• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

China Birds (Nick Sismey) 2012 List (UK, Hong Kong & ?) (1 Viewer)

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
For the seventh consecutive year I hope to keep track of my birding exploits here on Birdforum. Having recently changed my job I will now be making visits to Hong Kong rather than mainland China although I may have the chance to make an occasional visit to China. My two main birding areas will therefore be the UK and Hong Kong

My UK target will again be 200 birds with help from Steve Whiteley and David Salisbury

As of 26 April 2012 my current worldwide year list stands at 208 birds

---UK----Hong Kong----China----World

--141--------76----------49------208

My current records are as follows:
2011-------------UK-216, China-177, Hong Kong-83, Holland-14, Thailand-97, Madeira-28, USA-69, Germany-20, France-28, Singapore-48, Malaysia-98, Abu Dhabi-23, World-565
2010-------------UK-210, China-179, Singapore-93,WW-393
2009-------------UK-209, China-189, Hong Kong-113,Holland-4, WW-380
2008-------------UK-220, China-177, Hong Kong-99, Finland-17, USA-84, Canada-22, WW-443
2007-------------UK-200, China-249, WW-398
2006-------------UK-205, WW-410
2005-------------UK-183, WW-358
2004-------------UK-157, WW-276

Life-----1,013
China---492
UK------267
 
Last edited:

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
01 January 2012

Happy New Year to all…..

Picking up Chris Baines from Chesterfield at 0735 hours we set off for Padley Gorge (Photo1), Derbyshire where dawn had just broken. I had decided to start my year list with some upland birds for a change. The day started cool but dry but by lunch time the weather had really closed in making birding at its best unpleasant. Our tour initially took us into the Longshaw Estate (Photo 2) and up onto moorland along Stony Ridge Road (Photo 3) for Red Grouse (Photo 4).

1.Blackbird---------------------------------Chesterfield------------------------------------England
2.Song Thrush------------------------------Chesterfield-----------------------------------England
3.Carrion Crow------------------------------Chesterfield------------------------------------England
4.Jackdaw----------------------------------Padley Gorge-----------------------------------England
5.Mallard------------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)------------------England
6.Woodpigeon-------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)------------------England
7.Chaffinch----------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)------------------England
8.Brambling----------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)------------------England
9.Magpie------------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)------------------England
10.Blue Tit------------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)------------------England
11.Green Woodpecker--------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)------------------England
12.Dunnock-----------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)-------------------England
13.Greenfinch---------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)-------------------England
14.Robin--------------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)-------------------England
15.Mistle Thrush-------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)------------------England
16.Nuthatch----------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)-------------------England
17.Coal Tit------------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)------------------England
18.Treecreeper--------------------------------Padley Gorge----------------------------------England
19.Great Spotted Woodpecker-----------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)-------------------England
20.Raven-------------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)-------------------England
21.Fieldfare-----------------------------------Longshaw Estate (Grindleford)------------------England
22.Red Grouse--------------------------------Stony Ridge Road------------------------------England

More to follow……
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    246.6 KB · Views: 77
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    259.3 KB · Views: 81
  • Photo3.JPG
    Photo3.JPG
    208 KB · Views: 81
  • Photo4.jpg
    Photo4.jpg
    297.2 KB · Views: 101
Last edited:

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
01 January 2012 (Continued…..)

From here it was then down through Grindleford, Baslow and through the Chatsworth estate picking up birds as we went. A quick stop at the Rowsley Shopping Village car park (Photo1) where Chris had seen a pair of Mandarin (Photo 2) with a large flock of Mallard the previous day. We then spent some time at Wraggs Quarry (Photo 3) and the surrounding area of Beeley Moor (Photo 4) before driving through heavy rain to Carsington Reservoir where we did take a short walk in miserable weather.

After calling it a day early due to the weather and dropping Chris off mid afternoon I collected my things from Derby and headed for my mothers house in Manthorpe, Lincolnshire where during the drive I took my first day of the year bird list to 53, some 21 down on my best set in 2009. It was surprising to go the whole day though without seeing a Starling!

23.Rook-------------------------------------Grindleford-------------------------------------England
24.House Sparrow---------------------------Grindleford-------------------------------------England
25.Collared Dove-----------------------------Baslow----------------------------------------England
26.Pheasant---------------------------------Baslow----------------------------------------England
27.Buzzard-----------------------------------Chatsworth-----------------------------------England
28.Black Headed Gull--------------------------Chatsworth-----------------------------------England
29.Coot--------------------------------------Chatsworth-----------------------------------England
30.Great Tit----------------------------------Chatsworth-----------------------------------England
31.Redwing-----------------------------------Beeley Village---------------------------------England
32.Mandarin----------------------------------Rowsley---------------------------------------England
33.Moorehen----------------------------------Rowsley--------------------------------------England
34.Bullfinch-----------------------------------Wraggs Quarry--------------------------------England
35.Lapwing-----------------------------------Beeley Moor-----------------------------------England
36.Stock Dove--------------------------------Beeley Moor-----------------------------------England
37.Yellowhammer------------------------------Beeley Moor-----------------------------------England
38.Kestrel-------------------------------------Flash Lane------------------------------------England
39.Grey Partridge------------------------------Beeley Moor-----------------------------------England
40.Tree Sparrow-------------------------------Carsington Reservoir---------------------------England
41.Lesser Black Backed Gull---------------------Carsington Reservoir---------------------------England
42.Teal----------------------------------------Carsington Reservoir---------------------------England
43.Canada Goose-------------------------------Carsington Reservoir--------------------------England
44.Wigeon-------------------------------------Carsington Reservoir---------------------------England
45.Pied Wagtail--------------------------------Carsington Reservoir---------------------------England
46.Common Gull--------------------------------Carsington Reservoir---------------------------England
47.Cormorant----------------------------------Carsington Reservoir---------------------------England
48.Great Black Backed Gull----------------------Carsington Reservoir---------------------------England
49.Tufted Duck---------------------------------Carsington Reservoir---------------------------England
50.Great Crested Grebe-------------------------Carsington Reservoir---------------------------England
51.Great Northern Diver-------------------------Carsington Reservoir---------------------------England
52.Linnet---------------------------------------Carsington Reservoir---------------------------England
53.Barn Owl------------------------------------Manthorpe-------------------------------------England
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    263.7 KB · Views: 76
  • Photo2.jpg
    Photo2.jpg
    248.4 KB · Views: 77
  • Photo3.JPG
    Photo3.JPG
    230.3 KB · Views: 86
  • Photo4.JPG
    Photo4.JPG
    227.4 KB · Views: 79
Last edited:

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
02 January 2012

David Salisbury and his 14 year old daughter Rebecca joined me at Manthorpe at 0700 hours this morning. From here we drove to Welney (Photo1 and 2) for the swans and then via Fakenham to Cley where I picked up my first Lifer of the year a very distant Western Sandpiper. We finished the day at Titchwell (Photo 3) where a mass of birders (Photo 4) were watching what would be my second Lifer of the day an Arctic Redpoll.

Despite having a poor start to the year yesterday the 94 birds we saw today took my year total to a record 108 birds after two days.

54.Grey Heron---------------------------------------Peakirk-----------------------------------------England
55.Golden Plover------------------------------------Christchurch------------------------------------England
56.Red Legged Partridge-----------------------------Tipps End---------------------------------------England
57.Starling------------------------------------------Tipps End---------------------------------------England
58.Whooper Swan-----------------------------------Tipps End---------------------------------------England
59.Goldfinch-----------------------------------------Tipps End---------------------------------------England
60.Sparrowhawk-------------------------------------Welney------------------------------------------England
61.Mute Swan---------------------------------------Welney------------------------------------------England
62.Kingfisher-----------------------------------------Welney------------------------------------------England
63.Pintail--------------------------------------------Welney------------------------------------------England
64.Egyptian Geese-----------------------------------Welney------------------------------------------England
65.Reed Bunting-------------------------------------Welney------------------------------------------England
66.Peregrine----------------------------------------Welney------------------------------------------England
67.Corn Bunting-------------------------------------Ten Mile Bank------------------------------------England
68.Jay----------------------------------------------West Lexham------------------------------------England
69.Pink Footed Goose--------------------------------Blakeney-----------------------------------------England
70.Brent Goose--------------------------------------Cley-next-the-Sea-------------------------------England
71.Marsh Harrier-------------------------------------Cley-next-the-Sea-------------------------------England
72.Curlew-------------------------------------------Cley-next-the-Sea-------------------------------England
73.Shelduck-----------------------------------------Cley-next-the-Sea-------------------------------England
74.Shoveler-----------------------------------------Cley-next-the-Sea-------------------------------England
75.Black Tailed Godwit-------------------------------Cley-next-the-Sea-------------------------------England
76.Dunlin--------------------------------------------Cley-next-the-Sea-------------------------------England
77.Ruff----------------------------------------------Cley-next-the-Sea-------------------------------England
78.Skylark-------------------------------------------Cley-next-the-Sea-------------------------------England
79.Western Sandpiper------------------------------Cley-next-the-Sea-------------------------------England
80.Herring Gull---------------------------------------Cley-next-the-Sea-------------------------------England
81.Oystercatcher------------------------------------Cley-next-the-Sea-------------------------------England
82.Goldcrest-----------------------------------------Titchwell----------------------------------------England
83.Redpoll-------------------------------------------Titchwell-----------------------------------------England
84.Arctic Redpoll------------------------------------Titchwell-----------------------------------------England
85.Long Tailed Tit------------------------------------Titchwell-----------------------------------------England
86.Little Grebe---------------------------------------Titchwell-----------------------------------------England
87.Redshank-----------------------------------------Titchwell-----------------------------------------England
88.Pochard------------------------------------------Titchwell-----------------------------------------England
89.Gadwall------------------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
90.Snipe--------------------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
91.Spotted Redshank--------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
92.Scaup-------------------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
93.Grey Plover--------------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
94.Turnstone---------------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
95.Goldeneye---------------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
96.Red Throated Diver-------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
97.Sanderling----------------------------------------Titchwell-----------------------------------------England
98.Knot---------------------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
99.Common Scoter-----------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
100.Velvet Scoter------------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
101.Red Breasted Merganser--------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
102.Gannet------------------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
103.Bar Tailed Godwit--------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
104.Avocet------------------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
105.Greylag Goose-----------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
106.White Fronted Goose-----------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
107.Little Egret--------------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
108.Woodcock---------------------------------------Titchwell------------------------------------------England
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    238.5 KB · Views: 93
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    231.4 KB · Views: 76
  • Photo3.JPG
    Photo3.JPG
    259 KB · Views: 78
  • Photo4.JPG
    Photo4.JPG
    330 KB · Views: 89
Last edited:

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
03 January 2012

With the weather again taking a turn for the worst and myself feeling under the weather I decided to return to Derby this morning rather than bird locally. On the way home I did divert through Kirk Hallam (Photo1), close to Ilkeston, where there were six Waxwings (Photo 2)

109.Waxwing-------------------------------------Kirk Hallam------------------------------------England
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    211.2 KB · Views: 76
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    207.6 KB · Views: 91

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
08 January 2012

Having finally got rid of man flu (just in time to return to work after the festive holidays tomorrow) a late afternoon trip to Attenborough (Photo1) near Nottingham today added four birds to the year list.

110.Goosander---------------------Attenborough-------------------England
111.Smew-------------------------Attenborough-------------------England
112.Green Sandpiper---------------Attenborough-------------------England
113.Ruddy Duck-------------------Attenborough-------------------England

The amount of work going on to secure the flood defences was as interesting as the birding!
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    185.7 KB · Views: 91
Last edited:

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
15 January 2012

Steve and I picked up Craig Howat from Cotgrave just before lunch for our first trip to Nocton Fen. Craig was kind enough to show me a wintering Blackcap in his garden which was a good start to the day.

114.Blackcap------------------------Cotgrave---------------------England

After just over an hour we found ourselves at Nocton Fen in Lincolnshire where we stopped (Photo1) to view all three species of swan feeding. This gave us all our first Bewicks of the year

115.Bewick Swan--------------------Nocton Fen-------------------England

Later in the day the sun broke through which encouraged the Short Eared Owls to start hunting

116.Short Eared Owl-----------------Nocton Fen-------------------England
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    233.7 KB · Views: 89
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    261.7 KB · Views: 99
Last edited:

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
29 January 2012

Picking Steve up from Ilkeston at 0520 this morning and Craig from Cotgrave at 0600 we headed for Norfolk and Buckenham Marshes (Photo1) Southwest of Norwich. We were due to meet up with a group of birders from Netherfield. They however had decided to go for the Great Grey Shrike at Fakenham on the way, we made the decision to go for the Lesser White Fronted Goose first as it seemed more of a direct route.

There was no sign of the goose at a very frosty and wonderfully wild Buckenham so we drove along the River Yare to an equally frosty Cantley (Photo 2) where our first year birds and new UK bird for me, were a flock of Bean Geese.

117.Bean Goose----------------------Cantley----------------------England

A white fronted goose did fly in but it wasn’t the one we were looking for. We did spot a large flock of geese flying near the sugar beet factory pumping out steam in the near distance so headed back to the car to try and find out where they had landed. As we crossed the railway and climbed the hill to where we had parked I checked BirdGuides on my BB. The Lesser White Front was at Buckenham!

Craig’s Netherfield friends had already arrived (Photo 3) by the time we had turned up having also seen the shrike. The goose was in their scopes!

It was a long way away, only good enough for a bad digi-scope record shot (Photo 4) but it was another year and UK bird for me.

118. Lesser White Fronted Goose-----Buckenham Marshes-----------England

Strumpshaw Fen was the next RSPB reserve visited that morning, this time for a comfort break rather than in search of a rare bird. Again we were behind the Netherfield group and had to wait on the narrow approach road as they reversed their van out of the full main car park and made their way to the overflow car park. We were pleased we did as a very confiding Water Rail (Photo 5) was feeding in a small brook next to the road.

119. Water Rail----------------------Strumpshaw Fen--------------England

After parking up, the bird was still there enabling some of the best photo’s I have taken of Water Rail. In fact they were the only pictures I have taken of Water Rail!

Two Marsh Tits were also in the tree above the rail and after the comfort break a female Red Crested Pochard was spotted from the main reserve hide

120. Marsh Tit-----------------------Strumpshaw Fen-------------England
121. Red Crested Pochard------------Strumpshaw Fen-------------England

More to follow……
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    187.8 KB · Views: 79
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    258 KB · Views: 85
  • Photo3.JPG
    Photo3.JPG
    246.9 KB · Views: 83
  • Photo4.jpg
    Photo4.jpg
    186 KB · Views: 87
  • Photo5.jpg
    Photo5.jpg
    261 KB · Views: 83

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
Firstly thank you so much to the Birdforum member who kindly rated this thread. And apologies for not updating this trip earlier, it has been crazy here at work of late.

29 January 2012 (Continued…)

Now the three of us had to catch up with the Netherfield birders' day list by travelling to Fakenham for the Great Grey Shrike, while they travelled to Cley for the Western Sandpiper which we had all seen previously. Everyone was out for a Sunday drive as we negotiated Norwich ring road. That was soon forgotten when we arrived at Fakenham and picked up the shrike within minutes. It made up for dipping earlier in the year! We joined a small group of birders (Photo1) for a while before the bird moved further down the path and out of site.

122. Great Grey Shrike----------------Fakenham--------------------England

It was certainly a quieter drive to Holkham and Lady Anne’s drive where a small number of Pink Footed Geese (Photo 2) were feeding adjacent to the drive. Scanning the horizon I spotted a buzzard perched on a post. The bird suddenly glided to the next post along the hedge revealing its white rump, a Rough Legged Buzzard, a real bonus bird!

123.Rough Legged Buzzard------------Holkham----------------------England

Talking to a number of birders we decided to make our way through the pinewoods, along the boardwalk and then walked through the saltings to our right where another group of birders (Photo 3) were watching three Shore Larks

124.Shore Lark-----------------------Holkham----------------------England

We tried to take record shots but they were just too far away and too hidden by the sparse vegetation so we moved on to the wind swept beach to join a line of sea watching birders (Photo 4). The tide was a good way out however we did get onto a Slavonian Grebe and several Razorbills! Just as we decided to make our way back to the car a shout went up that a flock of Snow Buntings were sine waving along the beach. Three new ticks for the year in short order!

125.Slavonian Grebe------------------Holkham----------------------England
126.Razorbill-------------------------Holkham-----------------------England
127.Snow Bunting--------------------Holkham----------------------England

Our final destination of the day was Titchwell where a small flock of Eider closed our bird list for the day.

128.Eider-----------------------------Titchwell---------------------England

By the time I had dropped off Craig and Steve and arrived home the milometer had notched up 342 miles but it was worth it for the breathtaking views and birds we had seen during the day!

The next full day’s birding will be at Miyun Reservoir, a mountain valley reservoir located 100 km northeast of Beijing, which is the largest reservoir in the Beijing area. This will be in early March followed by a day later in the week at Mai Po in Hong Kong. These will be interspersed by some casual birding in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Tianjin during one of my last visits to mainland China after 14 years of travelling to this wonderfully diverse country….
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    316.6 KB · Views: 85
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    293 KB · Views: 80
  • Photo3.JPG
    Photo3.JPG
    277.2 KB · Views: 75
  • Photo4.JPG
    Photo4.JPG
    182.7 KB · Views: 87
Last edited:

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
25 February 2012

Leaving Derby at 0630 heading for Heathrow the M40, on a glorious crisp morning, provided its usual supply of Red Kites. I counted nine before I turned off for the M25

129.Red Kite--------------------------M40---------------------------England
 

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
26 February 2012

With just an hour between landing in Hong Kong and departing for Guangzhou the only Hong Kong bird I picked up at the airport (Photo1) was a Crested Myna walking along the jet bridge connecting the terminal to the Dragonair A330 we were waiting to board

130.Crested Myna------------Chek Lap Kok----------------------Hong Kong

Between the New Baiyun Airport and the China Hotel in downtown Guangzhou a Long Tailed Shrike was my first Mainland China bird of the year

131.Long Tailed Shrike--------Airport Expressway (Guangzhou)--------China

A couple of hours later I was walking towards Liu Hua Park (Photo 2) where a strange call stopped me in my tracks. I had been travelling to China for 14 years but had not heard that call before. The owner was a Yellow Cheeked Tit (Photo 3) which I had only previously seen in Hong Kong but never on the mainland!

131. Yellow Cheeked Tit-------Liu Hua Park (Guangzhou)--------------China

Once inside the park (Photo 4) several of the most common birds were soon on the tick list
.
133.Chinese Bulbul------------Liu Hua Park (Guangzhou)---------------China
134.Japanese White Eye-------Liu Hua Park (Guangzhou)---------------China
135.Magpie Robin-------------Liu Hua Park (Guangzhou)---------------China
136.Common Tailorbird--------Liu Hua Park (Guangzhou)----------------China

A third of the park, in fact the best part of the park, where an island had been left to grow wild, was walled off to the general public. This has been the case for a couple of years now while some sort of construction (which seems to be going very slowly for China) is being carried out. I could just see the island over the wall where a Black Crowned Night Heron flew into the roost.

137.Black Crowned Night Heron---Liu Hua Park (Guangzhou)------------China

Another area of the park where tall pine trees had been planted a group of ladies were clearing all of the lower vegetation. Yellow Billed Grosbeak’s (Photo 5) were watching them from high in the trees.

138.Yellow Billed Grosbeak--------Liu Hua Park (Guangzhou)------------China

More to follow……
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    203 KB · Views: 88
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    284.3 KB · Views: 84
  • Photo3.JPG
    Photo3.JPG
    284.6 KB · Views: 83
  • Photo4.JPG
    Photo4.JPG
    271 KB · Views: 83
  • Photo5.JPG
    Photo5.JPG
    170.7 KB · Views: 78

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
Sorry I am so far behind on my updates, hopefully I will be able to catch up over the next couple of weeks

26 February 2012 (Continued…)

Approaching a group of photographers snapping a kingfisher from a raised boardwalk extending out over a lotus pond I was careful to “keep the danger away”. Along the edge of the pond both a White Breasted Waterhen (Photo 2) and a Hwamei were feeding. The photographers spoke little English but enjoyed looking through my scope at nothing in particular, and I spoke very little Chinese (a bit embarrassing after travelling to China for nearly 15 years!) so I moved on around the park.

139.White Breasted Waterhen-------Liu Hua Park (Guangzhou)---------China
140.Hwamei------------------------Liu Hua Park (Guangzhou)---------China

Although seen earlier in the day a more confiding Common Tailorbird then appeared (Photo 3).

The weather was very cool with the occasional light rain keeping the locals busy putting up and down their light blue umbrellas but this didn’t put off the dazzling Fork Tailed Sunbird (Photo 4) buzzing around the tops of the Palm Trees.

141.Fork Tailed Sunbird-------------Liu Hua Park (Guangzhou)----------China

Red Whiskered Bulbuls were no surprise however it was nice to pick up a Plain Flowerpecker just as I left the park, again way up high on top of the Palm Trees

142.Red Whiskered Bulbul------------Liu Hua Park (Guangzhou)---------China
143.Plain Flowerpecker--------------Liu Hua Park (Guangzhou)---------China

It was then onto Yue Xiu Park just ten minutes walk away via two underpasses the second a bustling Metro station. This park is much more undulating, the steep climbs quite an effort in the steaming summer months the cool winter weather was therefore welcome. Just before the heavens opened in earnest a Yellow Browed Warbler was flitting through the branches of a willow.

144.Yellow Browed Warbler-----------Yue Xiu Park (Guangzhou)--------China

Blue umbrellas were suddenly everywhere as a downpour began, I taking refuge under a huge tree leaning over the bank of a steep ravine where Spotted Munia also escaped the worst of the rain

145.Spotted Munia-------------------Yue Xiu Park (Guangzhou)--------China

With large drops of water still cascading down from the extremities of the tree despite the storm passing I made my way out of the park for what will probably be my last visit now that my new job supporting Hong Kong will mean that I no longer travel the length and breadth of China.

It has been an unbelievable 14 years and 9 months since July 1997 although for some reason I only started birding in China in 2004. My first Chinese bird was a Chinese Bulbul in Xiamen, at the time a lifer, how many times since have they driven me mad thinking they were something else?

I have been so lucky with the opportunities I have had to travel around China meeting some expert local bird watchers who have been so generous with their guidance from the very first, a Mr He in Xiamen in 2004 and CCP with BMLi (as they liked to call themselves) from Beijing who introduced me to the Swarovski telescope which I saved up for and eventually bought. We had some fantastic trips all over China with Lool from Guangzhou, an incredibly knowledgeable birder who has taken more videos of me than any other living soul (don’t ask why but she does make some great videos!). Zaxxio and Wei Qian who run the Chengdu Birding Society introduced me to so many lifers I will always be indebted to them, while Li Ming in Beijing found me my first Ibisbill, what a bird! Shrike Zhang in Nanjing was instrumental in my first (and only) sighting of the enigmatic Fairy Pitta as well as my first Asian Paradise Flycatcher. I also can’t forget the support from my team all over China who have driven me hundreds of miles and spent hours waiting for their Lao Ban as he seeks out yet another bird, I offer my deepest gratitude to them. My old boss actually said that he had realised why we suddenly gave our Field Offices cars, so they could take me birding at weekends. “Too right” was my response!

I have been to many spectacular places including mountainous regions in Tibet, Xinjiang, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangdong and around Beijing, forests in Xishuangbanna (Yunnan), Guangdong, Sichuan and Yunnan, coastal areas of Hainan, Fujian, Guangdong, Shanghai, Tianjin and Beidaihe, huge lakes like Dongtang, Fuxian, Po Yang and Mi Yuan, deserts in Xinjiang and along some great rivers including of course the Yangtze.

Over that time I recorded 492 birds, the last being the Yellow Cheeked Tit earlier today. Of these the cranes and the Ibisbill stand out as must the sunbirds and Rubythroat but there are so many favourites I couldn’t begin to pick them all here. The full list is shown below:-

Alpine Accentor, Amur Falcon, Anderson's Bulbul (Brown Breasted Bulbul), Arctic Warbler, Ashy Drongo, Ashy Throated Parrotbill, Asian Barred Owlet, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Asian Dowitcher, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Asian House Martin, Asian Palm Swift, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Asian Short Toed Lark, Avocet, Azure Winged Magpie, Baikal Teal, Baillon's Crake, Bar Tailed Godwit, Bar Winged Flycatcher Shrike, Barred Buttonquail, Barred Laughingthrush, Barred Warbler, Bean Goose, Beautiful Rosefinch, Bewick Swan, Black Backed Forktail, Black Breasted Thrush, Black Browed Reed Warbler, Black Browed Tit, Black Bulbul, Black Capped Kingfisher, Black Collared Starling, Black Crested Bulbul, Black Crowned Night Heron, Black Drongo, Black Eared Kite, Black Faced Bunting, Black Faced Spoonbill, Black Headed, Greenfinch, Black Headed Gull, Black Headed Sibia, Black Naped Monarch, Black Naped Oriole, Black Necked Grebe, Black Necked Starling, Black Redstart, Black Shouldered Kite, Black Stork, Black Tailed Godwit, Black Tailed Gull, Black Throated Sunbird, Black Throated Tit, Black Vulture (Cinereous Vulture), Black Winged Cuckoo Shrike, Black Winged Stilt, Blackbird, Black-streaked Scimitar Babbler, Blandford's Rosefinch, Blue and White Flycatcher, Blue Fronted Redstart, Blue Rock Thrush, Blue Tailed Bee Eater, Blue Throated Barbet, Blue Throated Bee Eater, Blue Throated Flycatcher, Blue Whistling Thrush, Bluethroat, Blyth's Kingfisher, Blyth's Leaf Warbler, Brahminy Kite, Brambling, Broad Billed Sandpiper, Brown Cheeked Fulvetta, Brown Crake, Brown Dipper, Brown Shrike, Brownish Flanked Bush Warbler, Buff Barred Warbler, Buff Bellied Pipit, Bull Headed Shrike, Burmese Shrike, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Caspian Tern, Cattle Egret, Chestnut Bellied Rock Thrush, Chestnut Bulbul, Chestnut Eared Bunting, Chestnut Flanked White Eye, Chestnut Tailed Minla, Chestnut Thrush, Chestnut Winged Cuckoo, Chinese Babax, Chinese Bamboo Partridge, Chinese Bulbul, Chinese Grey Shrike, Chinese Leaf Warbler, Chinese Monal, Chinese Nuthatch, Chinese Penduline Tit, Chinese Pond Heron, Chinese Sparrowhawk, Chinese Starling, Chukar, Cinnamon Bittern, Citrine Wagtail, Claudia's Warbler, Collard Owlett, Collared Crow, Collared Dove, Collared Finchbill, Common Crane, Common Myna, Common Rosefinch, Common Sandpiper, Common Tailorbird, Common Tern, Coot, Coppersmith Barbet, Cormorant, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Crag Martin, Crested Bunting, Crested Goshawk, Crested Honey Buzzard, Crested Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Crested Myna, Crested Serpent Eagle, Crossbill, Cuckoo, Curlew, Curlew Sandpiper, Dalmation Pelican, Dark Sided Flycatcher, Dark Throated Thrush, Daurian Jackdaw, Daurian Partridge, Daurian Redstart, Desert Finch, Desert Wheatear, Dipper, Dollarbird, Dunlin, Dusky Thrush, Dusky Warbler, Eastern Crowned Warbler, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Elliot's Laughingthrush, Eyebrowed Thrush, Fairy Pitta, Falcated Duck, Fantail Warbler (Zitting Cisticola), Far Eastern Curlew, Ferruginous Pochard, Fire Breasted Flowerpecker, Fire Fronted Serin, Forest Wagtail, Fork Tailed Sunbird, Fork Tailed Swift, Fujian Niltava, Gadwall, Garganey, Godlewski's Bunting, Gold Napped Finch, Golden Breasted Fulvetta, Golden Pheasant, Golden Spectacled Warbler, Goldeneye, Goosander, Grandala, Great Barbet, Great Bustard, Great Crested Grebe, Great Egret, Great Grey Shrike, Great Knot, Great Lora, Great Parrotbill, Great Reed Warbler, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greater Coucal, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, Greater Racket Tailed Drongo, Greater White Fronted Goose, Green Backed Flycatcher, Green Backed Tit, Green Billed Malkoita, Green Sandpiper, Green Shrike Babbler, Greenshank, Grey Backed Thrush, Grey Bushchat, Grey Capped Greenfinch, Grey Capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Grey Cheeked Fulvetta, Grey Crested Tit, Grey Crowned Warbler , Grey Eyed Bulbul, Grey Headed Bullfinch, Grey Headed Canary Flycatcher, Grey Headed Lapwing, Grey Headed Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Grey Plover, Grey Sided Thrush, Grey Streaked Flycatcher, Grey Throated Minivet, Grey Treepie, Grey Wagtail, Greylag Goose, Gull Billed Tern, Hawfinch, Hen Harrier, Herring Gull, Heuglin's Gull, Hill Blue Flycatcher, Hill Pigeon, Hill Prinia, Himalayan Griffin, Hobby, Hodgson's Redstart, Hooded Crane, Hoopoe, House Sparrow, House Swift, Hume's Warbler, Hwamei, Ibisbill, Indian Blue Robin, Indian Cuckoo, Intermediate Egret, Isabelline Wheatear, Japanese Quail, Japanese Sparrowhawk, Japanese Thrush, Japanese Waxwing, Japanese White Eye, Jay, Kentish Plover, Kessler's Thrush, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Knot, Lammergeier, Lapland Bunting, Lapwing, Large Billed Crow, Large Billed Leaf Warbler, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Lesser Coucal, Lesser Sand Plover, Lesser Shortwing, Lesser White Fronted Goose, Lesser Whitethroat, Linnet, Little Bunting, Little Egret, Little Forktail, Little Grebe, Little Gull, Little Heron, Little Ringed Plover, Little Tern, Long Billed Plover, Long Eared Owl, Long Legged Buzzard, Long Tailed Minivet, Long Tailed Shrike, Long Tailed Tit, Long Toed Stint, Magpie, Magpie Robin, Mallard, Manchurian Bush Warbler, Mandarin Duck, Marsh Sandpiper, Marsh Tit, Masked Laughingthrush, Meadow Bunting, Mew Gull, Mistle Thrush, Moorehen, Mountain Bulbul, Mountain Scops Owl, Mountain Tailorbird, Mrs Gould's Sunbird, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Narcissus Flycatcher, Northern Hawk Owl, Nutcracker, Nuthatch, Olive Backed Pipit, Olive Backed Sunbird, Orange Bellied Leafbird, Orange Flanked Bush Robin, Orange Headed Thrush, Oriental Cuckoo, Oriental Pratincole, Oriental Scops Owl, Oriental Skylark, Oriental Stork, Oriental Turtle Dove, Osprey, Pacific Golden Plover, Paddyfield Pipit, Painted Snipe, Pale Legged Leaf Warbler, Pale Thrush, Pallas Gull, Pallas Sandgrouse, Pallas's Leaf Warbler, Pallas's Reed Bunting, Peregrine Falcon, Pheasant, Pheasant Tailed Jacana, Pied Harrier, Pied Kingfisher, Pied Wheatear, Pine Bunting, Pintail, Plain Flowerpecker, Plain Laughingthrush, Plain Prinia, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Pochard, Puff Throated Babbler, Puff Throated Bulbul, Purple Heron, Purple Swamphen, Pygmy Wren Babbler, Radde's Warbler, Red Billed Blue Magpie, Red Billed Chough, Red Billed Leiothrix, Red Billed Starling, Red Breasted Merganser, Red Collared Dove, Red Crested Pochard, Red Faced Liocichla, Red Faced Rosefinch, Red Necked Phalarope, Red Necked Stint, Red Rumped Swallow, Red Throated Flycatcher, Red Whiskered Bulbul, Redshank, Reed Parrotbill, Relict Gull, Richard's Pipit, Ringed Plover, Rock Sparrow, Rose Coloured Starling, Rosy Pipit, Ruddy Shelduck, Ruddy Shelduck, Rufous Bellied Niltava, Rufous Bellied Woodpecker, Rufous Capped Babbler, Rufous Faced Warbler, Rufous Necked Laughingthrush, Rufous Tailed Robin, Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush, Rufous Tailed Shrike, Rufous Vented Tit, Rufous Vented Yuhina, Russet Sparrow, Rustic Bunting, Rusty Capped Fulvetta, Saker Falcon, Sand Martin, Sanderling, Sandhill Crane, Saxaul Sparrow, Scaly Thrush, Scaly Breasted Munia, Scaly Breasted Partridge, Scarlet Backed Flowerpecker, Scarlet Minivet, Sharp Tailed Sandpiper, Shelduck, Shikra, Shore Lark, Short Billed Minivet, Short Eared Owl, Shoveler, Siberian Accentor, Siberian Blue Robin, Siberian Crane, Siberian Rubythroat, Siberian Stonechat, Siberian Thrush, Silver Pheasant, Siskin, Slaty Backed Forktail, Slaty Bunting, Smew, Snipe, Snow Pigeon, Sooty Headed Bulbul, Spangled Drongo, Sparrowhawk, Speckled Piculet, Spoonbill, Spot Billed Duck, Spot Breasted Parrotbill, Spot Breasted Scimitar Babbler, Spotted Dove, Spotted Forktail, Spotted Redshank, Steppe Eagle, Streak Breasted Scimitar Babbler, Streak Throated Fulvetta, Streaked Rosefinch, Streaked Spiderhunter, Striated Yuhina, Stripe Throated Yuhina, Swallow, Swan Goose, Swift, Swinhoe's Minivet, Teal, Temminck's Stint, Thick Billed Warbler, Three Banded Rosefinch, Tibetan Snowcock, Tickell's Leaf Warbler, Tiger Shrike, Tree Sparrow, Treecreeper, Tristram's Bunting, Tufted Duck, Turnstone, Two Barred Warbler, Upland Buzzard, Vega Gull, Velvet Fronted Nuthatch, Venous Throated Parrotbill, Verditer Flycatcher, Vinous Throated Parrotbill, Wallcreeper, Water Pipit, Water Rail, Watercock, Wheatear, Whimbrel, Whiskered Tern, White Backed Woodpecker, White Bellied Yuhina, White Breasted Waterhen, White Browed Chinese Warbler, White Browed Laughingthrush, White Browed Shrike Babbler, White Capped Water Redstart, White Cheeked Starling, White Collared Yuhina, White Crowned Forktail, White Headed Duck, White Naped Crane, White Rumped Munia, White Shouldered Starling, White Tailed Eagle, White Tailed Robin, White Throated Fantail, White Throated Kingfisher, White Throated Needletail, White Throated Redstart, White Wagtail, White Winged Black Tern, Whitethroat, Whooper Swan, Wigeon, Willow Tit, Wood Sandpiper, Woodcock, Wryneck, Yellow Bellied Bush Warbler, Yellow Bellied Fantail, Yellow Bellied Prinia, Yellow Bellied Tit, Yellow Billed Chough, Yellow Billed Grosbeak, Yellow Bittern, Yellow Browed Bunting, Yellow Browed Tit, Yellow Browed Warbler, Yellow Cheeked Tit, Yellow Rumped Flycatcher, Yellow Streaked Warbler, Yellow Throated Bunting.

My last stay in China before handing over to the new crew was at the aptly named China Hotel (Photo 5) which was also my first hotel in China. So much water has gone under the bridge between these stays, I feel so lucky to have been a part of it……………
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    300.7 KB · Views: 91
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    298 KB · Views: 96
  • Photo3.JPG
    Photo3.JPG
    257.9 KB · Views: 89
  • Photo4.JPG
    Photo4.JPG
    250.4 KB · Views: 82
  • Photo5.JPG
    Photo5.JPG
    311.5 KB · Views: 92
Last edited:

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
29 February 2012

Time to try and catch up with my 2012 birding outings, which have been cut back somewhat with work commitments! So much so I totally forgot when updating (in April) my Guangzhou birding trip in February that that wasn’t in fact my last day in China, I had another week to go…..

Spending just a morning in Tianjin before catching the fast train to Beijing I picked up three common birds I had already seen in the UK on the way to the office as well as two new-year birds, a Large Billed Crow and several Azure Winged Magpies.

146.Large Billed Crow------------------Tianjin-------------------------China
147.Azure Winged Magpie--------------Tianjin-------------------------China
 

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
03 March 2012

This really was my last birding trip in China for the foreseeable future.

Saturday started cold and misty when Yan Shen picked me up from the Crowne Plaza hotel at Beijing Airport. Thirty minutes later we picked up good friend and local birder Li Ming and headed north towards the Miyun Reservoir which to quote the WWW is located 100 km northeast of Beijing City, is a mountain valley reservoir, was built in September,1960, and is the largest reservoir in Beijing area

First stop was on a bridge (Photo1) over the Chaohe River, one of the rivers that feed the reservoir, near the village of Gao Ling. Here in the small ice free pools were Smew, Mallard, Goosander, Little Grebe and Ruddy Shelduck (Photo 2), the latter being the first of the year

148.Ruddy Shelduck-----------------Chaohe River---------------------China

Spotted Doves and Spot Billed Ducks then went into the book

149.Spotted Dove-------------------Chaohe River---------------------China
150.Spot Billed Duck-----------------Chaohe River---------------------China

Stopping in Gao Ling (Photo 3) for provisions I was spooked by a rather large dog running towards me (a chain finally retarding its trajectory) after I wondered around the back of the shop to view some White Cheeked Starlings feeding on some small allotments.

151.White Cheeked Starling-----------Gao Ling------------------------China

Just outside the village we stopped to watch White Browed Chinese Warbler and Red Billed Blue Magpies feeding alongside the road on a small embankment.

152.White Browed Chinese Warbler-----Gao Ling-----------------------China
153.Red Billed Blue Magpie-------------Gao Ling-----------------------China

Eventually we arrived at the reservoir although we couldn’t see it from the wired fence as there were large dusty fields of what had been Sweet Corn stretching as far as the eye could see.

While we were looking for the best place to enter the reservoir under the gaze of numerous radio telescopes a bus full of security personnel arrived. Finding the best location our tracks were halted by a young guard who told us that no-one was allowed near the water as the National Congress of the Communist Party of China was taking place in Beijing and as the reservoir fed fresh water to the capital they were under strict instructions not to let anyone in to prevent any unlawful water contamination.

Things have certainly changed since I first visited China as after a short explanation of why we were there and a look through my telescope we were allowed access. The sky was full of Common Cranes their wonderful calls filling the cold, misty air. Parking on the edge of one of former Sweet Corn fields (Photo 4) near a dry river bed we were able to get close views of the cranes until a local farmer drove his flock of sheep through the herd of cranes causing them to take flight (Photo 5)

154.Common Crane---------------------Miyun Reservoir---------------China

More to follow…….
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    226.3 KB · Views: 90
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    218.5 KB · Views: 91
  • Photo3.JPG
    Photo3.JPG
    277.7 KB · Views: 83
  • Photo4.JPG
    Photo4.JPG
    251.7 KB · Views: 90
  • Photo5.jpg
    Photo5.jpg
    45.6 KB · Views: 104

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
03 March 2012 (Continued……)

Driving down to the edge of the reservoir (Photo 1) there were fishermen out on the ice around ice holes. We didn’t fancy getting any closer views but did pick up Pallas’s Reed Buntings in the reeds and Falcated Duck in small breaks in the ice. A Great Grey Shrike also made a quick visit perched atop a Maize plant.

155.Pallas’s Reed Bunting--------------Miyun Reservoir-----------------China
156.Falcated Duck--------------------Miyun Reservoir-----------------China

Although we could have sat and watched the cranes all around us all day it was decided that we should make a move and visit the Olympic Forest Park (Photo 2) near the Bird Nest Stadium (Photo 3) in Beijing.

Two hours later we joined the crowds that were braving the cold. While it was a wonderful park with various habitats the birds were not in great numbers. We did however come across a group of birders (Photo 4) watching some reed beds where a very compliant Water Rail (Photo 5) posed for photos.

The last Chinese year bird to go in the book was a Dusky Thrush, one amongst many at the tops of the trees around the park mountain.

157.Dusky Thrush---------------------Olympic Forest Park-------------China

Not knowing when I would be back in Beijing again it was a sad goodbye to Li Ming and again a big thanks to Yan Shen for providing the car and chauffeuring us about…..
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    227.3 KB · Views: 79
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    249.9 KB · Views: 82
  • Photo3.JPG
    Photo3.JPG
    165.3 KB · Views: 87
  • Photo4.jpg
    Photo4.jpg
    338.8 KB · Views: 80
  • Photo5.JPG
    Photo5.JPG
    281.8 KB · Views: 85

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
04 March 2012

Arriving in Hong Kong for my first visit to my new customer it was a spectacular view from my hotel room on Hong Kong Island (Photo1) with Black Eared Kites (Photo2) drifting passed the window.

158.Black Eared Kite----------------Wan Chai--------------------Hong Kong
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    254.3 KB · Views: 77
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    184.7 KB · Views: 78

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
08 March 2012

Following my three day visit to Hong Kong I took Thursday off, before flying home that night, to visit Mai Po, one of my favourite haunts in Hong King

The taxi dropped me off just as we turned into the road (Photo1) leading to the reserve as it is always worth taking in this area of fish ponds (Photo 2) before reaching the Mai Po reception building. My first Swallow of the year flew over head before I had left the cluster of buildings preceding the fish ponds with a Dusky Warbler ticking in a ditch.

159.Swallow-----------------------Mai Po-----------------------Hong Kong
160.Dusky Warbler-----------------Mai Po-----------------------Hong Kong

One of the stars of the show at Mai Po is the Black Faced Spoonbill (Photo 3). I had only just left the buildings when one flew up in front of me! Both Yellow Bellied and Plain Prinia were singing from the long grass surrounding the fish ponds.

161.Black Faced Spoonbill----------Mai Po------------------------Hong Kong
162.Yellow Bellied Prinia------------Mai Po------------------------Hong Kong
163.Plain Prinia--------------------Mai Po------------------------Hong Kong

Three more birds went into the note book at 0843 hours, a White Throated Kingfisher’s high pitch call letting everyone know it was flying through while Red Billed Starlings argued in a tree. A peaceful Common Sandpiper brought calmness back to the morning as it patrolled along a fish pond’s shoreline.

164.White Throated Kingfisher-------Mai Po-----------------------Hong Kong
165.Red Billed Starling---------------Mai Po----------------------Hong Kong
166.Common Sandpiper--------------Mai Po----------------------Hong Kong

The next clump of birds were all ticked over the next three minutes, a startled Chinese Pond Heron leaving in a hurray, a Koel calling its name from a tree and several House Swifts circling overhead.

167.Chinese Pond Heron-------------Mai Po----------------------Hong Kong
168.Koel----------------------------Mai Po----------------------Hong Kong
169.House Swift--------------------Mai Po----------------------Hong Kong

Four more birds at 0854 hours with a small flock of Cattle Egrets feeding in the shorter grass, elegant Wood Sandpipers joining the Common Sandpiper, a wonderful Oriental Pratincole (very poor digi-scope photo not worth publishing) resting on the edge of a fish pond and Black Collared Starlings, the bouncer of the starling species, calling from a power line.

170.Cattle Egret---------------------Mai Po----------------------Hong Kong
171.Wood Sandpiper-----------------Mai Po----------------------Hong Kong
172.Oriental Pratincole---------------Mai Po----------------------Hong Kong
173.Black Collared Starling------------Mai Po---------------------Hong Kong

The birds just came on coming with White Wagtails on the roadside verge and a majestic Osprey flying along the Shenzhen sky line, its enormous buildings dominating the view to the north. A Great Egret and a Greenshank shared a half drained fish pond

174.White Wagtail--------------------Mai Po---------------------Hong Kong
175.Osprey--------------------------Mai Po---------------------Hong Kong
176.Great Egret----------------------Mai Po---------------------Hong Kong
177.Greenshank----------------------Mai Po---------------------Hong Kong

Having finally arrived at the Mai Po reception there was a little bit of a fuss as I had not pre-booked but they were happy to take my HK$100 and soon I was walking to the warden’s hut where I had to get the paperwork that I had just been given, stamped before entering the reserve. You had to smile, I do every time….

Once through the swing gates, which you can actually walk around but feels more official if you go through, I was walking along a narrow path with more fish ponds to my left and the reserve to my right. After 15 minutes I came across a flooded area full of Black Tailed Godwits, a first for Hong Kong but not a first for the year. Amongst these were Marsh Sandpipers (which always look like Greenshank’s little brother to me), which were new for the year as was a solitary Long Billed Dowitcher (Photo 4 – bird at the back)

178.Marsh Sandpiper-----------------Mai Po---------------------Hong Kong
179.Long Billed Dowitcher-------------Mai Po---------------------Hong Kong

More to follow….
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    220.6 KB · Views: 75
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    283.9 KB · Views: 89
  • Photo3.JPG
    Photo3.JPG
    288.7 KB · Views: 69
  • Photo4.jpg
    Photo4.jpg
    143.3 KB · Views: 78

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
08 March 2012 (Continued….)

While watching the Dowitcher the heavens opened, luckily I was in a hide at this point in time where I stayed while the shower passed over. A Collared Crow flew across the lagoon just as a family of Black Winged Stilts arrived on the scene.

180.Collared Crow------------------Mai Po-----------------------Hong Kong
181.Black Winged Stilt--------------Mai Po-----------------------Hong Kong

The rain finally abated so I ventured out deeper into the reserve. Down one of the tree lined walkways several Masked Laughingthrush crossed the path in a very haphazard way, the last bird just making it before I arrived on the scene. Overhead a pair of Pied Kingfishers, another of Mai Po’s special birds, were showing off their flying skills.

182.Masked Laughingthrush---------Mai Po-----------------------Hong Kong
183.Pied Kingfisher-----------------Mai Po-----------------------Hong Kong

Next was the tower hide which has two levels which only has room for one person per level, a large piece of canvas thrown over a wooden frame your only protection from the elements and cover between you and the birds. Being approx 20 feet off the ground it gave good views of the shrimp ponds (Photo1). In the same dead tree as the last time I visited Mai Po was a magnificent Imperial Eagle (Photo 2) which looked like it was settled for the day.

Scanning a distant dry shrimp pond where there were hundreds of Black Headed Gulls I found a pair of Saunder’s Gulls much to my delight. Just as I made myself more comfortable to get a better view of the gulls all hell broke loose. Out of my view the eagle had attacked the flock of gulls scattering them in all directions. One gull didn’t make its escape the raptor already plucking the unfortunate bird.

184.Imperial Eagle-----------------Mai Po------------------------Hong Kong
185.Saunder's Gull-----------------Mai Po------------------------Hong Kong

Leaving the eagle behind I headed for the Hong Kong / China border fence to view the mud flats out in Deep Bay. Before reaching the heavy gate a Purple Heron, Spoonbill and a Greater Coucal was added to my year list.

186.Purple Heron-------------------Mai Po-----------------------Hong Kong
187.Spoonbill-----------------------Mai Po-----------------------Hong Kong
188.Greater Coucal-----------------Mai Po-----------------------Hong Kong

The walk along the floating wooden walkway to the hides seemed like an age but the view, with the tide coming in, over Deep Bay (Photo 3) was certainly worth it. The deepening water pushed Marsh Sandpiper (Photo 4) and Greenshank (Photo 5) closer and closer to the hide.

Amongst the thousands of birds in front of us Pacific Golden Plover were in good numbers, being the first to hit the sky when an Eastern Marsh Harrier passed across the horizon. Garganey were out on the sea. Kentish Plovers making a hasty retreat as their piece of mud became inundated.

189.Pacific Golden Plover-----------Mai Po-----------------------Hong Kong
190.Eastern Marsh Harrier----------Mai Po------------------------Hong Kong
191.Garganey---------------------Mai Po------------------------Hong Kong
192.Kentish Plover-----------------Mai Po------------------------Hong Kong

Needing to get back to my hotel for my flight home I started the long walk back to the reception building picking up a Little Ringed Plover on the way.

193.Little Ringed Plover-------------Mai Po-----------------------Hong Kong

In all 66 birds for the day, not a bad tally, hopefully I will be back there later in the year…
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    251.1 KB · Views: 81
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    232.4 KB · Views: 70
  • Photo3.jpg
    Photo3.jpg
    254.6 KB · Views: 77
  • Photo4.JPG
    Photo4.JPG
    199.8 KB · Views: 72
  • Photo5.JPG
    Photo5.JPG
    207.7 KB · Views: 79

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
17 March 2012

A morning up in Derbyshire started with Cromford, looking for Hawfinch’s. There were already a group of birders parked up in the Rugby Club car park when I arrived just before 8am. They had already seen a couple of birds. It was not long before one appeared at the top of a tree near the entrance, but as quick as it arrived it disappeared again. We therefore ventured into the area around the church yard (Photo1) where another (maybe the same one) bird came into view.

194.Hawfinch----------------------Cromford------------------------England

Buoyed by this success I then scanned the river Derwent (Photo 2) behind us for Dipper which was equally as rewarding as one flew downstream, we were now cooking with gas!

195.Dipper-------------------------Cromford------------------------England

Recently Steve had told me about a track, that lead off the A6, soon after Rowsley (some 10 miles north of Cromford) which gave good views of Rowsleymoor Wood near Chatsworth which are known to house Goshawk. Thirty minutes later I was viewing a seemingly untouched valley (Photo 3) with two Goshawks (Photo 4) displaying overhead.

196.Goshawk-----------------------Rowsley------------------------England

It was a short visit to north Derbyshire, needing to be home for lunch, but a very worth one with Siskins being the last year bird of the day

197.Siskin--------------------------Rowsley------------------------England
 

Attachments

  • Photo1.JPG
    Photo1.JPG
    282.4 KB · Views: 70
  • Photo2.JPG
    Photo2.JPG
    278.3 KB · Views: 76
  • Photo3.JPG
    Photo3.JPG
    218.7 KB · Views: 60
  • Photo4.JPG
    Photo4.JPG
    167.3 KB · Views: 81

ChinaBirds

Nick Sismey
24 March 2012

My first spring migration bird in the UK was a Chiffchaff spotted while on a bike ride

198.Chiffchaff----------------------Alvaston------------------------England
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top