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Swinhoe's Plover and Terns

Posted Tuesday 12th July 2011 at 00:34 by BIJ
Gongping Dahu NR. 9/10th July 2011.
I was joined this W/E by John & Jemi Holmes and Jonathan Martinez.The latter had never visited Dahu beach before to see the Swinhoe's Plover. The weather held good although it was very hot and humid. A bit of a suprise was to find the PRCA holding manoeuvers in the village and on the beach but luckily yhe SP breeding season is virtually over and most of this year's crop of juveniles from two broods have already departed, leaving around 60+ adults all of whom are in the middle of the moult. The males are looking very good in partial moult phase.The big question which arises now is whether these birds are going to stay move down the coast 200kms or so, or are they genuine migrants and will move en masse to Malaysia and Thailand etc. It seems odd to me that the wintering numbers in SE Asia appear to be very small while I have over 300 breeding on two small beaches located in south Guangdong. We hope to set up a research programme for next year which would give me the opportunity to explore other beaches between Fuzhou and Shenzhen to see if there are other breeding communities along the south China coast, of this fascinating bird.I certainly hope that is the case.
We had a great Tern day on the beach with nine species, White-naped, Bridled, Great Crested,Little, Common, Whiskered, very early White-winged juvenile,Roseate,Gull-billed.
Sunday John and Jemi went off to explore a new area around the islands off Shanwei, while JM and I headed for the NR paddyfields> Wdaer migration has just started and we found good numbers of Long-toed Stint and Little Ringed Plover. Watercocak,Slaty-breasted Rail, Bitterns and two Painted Snipe,one of which we rescued from an illegal mist net. This last week the local farmers have erected many mist nets which is very bad news. JM and I cut down a number but it isa problem all over China. The tragedy is that most of the birds are not collected but left to die and wither in the nets.The only advantage to this abysmal situation for the birds, is that it allows them to spot the nets more easily and so take avoiding action. Photo titles as follows:
2854: Black-naped Tern
2981: Bridled Tern.
3072: Greater Painted Snipe, male; rescued from a mist net. The bird recovered well after we realeased it.
2993: Roseate Tern.
3035: Swinhoe's Plover, female in partial moult.
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It was fun..... and all the Terns were a bonus !
Posted Sunday 25th September 2011 at 11:55 by johnjemi johnjemi is offline
 
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