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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
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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
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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
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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 Friday 20th April 2018, 09:21   #535
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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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Old Sunday 22nd April 2018, 01:11   #536
Lancy Cheng
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Hi Owen,
I have quickly read all your posts. Very impressive! Panjin has been given credit for birding for decades but everything I could find was news reports or photograph. It is so great to have the "when/where/what" that birders need the most. I'll probably be visiting Panjin in May or June. It wouldn't be a birding trip but I'll try to make some time. So far, my plan includes Wetland park, Dong Hu Park, Gedalou reservoir and Honghaitan. I was thinking about Shuang taizi river entry reserve but it seems no longer accessible. I'm originally from China but only started birding since I moved to Canada, therefore, everything in Panjin would be new for me. I would appreciate any of your suggestion! :)
For a selfish reason, I was hoping you keep a running Panjin life list in the first page. There is no checklist of this city and eBird doesn't do "county" for China, only provinces. You are the most avid and productive birder in Panjin, so your life list should be very close, if not the same, as a checklist. But I understand if you choose not to. Like an old saying among birders, "Who's counting?"
Best regards,
Lancy
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Old Monday 23rd April 2018, 10:58   #537
Owen Krout
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Hi Lancy,

Guess I should have read my own page first as I just finished a reply on Tom's site! For the benefit of anyone else interested in Panjin area, I'll re-post it here. Newfoundland!, your really a long way from home. That's even a long way from "Chinese Canada" in Vancouver.

The Shuangtaizi River estuary is indeed closed off as of December last year except for Honghaitan.

The Panjin - Yingkou area happens to have a good size breeding population of Saunder's Gull and the other two are common here also. The best places that I have around here for almost always having Saunder's Gull are the Yingkou Wetland Park, which is at the mouth of the Liao River, just upstream of the mouth of the Liao River on the Panjin side of the river, at the Panjin Wetlands Park which is close to the Panjin Railway Station, and of course at the Red Beach Tourism Area. The Red Beach (Honghaitan) has an entry fee, which last year I think was 105 RMB/person plus a fee for the vehicle. The others are free access. The Black-Headed Gull can normally be found anywhere there are Saunder's, which makes for the challenge of sorting the two out. Herring Gull & Black-Headed are also common more inland at larger lakes. One of my favorites, Gedalou Reservoir, normally has both and it is not unusual to have Saunder's in smaller numbers.

For May and June the Dingxiang Tourist Area Rookery will be loaded with nesting Egrets and Herons. Also a fair number of Passerines to be found there if you tear yourself away from the Herons and Egrets. That is a further downstream part of the Panjin Wetland Area.

If you want, I can supply you with the coordinates for any of these locations. All except Honghaitan and the Rookery are accessible by the same bus route from the train station with Gedalou being about three or four kilometers east of the bus stop and it is one short transfer from the end of the line to cross the bridge into Yingkou. Honghaitan & the Rookery would need some special arrangements as there are not any buses going to the Rookery and you have to provide your own vehicle for Honghaitan as it is too long of a piece of coastal mud flat for one to walk and oddly enough no shuttle buses are provided.

You could pretty handily cover the best parts of the Panjin Wetland Park, though it is big in 2-4 hours. Dependent upon how "birdy" it actually is that day. About an hours bus ride down to Donghu Park, which is not in the best shape this year as they did a major expansion and "improvement" campaign on it last summer. I am planning to check it again within the next week, so keep watching here. From there it is a quick taxi ride out to Gedalou which tends to be either boom or bust. I have had literally nothing there once last year and have had thousands of ducks one day this spring. Donghu can be an hour or two and Gedalou can take all day when it is really active. Waterfowl and waders galore when you hit it right. Yingkou is about another hour south of there on the same bus and from there you can even catch a bus for about 45minutes to Erjiegou which is at the south gate for Honghaitan. You could get a taxi from there to take you in, but I don't know what they are charging.

My Liaoning Life List on ebird is at: https://ebird.org/MyEBird?cmd=lifeLi...ates&time=life

Actually, ebird [u]does[u] keep a China life list as well. You just have to select "Country" instead of "State/Province". Mine is at: https://ebird.org/MyEBird?cmd=lifeLi...ntry&time=life

The Liaoning list is at: https://ebird.org/region/CN-21?yr=all That will include some not normal for here.
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Old Monday 23rd April 2018, 21:34   #538
Lancy Cheng
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Thank you so much, Owen!
I will probably hit Panjin Wetland Park, Honghaitan, Donghu and Gedalou reservoir. The entry fee is under my “20 bucks per species (of interest)” rule :P and is acceptable for three gull species. I’ll try to coordinate my schedule with birding hours for the Dingxiang Tourist Area Rookery and Yingkou. Fingers crossed! There is a good chance that I’ll be with locals and they will know how to get the places.
I’ve never seen Saunder’s Gull. Black-headed Gull used to be common here in St. John’s, Newfoundland, until the city closed the sewer in harbour. I think the trick to tell them apart may be similar to find a Bonaparte’s among Black-headed.
Thanks for your lists! They will be my A Field Guide to the Birds of Panjin. I’m waiting for my visa and will make the trip if the visa arrives by the end of this month.
Lancy

Newfoundland is a unique place for birding.
Advantages:
1. It’s a famous gulling place. There 21 gull species in total after loosing Thayer’s. I’ve seen 18 myself, all in Avalon Peninsula on its east coast.
2. Good for European vagrants. It’s so called “Attu east”. Few dozens of Tufted ducks winter here. European Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Little Egret, Grey Heron… are more or less recorded.
Disadvantage:
We are short of common birds in North America. Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles and Brown-headed Cowbird are uncommon. Northern Cardinal has been seen 4 times and we are still waiting for the province’s first Pileated Woodpecker.
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2018, 11:31   #539
Owen Krout
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Saunder's are quite often seen on the water and as such are smaller than the Black-headed and have a noticeably smaller, rounder head w/ a shorter all black bill. They also have a white, partial eye-ring around the back of the eye. They tend to sit very "smartly" on the water with the tail angled sharply up.

The DingXiang Rookery is little known but is at the juncture of and between the Raoyang River and the Shuangtaizi River. It can only be accessed by approaching along one back road from the north and has no road signs. The GPS coordinates showing on my pics from there are 41.102084 - 121.855540 . There is an entry fee, but I don't remember for sure. I think 80RMB.

Panjin Wetland Park is along the Shuangtiazi River a short distance south of the Railway Station on the #30 bus (2 RMB). The bus stop is across the street from the station by the Long Distance Bus Station. For gulls and waterfowl, the south side is the best. Take the first stop after crossing the bridge and walk back to the bridge. At the top of the bridge you'll see a well worn path leading down to the park. For Passserines the north side of the river is the best. In that case take the stop just before the bridge and walk up to the top. Then walk west along the top of the dike till you see the steps leading down.

The same #30 (2 RMB) bus will go down to Dawa, which is where Donghu park is. As you enter the city proper you will see the lake on the left side. The real birding is in the large park surrounding the lake so don't waste your time with the crowd along the lake itself. Azure-winged Magpie are abundant there if you don't have them yet.

Grab a taxi from Donghu and just tell them Gedalou. Unfortunately, the taxi can't (well, alright, won't) take you to the lake itself anymore. You can insist on them taking you another 1/2 to one kilometer further on from the North Gate and take the much shorter walk at one of the narrow dirt lanes leading through the fish farms and up to the lake. Yes, up, the lake shore road is higher than the surrounding fish farms. From there, just use your binoculars and scan the lake to see which way looks more promising.

Yingkou Wetland Park is again bus #30 but is 5 RMB whether from the train station or from Dawa. Just stay on until they kick everyone off at the last stop. From there taxis will be waiting. Negotiate for a ride to XiPaoTai. Rather than that I walk further south to a small poorly marked bus stop on the north bound side under the bridge where one can catch the local bus #501 back into Yingkou. First stop over the bridge, walk 100m or so further and follow the road back into the park. Gives good view of the wetlands and then comes out on the river.
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Old Wednesday 25th April 2018, 01:05   #540
Lancy Cheng
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I am attempted to do all!!!
But I may have to prioritize as time is limited, unfortunately. I really want to go to Yingkou Wetland, after seeing your list. That would take a whole day, at least. I am even thinking stay overnight in Yingkou, if I could find an affordable place which accommodates “foreigners” (I lost my Chinese citizenship after obtaining my Canadian).
Red beach is a must go, which is another whole day.
Donghu Park and Gedalou is one day.
I’m not sure yet but I’ll probably stay somewhere within cycling distance to Panjin Wetland, like 20min. I may be able to fit it into those days with social activities.
Dingxiang Rookery will be 1-1.5h cycling. I would definitely make time for it IF Red-crowned Crane is breeding there as they advertized. No eBird record in there. I have seen Red-crowned Crane in Zhalong Nature Reserve but it was before my birding time and I’m not sure if they were true wild.
I think I will leave Crested ibis for my future trips and focus on Panjin and Dalian this time :)
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Old Wednesday 25th April 2018, 01:09   #541
Lancy Cheng
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BTW, there is something about eBird that you are not allowed to check other people's life or yearly lists. If I click the links in your post, I see my Liaoning life list, on which there are Eurasian Magpie and Eurasian Tree Sparrow. I'm sure I have seen them and I'm positive of the IDs.
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Old Thursday 26th April 2018, 15:22   #542
Owen Krout
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Lancy,

Thanks for letting me know about the life list. I don't care if anybody sees mine, but I don't see anyway to do that in ebird. Check you private messages.

The director at DingXiang Rookery has told me that there are no more wild Red-Crowned Crane in the area. The last he knew of were actually pets of a farmer. Bird.soong on ebird found 100 Common Crane over by Jinzhou back on December 1, but I've not seen or heard any reports since.

I would say that you could do justice to the Yingkou Wetland Park in half a day, unless it was really hopping and another half a day for Honghaitan. You can actually bus from the Panjin side of the Yingkou bridge to the south gate of Honghaitan for 2 RMB I believe. I am sure you won't get a hotel there, but I'm sure you could in either Yingkou or Dawa and that Dawa would be less expensive. Taxi back to either from Honghaitan would be expensive and the buses stop at 6:00 PM I think. Checking the tide tables for either is a good idea as the mudflats can push the bird out of sight at lowest tide. Especially at Honghaitan where even the tide line is out of sight.

Donghu and Gedalou can be done in one day pretty easily. The rental bike craze has just hit here so perhaps your local friends can help you set up the WeChat Pay so you can use the rental bikes if you want. You just scan the QR code and go. Actually would be really handy for Gedalou. Don't know if they allow it or if its available at Honghaitan.
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Old Friday 27th April 2018, 03:37   #543
Owen Krout
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Dalian APR-26

A couple who are friends of my wife were making a business trip to Dalian Jinshitan and Jinzhou Kaifaqu yesterday and were nice enough to invite us along. The plan was for us to leave before sunrise and they would spend a couple of hours in the morning on business and then to Jinshitan for birding. However on the way down their brand new car developed problems with suddenly displaying an engine warning, then going to engine shutdown. Three engineers in the group, so we checked under the hood, nothing obviously wrong. But after a few minutes it restarted and ran fine. This happened a couple more times and the shutdown warning stayed on. Stranded on the expressway, between cities and in China is a really major problem. A call to the manufacturers "emergency help" line went as expected in China. "There is nothing wrong with our car, you must be doing something wrong!" It took three engineers half an hour before an idea suddenly dawned on me and that was more from experience with cars than from any engineering expertise. This was a GM engine in a Chinese manufactured car. Hmmm... I asked him to open the fuel door. "No, no, it has fuel". I finally convinced him even though he obviously thought I was crazy. As it turned out, the attendant had not tightened the fuel cap all the way. Years ago in a Buick, I had the same thing happen. For some insane reason that I do not understand, the GM engineers have programed the computer to shut the engine down when the fuel tank develops positive or negative pressure. Wouldn't a warning light be better? A message that says whats wrong?

This put us late and ended up with only a couple of hours to spend birding. The original plan was to go up to the fish farms, but road work had the route they knew closed so, not deciding not to waste time trying to find another way, we returned back to the seaside park immediate to Jinshitan and Golden Pebble Beach. Walking up to the sea, the tide was out and the smoke in the air from burning off rice fields was getting intense. It looked vacant. Then I spotted a few Gull. I scanned them with the binoculars and, "Wait a minute... Those are different." My first new life tic of the day, some nice Black-tailed Gull and verification pics! I then walked up the hill into some woodland finding some Japanese Tit singing and scurrying about the cedars. Finding a pathway back down towards the water I found myself at the top of a cliff dropping off to the sea with nice scenic rock outcroppings. A loud beautiful song attracted my attention to one of those tall rocks just off shore and getting closer I found my second new tic, a Thrush like bird, all blue, clinging to the rock and singing loudly. Hmmm... what could that be? How about the obvious - a Blue Rock Thrush - Moticola solitarius pandoo to be exact. Then to make it even better, a second one responded to the singing and flew in to perch just above him. Only this one had a distinctly red belly. According to how you want to look at it, another new tic! This time Blue Rock Thrush - Moticola solitarius philippensis. Very good look with the bins for absolutely positive ID and one pic mostly from the back but you can see a hint of the red belly. He also sang one loud song and then the two of them had at each other and they flew off with the pandoo in hot pursuit.

Already worth the trip, but not done yet. Moving up the trail to the upper parking lot I spotted something that sounded and looked like a probable new tic to me sitting higher up the hill in the very top of a still bare tree. As I tried to work in closer a couple more arrived. I couldn't get very close as they were easily spooked, but 15 minutes of working on it finally yielded good enough pics to ID Oriental Greenfinch. Another new tic! Also managed some decent pics of the males battling it out. They both left chasing each other leaving the female sitting sitting there alone.

Hearing Ring-Necked Pheasant calling nearby I moved further back to another wooded area. I managed to get within shotgun range of one with it still crowing but with no bird dog I never saw one. I did get a nice shot of a Red Squirrel in some pines. There were two of them working on the pine cones. If I lived in Jinshitan and could have just walked home, I probably would have stayed working the woods until dark, but time was rapidly running out and our hosts wanted to take me to the Golf Club. On the way out I noticed that there were some petrified trees, some still in an upright posture at the entry to the pathway. They were not marked, which was probably best as otherwise they would probably have been souvenired to oblivion by now. As it was nobody was paying any attention to them.

We moved on but the Golf Club gates were locked shut. Apparently our hosts had payed for a membership, as they were not happy about that. We moved on to the International Conference Center where the gates were open, but barriers were up across the roads. There was room to just squeeze past though, so in true Chinese logic that means that it was OK to drive around them. Turns out a wedding photography outfit had rented out the area and several couples were having pictures taken. A guard stopped us and then noticing me tried to convince me to get out and come have my picture taken with the couples. Knowing that would drag on for ever and being short on time we declined the offer and were therefore told to leave. On the way out I spotted a flock of Waxwings in a tree and we had to stop for that. As I was getting some pics of both Bohemian and Japanese Waxwing small flocks kept arriving finally raising the total number in the small area to at least 10 Japanese and 90 Bohemian. Meanwhile a couple more Pheasant were calling, Chinese Bulbul were calling and half a dozen Common Magpie were scolding us for being too near to their nests. It was getting to time that we had to leave in order to get home before dark though, so I reluctantly had to give up.

One final new tic still to come though! Just as we were arriving near home, a lone Brant Goose flew over the road in front of us low and close. Also at our turn off the main highway, right next to a patch I bird often, was a new highway sign declaring "Red-Crowned Crane Protect Area" only in English, but it was new, so having to do with the new wetland protection emphasis from Beijing?

All in all, an enjoyable day. Apparently Mr. Wang (or is it Wong - pronounced slightly different from my wife's Wang) thought so too as he just called this morning and asked if I would like to tag along with a trip to the hill country near Jinzhou.
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Old Friday 27th April 2018, 03:44   #544
Owen Krout
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Waxwing pics

Just some more pics showing both types of Waxwing. Note in the cedar, if you look closely, you can see a red tipped tail sticking out on the lower left.
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Old Friday 27th April 2018, 15:21   #545
Dong Bei
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It was great to read this Owen! Sounds like you had a good time with the little time you had. Made me a little home sick to be honest.

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Old Saturday 28th April 2018, 00:36   #546
Owen Krout
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Hi Tom,

It was fun. The wife was berating me for not agreeing with her when she wanted to buy a condo apartment overlooking the sea back then.
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Old Sunday 29th April 2018, 08:22   #547
Owen Krout
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Another birding trip was planned for today as the trip up to the hill country north of Jinzhou. Turns out it was a group going to some sort of seminar or such at a temple. However, late Saturday afternoon the police called to say that I needed to come into the office Sunday morning. Odd as usually such things are only taken care of Monday through Friday. Turns out they were instructed to verify visas and contact information for all Americans before the first of the month. The few lower level officers that were on duty for Sunday obviously considered it a nuisance, but "mao ban fa", just like me, nothing they could do but comply. The part I found odd was that they had been ordered to get pictures, but instead of the usual passport style photos an officer was steadily clicking away taking action shots from all angles as I was interacting with the interviewing officer. Wonder if it was just a Liaoning thing or all China.

Oh well, now working on a possible trip to Huludao next week.
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Old Thursday 3rd May 2018, 12:02   #548
Owen Krout
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May-2

I hadn't been up to the north side of the Panjin Wetlands Park for almost a year, so I decided to check it out.

The Black-headed Gull were present in large numbers with just a few Saunder's Gull scattered about. One Common Tern was working along the bridge, which seems to be the common place for tern in general to hang out. I was primarily there to check on the wooded areas and the reed beds though, so didn't spend a lot of time working on the gulls or the "Swallow Gulls" as Lancy tells me is the Chinese term for the terns.

An oddity that I had not noticed before was that the river was considerably below the zero mark on the depth gauge and had obviously dropped at least a half meter within the last few hours since the mud was still fresh and hadn't dried out at all yet. While I was there I noticed it drop another half meter or so, then as I was leaving I could see some small bars re-submerging. I would have thought it too far up-river for any tide effect, but when I got home I checked the meta-data on the pics and found it said only 8 meters ASL. Allowing for the camera being at least a meter off the ground and being a couple of meters higher than the river at that point and for any error in the reading, it could indeed have an effect there.

Yellow-Browed Warbler were easy to find as it seems to be a boom year for them here and the Chinese Bulbul greeted me as I entered the park. The Barn Swallow have finally arrived in numbers and a couple of the Red-Rumped Swallow were spotted. No evidence of nesting yet as the undersides of the bridges where they normally nest had been cleared of the old nests.

I crossed over the pedestrian bridge to the other side of the river to check out the known nesting sites for the Vinous-Throated Parrotbill, but its still too early for them. I was rewarded with being able to spot three Great Crested Grebe far out on the lake to the south.

A few Azure-winged Magpie and a couple of Common Magpie spent some time harassing a Spotted Dove but got bored and moved on. Finished up with the usual herds of Tree Sparrow, a couple of White Wagtail and a Ring-Necked Pheasant crowing loudly from cover.

Panjin Wetland Park, Liaoning, CN
May 2, 2018 12:15 PM - 3:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
5.0 kilometer(s)
13 species

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) 1
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) 3
Saunders's Gull (Saundersilarus saundersi) 18
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 75
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) 6
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) 4
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 2
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 75
Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) 2
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 3
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) 30
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) 2
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 75

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45167264
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Old Thursday 3rd May 2018, 12:05   #549
Owen Krout
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May-2 more pics

I am always surprised that I don't see any waders working the mudflats here. Only an occasional BC Night Heron.
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Old Thursday 3rd May 2018, 12:21   #550
Owen Krout
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May-3

It kept looking like it might rain, so I stayed near home today. Saturday is ebird's Birding Big Day anyway, so a good day to get out and about.

The primary thing of interest was some Chinese Penduline Tit singing away in a narrow wooded strip. I haven't seen evidence of them nesting there before, but maybe they will nest in the reeds just 20 meters away.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
May 3, 2018 9:15 AM - 10:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)
7 species

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) 1
Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) 1
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 30
Chinese Penduline-Tit (Remiz consobrinus) 4
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 9
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) 20
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 10

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45207319
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