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Beijing botanical gardens (1 Viewer)

Shi Jin

Well-known member
I enjoyed a splendid morning yesterday at Beijing Botanical Gardens.

In just four hours I managed to see and photograph more than 20 species, including Pygmy Woodpecker (1 of 4 “pygmies” seen and heard); a flock of 6 Siberian Accentors; 2 Chinese Hill Warblers; 2 Red-billed Blue Magpies; several Eastern Great Tits; a Northern Goshawk; several Spotted Doves; a few Dusky/Naumann’s Thrushes; 7 Chinese Grosbeaks; at least 2 Chinese Nuthatches; a dozen Bramblings; more than 100 Azure-winged Magpies; a Collared Finchbill; and 20 Long-tailed Tits with 2 “very late” Pallas’s Warblers in attendance.

Photos of 12 of the species, including Siberian Accentor and Chinese Hill Warbler, can be seen on my website.

Here's the link:

Collared Finchbill

According to China Bird Report 2007, Spizixos semitorques Collared Finchbill was also recorded at Beijing BG in 2007 (5 on 28 Jan, 2 on 28 Nov, 5 on 7 Dec), but captive origins were suspected. Or does this represent another northward range expansion in China?


PS: Great photos, Shi Jin.
Thanks everyone.

Yes, I have since read a couple of reports which suggest the birds there have been released. But I've seen no evidence.

The species supposedly breeds no closer than several hundred km south. Then again, several species are much further north in China than have been mapped by various authors (for instance, Crested Myna, Red-billed Starling, and Chinese Bulbul).

Richard cites reports of up to 5 birds. Interestingly, I have seen no other "exotics" in the area.

If they have been released, seems strange that this species is the only beneficiary of karma-seekers' altruism. But who knows?

It's forecast to fall to minus 12 in Beijing tonight. That should sort out the genetically robust from the rest.
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Went to the botanical gardens on the 12 January

No finchbills, but a few other things that made the visit enjoyable, despite the cold.

Spotted Dove 1
Brambling c10
Tree Sparrow Lots
Yellow-bellied Tit (photo) c15
Chinese Nuthatch (photo) sev
Eastern Great Tit few
Vinous-throated Parrotbill (photo) c30
Marsh Tit 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker (photo) few
Grey-headed Woodpecker 1
Long-tailed Tit (photo) c15
Chinese Hill Warbler (photo) 3
(1 near Wofo; 2 in Cherry Valley)
Azure-winged Magpie (photo) c30
Magpie c10

Photos at: http://www.chinesecurrents.com/2010birds2.html
Hi Shi Jin, great to read your report.

We're likely to be visiting Beijing in March. Is there a particular spot in the botanical gardens that is good for the nuthatch?
I've seen them in several areas. But the best route is to enter via the south gate, and walk north towards the tropical house.

After 200 yards you are in a prime spot.Beyond the tropical house follow the signs to Wofo temple (Nuthatches can be seen in the young conifers that flank the path to the temple - also Chinese Hill Warbler and Yellow-bellied Tits in this area); also in the older trees close to it.

In March, you also have a good chance of Siberian Accentor and Naumann's and Dusky thrushes (perhaps even Red-throated Thrush).

Google Earth shows you what I mean (the car park, paths, and tropical house can be clearly seen).

Best regards.
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By the way, I was just looking around, and found a useful map of the garden here. Shi Jin, after seeing your reports, I really need to get looking around there!
Hi Shi Jin
This is a long shot as I don't know if you still visit this thread! I am hoping to go to Beijing in early September for some birding and also to visit the BG. Any ideas what might be around at that time of year and do you know of any other good places near by

Best regards

Hi Scottishdude

At that time of year, Beijing is good for passage migrants moving down from all points north.

As well as the botanical gardens, check out the Old Summer Palace (the one that was trashed by the Brits and the French). The Chinese name is Yuan ming yuan. Although the New Summer Palace (Yi He Yuan) is also worth a visit during week days (too busy there at the weekend).

As far as what might be seen, suggest you grab a copy of Mark Brazil's Birds of East Asia and look at the maps. Most passerines and lots of other stuff that move south over Beijing could turn up.

If you have more time, and can get out of the city. Then suggest you head for Wuling shan (about 2.5 hours east, where Fea's thrush and lots of other mountain species breed. Don't know what will still be around then though).

Also bear in mind that Beidaihe is only two hours by fast train from Beijing's central railway station (Beijing Zhan).

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I enjoyed a very pleasant walk around the Beijing Botanical Gardens this morning... the first time I've visited here since last winter.

A single Pallas's Warbler was a surprise (the temperatures in the past week have been very low, down to minus 12), as was the Wren (first time I've seen one there).

c40 thrushes, including several seemingly pure Naumann's, as many Naumann's/Dusky hybrids, and one pure-looking Dusky.

One vocal Chinese Nuthatch played hard-to-photograph for a while before eventually smiling at the camera; also 2 Chinese Grosbeaks, c50 Bramblings, and 3 Red-billed Blue Magpies.

Best regards from Beijing.


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