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Old Wednesday 22nd April 2015, 15:06   #51
Owen Krout
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Thanks McM and Gretchen.

Definitely not Little Grebes. There were a couple of LG that I had shot earlier and these are much larger. At least I don't feel so stupid now. I checked ID images on Oriental Bird Club database for all the grebe that my Avibase checklist shows for Liaoning and couldn't seem to match with anything. Closest seems to be the Horned Grebe but without the "horns". Here is another shot from a slightly better angle.

Swan Goose!! That is it alright. I missed that one on the list. I saw swan and just scanned on down the list. I remember starting the search with Taiga Bean-Goose which is second on the list.
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Old Wednesday 22nd April 2015, 23:40   #52
Dong Bei
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Owen, they are Little Grebes in breeding plumage - 100% They can be tricky sometimes and appear larger or smaller.
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Old Thursday 23rd April 2015, 02:09   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dong Bei View Post
Owen, they are Little Grebes in breeding plumage - 100% They can be tricky sometimes and appear larger or smaller.
Yeah they are sometimes tricky. It's like I have a "idealized" Little Grebe picture which is fluffier and lighter colored. These guys may just have just been diving, and so were wetter and looked thinner; also, I think their flank feathers looked redder than they do in many pictures because they were flatter.
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Old Thursday 23rd April 2015, 02:17   #54
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Well, I'll concede the point to those more experienced with the local fauna. Estimating the size of or the distance to two isolated birds on a large body of water can be as difficult as estimating the same on a bird on a clear blue sky background, plus I was being hurried along at that point so had to make a quick observation and shot. They were much closer than the two Little Grebe that I had seen earlier and those had been mixed into a flock of Common Grebe, so I had a handy size reference to compare to in that case. I agree with Gretchen in that I had a mental image of what a Little Grebe "should" look like.
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Old Thursday 23rd April 2015, 03:16   #55
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2015-APR-21

About 10:00 in the morning I was surprised by a rapid fire ke-ke-ke-ke-ke at the window and swiveled my chair quickly to see our Russian Toy Terrier beating a hasty retreat from her seat at out 14th floor window and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk hovering not more than a meter outside. Not sure if it had seen its own reflection or if it spotted the dog and thought "Lunch is served!" Both of the pair that have been hanging around made several passes at the window during the next 10 minutes.

(2) Accipiter nisus - Eurasian Sparrowhawk

I decided to hike out to the north along the irrigation canal for my daily bird observation walk and dog walk. Trees still haven't leafed out (leaved out?) here so mixed curse and blessing in that the habitat is not ideal for the birds but it makes it easier to spot them. Birds were somewhat sparse, but they may have been hiding out due to a large mob of Azure-winged Magpie that were especially loud and boisterous that day and roaming up and down the canal. I observed one case of a Light-vented Bulbul coming out of hiding to their more common topmost branch of a tall tree to sing. He was immediately buzzed by one of the Azure-winged Magpies who called loudly and the Bulbul quickly retreated back to cover. It all just had the air of the teenager fallen in with a bad crowd running down the street and pushing someone down for a laugh.

At the very start of the canal path I encountered my one new species that I thought would be easy to figure out but I haven't yet. (see attached) I expected that pretty orange lipstick to make it an easy ID.

(1) Streptopelia orientalis - Oriental Turtle-Dove
(2) Montacill alba - White Wagtail
(8) Euphona migratoria - Yellow-billed Grosbeak
(4) Tarsiger cyanurus - Red-flanked Bluetail
(6) Phylloscopus proregulus - Pallas's Leaf Warbler
(1) Dendrocopos major - Great Spotted Woodpecker
(15) Periparus vensututlus - Yellow-bellied Tit
(4) Pycnonotus sinesis - Light-vented Bulbul
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Old Thursday 23rd April 2015, 04:37   #56
Dong Bei
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Owen, you have a Red-billed Leothrix there. This is a common caged bird in China and often escapes which is why is can sometimes be found around urban areas in parks and forests. It is native to south China I believe. There is one mountain area here in Dalian where they can be seen sometimes.

Others in the same category that would be possible for you in Panjin would be:
Crested Myna
Hwamei
Red-billed Starling

Also, your Eurasian Sparrowhawk sounds like its behaving like a Eurasian Kestrel. They are common around buildings and can easily hover. The call also matches.
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Old Thursday 23rd April 2015, 06:50   #57
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I thought at first that Tom was seeing just how gullible I would be. When I entered "Red-billed Leothrix" into the IBC and the Oriental Bird Club's sites I got no matches. I tried birdforum's own opus and still no matches. Just as I was thinking, "Ha, ha, good one, Tom.", I tried Wikipedia. It tries for closest match instead of just exact match and bingo, it turns out they were hanging up on it being "Leiothrix". I'll admit it looks even more like something from a Dr. Seuss book and I don't know how to pronounce it.

At least it explains why I couldn't find it. It's not on the check-list for Liaoning.

Yea, the Sparrowhawk could have been taken for a Kestrel but she was struggling unlike the more graceful hover of the Kestrel. Looked more like a pull up from a swooping approach. I have gotten a really good look at both of the pair over the last few days as they have several times been perching on a ledge just one floor above us. They are Sparrowhawks. There is a Kestrel pair that works the wetlands just west of here.
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Old Friday 24th April 2015, 05:43   #58
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Red-billed Leothrix/Leiothrix aka Pekin Robin...same bird, different name
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Old Friday 1st May 2015, 10:03   #59
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I will be leaving for the US in the morning, so the last week has been fairly hectic. Been enough just trying to keep my list up to date and make my eBird reports. I've taken a birding walk most days but not much happening. Numbers seem to have fallen off dramatically with even the Tree Sparrows dropping off sharply in numbers.

I did tag along on one outing to a village east of Panjin. The wife was going with a group of retired musicians just for a day in the country so I joined in and spent most of the time walking the river dike. For part of the distance a very amiable small dog joined the walk. Didn't get any great numbers, but added five new species for me. I was told that the rice paddies will be flooded here next week. Ash trees and willows just started to leaf out here in the last week and many flowering trees and bushes brightening things up.

The village was full of Barn Swallows and there were 7 Mallards (4 males 3 females) the locals said were wild in the roadside ditch with the domestic mallards and geese.

Several Ring-necked Pheasants were crowing and I managed to track one down and flush it for positive ID.
One Grey-headed Woodpecker was spotted and I got a good look through the bins.
Several Great Spotted Woodpeckers were about and drumming loudly. Got a good look at one.
Eurasian Magpie were loudly scolding.
At least 6 Oriental Turtle-Dove were seen and by the amount of cooing heard, I think that there were many more.
At least 3 Light-vented Bulbul were evident as well as a pair of Naumann's Thrush.
Fish ponds in what the locals said was a recently drained and sectioned off with dikes cut off river channel yielded 4 Common Sandpiper and 2 Common Kingfisher.

Well I'm off. I will be posting to another thread from Kansas. I'll let you know when I get started.
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Old Thursday 14th May 2015, 03:11   #60
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Hello to all the China birders! A special hello to Gretchen. She helped me with an ID of a new species to me here in Kansas!

Took a few days to recover enough from the trip to start birding and have been mostly checking out the area so far. For the first week here though I managed to definitely ID 49 species. I haven't yet made any trips to the large wildlife refuges so water birds in particular should still add up quickly.

The new posting is at http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....58#post3217258
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Old Tuesday 25th August 2015, 14:22   #61
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Back in China

Back in Panjin! Well, Dawa County to be exact. Seemed to have cleared things up pretty well in the States, so probably will be here for at least a couple of years. Spent yesterday on visiting relatives and on getting registered with the local gendarmes. May have to make a run to Hong Kong in six months but the locals say not to worry, they will renew my status without my having to leave. Familiar enough to the JingCha that they have apparently decided that I am harmless. Even chit chatted with one about his having been to University in Dublin. He never admitted to understanding English before.

Today was still pretty full, but took my lunch hour to do some birding. The nearby reed beds produced some Intermediate Egrets which took quite a bit of work to decide on who they were. Too small for Great White Egrets, too big for Cattle Egrets (one I know from Kansas), solid black legs and yellow bill with small black area on tip.

Also there were ten or so little "Peeps" shore waders scared up by sheep grazing and moving too fast to identify.

Two possible Woodcocks, but again not able to get a good enough look to say for sure.

More when life calms down a little again.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Aug 25, 2015 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
6 species

Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 34
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 6
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 2
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 50
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 4
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 10
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Old Friday 28th August 2015, 08:45   #62
Owen Krout
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August 27, 2015

Made another try before the rain started yesterday and the Passerines seem to have almost disappeared. Even the water birds are not in abundance. The Intermediate Egrets are apparently just migrating through as the numbers at the same location as the day before were way down.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Aug 27, 2015 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
6 species

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 6
Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 6
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 3
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 1
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 15
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 6

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24785799

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Sunday 30th August 2015, 13:30   #63
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Better luck today. I walked over to the reed beds and went another kilometer west to an area that is more difficult to access and more heavily overgrown with reeds.

I was confronted by a guard from the oil fields that intrude on the reed beds and he was concerned with of what I was taking pictures. After I showed him what was on the camera his demeanor changed completely and he started pointing out the areas where different birds where to be found. He was delightedly watching me take photos and petting my dog until they yelled at him from the work quarters to get back over there.

On the way home the Hoopoes mobbed the Russian Toy Terrier, probably thinking it was a big rat. Unfortunately, in the excitement I forgot to push the focus button and missed the shot. She was rather confused and kept a close eye out on the sky as well as staying close to me after that.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Aug 30, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 kilometer(s)
12 species

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 1
Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) 1
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) 2
Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 10
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 4
Chinese Pond-Heron (Ardeola bacchus) 1
Gray-headed Lapwing (Vanellus cinereus) 2
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 8
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 6
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 2
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 15
Japanese Tit (Parus minor) 2

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24815394

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Sunday 30th August 2015, 13:39   #64
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Welcome back Owen - Must have been fun watching the Hoopoes mobbing the dog. I like the shot of the purple Heron too.

Cheers
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Old Tuesday 1st September 2015, 09:36   #65
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Nasty humid here yesterday and an aching back have kept me home today. Trying for a trip to Gedalou Reservoir sometime this week though. Should be plenty of action, hopefully some cranes.

I did, BTW, have some good birding while I was in the US. Unfortunately, I never did make it to any of the big Wildlife preserves. Especially wanted to get to Cheyenne Bottoms or Quiviria National Wildlife Refuge. Only a brief trip to Cimarron National Grasslands, but did pick up a few new ticks there. The problem was incessant rain. Probably the wettest summer I have seen there in the last 45 years. Rare to get three days in a row without pouring rain. Came away with 98 species in three months though, so not so bad.
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Old Wednesday 2nd September 2015, 06:55   #66
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Welcome Back Owen. Leave your pet at home. Very soon, Raptor migration will start in your area and you don't want to lose your pet to a Golden Eagle.
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Old Friday 4th September 2015, 11:17   #67
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Sept. 4th, 2015

Made the long hike to broad canal/small lake where I have had a lot of luck in the past. Not a lot of birds, put was a nice afternoon anyway as the weather was nice. I decided to try the reed beds on the way home and although they were empty with my Egrets all gone, as I stepped through a hole in the trees around the edge of the beds I almost stepped on a Least Weasel! Beautiful reddish brown which dashed from where I was about to step into the matted grass nearby. I immediately thought it was a weasel, but the relatively short tail puzzled me a little as well as the very diminutive size.

The three Kestrels were together and apparently slowly migrating south. One huge flock of Tree Sparrows (under-counted I am sure) and two flocks of Common Magpie in the same general area, largest grouping I've seen of them as the two flocks joined together as I was leaving.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Sep 4, 2015 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)
10 species

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 8
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 2
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 1
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) 1
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 1
Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) 3
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 33
Sky Lark (Alauda arvensis) 2
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 35
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 75

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24882336

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Friday 11th September 2015, 09:53   #68
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Not much happening here in Panjin.

Yesterday was very light and despite covering quite a bit of area the only luck for any birds at all was at the reed beds and even that was not much.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Sep 10, 2015 12:00 PM
Protocol: Incidental
3 species

Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 10
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 8
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 35

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24977981

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

Made an even longer hike today over toward the rice fields with only one sighting and that at 150 meters or more which made an ID impossible even with the binoculars. A large flock (100+) or what I am pretty sure were Warblers and on the larger size for such. Judged larger in size than Tree Sparrow with relatively long tail. Tail tended to be spread during flight. Streaked brown all over w/slightly lighter undersides. Were in a reed bed appearing to feed on seed heads. Quite noisy group, similar to a flock of sparrows. Unfortunately, just not able to get enough detail to ID. If lighting is better tomorrow, I may take the camera and see if they are still around and will allow any closer view.
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Old Saturday 12th September 2015, 01:10   #69
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Owen, that flock is sounding like Vinous-throated Parrotbills. They look long-tailed and act just as you described. Also,thanks for your comments on my student's thread.
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Old Saturday 12th September 2015, 13:08   #70
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Today was perfect weather after the front came through from Inner Mongolia. Gave a great view of the mountains (YiWuLu Shan) estimated at about 80 kilometers away as they were in the sun several hours before the front cleared us. Cool but not cold, slight breeze but not windy. All with crystal clear skies. To give credit where it is due, I must say that there has been a big improvement in the pollution from the last three years. Unfortunately, I know it won't last come November when they fire up the coal fired hot water plants.

Thanks for the tip Tom, saw them again today again at about the same distance and even with a cropped photo I can't say for sure, but my inclination is that you are right and they are Vinous-throated Parrotbills. Can't claim that tick though until I can get a better ID.

I decided that since the rest of the family was busy hashing out the details of the new condo and the weather was so good, I would make a good day of birding with no one to be reminding me of how long I was taking and no little dog to wear out and have to be carried home. I hiked south along the irrigation canal for about 4 kilometers before I decided I had better start winding my way home, stopping to take in the larger canal/lake park area. Overall almost five hours out today with about 3.5 actually spent birding. The rest getting there and back. Arthritis is letting me know about it, but it was a fun time so worth it. Just couldn't do it too often.

The first couple of kilometers were fruitless except for numerous Barn Swallows working over the unharvested corn and rice and what I believe to be Vinous-throated Parrotbills, but alas they were once again to far out to get any positive ID on. But then, as I was considering giving it up, I spotted a squirrel! Seems to be a Pallas's squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus. That was encouraging so I decided to continue south. Good decision. As soon as I was really starting to get out into the rural village area and though still quite light in numbers at least things started to pick up.

A couple of Magpies made a showing briefly scolding me. Soon followed by a Common Sandpiper flushed from the fish ponds as I walked by. Nest up were about 50 Tree Sparrows squabbling with each other as usual but watching them led me to notice a Gray-headed Woodpecker mixed in with them. She was intent on one particular spot which she returned to even after spotting me and flying off. My guess is she had found an ant hill and was eating ants.

Nothing for a long while after that except for a Flycatcher that I only spotted because it made the classic swoop out to catch an insect on the fly and quickly back to cover. No usable photo but did manage to get one good look through 10X binoculars and decided on Asian Brown Flycatcher. Too light colored, I thought for Dark Sided.

I just had noted all the minnows right at the surface of the canal and had thought, "A real paradise for a Kingfisher", when a Common Kingfisher broke cover just ahead of me and crossed to the other side. The sun caught its back and it seemed to glow almost iridescent.

Nothing again for awhile, so I veered off to the larger canal/lake park area and picked up 15 Little Grebes in their usual places as well as one Moorhen. I noticed the activity of one small bird in the floating plantings furiously working at the seed heads and managed to get some photos good enough to enlarge and identify as an Oriental Reed Warbler. Spotted another as I was leaving.

Crossing the street bridge on the way out I spotted a Black-headed Gull working its way up the canal. Young bird with only faint markings instead of a fully black head. Also a family of ducks that were rather confusing coloration, but given the location I finally decided on a Domestic Mallard x Wild Mallard. There are domestics in the village on the other side of the lake, but these had obviously gone wild. Wasn't sure how to enter that one in e-bird, or even if I should, so left it out.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Sep 12, 2015 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
6.0 kilometer(s)
11 species

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 15
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 1
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) 1
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 1
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) 1
Gray-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus) 1
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 2
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 75
Oriental Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus orientalis) 2
Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris) 1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 50

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24992445

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Saturday 19th September 2015, 13:31   #71
Owen Krout
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Location: Panjin, Liaoning, China
Posts: 802
Sep-19-2015

Had a good rain yesterday with a light thunderstorm with good weather today. Thought the stormy weather might have forced down some migrants so took a rather long (actually a little too long) hike and sure enough there were some passerines back in evidence.

Some Light-vented Bulbuls were in evidence and spent some time getting a good ID photo on a puzzle which turned out to be a juv. L-v Bulbul lacking the white patch on the back of the head.

Reed beds yielded good numbers of Intermediate Egrets with a Pond Heron and a Purple Heron thrown in for good measure. Pretty sure I had a Common Pheasant in a brushy area but she never flushed staying under the good cover. By the calls either a Pheasant or a really big chicken. Got within a few meters and heard her moving around.

I picked up all the rest over by Quanhe village. In a matter of ten minutes I had to quickly decide on what the work on photos for as I started pursuing a Great-spotted Woodpecker on to have a Black Drongo, a Chinese Grey Shrike, a Common Kingfisher and three Common Magpies all show up and pose nicely in quick order.

At the tail end of that I got one quick shot of what I at first thought was an Arctic Warbler and later decided better fit Dusky Warbler both for looks and location. Photo included, so see what you think.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Sep 19, 2015 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
9.0 kilometer(s)
15 species

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 6
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) 1
Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 33
Chinese Pond-Heron (Ardeola bacchus) 1
Black-tailed Gull (Larus crassirostris) 12
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) 1
Chinese Gray Shrike (Lanius sphenocercus) 1
Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) 1
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 10
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 3
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 35
Japanese Tit (Parus minor) 8
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 12
Dusky Warbler (Phylloscopus fuscatus) 2

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25087988

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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ID:	558319  
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Old Saturday 19th September 2015, 15:19   #72
MKinHK
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That shrike is a beauty, Owen.

Still dream of finding one here in HK one day.

Cheers
Mike
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Old Sunday 20th September 2015, 09:17   #73
Owen Krout
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Location: Panjin, Liaoning, China
Posts: 802
Sep-20-2015

Much shorter trip today but came across two noisy flocks of Light-vented Bulbul. The first was a small group of about 6 mixed in with the Tree Sparrows, were making themselves heard even over the Sparrows squabbling.

Barn Swallows were just too numerous and too wide-spread to even estimate. Bunches.

Never get tired of the Hoopoe.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Sep 20, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)
6 species

Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 6
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 2
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) X
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 20
Dusky Warbler (Phylloscopus fuscatus) 2
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 50

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25100127

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Last edited by Owen Krout : Sunday 20th September 2015 at 09:18. Reason: add title
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Old Monday 21st September 2015, 06:53   #74
thirudevaram
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKinHK View Post
That shrike is a beauty, Owen.
Amen!!

Not a mega bird in Shanghai but i would love to see it any time.
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Old Friday 25th September 2015, 13:26   #75
Owen Krout
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Posts: 802
Sep-25-2015

Finally stopped raining and cleared up this afternoon, so made a quick trip out. Just down the street to a narrow strip between the private school and the reed beds.

Made out 5 Intermediate Egret in the reed beds, but could have been more as the reeds have gotten so tall and thick that they could hide easily. The normally omnipresent Barn Swallow were down to only 5 individuals visible.

I had the highlight of the outing while managing to tease out 8 Arctic Warblers from a mixed stand of willows, pines and deciduous trees. While just waiting quietly for them to show themselves I heard a rustle in the bushes by me and hence was looking at just the right place as a little Least Weasel made a rush from cover not half a meter from me to try to catch one of two Hoopoe on the ground nearby. My second sighting in this month! Sadly no picture again. It was literally too close to focus! Did not seem to be concerned about my presence as it stopped to look at me and then scurried away.

Only spent a little over an hour but also managed 3 Common Magpie & 2 Asian Stubtail.
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