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Liaoning, Shenyang aka 辽宁沈阳

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Old Wednesday 11th April 2018, 20:19   #76
Dong Bei
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Hi Bart, at this time of year, your sparrowhawk was probably a Eurasian Sparrowhawk, if not a Goshawk. Japanese or Chinese Sparrowhawks would be highly unlikely at this time of year. My first records for Chinese and Japanese were the second week of May.

Ironically my only record for Siberian Crane where you are going is from the second week of April! Check every distant egret looking bird!

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Old Thursday 12th April 2018, 15:26   #77
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Quick notes Huanzidong 12 April

Quick notes about the visit today to Huanzidong reservoir, because I don't have the time for a full report, that will have to come later.

I did see some Siberian cranes, 8 to be exact, but at far distance on the South side. The easiest access to the lake is however on the North side (along the dam), but from that location most birds are even further. As I feared I missed having a scope and having family around was also not ideal (although they went to great length to please me). Plenty to see, just a fraction close enough to ID and count. Noteworthy for the moment were the hundreds of Spoonbills, 2 Oriental storks, Oriental Pratincole and the fact that I saw several Barn swallow couples around the lake, in contrast to Shenyang. Best observable were the Black winged stilts.
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Old Thursday 12th April 2018, 18:30   #78
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Great to hear that you had success for Siberian Crane there Bart! The one time I was there we were being led around and I wished I had more time there by myself to fully check out the area as well. Very happy that you got your target.
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Old Friday 13th April 2018, 17:23   #79
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Huanzidong 12 April final report

To get to the Huanzidong Reservoir we had the help of a friend of my in-laws (they do not have a car themselves). It took us 2 hours to go and the same time to return, so double the time I read otherwise. The GPS of our driver showed a location on the South-West side. The first views of the lake at the south east side immediately looked promising with white birds on the southernmost tip of the bay. I asked to stop the car and could see enough to confirm they were Siberian cranes. Really massive birds compared to two spoonbills in between them. I could also observe one coming in to land at the moment I was urged to stop because the others were getting nervous to stop on the side of the big road. I was hoping for better views later. A bit further the driver asked for directions and was pointed to the road east of the lake that leads to the north side of the lake, along the dam. At the end of the dam there is a small peninsula with a modest settlement (and public toilets) that indeed gave the best views of the lake and with some shorebirds close by, but no Cranes. Most observations were from this location.

From one local we heard that all cranes were gone, another told us they were feeding in the fields around the lake during the day. After some initial birding at the viewpoint we decided to go further along the road towards the west to see if we could see birds in the fields or get other viewpoints. No Cranes were seen and also no additional good viewpoints for binoculars were encountered. At the moment all fields are barren of any crop and it looks like one big waste land, very much like the fields we encountered during the trip from Shenyang. But boy, the tons of plastic that are flying around in the fields, I wonder how much ends up in our food…

Although a little more west of the peninsula there is a S-curve in the road from which you can have a nice view of the northwest side with a scope I can imagine. With bino’s I could just observe that a lot of groups of birds were standing there. Around there we did have the two Oriental storks flying low above the fields and dropping in the northeast corner of the lake and also a nice group of Eurasian curlews flying around on the way back. We went as far as the road that runs west of the lake, but found out it was a long detour to go around all the way. The distance between the sometimes bumpy road and the lake was much too far. All roads leading closer were field roads that looked like a 4x4 could take but were too risky for a sedan car. It would also be too far of a distance to walk for my family and they dind’t feel like waiting more than an hour along the roadside if I would go by myself. Thus we returned to the north side and took a pick nick break there while I tried to get better views to get some ID confirmations.

A group of 20 or so Spoonbills came closer, but still too far to look for the black faced kind. I am assuming almost all are the regular type. Locals were pointing us to the ‘bai se de’ birds thinking we were looking for white birds only. There was one other party of Chinese tourists walking around with one lady on high heels and a massive porro binocular that probably got fooled by that. But I assume, like my wife, they were a bit disappointed by the advertisement on the internet as a ‘Park’. My wife even said later the lady was asking people to help her focus the large binocular, so no birder at all, and that they probably expected they could feed the Cranes.

A thing I would agree on is that for such a site, an oasis for birds in a barren landscape, they could do a little more effort to get people close enough from all sides to get better views for the average Chinese tourists. They might not be able to feed the birds, but closer views of the number of birds there can help people understand how special the place is at least at provincial level. It could get some revenue in for the locals that, according to the driver, still prefer to eat the birds then watch them. The handful of western birders that can visit the site cannot sustain such an economy. But then again, if you see how easily some of the touristic places in China are overdeveloped and get droves of tourist, I doubt the environment of the lake can handle that.

When we returned I requested to drive by the southeast bay again to see if we could get closer. Unfortunately, the other people in the car were not keen on finding a way closer to the bay (wanted to go before traffic in Shenyang), although I thought (and later confirmed on satellite images) there was a paved road going close to the south edge that potentially could get better views. On top of that, although I could figure out from the side of the main road, there was still at least 1 crane, it had moved to the other side of the bay. Even though I still walked between the fields to the edge of the large reed beds, the views were still a couple of blurry white spots with reddish where a face should be and they were bigger than some other blurry white spots going back and forth (Spoonbills feeding). A walk close to the reed beds could also have been interesting. I had pheasants calling, some pipit maybe, some quails flushing out and some very distant, probably harrier. But all too fast and no time to chase behind.

Thus, I did have my goal species, but still with some regret I was close to have it even better.

Species list for Huanzidong reservoir, 12 April 2018, 10:20 – 14:05:
L = Lifer, C = New to China list, T = New to Trip list, ??=too uncertain (not counted in lists)

1 Swan Goose - Anser cygnoides (L, C, T)
2 Taiga Bean Goose - Anser fabalis ?? – Didn’t actual make ID with Tundra species. Which one is more likely?
3 Common Pochard - Aythya ferina (C,T)
4 Common Pheasant - Phasianus colchicus (T)
5 Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis – (T) 4 ex along the dam
6 Great Crested Grebe - Podiceps cristatus (C, T)
7 Eurasian Spoonbill - Platalea leucorodia (C, T)
8 Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea (T)
9 Little Egret - Egretta garzetta (T)
10 Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra (C, T)
11 Siberian Crane - Leucogeranus leucogeranus (L, C, T) - 8ex southeast bay
12 Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus (C, T) - 64ex seen close by
13 Pied Avocet - Recurvirostra avosetta (C, T) - 23ex seen close by
14 Northern Lapwing - Vanellus vanellus (C, T)
15 Little Ringed Plover - Charadrius dubius (C, T)
16 Kentish Plover - Charadrius alexandrines ??
17 Eurasian Curlew - Numenius arquata (C, T) - 21 ex
18 Bar-tailed Godwit - Limosa lapponica (C, T) - 1 ex with 1 foot missing
19 Common Snipe - Gallinago gallinago (C, T) - 5 ex
20 Oriental Pratincole - Glareola maldivarum (L, C, T) - 1 ex
21 Black-headed Gull - Chroicocephalus ridibundus (C, T)
22 Mew Gull - Larus canus (C, T)
23 Common Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis (T) – 2ex
24 Common Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus (T) – 2 ex
25 Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
26 Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica (T)
27 Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus
28 White Wagtail - Motacilla alba
29 Black-faced Bunting - Emberiza spodocephala – 1ex at the northern peninusula

Trip list: 45 (+23)
Patch list: 27
China list: 117 (+16)
Lifelist: 369 (+3)

Erratum post #70: Black headed bunting at Xiacuiyuan park should have been Black-faced Bunting of course. This was not a lifer or new addition to China list. Corrections made in counts above.

Last edited by Creba : Friday 13th April 2018 at 17:32.
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Old Friday 13th April 2018, 17:41   #80
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Bart, I absolutely loved reading your description above. Sounds like you had a typical experience for your first visit to an excellent birding area in NE China. A little bit of confusion, frustration, comedy, but you saw your target. Indeed, it takes a few visits to get to know the site well and how/where to go. I've had this type of experience many many times and eventually you get to know it. I laughed out loud about the high heels, wanting to feed, and eat. I was in a restaurant once near a well known crane site near Dalian flipping through a bird guide and the waitress thought I brought my own picture menu! I loved your last sentence of that paragraph where you reflect that maybe it's not such a good idea if it is too easy for tourists to get to :)

The Spoonbills were probably all Eurasian but always worth it to check them out if possible. The quails were most likely Japanese Quail which would definitely be in the habitat you described.
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Old Saturday 14th April 2018, 01:45   #81
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Bart,
Thanks for the report on Huanzidong. I can totally relate to the trip just as you described it, including the lady in high heels. That can be seen several times every time I am birding at one of the tourist areas. Having to rely on Chinese family for a birding trip can be frustrating as their expectations are usually just about 180 off from yours. Hence generally makes it impossible to leave the pavement to seek out better viewing.

A very nice list for the day though! Especially with catching some cranes. I am still in the camp of having a real talent for "there were hundreds here just yesterday". The Bean Geese could be either Taiga or Tundra. I have found it about equally likely, here at least, to see either and sometimes both close together. In ebird at least, you can and I do often, just record it as generic "Bean Goose". The Spoonbills were of interest as they are a rare find I haven't found yet.

The question of tourism development is a really tricky one. I have seen many instances, in China especially, where this kind of project totally ruined the natural environment and sterilized it from any contact with nature. On the other hand I give credit where credit is due and here locally the Red Beach development does a reasonable job of preserving a large section of mud flats and making it accessible to tourists. The Yingkou Wetlands Park is much smaller but also preserves an important area of mudflats and reed marshland though in that case is a government project. Therefore there is evidence that a balance can be struck and hopefully will be more often in the future.
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Old Sunday 15th April 2018, 15:18   #82
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13 April Shenyang University

Morning rounds at the University keeps on adding species. The first minutes I counted the waxwings that were gathered on the high electricity wires just outside the University terrain, to an exact number of 152. A White-cheeked Starling (lifer!) joined the waxwings for a minute or so. I had a female Daurian Redstart at the south side, along the railway, were some workman hang there birds in cages on the trees. I have the impression it attracts migrants that want to check it out. At this location I also had Pallas's leaf warblers, several Bluetails, Greenfinches and a bunting I noted as a female Yellow-throated one, but after looking at the plate in the fieldguide, it could have been a first winter rustic bunting as well (or should they have the rustic color already by now?). There is a bench there, maybe next time I should just sit there and wait...

The last birds I noted, already hurrying to get home, were a pair of Hawfinches. The number of Pallas's leaf warblers and Red-flanked Bluetails were highest minima until then.

Species list for Shenyang University and suroundings (N and S of Channel), 13 April 2018, 5:40 8:05:
L = Lifer, C = New to China list, T = New to Trip list, P = New Patch addition
? uncertain, not counted in lists

1 Oriental Turtle Dove - Streptopelia orientalis
2 Common Swift - Apus apus
3 Great Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopos major
4 Azure-winged Magpie - Cyanopica cyanus
5 Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
6 Bohemian Waxwing - Bombycilla garrulus 152ex
7 Pallas's Leaf Warbler - Phylloscopus proregulus 24ex
8 Goldcrest - Regulus regulus 3ex
9 White-cheeked Starling - Spodiopsar cineraceus (L,C,T,P) - 1ex
10 Red-flanked Bluetail - Tarsiger cyanurus 20ex, incl 5 m
11 Daurian Redstart - Phoenicurus auroreus (T, P) - 1 f
12 Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus
13 Brambling - Fringilla montifringilla
14 Hawfinch - Coccothraustes coccothraustes (C, T, P) - 2ex
15 Chinese Grosbeak - Eophona migratoria
16 Grey-capped Greenfinch - Chloris sinica
17 Yellow-throated Bunting - Emberiza elegans ? Maybe 1st winter Rustic bunting?

Trip list: 48 (+3)
Patch list: 43 (+3)
China list: 119 (+2)
Lifelist: 370 (+1)
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Old Sunday 15th April 2018, 15:48   #83
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14-15 April visit to Yinkou

Yesterday me, my wife and kids went to visit some friends in Yinkou, by train. We went to the walkway along the 'coast', which was actually the mount of the river Daoliao, just south of the Xipaotai park and the Wetland park.

When we arrived the river was out and I had to do some effort to get ID's of some of the birds that were feeding on the mudflat, by going 50m onto the mudflat, following a ridge of stones sticking out of the mud. The number of shorebird species were not that much, but since I never birded coastlines in China before I did have some easy lifers: Kentish Plover, Far Eastern Curlew and Saunders's Gull. The most impressive was however, while I was standing there to see the water come up in just a few minutes. Of course I made myself scarce back on to the walkway and followed how the birds flew further and further onto higher grounds, the density of birds ever increasing, until only a small area remained, just south of Xipaotai park. We then drove just past that park and by that time everything was under water and I could only find a group of 80 or so Black-tailed Godwits resting in a few centimeters water on the edge of the higher vegetation.

Then I turned my attention to the wetland. It looked nice at first sight, but for such an area I would expect much more wildfowl. I did have Pheasant audible, Common Reed Bunting and a pair of Siberian Stonechat at the edge of the reed vegetation. After walking some distance I only could find 5 Little Grebes and heard a Common Redshank. I jumped over the trash on the edge of the wetland and made my way into the vegetation to get better views and maybe encounter something more interesting. Several groups of people were doing that as well for other reasons I guess, so I figured I was also permitted. One Japanese quail flew up. At the moment we returned with the car, a Kestrel was hovering above the wetland area.

14 April Yinkou Mount of DaoLiao river (13:00 - 15:45)
L = Lifer, C = New to China list, T = New to Trip list

1 Japanese Quail - Coturnix japonica (L, C, T)
2 Common Pheasant - Phasianus colchicus
3 Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis 5ex
4 Pied Avocet - Recurvirostra avosetta 59ex
5 Kentish Plover - Charadrius alexandrinus (L, C, T) - +100ex
6 Far Eastern Curlew - Numenius madagascariensis (L, C, T)
7 Black-tailed Godwit - Limosa limosa (C, T) - hundreds
8 Dunlin - Calidris alpina probably (C,T)
9 Common Redshank - Tringa totanus (C,T)
10 Saunders's Gull - Chroicocephalus saundersi (L, C, T) - around 70
11 Common Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
12 Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
13 Siberian Stonechat - Saxicola maurus (T) 1f 1m
14 Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus
15 White Wagtail - Motacilla alba
16 Common Reed Bunting - Emberiza schoeniclus (C, T) 1m

Trip list: 57 (+9)
Patch list: 16
China list: 127 (+8)
Lifelist: 374 (+4)

Before returning today to Shenyang, we visited a park upstream along the river. The mud was on the wrong side of the river, but I could only detect some gulls anyway. Flying along the park were some Black-headed gulls, a Common Gull and Barn swallow. Somewhere in the city I detected a Azure-winged magpie.

Last edited by Creba : Sunday 15th April 2018 at 15:53.
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Old Monday 16th April 2018, 00:45   #84
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Bart, we almost ran into each other! I was scheduled to go down to Yingkou yesterday to the same locations. Unfortunately, I had a flare-up of my arthritis and decided to defer. Also because of the current world situation, the family was nagging me to stay inside until they could sort out whether or not the populace was going to be incited. Means that, once again, I have been instructed to tell anyone who asks that I am Canadian.

At any rate, I would have spent the mid-day to mid afternoon at the wetland park and at the mud flats at the river. Since we both would stand out in the crowd, I'm sure we would have noticed each other. I know exactly where you would have been seeing the larger numbers; just around the "old artillery fort".

Looks like the migration has started. I was just a little too early on my last trip. The Siberian Stonechat would have been nice. I've been expecting to find some but haven't managed to nail any down for the tic as of yet. I thought that there were a few scattered probably Reed Buntings in the reeds last week but never managed to ID. That is a hotspot for the Saunder's Gull. Even when it was dead for anything else, I've always been able to find some there.
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Old Monday 16th April 2018, 07:00   #85
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Thanks for the comments Owen. I am sure it would have been great to meet each other in the field. The migrant that I also hoped to see in Yingkou but missed was Pacific swift.
I am almost always seen as a 'meiguoren', sometimes as Russian. I never had the feeling or thought about the fact that people could have ill feelings about me. However, I am used of getting stares that are more close to disbelief, certainly when I am with my kids.
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Old Monday 16th April 2018, 07:28   #86
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Shenyang University 16 april 2018

This morning the skies were clear. I didn't check what the weather was in the weekend in Shenyang, but I think it was also very attractive for migrants to move up North. That is what the Waxwings and the Bluetails seem to have done over the weekend. The numbers around the University are now reduced to a couple. No Goldcrest at all. The Pallas's leaf warblers are still in strong numbers, mostly in groups of 4-6. No breakthrough for Yellow-Browed Warlbers in Shenyang yet, didn't have any today.

I decided to make a detour along the river to finally get that first city Barn swallow of the year and I did. A male Grey wagtail was a bonus. The rest was nothing really special. I did have a Black-faced Bunting again. No Varied tit this time.

Species list for Shenyang University and surroundings (N and S of Channel + Xiacuiyuan), 16 April 2018, 5:48 – 8:45:
L = Lifer, C = New to China list, T = New to Trip list, P = New Patch addition
? uncertain, not counted in lists

1 Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea ?? 3ex flying over
2 Oriental Turtle Dove - Streptopelia orientalis
3 Common Swift - Apus apus
4 Eurasian Hoopoe - Upupa epops
5 Great Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopos major
6 Azure-winged Magpie - Cyanopica cyanus
7 Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
8 Bohemian Waxwing - Bombycilla garrulus 4ex
9 Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
10 Pallas's Leaf Warbler - Phylloscopus proregulus +22ex (and some unnamed phyllo's that are probably also Pallas)
11 Red-flanked Bluetail - Tarsiger cyanurus 3ex
12 Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus
13 Grey Wagtail - Motacilla cinerea (T,P) 1m
14 White Wagtail - Motacilla alba
15 Chinese Grosbeak - Eophona migratoria
16 Grey-capped Greenfinch - Chloris sinica
17 Black-faced Bunting - Emberiza spodocephala


Trip list: 49 (+1)
Patch list: 44 (+1)
China list: 127 (+0)
Lifelist: 374 (+0)
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Old Tuesday 17th April 2018, 04:04   #87
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Bart, the Grey Herons that you have been ?? on are probably right. The Greys show up the earliest (I actually have photos of them standing on the ice) and they were commonly seen flying over the campus when I was in Shenyang.
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Old Tuesday 17th April 2018, 16:26   #88
Dong Bei
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Hi Bart, yes it is very possible that your female Yellow-throated Bunting could be Rustic not yet in full breeding colours. Do you have any photos of it?
Great list of birds from post #83 above! Saunders's Gull is a highly prized gull specie among Gull lovers. You were right in the best part of the world to see them there in Yingkou. Japanese Quail also good stuff. Common Reed Bunting more uncommon than Pallas's Reed Bunting there I believe but very possible.

Looks like migration is increasing there.
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Old Thursday 19th April 2018, 15:40   #89
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Shenyang University 18 april 2018

Hi Tom, no picture of the possible rustic bunting unfortunately. I have a pocket camera with decent zoom on hand, but by the time I have it setup most birds have moved, so I mostly don't take the risk and try to get as much observation time through my bino's.

Yesterday, I did my last round of Shenyang University for this trip. The first minutes I was circling some pine to confirm I was hearing a Goldcrest. I only heard some short repetitive call first and after 5 min or so, it was still not making more than that and I started realising it was something else. I also started to hear it in several other locations. After a long time I only saw some quick flashes of a trush shooting from one cover to another. I think it could be Grey-backed trushes? This recording has the faint calls on the backround: https://china.observation.org/sound/3/67763.mp3 . Anybody can confirm?

There was a dead bird under the trees that I believe was a Grey-headed woodpecker. faethers were almost all there, but the flesh of head and body were already decomposed/eaten. Made some pictures. I also have picture of a Grey-backed trush, but I can only show them when I return to Belgium. At the moment I made the later picture I had the one and only encounter with a student that was interested in which birds I was seeing. I could also show her a picture of Waxwings. Still 39 of them were hanging around the Natural history Museum. Phyllo's were not very vocal but had at least both Pallas's Leaf Warbler and a Yellow-Browed warbler. Another bunting I can not positively ID. I think it was a Little Bunting. Tried to make a picture, but couldn't find it back. Another frustrating sighting without ID were 3 storks or cranes that were flying away from me. By the time I could find a position without obstruction of branches, they were gone.

Species list for Shenyang University and surroundings (N and S of Channel), 18 April 2018, 5:25 – 8:00:
L = Lifer, C = New to China list, T = New to Trip list, P = New Patch addition
? uncertain, not counted in lists

Observed species list
1 Oriental Stork - Ciconia boyciana ?? 3 ex.
2 Oriental Turtle Dove - Streptopelia orientalis
3 Common Swift - Apus apus
4 Great Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopos major
5 Grey-headed Woodpecker - Picus canus (T, P) 1ex dead
6 Azure-winged Magpie - Cyanopica cyanus
7 Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
8 Bohemian Waxwing - Bombycilla garrulus 4 + 39 ex
9 Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
10 Pallas's Leaf Warbler - Phylloscopus proregulus min 5 ex
11 Yellow-browed Warbler - Phylloscopus inornatus 1 calling
12 Grey-backed Thrush - Turdus hortulorum (T, P) calls? + 1 photographed
13 Dusky Thrush - Turdus eunomus 2 ex.
14 Red-flanked Bluetail - Tarsiger cyanurus 3 ex
15 Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus
16 Chinese Grosbeak - Eophona migratoria
17 Grey-capped Greenfinch - Chloris sinica
18 Black-faced Bunting - Emberiza spodocephala
19 Little Bunting - Emberiza pusilla ??

Trip list: 51 (+2)
Patch list: 46 (+2)
China list: 127 (+0)
Lifelist: 374 (+0)

Last edited by Creba : Thursday 19th April 2018 at 15:51.
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Old Thursday 19th April 2018, 16:12   #90
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19 April Beiling Park

Before Lunch my family and I went to have a walk and do some boating in Beiling Park during the first hot spring day. Not much time for Birding, maybe 20 mintues while the others were resting on a bench. The rest of the time were observations on the go. Must be much more to discover here.

I made some photographs of an Olive-backed pipit (will come later) and had a singer I am not familiar with. I made a recording of part of it song so I can research it at home. But maybe somebody can already give me the answer:
https://china.observation.org/sound/9/67839.mp3
Recording starts off in the middle of the song with a thrill (probably distinct?).

At the same location as the recording above I could make a nice picture of some rather small chipmunk.

From previous trips I believe Amur Falcon is pretty common here, but they were definitely not at the moment. So not arrived yet? Many unoccupied nests that I assume are from the falcons were observable in the trees that still had no leaf cover. Maybe the possible Amur falcon I had earlier during this trip above the University could have been something else? (didn't have time to research the phenology, could check it on ebird)

Species list for Beiling Park (South-Easth part only), 18 April 2018, 9:50 – 13:00:
L = Lifer, C = New to China list, T = New to Trip list, P = New Patch addition
? uncertain, not counted in lists

1 Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos (T,P)
2 Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis
3 Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra (P)
4 Oriental Turtle Dove - Streptopelia orientalis
5 Common Swift - Apus apus
6 Great Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopos major (P)
7 Azure-winged Magpie - Cyanopica cyanus
8 Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
9 Japanese Tit ssp minor - Parus minor minor
10 Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
11 Pallas's Leaf Warbler - Phylloscopus proregulus (P)
12 Yellow-browed Warbler - Phylloscopus inornatus
13 Unidentified spec. ( ?? )
14 Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus
15 Olive-backed Pipit - Anthus hodgsoni (L, C, T, P)
16 Brambling - Fringilla montifringilla (P)
17 Grey-capped Greenfinch - Chloris sinica (P)

Going to track the lists after I hopefully get the ID of the recording.

This is the last of the post of my 2018 visit to Shenyang. I will try to share some more recordings and pictures when I am back home and maybe I will start posting the additional checklists and unidentified recordings from May 2015 as well.

Last edited by Creba : Thursday 19th April 2018 at 16:17.
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Old Thursday 19th April 2018, 17:32   #91
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Hi Bart,
That call could certainly could be Grey-backed Thrush but Pale Thrush sound similar. Did you see any colour on it/them? Grey-backed are pretty diagnostic in the spring. The time of year is better for Grey-backed and you mention that you did photograph another which adds to the evidence.

The recording from your other post is Pallas's Leaf Warbler?

Amur Falcon most likely breed in the Shenyang area although I've never personally checked during late Spring there myself. The nests you are seeing could be from Magpies? My first record for Amur Falcon in Dalian was the last week of April so they're probably just completing their epic journey from the south parts of Africa as we speak. Maybe you saw an early one?

Safe travels and yes, please feel free to post things from previous trips here. Looking forward to it.
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Old Friday 20th April 2018, 01:03   #92
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Hi Bart,

I am not able to say for sure either, but like Tom, I also think your recording is likely Pallas's Leaf Warbler. Also had the same thought immediately that the nests may be Magpie nests. There are always many scattered about there.

I have found the Eurasian Kestrel to be the common species but I do see an occasional Amur. Can't say for sure there as I wasn't seriously birding at that time.

The unidentifiable Stork or Crane flying over is a familiar frustration to me also.

The chipmunk were probably Siberian Chipmunk. Pic included for comparison.
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Old Monday 14th May 2018, 07:02   #93
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I assume it's ok to post my Shenyang sightings here. I am currently in this city and briefly hit some city parks. My first stop was Beiling on May 13th. I entered from the south gate entrance, walking counter clockwise around the tomb, and exited from the west entrance. Soon after I got into the park, I noticed an Oriental Greenfinch was singing on tree top. Common swift was common, so was Yellow-browed Warbler. Eurasian Tree Sparrow was everywhere. At Dong Hu (eastern lake), I saw Black-crowned Night-Heron, Gray Heron and Mallard. A pair of White-winged Tern was nice to watch. Japanese tit was seen between Dong Hu and the tomb; Oriental Turtle-Dove outside the tomb. Between west and north sides of the tomb generated Taiga Flycatcher and a pair of Korean Flycatcher. Brown Shrike and Great Spotted Woodpecker were between the north side of the tomb and the west entrance of the park. Two magpie species here and there. I am not familiar with the calls here so I'm sure I missed a lot. I would describe one call, if in North American, as somewhere between Hermit and Swainson's thrushes and closer to Hermit.
eBird list here. For some reason, the eBird map is not working for me, so, all my lists are submmited to "China". I will update once I can.
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45612118
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Old Monday 14th May 2018, 07:08   #94
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Qing Nian (Youth) Park

May 14th. Highlights were in the small pond on the west of the park, where I saw Common King fisher, Spot-billed Duck and Grey Wagtail. Full list below. I was surprised by the number of Black-crowned Night-Heron but soon forgot it when I arrived Hun He river.
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45652886
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Old Monday 14th May 2018, 07:17   #95
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May 14th. Hun He river. If you take subway #2, the area I found birdy was on the south bank and west of the bridge. A group of photographers were gathering around an Eurasian Hoopoe nest. While watching them (birds, not people) to and from the nest, I noticed a pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker. Four Chinese Penduline-Tits stayed long enough for me to get ID photos. Common Sandpiper was a surprise (for me at least). There must be 50 Black-crowned Night-Heron!
eBird list:
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45653443

Last edited by Lancy Cheng : Monday 14th May 2018 at 09:27.
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Old Tuesday 15th May 2018, 01:23   #96
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Hi Lancy,

Nice Korean Flycatcher pic in your ebird report! Good to see you are managing time to do some birding.
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Old Tuesday 15th May 2018, 08:48   #97
Lancy Cheng
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Krout View Post
Hi Lancy,

Nice Korean Flycatcher pic in your ebird report! Good to see you are managing time to do some birding.
Thanks, Owen! I was thrilled to see such colorful birds. Tomorrow will be my last whole day in Shenyang. I wish I have time for Dongling (east tomb).
I heard Eurasian cuckoo and saw it briefly in flight today in Dong Shan graveyard. Other two birds flew over my head, which I think are Dollarbirds: robin size, dark overall (relatively high up there), white crescent cross primaries. I would appreciate opinion on what else they could be.
eBird list:
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45684443
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Old Wednesday 16th May 2018, 03:35   #98
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Hi Lancy,

Given your description, I flipped through the field guide, thought it over and Dollarbird is a possibility. I haven't spotted one that I could ID for sure, though your description fits a couple of my own observations. The other possibility would be escaped/released Myna as that is rare but you do encounter them.

The Cuckoo are just arriving and in fact I haven't seen or heard one yet so good for you.

Don't feel too bad, I spent a total of five years in Shenyang and never made it out to Dongling. Though in my defense I wasn't seriously birding at that time.

Thunderstorms predicted in Panjin today but so far it has stayed just east of here. Maybe you'll get lucky and it will generate a fall of some migrants for you.
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Old Wednesday 16th May 2018, 08:57   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Krout View Post
Hi Lancy,

Given your description, I flipped through the field guide, thought it over and Dollarbird is a possibility. I haven't spotted one that I could ID for sure, though your description fits a couple of my own observations. The other possibility would be escaped/released Myna as that is rare but you do encounter them.

The Cuckoo are just arriving and in fact I haven't seen or heard one yet so good for you.

Don't feel too bad, I spent a total of five years in Shenyang and never made it out to Dongling. Though in my defense I wasn't seriously birding at that time.

Thunderstorms predicted in Panjin today but so far it has stayed just east of here. Maybe you'll get lucky and it will generate a fall of some migrants for you.
I made it!
I spent 4 hours between Bird Island and Dongling Park (East tomb) this morning. It was a wonderful trip. Here are some highlights.

1. He hua hu (Lotus lake) park to Bird island
Little Grebes were vocal in the pond. A pair of Brown Parrotbill were foraging among grass. At Hun He river, I was happy to see a pair of Pied Avocet. While I was watching them, a shorebird flew in. The call of three notes reminded me of Greater Yellowlegs (GRYE). It superficially resembled GRYE in appearance as well. Common Greenshank?
I saw a tit on my way back from Bird Island, which was closed for maintenance until September. The tit looked like Black-capped Chickadee and called similar (dee-dee-dee-dee). With brief research, I am thinking Willow tit but not confident.
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45724632

2. Dong ling park
I am positive that the two birds I saw yesterday were Dollarbirds, which were common in Dongling. A tame Pygmy Woodpecker entertained me near the tomb. Well, it is a small park, so everywhere is close to the tomb. Amur Falcon is nesting there. A pair of Black-naped Oriole brightened my day. I am not sure if Japanese White-eye is wild, introduced or escaped.
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45724939

So far, I have 48 species in China, 36 of which are lifers. Not bad
My birding trip start tomorrow! (hopefully)

Last edited by Lancy Cheng : Wednesday 16th May 2018 at 09:03.
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Old Wednesday 16th May 2018, 20:22   #100
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Lancy, I'm just getting caught up on your posts here. The Swainsons/Hermit Thrush like call might have been a Radde's Warbler? Check out Radde's Song on xeno-canto. It's not a perfect match but that's the only thing that comes to mind right now. They tend to migrate through in the same migration time window as Korean Flycatchers as well.

Regarding Dollarbirds, a myna is the only other one it could be as Owen pointed out. Dollarbirds were locally common on their nesting/hunting grounds in Dalian so very possible in Shenyang. Flying high and your description sounds right. You would recognize a starling/myna as such I think.

Yes to Common Greenshank. The Tit is Willow or Marsh and good luck on the difference. Much of the literature on the internet refers to the European sub species of them. In Asia, they are much more difficult to distinguish, even with their calls. You would need very good photos and recording to sort it out. Also, the habitat it was in can be used to some extent.

Yes, Japanese White-eye is wild there. Chestnut-flanked White-eye is much more common. In the Dalian area the ratio was approximately 1:100 being Japanese, but they are there.

Good job on the Eurasian Cuckoo. Good luck distinguishing those from Eurasian without a call as well!

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