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Old Tuesday 15th October 2013, 02:24   #951
Terry Townshend
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Yes, absolutely right. It's Taiga Flycatcher that has black uppertail coverts and an all-dark bill..! RBF is exactly how Mark describes. At least I got the RBF call right - should be slow enough to count the notes. Good luck!
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Old Sunday 27th October 2013, 10:06   #952
Dong Bei
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Jinshitan Sea-farming Ponds Oct. 27, 2013

Got out for 2 hours this afternoon. It was rather dead until I took a different side road on the way home and ran into 22 Amur Falcons on one stretch of power lines and a Little Owl clearly perturbed that they were there.

List includes a very short hike in the mountains yesterday behind my house as well

Common Pheasant
Japanese Quail - 3
Gadwall - 2
Mallard - 100
Spot-billed Duck - 20
Eurasian Teal - 1
Common Pochard - 2
Tufted Duck - 5
Little Grebe - 5
Grey Heron - 3
Euraisian Kestrel - 3
Amur Falcon - 22
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Japanese Sparrowhawk - 1
Eastern Buzzard - 5
Common Moorhen - 1
Common Coot - 17
Great Knot - 1
Black-tailed Gull - 15
Oriental Turtle Dove - 1
Little Owl - 1
Chinese Grey Shrike - 1
Great Tit - 3
Eurasian Skylark - 6
Vinous-throated Parrotbill - 1 large group
Daurian Redstart - many around at the moment
White Wagtail - 4 ocularis
Oriental Greenfinch - 1
Black-faced Bunting - 2
Pallas's Reed Bunting - 10
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Old Friday 1st November 2013, 13:45   #953
Dong Bei
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Sea-farming Ponds November 1, 2013

I have been quite busy with work and am not getting out as much as I like to. It's amazing what I can see and hear from going to and from work. The flight calls at night during the last week have been awesome to listen to. I can go out on my deck at any time in the evening and hear things flying overhead. My friend heard geese last night as well. There are so many things that happen in Sept an Oct that I don't record here. Amazing migration location!

Had one hour of pathetic light just before dark today. I turned on my headlight on my bike on the way there! Once there I just checked out a small reed area that seemed to be alive with Pallas's Reed Bunting. I sat quiet in the reeds studying the differences that exist in the species and their call when a Baillon's Crake literally popped out right in front of me. By then the light was even worse than when I arrived and I snapped some photos using manual focus and some camera settings that I've never tried before. I'm really not a photographer in terms of knowing settings. Once home I took the horribly dark photos and played with lighting etc.. (something I also hate to do). I am quite pleased with the photos below given the lighting.

In books, Pallas's Reed Bunting often are illustrated with dark blue lesser wing coverts. I finally found one today that matches the books! I find bill shape, size, and colour in addition to overall size, call, and very limited streaking on the breast to be better field marks in separating with Common Reed Bunting.

Also, I was quite intrigued with a group of Barn Swallows on November 1! It is a bit warmer than usual I guess.

List:

Common Pheasant
Japanese Quail - 4
Mallard - 50
Spot-billed Duck - 10
Common Pochard - 2
Little Grebe - 8
Grey Heron - 4
Eurasian Kestrel - 1
Eurasian Sparrowhawk - 1
Baillon's Crake - 1
Common Moorhen - 1
Common Coot - 23
Green Sandpiper - 1
Snipe Sp. - 5
Oriental Turtle Dove - 5
Great Tit - 10
Barn Swallow - 12
Vinous-throated Parrotbill - 1 group
Daurian Redstart - 3
White Wagtail - 1
Buff-bellied Pipit - 2
Oriental Greenfinch - 10
Yellow-throated Bunting - 1
Pallas's Reed Bunting - 40
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Old Saturday 2nd November 2013, 05:12   #954
Dong Bei
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Sea-farming Ponds November 2, 2013

I was out with Stephen from 5-8 this morning. We looked for the Baillon's Crake at the same spot as yesterday but found an Eastern Water Rail instead! It's a shame the lighting has been so poor for both birds as both have been out in the open.

The recording below was something approx 20 minutes before it started to get light. Resembles a Little Owl but was much louder. It was in a forested area. The sound is soft in the recording but I was very far away. I forgot to turn off the image stabilizer so there is that distraction as well. Any ideas?

Common Pheasant
Japanese Quail - 8
Gadwall - 2
Mallard - 80
Spot-billed Duck - 15
Common Pochard - 2
Tufted Duck - 2
Little Grebe - 10
Grey Heron - 2
Little Egret - 1
Eurasian Kestrel - 2
Eastern Buzzard - 2
Eastern Water Rail - 1
Common Moorhen - 2
Common Coot - 28
Green Sandpiper - 4
Mongolian/Vega Gull - 15
Hill Pigeon - 1
Oriental Turtle Dove - 1
Common Kingfisher - 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 2
Chinese Grey Shrike - 1
Great Tit - 4
Chinese Penduline Tit - 2
Barn Swallow - 3
Eurasian Skylark - 8
Vinous-throated Parrotbill - 1 group
Thrush Sp. - 14
Daurian Redstart - 3
White Wagtail ocularis - 3
Oriental Greenfinch - 30
Eurasian Siskin - 60
Meadow Bunting - 1
Little Bunting - 1
Rustic Bunting - 2
Yellow-throated Bunting - 3
Pallas's Reed Bunting - 30
Japanese Reed Bunting - 2
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Old Wednesday 6th November 2013, 01:44   #955
Dong Bei
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Sea-farming Ponds Nov. 5, 2013

Quick hour before dark. The Little Owl pic below is from last weekend -the usual one at the usual place. The Shrike recordings below show 3 quite different calls. None of the recordings below are what I normally hear there. Usually they sound more like a screaming cat!


Strange weather: very dark and gloomy but quite warm at around 15 degrees. Right at the edge of winter now -- had Dusky Warbler and Siberian Accentor on the same day.

List:
Common Pheasant
Japanese Quail - 2
Mallard - 40
Spot-billed Duck - 40
Common Pochard - 1
Tufted Duck - 5
Little Grebe - 10
Grey Heron - 3
Eurasian Kestrel - 1
Common Coot - 17
Chinese Grey Shrike - 1
Great Tit - 5
Eurasian Skylark - 1
Chinese Hill Warbler - 1
Dusky Warbler - 1
Vinous-throated Parrotbill - 1 group
Winter Wren - 1 (quite uncommon here)
Daurian Redstart - 3
Siberian Accentor - 1 (FOS)
White Wagtail - 1
Meadow Bunting - 2
Rustic Bunting - 1
Yellow-throated Bunting - 10
Pallas's Reed Bunting - 10
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Attached Files
File Type: mp3 Chinese Grey Shrike 9 (1).mp3 (475.7 KB, 40 views)
File Type: mp3 Chinese Grey Shrike 9 (2).mp3 (402.9 KB, 45 views)
File Type: mp3 Chinese Grey Shrike 9 (3).mp3 (688.7 KB, 34 views)
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Old Wednesday 6th November 2013, 12:18   #956
Dong Bei
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Sea-farming Ponds woods Nov. 6, 2013

Had all of 45 minutes so I checked out the woods around the ponds. This area has so many Common Magpies that I rarely acknowledge them in my reports. The same goes for Tree Sparrows. Some of the magpies get sick from whatever they're eating (I think that's why) and lose their tails, neck feathers, etc... Many of them do not look very healthy. Today I saw one get taken by a Goshawk. It was one of the non-tail variety and met its death above the forest where I was The photo below shows the last second of its life. Before today I've never seen any bird of prey take a magpie or even get serious about trying. The Gos had a fan on the ground below. Minus one magpie in Jinshitan!

Daurian Redstart recording below - quite a different vocalization. This is in response to me pishing for quite a while in the area.

Common Pheasant - would love to see an Upland Buzzard grab one sometime.
Eurasian Kestrel - 3
Peregrine Falcon - 1
Northern Goshawk - 2
Oriental Turtle Dove - 8
Great Tit - 25
Vinous-throated Parrotbill - 2 huge groups
Dusky/Naumann's Thrush - 2
Daurian Redstart - 10
Siberian Accentor - 3
Oriental Greenfinch - 2
Eurasian Siskin - 3
Meadow Bunting - 1
Rustic Bunting - 2
Yellow-throated Bunting - 60
Pallas's Reed Bunting - 1
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Old Saturday 9th November 2013, 05:23   #957
Dong Bei
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Jinshitan Nov. 9, 2013

Tadao (Ted) Shimba was in Dalian again and we covered a lot of Jinshitan together this morning. Although the weather was not ideal at all, we did manage a lifer (Mongolian Lark) for both of us and had a very enjoyable time being out. We started at the Sea-farming Ponds where we visited with the Little Owl. We then covered some other areas of the ponds as well brief stops at the GeoPark platform and some other locations. At the ponds, we had been kicking up some Eurasian Skylark when Ted asked if I ever saw Mongolian Lark in the area. I replied that I hadn't and he began to tell me about the upper wing pattern etc... Within 1 minute of that conversation one erupted out of the short scrub right beside our car! We both had good bare eye and binocular views. I tried a quick recording but didn't get anything of value -- clearly a different call.

Weather was dark and rainy.

The list below is from this morning only, some of the pics are from yesterday.

List:
Common Pheasant
Ruddy Shelduck - 4
Mandarin Duck - 3
Eurasian Wigeon - 1
Mallard - 100
Spot-billed Duck - 40
Common Pochard - 1
Tufted Duck - 6
Little Grebe - 10
Grey Heron - 5
Great Egret - 2
Great Cormorant - 2
Eurasian Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 1
Common Coot - 8
Green Sandpiper - 4
Snipe Sp. - 2
Black-tailed gull - 100
Mongolian/Vega Gull - 50
Black-headed Gull - 150
Sanders's Gull - 2
Oriental Turtle Dove - 1
Red-collared Dove - (3 yesterday)
Little Owl - 1
Chinese Grey Shrike - 1
Great Tit - 3
Mongolian Lark - 1
Eurasian Skylark - 30
Chinese Hill Warbler - 4
Vinous-throated Parrotbill - 1 single
Daurian Redstart = 10
Blue Rock Thrush - 1
Siberian Accentor - 1 heard
Hawfinch - 3
Oriental Geenfinch - 2
Meadow Bunting - 2
Yellow-throated Bunting - 15
Pallas's Reed Bunting - 4
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Old Tuesday 12th November 2013, 07:20   #958
Dong Bei
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Chinese Bulbuls at Laotieshan

Tadao Shimba was at Laotieshan for part of the day on November 8. One of the things he noticed was a massive group of Chinese Bulbuls. He estimates the group to be many hundred in number. Here are some of his pictures.
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Old Tuesday 12th November 2013, 12:32   #959
MKinHK
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Migrating flocks of Chinese Bulbuls are a feature of this time of year in HK too.

They were a scarce migrant in Beidahe 25 years ago.

Cheers
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Old Tuesday 12th November 2013, 13:01   #960
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKinHK View Post

They were a scarce migrant in Beidahe 25 years ago.

Cheers
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They were, not now, strange how things change, global warming?
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Old Tuesday 12th November 2013, 13:19   #961
Gretchen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dong Bei View Post
One of the things he noticed was a massive group of Chinese Bulbuls. He estimates the group to be many hundred in number.
Interesting! I've never seen them migrating in flocks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKinHK View Post
Migrating flocks of Chinese Bulbuls are a feature of this time of year in HK too.

They were a scarce migrant in Beidahe 25 years ago.
Now they winter in Qinhuangdao, but I didn't notice the number increasing with migrants from the north.
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Old Tuesday 12th November 2013, 13:26   #962
Terry Townshend
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Wow... that is brilliant! We saw small flocks of half a dozen or so in early October at Laotieshan and, most of the time, they flew out to sea a few hundred metres and then returned... they seemed very reluctant to leave.. Astonishing to see a flock of this size in Liaoning. It's only a relatively recent colonist, I believe, but clearly marching north fast (like Yellow-bellied Tit).
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Old Wednesday 13th November 2013, 01:47   #963
Dong Bei
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Terry, absolutely true. I would add White-breasted Waterhen and Crested Myna to that group moving north. Crested Myna are clearly migrating north and south here now with large groups seen around Laotieshan in October each year. How they got here is another question but they are clearly breeding and migrating. Red-billed Starling might fall into that category too for Dalian. Although certainly not native, it does breed and migrate. At what point does a bird move from being introduced to a resident? Eurasian Collared Doves and the European Starling in North America are perhaps extreme examples.

I went to find the Mongolian Lark again yesterday after school. I had 30 minutes of daylight (about 5 minutes of sun) but couldn't find any. I did see many Eurasian Skylark and the first Common Gulls and Red-breasted Mergansers coming in for the winter.

Tom
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Old Thursday 14th November 2013, 02:33   #964
Dong Bei
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Very interesting article and pics here of wild bird markets in Beijing.
http://birdingbeijing.com/2013/11/13.../#comment-4503
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Old Sunday 17th November 2013, 08:19   #965
Dong Bei
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Jinshitan Nov. 15-17, 2013

Been out here and there. Finally had 2 hours this afternoon of wonderfully clear weather but my camera wasn't working and then it started snowing quite hard so I headed home. Pictures below are from the last few days.
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Old Sunday 17th November 2013, 08:23   #966
Dong Bei
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Chinese Hill Warbler

4 different calls from a pair a few days ago.
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 MVI_0912.mp3 (179.4 KB, 46 views)
File Type: mp3 MVI_0913.mp3 (397.7 KB, 26 views)
File Type: mp3 MVI_0914.mp3 (310.7 KB, 31 views)
File Type: mp3 MVI_0915.mp3 (810.2 KB, 40 views)
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Old Saturday 23rd November 2013, 03:02   #967
Dong Bei
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Nov. 23, 2013 Jinshitan Sea-farming Ponds and ridge

I arrived at the base of the ridge at 5:50 this morning and scrambled up at first light. I stayed there until 7:30 and then checked out the main pond areas (excluding the mud flat areas) until 9:00. The weather was quite warm at around 5 degrees and some of the ponds were partially frozen. Fog was around for most of the morning and the Eastern Buzzard picture below shows this well.

There is one mystery recording below. I was walking along the top of the ridge when I recorded. I never saw the bird due to dense forest. Any ideas?

Common Pheasant
Ruddy Shelduck - 3
Gadwall - 16
Eurasian Wigeon - 2
Mallard - approx 200
Spot-billed Duck - 4
Eurasian Teal - 5
Tufted Duck - 2
Common Goldeneye - 4
Little Grebe - 2
Eurasian Kestrel - 2
Eurasian Sparrowhawk - 1
Northern Goshawk - 2
Eastern Buzzard - 2
Common Coot - 5
Green Sandpiper - 1
Common Gull - 8
Vega/Mongolian Gull - 1 juv.
Black-headed Gull - 17
Saunders's Gull - 2
Oriental Turtle Dove - 16
Great Tit - 10
Chinese Bulbul - 2
Vinous-throated Parrotbill - 1 group
Dusky/Naumann's Thrush - 4
Daurian Redstart - 6
Siberian Accentor - 2
White Wagtail - 4
Brambling - 12
Oriental Greenfinch - 35
Eurasian Siskin - 8
Meadow Bunting - 6
Little Bunting - 3
Yellow-throated Bunting - 25
Pallas's Reed Bunting - 25
Japanese Reed Bunting 1
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Old Saturday 23rd November 2013, 03:04   #968
Dong Bei
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the

rest
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Old Saturday 23rd November 2013, 12:28   #969
Dong Bei
Tom

 
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Nov. 23, 2013 Jinshitan Geopark

I had 1.5 hours in the afternoon so went out to the Geopark platform area. The temperature was too pleasant to be inside! The sea was completely dead without even one duck or gull. A group of three Yellow-bellied Tits showed up, however, and helped me capture one on my most wanted list as far as photographs are concerned.

Common Pheasant
Azure-winged Magpie - 15 (a group of this elusive species recently received from a prominent birder in the Shanghai area)
Great Tit - 5
Yellow-bellied Tit - 3
Coal Tit - 1
Chinese Hill Warbler - 4
Chinese Bulbul - 5
Vinous-throated Parrotbill - 1 group
Siberian Accentor - 3
Oriental Greenfinch - 15
Yellow-throated Bunting - 10
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Last edited by Dong Bei : Saturday 23rd November 2013 at 13:14.
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Old Saturday 23rd November 2013, 12:29   #970
Dong Bei
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next

ones
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Last edited by Dong Bei : Saturday 23rd November 2013 at 13:13.
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Old Saturday 23rd November 2013, 13:39   #971
MKinHK
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The Chinese Hill Warblers are superb Tom!

cheers
Mike
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Old Saturday 23rd November 2013, 15:06   #972
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Originally Posted by MKinHK View Post
The Chinese Hill Warblers are superb Tom!
Yes, and nice to see my favorite bunting and the yellow-bellied tits - am missing these feathered friends this year!

Nice to hear that the crate load made it quite well! Wonder if any other of the birds were received
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Old Saturday 23rd November 2013, 15:56   #973
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The Chinese Hill Warblers are superb Tom!

cheers
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+1

Since seeing these birds for the first time in Taiyuan I realise how lovely they really are.
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Old Monday 25th November 2013, 23:52   #974
Dong Bei
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Porpoises from last July

This past summer I posted about a large marine mammal at Laotieshan (post #880 on pg. 36). Stephen and I reported a huge porpoise/small whale at the time. Thankfully Stephen has resurfaced the issue and looked into it over the last week. We now believe it to be a sub-species of Asian Finless Porpoise. As Stephen said, "Maybe a freakishly large individual/subspecies or we were plain wrong about the size..." The attached pictures are a perfect match as far as body shape, dorsal fin, and melon are concerned. I'm still scratching my head about how we could have been that far off on size! The research said that this sub species of porpoise tops out at around 6 feet. The one we saw was a monster compared to that and we were very high up on a cliff looking down. We concluded that it has to be this sub-species however as there is nothing else possible.

Here is my original description from last July:
We also observed what we think were two species of porpoise. I have seen seen what I think are called Finless Porpoise there many times before. These are quite small and generally dark black in colour with a very small or even no dorsal fin. The ones seen today were more brown-cream in appearance. One was very very large - about Beluga whale size in my opinion but was swimming with another much smaller individual as you can see on one of the photos below. Was it the smaller one's parent? Asian marine mammals are completely over my head, anyone have a guide book or experience with them?

I am quite puzzled about the entire thing but the photos attached are a perfect match. These pics come from a google search. I'll post my pictures in another post below these.
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Old Monday 25th November 2013, 23:54   #975
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My pics

Any thoughts?
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