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Old Saturday 7th May 2016, 01:07   #251
Owen Krout
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Thanks, Tom. I still think the first was a Taiga Flycatcher. Lighting was terrible, dark shadow into sunlight background, but I dug through the photos and processed one that shows better what I was seeing visually. The bill is different color without the black tip that #3 had and I did detect a bright orange or red throat patch that did not extend to the chest. Black or at least very dark tail and white basal markings. Shows up a little bit better in the full size https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B085Uzl7Vdwbwj

I had considered Asian Brown Flycatcher for #3 but just wasn't confident on that.

Wryneck is good. Still a new tick. The Brazil's illustration doesn't look that dark to me is my excuse. Vocalization was odd. Almost sounded like someone quietly talking to their self. The wife went swimming yesterday and said that there were two "Just the same" that had gotten inside the pool area and the staff were trying to shoo them out.
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Old Saturday 7th May 2016, 04:51   #252
Gretchen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dong Bei View Post
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.
Yes, a wryneck - how nice!!!
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Old Saturday 7th May 2016, 06:07   #253
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May 6, 2016

Sorted out now and although this was an area that I had thought looked promising, even I was surprised with five new ticks to my life list. Asian Brown Flycatcher, Taiga Flycatcher, Common Sandpiper, Brown Shrike and Eurasian Wryneck.

There is a bricked pathway running along the top of the dike on each side of the ZhongGen Canal. The canal extends on south to well past Dawa city but work for the fairly new ring road had disrupted the bricked path and somewhat isolated a piece of land. I finally had a day exploring on my own and walked on down the western side, which has reverted to being overgrown and rarely used for about a kilometer. Had to be on my own as the wife declared it too dangerous in the past and refused to proceed past the pavement. Made to order in my estimation.

The birds were still not abundant, but were much less afraid of any human presence even along the first two kilometers which were still paved walkway on each side. The variety is what made it excellent. For the entire three kilometers I only encountered three people on the path. Very few people even working the adjacent rice fields and fish ponds.

The first kilometer was just past the point to which I had explored up until now. I had decided to take my time and spent considerable time just waiting to see what would appear. Pretty consistently averaged about 1km/hr.
Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
May 6, 2016 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
7 species (+1 other taxa)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) 1
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 1
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 1
Pallas's Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus proregulus) 10
Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris) 8
Taiga Flycatcher (Ficedula albicilla) 2
Dusky/Naumann's Thrush (Turdus naumanni/eunomus) 1
Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni) 7

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29448551

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

The second hour was mostly past fish farming ponds with one that was recently drained and attracting both Black-Headed Gull and Saunder's Gull as well as a few Common Sandpiper as well as a pair of Common Kingfisher that were apparently nesting near-by as they let me know they did not appreciate my presence.
Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
May 6, 2016 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
9 species

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) 2
Saunders's Gull (Saundersilarus saundersi) 6
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 12
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) 2
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) 1
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 5
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) 4
Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni) 4
Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla) 2

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29448891

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

The last section required me to go under the entrance ramp overpasses and yielded little of interest but the Eurasian Wryneck. A big section was taken up by a sludge pond for drilling mud from the adjacent oil field and a large five story structure being erected hard up against the dike on the edge of a village. The Black-Crowned Night Heron was spotted as it was being chased off a drained fish pond by the BH Gull.
Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
May 6, 2016 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
7 species

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 1
Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) 1
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 3
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) 8
Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni) 4
Yellow-throated Bunting (Emberiza elegans) 2
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 20

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29449031

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

The path was blocked on my side of the canal by fencing around flood gates and by that time I decided my arthritis was not up to scrambling down the dike and back up past the fence. Even at that I had to hike a kilometer back to where a bridge crossed over so I could catch the bus home. Definitely will be back to there soon.

I am anticipating making it back to the Heron/Egret sanctuary in about a week.
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Old Sunday 8th May 2016, 09:21   #254
Gretchen
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Nice report Owen! I've seen very few wrynecks so am glad you got to see one. I'm interested to hear more about the kingfishers - were they vocal or did they fly near you? Do you know they nest in banks? I wonder if you saw a nesting hole....
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Old Sunday 8th May 2016, 09:42   #255
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Hi Gretchen,

No, I didn't realize that the Kingfishers nested in banks. That probably explains the excited behavior. I was standing on the dike, probably right above their nest! They were flying back and forth along the face of the dike and calling an excited titititi. At intervals one or both would land in a near-by tree and scold me.
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Old Monday 9th May 2016, 04:24   #256
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Going through and deleting photos from May 6th, it turns out there was one more new tick. Two Wood Sandpiper. That makes for 24 new species so far this year!
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Old Monday 9th May 2016, 07:54   #257
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Decided to try going north along the ZhonGen Canal instead of south like I did last time. Didn't work out too well as things were really sparse. Even the Azure-winged Magpie only numbered 9 individuals in an area where there are normally 20 or more. So sparse that I didn't manage any usable photos, which was also due to very hazy conditions and the increasing foliage to hide in. An example is the attached which was an attempt to catch what I believe was a Chestnut-Flanked White-Eye.

I would note that since the storm last week everything has been low in numbers with the Light-vented Bulbul and Hoopoe especially notable in their absence.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
May 9, 2016 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 kilometer(s)
4 species

Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 9
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 1
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) 10
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 10

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29508872

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Thursday 12th May 2016, 06:22   #258
Owen Krout
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I was doing some housekeeping and discarding some photos that I had taken and saved for one odd reason or another and found this one I had forgotten about. I noticed what seemed like a band on a leg of a lone Rock Dove/Domestic Pigeon and took this shot. They are usually ignored as in the last year a minor local industry has developed in raising flocks for sale to restaurants and it is now common to see flocks of 10-20 wheeling overhead.

Turns out it has blue bands on each leg. i couldn't make out the lettering though. Do they normally band domestic birds?
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Old Saturday 14th May 2016, 07:46   #259
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May 14, 2016

Trying to get in some observations for World Big Day in between rain showers. Only thing of note are numerous washed out Yellow-Browed Warbler passing through the area. A few apparently deciding to stay as they have been regularly available in our condo public garden area. One pair in particular are frequenting the trees on the edge of our patio. Man, are they difficult to photo! Tending to stay under cover and always on the move.

The rain day before yesterday brought out the White Wagtail again to take advantage of the natural shower bath and sing away while standing on top the building across the street. This time it had it's mate with it, although the mate looked less happy about the whole thing.

Recently, every evening, just at dusk, three Black-Crowned Night Heron pass right over our patio on their way to their feeding ground. Saw one this morning about 0700 on it's way back to roost.
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Old Monday 16th May 2016, 05:16   #260
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Hi Owen,

The feral pigeons are banded by the farms to ID their own. They are not banded by the banding/ringing stations. Attached a similar one from Shanghai.
Also, good work on the Yellow-browed Warblers, i see that now you are getting a hang of these Phylloscs.
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Old Monday 16th May 2016, 14:57   #261
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That's rather what I was assuming, Dev. Just somewhat surprised me that they bother with it here. Given the general way of doing things, I would be pretty sure that any bird roosting in that pen would be sold as theirs. They are all small flocks kept in villages, not fancies or racing birds.

Frustrating as it can be, I think that maybe the challenge of finding and managing to ID all those little birds, especially now that there is so much cover to hide in, is what keeps me so interested. I did a shore bird trip to Yingkou today and the wife pointed out that I was spending more time trying to work out what was hiding in the bushes and trees than I was in the 300+ shore birds. (More on that once I get things sorted out)

I was scheduled to go back to the Egretry Saturday, but had some business come up so looks like next week now.
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Old Monday 16th May 2016, 16:42   #262
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May 16, 2016

Dug through the 315 photos and got some new tics verified and am finally finished with the report for today.

I decided that it was such a perfect day that I would make the trip down to Yingkou and check out the Liao River Estuary again. After a short side trip to check out what I thought might be a good area on the Dawa side of the river, which proved to be nothing, I went back to the Yingkou Wetlands Park.

The reeds were growing fast and before I even made it to the river I had found a nice Brown Shrike and several Asian Brown Flycatcher. One of the latter posed nicely on a nearby fence. Also a Black-Napped Oriole flushed from the trees and I got a good look, but again, no photo. Several small birds flushed from the reeds but were too quick to ID, (Reed Warblers?)

It was low tide and the mudflats were dotted with Sandpiper and Plover feeding. The big numbers were (100) Lesser Plover, (75) Curlew Sandpiper and (50) Dunlin. I would estimate that over about 1000 meters there were in excess of 300 birds. Another 100+ were in another group that I couldn't get any closer to than about 500 meters due to the ground still being muddy and having standing water from the rains. They still made an impressive picture when they all suddenly flushed and wheeled about.

I had several small warbler? in the bushes that I was never able to ID. They stayed well hidden only giving brief glimpses of movement and never a clear look. They had a call that first gave them away that sounded almost more like an insect buzz. Ended the trip the same as it started, with a nice Brown Shrike.

Yingkou Wetland Park, Yingkou, Liaoning, China, Liaoning, CN
May 16, 2016 11:00 AM - 1:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)
18 species

Lesser Sand-Plover (Charadrius mongolus) 100
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) 5
Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus) 13
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) 25
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) 5
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 10
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) 75
Dunlin (Calidris alpina) 50
Saunders's Gull (Saundersilarus saundersi) 4
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 6
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) 5
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) 2
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) 1
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 1
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 5
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 10
Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris) 10
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 20

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29706237

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Monday 16th May 2016, 16:46   #263
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More ID

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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 13:00   #264
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Awesome stuff Owen! That Curlew Sandpiper is a stunner!
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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 13:28   #265
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Any suggestion for a good birding guidebook for China? Thanks!
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 05:42   #266
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It depends on where you are going to be in China. China is about the same size as the US and has much the same climatic variations.
Birds of East Asia by Mark Brazil (Princeton Field Guide - Princeton University Press) does a very good job of covering eastern China and North-east China. $39.95 US when I got mine last year via Amazon. Dong Bei has his own newly published guide coming out soon for Dalian, Liaoning. (See the message just above yours)

For the rest of China I can't say for sure. Any suggestions folks?
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 07:51   #267
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John McKinnon did an excellent guide for all of China (also on Amazon, etc...).

There are some instances now where some of the range maps are off due to the natural moving around of birds (for North American birders, think of the Eurasian Collared Dove) or due to not enough information from some areas of China. Considering what he had for putting this book together, it is a fantastic piece of work used by every Chinese birder I know or have ever seen. It's a thick book and around $50-75 I believe. The book that Owen mentioned is fantastic for the coastal flyway areas of China from the Northeast to just below Shanghai. If you are going inland very far, the McKinnon guide is the only option.
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Old Thursday 19th May 2016, 12:01   #268
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Inspired me to get off the fence and order McKinnon's Field Guide to the Birds of China. $77 on Amazon +shipping. That got me a tongue lashing from the wife! At first she thought I was saying 77RMB and that was OK.
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Old Thursday 19th May 2016, 12:28   #269
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Which Flycatcher?

I was trying to get a shot of an Asian Brown Flycatcher when this popped into the field of view. Lasted less than a minute and in dark shadow and I didn't think to quickly open the aperture, but visually the belly looked more lemon yellow than shows in these photos, which is what drew my attention. I sent it through the ID forum and got one opinion of female Yellow-rumped Flycatcher. Belly seemed too yellow to me but only Chinese Flycatcher looked good for coloration and wing pattern to me. Probably just over thinking it, but take a look and let me know what you think. http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=324961
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Old Thursday 19th May 2016, 23:11   #270
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Yellow-rumped it is!

Well, never mind that. Just another case of never having seen a female Yellow-rumped in real life before. The ID Forum is indeed a great place to get an iffy ID verified - or shot down as the case may be. The antithesis prevails.

My engineering training leads me to look to authority for verification but having worn a "Question Authority" button around during my hippy-dippy days (which can be accredited to either Timothy Leary or Benjamin Franklin according to your leanings) tends to cause me to ask them why.
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Old Friday 20th May 2016, 03:40   #271
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The day started well as I was walking the dog in the enclosed garden area of our development a little past 07:00 and I was greeted with a small flock of Japanese White-Eye. Being prepared, I had my bins with me and got some very good close-up views. Definitely Japanese as there was no hint of chestnut markings on any of them.

Deciding to follow-up later and see if I could find more I made for the city park near-by despite it being very windy. Hearing what seemed to be the same calls in a clump of brush just off the walkway, I slowly worked my way into an excellent position at the edge of a small clearing where I had a good view of the bushes from the back side.

A lot of flickering movement deep in the bushes at first and then some Asian Brown Flycatcher moved out into view. I noticed while watching them that I would sometimes hear a sharp snap sound when one flew out to catch a flying insect. Very distinct. I then observed several times when one individual was chasing off another the same snap rapidly repeated. It sounded much like the wing tips were coming together at the down stroke and making the sound, but couldn't confirm that with observation. Turned out to be quite a number of these scattered through the park.

After awhile of standing still and waiting them out, I started to get brief glimpses of Japanese White-Eye through the leaves of the bushes. Slowly, as I waited, they emerged more and I was able to spot an occasional individual Chestnut-Flanked White-Eye. Finally, after more patient waiting, I had just eased up the camera and had both Japanese and Chestnut-Flanked in the shot, filling the viewfinder when a pair of old lady "foragers" came crashing through the bushes and all my White-Eyes went flying away. Then, apparently recognizing me from the reporters blog posting or having heard of it from their children or grandchildren, they had to have me show them what I had pictures of and deciding to help, they went over to literally beat the bushes. Sigh. Never did get a shot but did get a very good view of both species together.

Still did well overall. At least (8) Brown Shrike were scattered through the park, occasionally chasing each other around. The Light-Vented Bulbul which have been mostly absent since the big windstorm are starting to show up again and caught an excellent shot of one of two Spotted Dove. Also managed to catch a couple of Arctic Warbler.

Almost forgot - I had one mystery in that I could hear very clearly and at close range a bird making a single note call, very distinct, that sounded for all the world like a metallic chirp. At first thought I was hearing something along the line of a squeaky bicycle crank. A very metal on metal type sound. Usually one chirp at about one second intervals. Not for lack of trying, I could never establish any visual sighting of whatever it was making the noise. Didn't really sound like a tree frog, but I suppose that is a possibility.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
May 19, 2016 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
9 species

Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) 2
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) 8
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 20
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 5
Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis) 2
Chestnut-flanked White-eye (Zosterops erythropleurus) 3
Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) 15
Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris) 10
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 5

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29785838

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Last edited by Owen Krout : Friday 20th May 2016 at 03:45. Reason: additional material
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Old Sunday 22nd May 2016, 14:18   #272
Owen Krout
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Panjin, Liaoning, China
Posts: 802
May 22, 2016

I made it back to the government run rookery in west of Panjin City in Xinglongtai county for a really enjoyable days birding. To answer your question now, Dev, no, the spoonbills did not return this year. Just to get the bad news out of the way, Mr. Lu, the Asst. Director, told me that there used to be Red-Crowned Cranes in Panjin, but there were now none in the wild and two birds that a farmer kept penned up at his compound.

On the brighter side, I did spot and get some pictures of some nesting Eastern Cattle Egret while taking advantage of access to normally off limits areas. Apparently expanding their range northward.

Just as we were coming up to the entrance, we encountered members of the Panjin Bird Watching Club set up on the access road waiting to catch pictures of a pair of Hoopoe who were nesting in a tree cavity and who were putting on a show as they came and went. Stopped to say hi, shake some hands and pose for pictures with Old Man Christmas. Picked up the Hoopoe and a pair of Common Cuckoo while there.

The trees having filled out their foliage makes observation much more difficult with the observation tower being the best place to go right now. From there I finally managed the elusive photo of a Black-Naped Oriole and a new tick with a Northern Hobby.

The Great White Egret & Intermediate Egret were in abundance and as always yielding great photos, but the Chinese Pond Heron & Black-Crowned Night Heron were cooperating the best for photos.

Mr. Lu then took us back into a closed off area with several small observation towers. Numerous Grey Heron were putting on a show. The tower was well located as they are especially easy to spook it appeared and the tower was just close enough to get some great shots without bothering them. Further on were numerous Black-Crowned Night Heron that were nesting right up to the edge of the road. Got a great shot of a nestling peeking out at me. Also a couple of Ring Neck Pheasant up next to the road. Also picked up some nice pics of Chinese Penduline Tit who were busily constructing a nest.

We finished up as he took me by to see a new area of reed beds being developed with very nice boardwalks to attract more tourism money. As is normal here, the reeds are infested with crabs, which will also serve as food to attract the heron and egret. Looked like they were actually doing a good job of protecting the environment while still providing access.
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Old Sunday 22nd May 2016, 14:53   #273
Owen Krout
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more photos

some more. For those interested, the better shots are available full size at: https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B085Uzl7Vdwbwj for awhile.

Some interesting info that I picked up. Mr Lu estimated the Great White Egret to be about 2500 - 3000 nesting birds and about 2000 each of Intermediate Egret & Chinese Pond Heron. He only estimated 300 Black-Crowned Night Heron, but I would say he was considerably low on that number unless they were just much easier to observe. Purple Heron & Eastern Cattle Egret he estimated at maybe 500 each. He said he wasn't sure about the Grey Heron but they were only in one small nesting area which was even isolated from the rest of the rookery.

Another point I picked up is that he is also a correctional officer and the facility actually belongs to the police through the prison which is located near-by. Nobody actually said it was using convict labor, but it was not denied either. A couple of sharply uniformed lady officers during my last visit followed me around taping me and asking questions. They rather reluctantly finally said it was to be used to make a presentation to the prisoners to show them people appreciated the nature sanctuary. Oh, yes and by the way, delete those photos of us and don't tell anybody our names.

DingXiang Tourist Area Rookery, Liaoning, CN
May 22, 2016 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 kilometer(s)
12 species

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) 50 At government run rookery; Mr. Lu, Asst. Director estimated upwards of 500 nesting birds
Great Egret (Ardea alba) 100 At government run rookery; Mr. Lu, Asst. Director estimated 2000 - 3000 nesting birds
Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 25 At government run rookery
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 6
Cattle Egret (Eastern) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) 12 At government run rookery. Nesting and mixed in with Great White Egret
Chinese Pond-Heron (Ardeola bacchus) 50 At government run rookery; Mr. Lu, Asst. Director estimated upwards of 2000 nesting birds
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 75
Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) 4 Identified by call; verified by members of Panjin Birdwatching Club
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 2
Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo) 1
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) 2
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 10

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29831002

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

DingXiang Tourist Area Rookery, Liaoning, CN
May 22, 2016 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)
6 species

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) 2
Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) 25 At government run rookery
Chinese Pond-Heron (Ardeola bacchus) 2
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 75 At government run rookery; Mr. Lu, Asst. Director estimated upwards of 300 nesting birds
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 5
Chinese Penduline-Tit (Remiz consobrinus) 4

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29831147

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Sunday 22nd May 2016, 16:16   #274
Dong Bei
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Very very cool Owen. Sounds like an amazing place!
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Old Monday 23rd May 2016, 01:07   #275
Owen Krout
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Indeed it is, Tom. Definitively a birding hotspot for anyone who may be birding Liaoning outside of Dalian. It was drawing a heavy crowd of Chinese tourists yesterday, which they seem to be balancing well to fund the ongoing activity. Looks to be about 25-30 km from the Panjin North Railway Station which is the high-speed line from Beijing to Shenyang and beyond. Probably would need a local guide to find the place though. Junction of RaoHu and ShangtaiziHu. English signs which were non-existent a few years ago are getting more common and may call the general area Raodong Bay or Dingxiang Tourist area. My camera's GPS said 41.096822, 121.852097 but I have found that the GPS coordinates are often off by as much as a half km when in China. Maybe because I am often in under heavy foliage.
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