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Panjin Birding by the Old Fat Man

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Old Wednesday 11th April 2018, 20:49   #526
Dong Bei
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Amazing news here about coastal mudflat in China. Congrats and a job well done to all involved in steering the authorities towards this decision!

https://birdingbeijing.com/2018/01/2...d-reclamation/
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Old Thursday 12th April 2018, 07:19   #527
Owen Krout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dong Bei View Post
Amazing news here about coastal mudflat in China. Congrats and a job well done to all involved in steering the authorities towards this decision!

https://birdingbeijing.com/2018/01/2...d-reclamation/
Liaoning was pretty heavily sited and for things that I know to be legitimate complaints and Hebei was criticized for “tourism, aquaculture and shipbuilding had all been allowed in a national nature reserve in Changli County." That makes me think that the real reason for the closure of the Shuangtaizi nature preserve areas was because of this. The fish farming along and in preserve areas would also apply here and is an important industry.

Extensive dredging in the area of the Shuangtaizi River and use of that to infill marsh land has been going on for decades here. Panjin even yet depends on it to be able to continue to grow.

It will be interesting to see if anything happens with the Red Beach Tourist Area (Panjin Honghaitan) as it is 100% a tourism area. It is a privately run tourism area with a steep entry fee. RMB 105/person last year if I remember correctly, with another charge for the vehicle entry. The problem I see there is that it has actually been an overall benefit, in my observation. They have protected a large mudflat area and have an effective shoreline road and interspersed, very long, boardwalks to allow people to observe far out on the mudflat. At the same time they have been effective at stopping people from going out on the mudflats and egg collecting or otherwise harassing the wildlife, which commonly occur in other "preserve" areas. Overall it is relatively clean and undisturbed.
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Old Thursday 12th April 2018, 07:56   #528
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April 11, 2018

Took the bus north this time to the Panjin Wetland Area. Large numbers of gulls including a good number of Saunder's Gull. Picture here shows the smaller, more rounded head and shorter all black bill compared to the more common Black-headed Gull which was also present in abundance. Mongolian Gull made up the balance with a mix of younger and older birds.

A flock of Brambling greeted me as soon as I entered the park, along with the usual Azure-winged Magpie.

I was walking along the south bank of the large lake and noted that commercial fishing has heavily netted the west end of the lake. That concerned me, but I have to say that the area that held the greatest abundance of birds was the far west end where they bring in their catch and load it onto trucks. That is where the Common Coot & Great Crested Grebe were hanging out.

It was there that I at first thought that I had a new tic. I at first thought that I had Red-Necked Grebe in adult winter pattern. A shorter, thicker neck, the black cap seemed to extend lower, almost to the eye, and the eye color was black. I noticed the eye color difference in the field and verified it with the binoculars. Bill does seem to angle down slightly from horizontal. The problem was with that black lore stripe. Oh well.

When I got home my wife was laughing about one of her friends had spotted me out on my own and followed me at a distance reporting my movements back to my wife via WeChat.

Panjin Wetland Park, Liaoning, CN
Apr 11, 2018 11:15 AM - 3:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
6.0 kilometer(s)
13 species

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) 13
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) 22
Saunders's Gull (Saundersilarus saundersi) 90
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 115
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) 16
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) 1
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 17
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 1
Yellow-bellied Tit (Periparus venustulus) 14
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 22
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) 12
Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) 3
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) 24

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44484321
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Old Thursday 12th April 2018, 08:48   #529
Owen Krout
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Not birds, but while I was birding. Yesterday I managed to get a good enough look at the ground squirrels that inhabit the Panjin Wetland Park to finally get a good ID on them. This time I was able to discern a long, well furred tail, about 30% of the body length. They never raise or flick the tails, just dragging them along behind. That coupled with the ID photos I have gotten narrowed it to Yellow Ground Squirrel.

The day before that while walking the dog I stepped back into some shrubs to look for what might have been a Goldcrest. Didn't find it, but discovered a recently deceased Siberian Weasel. I had been seeing them running around the area, but only quick glimpses and I just wasn't confident about whether they had any white on the bellies. At least this one couldn't run away, so able to see for sure that it did not.
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Old Thursday 12th April 2018, 17:35   #530
Dong Bei
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Nice to hear about the birds and mammals Owen. Do you have the excellent China mammal guide by Xie and Smith? It was a very worthwhile addition to my book collection and I still look at it from time to time. Good range maps and plates for each specie.
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Old Friday 13th April 2018, 00:45   #531
Owen Krout
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I don't have that one, Tom. I'll have to add it to my list.
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Old Sunday 15th April 2018, 09:51   #532
Owen Krout
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Short walk through the local park yesterday turned up Barn Swallow; Red-Rumped Swallow & a few Pacific Swifts passing through on migration. Passing through because the colony of Barn Swallow at our apartment complex is not in evidence yet. Numerous Yellow-Browed Warbler singing also certainly more than I was able to definitively identify. A pair of Merlin looking much like very fast tiny versions of the Kestrel zoomed through at just below treetop level and the swallow and swifts disappeared as the warblers went silent, though I could see a few trying to hide in the leafless trees and craning their necks to look up.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Apr 14, 2018 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
8 species

Pacific Swift (Apus pacificus) 15
Merlin (Falco columbarius) 2
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 10
Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) 5
Pallas's Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus proregulus) 1
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) 12
Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) 6
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 20

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44548299
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Last edited by Owen Krout : Sunday 15th April 2018 at 09:53. Reason: dumb mistake
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Old Tuesday 17th April 2018, 04:03   #533
Owen Krout
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April 16, 2018

Got out briefly to an area with more trees before the wind and my back aching got to be just too much and I headed back. The thing that made it worthwhile was the discovery of three Black-Crowned Night Heron in the trees along the irrigation canal. A male and two females. I got the impression that they were looking for a good nest site. I'll keep an eye out as they have been nesting somewhere to the west of here, probably along the Shangtaizi River, but coming to the area where I spotted them to feed every day. Maybe decided to shorten the commute.

Only other thing was what I thought at first might be a few Pale-Legged Warbler, which would be a new tic, but the ID forum says were Eastern Crowned Warbler. Not new, but rather rare here.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Apr 16, 2018 12:45 PM - 11:45 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 kilometer(s)
10 species

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 3
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) 1
Gray-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus) 3
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 1
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 2
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) 3
Eastern Crowned Warbler (Phylloscopus coronatus) 3
Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) 8
Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni) 2
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) 4

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44652261
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Old Tuesday 17th April 2018, 15:49   #534
Dong Bei
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Nice Eastern Crowned picture Owen.
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Old Yesterday, 09:21   #535
Owen Krout
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April 19, 2018

The first real hint that they do have a summer here came the last few days with yesterday being 24°C, clear skies and almost a dead calm. After mulling over where to go, I decided on returning to the Yingkou Wetlands Park.

Unfortunately as the bus approached Yingkou an ever denser haze of smoke filled the air. By the time we arrived visibility was greatly diminished and the tide fully out which moved most of the waders and gulls either out of sight or to nothing more than a black dot. I did pick up one new tic in the form of a few Little Ringed Plover.

Instead of staying on the road on the way in I took the narrowly worn pathway through the reeds directly to the back side of the ponds where there is very little human presence. Trying to identify several birds along the shoreline of the most isolated small pond led me to leave the path into the reeds. When I started hearing but not seeing something moving through the reeds at my feet, I decided that it was not such a good idea and retreated back. It was, after all getting warm enough for snakes and I was in prime habitat. Snakes are OK as long as I know where they are and preferably what kind they are. This was meeting neither criteria. A little more time spent searching from a higher vantage led to the discovery of some Ruddy Turnstone. The distinctive white patterning in flight made the ID.

The ducks had all moved on or were staying hidden. A single Little Grebe was spotted at distance hugging an embankment. The major thing to be seen on the ponds were Black-Winged Stilt that were no longer in groups but paired off and scattered thinly about. An occasional Rustic Bunting was spotted and White Wagtail were to be found. I heard but did not see a couple of Ring-Necked Pheasant.

Arriving at the main tourist area along the bank of the Liao River I was surprised at just how many tourists were there in the middle of the week. It was jammed in the most popular area with sidewalks blocked by people both parking on the sidewalks and setting up to cook mystery meat on a stick, i.e. Chinese BBQ. One family had literally set-up camp with a popup tent pitched on the pavement at the viewing area. I walked through the crowd with a purpose, knowing that to stop would invite the inevitable round of selfies. I chuckled to myself listening to the arguments about whether I was a Brit, American, Russian, or even Xinjiang ren. Only one person had the nerve to actually run me down and ask and apparently he had bet wrong but decided to win anyway as after asking he turned around and headed back to his group and announced loudly "Ta shi Ullasa ren".

The smoke pall was heavy enough and the tide fully out enough that other than being able to tell that most of the birds were 2-300 meters out, it was impossible to actually ID most. I was able to manage to spot some Dunlin & Black-Tailed Godwit and a few Kentish Plover in closer and I am sure that my counts are very low as mostly I just couldn't say for sure what they were but could see many shapes moving about. At a small pond I did manage to get decent shots of Little Ringed Plover.

Yingkou Wetland Park, Liaoning, CN
Apr 19, 2018 1:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 kilometer(s)
12 species

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) 2
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 1
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 8
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) 5
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) 2
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) 15
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) 4
Dunlin (Calidris alpina) 4
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 1
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) 4
Rustic Bunting (Emberiza rustica) 6
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 50

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44740106
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ID:	659919  

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