Jankowski’s Bunting Video And Audio From Beijing, January To March 2016

These resources accompany an article in Birding Asia about the occurrence of a flock of Jankowski’s Buntings in Beijing in early 2016, including:

i) A compilation of sound recordings (by Paul Holt)

ii) A compilation of video footage of the small flock of Jankowski’s Buntings in Beijing, taken January to March 2016 (Terry Townshend)




Commentary on the video

Clip 1: 27 January 2016, three birds

Bird 1: adult male top right

Predominantly rufous, poorly flecked (rather than streaked) crown; extensive rufous scapulars – largely unmarked; lack of grey ‘shawl’; prominent grey lesser coverts; very dark brown (almost black) lores; very dark brown (almost black) malar; only a very rudimentary gorget – with light flecking apparently confined to the breast sides; more contrasting facial pattern with greyer ear-coverts contrasting with the darker lores, darker malar and rufous hue to the nape; salmon wash to the flanks; broad white tips to black centred median coverts; these black centres squarely cut off; all tertials similar – of uniform age. Note that what is possibly this same bird had a heavily abraded tail by the 22 February. Earlier in the season males appear to have whitish tips to their upper tail coverts.

Bird 2: middle bird

Compared to the male at the top right: lacks dark lores; lacks dark malar; crown, nape & ear-coverts essentially concolourous and this bird lacks contrast on the head & the appearance of a ‘hood’; prominent gorget; more contrasting rufous scapulars than many female-type birds; median covert tips conspicuously white (more contrasting than the adult male at the top right?); heavily streaked crown; pink legs & feet with perhaps just black claws; whiter, more uniform underparts that importantly have duller flanks – lacking the salmon wash seen on the adult male; off-white eye-ring.

Bird 3: bottom left bird (perhaps a first-winter)

Similar to the central bird; fractionally less streaking on crown than the central bird; buffier tips to the greater coverts than the central bird; less contrasting rufous scapulars with darker feather centres than the central bird; subtly bolder malar; subtly more rufous on the hind-crown & nape; greyer lesser coverts; all adult-like, uniformly aged, tertials. Females in the same clip have dark malars but do not have black lores.

Clip 2: 27 January 2016, single bird

Central tertial apparently of a different age to the other two; pointed central tail feathers – though in January & especially February these appear to be very worn on most birds & of little or no use in aging; grey ‘shawl’; pale lores; gorget with strong malar; rufous & rather plain centred scapulars; perhaps a bolder crescent below the eye.

Clip 3: 27 January 2016, single bird breast on

Fine flecking on breast side; almost total lack of a dark malar; pink legs & feet with black claws; only its innermost tertial is adult-like; pointed tail feathers but apparent fault bars; scapulars not extensively rufous & with a poorer or more reduced contrast between them & the mantle; underparts more uniform – lower flanks not rufous; vague hint of a dark belly patch.

Clip 4: 6 February 2016, two birds

Top right bird: very broad white tips to the greater coverts; all tertials adult-like; appears to have had a trauma with its tail.

Clip 5: 6 February 2016, single bird

Three similarly aged, adult-like tertials; greater coverts tipped buffier/warmer than the obviously white-tipped median coverts; darker malar (the darkest part of this bird’s head); dark shaft streak visible in the rufous scapulars; bold gorget; median coverts – at least the outermost has a dark shaft; heavily streaked crown; small pale triangular wedge at the tip of all three tertials; tail feathers perhaps more rounded; more rufous already showing through on the nape; buffier fringes to its greater coverts & flight feathers; warmest on its ear-coverts (immediately to the rear of its eye); grey lesser coverts.

Clip 6: 6 February 2016, single bird

Uniformly rufous, practically unmarked scapulars; very grey ‘shawl’; pointed tail feathers; bold gorget; uniform underparts; very broad median covert tips; same aged tertials (or is the innermost the only adult-like feather?); apparently re-growing its two outermost tail feathers on its right side.

Clip 7: 6 February 2016, single bird

Dark malar; buffier hue to the lores; bold gorget; pale legs & black feet; square-centred prominently white-tipped median coverts; dark shaft (‘tooth’) on strongly rufous lower scapulars; grey lesser coverts

Clip 8: 5 March 2016, single bird

Presumed adult male; prominent dark lores and malar stripe (the darkest part of the bird); rich chestnut crown, greay ear coverts, slightly darker just below and behind the eye and at rear, prominent dark belly spot, two white wingbars, slight grey mark on upper supercilium.

Clip 9: 7 March 2016, single bird

Prominent dark lores and malar; some streaking on chestnut crown; belly patch rather faint; warm grey ear coverts

Clip 10: 7 March 2016, single bird

Same individual as in Clip 9; prominently dark lores and malar, some dark streaking on chestnut crown, relatively faint belly spot; buffy wash on upper breast sides;

Clip 11: 7 March 2016, single bird

Prominently dark lores and thick malar stripe, widening from top to bottom; warmish grey ear coverts with obvious pale grey patch at rear; faint grey mark on upper supercilium; chestnut crown unstreaked; buffy wash to upper breast sides and flanks; prominent belly patch.

Clip 12: 19 March 2016, single bird facing left

Dark malar bleeding into dark markings on upper breast/lower throat creating a bold gorget; dark streaking on chestnut crown; dark lores not crisp black but a little patchy; prominent white tips to median coverts;

Clips 13, 14 and 15: 19 March 2016, single bird feeding on ground

Prominent dark streaks on chestnut crown; prominent dark malar expanding to throat side and bleeding into dark streaks on upper breast forming gorget; prominent white tips to median coverts; pale but slightly buffy tips to greater coverts; Prominent dark streaking on mostly chestnut crown but with a greyish wash on centre; dark lores and malar merging with dark gorget; bright rufous scapulars, richly centred; grey wash on mantle, strongest on upper mantle; all 3 tertials similarly-aged;

Clip 16: 19 March 2016, single bird perched and facing left

Prominent dark streaking on chestnut crown; dark and substantial malar merging with gorget; some dark feathers at rear and lower border of greyish-brown ear coverts with obvious grey patch to the rear; white tips to the median coverts,

Clip 17: 19 March 2016, single bird face on

Overall relatively less contrasting head and face pattern; dull crown; weak malar and lores; hint of belly patch; supercilium short and broad, beginning above eye;

Clip 18: 19 March 2016, single bird perched and facing left

Prominent dark lores and, relatively thin, malar; grey ear coverts, darkest immediately behind eye; dark streaking on chestnut crown; prominent dark belly patch; grey lesser coverts; relatively pointed tail feathers mostly white with dark edges.

Clips 19, 20, 21 and 22: 19 March 2016, single bird perched and then feeding on ground

Dark streaking, most prominent on centre and rear of chestnut crown; dark lores and malar with dark ‘smudges’ on sides of upper breast/lower throat; white supercilium beginning at base of upper mandible and thickening over eye and upper border of ear coverts; grey lesser coverts, rufous scapular feathers, richest at centre; two prominent pale ‘tramlines’ on mantle bordered by blackish feathers; prominent white tips to the median coverts and pale tips to the greater coverts; pinkish legs; slight buffy wash on shoulders/upper flanks; tertials apparently of similar age.