This November, I went birding in Shanghai exactly once – the result of both some unpleasant changes in the accessibility of some good birding sites and some traveling that took me away from Shanghai for half of the month.

Still, I saw a few thrushes – among them one of my favorites, the Japanese Thrush.

The explanation for the scientific name of cardis provided in the HBW sounds a bit spurious to me but is presumably correct: “perhaps from the resemblance of the black markings on the underparts to the spades in a set of playing cards (French carde card)”.

Some Japanese researchers apparently slightly obsessed with sex analyzed the mating success of male Japanese Thrushes depending on their song repertoire. Their finding: “The whistle repertoire size was not related to the mating status, while the trill repertoire size in polygynous males was larger than that in monogamous males.” If you want to contact these researchers, please go to the karaoke bar where they have been practicing trills ever since. 

As the Chinese are not particularly fond of the Japanese, they call this species the Grey Thrush (wuhui dong).

I also saw some other thrushes that were less obliging with regard to having their photos taken – Grey-backed Thrush

… and Dusky Thrush.

The Yellow-throated Bunting used to be called Elegant Bunting until it was discovered that the namesake of the species, Sir Edward Elegant (1783-1844) was not only an eminent naturalist but also a slaveholder and a vocal supporter of other opinions that would nowadays clearly be considered racist and sexist.

Three other birds: Eurasian Hoopoe

Manchurian Bush Warbler

… and Red-flanked Bluetail.

Not very impressive, I hear you say, and I fully agree. In the music industry, sometimes bands lie dormant for an extended period, but still, the greedy record company requires them to release a new album, if only to fulfill their contract. In industry terms, this is sometimes called the Contractual Obligation Album. In that case, what is released is often a kind of filler album – though the technical term for filler varies depending on circumstances: it could be a “Best of”, a “Live at …”, a “B-sides compilation”, an acoustic album, or an album recorded with a classical orchestra.

Since 10,000 Birds has been taken over by a greedy and unrelenting German, the enforcement of my contractual obligations in writing a weekly post have also been enforced much more tightly. To satisfy that guy, here is my version of a contractual obligation post – a collection of photos taken in Shanghai in any of the past November months. But I will not give him the satisfaction to add any text to these older photos.

November 2016: Scaly-sided Merganser

… and Mandarin Duck.

November 2017: Black-naped Monarch

… and Bohemian Waxwing.

November 2018: For some reason, I do not seem to have any photos from Shanghai for November 2018.

November 2019: Chinese Thrush

… and White-bellied Green Pigeon.

November 2020: Chinese Grey Shrike

… and Ryukyu Minivet.

November 2021: Eurasian Sparrowhawk

… and Eurasian Kestrel.

November 2022: Japanese Robin

… and Chestnut-crowned Warbler.

Written by Kai Pflug
Kai Pflug has been living in Shanghai for 20 years. He only became interested in birds in China – so he is much more familiar with birds in China than with those in Germany. While he will only ever be an average birder, he aims to be a good bird photographer and has created a website with bird photos as proof. He hopes not too many clients of his consulting company read this blog, as they will doubt his dedication to providing consulting services related to China`s chemical industry. Whenever he wants to shock other birders, he tells them his (indoor) cats can distinguish several warblers by taste.