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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 13:41   #476
MKinHK
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Snowy Owl would be well worth chasing Owen!

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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 20:10   #477
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I agree! A Snowy in Liaoning is certainly note worthy. I had a place in Dalian chosen for one to appear some random November but it never arrived.
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Old Thursday 9th November 2017, 00:40   #478
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirudevaram View Post
Hi Owen,

To spice up your birding life, there are some photos going around the Wechat groups. It's a Female Snowy Owl at the Liaohe Estuary close to your place. Red-crowned Cranes are also present.
Hmmm... I'll have to consider another trip. i know where there is a captive breeding program near there for RCC, but have yet to record a tic for a wild sighting. The Liaohu Estuary would be the more general vicinity of the Yingkou Wetlands Park, which I tried a week ago and found rather empty. I have an idea that it might be on the other side of the river and a little upstream from where I was at. An area that I considered trying that day. This is the only social media that I do at all, so thanks for relaying the reports Dev.
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Old Thursday 9th November 2017, 01:04   #479
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Nov-8, 2017

A nice outing yesterday, but cut short when I was recalled by my wife who couldn't find her keys to get back in the apartment. Of course she found them in one of pockets inside a pocket just as I arrived back home.

The main attraction was the two flocks of 20+ each Azure-winged Magpie. They are always abundant here, but that is the largest grouping I have seen yet. They were initially close enough together to have a few individuals exchanging back and forth. One group decided I was an interesting distraction and started following along noisily alerting any and all to my presence.

A general presence of Coal Tit, Japanese Tit and Yellow-bellied Tit was scattered all through the park that I was in.

The habit of scanning the Sparrow flocks with the bins turned up a few isolated Brambling foraging with them. Somewhat unusual in that they normally appear in large flocks.

Hoopoe seem to be recovering well from the population drop precipitated by the harsh winter last season. This year is the opposite so far with it staying more like early October.

I got a mild scolding last night when I mistakenly forgot the rule on the Gallery forum was three uploads in one day and since it rolled over midnight, I thought it reset the counter for me. Actually three in 24 hours and for an international forum it doesn't even make sense for me to think that it would matter that it was midnight for me. Does anybody really know what time it is?

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Nov 8, 2017 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
10 species

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) 2
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 40 Two large flocks of 20+ separated by aprox. 0.5 kilometers
Coal Tit (Periparus ater) 5
Yellow-bellied Tit (Periparus venustulus) 10
Japanese Tit (Parus minor) 10
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 5
Pallas's Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus proregulus) 1
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) 4
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 30

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40373556
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Old Thursday 9th November 2017, 11:56   #480
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Rainy today so no chance of a trip back to the Liaohu estuary. My wife has tomorrow all planned out already, so maybe Saturday. It is not expensive as I can catch the #30 bus about a kilometer from home and it runs all the way for 5RMB, it is about 50 kilometers though, so the round trip with the birding chews up most of a day.

Made a quick outing for the dog's walk just before it started raining to the same area as yesterday and the abundance of interesting sightings yesterday changed to just two Tree Sparrows and one Hoopoe.
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Old Friday 10th November 2017, 04:49   #481
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Here is the location of the Snowy Owl and also a photo of the snowy owl which is been shared in the wechat.
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Old Friday 10th November 2017, 04:52   #482
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Dang! If I had any leave left I'd twitch that for my China list!
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Old Saturday 11th November 2017, 01:32   #483
Owen Krout
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Originally Posted by thirudevaram View Post
Here is the location of the Snowy Owl and also a photo of the snowy owl which is been shared in the wechat.
All the rest of the family are gone right now, but I will check with my daughter when she gets home from work late tonight. I think I have the general area and it is one that I have wanted to check out anyway. Are you able to get GPS coordinates on that, Dev? I think that it actually the Shuangtaizi river estuary which also is the same general area. Locals often call both rivers the Liaohe.

I was somewhat dubious about this one, but that picture makes it solid. The background fits with the area I am thinking of too.
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Old Saturday 11th November 2017, 09:59   #484
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Snowy Owl update

I spent half a day today chasing a supposed lead, but it appears that the 'Snowy Owl' was a white Dove with some black markings. Well, they were trying to be helpful at least.

With Dev's help, I was able this afternoon to pinpoint the precise location where the sighting was reported and then actually lucky enough to locate the original sighting posting on eBird. (独行虾 Bird.soong) The posting was actually for November 5th so the trail may be a little cold by now. Having the location I was able to use connections and find a resident of the nearby village. Using all that and with the hope that the stable warm weather has kept the Snowy Owl in the area, my wife has helped with working on a trip over there either tomorrow or Monday. It is about 30 kilometers from home, which most people here consider a big trip. One of the cultural shock items to me still since at one point back in Kansas I was driving 100 kilometers one way to work everyday.
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Old Saturday 11th November 2017, 15:46   #485
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Best wishes for what would be an epic twitch Owen!

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Old Sunday 12th November 2017, 14:32   #486
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Snowy Owl quest

It seems that the area where the Snowy Owl was sighted, on the west side of the Shuangtaizi River estuary, is a restricted area right now. The explanation given was that fires in the reeds make it unsafe. Our neighbor who has the government connections says it will take another three days to get a permit, but that she thinks she can get a guide and transportation with it. At the least it will give me a chance to scout out an area that has looked good on the maps all along. She seems to have renewed interest in establishing an attraction for birders and nature lovers in general to boost the tourism in the area, so I'll see what might be promising.
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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 09:24   #487
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There was a heavy wall of smoke in the west late yesterday afternoon and today my wife had one of the people from the small village by where the SO was spotted send her a WeChat video of the fire from yesterday afternoon. Huge amounts of reeds had been harvested and stored in huge stacks, which were all burning. They said they didn't know the cause but they were distressed about losing an important revenue source. It was indeed impressively large! I know that owls and other birds of prey will commonly hunt along fire lines in the tall grass prairie in Kansas. Where the owl may be by now is hard to say. I notice that there is a red dot for an out of range vagrant/accidental in that specific spot in MacKinnon & Phillipps, so it may be a common rest stop for migrating SO.
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Old Thursday 23rd November 2017, 13:14   #488
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Finally turned colder this week with temps struggling to get just above freezing for a few hours each day. Today started out sunny at least, so I made a trip out to what has been in the past a reliably birdy area. Three kilometers only produced 9 Japanese Tit, 2 Common Magpie, about 40 Tree Sparrow, 5 Chinese Bulbul, and 3 Grey-Headed Woodpecker who were having a territorial dispute with a single Great-Spotted Woodpecker.

I have now twice seen a large flock of approximately 40 black birds. From apparent size, color, appearance in flight and general body shape, I would say Starlings, but too far away to be able to make a positive ID. I haven't heard the noisy vocalizations that would normally go with a flock of Common Starling, but that was the initial impression that I got.
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Old Thursday 23rd November 2017, 13:27   #489
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Other for Nov-23

A couple of other nature observations from the November 23rd outing.

The irrigation canal I was following has had the water supply from the Shuangtaizi River cut off and is now only about 40 cm deep in most areas and has started to ice up. Several groups of men were out netting the carp caught in rapidly disappearing water. At one open hole I noticed a number of larger carp gulping air, indicating that the water was also rapidly de-oxygenating. I normally grumble about the over harvesting of wildlife but figured in this case that they wouldn't last long anyway and pointed them out to a nearby pair.

Just as I was calling it a day as the sky was rapidly clouding over and the temperature was falling, I came across a European Red Squirrel who had just found a small pear that someone had discarded.
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