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Old Sunday 24th September 2006, 08:49   #8
Nick Sismey
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Derby
Posts: 883
23 September 2006

Todayís birding really started with the four hour drive from Beijing with one of my reps Yan Shen together with birders Mr BM Li and Miss Tian Zhu (Ge Ge) to an extremely Chinese hotel on the suburbs of the coastal city Tianjin.

I was very pleased to leave that hotel at 0530 hours this morning, the sooner I had seen the back of it the better, I can still smell the musty odour now!

It took us around 20 minutes to get to the coast where there were enormous man made shell fish beds sharing the landscape with rigs pumping oil into the Chinese economy. The tide was just on the ebb and it was warm enough not to need a sweater. The first bird I saw, once dawn had passed, was a lifer, which flew straight over our car.

379. Black Tailed Gull*--------------------Tianjin------------------China

The 14th bird of the day that we ticked off was not a lifer but new for 2006, as it flew from one small bush to another

380. Dusky Warbler----------------------Tianjin-------------------China

The next very much was, preening itself in the middle of one of the empty shell fish beds, I had not even registered the bird before in my mind!

381. Heuglinís Gull*----------------------Tianjin------------------China

The best bird of the day then revealed itself as we walked back along the levee of the large river, itís shocking ruby throat standing out against the dull background, another lifer in the bag!

382. Siberian Rubythroat*---------------Tianjin-------------------China

Two more birds were added to the 2006 list before we arrived at a small group of buildings that I was amazed to find people living in. I donít know why I am still amazed the time I have been travelling to China!

383. Gull Billed Tern--------------------Tianjin--------------------China
384. Meadow Bunting------------------Tianjin--------------------China

Over the next hour I slowly became more and more incensed at the total waste of life as we found miss net after miss net along purpose built corridors full of birds that were simply left to die, all because the locals wanted to catch Siberian Rubythroats for the market.

Ge Ge and B M Lee had come prepared with pocket knives to both release captured birds that were still alive and to destroy the nets. I soon became very much involved in both activities.

The first net had two large birds entangled, they turned out to be a lifer for me, but absolutely not the way I would want to see a bird for the first time. We initially didnít even think they were alive, but luckily when we got to them they very much were, they had just given up! I must take my hat off to both Ge Ge and B M Lee to the care in which they took to release the birds despite their captives doing everything they could to prevent them from helping them; it was talonís and beaks drawn at dawn (well a couple hours later!)

385. Oriental Scops Owl*------------------Tianjin------------------China

The next four birds I added to my 2006 list were all set free from the miss nets, but we counted over 120 birds that had died and left to rot. We made absolutely sure no parts of those nets could be used again. Photoís of several of the birds released are attached.

386. Arctic Warbler-----------------------Tianjin------------------China
387. Radde's Warbler*--------------------Tianjin------------------China
388. Chestnut Flanked White Eye*--------Tianjin------------------China
389. Thick Billed Warbler*----------------Tianjin------------------China

Both the Brown Shrike and Thick Billed Warbler (the 40th bird of the day) were the worst for wear with the latter trailing one of its legs!
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Last edited by ChinaBirds : Monday 25th September 2006 at 00:55.
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