Eastern China, Shanghai, Jiangxi, Henan, Fujian
9th April – 23rd April 2017
Leader : Summer Wong
Participants : MICHEL WATELET, GILLES WILLEM, THOMAS THIER, MARC AMEELS
This is a private tour arranged by Michel and his friends. During the tour we changed the itinerary a little bit because in Wuyuan and Dongzhai we got our target species earlier than we planned so we saved 3 days in total, with the extra 3 days we went to Jiangle to look for Blyth’s Kingfisher, and went to Junfeng NNR to photograph Cabot’s Tragopan.
9th April, after Pudong airport pick up in the afternoon, we went to a wetland area nearby the airport then headed to hotel.
10th April, on the raining and windy morning, we did some birding in Shanghai area mainly looking for Reed Parrotbill, got 5 of them in the reeds, also got 2 Chinese Penduline Tits, and a actively singing Manchurian Bush Warbler, at least 30 Vinous-throated Parrotbills, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Buff-bellied Pipit, Pallas’s Reed Bunting, Black-faced Bunting, Common Reed Bunting etc.
then headed to Wuyuan, before checking into hotel we did some birding in Wuyuan, got Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Dusky Fulvetta, Huet’s Fulvetta, 2 Masked Laughingthrushes, 2 Grey-backed Thrushes, 2 Pale Thrushes, Dusky Thrush, Red-flanked Bluetail etc.
11th April we spent the whole day in Wuyuan.
12th April, we spent the early morning birding in Wuyuan then we headed to Dongzhai, did some birding there before we had dinner in the hostel.
In Wuyuan, we went to the Pied Falconets place, lot’s of Chinese photographers were waiting there, we chatted with them, they told us someone still saw Scaly-sided Merganser in the usual river place, we were surprised the merganser still there, later we went to the river place, checked the river, using telescope finding something look like a bird on rock, but too far, we were not sure, it can be just a rock. When we walked towards that direction, Gilles spotted the Scaly-sided Merganser on the other side of the river, in long distance it’s very hard to spot the bird while its just sitting on the rock. When we were watching a very active Grey-sided Scimitar Babbler, Thomas ran to us and informed us he got Short-tailed Parrotbills on another trail, so we went with him to the place, luckily they were still there! On the way back I heard Moustached Laughingthrush calling, managed to get it out, we had good view of it, but it moved fast, no chance to take photo of it at that time. We tried to get better view of Dusky Fulvetta, but it kept playing with us, calling a lot, refused to show. Silver Pheasant, Pied Kingfisher, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Grey Treepie, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Rufous-capped Babbler, Chinese Hwamei, Red-billed, Black-collared and White-cheeked Starling were spotted on the rice field. Pale Thrush, Siberian Rubythroat were spotted on a tea terrace, White-crowned Forktail, Little Bunting, Yellow-browed Bunting were spotted near rice field. Crested Serpent Eagle and Besra, Grey-faced Buzzard were spotted on the way to Dongzhai.
We arrived at Dongzhai around 6pm, still had good light, so we checked in hostel, decided to do some birding before dinner. On the way driving up to the reserve gate, passing by some local houses, Gilles spotted a Crested Ibis sitting on a big tree, nearby is it’s nest, later another one flew back to the nest. A pair of Reeves’s Pheasants were spotted just about to cross the road, but scared by our coach, ran into the woods immediately, later when we drove further, another male was spotted in distance, we stopped the coach far from it, it didn’t notice us, we we had good view of this one. Another female was spotted sleeping on a tree nearby the road flying away when we approaching it in the night, Northern Boobook had also been heard in the night there.
Chinese Grosbeaks were just outside of the hostel, Eurasian Jay, Azure-winged Magpie, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Mountain Bulbul and Chestnut Bulbul were common birds there. Hwamei and Masked Laughingthrush were spotted just near the headquarter of the reserve. Collared Crows were spotted both on the way from Wuyuan to Dongzhai and from Dongzhai to Nanchang. Peregrine Falcon was spotted on the way from Dongzhai to Nanchang.
On 14th April we drove from Nanchang to Emeifeng, spent 2 full days there.
On the foot of Emeifeng, there are lots of rice field, we saw Mandarin Ducks there every morning, Chinese Bamboo Partridges were spotted there every morning too, Silver Pheasants were kind of common in the mountain, Elliot’s Pheasant took us long time to spot one, while we were driving up, near to the local village place, I spotted a pheasant flapping it’s wings on the open slope, looked white wing and white body in long distance, I was wondering maybe it’s a domestic pheasant, but still asked to stop the coach to check, put bins on, it was a male Elliot’s ! But it noticed us when the coach stopped, it ran to left, took us some time to spot it again inside the bamboo. Cabot’s Tragopan were very quite, we checked the usual place of it many times, but so quite, no sign of it at all, we were wondering maybe there were incubating in the nest. We tried every early morning and afternoon, eventually spotted a pair of them on the road side in the usual place, and followed them, spotted them again on the upper slope, they were quite sensitive and hiding. In the afternoon, on the same area, 2 more female were spotted on slope by Thomas. White-necklaced Partridge was heard everyday there, but couldn’t see it. White-bellied Erpornis, Blyth’s Shrike-babbler, Black Drongo, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Indochinese Yuhina, Black-chinned Yuhina, Rufous-faced Warbler, Pallas’s Leaf Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Sulphur-breasted Warbler, White-spectacled Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Rufous-faced Babbler were quite active and singing a lot during that time. Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush and Buffy Laughingthrush were all in big groups. 3 Grey-headed Parrotbills were quietly feeding on the trees near to the tragopan place, Spotted Elachura was heard quite close to the road side, but it refused to show. Small Niltava, Verditer Flycatcher, Grey-chinned Minivet, Spotted Forktail, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Godlewski’s Bunting, Barred Cuckoo Dove, Large Hawk Cuckoo, White-throated and Common Kingfisher, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Black Eagle, Crested Goshawk were spotted in Emeifeng were spotted in Emeifeng.
Grey-sided Scimitar Babbler, Moustached Laughingthrush, Hwamei, Slaty-backed Forktail and Dusky Fulvetta were spotted on a short cut road from Emeifeng to Jiangxi.
On 17th April, we did some early morning birding in Emeifeng, got at least 8 Silver Pheasants on the way down, then headed to Jiangle where we will look for Blyth’s Kingfisher, Chinese Barbet, we spent the afternoon and one full day there, We did get Chinese Barbet, it’s calling on top of a tree, we managed to get closer view, but still high up on a big tree. We tried the river side road up and down a few times, but only got Common Kingfisher, no sign of Blyth’s Kingfisher. On a rocky part of the river side near a bamboo forest, a female Elliot’s Pheasant was flashed flying away, Common Pheasants were spotted on the field.
Chinese Sparrowhawk, Chestnut-wined Cuckoo, White-throated Kingfisher, White-bellied Erpornis, Grey Treepie, Brambling, Yellow-cheeked Tit were spotted there, a pair of Grey-sided Scimitar Babblers calling a lot and showed well to us alone with a group of Huet’s Fulvetta, A Blue and White Flycatcher sitting on a branch for long time. Slaty-backed and White-crowned Forktail feeding alone the river. Striated Heron was spotted near a small hydro power station on the rocky part of the river.
On 19th April, we drove to Junfeng national nature reserve, on the beginning the Chinese gps map – Baidu Map couldn’t find the right way, leading us to the wrong way. On the wrong way, we went into a valley, got Brown Dipper in the river. I asked local people, eventually we found the way, it’s a new good concrete road, due to the sign on the colorful flags on the roadside, they are making the reserve into a eco tourism place, but the road not in the Baidu map yet. Local people there did a lot of work to make hides for Cabot’s Tragopan, Elliot’s Pheasant, Silver Pheasant and White-necklaced Pheasant to attract Chinese bird photographers to come. We arrived in late morning, did some birding nearby the monastery, a Chinese Barbet singing loudly in the backyard, we went there and took some photos , due to the local people’s information, the tragopan will come in early afternoon, so we had lunch in local people’s house, home made food was delicious, in the afternoon it is also possible for White-necklaced Partridge in hide, but the time overlap a bit, so we have to make a choice, clients all agreed go for the tragopan in the afternoon, and try for partridge next morning. A male Cabot’s Tragopan arrived on time ! Great view of it ! After the first one left another male one came to the same place feeding on the ground. In the afternoon we also did some birding around the village, got Chinese Bamboo Partridge, Silver Pheasant, Common Snipe, Masked Laughingthrush.
The next early morning a local young man Xiao Luo took us to his hide for White-necklaced Partridge, we waited there nearly one hour, but the partridge didn’t show, Xiao Luo was very confusing, it came every morning before. We kept in contact, the next day he sent me message that it came the next morning but earlier than the time he thought. There we got a pair of Chinese Bamboo Partridges feeding. On the way back from the partridge hide we got Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, Silver Pheasant, Common Pheasant, White-breasted Waterhen, after breakfast at Xiao Luo’s house then we headed to Fuzhou.
When we were in Emeifeng, a friend of mine who lives in Fozhou got good photos of Chinese Crested Tern on Shanyutan, which means the bird arrived already! We were all very happy about this information. One week later, on 21st April, we started to try for the tern, but the rain was very heavy since early morning, we spent the whole day on Shanyutan to look for Chinese Crested Tern, but the weather was so horrible, we didn’t find the bird. The next day, we spent the morning at Fuzhou forest park to look for White-necklaced Partridge, after lunch tried again at Shanyutan for the tern, but didn’t see it either. The last day, 23rd April, we decided to try for the tern again, spent another whole day there, alone with at least 10 Chinese bird photographers with their huge lens, no body see the bird, this day it’s still very windy during the whole day. Every day after the shore area, on the way back to hotel we did some birding on the field, on these 3 days we got Black-faced Spoonbill, Great Cormorant, Western Osprey, Pacific Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Kentish Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Pin-tailed Snipe, Swinhoe’s Snipe, Asian Dowitcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Little Curlew, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Far Eastern Curlew, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Grey-tailed Tattler, Terek Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Great Knot, Red Knot, Sanderling, Red-necked Stint, Long-tailed Stint, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Saunder’s Gull, Black-tailed Gull, Mew Gull, Caspian Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Greater Crested Tern, Little Tern, Whiskered Tern, Peregrine Falcon circling above the shore. Richard’s Pipit, Olive-backed Pipit, Pechora Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Chestnut Bunting, Yellow Bunting were found on the field. Oriental Reed Warbler, Plain Prinia was found on the reeds of a water pond between sea and field.
In Fuzhou Forest park, we got a pair of Grey-head Parrotbill, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, Indochinese Yuhina, Slaty-backed Forktail, Fork-tailed Sunbird. A singing Asian Koel on the tree top was spotted in long distance.
Attached pdf bird list of this trip ：