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Old Saturday 23rd April 2016, 22:53   #226
Dong Bei
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Hi Owen,

Keep going out and seeing/photographing stuff. You arelearning quickly with experience. Don't worry about being wrong. The people who check these thread will be able to provide you with second opinions that will be great for learning. You live in an awesome part of the world for shorebird migration - a place where most birders would love to visit in April and May especially. I started birding in 2006 here and didn't start my thread until 2010. Ten years in and I'm still making mistakes, it's how every birder learns. One of the best birders in China, Paul Holt, has a favorite quote "always learning". Plus, you have to keep up your foreign expert title! :)

The curlews in post #223 are tough to ID but I believe they are Eurasian because they are so clean underneath. Hard to tell from that angle though. Same for the first picture in post #225 but they look more Easternish to me. The middle picture in post #225 are def, Eurasian with the big white rump patch in flight and lighter underwings. Nice Saunders's Gull flight photo! Clearly shows what Mike was referring to above and also the short and stubby black bill. Another nice day out and great pics!
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Old Sunday 24th April 2016, 00:51   #227
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Hi Tom,

The biggest reason that I started making posts to Gretchen's site was because the people on birdforurm tend to be much more cooperative and helpful, even answering questions and giving advice to newcomers without the snarky attitude that I have too often run into with bird watchers elsewhere. To a great degree it is the help and encouragement shown on birdforum that encouraged me to throw myself into this wonderful passtime. Thanks again to everyone.

I woke up today with the determination in mind to change my ebird posting to Eurasian for the Curlew in #223. The two pictures of the two Curlew in #225 are clearly Eurasian and both pictures are the same two birds. This was less than a kilometer and directly across the river in line of sight from where I took the earlier photos. I don't mind being told that I am wrong if it includes telling me why so I can learn for next time!
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Old Monday 25th April 2016, 02:50   #228
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ID Thoughts

Staying closer to home yesterday, I went over to the ZhongGen Canal and came away with a couple of Warblers that had me not quite sure of ID so I'll throw it out here and see what we get.

I believe I had at least three different species, all the size of a Pallas's Leaf Warbler, i.e. maybe 10-11 cm. One group I am confident of indeed being Pallas's.

In the second case I had two individuals, quiet and very wary. The very prominent white over black eye stripes coupled with an unusually large bill directs me towards either Sakhalin Leaf Warbler or Large-Billed Leaf Warbler. Either one would be out of listed range, but the Large-Billed has been recorded in Wulingshan, Hebei, so perhaps extending its range. Photos are not great, but they were hiding in denser cover and moving about quickly and nervously.
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Old Monday 25th April 2016, 02:58   #229
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More ID

The third group seemed to be better for Yellow-Browed Warbler given the wide, straight wing-bar and prominent, yellowish white eye stripe. Bill was smaller but still too larger for Pallas's Leaf Warbler.

Probably just confused with so many similar Warblers.
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Old Monday 25th April 2016, 05:41   #230
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Hi Owen,

My thoughts on your birds

Post #225, Pic 1 - Bird on the left is a whimbrel due to the crown pattern, bird on the right looks slightly bigger, it could be because of the hunched posture of the bird on the left.
Pic 2 - If they are the same birds as pic 1, both are Whimbrels. In Eurasian Curlew, the white on the rump extends on the upper tail coverts,whereas in the Whimbrel the white doesn't extend on the tail coverts. Another great ID pointer to figure out Eurasian Curlew is in flight, the entire underwing is white compared to the barred underwing of the Whimbrel.

Post #228, Eastern Crowned Warbler - Large Warbler with Yellow/Orangish lower mandible, Long supercilium and very bright greenish upperparts.

Post #229, Pallas's Leaf Warbler. Only Pallas's has that distinct neon glow yellow supercilium while Yellow-browed has the dirty white or buffish supercilium.

Hope it helps.
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Old Monday 25th April 2016, 08:04   #231
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thanks a lot Dev! With that explanation I now see what to look for with the Whimbrel. Not only are all the Old World birds here new varieties to me, but I am completely inexperienced with all of these shore-birds having spent my life either in the mountains in Pennsylvania or the plains of Kansas. I never even saw the sea until I came to China. The Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and Cheyenne Bottoms are protected wetlands where you can see such, often by the thousands during migration, but I have never been there. Next trip to the USA needs to be during migration and include both of those places.

On the Eastern Crowned, now that you say that, looking closely I can make out the yellowish rump, which would rule out Large Billed. The bill just looked that much larger to me originally. I knew that was not likely, which is why I asked. Encountered more today.

By the time the Pallas's appeared I think I must have been getting overwhelmed with so many similar looking Warblers hiding in dense cover.
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Old Monday 25th April 2016, 08:39   #232
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Yesterday's outing has finally been put to bed with the help of Dev. A lot of little warblers and bunting hiding in good cover which required some real effort to even get a glimpse. Best shot yet of Swallow in flight.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Apr 24, 2016 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
5.0 kilometer(s)
17 species

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) 2
Gray-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus) 1
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 20
Coal Tit (Periparus ater) 2
Japanese Tit (Parus minor) 3
Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) 1
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 1
Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) 2
Pallas's Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus proregulus) 10
Eastern Crowned Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus coronatus) 4
Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) 2
Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni) 6
Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla) 2
Yellow-throated Bunting (Emberiza elegans) 2
Black-faced Bunting (Emberiza spodocephala) 2
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 10

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29190115

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Monday 25th April 2016, 12:32   #233
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Golly, did I mess up above!

Of coarse they're Whimbrels, not Curlew! My brain was fixed on the fact that they were Curlews and I didn't even notice the big stripe over the heads of the ones on the ground... Nice one on the correction Dev and I agree with you with the warblers after. Goes to show it's always good to get a few people confirming IDs....

Keep going Owen, good stuff coming through right now

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Old Tuesday 26th April 2016, 15:10   #234
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I know I am being dense when I get this good of a look and still don't come up with an ID.
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Old Tuesday 26th April 2016, 16:33   #235
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April 26, 2016

I was surprised with an offer for being taken, on the government's dime, to see a couple of birding spots in Panjin, west of the City.

The first was LuNiauYan which is part of the LiaoHu River Wetlands. A small nesting site sanctuary for Heron and Egret adjacent to where the RaoYang River enters the ShuangTaiZi River. It was set up after severe flooding in the area in 2000. It was indeed a birding hotspot!

Although it did not look promising at the entry (10 RMB for Panjin residents and 30 RMB for others), the assistant director, Mr. Lu, loaded us onto an electric shuttle which would transport 12 people easily (10 RMB, though renting a two-seater bicycle was 30 RMB) and taken a few hundred meters to the wooded area where the nesting area was. I was truly taken aback! A walkway goes through the middle of a wooded area with both sides of the pathway lined with nesting egrets and herons. Great White Egrets and Black-Crowned Night Herons in their own separate but adjacent nesting areas. Mind you I was being hustled along as our guide/driver had another afternoon appointment, so the numbers I show are low, I am sure, as they are what I could see in a shorter time than I would have spent if at my leisure. There is a building/blind where people can get a closer look at a small pond area and one of the nesting sites, but it has heavily tinted window glass which makes quality photos difficult. Mr. Lu apologized for that and said it was necessary because the Chinese tourists bothered the birds so much if it was not there. He was quite willing to allow me to enter the grounds though as a serious researcher and if I would have had the time I would have taken better inventory. The building had an observation tower which he opened for me and we were pleasantly surprised at the top of the steps to have a Grey-Headed Woodpecker just outside the window. A taller observation tower, which was open air, gave great views.

Grey and Purple Heron were also evident as were a few Little Egret. He was expecting many more Little Egret in a few weeks as well as numerous Black-Naped Oriole. More interesting yet though was that he had posters of various crane, egret and heron on the walls and I noticed one of Black-Faced Spoonbill and asked about it. He said he had taken it himself and that they had a pair nest there in 2015 and that they successfully raised four young. He was hoping they would return next month. Although small in area, it was a very productive site.

LuNiau, Liaoning, CN
Apr 26, 2016 8:45 AM - 10:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
Comments: Nesting sanctuary for heron and egret
12 species

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) 3
Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) 50
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) 15
Great Egret (Ardea alba) 82
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 4
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 38
Oriental Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) 4
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 3
Gray-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus) 2
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 20
Japanese Tit (Parus minor) 4
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 25

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29217743

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Tuesday 26th April 2016, 16:37   #236
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more LuNiauYan

More shots from LuNiauYan
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Old Tuesday 26th April 2016, 17:15   #237
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My next stop for the morning was TaiPingHu Scenic Area, which would be a nice place to bird, but not as impressive. Only had an hour and at least half of that having to be herded around the tourist attractions which were not impressive. A "temple" with no monks and recorded chanting looping for instance. Did get some nice close ups of what looked like a chipmunk or ground squirrel but was living in a hollow tree along the pathway. Also a good shot of a Ring-Necked Pheasant.

Taiping River Scenic Area, Panjin, Liaoning, China, Liaoning, CN
Apr 26, 2016 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
8 species

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) 1
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 9
Oriental Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) 2
Gray-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus) 2
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 14
Yellow-bellied Tit (Periparus venustulus) 25
Japanese Tit (Parus minor) 2
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 50

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29219255

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Old Thursday 28th April 2016, 02:25   #238
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Great to hear about the egretry reserve being established and managed to reduce disturbance to the birds.

Cheers
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Old Thursday 28th April 2016, 03:11   #239
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Very cool Owen! Also, your warbler above in post #234 looks like a dull Yellow-browed to me because I don't know what else it could be. The white on the tertials is not very clear and the 2nd wing bar shadow is faint.
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Old Thursday 28th April 2016, 09:10   #240
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Agree with Tom, the warbler is a Yellow-browed. Currently, we are having worn out Yellow-browed Warblers here and they are real pain in the @&$. Also the Chipmunks could be Siberian. You can see few of them in my friend's blog here but they were photographed in Inner Mongolia.
Hope you are planning to return to the heronry next month to see the Spoonbills :-)
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Old Friday 29th April 2016, 05:27   #241
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Let's see how I did with these.

First up is what looks to be clearly a Eurasian Curlew to me. 2nd is a flight that I see as the same. Triangle of white on the rump was clearly visible. Then we go to what I saw as a Eurasian Curlew. Much darker brown markings especially on the underwing. Did seem to have a small white mark on the rump, but there were several that I did not see it on also. Finally, a couple of contrasting individuals. Eurasian & Far Eastern?

The last photo stumped me. Only a couple of these in evidence on the mudflat.
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Old Friday 29th April 2016, 07:28   #242
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Hi Owen, from left to right:
Eurasian Curlew (very pale underneath and much longer bill than Whimbrel), Whimbrels in flight, Whimbrel in flight, Whimbrels on the ground, Common Greenshank.

Sorry, in a rush here,

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Old Friday 29th April 2016, 11:28   #243
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Thanks, Tom. Didn't really expect to hear from you given how hectic things must be on your end.

Need to focus more on that bill. Just to help with anyone else new to these two, I dug through my photos again and found the two together. Since they are almost always at a distance, it can be hard to judge the size unless you can see them like this.

All of this was from a scouting trip out to the Shuangtaizi River estuary. There is a large, privately run, sanctuary which is the major tourist attraction for the area, the Red Beach. The brighter colors occur in the autumn, hence that is the time for the big rush. Right now only a half dozen other people seen. Too expensive for normal bird spotting as it cost 70 RMB for a vehicle pass for one hour. Might be more worth it during the time when the cranes and storks come through. There is a per person fee also during peak times which I think was another 30 RMB. Not being assessed at this time though. Basically that is what has to be done to make it a paying proposition and to limit the numbers of people.

Excellent road along an earthen sea-wall with mud flats from the tide being out on the west side of the road. About four kilometers in there was a jetty of close to a kilometer out into the mudflats almost to the water.

HongHaiTan (Red Beach), Liaoning, CN
Apr 28, 2016 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
5.0 kilometer(s)
9 species

Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) 3
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) 3
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) 2
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) 20
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 50
Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) 25
Saunders's Gull (Saundersilarus saundersi) 4
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 15
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 10

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29274862

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Saturday 30th April 2016, 11:40   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirudevaram View Post
Hope you are planning to return to the heronry next month to see the Spoonbills :-)
Better believe it Dev! Even my wife was impressed enough with the place to agree it was worth the time and money to go back.
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Old Saturday 30th April 2016, 11:47   #245
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Beautiful weather with no wind today, so took a short outing to the Qingshui River. Little Grebe have been a little slow returning, but were back in force today. Also picked up another tick, a White's Thrush. Everything seems to be in reduced numbers from last year. Last year I knew exactly where to go to get Bluetails everytime. This year there are hardly any.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Apr 30, 2016 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
10 species

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 24
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) 2
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 1
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 4
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 7
White's Thrush (Zoothera aurea) 2
Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni) 8
Black-faced Bunting (Emberiza spodocephala) 3
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 20

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29295157

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Old Sunday 1st May 2016, 22:57   #246
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Good one on the White's Thrush Owen, certainly notable that far north.
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Old Monday 2nd May 2016, 02:07   #247
Owen Krout
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Picked up another tick while walking the dog this morning. Luckily I had taken the binoculars, but unfortunately I had left the camera behind. On barely making out over the traffic noise the quiet calls of three Grosbeak, I had the bins up determining whether they were Chinese or Japanese. (They were Chinese) Suddenly a large bright yellow flashed through the field of view! Very shy, but there it was a Black-Napped Oriole!

I hustled the dog back home to grab my camera, but by the time I returned all had disappeared. I searched out for a couple of hundred meters in all directions, but never picked them up again. Confident of the ID, but only counts as a half to my mind since I don't have a good photo yet.
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Old Friday 6th May 2016, 15:01   #248
Owen Krout
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We had the heaviest winds I have seen here two days ago, Force 10 according to the local TV. The evidence supports that and I would say approaching 11. A lot of trees broken off or up-rooted and very many surviving poplars in the city park across the street now have a permanent lean of five to ten degrees. Our daughter and her husband had to take a trip to JinZhou and said there were trees down everywhere. Their express company had two truck blown over.

Since then there has been little bird life to report. Even the sparrows are very few in number. Today I took the bus over to the ZhongGen Canal south of here to check out an area with very few people walking through. Worked out really well as although overall numbers were quite low, I managed to snag at least three new ticks. Three hours worth, broken down into hourly segments which I am still sorting through the 484 photos. However thought I would pick your brains.

The first one I initially thought was a Flycatcher, but doesn't seem to match anything. Taiga female? I did have a male nearby.

The second one I initially though was an Oriental Cuckoo, but the breast shows speckling instead of barring.

The third I still feel was a Flycatcher but the yellow breast has me stumped as does the black tipped bill.

Number four - Common Sandpiper?
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Old Friday 6th May 2016, 15:08   #249
Owen Krout
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Some that I have identified.
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Old Friday 6th May 2016, 15:58   #250
Dong Bei
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Hi Owen,

Asian Brown Flycatcher for picture 1 and 3.
Picture number 2 is a Wryneck
Yes, common Sandpiper for #4

Sounds like a great place with plenty of migrants.
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