warbler pooing, Central Park, 8 October 2010


One thought on “Stubtail!”

  1. Hi Terry,
    I was excited when I found an Asian Stubtail in Thailand, not on our last trip but on my lone trip in 2003, great little bird. Nice shots of the Pallas’s I’m sure they won’t be the last!


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