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Liaoning, Shenyang aka 辽宁沈阳

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Old Friday 22nd February 2013, 01:57   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKinHK View Post
I also have some wonderful memories of Black Vulture so can thoroughly empathise with your superb finish!
As an American I can't bear to call that magnificent bird a black vulture. We've got our own version in the Americas, you see, and it's a slightly different beast:

Code:
                 ABV           EBV
Max Length       75cm          120cm
Max Wingspan     167cm         310cm
Max Weight       2.75kg        14kg
src: Wikipedia
So yeah, I'll stick with Monk or Cinereous lest I diminish its majesty!
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Old Friday 22nd February 2013, 03:22   #27
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I've seen some (on this forum to be specific) who've suggested that we call all American vultures "condors" to distinguish from the Eurasian species.

Personally I like it for most of our species, e.g. "black condor" or "king condor", but to my ear it doesn't work for "turkey condor"
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Old Friday 22nd February 2013, 12:02   #28
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Originally Posted by Jeff hopkins View Post
I've seen some (on this forum to be specific) who've suggested that we call all American vultures "condors" to distinguish from the Eurasian species.

Personally I like it for most of our species, e.g. "black condor" or "king condor", but to my ear it doesn't work for "turkey condor"
I thought Americans called their "condors" "buzzards"? I'm confussed again ;D

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Old Sunday 24th February 2013, 02:45   #29
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Date: 2013-02-23

Area: HunHe river bend, south of Shenyang University of Technology
地区:浑河河曲,从沈阳工业大学往南走

Weather: -5C, hazy

Location Sightings (0745):
1,500+ x Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)
10 x Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)
1 x Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
2 x Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
20 x Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)
30 x Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)
20 x Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
1 x Naumann's Thrush (Turdus naumanni)

Comments:
See the crappy cellphone photo below... the endless ruddy shelducks... like something out of a Hitchcock film. I could hear them several hundred meters before I got to the bluff overlooking the riverbend. They carpeted the water all the way up and down the river as far as the eye could see. The 1,500+ count is conservative. That's an order of magnitude more than I usually see in this area. I think it's fair to say the Spring Migration has begun, Tom!
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Old Sunday 24th February 2013, 07:27   #30
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Andrew,

Good to see open water! There's a small chance I will be in Shenyang all of next weekend, but not for birding. Bring on Spring......

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Old Sunday 24th February 2013, 13:55   #31
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Wow - 1500 Ruddy Shelduck! I'm becoing less and less convinced that Shenyang sucks

Cheers
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Old Wednesday 20th March 2013, 23:50   #32
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Been too busy working to do any birding in China, but I do have some news to share:

I heard back from Prof. Zhou Haixiang* of Shenyang Science & Engineering University's Ecological Research Department (沈阳理工大学生态研究室主任 周海翔) that the Siberian Cranes have already been resting at Huanzidong Wetlands (獾子洞湿地) for 2 weeks.

This weekend he will visit the site with some graduate students. Also, next Tuesday and Wednesday (26th + 27th) a delegation of experts will visit from Beijing. Furthermore, next Wednesday is the Siberian Crane Festival.

I regret that work prevents me from partaking in the above, but I will be out there the following weekend - probably on the 30th. Professor Zhou believes that the cranes will still be present at that time, but I will call again late next week to confirm since it is a bit of a drive!

* - thanks to Tom in Dalian for providing me with his contact information
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Old Monday 28th April 2014, 00:52   #33
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Area: HunHe river bend, south of Shenyang University of Technology
地区:浑河河曲,从沈阳工业大学往南走

Weather: 10C, sunny

Location Sightings (0600):
8 x Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
5 x Eastern Spot-billed Duck (Anas zonorhyncha)
? x Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
? x Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)
? x Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
3 x Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea)
8 x Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
1 x Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
1 x Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
5 x Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)
3 x White Wagtail (Motacilla alba leucopsis)
1 x Yellow-browed Bunting (Emberiza chrysophrys)

Comments:
Work has kept me from doing any meaningful birding in China for ages, but after visiting Tom the other weekend I'm determined to squeeze it in however I can.

This morning I left the house at 0530 and biked down to the river. This bend used to be excellent for waterfowl but last year we had a flood and the entire area was completely scoured clean of vegetation. Since then there have never been more than a handful of ducks.

I made a quick loop on my mountain bike to assess the environmental conditions, so my list is in no way representative of the true assortment of species. It's hard to sneak up on things when you're wearing hi-vis yellow kit!
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Old Wednesday 30th April 2014, 02:20   #34
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Date: 2014-04-30

Area: HunHe river bend, south of Shenyang University of Technology
地区:浑河河曲,从沈阳工业大学往南走

Weather: 10C, sunny

Location Sightings (0600 to 0700):
? x Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
? x Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
? x Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)
? x Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
5 x Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea)
5 x Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
? x White Wagtail (Motacilla alba leucopsis)
? x Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
1 x Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
1 x Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis)
? x Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
? x Pallas's Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus proregulus)
3 x Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)

Comments:
Red denotes the first sighting for that species in this location. These three new guys put me over 50 species for this spot, which is cause for celebration given how degraded the environment is on the west side of Shenyang and how infrequently I visit.

This morning I rode back down a bit earlier and sat for an hour on the edge of the sand bluff overlooking the river bend. The curlew came in about 30 minutes on and waded about down below me before deciding to take a long bath. That was quite enjoyable to witness. He called plaintively from time to time but no other curlews appeared.

The greenshank managed to snag a long minnow or perhaps an eel that he couldn't swallow. He diddled about with it on the riverbank for a good long while trying to figure out how to enjoy his prize. In the end he gave up and flew off.

The Pallas's Leaf-Warblers are certainly not new to this area, but this is the first time I've been 100% absolutely certain which warbler they are. Standing in a thicket of 3m high bush and getting your binoculars on one only 2m away definitely aids in the identification!

Missed a couple of other passerines, but that just gives you an excuse to go back again soon!
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Old Wednesday 30th April 2014, 07:12   #35
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Andrew,

Fantastic to see you posting again. Instead of looking at birding as something to squeeze in, see it as your time that you must get in to have the rest of your day go smoothly....

That simple river bend could bring in some goodies. Maybe because the rest of the area is so polluted, the bird will be funneled into areas like this? Depressing to think about for the birds but...

Now for the super zoom camera to bring in that Yellow-browed Bunting!

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Old Wednesday 30th April 2014, 11:49   #36
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Our Big Day revitalized me. I always bird on my business trips outside of China but had been wussing out for a year now back here...

Have you finished loading all your old checklists into eBird? I ask because Liaoning's life-list is sitting at 295 species today. When will we break 300? Can we do 400? :-)
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Old Wednesday 30th April 2014, 12:04   #37
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Andrew, I haven't even come close to uploading the checklists. I have only loaded approx 1/3 of them. The rest will come but first there is spring migration to deal with :). 400 is doable.

Tom

Last edited by Dong Bei : Wednesday 30th April 2014 at 12:06.
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Old Wednesday 30th April 2014, 12:22   #38
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I have only loaded approx 1/3 of them.
I find that really exciting in a geeky science guy sort of way. I can't wait to see the quality of the Liaoning dataset once all your archives are up.
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Old Wednesday 30th April 2014, 13:04   #39
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Your patch looks like it head real potential Andrew - looking forward to getting more updates. - if my roundabout can generate 120+ in 18 months then I'm sure habitat of this quality will give plenty of great moments - the Curlew and Greenshank sound pretty cool for a start!

Cheers
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Old Tuesday 6th May 2014, 13:18   #40
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Date: 2014-05-06

Area: HunHe river bend, south of Shenyang University of Technology
地区:浑河河曲,从沈阳工业大学往南走

Weather: 6C, sunny

Location Sightings (0600 to 0700):
12 x Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
? x Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
? x Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)
? x Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
5 x Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea)
2 x Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
1 x White Wagtail (Motacilla alba leucopsis)
2 x Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
1 x Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
2 x Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
? x Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
5 x Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
? x Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)
Red denotes the first sighting for that species in this location.

Comments:

Hooray for Mandarin Ducks! I've never seen them in China in the wild before and this morning a male and female were dabbling in the garbage right below the bluff.

I spent 30 minutes in the brush trying to photograph warblers with my 70~300mm and the closest I got was a very sharp cluster of vines with a blurry bird in the background. Thanks auto-focus! I had five kestrels overhead at the same time so the songbirds were keeping VERY low profiles.

Also, to cap off a pleasant morning, I saw some sort of parakeet! It was making a racket in a distant tree and when I came out of the bush to investigate I got a glimpse before it flushed. It had been sitting on a branch near a magpie and was considerably larger. I didn't see enough to identify the species and I doubt eBird would be interested if I had!
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Old Tuesday 6th May 2014, 13:20   #41
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And one lady kestrel watching me watching her to finish up the report!
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Old Tuesday 6th May 2014, 14:02   #42
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Andrew, the last photo looks like a Dusky Warbler?
Your Mandarin drake shot beats my best attempt at a male. Nice looking ducks!
The habitat on your 4th picture looks great for passerines!
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Old Wednesday 7th May 2014, 05:43   #43
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Congrats on Mandarin Duck Andrew. Looks like they prefer dirty pools from time to time. In Sichuan Birding thread, Sid has posted a similar habitat. In Hangzhou Botanical garden, i flushed a pair from a dirty pool and the pair came back to the same pool after sometime.

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....149725&page=31


Plenty of fresh Alexandrine Parakeets have arrived in the bird market next to my house. So far i haven't seen Derbyan Parakeet in the markets. So may be yours is a one who got escaped or released on a "Good Will".

Your lady kestrel looks like an immature male to me with the grey rump and uppertail coverts.
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Old Thursday 8th May 2014, 03:45   #44
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... this morning a male and female were dabbling in the garbage right below the bluff.
"So what's a handsome pair like you doing in a dump like this?"

Nice find and nice pic!
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Old Thursday 8th May 2014, 07:25   #45
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Your lady kestrel looks like an immature male to me with the grey rump and uppertail coverts.
Yeah? I was just going on the (mostly) red tail and what the field guide said. So the grey tail feathers haven't grown in yet? Interesting
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Old Monday 16th March 2015, 03:34   #46
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Andrew,

Looks to me like you are doing really well for Shenyang! This thread is getting stale, but thought I would see if you were still in Shenyang. I left there just last June after the Chinese government decided to start enforcing retirement age rules on foreigners. I was up in the Shenbei area north of BeiLing at Shenyang Aerospace University. The old campus until about 2005 or so was just west of BeiLing. Unfortunately, that was before I reopened an old interest in bird watching.

As of last June, there was at least three Common Pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) on the SAU campus. I could often hear the male crowing when I was in my classroom.
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Old Saturday 25th April 2015, 13:28   #47
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May visit to Shenyang (and Yingkou)

Hi All,

I guess Andrew will not mind hijacking his thread as it has been very quit since last year.

I will visit my family-in-law in Shenyang next month, for a little over 2 weeks (9-25th), including a 1-day visit to some friends of my wife in Yingkou. This is my fourth time and I am not having any illusions anymore of doing some serious birding, being with my family all the time. In addition it is a very short period. But I do as much as possible observations 'on-the-way' (mostly to the shopping malls ) as I can.

The nice thing about this time will be the fact that it will be the first time I will be there in the best time of the year, May. I think I will be able to do one or two trips (with family) to some forested area's like Beiling Park and/or the parks to the east of Shenyang. I wondered if some of you would know which (common) song birds I should look out for in that period of the year, so I can try gathering and learning sounds for ID.

I assume there is no chance I could hire an (broken) English speeking birdguide for the day I am in Yingkou? Preferrably with some transportation and a scope.

If I see more than just the most common (tree sparrow, magpie, barn swallow, japanese tit,...) I will leave a note with my observations in this thread. I Hope I will be writing here again...


Bart
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Old Saturday 25th April 2015, 14:38   #48
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Bart, It will be tough to find an English speaking guide in Yinkou but there is one only a tiny bit further south :) You will be in the area for a very good time of the year for sure. In Beiling Park look for all of the flycatchers, Tristram's, Yellow-browed, Chestnut, and Yellow-breasted Buntings. Probably Yellow-browed Warbler in large numbers. Perhaps Chestnut-flanked White-eye, etc... I've never been there in May but have birded that park a few times in odd times of the year when in Shenyang for other business.

Perhaps I could meet you near Wafangdian for a day or half day trip around the wetlands there?

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Old Sunday 26th April 2015, 09:57   #49
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Hi Tom,

Thanks so much for your feedback! That will be of great help. Compared to last time (2012) I have a smartphone which I can use to create a shortlist with soundbits of these birds. I am also excited about having a recording app that can make good enough recordings for IDing afterwards. Hopefully I can post some here in a couple of weeks.

Also thanks very much for your invitation. Unfortunately, I don't think this is a realistic option for me. My family are really not keen on me travelling by myself. I am not sure yet how much of the a day I can spend in Yingkou. Probably we will already travel half a day from Shenyang to Yinkou and I will only have the afternoon. I will feel already very lucky if I can reach the coast or the river from where our friends live.

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Old Thursday 28th May 2015, 20:39   #50
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Hi all,

I am back home since a couple of days from my family visit to Shenyang and I am glad to say I saw a little more than just the most common city birds. I believe more freedom and time to look around are the perks of having a young child that takes the attention away from myself (the older child ).
In the end we didn’t go to Yinkou. Those friends came to Shenyang and we met at Beiling Park. Unfortunately, I just got some glimpses of this park as the outing was very social. I didn’t return afterwards. However, I did have a local patch of green (or cluster of greens) near my parents-in-law that I visited several times in the early mornings, namely on the grounds of Shenyang University and which had a good turnover of, although mostly very skulky, migrants. Besides that we made two short trips to family in the outskirts of Shenyang, where I had short look-arounds, a visit to a river side city park, an outing to the Qipanshan zoo and an overnight trip to Bingyu Valley near Zhuange. I couldn’t convince my family for a small detour along the coast however… After we just arrived in Shenyang, there was some talking of a trip of a couple of days to Dandong. I was already surfing around for a possible birdguide in that city, but because of the grandfather falling ill, the trip had to be replaced by a shorter one to Bingyu Valley.

As I told before, I was planning to and did extensively use sound recordings on my smarthphone for additional ID’s. In the meanwhile I made already many several ID’s like this of birds I was unable to see, but I still have lots of unknowns for which I hope some of you can help me. The recordings are raw, unedited materials with not rarely lots of background noise unfortunately, but I want to give it a try here.

I am still processing all my observations with the help of memory and recordings, filtering out the maybes from the certainties and I still need to do a full count of lifers, china list, etc. I will try to post a message of every birding instance and keep the counts at the bottom. It is all very modest. Before this year I had a list of 64 species for the whole of China (including travel to Yunnan). This time I added another 30 or so and still counting, hoping to still increase it a little bit with some additional ID’s, maybe reaching 100?

In the coming days/weeks I will add most posts to this thread as they are all from Shenyang, except Bingyu Valley. Any suggestions where I should put that trip report? New thread or in Gretchen’s “China Observations”?
I hope you can enjoy my posts to come.

Best Regards, Bart
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