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Jeff hopkins
Sunday 20th July 2014, 17:22
Hi All,

I might have a business trip to Tianjin (or maybe Beijing) this fall. I've been to Beidaihe before and was thinking about Happy Island as a change-up.

Is it still worth it, or has it been developed too much? All the reports I find are organized trips or ancient. Anybody done it independently or have any thoughts on how to get there from Tianjin?

tnx,

Jeff

rockfowl
Monday 21st July 2014, 10:14
Hi Jeff,

Although I lead tours to Beidaihe/Happy Island and have done for some time, I do find myself helping out 'independents' fairly regularly. I was there again in May and despite quite intensive development, there is actually much new habitat to investigate. The original 'Temple Woods' are still intact but are perhaps not the focus they used to be due to new plantations springing up around the various new-build accommodation blocks and "New England' style mansions (with bird magnet gardens). Of course the Temple Woods still pull and where very good this Spring though due to the various new plantations and birders roaming instincts, we did find our selves trudging from one end of the island to the other regularly as 'new' species where found in new localities. There is a very good boardwalk system in place to navigate between sites as well as the various road systems. The new Golf driving range adds to the bird pulling possibilities.
The downside is the destruction/reclamation of the mudflats, the alteration to the tidal flow and very sadly, the now vanished wader roost. Shorebirds have dramatically reduced in numbers though all species are still potentially gettable during a visit there. Ironically it has been easier to see Asian Dowitchers now in the channel next to the new causeway connecting the island to the mainland at the right tidal period.

So on the whole, It is still very good and is well worth a visit. The new birders accommodation is excellent, showers, comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, electrics work and the restaurant, good but not yet excellent food. There is a shop at the harbour area and no doubt others will appear.

When are you likely to be there this Autumn?

Jeff hopkins
Monday 21st July 2014, 11:55
Appreciate the help, Mark.

Hi Jeff,

When are you likely to be there this Autumn?

Probably September, if at all. They were talking a meet-up with a supplier in late August, but knowing how these things work out, I'm expecting some amount of delay. It is China, after all.

MKinHK
Tuesday 22nd July 2014, 05:56
September will be birdier than August, so a delay would necessarily be a bad thing . . .

Cheers
Mike

Jeff hopkins
Tuesday 22nd July 2014, 16:13
Agreed. And October would be even better, since my last visit to Beidaihe was September, and I'd prefer some variety of species.

MKinHK
Wednesday 23rd July 2014, 12:12
So what are you waiting for? bring on the delay, havering, wavering, obfuscation, procrastination, hesitation, prevarication, and don't forget to rain-check - and btw I just heard the whole eastern China is about to become a no-fly zone . . .

Cheers
Mike

Jeff hopkins
Wednesday 23rd July 2014, 16:15
btw I just heard the whole eastern China is about to become a no-fly zone . . .


Yeah, I heard that, too.

Gotta think that's just a government plot to pay for the trains. :king: