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CHINA'S WETLANDS

Saturday 5th November - Tuesday 22nd November 2016

Hannu Jännes

Oriental Stork (Simon Colenutt)

Oriental Stork (Simon Colenutt)

China’s winter wetlands and woodlands always turn up lots of great birds, and, as always, our journey through this fascinating, but rapidly modernizing, country proved to be a highly successful one. The more spectacular species recorded were Oriental Stork (photo above by Simon Colenutt), Black-faced Spoonbill, Swan Geese (plus five other species of geese), the rapidly declining Baer's Pochard, Mandarin Duck (‘real’ ones!), Falcated Duck, Baikal Teal, the beautiful Scaly-sided Merganser, Amur Falcon, Pied Falconet, the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper, good numbers of Nordmann’s Greenshanks, seven species of cranes (including Black-necked, Sandhill, Hooded, White-naped, Red-crowned and Siberian), Saunders’s, Relict, Black-tailed, Mongolian and Siberian Gulls, Siberian Accentor, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Slaty-backed, Spotted and White-crowned Forktails, Collared Finchbill, Chestnut Bulbul, Eye-browed, Grey-backed, Red-throated, Pale, Naumann’s, Dusky, White's, Japanese and Chinese Thrushes, and Chinese Blackbird, Beijing Babbler (a.k.a Chinese Hill Warbler), Marsh Grassbird, Black-streaked and Grey-sided Scimitar Babblers, Ashy-throated, Vinous-throated, Spot-breasted and Reed Parrotbills, Chinese Babax, Plain, Masked, White-browed, Greater Necklaced, Moustached and Elliot’s Laughingthrushes, Chinese Hwamei, Spectacled, Rusty-capped and Grey-hooded Fulvettas, White-collared Yuhina, Yellow-bellied Tit, Chinese Nuthatch, Chinese Penduline Tit, Chinese Grey Shrike, Asian Azure-winged Magpie, Red-billed Starling, Black-headed Greenfinch, Yellow-billed Grosbeak, and no fewer than thirteen species of buntings. Poor weather at Poyang Lake and some typhoon damage at Fuzhou Forest Park, lead us to tweak the itinerary a bit, and we spent two nights at Mt Emeifeng, famous for its pheasants, enjoying great views of Silver, Elliot’s and Koklass Pheasants plus Chinese Bamboo Partridge along with other exciting mountain birds. We also chanced by a Pacific Swallow in Fujian province, which is apparently only the second record for mainland China!

Spot-breasted Parrotbill (Alec Gillespie)

Spot-breasted Parrotbill (Alec Gillespie)