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Panjin Birding by the Old Fat Man

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Old Saturday 19th May 2018, 23:24   #576
Lancy Cheng
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We enjoyed a wonderful trip to Honghaitan and Yingkou wetland. Thanks to Owen for arranging it. Befoe I post a full report probably tonight (or Owen will do as he was taking notes while I doing nothing), I would appreciate some ID help. We had a godwit from a distance. We did not get much detail without a scope. I'm leaning towards Bar-tailed due to the up-curved bill.
I can't decide what these small peeps could be.
My best guess of the peeps would be Sanderling or Rufous-necked Stint.
Owen has higher quality photos of the Godwit I think.
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Old Sunday 20th May 2018, 01:11   #577
Dong Bei
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Hi Lancy and Owen,

I second Bar-tailed Godwit and Red-necked Stint. Nice stuff!
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Old Sunday 20th May 2018, 01:35   #578
Lancy Cheng
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Hi Lancy and Owen,

I second Bar-tailed Godwit and Red-necked Stint. Nice stuff!
Thank you, Tom! Owen has another goodie to show :)
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Old Sunday 20th May 2018, 03:09   #579
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May-19 Honghaitan w/Yancy

Hi everyone,

Sorry for being out of the conversation a bit but family emergency intervened last night. Our little Russian Terrier took a sudden turn for the worse and barely survived the night. X-rays and blood work later the Vet says that basically she is just getting old and apparently was allergic to the oysters the wife shared with her at lunch. I actually thought she was dead once last night, but has rallied a bit again this morning. Hence I only got three or four hours of sleep last night.

All that aside, I'll give a try at a listing. I'm a bit muddle headed right now, so if I miss anything or get an ID wrong Lancy can correct me. At Honghaitan:

Saunder's Gull - definite - I got this one right
Eurasian Curlew - I didn't manage to get a usable in flight shot, but we could clearly see the identifying white triangle on the back
Greater Sand Plover
Terek Sandpiper - I lost it when I switched from bins to camera but we both clearly noted the upturn of the bill
Black-Bellied (Grey) Plover
Gull Billed Tern Good thing I had Yancy along as it was new to me
White-winged Tern Again Terns aren't my thing but Yancy knew it at a glance
Eurasian Oystercatcher
White Wagtail
Spot-billed Duck
Oriental Reed Warbler

As Yancy said, one could spend several days there if they chose and the real peak of migrants was a month ago.
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Old Sunday 20th May 2018, 03:42   #580
Owen Krout
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May-19 Yingkou Wetland Park w/Yancy

The afternoon was at the Yingkou Wetland Park area.

Dunlin Big numbers - on the mud
Greater Sand Plover
Kentish Plover - Very few and widely scattered as well as far out
Whiskered Tern
Little Tern - Yancy called it out just as I was saying, "What is that little Tern out there?
Bar-Tailed Godwit
Red-Necked Stint
Watercock Yancy never picked it out of the reeds where two were hiding
Whimbrel
Black-Winged Stilt
Eurasian Cuckoo
Spot-Billed Duck
Oriental Reed Warbler
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Old Sunday 20th May 2018, 04:01   #581
Dong Bei
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Beauty Saunders's Gull Owen! And the signature crab in the mouth shot as well! Very nice.

Eurasian and Eastern Curlew can be difficult to separate sometimes but there's no question when they fly as you refer to.

Gull-billed Tern is a good score.

The Sand Plover photo is a Lesser. They can be difficult to tell apart and I mislabeled many before seeing my first Greater. The red and black borders can differ at different times of the year but Greaters have a huge bill. Most guides don't do a good job on this specie and can be misleading. The Birds of Thailand by Craig Robson does the best job on them I've seen. I am very interested on what you find there with Sand Plovers as my experience was that Greater tend to follow the mainland coast and not make the jump across through Laotieshan, much like Avocets as we discussed earlier. I only saw a handful of Greaters in southern Liaoning in habitat where there were many Lessers.

Absolutely love that Saunders's shot! You are privileged to live where you do and get to see them in full breeding plumage. What a striking gull.
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Old Sunday 20th May 2018, 04:36   #582
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Hi Tom,

I'll wait and see what Yancy has to say about the Plover. He instantly said Lesser and I was the one that thought it looked more Greater. He does spend most of his time on shorebirds and I mostly on Passerines. From what you are saying the field guides may have thrown me off.

I'm glad we did Honghaitan even in off season and at low tide as Yancy's number one goal of the day was Saunder's Gull and that was the first thing he spotted. Yingkou, although normally being a good bet for Saunder's failed to produce.
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Old Sunday 20th May 2018, 04:46   #583
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Tom,
Thank you for pointing out the Sand-plover. Owen and I were unsure about the ID. I changed my mind mainly because of the black/red border. After checking some Greater photos, I agree they were Lesser.
Owen has a good point about the Wagtail. I think it's best to leave it as Wagtail sp. I have my description with my eBird list.
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45819411
Watercock would be my target of my next Panjin trip!
We saw the Godwit in Honghaitan while walking the broadwalk.
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Old Sunday 20th May 2018, 04:53   #584
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Saunders's gull def made my day! They are beautiful and easy to watch as one year gull. I'll post my photos to North American Gulls group and say: anything wrong with this Franklin's? :p
I'm on my way to Dalian for the challenge of 4 years Vega. Won't be as relaxing as in Honghaitan
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Old Sunday 20th May 2018, 07:24   #585
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I'm going to take a break for a few days. Our terrier, LuLu, my best friend, past away while I was holding her shortly after 2:00 this afternoon.
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Old Sunday 20th May 2018, 14:51   #586
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I'm going to take a break for a few days. Our terrier, LuLu, my best friend, past away while I was holding her shortly after 2:00 this afternoon.
My condolences. She was a lovely girl and was lucky to have you guys.
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Old Tuesday 22nd May 2018, 09:52   #587
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Sorry to hear about you losing LuLu Owen.

Mike
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Old Tuesday 22nd May 2018, 15:07   #588
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Same here Owen. Sad to hear.
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Old Wednesday 23rd May 2018, 11:49   #589
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De Crane....De Crane

Sorry about the other day. Out of place here. I had just finished off my stash of 21 year old Scotch.

Deciding I needed to get out of the house, our children made the effort to finally figure out how to get to the big lake I had made a few tries at finding on my own. I knew I had gotten close during last years migration and had found large numbers of geese, ducks and cormorants. Turns out I was less than 200 meters from the water when taking pictures of those migrants, but it is well hidden and can only be accessed by one narrow paved track through a mostly abandoned village. RongXing lake.

The weather turned quickly just before we arrived, going from sunny and mild to sudden gale force wind out of the northwest and temps precipitously dropping to 12 degrees. Sky darkened with the yellowish tint that usually accompanies dust coming out of the Gobi. Still we made one round with a few quick stops for me to try to get some pics. Actually windy enough that holding the camera steady was a real problem. Still managed a few shots and got to scout out what should be even better than Honghaitan or Gedalou during the migrations. The surrounding area has a better variety of habitat and the deserted villages on both sides mean little disturbance from people. There is a large apartment block that looks to have been built several years ago, probably when the villages were abandoned that is sitting empty and gates locked. I as sure that in good weather I could have found a lot more, but still a good scouting trip.

I managed to get a shot of a Black-Winged Stilt on it's nest. Many others scattered through a large area. I missed a shot and the ID on some ducks as they broke from the water just as a gust of wind made me stumble and miss the shot. Several Common Cuckoo and Barn Swallow that were struggling. A few Great Crested Grebe were trying to find a sheltered area from the wind and white-caps that were forming.

A little later, after leaving, I suddenly called out "Crane!..Red-Crowned!...Stop, stop, stop, stop! Now!" We were just entering a bridge, so had to go on over and then I had to convince everyone that they had to go back. Then they didn't want to stop there and when I faked wanting to take a picture out the window they stopped and I bailed out. The family was calling out that it was "too dangerous....be careful" as I went over the railing and down the embankment. Carefully keeping cover between me and my target I got down to the waters edge. I pulled the camera up and got the first shot. Wonderful! They are still there! The second shot. Then....Why are they not moving? Wait a second...that female has no head. Someone had recently installed ornamental cranes. I climbed back to the car and had to admit what had happened. Saving face worked for about the next ten minutes as all I got was an, "Ohhh" from my wife and then silence in the car. Then our daughter couldn't manage it any longer and burst out laughing. That broke it for all and I spent the rest of the trip home being teased. My wife said just post the picture and tell you I knew exactly where to find Red-Crowned Crane anytime they wanted. Looked convincing at 200 meters in a moving car.
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Old Wednesday 23rd May 2018, 13:35   #590
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Nice fimd, Owen! Wish I could stay in Panjin a little longer. The whole whole red bills looks good for Sebirian crane, more endangered.
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Old Wednesday 23rd May 2018, 17:24   #591
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I just opened this page and clicked on the photo before reading the text. I was thinking an Oriental Stork at a quick glance but was thrown off my the amount of red. Too funny! The second photo with no head and my intimate knowledge of concrete bird figures soon revealed the truth :)

Hilarious to see a stilt trying to not be seen by you and sit on eggs with those long legs.
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Old Thursday 24th May 2018, 14:22   #592
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May-24

My son-in-law had someone supposedly give him the secret password to be able to gain admittance to the Liaoheku Nature Preserve, so we gave it a try this morning. Whatever it was it didn't work. Still "closed and leave now!". Of course while they were telling him it was closed I watched two heavy trucks and a car drive up and have the gate raise to grant admission. I did talk him into driving on west along the main road and was amazed at what you can see from there. It is a sea of reeds in true flooded flat wetland as far as I could see in all directions! There is quite a lot of oil drilling going on, but most of the wetland is truly untouched. No villages, no fish farm ponds, no rice paddies. It is truly a valuable wetland on the west side of the Shuangtaizi River. Nest tack is to see if I can manage to gain some sort of government approval and access that way.

Even with that failing, on the way out I found a small area where the flooded rice paddies produced a nice little area in just 15 minutes. Included a couple of Eastern Cattle Egret which I had to add to ebird's Liaoning list. We'll see if they let that stand. I've added them once before a couple of years ago, but apparently they didn't keep it. Also found three Chinese Pond Heron. Sorry you missed that tick Lancy.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
May 24, 2018 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Protocol: Stationary
7 species

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) 1
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 2
Cattle Egret (Eastern) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) 2
Chinese Pond-Heron (Ardeola bacchus) 3
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 4
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 12
White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) 6

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45979937
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Old Friday 25th May 2018, 02:25   #593
Lancy Cheng
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Originally Posted by Owen Krout View Post
My son-in-law had someone supposedly give him the secret password to be able to gain admittance to the Liaoheku Nature Preserve, so we gave it a try this morning. Whatever it was it didn't work. Still "closed and leave now!". Of course while they were telling him it was closed I watched two heavy trucks and a car drive up and have the gate raise to grant admission. I did talk him into driving on west along the main road and was amazed at what you can see from there. It is a sea of reeds in true flooded flat wetland as far as I could see in all directions! There is quite a lot of oil drilling going on, but most of the wetland is truly untouched. No villages, no fish farm ponds, no rice paddies. It is truly a valuable wetland on the west side of the Shuangtaizi River. Nest tack is to see if I can manage to gain some sort of government approval and access that way.

Even with that failing, on the way out I found a small area where the flooded rice paddies produced a nice little area in just 15 minutes. Included a couple of Eastern Cattle Egret which I had to add to ebird's Liaoning list. We'll see if they let that stand. I've added them once before a couple of years ago, but apparently they didn't keep it. Also found three Chinese Pond Heron. Sorry you missed that tick Lancy.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
May 24, 2018 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Protocol: Stationary
7 species

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) 1
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 2
Cattle Egret (Eastern) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) 2
Chinese Pond-Heron (Ardeola bacchus) 3
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 4
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 12
White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) 6

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45979937
I'll have 3 egret/heron sp. to chase during my next Panjin trip :)
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Old Sunday 27th May 2018, 02:06   #594
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Some positive and negative observations from the last week.

Under the neutral category: I accompanied the family on an outing to the Baihai beach southwest of the city proper Yingkou, Liaoning. It was a typical Chinese tourist trap type area, I believe at Bayuquan. I say I believe because they had been told about it and had just put the name into the phone and let it direct them there. The phone app appeared to work about as well as asking for directions in China in that it got confused several times and by the time we finally arrived everybody was lost. Well technically, by my standards, I wasn't lost as I go by the theory that as long as I can find my way home, I'm not lost and at that point I could have backtracked successfully. I was rather underwhelmed as it was, for my tastes, over developed, but it did have a large actual sand beach area with very few people actually on the beach. No swimmers so I assume the water was still cold. Our daughter and her husband had fun messing around on the beach area though. Some nice scenic cliff areas but that was overrun with wedding photography groups. All very new included the trees in the wooded areas and too many people, so quite literally no birds.

In the negative: I hadn't been to the area southwest of Yingkou before and I really have to say it is an environmental disaster. Between Yingkou city proper and the beach the natural wetlands had recently been developed into fish farms. The landscape was monotonous with noting but bare earth around regular sized fish ponds and ugly heavy industry. No trees and the natural reeds all gone. Had the look of having mostly been done in the last year or two. Pollution from the industry was very evident.

In the positive: We have actually been having rain this spring, with what I would guess as more rain than we had in the last year falling in just one day this week. As a result, on the way back home I noticed that all the rice fields and fish farms were actually flooded, something that hasn't been happening for the last couple of years. Indeed I yesterday I found that one of the wetland areas about half a kilometer from our condo is flooded again after going very dry last year. Even better was finding it repopulating with wetland species.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
May 26, 2018 11:45 AM - 12:15 PM
Protocol: Stationary
11 species

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) 4
Cattle Egret (Eastern) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) 2
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 3
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 2
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 6
White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) 8
Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) 1 call ID
Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus optatus) 1 call ID
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 10
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 4
Oriental Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus orientalis) 5

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46027629
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Old Monday 28th May 2018, 05:26   #595
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A quick check, just before more thundershowers arrived, on the wetland near home mentioned above produced a couple more species with Great Egret and Grey-Headed Lapwing now showing up. The Black-Crowned Night Heron & Great Egret were observed collecting nesting materials. Moorhen were also observed in very territorial behavior.
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Old Tuesday 29th May 2018, 06:48   #596
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May-29

The recouping wetlands near home continue to get better each day both in quantity and in variety. I checked them out this morning and had thought of going back this afternoon, but rain is developing to the north and headed this way, so maybe tomorrow.

It looks like the Eastern Cattle Egret are nesting in the southwest corner in some taller reeds, with at least 10 seen in the air at one time and probably more down in the reeds. A few Great White Egret still in evidence and about half a dozen Little Egret milling about. Black-Crowned Night Heron also looking like they are nesting along the perimeter of one of the ponds.

Grey-Headed Lapwing are still milling about and have nested there a few years back when it was flooded as did the Black-Crowned Night Heron. A few Black-Winged Stilt still in evidence, though they appear to be only feeding.

Eastern Spot-Billed Duck and Common Moorhen were easier to catch in the open than they usually are. But the shots of the Yellow Bittern were especially pleasing as you usually can't get anywhere near them without them flying off or hiding deep in the reeds. I actually missed an even closer pic of this fellow as it was standing in the middle of the path and I didn't even see it until it flushed. Luckily it didn't go very far.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
May 29, 2018 8:45 AM - 9:45 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 kilometer(s)
17 species

Eastern Spot-billed Duck (Anas zonorhyncha) 3
Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) 5
Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) 1
Great Egret (Ardea alba) 4
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 6
Cattle Egret (Eastern) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) 10
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 4
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 5
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 3
Gray-headed Lapwing (Vanellus cinereus) 4
Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) 5
Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus optatus) 1 Differentiated by call
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 1
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) 3
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 20
Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 4
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 10

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46120453
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Old Tuesday 29th May 2018, 06:51   #597
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May-29 more pics

The Bittern, Moorhen and Spot-Billed Duck pics.
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Old Wednesday 30th May 2018, 15:42   #598
Dong Bei
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Location: Dalian, China
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Looks like a nice little wetland Owen. Great bittern shots as well.
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Old Friday 1st June 2018, 11:19   #599
Owen Krout
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Location: Panjin, Liaoning, China
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I have held back on a rarity that I have been seeing consistently at the reviving wetlands that I have mentioned during the last week, working on getting a better look and hopefully an ID photo. I did get a close look at this very shy culprit in flight this morning and after spending quite a lot of time checking photos and descriptions on line I have decided to add it to my ebird list.

I have been seeing a single bird each time, overall brown with some white streaking or barring approximated at 30 cm, so say 28-32cm. The most distinguishing thing being the bill, longer than the head and slightly down-curved, which I noted as being Whimbrel like. Field noted as unidentified Peep (exactly describes in flight call), possible Sandpiper? but Whimbrel bill. The more I research the more I am convinced it is a Little Curlew (Numenius minutus). I found it has been spotted and photographed in Beiheida, so considering migration would be taking it up to northern Siberia, it would be possible. I don't know if ebird will buy it as I still have to add the Eastern Cattle Egret in everytime, but I'm convinced and it's my lifelist, so I'm claiming it. Meantime I am going to continue to try for a photo ID.

I also had a very good visual on the Black Drongo that I have been seeing occasionally over the last couple of weeks. Very close to the same location where I last recorded one. I didn't include it as I already have that tic anyway and why push it? The only other unusual was so many Chinese Pond Heron and a Purple Heron which startled my wife as it popped straight up out of the reeds and disappeared right back down about 15 meters in front of her.

Panjin, Dawa County, Liaoning, CN, Liaoning, CN
Jun 1, 2018 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 kilometer(s)
20 species

Eastern Spot-billed Duck (Anas zonorhyncha) 10
Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) 3
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 1
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) 1
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 10
Cattle Egret (Eastern) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) 8
Chinese Pond-Heron (Ardeola bacchus) 5
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 16
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 4
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 7
Gray-headed Lapwing (Vanellus cinereus) 5
Little Curlew (Numenius minutus) 1 Observed single bird several times over the last five days at edges of wetland reeds. Very shy, so far eluding photography attempts. More clearly observed at close range in flight today. Field notes list as Peep, (Sandpiper?) like; flight call "peep-peep"; aprox. 28-32 cm; overall brown w/faint white streaking; notable down-curved bill; bill longer than head. Have spent considerable time comparing any likely similar species and only Little Curlew matches with observed bird.
Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) 6
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) 2
Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) 1
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) 3
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) 5
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 40
Oriental Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus orientalis) 5
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 30

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46203518
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Old Friday 1st June 2018, 11:58   #600
Owen Krout
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Jun-1

And just as I posted the last I heard a commotion of little birds scolding and popped out to the patio to see what was up. Turns out it was our resident Little Owls. I managed to get one to turn and look at me by phishing the mouse/small prey in distress. It was in the very last light after sunset and I have the camera set to max out at 6400 ISO, so pictures are pretty grainy. I converted one to B&W, but didn't help as much as I hoped. Both the male and female were out hunting together and I observed both carrying back prey, so I am pretty confident now about where they are nesting.

Also observed 11 Black-Crowned Night Heron headed out to their night foraging.
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