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Old Saturday 3rd October 2015, 15:57   #76
Owen Krout
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Oct-3-2015

An outing along the edges of the reed beds yielded one new tick for me, nothing uncommon, but new to me. A flock of 19 White-cheeked Starling came up out of the reed bed and went directly overhead on their way to a Sumac thicket on the grounds of the private high school on the other side of the road. Not a very good pic as they were moving fast and surprised me. No time to set up for a shot.

The rest were the usual actors:

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Oct 3, 2015 1:45 PM - 3:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 kilometer(s)
9 species

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 1
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) 1
Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 6
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 2
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 3
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) X
Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis) 3
White-cheeked Starling (Spodiopsar cineraceus) 19
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 10

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25276552

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

As I was giving up due to achy joints, I came across a nifty Hummingbird Moth and got a few decent shots. Hey, not a bird, but at least it was flying and acting like a bird! And speaking of not a bird but flying....
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Old Sunday 4th October 2015, 15:12   #77
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I like the picture of the Smog Dispersal Unit in action.

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Old Monday 5th October 2015, 12:42   #78
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Those are the latest model in Chinese manned drones.
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Old Tuesday 6th October 2015, 06:13   #79
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I just realized that I had not even posted the photo I intended of the smog dispersal unit. This is the one from moments later where they almost collided. You can see the top fellow sticking out his legs as if to kick the other chute away. BTW, my family assures me that it is not smoke but just fog as that is what the TV tells them. Never could smell the fog in the USA.

Made another rather fruitless outing on the fourth. Spent most of my time managing a few marginal ID photos (and a lot of useless ones) of what turned out to be Two-barred Greenish Warblers (Phylloscopus (trochiloides) plumbeitarsus). Probably would never have even seen them if not for some caged birds in a nearby apartment that were making a lot of noise and had the TBGW agitated. Even then they were staying under heavy cover and only very soft calls. They were congregating as near to the cage birds as they could and still stay under cover and were moving about in an agitated manner. New tick.

Finished up with 8 Azure-winged Magpies; 62 Tree Sparrows; and 5 Coal Tits in the same location were they had been seen before but absent for the summer.
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Old Wednesday 7th October 2015, 06:02   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Krout View Post
I... Probably would never have even seen them if not for some caged birds in a nearby apartment that were making a lot of noise and had the TBGW agitated. Even then they were staying under heavy cover and only very soft calls. They were congregating as near to the cage birds as they could and still stay under cover and were moving about in an agitated manner...
That's a very interesting observation on behavior of wild birds in response to cage birds!
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Old Monday 12th October 2015, 11:05   #81
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Had to work for any sightings today. Other than my half-dozen Intermediate Egrets, everything was hiding deep into the brush. Managed to phish out a Pine Bunting, which is a new tick for me and managed a couple of decent photos of what I ID as a Two-barred Greenish Warbler. Photos of both included here so speak up if you think I have the IDs wrong.

Even the Light-vented Bulbuls were only ID by voice until I managed to get one out in the open enough to verify visually.

Rice harvest is underway here, so not long until visibility improves as the leaves fall. Has been down to 5 degrees the last few mornings.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Oct 11, 2015 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 kilometer(s)
8 species

Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 6
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 1
White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) 1
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 1
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 8
Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides) 5
Pine Bunting (Emberiza leucocephalos) 3
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) X Too widespread and numerous to estimate

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25386664

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Monday 12th October 2015, 13:29   #82
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Hi Owen,
Great photos of the leaf warbler! They are hard to get. The Leaf Warbler looks like Pallas's to me. Small with a very yellow/green supercilium. Also, there are wing bar shadows on your leaf warbler. Directly under the white wing bars there are black shadows. Two-barred lack this. Both Pallas's and Yellow-browed show these. It is peak time for Pallas's Leaf Warblers to be passing through at the moment down here.

The Bunting pictured is a Little Bunting. Pine Bunting are quite bulky with a slight crest but they can be tricky at times.

White-backed woodpecker would be rare in Panjin as well as far as I know. Are you sure it wasn't Greater Spotted? Greater Spotted have two vertical white patches on their wings and White-backed are more speckled. I've seen White-backed in Liaoning but only at high elevation in Phoenix Mountain (Fen Huang Shan) near Dandong in the winter.

Interestingly both Two-barred Warblers and Pine Bunting are rare here in Dalian. I'm wondering if that is the same by you or just an oddity down here at the end of the peninsula.

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Old Tuesday 13th October 2015, 02:53   #83
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Hi Tom,

Thanks for the comments and especially for taking the time to explain your reasoning. That is one of the big reasons that I joined the community and started posting. When I was both in charge of a department in industry and when I was teaching Engineering Technology I often made a point to remember that, at least with the proper attitude, you often can learn more from your mistakes than you do from your successes.

To the point. I was surprised by the White-backed Woodpecker as Great Spotted are common but this looked different. Unfortunately not close enough, too quickly moving from tree to tree and too deeply buried in the Aspen(?) to be able to get a photo. In the binoculars, seemed quite large lacking red head and vent patches so probably female. Very small or missing wing patch with more barring than typical of Great Spotted. I thought I detected black streaking on underparts. Too large for Japanese Pygmy or Grey-capped. Will return to area and give it another try earlier in the day when lighting is better.

Thanks for pointing out the wing bar shadows. This was indeed different from my earlier Two-barred. I went back and reviewed the poorer photos from then and they did indeed lack the wing bar shadows. For my own edification, which Lear Warbler are you referring? I had considered Pallas's Leaf Warbler, but never was able to make out any median crown stripe. Also the lateral crown stripe didn't seem dark enough in PLW. (See there, I used the specialized terminology of the field. I learned in engineering that doing that will always make you sound smarter.) The Sakhalin LW, Large-billed LW, Kloss's LW, Sulphur-breasted LW and Claudia's LW, all would be out of range. The Chinese LW (Phylloscopus yunnanensis) has the wing bars reversed. From shoulder to wing tip - Black white black, whereas my bird is white black white.

Little Bunting might sound better at that. I failed to take note of the normal size. Also probably prejudiced by my initial impression that it reminded me of the Pine Siskin from the New World. I know I scanned the table of contents under "Pine" when I started the search. I think maybe Brazil's illustration doesn't really do the LB justice and Little Buntings are relatively common here.

I am scheduled to revisit the very large lake east of Dawa this afternoon which has proven out well in the past. Hopefully some good waterfowl and waders to share soon.
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Old Thursday 15th October 2015, 04:58   #84
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Oct-13-2015

A couple of hours in our neighborhood was rather light on numbers but revealed the return of the Red-flanked Bluetails. Three were in with a mixed flock of Tree Sparrows and Little Buntings.

Only one Light-vented Bulbul where there have been reliable numbers. Rounded off with one Hoopoe, 5 Azure-winged Magpie and 3 Common Magpie.

Following on Tom's suggestion of it revealing migrators, I stopped at a clearing to scan the clear blue sky with my binoculars. Did spot a very high kettle of 4 obvious raptors wheeling south, but just too high even with the binoculars to positively ID. Completely invisible to the naked eye. No mountains here to give you a boost up. Tallest thing here is our apartment building with no roof access. Other than that the ten meter mound of dirt I was standing on. General form and apparent coloring with guesstimated size seemed much like possible Greater Sea Eagle.

Just as important was what was missing. The usual 5 - 6 Intermediate Egrets were gone from their reed beds and the Barn Swallows grabbing up insects they stirred up were gone.
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Old Thursday 15th October 2015, 14:52   #85
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A posting to the Bird ID forum resulted in 68 views but nobody posted any suggestions, so I will try here. Either I said something that ticked everyone off or it makes me feel better that everyone else seems to have as much trouble as I do with Gulls. I have Brazil's guide open now to a possibility but don't feel confident and don't want to prejudice anybodies opinion.

Taken yesterday at the very large Gedalou Reservoir east of Panjin, Dawa. The first two are examples of large gulls that were working the fish and crab aquaculture ponds and setting in a group that was barely visible from the shoreline. Heavy black bill seems to limit possibilities.

The next three are a smaller gull of which there were only four that I picked out. Yellow bill with black tip. Black ear patch. Black legs and feet with black on trailing edges of wing and on wing tip. A better idea on this one but still not sure enough to count the tick.
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Old Thursday 15th October 2015, 23:31   #86
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Hi Owen, the first two are juv. Mongolian or Vega Gulls of the Herring family. The last 3 are Black-headed Gulls. have to run, no time for details.

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Old Friday 16th October 2015, 03:42   #87
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Thanks, Tom. Guess I am actually doing better than I gave myself credit for. Mongolian and Vega were exactly what I was debating between. Going with Vega due to the size and shape of bill. Were it summer in Heilongjiang it would be easier to choose Mongolian, but both winter here. I think it is just the name "Black-headed" that gives me fits with the other. I have yet to see one that actually had a black head.
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Old Friday 16th October 2015, 07:29   #88
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Owen, if you gonna dig deep, you might end up in Arkham. ;-)

Check the Japanese Gull site, they have been decoding these gulls for a very long time.

Coming back to your gulls, IMO, first one is Mongolian, second one is vega. Vega one is much darker, broader tail band. For Mongolian, the coverts have the typical "frosty" feature of the mongolian.
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Old Friday 16th October 2015, 09:23   #89
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Hey, great reference site, Dev. You were just the cause of my going back through the 300+ shots from that outing to decide that you are right, there are two individuals with the lighter and narrower tail band better matching Mongolian. The adult Vegas were sitting out so far on the lake (est. 800-1000 meters) that my wife couldn't see them visually and I only could make out some white specks. Binoculars showed them enough to attempt some shots and 560mm of lens only barely made them out.

By the way, only thanks to VPN and Hulu that I have any idea what you were referring to by Arkham. :-}
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Old Saturday 17th October 2015, 10:04   #90
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Finally made the trip to Gedalou Reservoir, East of Panjin, Dawa. Not nearly the numbers that I have seen there in the past but still a good day out. I have been stalling on posting waiting on eBird to come back on line but things are accumulating including today's outing, so here we go.

Started out with a lone Mallard, not a domestic, paddling around one of the smaller fish ponds.

As always, the Common Magpie were prominent from the first with a total of 21 and the numbers to great to count Tree Sparrows.

The lake appeared empty at first, so efforts primarily went into teasing birds out of the brush along the lakeside path. (3) Light-vented Bulbul made themselves known by singing and their constant chatter with each other. Quickly and aggressively responding to phishing sounds were a group of (6) Ashy Minivets always surprising just how well something with bright black and white markings can actually be so well hidden. Nearby were (8) Pallas's Leaf Warbler. A little further on yielded (16) Brambling, also in the brush.

After a considerable walk around the lake, the water began to yield some sightings. First up were (9) Great Crested Grebe which were scattered along the shoreline in pairs. Also in pairs were (8) Little Grebe. As we walked along we came up on the gulls we had seen in the distance and were rewarded with (3) Black-headed Gull, (2) Juv. Mongolian Gull, and (7) Juv. Vega Gull. (Thanks to Dev and Tom for help with sorting out the very similar Mongolian and Vega).

The haze lifted enough finally for me to be able to just make out white spots out in the distance on the lake. Binoculars proved it to be gulls and 560mm of camera lens was just enough to be able to heavily crop later and ID what proved to be 103 adult Vega Gull floating about a kilometer out in the middle of the lake.

This also led to the answer to the question: What is more frustrating than a birding trip with no birds in evidence? Answer: Having 97 ducks a kilometer away so that you cam make them out, but not quite well enough to identify. I only spotted the large flock because they suddenly broke cover and started wheeling about. Later at home I noticed that in the upper corner of the first shot I took of them was a barely visible raptor and later a shot shows a falcon size and shape shooting across the surface of the water towards the panicky ducks. (Peregrine?) I am not sure what the raptor was planning to do even if it managed to take a duck given there was only water around.

To finish up the outing, three separate flocks of White-cheeked Starlings gave a count of 53 individuals.
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Old Monday 19th October 2015, 15:50   #91
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Not a great day, but lead to some variety and a new tick with the Chestnut-flanked White Eye. Quite windy and had to work hard to manage the little birds buried deep into the brushy cover.

Also added one shot from my trip to Gedalou Reservoir the other day. There were three of these really large caterpillars traveling in train which attracted my attention and then I noticed the fly determinedly harassing one of them. I don't know exactly what was going on but it kept moving in from the side, never landing on the caterpillar and everytime it would touch the caterpillar it would violently lunge and squirm to chase it off.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Oct 17, 2015 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 kilometer(s)
12 species

Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia) 6
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 2
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 10
Japanese Tit (Parus minor) 8
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 17
Pallas's Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus proregulus) 8
Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis) 10
Chestnut-flanked White-eye (Zosterops erythropleurus) 1
Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) 3
Siberian Accentor (Prunella montanella) 1
Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla) 10
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) X

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25473385

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Saturday 24th October 2015, 12:49   #92
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Crisp and clear with a strong north wind following the last two days being heavy fog and rain. Fall is arriving and included a picture of the changing foliage. Figured it might have caused some migration stop-overs here so managed to get out for an hour late this afternoon. Worked out well.

Spotted some Japanese Tit immediately upon stepping out the door and moved on to the park at the edge of the reed beds. Found a flock of Willow Tit flicking around the edge of the reeds and noticed the Azure-winged Magpie were roused up about something, so decided to go over and have a look. They were in a small grove of trees separating the park and a small village and as I stood still just at the edge of the trees trying to see what they were excited about a Hoopoe walked out of cover within two meters and calmly probed at the ground until it realized that I was standing there and displayed it's crest before dashing back into cover. Turns out there were two more behind me.

Turning my attention back to the Magpie as they called for more help and two more Azure-winged and two Common Magpie joined in. Not seeing what they were circling I moved in slowly. Still not seeing anything I was startled as a large Owl passed by me from behind at head level. It moved over to the edge of the village and the Magpie piled on as it was more in the open. Compared to the Blue Jay (their American cousin) they were very quite during the mobbing but pressed the attack to close quarters. Too close. I couldn't actually see it, but as the Magpies actually started landing and pecking at the owl, it made a sudden lunge and dropped out of sight. This was followed by fierce thrashing noises and the Magpie backed off. I think the owl managed to snag one of them.

I started looking for a better vantage point and not having found one and the noise having subsided, I started to move off through the woods. Just as I turned around there was a Ural Owl sitting just over head high and close enough that if I had taken a couple of steps I could have touched it! I tried bringing the camera up slowly as I fingered the switch to close focus as he stared at me, but the movement caused it to fly. That Aroused the Magpie again and the owl disappeared to the north with the Magpie in trail. May have been two individuals, but not being sure I counted it as one. Good enough that it is the first time I have caught an owl out in daylight.

Shortly thereafter a flock of Carrion Crow came up out of the reed beds and flew directly overhead. I managed good enough quick shots of them to verify ID.

The rest of the day was the common actors.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Oct 24, 2015 2:15 PM - 3:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 kilometer(s)
10 species

Ural Owl (Strix uralensis) 1
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 3
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 16
Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) 6
Willow Tit (Poecile montanus) 18
Japanese Tit (Parus minor) 4
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 12
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) 4
Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) 1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 35

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25524705

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Sunday 25th October 2015, 08:55   #93
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That's an exciting sighting Owen - great you got to see it!
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Old Monday 26th October 2015, 04:27   #94
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Ural Owl is top notch, Owen.
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Old Friday 30th October 2015, 10:05   #95
Owen Krout
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Panjin, Liaoning, China
Posts: 802
Oct-28 & 29-2015

Last couple of days seemed promising but proved to be rather shy on birds. Took some real effort to find anything at all.

Yesterday, the 28th, was coming up entirely blank except for the Coal Tits and Azure-winged Magpie until I found a large mixed flock noisily feeding on the edge of a recently harvested field of reeds and rice.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Oct 28, 2015 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)
7 species (+1 other taxa)

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) 2
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 5
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 2
Coal Tit (Periparus ater) 4
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 8
Dusky/Naumann's Thrush (Turdus naumanni/eunomus) 4
Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla) 15
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) X Very large flock at edge of recently harvested reeds and rice. Too numerous to obtain accurate count

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25613629

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

Today, the 29th, was about the same and cooler so I didn't stray as far. Just as I was finishing up with little to show, I spotted some Tits that were obviously new to me and in the process of getting some good shots also came up with the Grey-headed Woodpecker hiding in the trees with them that I would not have noticed except one of the Long-tailed landed near it.

On a conservation note: Earlier this summer a large area that was agricultural and reed beds was filled in with dredged material from the Bohai Gulf. Just in less than the last month new higher end apartments are appearing. Another major loss of environment. As the sign indicates, completion in 40 days! Upon translating it my wife even commented that if they are in that big of a hurry it probably will fall down with the first earthquake or even strong wind.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Oct 29, 2015 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)
7 species

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 4
Gray-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus) 1
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 28
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 2
Coal Tit (Periparus ater) 10
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) 7
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 25

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25624740

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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Old Sunday 1st November 2015, 02:04   #96
MKinHK
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Location: Hong Kong
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These caudatus Long-tailed Tits are wonderful birds!

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Mike
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Old Sunday 1st November 2015, 10:10   #97
Owen Krout
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Panjin, Liaoning, China
Posts: 802
Nov-01-2015

A short trip today with good results. I decided to check out the irrigation canal, which is already being allowed to drain down for the winter. Soon will be dry.

Opened up immediately with most of what I would see as soon as I arrived. A mixed flock of Coal Tit; Long-tailed Tit; Eurasian Treecreeper; and Eurasian Nuthatch. All within a 20 meter circle of where I entered. Job done, might as well go home. As it turned out it was almost true. Within 15 minutes I picked up one Great-spotted Woodpecker and obtained the best pics yet of one. The Long-tailed Tit followed me down the path along the canal making sure my presence was announced and a few more scattered Coal Tit were seen.

Only other sighting was what I thought was a Peregrine Falcon spotted over the rice fields but moving away fast. I was only able to visually see through the leaves remaining on the trees and I never got a good clear look or shot for a photo, so didn't claim it. Don't have that tic for China, but do have it from the State of Colorado in the USA. The Eurasian Nuthatch was a new one for me.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Nov 1, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)
5 species

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) 1
Coal Tit (Periparus ater) 20
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) 12
Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) 2
Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) 2

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25651864

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)
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ID:	563172  
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Old Sunday 1st November 2015, 10:12   #98
Owen Krout
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And just because I liked it, a Long-tailed Tit striking a pose for her portrait.
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Old Sunday 1st November 2015, 11:25   #99
Gretchen
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All nice pics! I like the nuthatch - which is never as easy for me to see as I think it should be (perhaps not as easy as our American ones?).
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Old Sunday 1st November 2015, 16:39   #100
Owen Krout
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Gretchen, Just about all the birds here are a lot more wary of any human contact than in America and justifiably so. An interesting experiment to start in a month of so. When we move into our new condo we will have a small fenced in patio and garden area. Just last week my wife asked about what would make for good bird food for a feeder, "like when we were in America." Then she enthusiastically agreed to sunflower seeds as a start. I had already been thinking about it but expected resistance as is typical for any Chinese our age, she is very tight with the money. I figure it shouldn't take too long to get some Tits visiting and probably some Buntings as we will literally be just across the street from where I found the Long-tailed Tits and the Ural Owl the other day. There is also a large flock of Azure-winged Magpie living there.
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