Welcome to Birdquest

EASTERN CHINA

Wednesday 3rd May - Saturday 27th May 2017

Hannu Jännes

Reeves's Pheasant - a great new addition to the tour (Hannu Jännes)

Reeves's Pheasant - a great new addition to the tour (Hannu Jännes)

Birdquest’s Eastern China tour, an epic 25 day journey across much of eastern China, focusses on an array of rare Chinese endemics and migrants, and this year’s tour once again proved a great success. The focus of the first part of the tour is to achieve good views of rarities like Spoon-billed Sandpiper, the critically endangered Blue-crowned (Courtois’s) Laughingthrush, the superb Cabot’s Tragopan and Elliot’s Pheasant and the ultra-rare Chinese Crested Tern. This was successfully achieved alongside a plethora of other much sought after species including White-faced Plover, Great Knot, stunning Saunders’s Gulls, Reed Parrotbill, eastern migrants, including Pechora Pipit, Japanese Robin, Japanese Paradise, Yellow-rumped, Narcissus and Mugimaki Flycatchers, and forest species like Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher, White-necklaced Partridge, Silver Pheasant, Buffy and Moustached Laughingthrushes, Short-tailed Parrotbill, Fork-tailed Sunbird and the delightful Pied Falconet. Quite a haul!

The second part of the tour, the ‘Northeast Extension’, visited a series of sites for various other Chinese specialities. Beginning in Wuhan, we bagged the amazing Reeves’s Pheasant and Crested Ibis, as well as stunners that included Fairy Pitta and Chestnut-winged Cuckoo. We then moved on to Jiaocheng for the fabulous Brown Eared Pheasants before flying on to Beijing, where the mountains of the nearby Hebei province yielded the endemic Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch, Chinese Nuthatch, Green-backed and Zappey’s Flycatchers and the rare Grey-sided Thrush. Next was a brief visit south to a recently discovered site for the critically endangered Baer’s Pochard, whilst at our final destination, the grasslands and wetlands of Jilin province, we found new rarities including the fabulous Jankowski’s Bunting as well as Daurian Partridge, Red-crowned and, as an unexpected bonus, Demoiselle and Siberian Cranes, Oriental Stork and Chinese Grey Shrike plus an array of Siberian migrants. With over 350 species recorded and so many rare and sought-after species on offer, this tour is surely due for classic status!

Crested Ibis (Hannu Jännes)

Crested Ibis (Hannu Jännes)