April 1 2015
Hasn't been a great week for birding here. I had an ankle flare up on Saturday and keep me from venturing very far for a few days and then rain Tuesday and rain and snow today.
I did make it out for most of the afternoon yesterday, ending up sitting in a gazebo at a park and letting the birds come to me until the light got too poor. Not a lot to report though.
I started out by checking out a lakeside area that is still overgrown with reeds and tall marsh grass with only a narrow footpath for access. In the US it would have been loaded with birds, particularly Red-wing Blackbirds. At the point where the trail entered there was an official of some sort in uniform and with the red and blue lights flashing on his vehicle, but since he was sound asleep in the front seat, I figured he was just hiding out in a good place to sneak a nap on the clock, so I just ignored him and proceeded in. Sadly, it was strikingly quiet. There were not only no birds, but no sign of any wildlife at all on my side of the lake. I had noted another vehicle matching the one I passed on the opposite side of the lake and when they noticed me, they used the loudspeakers to order me away, "Ni shi zoula!" was clear enough even to my broken Chinese. I pretended not to hear for a little while (He's on the other side of the lake - what's he going to do?", then decided it was a waste anyway and walked back out. The fellow on my side was snoring by this point so I just went quietly by and let him sleep.
Count for the first hour - zero. Not even a sparrow.
I then moved across the street to a park right behind the police station and finding it very quiet and my knees complaining, I decided that often the best thing to do is nothing and sat down in a gazebo and waited to see what turned up. Patience paid off and about eight Tarsiger cyanurus - Orange-flanked Bluetail came out of hiding. The amount of variation just in that species is surprising. The males were keeping to the north side of the sidewalk and the females to the south. The males are just starting to get their more colorful plumage but apparently not good enough yet to impress the ladies. A flock of 32 Rock Pigeon - Columba livia circled without stop over the village to the north of the park for about two hours and were still circling at almost dark when I left. Just as I got ready to leave a single Grey Heron flapped up from the south, well above the highrises and made three turns over the water, then decided better of it and went back south.
April, 01, 2015
(1) Falco tinnunculus - Common Kestrel
(10) Passer montanus - Eurasian Tree Sparrow
(8) Tarsiger cyanurus - Orange-flanked Bluetail
(6) Pycnonotus sinensis - Chinese Bulbul
(1) Parus minor - Japanese Tit
(32) Columba livia - Rock Dove (Common domestic pigeon) [Better air traffic control needed!]
(2) Emberiza pusilla - Little Bunting
(1) Ardea cinera - Grey Heron