Craig Brelsford photographing Brown-flanked Bush Warbler, Lesser Yangshan Island, Zhejiang, China, 9 April 2015. Photo by Elaine Du.

Shanghai-area Springtime Birding, 2015

Shanghai-area Springtime Birding, 2015
By Craig Brelsford and Elaine Du
www.craigbrelsford.com
www.shanghaibirding.com
info@craigbrelsford.com
Latest update: 2016-04-28
© 2015-2016 by Craig Brelsford

To return to the Reports page, please click here. For reports on birding destinations outside Shanghai, visit the Explorations page.

“Shanghai-area Springtime Birding, 2015” is part of a series on birding in the Shanghai region. Other reports in the series:

Shanghai-area Springtime Birding, 2016
Shanghai-area Autumn & Winter Birding, 2015-16
Shanghai-area Autumn & Winter Birding, 2014-15

Who Are We?

Craig Brelsford lives in Shanghai, where he runs craigbrelsford.com and shanghaibirding.com while studying Chinese at the Shanghai University of Engineering Sciences. Craig is from Florida in the United States. Elaine Du’s Chinese name is Dù Lián Róng (杜连荣). Elaine is from Heilongjiang, China and lives in Shanghai. Elaine has a master’s degree in food science and engineering from the Harbin Institute of Technology.

Reach the craigbrelsford.com team at info@craigbrelsford.com; call or text Craig at +86 158-2169-8624.

Questions? Comments?

We strive to create accurate, useful reports. Please suggest improvements and report errors: info@craigbrelsford.com.

Tours

For information on a tour with us, write to tours@craigbrelsford.com or call +86 158-2169-8624.

Donations

“Shanghai-area Springtime Birding, 2015” is a labor of love that has taken time, effort, and money to produce. Has this report been useful to you? If so, then would you consider making a donation in support of Elaine’s and my research for our Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China?

Key

For taxonomy and English names, my first reference is the IOC World Bird List.

Introduction and Highlights

This report covers 86 days, from 29 March to 22 June 2015. We birded 32 of those 86 days in the Shanghai region, an average of three days per week. We noted 243 species. Our goal was to cover the spring migration and breeding season around Shanghai as it has never been covered before.

Highlights:

— Amid the unremitting transformation of the Jiangsu and Shanghai coast, we found several shorebird species on the brink, among them the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper, the endangered Nordmann’s Greenshank, and the endangered Black-faced Spoonbill. We found Black-faced Spoonbill on seven occasions at four locations, underscoring the importance of the Shanghai region to this species. Other threatened waders noted by us were Great Knot and Far Eastern Curlew (endangered) and Grey-tailed Tattler, Black-tailed Godwit, and Eurasian Curlew (near-threatened). According to some experts, in recent years numbers of breeding Kentish Plover have dropped precipitously in coastal Zhejiang, Shanghai, and Jiangsu, the result of unchecked land reclamation destroying their breeding sites. We observed only paltry numbers of this once-common species and saw the plovers nesting in unusual places. Other at-risk coastal species were Reed Parrotbill (near-threatened), Chinese Egret (vulnerable), and Saunders’s Gull (vulnerable), as well as the elegant passage migrant Japanese Paradise Flycatcher (near-threatened)

— We noted 14 Emberiza species, among them three threatened species (Yellow-breasted Bunting, Yellow Bunting, and Japanese Reed Bunting), the beautiful Crested Bunting, East Asian favorites Meadow Bunting, Tristram’s Bunting, Chestnut-eared Bunting, Chestnut Bunting, Yellow-browed Bunting, and Yellow-throated Bunting, and Little Bunting, Rustic Bunting, Black-faced Bunting, and Pallas’s Reed Bunting

— We found a banded Bar-tailed Godwit that had been flagged in Victoria, Australia and a Black-faced Spoonbill that had been flagged in Incheon, South Korea, and we made contact with the organizations responsible for their banding

— The most notable extralimitals were Long-billed Dowitcher S of Yangkou and Black Redstart on Hengsha Island. Other interesting finds were Mandarin Duck at Century Park, Green Sandpiper on Hengsha, Brown-eared Bulbul at Yangkou, and Black Bittern, Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher, Middendorf’s Grasshopper Warbler, Black-collared Starling, and Common Rosefinch at Nanhui

— We noted dozens of East Asian migrants, breeders, and residents, among them Grey-headed Lapwing, Pacific Golden Plover, Oriental Pratincole, Black-tailed Gull, Lesser Cuckoo, Northern Boobook, Oriental Dollarbird, Speckled Piculet, Swinhoe’s Minivet, Bull-headed Shrike, Chinese Grey Shrike, Yellow-bellied Tit, Arctic Warbler, Thick-billed Warbler, Grey-backed Thrush, Japanese Thrush, Brown-headed Thrush, Blue-and-white Flycatcher, Siberian Blue Robin, Rufous-tailed Robin, Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Narcissus Flycatcher, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Forest Wagtail, and Red-throated Pipit

— On a trip to the Tianmu Mountains 250 km SW of Shanghai in Zhejiang, we watched a Crested Bunting sing, found a pair of Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, were encouraged by the many Buffy Laughingthrush, saw Crested Serpent Eagle and Black Eagle, and noted more Russet Sparrow than Eurasian Tree Sparrow. We appreciated the strong Indo-Malayan character of the avifauna, as evidenced by classic southern Chinese species such as Grey Treepie, Indochinese Yuhina, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Rufous-capped Babbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, and White-crowned Forktail

Below is a simple list of the 243 species of bird we noted. The second half of this report contains a more detailed list.

Simple List of the Species of Bird Noted Around Shanghai, China, 29 March 2015 to 22 June 2015 (243 species)

Mandarin Duck
Gadwall
Eurasian Wigeon
Mallard
Eastern Spot-billed Duck
Northern Shoveler
Garganey
Eurasian Teal
Tufted Duck
Japanese Quail
Chinese Bamboo Partridge
Common Pheasant
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Eurasian Spoonbill
Black-faced Spoonbill
Eurasian Bittern
Yellow Bittern
Black Bittern
Black-crowned Night Heron
Chinese Pond Heron
Eastern Cattle Egret
Grey Heron
Purple Heron
Great Egret
Intermediate Egret
Little Egret
Chinese Egret
Great Cormorant
Western Osprey
Crested Serpent Eagle
Black Eagle
Japanese Sparrowhawk
Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Hen Harrier
Pied Harrier
Eastern Buzzard
White-breasted Waterhen
Common Moorhen
Eurasian Coot
buttonquail or quail sp.
Eurasian Oystercatcher
Black-winged Stilt
Pied Avocet
Grey-headed Lapwing
Pacific Golden Plover
Grey Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Kentish Plover
Lesser Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover
Pheasant-tailed Jacana
Eurasian Woodcock
Pin-tailed/Swinhoe’s Snipe
Common Snipe
Long-billed Dowitcher
Black-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit
Whimbrel
Eurasian Curlew
Far Eastern Curlew
Spotted Redshank
Common Redshank
Marsh Sandpiper
Common Greenshank
Nordmann’s Greenshank
Green Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Grey-tailed Tattler
Terek Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Great Knot
Red Knot
Sanderling
Red-necked Stint
Temminck’s Stint
Long-toed Stint
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper
Dunlin
Spoon-billed Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Oriental Pratincole
Black-headed Gull
Saunders’s Gull
Black-tailed Gull
Vega Gull
Caspian Tern
Little Tern
Common Tern
White-winged Tern
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove)
Oriental Turtle Dove
Red Turtle Dove
Spotted Dove
Lesser Coucal
Chestnut-winged Cuckoo
Asian Koel
Large Hawk-Cuckoo
Lesser Cuckoo
Indian Cuckoo
Common Cuckoo
Oriental Scops Owl
Collared Owlet
Northern Boobook
House Swift
Oriental Dollarbird
Black-capped Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher
Eurasian Hoopoe
Great Barbet
Eurasian Wryneck
Speckled Piculet
Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Grey-headed Woodpecker
Common Kestrel
Eurasian Hobby
Swinhoe’s Minivet
Ashy Minivet
Grey-chinned Minivet
Bull-headed Shrike
Brown Shrike
Long-tailed Shrike
Chinese Grey Shrike
Black-naped Oriole
Black Drongo
Hair-crested Drongo
Japanese Paradise Flycatcher
Eurasian Jay
Azure-winged Magpie
Red-billed Blue Magpie
Grey Treepie
Eurasian Magpie
Carrion Crow
Large-billed Crow
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Tit
Japanese Tit
Chinese Penduline Tit
Eurasian Skylark
Oriental Skylark
Collared Finchbill
Light-vented Bulbul
Mountain Bulbul
Chestnut Bulbul
Black Bulbul
Brown-eared Bulbul
Barn Swallow
Asian House Martin
Red-rumped Swallow
Rufous-faced Warbler
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler
Brown-flanked Bush Warbler
Silver-throated Bushtit
Black-throated Bushtit
Dusky Warbler
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler
Yellow-browed Warbler
Arctic Warbler
Two-barred Warbler
Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler
Eastern Crowned Warbler
Oriental Reed Warbler
Black-browed Reed Warbler
Thick-billed Warbler
Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warbler
Zitting Cisticola
Plain Prinia
Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler
Rufous-capped Babbler
Huet’s Fulvetta
Chinese Hwamei
Buffy Laughingthrush
Masked Laughingthrush
Red-billed Leiothrix
Vinous-throated Parrotbill
Grey-headed Parrotbill
Reed Parrotbill
Indochinese Yuhina
Japanese White-eye
Goldcrest
Crested Myna
Red-billed Starling
White-cheeked Starling
Black-collared Starling
White’s Thrush
Grey-backed Thrush
Japanese Thrush
Chinese Blackbird
Eyebrowed Thrush
Pale Thrush
Brown-headed Thrush
Dusky Thrush
Oriental Magpie-Robin
Grey-streaked Flycatcher
Dark-sided Flycatcher
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Blue-and-white Flycatcher
Siberian Blue Robin
Rufous-tailed Robin
Red-flanked Bluetail
White-crowned Forktail
Blue Whistling Thrush
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher
Narcissus Flycatcher
Mugimaki Flycatcher
Black Redstart
Daurian Redstart
Plumbeous Water Redstart
Blue Rock Thrush
Stejneger’s Stonechat
Brown Dipper
Russet Sparrow
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Forest Wagtail
Eastern Yellow Wagtail
Citrine Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
White Wagtail
Olive-backed Pipit
Red-throated Pipit
Buff-bellied Pipit
Brambling
Chinese Grosbeak
Common Rosefinch
Grey-capped Greenfinch
Eurasian Siskin
Crested Bunting
Meadow Bunting
Tristram’s Bunting
Chestnut-eared Bunting
Little Bunting
Yellow-browed Bunting
Rustic Bunting
Yellow-throated Bunting
Yellow-breasted Bunting
Chestnut Bunting
Yellow Bunting
Black-faced Bunting
Pallas’s Reed Bunting
Japanese Reed Bunting

Itinerary (all dates 2015)
For more information on places visited, see “List of Place Names” at end of this report.

29 March: Chongming

04 April: Century Park
05 April: Huangpu Park

09 April: Lesser Yangshan & Nanhui
10 April: Chongming
11 April: Yangkou
12 April: Yangkou & Sānmíncūn

16 April: Lesser Yangshan & Nanhui
17 April: Chongming
18 April: Hengsha
19 April: Nanhui
20 April: Zhongshan Park

22 April: Golden Beach, Jiangsu
23 April: Yangkou
24 April: Yangkou, Sānmíncūn, & Rural Road 204
25 April: along Jiangsu coast between Yangkou & Chongming
26 April: Hengsha

7 May: Hangzhou Nantianmu Forest Park
8 May: East Tianmu Mountain
9 May: West Tianmu Mountain
10 May: West Tianmu Mountain

14 May: Nanhui

16 May: Yangkou & Dongtai
17 May: Dongtai

21 May: Lesser Yangshan & Nanhui

7 June: Nanhui

12 June: Dongtai
13 June: Dongtai
14 June: Yangkou & Dongtai

20 June: Dongtai
21 June: Dongtai
22 June: Dongtai

The Trip

Sun. 29 March 2015
Around Chongming Dongtan National Bird Sanctuary and Nature Reserve, Shanghai

Chestnut-eared Bunting, Chongming, 29 March 2015.
Chestnut-eared Bunting, Chongming, 29 March 2015.

I resumed birding in China at Chongming Island in Shanghai. Elaine and I found 49 species, among them 1 female Japanese Reed Bunting. Other noteworthy birds were 10 Red-throated Pipit, 8 Buff-bellied Pipit, and 1 early Yellow-browed Warbler. We sound-recorded highly excited Grey-headed Lapwing, and I got off a striking image of a Chestnut-eared Bunting.

Japanese Reed Bunting, Chongming, 29 March 2015.
Japanese Reed Bunting, Chongming, 29 March 2015.

This was the first trip Elaine and I had taken in China in nine weeks. Two weeks ago, we returned from a seven-week trip to the United States, birding nearly every day there and noting 208 species. (Report here.) With impressions of America fresh in my mind, I had to re-accustom myself to China. The ponds on Chongming were murky, the shorelines littered with Red Bull cans, strips of plastic, and Styrofoam. A gauze of smog covered what should have been a blue sky.

A far cry from America, but in a way I was home. I began my birding career in China, not America. I’d missed my Asian birds.

The levees between the fields W of the sanctuary are thickly vegetated and are good places to find passerines. As I was walking atop a levee, camera in hand, a lone bunting squirted out. It flew to the next levee east, perching atop a rape plant. I took a flurry of photos, hustled back to the car, pulled out my new Swarovski ATX-95 spotting scope, and enjoyed a crisp view of the Japanese Reed Bunting.

The levees also yielded the Yellow-browed Warbler as well as 6 of the 12 Chestnut-eared Bunting. Since last October, Elaine and I have been noting Chestnut-eared Bunting in the same area. A group must have wintered there.

The Red-throated Pipit were seen in flight only and presumably were migrating. The flight shots reveal individuals with varying degrees of red on the throat and head.

Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus. Photos show 2 individuals. Bird in Photo 1 (top L) identified as A. cervinus on basis of red plumage on throat and upper breast. Bird in other 3 photos ID'd as A. cervinus on basis of streakier back than Buff-bellied Pipit A. rubescens japonicus. Photos taken in the space of 4 seconds (02:07:32 to 02:07:36) on 29 March 2015 at Chongming, Shanghai.
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus. Photos show 2 individuals. Bird in Photo 1 (top L) identified as A. cervinus on basis of red plumage on throat and upper breast. Bird in other 3 photos ID’d as A. cervinus on basis of streakier back than Buff-bellied Pipit A. rubescens japonicus. Photos taken in the space of 4 seconds (02:07:32 to 02:07:36) on 29 March 2015 at Chongming, Shanghai.
Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens japonicus. Lack of streaking on back separates Buff-bellied Pipit from Red-throated Pipit A. cervinus. Photos taken in the space of 1 second at 12:55:48 on 29 March 2015 at Chongming, Shanghai.
Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens japonicus. Lack of streaking on back separates Buff-bellied Pipit from Red-throated Pipit A. cervinus. Photos taken in the space of 1 second at 12:55:48 on 29 March 2015 at Chongming, Shanghai.

The skylarks whose photos I grabbed (all performing the flight song) all show a buff, not white, trailing edge to the wing and are presumably Oriental Skylark.

The Dusky Warbler was seen in trees along North Dongtan Road and was making its characteristic “tak” call, “like two stones being struck together.”

A male Common Kingfisher was attempting to share a fish it had caught with a female. The female spurned the gift.

We arrived at a count of 65 Vinous-throated Parrotbill in this way: I estimate that a typical flock contains 10 individuals. We heard six flocks. That’s 60. We saw a further 5 individuals. These birds were not in groups and were quiet.

Weather: High 21°C, some wind. Smog.

Around Chongming Dongtan National Bird Sanctuary and Nature Reserve (Chóngmíng Dōngtān Niǎolèi Guójiājí Zìrán Bǎohùqū [崇明东滩鸟类国家级自然保护区]), Chongming Island, Shanghai, China (31.510109, 121.961955). 08:30-18:00.

Garganey Anas querquedula 1
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 15 (14 heard only)
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 35
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 8
Great Egret A. alba 5
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 32
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 5
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 1
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus 1
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 3
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 24
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus 5
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 2
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 3
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 1
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove) Columba livia 1
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 18
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 6
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 23
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica ca. 75
Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula 7
Eurasian/Oriental Skylark A. arvensis/A. gulgula 15
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 5
Chinese Penduline Tit Remiz consobrinus 25
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis ca. 75
Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus 1
Yellow-browed Warbler P. inornatus 1
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 30
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 6
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 1 heard
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 65
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus 2
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus 7
Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum 1
Chinese Blackbird T. mandarinus 1
Pale Thrush T. pallidus 3
Dusky Thrush T. eunomus 11
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 13
White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus 11
White Wagtail Motacilla alba lugens 1
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 3
Red-throated Pipit A. cervinus 10
Buff-bellied Pipit A. rubescens japonicus 8
Japanese Reed Bunting Emberiza yessoensis 1
Chestnut-eared Bunting E. fucata 12
Yellow-throated Bunting E. elegans 4
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala spodocephala 12
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla 64
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 6
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus ca. 500

Sat. 4 April 2015
Century Park, Shanghai

Elaine and I birded Century Park for the first time since January. We noted 35 species, among them a male Mandarin Duck. The transition to spring was apparent, with a Pallas’s Leaf Warbler in song, a Yellow-browed Warbler making an appearance, some of the Chinese Blackbird and Vinous-throated Parrotbill building nests, and a Eurasian Hoopoe making its trademark hoots. Some wintering species remain, however, among them Goldcrest, White’s Thrush, Pale Thrush, and Eurasian Siskin.

With the largest city park in Shanghai attracting hundreds of visitors for Qingming Festival, Bird Island proved its worth, serving as a sanctuary-within-a-sanctuary for the Mandarin Duck. The toylike anatid had found the most private tract of water in the park, the shoreline close to Bird Island, which is off-limits to visitors.

Weather: 19°C, overcast with some drizzle. Very little wind.

Century Park (Shìjì Gōngyuán [世纪公园]), Pudong New Area (Pǔdōng Xīn Qū [浦东新区]), Shanghai, China (31.219361, 121.551900). 12:10-15:50.

Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata 1
Eastern Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha 1
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 5
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 7
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 1
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 7
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove) Columba livia 2
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis 4
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 60
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 8
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 1
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 11
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus 75
Japanese Tit Parus minor 8
Chinese Penduline Tit Remiz consobrinus 1
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 37
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus 2
Yellow-browed Warbler P. inornatus 1
Chinese Hwamei Garrulax canorus 1
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 13
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus 7
Goldcrest Regulus regulus 1
Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus 2
White-cheeked Starling S. cineraceus 2
White’s Thrush Zoothera aurea 1
Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum 8
Chinese Blackbird T. mandarinus 55
Pale Thrush T. pallidus 26
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus 5
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus 1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 70
White Wagtail Motacilla alba leucopsis 1
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 15
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 23
Eurasian Siskin Spinus spinus 50 (flock)

Sun. 5 April 2015
Huangpu Park, Shanghai

Elaine and I searched for gulls. We arrived by taxi at Huangpu Park, located at the point where Suzhou Creek empties into the Huangpu River. A scan with the binoculars revealed around 25 Vega Gull scattered across the water. We looked for rarities. Finding none, we pulled out the spotting scope and concentrated on aging the Vega Gull. The task took time, and as we were working, the gulls began to disappear. When only 1 gull was visible, we called it a day. We walked 7.5 km from the Bund back to our apartment near Zhongshan Park.

As currently set forth by the IOC, the taxon “Vega Gull” (Larus vegae) comprises two subspecies: “Vega Gull” (L. v. vegae) and “Mongolian Gull” (L. v. mongolicus). Separating the two subspecies is extremely difficult. However, like all large, white-headed gulls, both nominate and mongolicus take four years (or four cycles) to reach maturity, and aging them is straightforward. Here is the breakdown of the 14 Vega Gull that we were able to age:

4 first cycle (nearly all-black bill, mottled brown overall, pale inner primaries visible in flight, black tail bar)
2 second cycle (black distal half to otherwise fleshy bill, mantle grey, wing mottled brown, pale inner primaries, white rump contrasting with black tail bar)
3 third cycle (black subterminal band/spot on yellow bill, traces of tail bar, otherwise similar to adult)
5 adult (blood-red gonys-spot on yellow bill, grey upperparts, fully white tail, outer primaries black with white spots or “mirrors”)

Among the 19 Little Egret were a flock of 13 that flew downriver and a group of 6 that linger habitually around the confluence of Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu.

Of the 9 Black-crowned Night Heron, 1 was a first-winter bird.

Weather: 14°C, overcast with some drizzle. Windy on the Bund.

Huangpu Park (Huángpǔ Gōngyuán [黄浦公园]), Shanghai, China (31.241578, 121.490811). 15:15-16:15.

Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 9
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 19
Vega Gull Larus vegae vegae or L. v. mongolicus 25
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove) Columba livia 30
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 3 heard
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 3

Thurs. 9 April 2015
Lesser Yangshan Island and Nanhui

Brown-headed Thrush, Nanhui, 9 April 2015.
Brown-headed Thrush, Nanhui, 9 April 2015.

Elaine and I noted 69 species on Lesser Yangshan Island and at Nanhui. We found 1 male Siberian Blue Robin on Lesser Yangshan and 24 Black-faced Spoonbill, 1 Tufted Duck, 2 Mandarin Duck, and 3 Brown-headed Thrush at Nanhui. We noted 8 Emberiza species: Black-faced Bunting at both sites, Rustic Bunting at Nanhui, and Meadow Bunting, Chestnut-eared Bunting, Tristram’s Bunting, Little Bunting, Yellow-browed Bunting, and Yellow-throated Bunting on Yangshan.

Weather: 5°-15°C, mostly cloudy with excellent visibility on Lesser Yangshan, sky growing smoggy and overcast as day progressed

We noted 40 species on Lesser Yangshan Island. Garbage Dump Gully was busy. The tall tree in the courtyard held several species, among them our first Asian Brown Flycatcher of the season. The air was filled with the songs of Pallas’s Leaf Warbler and Brown-flanked Bush Warbler.

Brown-flanked Bush Warbler, Lesser Yangshan, 9 April 2015.
Brown-flanked Bush Warbler, Lesser Yangshan, 9 April 2015.

Site 1. Lesser Yangshan Island (Xiǎo Yángshān [小洋山]), island in Hangzhou Bay, Zhejiang, China (list includes birds noted at Garbage Dump Gully [30.641565, 122.062836], Garbage Dump Coastal Plain [30.638860, 122.060089], Xiǎoyánglíng Cove [30.642243, 122.066940], & Temple Mount [30.639945, 122.048277]); 07:20-13:00

Japanese Quail Coturnix japonica 2
Eastern Buzzard Buteo japonicus 1
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 1
Bull-headed Shrike Lanius bucephalus 1
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 4
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos 2
Japanese Tit Parus minor 12
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 9
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 1
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus 15
Yellow-browed Warbler P. inornatus 7
Eastern Crowned Warbler P. coronatus 6
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 4
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus 32
Goldcrest Regulus regulus 3
Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus 5
White-cheeked Starling S. cineraceus 1
White’s Thrush Zoothera aurea 1
Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum 4
Japanese Thrush T. cardis 1
Pale Thrush T. pallidus 40
Dusky Thrush T. eunomus 7
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris 3
Siberian Blue Robin Larvivora cyane 1
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus 14 (8 adult males)
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus 4
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius philippensis 1
Stejneger’s Stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri 3
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 35
White Wagtail Motacilla alba leucopsis 2
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 6
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 5
Chestnut-eared Bunting E. fucata 1
Tristram’s Bunting E. tristrami 21
Little Bunting E. pusilla 5
Yellow-browed Bunting E. chrysophrys 1
Yellow-throated Bunting E. elegans 1
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala 24 all nominate
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 9
Brown-flanked Bush Warbler H. fortipes 7 (6 heard only)

We noted 41 species at Nanhui.

White Wagtail Motacilla alba lugens. 1st-winter male assuming 1st-summer plumage. Nanhui, 9 April 2015.
White Wagtail Motacilla alba lugens. 1st-winter male assuming 1st-summer plumage. Nanhui, 9 April 2015.

Site 2. Around Pudong Nanhui Dongtan Wetland (Pǔdōng Nánhuì Dōngtān Shīdì [浦东南汇东滩湿地]), Shanghai, China (30.920507, 121.973159); list includes birds found at Magic Parking Lot (30.882784, 121.972782). 14:00-17:20.

Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata 2 (pair)
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope 15
Eastern Spot-billed Duck A. zonorhyncha 80
Northern Shoveler A. clypeata 12
Garganey A. querquedula 8
Eurasian Teal A. crecca 46
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula 1
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 1 heard
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 16
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 3
Great Egret A. alba 6
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 14
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 11
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia 1
Black-faced Spoonbill P. minor 24
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 23
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 32
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 1
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 16
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus 1
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 1
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 1
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 3
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 2
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 32
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 3
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 20 (heard 2 flocks)
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 120 (6 flocks, each ca. 20 members)
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 4
Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum 4
Pale Thrush T. pallidus 29
Brown-headed Thrush T. chrysolaus 3
Dusky Thrush T. eunomus 20
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus 6
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus 5
White Wagtail Motacilla alba 10 (6 leucopsis, 3 ocularis, 1 lugens)
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 1
Buff-bellied Pipit A. rubescens japonicus 1
Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica 2
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala 6

Fri. 10 April 2015
Around Chongming Dongtan National Bird Sanctuary and Nature Reserve, Shanghai

An afternoon’s birding yielded 41 species. A nearly drained fish pond drew in dozens of birds, among them 1 Red-throated Pipit in breeding plumage. Wood Sandpiper were present, and some Red-necked Stint were beginning to assume breeding plumage.

Weather: 12°C, sunny.

Around Chongming Dongtan National Bird Sanctuary and Nature Reserve (Chóngmíng Dōngtān Niǎolèi Guójiājí Zìrán Bǎohùqū [崇明东滩鸟类国家级自然保护区]), Chongming Island, Shanghai, China (31.510109, 121.961955); 14:00-18:25.

Eastern Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha 2
Eurasian Teal A. crecca 9
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 6
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 10
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 17
Great Egret A. alba 7
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 16
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 7
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus 1
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 4
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus 2
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 19
Little Ringed Plover C. dubius 28
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 7
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 4
Wood Sandpiper T. glareola 14
Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii 5
Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis 5
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 3
Pin-tailed/Swinhoe’s Snipe G. stenura/G. megala 1
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 14
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 1
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 7
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 8
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 8
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 40
Chinese Penduline Tit Remiz consobrinus 42
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 30
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 3
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 4
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 60
Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum 4
Pale Thrush T. pallidus 16
Dusky Thrush T. eunomus 10
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus 3
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus ca. 250
Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis taivana 1
White Wagtail M. alba 5 (2 leucopsis, 1 ocularis, 2 lugens)
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus 1
Buff-bellied Pipit A. rubescens japonicus 2
Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala 7

Sat. 11 April 2015
Yangkou, Jiangsu

Elaine and I birded Yangkou for the first time this year. Despite the continued degradation of the environment around the fishing town, we still managed to note 71 species. On the mudflats I missed Spoon-billed Sandpiper (still not seen at Yangkou this spring) but found 1 Red Knot and 3 Great Knot. A 1st-summer male Japanese Thrush was singing and patrolling territory.

A Reed Parrotbill was seen in highly degraded habitat, the busy bulldozers nearby foreshadowing the future of that place. Indeed, the backdrop of our day was the continued unchecked destruction of habitat around Yangkou. On the inland side of the sea wall, Elaine and I struggled to find the shallow pools and soggy ground so vital to shorebirds. Where once there was shallow water providing a resting place for hundreds of roosting shorebirds, now there is a deepwater canal holding a single Little Grebe and adjacent drained land with Plain Prinia and Eurasian Tree Sparrow. When a spring tide hits the sea wall (a regular occurrence), the waders have fewer and fewer large, quiet wetlands inside the sea wall where they can wait out the high water.

Of the many new factories smack against the sea wall is one operated by BASF Crop Protection (Jiangsu). Someone should ask BASF why the company felt it necessary to build their chemical plant at the epicenter of a stopover site critical to Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank. In Germany or the United States, would BASF get away with setting a plant in the middle of habitat crucial to two critically endangered species?

I know that because of Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank, Yangkou will remain a place much-visited by birders. But if one isn’t in the market for those endangered species and simply wants to enjoy the coastal spring migration, perhaps there are better places to bird in the Shanghai region.

Weather: Sunny, hazy. 7°-16°C

Yangkou (Yángkǒu [洋口]), a fishing town in Rudong County (Rúdōng Xiàn [如东县]), Jiangsu, China (32.537730, 121.017746). Among areas visited: Haiyin Temple (Hǎiyìn Sì [海印寺], 32.558756, 121.044740), Little Temple (32.595616, 120.971194), & the unpaved road N of Haiyin Temple (32.570807, 121.015638); 06:55-18:20.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 9 (6 heard only)
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 12
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 6
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 15
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 11
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 4
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 7
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 48
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus 2
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii 2
Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus 16
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 7
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 1
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 3
Common Greenshank T. nebularia 10
Marsh Sandpiper T. stagnatilis 8
Common Redshank T. totanus 2
Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis 3
Eurasian Curlew N. arquata 3
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 1
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 1
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris 3
Red Knot C. canutus 1
Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis 37
Dunlin C. alpina 2100
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 1
Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola 1
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 444 (incl. roost with ca. 400 birds)
Vega Gull Larus vegae vegae or L. v. mongolicus 39
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 8
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 15
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 19
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major 3
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 1
Bull-headed Shrike Lanius bucephalus 1
Long-tailed Shrike L. schach 6
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus 1
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 11
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 38
Japanese Tit Parus minor 5
Chinese Penduline Tit Remiz consobrinus 55
Silver-throated Bushtit Aegithalos glaucogularis 3
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 30
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 4
Brown-flanked Bush Warbler H. fortipes 1
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus 2
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 7
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 7 (4 heard only)
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 50
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 4
Black-collared Starling Gracupica nigricollis 3
Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus 54
White-cheeked Starling S. cineraceus 34
White’s Thrush Zoothera aurea 2
Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum 1
Japanese Thrush T. cardis 1
Chinese Blackbird T. mandarinus 16
Pale Thrush T. pallidus 14
Dusky Thrush T. eunomus 5
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla 14
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 8
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 70
Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis tschutschensis 3
Grey Wagtail M. cinerea 1
White Wagtail M. alba 9 (6 leucopsis, 1 ocularis, 2 lugens)
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 3
Buff-bellied Pipit A. rubescens japonicus 2
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 3
Rustic Bunting E. rustica 1
Yellow-throated Bunting E. elegans 1
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala 17

Sun. 12 April 2015
Yangkou & Sānmíncūn, Jiangsu

We noted 58 species at Yangkou and Sānmíncūn, a village 40 km S of Yangkou. The highlight of the morning at Yangkou was a single Brown-eared Bulbul, found at Haiyin Temple. Determined to find new habitat on the coast between Yangkou and Shanghai, Elaine and I drove S from Yangkou along the sea wall, stopping at a place we dubbed the Sānmíncūn Magic Forest. There we found a season’s first Blue-and-white Flycatcher and a flock of 5 Masked Laughingthrush. On the small mudflat at Sānmíncūn, we found a Bar-tailed Godwit that had been banded in Victoria, Australia. Also on the mudflat were 2 Great Knot.

I submitted a report of the sighting of the godwit to the Australasian Wader Studies Group (AWSG) and posted a photo of the godwit to Bird Ringing and Bird Banding, a Facebook group.

UPDATE: On Sun. 19 April 2015, I received word back from AWSG. The Bar-tailed Godwit that I found had been banded on 23 June 2009 (nearly 6 years ago!) off Mann’s Beach, Corner Inlet in Victoria, Australia.

Weather: Sunny, hazy. 7°-20°C

Yangkou (Yángkǒu [洋口]), a fishing town in Rudong County (Rúdōng Xiàn [如东县]), Jiangsu, China (32.537730, 121.017746). Among areas visited: Haiyin Temple (Hǎiyìn Sì [海印寺], 32.558756, 121.044740) & unpaved road N of Haiyin Temple (32.570807, 121.015638). List includes observations from Sānmíncūn (三民村), a village ca. 40 km S of Yangkou, where we visited the mudflats (32.459155, 121.294937) & “Sānmíncūn Magic Forest” (32.438124, 121.278211); 07:35-16:50

Japanese Quail Coturnix japonica 2
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 3
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 17
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 3
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 30
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 29
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 4
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 46
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 33
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 1
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 3
Common Redshank T. totanus 5
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 3
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 1
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 3
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris 2
Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis 1
Dunlin C. alpina 58
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 63
Vega Gull Larus vegae vegae or L. v. mongolicus 20
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 8
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 10
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis 7
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 9
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 1
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 9
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major 1
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 2
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus 2
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 30
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 39
Japanese Tit Parus minor 3
Chinese Penduline Tit Remiz consobrinus 30
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 35
Brown-eared Bulbul Hypsipetes amaurotis amaurotis 1
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 3
Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus 2
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 25
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 50
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus 1
Masked Laughingthrush Garrulax perspicillatus 5 at Sānmíncūn Magic Forest
Chinese Hwamei G. canorus 2 at Sānmíncūn Magic Forest
Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus 26
White-cheeked Starling S. cineraceus 23
White’s Thrush Zoothera aurea 1
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 26
Pale Thrush T. pallidus 10
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana 1 at Sānmíncūn Magic Forest
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus 6
Stejneger’s Stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri 3
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla 1
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 2
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 50
White Wagtail Motacilla alba leucopsis 5
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 3
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 1
Tristram’s Bunting E. tristrami 1
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala 5

Thurs. 16 April 2015
Lesser Yangshan Island and Nanhui

Swinhoe's Minivet, Nanhui, 16 April 2015.
Swinhoe’s Minivet, Nanhui, 16 April 2015.

I logged 63 species on Lesser Yangshan and at Nanhui. On Lesser Yangshan I found Yellow Bunting, Brown-headed Thrush, 2 “Swintail” Snipe, and a season’s first male Narcissus Flycatcher. At Nanhui I recorded Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher and Swinhoe’s Minivet.

I found the Yellow Bunting at Garbage Dump Gully on Lesser Yangshan. I inadvertently flushed it, and it flew high into a tree. It faced me, allowing me to note its almost entirely yellow underparts. The bunting then flew off a great distance, completely leaving Garbage Dump Gully. I immediately understood that I was viewing Yellow Bunting and not a female Black-faced Bunting (notably race personata, the female of which is yellow underneath). I have not seen a personata yet this year, the Black-faced Bunting that I’ve been seeing are almost never alone, and when flushed, they almost never fly far.

The old lady of Garbage Dump Gully has moved away; the gardens she used to tend are pleasantly overgrown now, providing excellent habitat for Yellow-browed Bunting, Tristram’s Bunting, and Brown-flanked Bush Warbler. I was alone in the gully with the birds. The distant roar of the 18-wheelers could not drown out the cheerful birdsong. One soft sound I didn’t recognize; I gazed upward and found an Asian Brown Flycatcher. Also singing were Little Bunting and Olive-backed Pipit.

Below Garbage Dump Gully, on Garbage Dump Coastal Plain, I found 2 “Swintail” Snipe (i.e., Swinhoe’s Snipe or Pin-tailed Snipe). One bird I flushed four times. Each time I flushed the bird, it made a short, low, rather direct flight, in contrast to the towering, zig-zagging flight often seen in Common Snipe. The blurry photos I managed to take show a finely barred underwing lacking the white underwing coverts of Common Snipe. The bird I flushed four times was silent until the fourth flush, when it uttered a single, short squawk. Note what Message and Taylor say about Swinhoe’s Snipe: “Rarely calls when flushed, except when repeatedly disturbed.” Common Snipe is more likely to call each time it’s flushed. The fourth time I flushed the first snipe, a second snipe also exploded out. It too was silent and made a short, direct flight to cover. I’m assuming that it too is a “Swintail.” Note finally that Garbage Dump Coastal Plain is very expansive; the snipe made short flights not on account of a lack of space.

I found the Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher and Swinhoe’s Minivet at the Magic Parking Lot at Nanhui. In the nature reserve, I found 6 Purple Heron but failed to find even one Grey Heron. I once again found 2 Red-throated Pipit.

Weather: Cloudy with drizzle in morning. Skies hazy in afternoon. Windy in afternoon. High 22°C.

On Lesser Yangshan I noted 35 species.

Site 1. Lesser Yangshan Island (Xiǎo Yángshān [小洋山]), island in Hangzhou Bay, Zhejiang, China (list includes birds noted at Garbage Dump Gully [30.641565, 122.062836], Garbage Dump Coastal Plain [30.638860, 122.060089], Xiǎoyánglíng Cove [30.642243, 122.066940], & Temple Mount [30.639945, 122.048277]); 07:05-11:20

Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus 1
Pin-tailed/Swinhoe’s Snipe Gallinago stenura/G. megala 2
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis 2
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 2
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 1
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 1
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos 3
Japanese Tit Parus minor 2
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 12
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 27
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 12
Brown-flanked Bush Warbler H. fortipes 4
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus 12
Yellow-browed Warbler P. inornatus 5
Eastern Crowned Warbler P. coronatus 1
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 7
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus 30
Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum 1
Pale Thrush T. pallidus 5
Brown-headed Thrush T. chrysolaus 1
Dusky Thrush T. eunomus 6
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris 2
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana 2
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus 1
Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina 1
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla 4
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 30
White Wagtail Motacilla alba leucopsis 1
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 13
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 3
Tristram’s Bunting E. tristrami 13
Yellow-browed Bunting E. chrysophrys 13
Little Bunting E. pusilla 6
Yellow Bunting E. sulphurata 1
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala 29

At Nanhui I noted 39 species.

Site 2. Around Pudong Nanhui Dongtan Wetland (Pǔdōng Nánhuì Dōngtān Shīdì [浦东南汇东滩湿地]), Shanghai, China (30.920507, 121.973159); list includes birds found at Magic Parking Lot (30.882784, 121.972782). 12:05-14:50

Eastern Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha 61
Northern Shoveler A. clypeata 1
Garganey A. querquedula 2
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 1
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 23
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 4 (2 pairs)
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea 6
Great Egret A. alba 5
Intermediate Egret A. intermedia 1
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 8
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 6
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia 1
Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus 1
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 22
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 37
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 56
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 2
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 2
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 1
Swinhoe’s Minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis 1
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 3
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 28
Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis 1
Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus 1
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 7
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 32 (2 seen plus 3 flocks heard only)
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 82
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 2
Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus 2
Dusky Thrush T. eunomus 2
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana 1
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus 4
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 30
Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis 12 (8 tschutschensis, 4 taivana)
White Wagtail M. alba 8 (3 leucopsis, 2 ocularis, 3 lugens)
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus 2
Buff-bellied Pipit A. rubescens japonicus 2
Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala 6
Pallas’s Reed Bunting E. pallasi 9

Sat. 18 April 2015
Hengsha Island, Shanghai

Black Redstart, very uncommon vagrant to Shanghai. Hengsha, 18 April 2015.
Black Redstart, very uncommon vagrant to Shanghai. Hengsha, 18 April 2015.

Elaine and I noted 70 species. Bird of the day was Black Redstart. Other highlights were 26 Black-faced Spoonbill, 6 booming Eurasian Bittern, Great Knot, Green Sandpiper, our first Cuculus cuckoo of the season, and Chinese Grey Shrike. 5 Pacific Golden Plover were a lifer for Elaine. I’d never seen Citrine Wagtail in Shanghai.

Black Redstart ranges from Western Europe to central China (I’ve seen it frequently in Qinghai) and is a rare visitor to the Chinese coast. We found our bird, a male, along the sea wall on the NE side of the reclaimed area. The wall and rocks placed as breakers on the beach mimic the rocky habitat preferred by Phoenicurus ochruros. The redstart had chosen its habitat well, was feeding vigorously, and appeared in excellent condition.

Fog limited our birding for the first three hours of our marathon day but provided a chance to study the 5 Common Snipe and 6 “Swintail” Snipe. Under the cloak of the fog, the snipe were feeding in the open. Whereas it’s next to impossible to separate Swinhoe’s Snipe and Pin-tailed Snipe in the field, separation of “Swintail” from Common is doable. I experimented with a “Swintail” feeding on the cattle trail at the inner base of the sea wall. I flushed this bird six times. Each time except the sixth, the bird flew a short distance, landing a hundred or so meters down the trail. It was silent. Photos were impossible in the fog. My eye could detect no obvious white trailing edge to the wing, a hallmark of Common. I assigned this snipe to “Swintail.”

Other birds inadvertently flushed showed clear characteristics of Common. One was flushed by our merely stopping the car on the road above, “sneezing” as it flew in a more zig-zagging and towering fashion than the “Swintail” had done. In some cases, not only were we able to note the flight pattern and hear the snort, but we were also able to view the white trailing edge to the wing. Birds meeting at least two of the three criteria (towering and zig-zagging flight pattern, “sneezes” when flushed, trailing edge to wing) were assigned to Common.

We noted Eurasian Skylark throughout the day at those parts of the reclaimed area that more resemble grassland than wetland. All photos and observations revealed a white trailing edge to the wing and white outer tail feathers, key separators of Eurasian Skylark from Oriental Skylark.

We were unable to verify the presence of Common Reed Bunting among our ca. 90 Pallas’s Reed Bunting. The pale (not grey) rump of Pallas’s was commonly noted, and the birds we observed always appeared smaller (size of Little Bunting) than Common. A dead Pallas’s, struck by a speeding car, revealed the smaller size and finer bill characteristic of Pallas’s. Our dead specimen even showed a pink lower mandible, another sign of Pallas’s.

The Cuculus cuckoo was a welcome surprise. It was seen in the line of trees running along the fence that marks the W border of the reclaimed area. We saw the cuckoo clearly, noting what seemed to be thick barring on its underparts. We stopped the car, hoping to hear a call that would allow us to isolate it from among the four or five Cuculus species that can occur in the region. The cuckoo, however, was silent.

The reclaimed area of E Hengsha Island provides the most open space of any place in the city-province of Shanghai, home to 26 million people. The reclaimed area juts 25 km into the sea from the island proper, providing ample habitat for dozens of species. On this artificial peninsula, Reed Parrotbill and Chinese Penduline Tit are present in robust numbers, and Black-faced Spoonbill find a critical refuge. The booms and breathy inhalations of Eurasian Bittern add to the impression of being in a “real” wetland. The area is slated to be converted into a container port and within a few years will probably cease to be a de facto wildlife refuge.

Hengsha Island (Héngshā Dǎo [横沙岛]), a small alluvial island at mouth of Yangtze River in Shanghai, China. S gate to birding area at 31.297333, 121.859434. 06:00-18:05.

Gadwall Anas strepera 4
Eastern Spot-billed Duck A. zonorhyncha 11
Northern Shoveler A. clypeata 14
Garganey A. querquedula 25
Eurasian Teal A. crecca 5
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 1
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 35
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 6
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris 6 heard
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 17
Great Egret A. alba 22
Intermediate Egret A. intermedia 16
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 57
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 23
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 3
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia 12
Black-faced Spoonbill P. minor 26
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus 3
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus 1
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 60
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra ca. 300
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 2
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 2
Pacific Golden Plover P. fulva 5
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 15
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus 1
Spotted Redshank T. erythropus 3
Common Greenshank T. nebularia 48
Wood Sandpiper T. glareola 13
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris 1
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper C. acuminata 2
Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis 1
Dunlin C. alpina ca. 100
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 5
Pin-tailed/Swinhoe’s Snipe G. stenura/G. megala 6
Vega Gull Larus vegae vegae or L. v. mongolicus 2
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove) Columba livia 1
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 3
Cuculus cuckoo 1
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 3
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 1
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 3
Chinese Grey Shrike L. sphenocercus 1
Chinese Penduline Tit Remiz consobrinus ca. 180
Eurasian Skylark Alauda gulgula ca. 150
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 6
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 28
Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus 8
Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus 1
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 7
Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis 1
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 60
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 24
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei ca. 80 (heard 4 flocks)
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus 2
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 27
Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus 3
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros 1
Daurian Redstart P. auroreus 4
Stejneger’s Stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri 2
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 25
Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis 45 (10 tschutschensis, 10 taivana, 25 unassigned)
Citrine Wagtail M. citreola 1
Grey Wagtail M. cinerea 2
White Wagtail M. alba 21 (6 lugens, 3 ocularis, 12 leucopsis)
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 6
Buff-bellied Pipit A. rubescens japonicus 5
Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla 6
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala 27
Pallas’s Reed Bunting E. pallasi ca. 90

Sun. 19 April 2015
Nanhui, Shanghai

Common Rosefinch, Nanhui, 19 April 2015. Record shot showing double buff-white wingbars, dark, olive-brown upperparts, and streaking on breast and flanks.
Common Rosefinch, Nanhui, 19 April 2015. Record shot showing double buff-white wingbars, dark, olive-brown upperparts, and streaking on breast and flanks.

Elaine and I noted 57 species. The most interesting find was a quail or buttonquail circling over the Magic Parking Lot at dusk. 17 Black-faced Spoonbill were holding on at Dongtan Wetland. A smart male Chestnut Bunting became our 11th Emberiza species of the spring. Common Rosefinch was an uncommon sight. We had our first-of-season Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, and an exhausted Brambling taught us the rigors of the spring migration.

The quail or buttonquail was seen in silhouette as it twice circled the parking lot. Elaine and I both saw the bird and noted its rotundness and nub of a tail. Colors were hard to make out, but we seemed to note white on the wings. The bird looked a bit like a pigeon, and it was about the size of a stub-tailed Spotted Dove, but the bird almost certainly was not a Columbiform. All the Japanese Quail I’ve seen have exploded from cover; I’ve never seen a game bird of any sort fly in circles. Yellow-legged Buttonquail is expected in the region and is migratory.

The Magic Parking Lot continued to be an open birding book. Elaine and I worked on Phylloscopus warblers, noting their subtle differences. Eastern Crowned Warbler is a distinctive leaf warbler, its large size, yellow undertail coverts, and coronal stripe setting it apart. Eastern Crowned Warbler rarely or never hovers, unlike Yellow-browed Warbler. Every Yellow-browed Warbler we saw vocalized, in contrast to Two-barred Warbler, not a single one of which sang or called. A Dusky Warbler gave me my toughest assignment. For 10 minutes I studied it, peering at it through the undergrowth, recording its tak-tak-tak call, noting its reliance on the shortest plants, and watching it as it hopped along the ground, constantly flicking its wings.

Black-collared Starling, Nanhui, 19 April 2015. Common inland, Gracupica nigricollis is a vagrant to Shanghai.
Black-collared Starling, Nanhui, 19 April 2015. Common inland, Gracupica nigricollis is a vagrant to Shanghai.

Driving along the sea wall, we saw an anomalous bird flying parallel to the road in the opposite direction. I turned the car around, surged forward until I was going 60 km/h, and finally overtook the bird. It alighted among a flock of Crested Myna. My instincts were correct: It was Black-collared Starling, unusual in Shanghai. The Brambling was picking at the seed heads of the wisps of grass poking through the cement of the sidewalk. Driven by hunger, it was indifferent to me as I studied it a meter and a half away.

Moving to the reed beds, we heard flocks of Reed Parrotbill and saw 4. Atop the reeds, Oriental Reed Warbler were grinding out their harsh song. A Narcissus Flycatcher, no doubt on the move, stopped to rest on a reed, an incongruous sight. Hearing the bulldozers, busy even on a Sunday, and seeing the most recent encroachments of the “developers,” I pitied the poor reed warblers and parrotbills, whose cries have been heard here for eons, and soon will be heard no more.

Pudong Nanhui Dongtan Wetland is a neglected child. A boardwalk was built five years ago; for the past four years, it has been closed off, and is now falling apart. Signs along the road introduce the major bird species this wetland is supposed to protect; the signs are fading now, and some of them have collapsed. There is no visitor center, no ranger, no volunteers leading bird walks. Set in a city of 26 million people on one of the world’s most important migratory flyways, Dongtan Wetland receives virtually no visitors. Goats graze on the levees; domestic geese seep into the “preserve.” The water is too deep for shorebirds and on Sunday contained almost no ducks. On every side are machines, roads, fishermen. The 17 forlorn Black-faced Spoonbill finding refuge at Dongtan Wetland should be a symbol of the metropolis, a reminder that China’s most cosmopolitan city has a heart for wildlife and is proud to invest its newly gained wealth in protecting endangered species. Instead, the spoonbills huddle nervously in the center of the postage-stamp-sized wetland, next to a mound of barren earth.

Weather: Foggy, cloudy. 19°-23°C

Around Pudong Nanhui Dongtan Wetland (Pǔdōng Nánhuì Dōngtān Shīdì [浦东南汇东滩湿地]), Shanghai, China (30.920507, 121.973159); list includes birds found at Magic Parking Lot (30.882784, 121.972782). 12:30-18:10

Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope 1
Eastern Spot-billed Duck A. zonorhyncha 33
Northern Shoveler A. clypeata 1
quail or buttonquail sp. 1
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 1
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 8
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris 1 heard
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 12
Great Egret A. alba 3
Intermediate Egret A. intermedia 6
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 16
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus 1
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 71
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia 2
Black-faced Spoonbill P. minor 17
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 21
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 29
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 8
Common Greenshank T. nebularia 9
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 1
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus 1
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove) Columba livia 2
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 2
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 3
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 35
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 12
Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus 1
Yellow-browed Warbler P. inornatus 9
Two-barred Warbler P. plumbeitarsus 3
Eastern Crowned Warbler P. coronatus 4
Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis 20 (18 heard only)
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 5
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 44
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 81
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus 9
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 10
Black-collared Starling Gracupica nigricollis 1
Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus 3
Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum 1
Japanese Thrush T. cardis 1
Pale Thrush T. pallidus 1
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris 3
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana 4
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus 1
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher Ficedula zanthopygia 1
Narcissus Flycatcher F. narcissina 1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 35
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla 1
Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus 1
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 1
Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis 5 (4 tschutschensis, 1 taivana)
White Wagtail M. alba 8 (5 leucopsis, 3 lugens)
Tristram’s Bunting Emberiza tristrami 1
Little Bunting E. pusilla 1
Chestnut Bunting E. rutila 1
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala 24
Pallas’s Reed Bunting E. pallasi 17

Mon. 20 April 2015
Zhongshan Park, Shanghai

Weather: Cloudy, 15°C

A quick walk through Zhongshan Park added Oriental Magpie-Robin and Red-billed Leiothrix to our spring list. Chinese Blackbird were feeding fledglings. 2 Tristram’s Bunting were living a precarious existence, hiding from the many stray cats in thick vegetation near the pond. Eurasian Siskin, occasionally seen in the park, were present today.

Zhongshan Park (Zhōngshān Gōngyuán [中山公园]), urban green space 6 km W of People’s Square in Changning District (Chángníng Qū [长宁区]), Shanghai, China (31.221888, 121.420066); 16:50-17:55

Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 2
Japanese Tit Parus minor 2
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 25
Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus 2
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 3
Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea 3
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 8
Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis 1
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus 1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 23
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 2
Eurasian Siskin Spinus spinus 15 (flock)
White Wagtail Motacilla alba leucopsis 1
Tristram’s Bunting Emberiza tristrami 2

Wed. 22 April 2015
Golden Beach, Jiangsu

As part of our plan to explore the SE Jiangsu coast between Shanghai and Yangkou, Elaine and I stopped at Golden Beach in Qǐdōng (启东). The name “Golden Beach” reveals the mismatch between what many Chinese think a beach should be and what the muddy Yangtze River Delta offers, and it may provide a clue as to why Chinese incorrectly value and therefore so blithely destroy the precious Jiangsu mudflats. (If the ideal beach is golden and these mudflats are not, then they lack value and can be “improved” at will.)

Outside Yangkou, Golden Beach is the best mudflat Elaine and I have found in SE Jiangsu. It stretches along the coast for several kilometers, and when the tide recedes, a few hundred meters of mudflat are exposed. A quick stop yielded 2 Great Knot.

Golden Beach (Huángjīn Hǎitān [黄金海滩]); ca. 31.749958, 121.933398. 17:30-18:15

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 5
Greater/Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii/C. mongolus ca. 36
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 9
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 32
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 13
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris 2
Dunlin C. alpina 57
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 30
Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala 1

Thurs. 23 April 2015
Yangkou, Jiangsu

Today was the first day of my 16th trip to Yangkou since 2009. Elaine and I noted 88 species. Doing almost no photography, we focused on experiencing as many species as possible. Among our rewards were Black-faced Spoonbill, Northern Boobook, Eurasian Wryneck, and 2 Carrion Crow. Shorebirds were well-represented, with 15 Curlew Sandpiper a highlight.

Spoon-billed Sandpiper aside, Haiyin Temple alone is worth a trip to Yangkou. Occupying a headland, the complex is a magnet for migrating birds. In our first hour at the Temple, Elaine and I noted 36 species, among them a migrating Black-faced Spoonbill. The Temple “forest,” actually a grove of locust trees, yielded our first Eyebrowed Thrush and Ashy Minivet of the year. The wooded area down the street gave us the Eurasian Wryneck as well as our season’s first Sakhalin/Pale-legged Leaf Warbler. In the nearby reeds we heard a flock of Reed Parrotbill.

In the forest, I had a memorable birdwatching moment with my spotting scope, the Swarovski ATX-95. A Grey-backed Thrush popped out of the grass into one of the trees. I saw a tail sticking out from behind a thin trunk of a tree, but not the head. I put my scope on the tail and, scanning left to the other side of the thin trunk, saw the thrush’s eye, looking straight at me. The intensity of the stare was magnified by the large size of the bird in the scope. Had I viewed the situation photographically, I’d have thought the moment worthless, because the trunk bisecting the body of the thrush made a good photo impossible. But that stare, reeled in with the scope, was powerful. It was as though I was inches away from the thrush, in its world.

After three hours walking around the Temple, Elaine and I continued birding by car. On the unpaved road N of Haiyin Temple, we noted Black Drongo. Driving slowly along the sea wall S of town, peering into the strip of locust-tree “forest,” we found the Northern Boobook as well as Narcissus Flycatcher and 4 Blue-and-white Flycatcher. The calls and song of Yellow-browed Warbler were audible at just about every stop we made along the strip of forest. Eastern Crowned Warbler was the second-most conspicuous leaf warbler.

Driving inland, we found shallow pools far from human activity–only the sound of the whirring windmills could be heard over the cries of the shorebirds. We studied three pools for an hour and a half, finding there 240 Marsh Sandpiper, 89 Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, the Curlew Sandpiper, 23 Black-tailed Godwit, and 11 Long-toed Stint.

The high tide reached the sea wall, forcing small waders such as Dunlin and Red-necked Stint to the shallow pools inland. Long-legged waders such as Eurasian Curlew and Far Eastern Curlew waited out the high tide on the sea side. Saunders’s Gull surveyed the scene aerially.

When the sweet late-afternoon light hit the shorebirds on the inland roost, I felt the urge to take photographs. I started to think about angles of light, aperture, ISO, and shutter speeds. With effort I took my mind off photography and instead concentrated on the birds. Bird photography just as much as birdwatching is a way of communing with nature, but the two activities have many differences. One can’t expect to study birds and take breathtaking photos all in the same day. For now, I’m happy to put my spotting scope first and my camera second. Elaine too likes the constant activity of a birdwatching day over a slower-paced bird-photography day.

Weather: Sunny, hazy. 15°-26°C

Yangkou (Yángkǒu [洋口)), a fishing town in Rudong County (Rúdōng Xiàn [如东县]), Jiangsu, China (32.537730, 121.017746). Among areas visited: Haiyin Temple (Hǎiyìn Sì [海印寺], 32.558756, 121.044740) & unpaved road N of Haiyin Temple (32.570807, 121.015638); 06:00-17:55

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 11
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 18
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 5
Great Egret A. alba 6
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 22
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 4
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus 1
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 3
Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor 1
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 8
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 1
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 51
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 116
Greater/Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii/C. mongolus ca. 300
Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus 75
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 62
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 1
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 16
Common Greenshank T. nebularia 55
Marsh Sandpiper T. stagnatilis 240
Wood Sandpiper T. glareola 18
Common Redshank T. totanus 13
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 29
Far Eastern Curlew N. madagascariensis 35
Eurasian Curlew N. arquata 95
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa 23
Bar-tailed Godwit L. lapponica 18
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 26
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata 89
Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea 15
Long-toed Stint C. subminuta 11
Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis 170
Dunlin C. alpina ca. 400
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 4
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 33
Little Tern Sternula albifrons 4
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 40
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove) Columba livia 26
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis 1
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 7
Northern Boobook Ninox japonica 1
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 1
Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla 1
Ashy Minivet Pericrocotus divaricatus 1
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 2
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 1
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 4
Carrion Crow Corvus corone 2
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 25
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 45
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus 2
Yellow-browed Warbler P. inornatus 26
Two-barred Warbler P. plumbeitarsus 2
Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler P. tenellipes/P. borealoides 2
Eastern Crowned Warbler P. coronatus 14
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 7
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 1
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 23
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 20 (heard 2 flocks)
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 50 (heard 5 flocks)
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus 16
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 17
Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus 10
White-cheeked Starling S. cineraceus 17
White’s Thrush Zoothera aurea 2
Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum 4
Chinese Blackbird T. mandarinus 3
Eyebrowed Thrush T. obscurus 2
Pale Thrush T. pallidus 3
Dusky Thrush T. eunomus 7
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris 2
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana 4
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus 6
Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina 3
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus 2
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius philippensis 1
Stejneger’s Stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri 1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus ca. 100
Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis tschutschensis 27
White Wagtail M. alba lugens 3
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 10
Red-throated Pipit A. cervinus 2
Buff-bellied Pipit A. rubescens japonicus 2
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 8
Tristram’s Bunting Emberiza tristrami 1
Yellow-throated Bunting E. elegans 1
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala 29
Pallas’s Reed Bunting E. pallasi 2

Fri. 24 April 2015
Yangkou, Sānmíncūn, & Rural Road 204

Elaine and I birded Yangkou and areas S of Yangkou. We noted 76 species. Highlight was finding Long-billed Dowitcher S of Yangkou on Rural Road 204. In Yangkou we found Yellow-breasted Bunting, Oriental Scops Owl, Swinhoe’s Minivet, a season’s first Rufous-tailed Robin, and a late Goldcrest.

The dowitcher was feeding in fish ponds about 3 km from the junction of Rural Road (Xiāng Dào [乡道]) 204 and the S221 in Rudong County. We found the dowitcher while scouting for new birding sites on the Jiangsu coast. Having left Yangkou at 14:00, we drove S on the G328 toward Sānmíncūn. Pallas’s Leaf Warbler awaited us in Sānmíncūn Magic Forest. We next drove to the Sānmíncūn mudflats, covered by the high tide. I climbed down the landward side of the sea wall and found Terek Sandpiper and Kentish Plover massing on the steep bank of the canal. Swimming beside the sorry lot was Little Grebe, among the species that replaced the shorebirds when the canal was dredged and the mudflat drained. The shorebirds could rest along the canal, but they could not feed.

The landward side of the sea wall at Sānmíncūn Mudflat is covered with trees, grass, and oilseed rape and held a good mix of birds, among them Eurasian Wryneck, Brambling, and Eurasian Siskin.

S of Sānmíncūn Mudflat, the road atop the sea wall was closed, so we drove 2 km inland and took the S221 to Rural Road 204. The road here is paved and unpaved one-lane, with some traffic. The vegetation along Rural Road 204 was lush, the trees tall, the migrating birds abundant. At one particularly good spot, we found Yellow-browed Bunting, Tristram’s Bunting, and Grey-backed Thrush. Dozens of fish ponds are found along this road, some of them attractive to shorebirds. We left Rural Road 204 and took the G328 36 km back to Yangkou.

The Yellow-breasted Bunting was found in Yangkou on the unpaved road N of Hǎiyin Temple. It was all alone, with only a single Black-faced Bunting to accompany it. Yellow-breasted Bunting is an endangered species, its biggest problem trapping in its wintering grounds, particularly in southern China. It’s the 12th Emberiza species Elaine and I have seen in the Shanghai region this spring.

The Oriental Scops Owl was seen in the “forest” at Haiyin Temple. It quickly attracted the attention of the photographers, who steadily converged on the owl. High in a tree, the owl tolerated the advancing crowd. Perhaps attracted by the photographers, Light-vented Bulbul arrived, found the owl, and mobbed it. It was a sad sight, seeing the owl being chased from tree after tree in the small grove. Because there are no real forests and few trees in the area, the tired owl had nowhere to hide from the bulbuls. It could fly only a short distance, where the bulbuls would find it again easily.

It’s easy to blame the photographers here, but they’re not the fundamental problem. The fundamental problem is lack of habitat. Birds and bird photographers both need habitat. If there were 15 Haiyin Temples scattered along the Jiangsu coast, then the photographers would be more evenly spread among the birding areas, there wouldn’t be so much pressure on one site, and events such as the one with the Oriental Scops Owl would not occur. But there are not 15 Haiyin Temples on the coast. There’s only one. Birders and photographers come from far away (Nanjing, Shanghai, Hangzhou) to visit this one, tiny, unmanaged area–not so much because it’s a good place, but because it’s one of the few good places on the Jiangsu coast that haven’t been destroyed.

Yangkou (Yángkǒu [洋口]), a fishing town in Rudong County (Rúdōng Xiàn [如东县]), Jiangsu, China (32.537730, 121.017746). Among areas visited: Haiyin Temple (Hǎiyìn Sì [海印寺], 32.558756, 121.044740), Little Temple (32.595616, 120.971194), & unpaved road N of Haiyin Temple (32.570807, 121.015638). List includes observations from Sānmíncūn (三民村), a village ca. 40 km S of Yangkou, where we visited the mudflats (32.459155, 121.294937) & “Sānmíncūn Magic Forest” (32.438124, 121.278211), & Rural Road 204 (32.406815, 121.359077 [junction of Rural Road 204 and S221]); 08:50-18:30

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 14
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 30
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 2
Great Egret A. alba 3
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 6
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus 1
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 6
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus 2
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 16 along Rural Road 204
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 65 along Rural Road 204
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus 6
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 13 at Sānmíncūn
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 7 along Rural Road 204 & at Sānmíncūn
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 12
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 11
Marsh Sandpiper T. stagnatilis 37 along Rural Road 204
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 1
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 3 along Rural Road 204
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata 36 along Rural Road 204
Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus 1 along Rural Road 204
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 6 along Rural Road 204
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 16
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 27
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis 5
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 17
Oriental Scops Owl Otus sunia 1
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 6
Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla 1 at Sānmíncūn
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major 2
Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus 1
Swinhoe’s Minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis 1
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 5
Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis 1
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 1
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus 32
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 14
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 24
Japanese Tit Parus minor 5
Silver-throated Bushtit Aegithalos glaucogularis 2 (adult feeding fledgling)
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 36
Goldcrest Regulus regulus 1
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 7
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus 1 at Sānmíncūn
Yellow-browed Warbler P. inornatus 43
Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler P. tenellipes/P. borealoides 1 along Rural Road 204
Eastern Crowned Warbler P. coronatus 15
Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis 10
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 8
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 1
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 120 (6 flocks)
Chinese Hwamei Garrulax canorus 1 along Rural Road 204
Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum 5
Chinese Blackbird T. mandarinus 60
Pale Thrush T. pallidus 3
Dusky Thrush T. eunomus 4
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana 5
Rufous-tailed Robin Larvivora sibilans 1
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus 2
Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina 1
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus 1
Stejneger’s Stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri 1
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 17
Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus 32
White-cheeked Starling S. cineraceus 46
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla 4 along Rural Road 204 & at Sānmíncūn
Grey-capped Greenfinch Chloris sinica 4 along Rural Road 204
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 19
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus ca. 200
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea 1
White Wagtail M. alba leucopsis 2
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 8
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 2
Tristram’s Bunting E. tristrami 6 along Rural Road 204
Yellow-browed Bunting E. chrysophrys 6 along Rural Road 204
Yellow-breasted Bunting E. aureola 1
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala 25

Sat. 25 April 2015
along Jiangsu coast S of Yangkou

Elaine and I today completed our survey of the SE coast of Jiangsu. It was an unpleasant exercise. We discovered gigantic land-reclamation projects that have sequestered dozens of square kilometers of mudflats and coastal wetland, leaving next to nothing for migratory shorebirds.

At Yáowàng Gǎng (遥望港) I took photos showing the extreme modifications to the mudflats. A massive sea wall, 10 m high and encased in concrete, arrogates to itself most of the mudflat, leaving only a narrow strip outside. Invasive Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) covers much of the remaining mud. Sitting atop the bulwark, one strains to hear the cries of shorebirds. Where once hundreds, even thousands of shorebirds must have massed, now only dozens remain. The tide comes in; it’s easy to follow the incoming water, because at its lip is brown scum. The tide soon engulfs the rump mudflat. The few Ruddy Turnstone, Grey Plover, and Whimbrel struggle through the grass and jump onto rocks at the foot of the wall. There, they’ll be able to wait out the flood, but they won’t be able to feed.

Shorebirds migrating between Chongming Island and Yangkou are increasingly being forced to run the gauntlet. Each day, each week, each month, each year, shorebirds have an extra 10 m, an extra 100 m, an extra kilometer, an extra 10 km to fly before reaching the next suitable piece of shore or wetland. Numbers of shorebirds, already depressed now, are almost certain to continue to fall if this “man-conquers-nature” type of development continues. Elaine and I drove for hours today along the East Asian Australasian Migratory Flyway and found not a single good place to go birding–unless you count a few forgotten fish ponds where Common Greenshank were eking out a meal.

The wholesale transformation of huge swaths of the Jiangsu coast is at best an inexcusable act of negligence and at worst a crime. It’s unlikely that such huge projects, involving so much effort and cost, could be undertaken with the planners of the projects knowing nothing about their environmental consequences. These projects eat up as much mudflat as is technically feasible, without the slightest consideration of the non-human stakeholders in the project: the shorebirds along Earth’s greatest flyway.

Our explorations began along Rural Road 204, where we searched in the same fish ponds in which we’d found the Long-billed Dowitcher the day before. The ponds sit right below the road, and the many passing vehicles regularly spook the foraging shorebirds. Still, the ponds are much relied upon by Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and the only ducks we saw, Eurasian Teal. Trees line the road and provide habitat for Chinese Grosbeak, which obviously breed here, and a few migrating passerines, among them Blue-and-white Flycatcher.

We moved closer to the coast, driving atop an old levee. Here we found the normal quasi-forest habitat in tree plantations on the western side of the levee. We stopped at a random spot in the quasi-forest and found a good mix of migrants, among them Eurasian Siskin and Sakhalin/Pale-legged Leaf Warbler.

As one nears Yáowàng Gǎng, reclamation projects grow ever-more extensive, and even strips of vegetation along the roads are harder to find. From Yáowàng Gǎng S to the Yangtze River, the country is very densely populated. The G328 runs close to the coastline here. I saw no indications that I was anywhere near good shorebird habitat.

We noted 54 species before giving up at Yáowàng Gǎng and driving to Hengsha Island.

Weather: Sunny, 18°-27°C

Birds found along SE coast of Jiangsu, China. 11:30-15:30. Observations from the following sites:

1. Points along Rural Road 204 (32.406815, 121.359077 [junction of Rural Road 204 and S221])
2. Points along road atop old levee in Rudong County (ca. 32.406815, 121.359077)
3. Around Yáowàng Gǎng (遥望港) (32.190825, 121.416381)

Eurasian Teal Anas crecca 19
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 3
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 12
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 1
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 5
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 2
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 18
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus 1
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 6
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 1
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 20
Common Greenshank T. nebularia 4
Marsh Sandpiper T. stagnatilis 23
Wood Sandpiper T. glareola 7
Common Redshank T. totanus 2
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 3
Eurasian Curlew N. arquata 1
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 3
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 4
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata 72
snipe sp. Gallinago ? 1
Little Tern Sternula albifrons 15
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 1
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove) Columba livia 2
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 7
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 1
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 2
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus 2
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 6
Eurasian/Oriental Skylark Alauda arvensis/A. gulgula 9
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 2
Japanese Tit Parus minor 2
Chinese Penduline Tit Remiz consobrinus 5
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 8
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 5
Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus 6
Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler P. tenellipes/P. borealoides 3
Eastern Crowned Warbler P. coronatus 1
Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis 1
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 1
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 3
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 20 (heard 2 flocks)
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 11
White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus 3
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 6
Pale Thrush T. pallidus 1
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana 1
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 13
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 30
Grey-capped Greenfinch Chloris sinica 1
Eurasian Siskin Spinus spinus 15
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 25
Yellow-throated Bunting Emberiza elegans 1
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala 9

Sun. 26 April 2015
Hengsha Island

Black-faced Bunting, Hengsha, 26 April 2015. This is a male of the nominate race.
Black-faced Bunting, Hengsha, 26 April 2015. This is a male of the nominate race.

Elaine and I noted 54 species. Clear skies, good visibility, and favorable winds led to a low species count, as many migrants took advantage of the fair weather to continue their journey N. Black-faced Spoonbill were seen once again, adding to the growing evidence that Hengsha Island is an important refuge for this endangered species. The 15 birds were seen together in their usual spot near the W edge of the wetland; as usual, they were accompanied by Eurasian Spoonbill. Eurasian Bittern were booming, and 2 were seen in flight. 3 Pacific Golden Plover were foraging in a grassy area; Kentish Plover have bred there. Oriental Reed Warbler, only 1 of which was noted on our last trip to Hengsha on 18 April, were suddenly a major presence, their dry call heard in every stand of reeds. In the agricultural land just outside the gate, White-breasted Waterhen were calling from the trees.

We spent Saturday night at Héngshā Bànrìxián Mínsù (横沙半日闲民宿; +86 135-0185-1814 and +86 150-2164-5467). For 120 yuan we got a clean double room with a balcony and a bathroom down the hall. Home-cooked meals are available but cost extra. Héngshā Bànrìxián Mínsù is located just inland from the main birding area at Hengsha and is operated by the parents of Lù Yún Hào (陆芸浩). Mr. Lù’s parents are natives of Hengsha and speak Mandarin.

Weather: Sunny, clear. 18°-25°C

Hengsha Island (Héngshā Dǎo [横沙岛]), a small alluvial island at mouth of Yangtze River in Shanghai, China. S gate to birding area at 31.297333, 121.859434. 06:00-18:05.

Eastern Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha 3
Garganey A. querquedula 1
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 2
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 10
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 1
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris 5
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 3
Great Egret A. alba 9
Intermediate Egret A. intermedia 2
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 21
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 7
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus 3
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 3
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia 9
Black-faced Spoonbill P. minor 15
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus 1
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus 14
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 30
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 60
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva 3
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 1
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 4
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 14
Marsh Sandpiper T. stagnatilis 2
Wood Sandpiper T. glareola 47
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 1
Pin-tailed/Swinhoe’s Snipe Gallinago stenura/G. megala 1
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove) Columba livia 1
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 5
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 2
Eurasian Skylark Alauda gulgula 80
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 18
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica 1
Chinese Penduline Tit Remiz consobrinus 60
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 40
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 3
Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus 1
Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis 90
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 5
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 2
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 10 (heard 1 flock)
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 16
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 6
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana 1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus ca. 100
Eurasian Siskin Spinus spinus 7
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 3
Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis 6 (1 taivana, 5 tschutschensis)
Grey Wagtail M. cinerea 1
White Wagtail M. alba 7 (3 leucopsis, 4 lugens)
Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens japonicus 1
Tristram’s Bunting Emberiza tristrami 1
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala 8
Pallas’s Reed Bunting E. pallasi 70

29 April 2015 to 3 May 2015

Elaine and I took our first of two birding trips this spring to Emeifeng, Fujian.

Thurs. 7 May 2015
Hangzhou Nantianmu Forest Park, Zhejiang, China

Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus, Hangzhou Nantianmu Forest Park, 7 May 2015.
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus, Hangzhou Nantianmu Forest Park, 7 May 2015.

Elaine and I spent 7-10 May in the Tianmu Mountains west of Hangzhou in Zhejiang. Highlights of our four-day trip:

— Finding a singing male Crested Bunting at East Tianmu, the 13th Emberiza species Elaine and I have noted this spring

— At West Tianmu, watching a Chestnut-winged Cuckoo fly straight at my head, crying loudly in response to my whistled imitation of its call

— Noting Buffy Laughingthrush on both of our two days at West Tianmu

— At East Tianmu, watching a Crested Serpent Eagle live up to its name–a snake was in its talons–and at West Tianmu seeing Black Eagle cruising low over the forest

— Finding many more Russet Sparrow than Eurasian Tree Sparrow in the villages and countryside around Tianmu Mountain

— Being awakened each morning by a lively dawn chorus

— At West Tianmu, enjoying the clean air and fairyland atmosphere of the Japanese Cedar forest, with its thousand-year-old Japanese Cedars and wild Ginkgo trees

Why did we visit Tianmu? Elaine and I are trying to cover the best birding areas within 300 km of Shanghai. Some of those areas are inland, not along the coast. Those inland areas are just as much a part of the Shanghai region as are the coastal areas.

The Shanghai region, at the mouth of the Yangtze River, is on the border of Palearctica and Indo-Malaya and has characteristics of both eco-regions. On the coast, the transitional nature of the Shanghai region is less evident, but in places like the Tianmu Mountains, one can witness Indo-Malaya transitioning into Palearctica.

At Tianmu, we had Eurasian Jay, a well-known, mainly Palearctic species, virtually on the same tree as Buffy Laughingthrush, an Indo-Malayan species. In another tree, we had Great Spotted Woodpecker (mainly Palearctic), and on the ground at the base of that tree Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler (Indo-Malayan).

All biogeographical boundaries are somewhat arbitrary, but drawing the line between Palearctica and Indo-Malaya at the Yangtze River makes sense, as the northern extension of the ranges of many species closely matches the course of that river. For example, Grey Treepie, Indochinese Yuhina, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Rufous-capped Babbler, and White-crowned Forktail–all noted by us in the Tianmu Mountains–have distributions that extend not much farther north than that range.

Today at Hangzhou Nantianmu Forest Park, 255 km SW of Shanghai, we noted 21 species. Russet Sparrow was a lifer for Elaine. We noted Swinhoe’s Minivet, heard 11 Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, and saw 3 first-of-season migrant Grey-streaked Flycatcher. We also found a pair of local poachers.

The mellow, shy Russet Sparrow were able to make a living in the park because of the seeming absence of the more aggressive Eurasian Tree Sparrow. In fact, on Thursday and on the succeeding three days in the Tianmu Mountain area, we found Russet Sparrow to be the default sparrow, commonly noted in town and country, and much more numerous than Eurasian Tree Sparrow, which in most places was absent altogether. In how many regions in China does Russet Sparrow out-compete Eurasian Tree Sparrow?

We entered and later exited Hangzhou Nantianmu Forest Park by driving past an unmanned gate. I remarked to myself that a gate unmanned in the middle of the day is a sure sign that a park is being managed incorrectly. Elaine and I drove up the mountain, stopping at a gazebo where we found the Russet Sparrow and Swinhoe’s Minivet. At the end of the road we met the poachers. They arrived on a moped. I saw their speaker and cages and told them that hunting wild birds is illegal in China. The younger poacher nodded as though he understood. The older man smiled nervously. I repeated that hunting birds is against the law in China, the young man again nodded and the older man kept smiling, I decided I could do no more, and I drove back down the mountain. I said to Elaine that poaching must be pervasive around here if two guys can drive up a mountain with their poaching gear in full view.

Later, just outside the park gate, I told a villager that poaching was going on in the nearby park and asked him to whom I could report the crime. The villager said, in a friendly way, that the poachers take just “a few” (少) birds and that they do it just for fun (玩儿). Elaine told me I’d wasted my time talking to the villager, but I told her I’d learned something important about the pervasiveness of poaching in the area. I said that the villager’s instinct to protect the lawbreakers showed how acceptable poaching is to him and presumably his fellow villagers. As I drove, I remembered the villager’s friendly face, and I said to Elaine that the villager and the poachers we met are probably not bad people at all. I even half-believed the villager’s claim that the poachers mean no harm and take just “a few.” With the local government forfeiting its responsibility to manage wildlife, the villagers step in and set up a management plan of their own.

Weather: Sunny, 29°C

Hangzhou Nantianmu Forest Park (Hángzhōu Nántiānmù Sēnlín Gōngyuán [杭州南天目森林公园]), Zhejiang, China (30.184555, 119.472668). Elev. range of birds here noted: 150-600 m. 14:00-18:10.

Accipiter sp. 1
Swinhoe’s Minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis 1
Red-billed Blue Magpie Urocissa erythrorhyncha 3
hirundine sp. 8 flying too high above for ID
Japanese Tit Parus minor 5
Black-throated Bushtit Aegithalos concinnus 8 (flock)
Collared Finchbill Spizixos semitorques 1
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 48
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus 8
Chestnut Bulbul Hemixos castanonotus 2
Rufous-faced Warbler Abroscopus albogularis 4 heard
Brown-flanked Bush Warbler Horornis fortipes 8 heard
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 10 (heard 1 flock)
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus 28
Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis 11 heard
Chinese Hwamei Garrulax canorus 4
Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta 3
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 2
White Wagtail Motacilla alba leucopsis 3
Grey-capped Greenfinch Chloris sinica 6
Russet Sparrow Passer rutilans 5

Fri. 8 May 2015
East Tianmu Mountain Scenic Area, Zhejiang, China

Elaine and I noted 30 species around East Tianmu Mountain. The highlight was finding one of our target species, a singing male Crested Bunting. The bird was a lifer for Elaine and only my second view of the species and first of the male. Emberiza lathami became the 13th Emberiza species Elaine and I have noted in the Shanghai region this spring.

Driving down the mountain road in the park, at an elevation of 600 m, we approached a bus stop, next to which was a cliff made when the road was being constructed. Immediately I was reminded of the similar roadside cliff in Yunnan where I’d seen my female Crested Bunting last year. “This is a good area for buntings,” I said to Elaine. As soon as those words were out of my mouth, I heard birdsong, and I knew at once two things: (1) A bunting was singing and (2) it was a bunting I’d never heard before. “It must be Crested Bunting!” I said. I stopped the car and spotted the bird atop the highest conifer in the area. It sang the same simple song over and over for a few minutes. Using our Swarovski spotting scope and her iPad, Elaine videoed the singing bunting. The Crested Bunting flew to the road, where Elaine observed it feeding. The bunting flew to the top of another conifer down slope. Then it disappeared. We waited half an hour, hoping to see a female or at least a reappearance of the male. Rain finally drove us off the mountain.

A pair of Meadow Bunting were in the Crested Bunting area, and Russet Sparrow again made an appearance. As was the case yesterday, we noted 0 Eurasian Tree Sparrow.

Crested Serpent Eagle with serpent, East Tianmu Mountain.
Crested Serpent Eagle with serpent, East Tianmu Mountain.

Earlier, at the upper terminus of the cable car, Elaine and I saw a Crested Serpent Eagle carrying, you guessed it, a snake on the highest and last ride of its life. Walking from the upper terminus to Zhaoming Temple (Zhàomíng Chánsì [昭明禅寺]), I found a leech in the leaf litter and showed it to Elaine. The disgusting creature had attached itself to my gloved hand on contact. East and West Tianmu Mountain are the most leech-infested places I have ever birded. Beautiful Zhaoming Temple, 1,500 years old, blends harmoniously into the valley. We saw 2 Eurasian Jay, heard Yellow-bellied Tit and Collared Owlet, and on the way back down found 2 Grey Treepie and heard Great Barbet.

Our day began before dawn, when I ate breakfast on the patio of our room, seeing 4 Hair-crested Drongo and a Red-rumped Swallow nesting right under my feet (the underside of the patio). We got past the gate at East Tianmu Mountain and drove to the end of the paved road and down the dirt road to its end, noting there Blue Whistling Thrush, White-crowned Forktail, and Brown Dipper as well as 2 Grey-headed Parrotbill and the first of many Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler.

Our plan was to bird the road and temple then walk to the top of the mountain, where a birder friend of mine said Short-tailed Parrotbill and Slaty Bunting may be found. The rain dashed those plans. We drove to West Tianmu Mountain.

At East Tianmu Mountain, we stayed at Yíjiājū Nóngjiālè (颐佳居农家乐, +86 152-5719-5909 or +86 159-6819-5059, 120 yuan for simple, clean room with bathroom, WiFi, home-cooked meals). The owner, Mr. Wáng, arranged entry for us into East Tianmu Mountain.

Weather: Cloudy in morning, in afternoon turning to rain, at times heavy. 23°C.

Birds Noted around East Tianmu Mountain Scenic Area (Dōng Tiānmùshān Jǐngqū [东天目山景区]), Zhejiang, China (30.342422, 119.509490). Elev. range of birds here noted: 300-800 m.

Chinese Bamboo Partridge Bambusicola thoracicus 5 (flock) heard
Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela 1
Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis 1
Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus 1 heard calling throughout night of 8-9 May at Wú Jiā Cūn
Collared Owlet Glaucidium brodiei 3 heard
Great Barbet Psilopogon virens 1 heard
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius 2
Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae 2
Yellow-bellied Tit Pardaliparus venustulus 5
Japanese Tit Parus minor 3
Black-throated Bushtit Aegithalos concinnus 55 (3 flocks)
Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii 1
Collared Finchbill Spizixos semitorques 6
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 28
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus 18
Chestnut Bulbul Hemixos castanonotus 7
Mountain Bulbul Ixos mcclellandii 5
Rufous-faced Warbler Abroscopus albogularis 13 (12 heard only)
Grey-headed Parrotbill Psittiparus gularis 2
Indochinese Yuhina Yuhina torqueola 30
Rufous-capped Babbler Stachyridopsis ruficeps 1 heard
Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis 4 heard
Huet’s Fulvetta Alcippe hueti 11
Blue Whistling Thrush Myophonus caeruleus 1
White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti 2
Plumbeous Water Redstart Phoenicurus fuliginosus 6
White Wagtail Motacilla alba leucopsis 6
Crested Bunting Emberiza lathami 1
Meadow Bunting E. cioides 5
Russet Sparrow Passer rutilans 2

Sat. 9 May 2015
West Tianmu Mountain Nature Reserve, Zhejiang, China

Elaine and I noted 28 species. We spent most of the day in the Japanese Cedar forest. Fog and large, noisy crowds suppressed our total. We found Buffy Laughingthrush in the forest and nesting Asian House Martin at the entrance to the famous nature reserve. We had a season’s first Dark-sided Flycatcher and found a pair of Grey-chinned Minivet. In the valley, we found Brown Shrike.

West Tianmu Mountain serves as a playground and oxygen chamber for the newly minted middle class of Shanghai and Hangzhou. Each year, they come in their thousands to enjoy a respite from the heat and dirty air of the coastal cities. Their money has improved the lives of the local people, many of whom run small inns, such as the one we stayed at in Wú Jiā Cūn (吴家村). The visitors fill the buses leading up and down the mountain, and from the buses they pour into the forest. The Japanese Cedar forest below Xiānrén Dǐng is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in China. A boardwalk trail leads through a land of giants–Japanese Cedar trees (Cryptomeria japonica) 25 m high and a thousand years old. What is claimed to be the only wild Ginkgo biloba trees in the world are also in this dreamlike garden.

Weather: Fog and light rain throughout day. 23°C

Birds noted around West Tianmu Mountain Nature Reserve (Xī Tiānmùshān Zìrán Bǎohùqū [西天目山自然保护区]), Zhejiang, China (30.333333, 119.416667). List includes observations from lower country at elev. ca. 300 m (Wú Jiā Cūn [吴家村; 30.305956, 119.432787] & entrance to nature reserve [30.312907, 119.447809]), along road to high country (300-1100 m), in Japanese Cedar forest (1100 m), & on hiking trail leading to Xiānrén Dǐng (仙人顶; 1506 m), the highest point on West Tianmu Mountain. 07:20-14:00.

Chinese Bamboo Partridge Bambusicola thoracicus 1 heard
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 1
Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus 4 heard
Cuculus sp. 2 (seen, not calling)
Collared Owlet Glaucidium brodiei 2 heard
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major 3
Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus 2
Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris 2 (pair)
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus 1
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius 2
Red-billed Blue Magpie Urocissa erythrorhyncha 1
Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae 1 heard
Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus 15
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica 10
Collared Finchbill Spizixos semitorques 5
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 5
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus 8
Rufous-faced Warbler Abroscopus albogularis 6 heard
Brown-flanked Bush Warbler Horornis fortipes 2 heard
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 10 (flock) heard
Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis 1 heard
Chinese Hwamei Garrulax canorus 1
Buffy Laughingthrush G. berthemyi 1
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 1
Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica 1
White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti 1
Russet Sparrow Passer rutilans 20
White Wagtail Motacilla alba leucopsis 2
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 1

Sun. 10 May 2015
West Tianmu Mountain Nature Reserve, Zhejiang, China

Elaine and I enjoyed a banner day, noting 42 species. The highlight was a Chestnut-winged Cuckoo appearing out of nowhere and flying straight at my head. The cuckoo was responding to the most effective “phish” I ever did, a whistle imitating its call. 5 Buffy Laughingthrush gave rise to the hope that at Tianmu the species may be locally common. Black Eagle flew low over the forest, Speckled Piculet joined a bird wave, Eurasian Jay and Black Bulbul were visually conspicuous, and Indian Cuckoo, Great Barbet, Collared Owlet, and Rufous-faced Warbler were more often heard than seen. Mugimaki Flycatcher and Brambling were among the migrants noted, with Grey Wagtail a possible breeder and White Wagtail already feeding fledglings.

Elaine and I arrived at the Japanese Cedar forest at 5:55, well before the crowds. The cool, quiet forest was full of enchantment and buzzing with birds. Chinese Hwamei cut melodiously through the silence. A standard bird wave included Black-throated Bushtit, Huet’s Fulvetta, and Indochinese Yuhina. White-crowned Forktail zipped along the creek.

As the hours wore on and noisy hikers began to pass through, Elaine and I followed an abandoned trail a few hundred meters. The trail is leech-infested, but with regular inspections and socks pulled high over our pant legs, we managed to pick off every leech before it found our flesh. Elaine was unnerved and proposed that we stand on some boulders in the sun. There, we noted 2 of our 5 Buffy Laughingthrush.

Our day began at 4:30 at our hotel room in Wú Jiā Cūn (吴家村), with a dawn chorus that included Chinese Bamboo Partridge, Indian Cuckoo, Hair-crested Drongo, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Chinese Blackbird, Russet Sparrow, White Wagtail, and Meadow Bunting.

Chestnut-winged Cuckoo was a lifer for Elaine and a species I hadn’t noted in five years. The cuckoos were calling from deep cover near the trail. My phish caused them to call loudly and fly in a circle around us. The call and vivid colors of this beautiful cuckoo made for an impressive spectacle. The thrill of viewing Clamator coromandus gave me energy as I drove the 260 km back to Shanghai.

Weather: Sunny, 27°C

Birds noted around West Tianmu Mountain Nature Reserve (Xī Tiānmùshān Zìrán Bǎohùqū [西天目山自然保护区]), Zhejiang, China (30.333333, 119.416667). List includes observations from lower country at elev. ca. 300 m (Wú Jiā Cūn [吴家村; 30.305956, 119.432787] & entrance to nature reserve [30.312907, 119.447809]), along road to high country (300-1100 m), in Japanese Cedar forest (1100 m), & on hiking trail leading to Xiānrén Dǐng (仙人顶; 1506 m), the highest point on West Tianmu Mountain. 05:40-14:00.

Chinese Bamboo Partridge Bambusicola thoracicus 5 (flock)
Black Eagle Ictinaetus malaiensis 1
Accipiter sp. 1
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis 1
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 1
Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Clamator coromandus 2
Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus 13 heard
Collared Owlet Glaucidium brodiei 4
Great Barbet Psilopogon virens 5 heard
Speckled Piculet Picumnus innominatus 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major 2
Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus 4
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius 25
Red-billed Blue Magpie Urocissa erythrorhyncha 1
Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae 6
Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus 15
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica 7
Yellow-bellied Tit Pardaliparus venustulus 1
Japanese Tit Parus minor 1
Black-throated Bushtit Aegithalos concinnus 32 (flock of 30, 2 singles)
Collared Finchbill Spizixos semitorques 3
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 20
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus 24
Chestnut Bulbul Hemixos castanonotus 3
Rufous-faced Warbler Abroscopus albogularis 34
Brown-flanked Bush Warbler Horornis fortipes 3
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 15 (heard 2 flocks)
Indochinese Yuhina Yuhina torqueola 32
Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis 7
Huet’s Fulvetta Alcippe hueti 27
Chinese Hwamei Garrulax canorus 10
Buffy Laughingthrush G. berthemyi 5
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 1
White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti 1
Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki 3 (1 pair, 1 single female)
Plumbeous Water Redstart Phoenicurus fuliginosus 2
Russet Sparrow Passer rutilans 9
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 3
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea 4
White Wagtail M. alba leucopsis 8 (including pair feeding fledgling)
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 1
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla 1

Thurs. 14 May 2015
Nanhui, Shanghai

Common Cuckoo, Nanhui, 14 May 2015.
Common Cuckoo, Nanhui, 14 May 2015.

Elaine and I noted 62 species at Nanhui. Black-faced Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpiper, and Oriental Dollarbird were our species of the day. The latter is an uncommon but regular passage migrant in the Shanghai region, as are Large Hawk-Cuckoo and the beautiful Black-capped Kingfisher. Among our first-of-season birds were Yellow Bittern, 2 individuals from the Arctic Warbler Complex, and Black-browed Reed Warbler.

Usually a secretive species, today Common Cuckoo was one of the more conspicuous birds, not only because of its call, heard throughout the day, but also because cuckoos were darting after one another and perching out in the open. Nanhui is a breeding ground for this species, containing as it does hundreds of pairs of Oriental Reed Warbler, whose nests Cuculus canorus parasitizes.

The trees along the sea wall were rich in passerine species, among them Yellow-browed Warbler, Sakhalin/Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Grey-streaked Flycatcher, Blue-and-white Flycatcher, and Mugimaki Flycatcher. The Large Hawk-Cuckoo was heard calling from one of the trees in the mini-forest.

The water level at Pudong Nanhui Dongtan Wetland was too high for shorebirds; we saw not a single shorebird there. Farther N, a single pond held most of our shorebirds. Curlew Sandpiper was in nearly full breeding plumage.

Black-faced Spoonbill were on the mudflats outside the sea wall amid a large group of Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, and Little Egret. Black-capped Kingfisher was viewed perching on the sea wall, and the 2 Oriental Dollarbird were flying over the Magic Parking Lot.

Weather: Rain, mostly drizzle, sometimes a light shower. Rain tapered off in afternoon, but skies remained overcast. 25°C.

Around Pudong Nanhui Dongtan Wetland (Pǔdōng Nánhuì Dōngtān Shīdì [浦东南汇东滩湿地]), Shanghai, China (30.920507, 121.973159); list includes birds found at Magic Parking Lot (30.882784, 121.972782). 06:25-14:15.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 2 (1 heard only)
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 3
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 2 (pair)
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris 3 heard
Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis 8
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 5
Purple Heron A. purpurea 1
Great Egret A. alba 5
Intermediate Egret A. intermedia 6
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 65
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 11
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus 11
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 9
Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor 3
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 5
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 19
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 7
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius 4
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 5
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 4
Marsh Sandpiper T. stagnatilis 21
Common Redshank T. totanus 12
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 1
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata 22
Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea 1
Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis 40
Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis 6
Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides 1 heard
Cuculus sp. 7 (viewed, silent)
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus 13 (9 viewed while calling, 4 heard only)
Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata 1
Oriental Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis 2
Swinhoe’s/Ashy Minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis/P. divaricatus 5 (flock calling while flying quickly overhead)
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus 1
Long-tailed Shrike L. schach 5
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 2
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 67
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 23
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 2 heard
Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus 1
Arctic/Kamchatka Leaf/Japanese Leaf Warbler P. borealis/P. examinandus/P. xanthodryas 2
Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler P. tenellipes/P. borealoides 9
Black-browed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps 25 (20 heard only)
Oriental Reed Warbler A. orientalis ca. 150 (ca. 120 heard only)
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 1
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 3
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 1
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 18
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus 1
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 13
Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus 1
White-cheeked Starling S. cineraceus 2
Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica 2
Asian Brown Flycatcher M. latirostris 2
Grey-streaked Flycatcher M. griseisticta 5
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana 1
Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki 1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 20
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea 6
White Wagtail M. alba leucopsis 4
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni 1
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 1
Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala 3

Thick-billed Warbler, Yangkou, 16 May 2015.
Thick-billed Warbler, Yangkou, 16 May 2015.

Sat. 16 May 2015
Yangkou & Dongtai, Jiangsu

Elaine and I noted 85 species on a two-day trip to Yangkou and a new birding area, Dongtai. Highlights from an eventful weekend:

— Finding Thick-billed Warbler in undergrowth of quasi-forest across from Haiyin Temple at Yangkou

— Finding Pied Harrier plus 52 Red Knot, 48 Great Knot, 16 Grey-tailed Tattler, and 80 Broad-billed Sandpiper at Dongtai

— In Dongtai woodlands, finding Asian Koel, Lesser Cuckoo, and Forest Wagtail–all singing, presumably because they breed there

— Noting other good migrating birds, among them Pied Avocet, Spotted Redshank in black breeding plumage, Eurasian Curlew, Dusky Warbler, Eyebrowed Thrush, Narcissus Flycatcher, and Mugimaki Flycatcher

The birding area at Dongtai is 45 km N of Yangkou and 250 km N of Shanghai. One drives along a 40-km loop that we’ve named the Great Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail. The Trail follows the new sea wall and passes through the forest planted on the old Dongtai Levee.

Habitats at Dongtai are clearly better than at Yangkou. Consider:

— At Dongtai, the mudflats, though truncated by the new sea wall, are free of invasive Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora)

— The lagoons inside the sea wall have not been developed and when the tide is high can easily accommodate thousands of shorebirds

— Windmills are fewer at Dongtai and are absent around the lagoons

— Tourists and shellfish harvesters are much fewer at Dongtai; the new sea-wall road is lonely enough to allow a pair of Kentish Plover to build a nest just beside the road

— The artificial forest is larger and (especially on the N end of the trail) has taller, more widely spaced trees than Yangkou

The healthier environment at Dongtai produces better birding results:

— In five and a half years of regular visits to Yangkou, I’ve never heard Lesser Cuckoo or Asian Koel call, and I’ve heard Forest Wagtail sing only once. At Dongtai, all three species were very vocal, presumably because they breed in the forest of tall trees on the N end of the birding trail

— Other evidence of better forests is the presence of two species of hare at Dongtai: the long-eared Tolai Hare (Lepus tolai) and the shorter-eared Chinese Hare (Lepus sinensis)

— The 52 Red Knot we saw at Dongtai were more than in all my visits to Yangkou put together. Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank have been reported at Dongtai

For all its advantages, Dongtai seems to have no equivalent to the Haiyin Temple forest at Yangkou. The Haiyin Temple forest is unusual; it attracts dozens of species to a compact area. I’ll therefore continue to visit Yangkou, if only to bird the amazing Haiyin Temple.

After driving through the rain from Shanghai to Yangkou on Friday, on Saturday Elaine and I began our day at Yangkou. It was my 17th trip to Yangkou. We noted 41 species. Besides Thick-billed Warbler, we found Arctic Leaf Warbler singing and calling and 2 Black-browed Reed Warbler singing in the shrubs in front of the temple. A group of Finnish birders reported Middendorf’s Grasshopper Warbler and Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler. Here is the recording I made of Arctic Warbler (00:42; 2.5 MB):

This is an image of Arctic Warbler whose voice I sound-recorded at Yangkou (Rudong) Jiangsu, China, 16 May 2015.
This is an image of Arctic Warbler whose voice I sound-recorded at Yangkou (Rudong) Jiangsu, China, 16 May 2015.

And here is the recording of Black-browed Reed Warbler (00:19; 1.5 MB):

Thick-billed Warbler was a lifer for Elaine and me. The bird was silent. When it popped out of the thicket, my first impression was, “Looks a bit like Oriental Reed warbler, but something is different.” What was different? The quasi-forest habitat was not normal habitat for a reed warbler, but this was a migrating bird, and we had just seen Black-browed Reed Warbler in shrubs far from any reeds. Something about the face . . . yes, no eye-line, so prominent in Oriental Reed Warbler. In fact, the face, and indeed the entire bird, was quite plain. I noted more details: short bill, long tail, white chin, sandy-brown underparts–Thick-billed Warbler!

Weather: Sunny, some clouds. 18°-28°C.

Site 1. Haiyin Temple (Hǎiyìn Sì [海印寺], 32.558756, 121.044740), a Buddhist place of worship in Yangkou (Yángkǒu [洋口]), Rudong County (Rúdōng Xiàn [如东县]), Jiangsu, China (32.537730, 121.017746). 05:15-09:25.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 2
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 6
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 30
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 1
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus 1
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 2
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 1
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 1
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa 60
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata 1
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 2
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 2
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 5
Cuculus sp. 1
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 4
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus 2
Long-tailed Shrike L. schach 1
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 7
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 7
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 50
Japanese Tit Parus minor 3
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 20
Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus 3
Arctic Warbler P. borealis 1
Arctic/Kamchatka Leaf/Japanese Leaf Warbler P. borealis/P. examinandus/P. xanthodryas 1
Two-barred Warbler P. plumbeitarsus 1
Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler P. tenellipes/P. borealoides 1
Thick-billed Warbler Iduna aedon 1
Black-browed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps 2
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 1 heard
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 20
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 1
Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus 10
White-cheeked Starling S. cineraceus 20
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 2
Eyebrowed Thrush T. obscurus 1
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris 1
Grey-streaked Flycatcher M. griseisticta 2
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana 2
Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina 2
Mugimaki Flycatcher F. mugimaki 5
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 30
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 8

Elaine and I drove N on the new G228 to Dongtai. We noted 45 species, giving us a day total of 70. On the sea-wall road, we met Hé Xīn (何鑫), a Shanghai-based birder. Hé Xīn and his team had been at Dongtai all day and estimated that they’d been in the presence of about 10,000 birds.

The Red Knot were in two groups, one holding 24 birds, the other 9. In both cases, the Red Knot were in the company of Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.

After completing the sea-wall section of the Great Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail, we headed to the forest inland. As we drove, Elaine picked out a Black-capped Kingfisher.

Site 2. Great Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail, a 40-km loop on coast of Dongtai (Dōngtái [东台]), a county-level city in Jiangsu, China. Important points on Trail are N entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (Dōngtái Hǎidī [东台海堤], 32.868218, 120.912340), T-junction on Dongtai Levee Road (32.855576, 120.896557), viewing area on W side of lagoons (32.850988, 120.958103), S entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (32.759765, 120.928722), SE corner of sea wall (32.759499, 120.962893), & NE corner of sea wall (32.872444, 120.951522). 11:10-18:50.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 9 (7 heard only)
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 13
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 2
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 2
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 25
Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos 1
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 4
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta 12
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 2
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 35
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus 5
Greater/Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii/C. mongolus 125
Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus 3
Little Ringed Plover C. dubius 1
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 32
Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes 7
Spotted Redshank T. erythropus 15
Common Greenshank T. nebularia 28
Marsh Sandpiper T. stagnatilis 1
Common Redshank T. totanus 8
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 40
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa 75
Bar-tailed Godwit L. lapponica 80
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 5
Red Knot Calidris canutus 33
Broad-billed Sandpiper C. falcinellus 80
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper C. acuminata 90
Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea 3
Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis 60
Sanderling C. alba 1
Dunlin C. alpina 130
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 40
Little Tern Sternula albifrons 25
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus 8
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 25
Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata 1
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 2
Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo 1
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus 3
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 7
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 2
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 8
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 2
Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta 3
Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus 4

Sun. 17 May 2015
Dongtai, Jiangsu

Grey-headed Lapwing breed in the reclaimed areas at Dongtai. The chicks are adorable.
Grey-headed Lapwing breed in the reclaimed areas at Dongtai. The chicks are adorable.

Elaine and I noted 57 species. A Common Pheasant hen was seen with her 8 youngsters following, a pair of Grey-headed Lapwing had 2 fledglings, and the Kentish Plover was still brooding her three eggs on the sea-wall road. The 48 Great Knot and 19 Red Knot were in the lagoons, even though the tide had not yet reached the wall. With memories of Common Cuckoo fresh on my mind, I noted the smaller size of the Lesser Cuckoo at Dongtai, a distinction possible to make even with a fleeting glimpse. One of our Lesser Cuckoo seemed to be hepatic. 3 Common Cuckoo were calling. Along one of the unpaved, forest-lined levee roads leading off the main road, Black-naped Oriole were offering snatches of song.

We spent a restful Saturday night at Greentree Inn (Gélín Háotài Jiǔdiàn [格林豪泰酒店], 160 yuan/night for clean, modern room with fast Internet & breakfast, +86 (0) 515-85820999; 32.749262, 120.850125).

Weather: Sunny, 28°C

Eurasian Oystercatcher, Dongtai, 17 May 2015.
Eurasian Oystercatcher, Dongtai, 17 May 2015.

Great Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail, a 40-km loop on coast of Dongtai (Dōngtái [东台]), a county-level city in Jiangsu, China. Important points on Trail are N entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (Dōngtái Hǎidī [东台海堤], 32.868218, 120.912340), T-junction on Dongtai Levee Road (32.855576, 120.896557), viewing area on W side of lagoons (32.850988, 120.958103), S entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (32.759765, 120.928722), SE corner of sea wall (32.759499, 120.962893), & NE corner of sea wall (32.872444, 120.951522). 07:50-15:00.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 13
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 18
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 4
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus 3
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 4
Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus 1
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 7
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus 13
Greater/Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii/C. mongolus 6
Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus 4
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 8
Grey-tailed Tattler T. brevipes 9
Common Redshank T. totanus 6
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 1
Eurasian Curlew N. arquata 41
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa 45
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris 48
Red Knot C. canutus 19
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper C. acuminata 90
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 27
Black-headed Gull C. ridibundus 60
Little Tern Sternula albifrons 30
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 8
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove) Columba livia 1
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis 2
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 10
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus 3 heard
Lesser Cuckoo C. poliocephalus 3
Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus 1 male
Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata 1
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major 1
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus 1
Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis 2
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 4
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 9
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 58
Japanese Tit Parus minor 4
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 25
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 8
Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus 1
Arctic/Kamchatka Leaf/Japanese Leaf Warbler P. borealis/P. examinandus/P. xanthodryas 1
Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler P. tenellipes/P. borealoides 1
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 10 heard
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 1 heard
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 49
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 4
White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus 7
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 6
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris 3
Grey-streaked Flycatcher M. griseisticta 8
Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki 1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 10
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea 1
Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus 1 heard
Grey-capped Greenfinch Chloris sinica 8
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 3

Thurs. 21 May 2015
Lesser Yangshan Island and Nanhui

This highly shy Middendorf's Grasshopper Warbler Locustella ochotensis appeared in the reed beds at Nanhui on 21 May 2015.
This highly shy Middendorf’s Grasshopper Warbler Locustella ochotensis appeared in the reed beds at Nanhui on 21 May 2015.

Elaine, Kai Pflug, and I noted 60 species. Among our highlights were Middendorf’s Grasshopper Warbler and a first-of-season Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, both seen at Nanhui.

The fine weather made for slow birding on Lesser Yangshan Island. Among the few migrants were silent Cuculus cuckoos and our only leaf warbler, Eastern Crowned Warbler. Among the species defending territories and nesting were Blue Rock Thrush and Meadow Bunting. We noted 24 species on Lesser Yangshan.

Weather: Warm and sunny, with exceptionally clear visibility to the horizon; Nanhui easily discernible from Lesser Yangshan, and vice-versa. 18°-28°C.

Site 1. Lesser Yangshan Island (Xiǎo Yángshān [小洋山]), island in Hangzhou Bay, Zhejiang, China (list includes birds noted at Garbage Dump Gully [30.641565, 122.062836], Garbage Dump Coastal Plain [30.638860, 122.060089], Xiǎoyánglíng Cove [30.642243, 122.066940], & Temple Mount [30.639945, 122.048277]); 06:10-10:30.

Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 1
Cuculus sp. 4
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus 3
Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis 1
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos 2
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 3
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica 3
Japanese Tit Parus minor 4
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 13
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 6
Brown-flanked Bush Warbler H. fortipes 1
Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus 1
Black-browed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps 3
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 6
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus 5
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris 6
Grey-streaked Flycatcher M. griseisticta 2
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius philippensis 5
White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus 3
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 10
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea 1
White Wagtail M. alba leucopsis 1
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 2
Black-faced Bunting E. spodocephala 2

Eurasian Bittern, Nanhui, 21 May 2015.
Eurasian Bittern, Nanhui, 21 May 2015.

We noted 48 species at Nanhui. Middendorf’s Grasshopper Warbler was a lifer for everyone. We found it in the reed beds S of the road going through Dongtan Wetland. The bird was on the mud at the edge of the reeds, along the canal. It was silent. We observed the bird for several minutes. During that time, the bird never left the ground; it would stand still for a few minutes then walk and forage. Locustella ochotensis departs late (mid-May) from its wintering grounds in the Philippines and Borneo and follows the Chinese coast en route to its breeding grounds on Hokkaido and Sakhalin and in the mainland Russian Far East.

Dongtan Wetland was once again flooded and nearly devoid of birds. A male Northern Shoveler and single Great Cormorant looked lost out there. Farther back, a pool contained a paltry number of shorebirds, among them Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. The tuneless calls of Oriental Reed Warbler were attractive not only to possible mates but also to Common Cuckoo. We played back calls and songs of Sakhalin/Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, but as none of the 6 birds we saw responded and none vocalized, their ID must remain indeterminate. Yellow Bittern flew past on 4 occasions, and Eurasian Bittern were booming.

Common Sandpiper, Nanhui, 21 May 2015. Using the door of the car as a blind, I climbed out and lay on the ground. The low sun was directly behind me. I was using Kai Pflug's 1.4x TC on my Nikon 600 mm F4 lens attached to my Nikon D3S. The feet of the sandpiper are cut off, but there was no way around that. F9, 1/1260, ISO 1600.
Common Sandpiper, Nanhui, 21 May 2015. Using the door of the car as a blind, I climbed out and lay on the ground. The low sun was directly behind me. I was using Kai Pflug’s 1.4x TC on my Nikon 600 mm F4 lens attached to my Nikon D3S. The feet of the sandpiper are cut off, but there was no way around that. F9, 1/1260, ISO 1600.

Site 2. Around Pudong Nanhui Dongtan Wetland (Pǔdōng Nánhuì Dōngtān Shīdì [浦东南汇东滩湿地]), Shanghai, China (30.920507, 121.973159); list includes birds found at Magic Parking Lot (30.882784, 121.972782). 11:20-18:00.

Eastern Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha 5
Northern Shoveler A. clypeata 1
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 1 heard
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 8
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris 3 (2 heard only)
Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis 4
Great Egret Ardea alba 1
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 5
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 13
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 4
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 16
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 2
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius 3
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 2
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 5
Marsh Sandpiper T. stagnatilis 5
Wood Sandpiper T. glareola 2
Common Redshank T. totanus 1
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 1
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata 8
Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis 1
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 1
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus 6
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus 1 singing
Long-tailed Shrike L. schach 2
Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis 1
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 1
Japanese Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata 1 female
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 2
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 15
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 1
Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus 1
Yellow-browed Warbler P. inornatus 1
Arctic/Kamchatka Leaf/Japanese Leaf Warbler P. borealis/P. examinandus/P. xanthodryas 2 heard
Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler P. tenellipes/P. borealoides 6
Black-browed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps 10 heard
Oriental Reed Warbler A. orientalis 120 (ca. 90 heard only)
Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warbler Locustella ochotensis 1
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 5
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 6 (2 heard only)
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 25 (20 heard only)
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 2
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris 5
Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki 1
White Wagtail Motacilla alba leucopsis 2
Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala 1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 10

23-24 May 2015

I was in Seoul teaching birding and bird photography to a friend’s son.

28-31 May 2015

Elaine and I took our second of two birding trips this spring to Emeifeng, Fujian.

Sun. 7 June 2015
Nanhui

Elaine and I noted 33 species. Oriental Pratincole and Black Bittern were new to our Shanghai-area springtime list. We noted just 5 Kentish Plover, among them a breeding pair, and only 5 Little Ringed Plover.

The reed beds, ponds, and mudflats presented a different face from previous months, with zero passage-migrant species noted. The micro-forests on the sea wall, laboratories for the study of migrating passerines in April and May, were nearly devoid of birds today. Completely absent were the leaf warblers, thrushes, and flycatchers of a few weeks ago. The birds we saw today were there to breed. The Oriental Reed Warbler chasing away Common Cuckoo provided a neat example of the new breeding theme. Both were looking for the same type of nest, but with different goals in mind.

On the reed beds and grassy areas, steadily being sliced and shrunk by that voracious predator the backhoe, birds that should be breeding in some numbers were present in greatly reduced numbers. As I searched for Kentish Plover, I had in mind Jonathan Martinez’s study of the dwindling population of Kentish Plover along the Chinese coast. Sadly, Elaine and I found only a single breeding pair, near the blue-roofed building at 30.957666, 121.951278. I stumbled upon the Kentish Plover and watched the lonely parents as they pathetically called and circled me, warding me off their eggs or young. “Where are your cousins?” I wanted to say.

Elsewhere, we saw 2 males sparring, possibly competing for females. Where were the females?

Oriental Pratincole kept getting scared off by men on motorcycles. Finally, Elaine and I came upon a calmer pair. Through the spotting scope we admired the well-defined black border around the throat, and we saw them lift their bills high and call to each other. The beauty and grace of these plover-like birds impressed Elaine. We discussed the highly appropriate Chinese word for pratincole, “swallow-plover (燕鸻).”

The Black Bittern was flying N over the sea wall. I’d never seen Dupetor flavicollis in Shanghai. Brazil and MacKinnon place the N limit of its breeding range at the Yangtze River.

Around Pudong Nanhui Dongtan Wetland (Pǔdōng Nánhuì Dōngtān Shīdì [浦东南汇东滩湿地]), Shanghai, China (30.920507, 121.973159); list includes birds found at Magic Parking Lot (30.882784, 121.972782) and at points N & S of Magic Parking Lot along Shìjìtáng Lù (世纪塘路). 10:55-17:15.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 4 (3 heard only)
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 5
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 1
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris 2 heard booming
Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis 20
Black Bittern Dupetor flavicollis 1
Great Egret Ardea alba 4
Grey Heron A. cinerea 3
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 30
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 17
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus 3
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 7
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 8
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 5
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 2
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius 5 (incl. probable breeding pair)
Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus 5
Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum 6 (2 pairs, 2 singles)
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove) Columba livia 1
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 2
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus 8
Eurasian/Oriental Skylark Alauda arvensis or A. gulgula 22 singing
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 35
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 5
Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis 70 (ca. 55 heard only)
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 24
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 12
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 5 singles
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 40 (3 flocks, 3 singles)
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 8
White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus 2
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus ca. 200
White Wagtail Motacilla alba leucopsis 6 (4 adults, 2 juvs.)

Fri. 12 June 2015
Dongtai

Elaine and I spent Friday through Sunday around Dongtai, noting 84 species. Our three-day trip provided many surprises. Highlights:

— Finding Black-faced Spoonbill and Nordmann’s Greenshank

— Viewing large flocks of Eurasian Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, and Terek Sandpiper

— Finding a pair of Pied Avocet breeding far south of the breeding grounds

— Glimpsing a civet, most likely Masked Palm Civet

— Seeing Pheasant-tailed Jacana, a formerly common species growing rarer

— At Yangkou, finding 2 Japanese Paradise Flycatcher

— Experiencing personal favorites such as 5 species of cuckoo (Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Indian Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, Lesser Cuckoo, and Asian Koel), Oriental Dollarbird, and Eurasian Hobby

— Enjoying views of the beautiful Pied Harrier

— Watching Barn Swallow nesting above the entrance to a bank near our hotel

On Friday, Elaine and I noted 43 species. We were surprised to find large numbers of Eurasian Curlew and Bar-tailed Godwit, we enjoyed sustained views of Pied Harrier and Eurasian Hobby, and we saw a Chestnut-eared Bunting perching on a wire. Lesser Cuckoo and Asian Koel were calling from the large quasi-forests, and Common Cuckoo were hunting caterpillars from conspicuous perches and calling. We added Red Turtle Dove to our spring 2015 list.

The sight of the curlews and godwits (as well as Terek Sandpiper and Eurasian Oystercatcher) left me wondering whether those birds have vowed celibacy for 2015 or whether they still have a chance to make it to Siberia to breed.

As part of our commitment to help Jonathan Martinez in his study of the demise of Kentish Plover along the SE coast of China, we visited the roadside nest site Elaine and I found in May. The tiny depression was still there; you could see the pebbles placed at the bottom by the parents. No sign of the plover family was seen. Later, several kilometers from the nest site, we found a group of 5 on the mudflats below.

As Elaine and I were driving through the thick tree plantation, I glimpsed a mammal. This specimen was beige, had a long tail about as long as the rest of its body, was about the size of a dog, and was creeping low to the ground. Could it be possible that I saw Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica)?

UPDATE: On 13 June 2015, I received word from Jonathan Martinez and Brian Ivon Jones that the mammal I describe above most likely was not a pangolin. Jonathan suggested civet. I now am almost certain that the animal I saw was Masked Palm Civet Paguma larvata. According to Wikipedia, Masked Palm Civet has “orange-brown to gray fur” (I say “beige” in my paragraph above) that “completely lacks spots, stripes, and other patterns besides a mask.” The civet I saw indeed lacked spots on its back and tail. (I did not see the face.) Moreover, Wikipedia reports that Masked Palm Civet is “occasionally active during the day,” and it is one of the few species of civet whose range extends as far north as Jiangsu. All the foregoing is strong evidence supporting Masked Palm Civet. Thanks, Jonathan and Brian, for disabusing me of the pangolin notion, and thanks, Jonathan, for pointing me toward civets!

Great Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail, a 40-km loop on coast of Dongtai (Dōngtái [东台]), a county-level city in Jiangsu, China. Important points on Trail are N entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (Dōngtái Hǎidī [东台海堤], 32.868218, 120.912340), T-junction on Dongtai Levee Road (32.855576, 120.896557), viewing area on W side of lagoons (32.850988, 120.958103), S entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (32.759765, 120.928722), SE corner of sea wall (32.759499, 120.962893), & NE corner of sea wall (32.872444, 120.951522). 15:50-19:00.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 8 (7 heard only)
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 9
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 5
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus 3
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 4
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus 1
Pied Harrier C. melanoleucos 2
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 6
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus 2
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 5
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 3
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 28
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 265
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 170
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 24
Little Tern Sternula albifrons 10
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 2
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis 2
Red Turtle Dove S. tranquebarica 2
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus 5
Lesser Cuckoo C. poliocephalus 2
Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus 2
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 2
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 6
Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo 1
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 5
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 10
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 45
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica 2
Japanese Tit Parus minor 3
Collared Finchbill Spizixos semitorques 2
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 25
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 18
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 7
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 7
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana ca. 60
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 2
White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus 19
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 1 heard
Chestnut-eared Bunting E. fucata 1
Grey-capped Greenfinch Chloris sinica 1
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 13
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 5

Mammals

Civet sp. 1. Most likely Masked Palm Civet Paguma larvata.

Sat. 13 June 2015
Dongtai

Elaine and I had an amazing day, one that affirmed the value of Dongtai as a coastal birding hotspot in the Shanghai region. Among the 57 species Elaine and I noted were the endangered Black-faced Spoonbill and Nordmann’s Greenshank. We added Pheasant-tailed Jacana to our spring 2015 list, and we saw a pair of Pied Avocet defending their young.

All 21 Black-faced Spoonbill were sub-adults (none was in breeding plumage). We first found a flock of 11, one of which with bands on its tibiae. The band on the left tibia was divided into a white top third, a red middle third, and a white bottom third. The band on the right tibia had lettering, unreadable at first, for the birds were a great distance from us and the wind was blowing. We stabilized our Swarovski ATX-95, turned the zoom to 70x, and finally read the code “S88.” The flock flew north, and later we found the original flock incorporated into a larger flock of 21 birds. We surmised that this was so because we found a banded spoonbill in the flock of 21.

UPDATE: On 24 June 2015, I received an e-mail from Kisup Lee of Waterbird Network Korea. Black-faced Spoonbill No. S88 was banded on 28 June 2014 at Incheon, South Korea. S88 was born at Incheon around 28 May 2014 (ca. 30 days before banding). S88 spent the winter of 2014-15 in Taiwan and was present until at least 20 May 2015 at Aogu Wetland, Taiwan. I sent my report on S88 to the Australasian Wader Studies Group, and Roger Standen quickly got me in touch with Waterbird Network Korea and the Black-faced Spoonbill Conservation Network. The latter has a form, linked to above, that can be used for reporting banded Black-faced Spoonbill.

The 7 Nordmann’s Greenshank also were in non-breeding plumage. They were associating loosely with Grey Plover. The Nordmann’s were even farther away than the spoonbills had been, and they were seen later in the day, when the heat haze was strong. For maximum stabilization of our scope, I collapsed the legs of our Gitzo tripod and sat on the ground. Elaine huddled close to the scope, blocking the wind with her body. Thus stabilized, the scope delivered convincing images of the birds’ stocky shape (thick neck, large head); thick-based, slightly upturned bill; white rump and back with few grey bars on the tail; and different “jizz” from Common Greenshank. Regarding the latter observation, whereas Common Greenshank tends to forage and remain active even at inland roosts, the Nordmann’s today would sit still for long periods then shuffle off a few paces. I also was able to make out the non-black color of the short legs (which in good light are yellowish-green).

Of the 34 Pied Avocet we noted, 2 obviously were breeding. At a random stop on the road leading to the sea wall, Elaine and I were greeted by a pair of avocets hurling abuse at us in the form of a shrill call and close overflights. As I walked along the road, the avocets followed me. The avocets’ aggression was evidence enough for me that chicks were nearby.

Breeding Pied Avocet were just one of several species that surprised us by their presence in Jiangsu in mid-June. Black-faced Spoonbill and Nordmann’s Greenshank breed in Korea and Russia, respectively, though juveniles are more likely to wait out the breeding season farther south. Another species somewhat out of place was Pheasant-tailed Jacana, an increasingly uncommon bird along the southeast China coast and one that historically has been rare north of the Yangtze River. The single male Northern Shoveler and single Eurasian Coot were clear anomalies, lonely figures far from their brethren breeding far to the north. By contrast, the large flocks of Bar-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew, and Terek Sandpiper rivaled the flocks one sees in this region during the height of migration season. Other species far from their breeding grounds were Ruddy Turnstone, Great Knot, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, and Greater/Lesser Sand Plover. In the latter case, as was the case with Black-faced Spoonbill and Nordmann’s Greenshank, no Sand Plover we saw was in breeding plumage, suggesting that they too were not adults. (Because of the distance and heat haze, we made no attempt to distinguish Lesser Sand Plover from Greater Sand Plover.)

One plover that should be seen in some numbers in Jiangsu in June, Kentish Plover, was present in pitifully poor numbers–just 3. Jonathan Martinez is studying the dramatic decline of Charadrius alexandrinus in southeast China and blames it on the lack of suitable breeding areas in the wake of the runaway development along the Chinese coast.

Weather: Hazy and cool in morning, visibility poor. Turning brighter and hotter. High 35°C.

Great Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail, a 40-km loop on coast of Dongtai (Dōngtái [东台]), a county-level city in Jiangsu, China. Important points on Trail are N entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (Dōngtái Hǎidī [东台海堤], 32.868218, 120.912340), T-junction on Dongtai Levee Road (32.855576, 120.896557), viewing area on W side of lagoons (32.850988, 120.958103), S entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (32.759765, 120.928722), SE corner of sea wall (32.759499, 120.962893), & NE corner of sea wall (32.872444, 120.951522). 07:30-13:00.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 1
Eastern Spot-billed Duck A. zonorhyncha 4
Northern Shoveler A. clypeata 1
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 16 (8 heard only)
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 14
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 1
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 32
Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor 21
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 1
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta 34
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 5
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 15
Greater/Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii/C. mongolus 40
Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus 3
Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus 1
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 90
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 50
Nordmann’s Greenshank T. guttifer 7
Common Redshank T. totanus 16
Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis 2
Eurasian Curlew N. arquata 365
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 540
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 3
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris 13
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 60
Black-headed Gull C. ridibundus 30
Black-tailed Gull Larus crassirostris 18
Little Tern Sternula albifrons 35
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 3
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus 17
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 16
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis 2
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 6 (5 heard only)
Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides 1 heard
House Swift Apus nipalensis 7 (flock)
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 1
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 6
Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis 4
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 11
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 5
Eurasian/Oriental Skylark Alauda arvensis or A. gulgula 10 heard
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 25
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica 3
Japanese Tit Parus minor 2 heard
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 10
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 8
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 14
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 5
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 7
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 9
White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus 18
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 15
White Wagtail Motacilla alba leucopsis 1
Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus 5 (4 heard only)
Grey-capped Greenfinch Chloris sinica 1
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 9
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 2

Sun. 14 June 2015
Dongtai and Yangkou

Elaine and I noted 63 species. The highlight was seeing a pair of Japanese Paradise Flycatcher in the little forest at Haiyin Temple in Yangkou. Earlier, at Dongtai, we again noted Pheasant-tailed Jacana. As the tide was out, shorebird numbers were down from Saturday, but a wide array of shorebirds was again noted, with Eurasian Curlew leading the way. Black-faced Spoonbill and Nordmann’s Greenshank were not noted.

We drove the Great Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail counterclockwise, starting along the new sea wall. There, in addition to Little Tern, Common Tern, and Saunders’s Gull, which were a constant presence, we found a female Asian Koel. She was flying southward along the grassy inland side of the sea wall.

We saw the Pheasant-tailed Jacana in the same area in which we had noted the species Saturday. I took the sight of a single jacana to be bad news. The bird was north of its regular breeding range; why? The answer may be that Dongtai is acting as a kind of refugium.

Shorebirds are being pushed out here, pushed out there, again and again along the rapidly deteriorating Chinese coast. One can scarcely imagine the nearly constant disturbances and loss of habitat shorebirds in China are experiencing. In Yangkou, for example, factories now fill much of the reclaimed land that used to host thousands of birds. Even in the places where it is still possible to forage and roost, the bulldozers and backhoes are just a bit closer and noisier, and just 700 m from the rump wetland, a road that did not exist two years ago is now being used by dozens of vehicles per hour, creating noise and movement that shorebirds cannot tolerate.

Multiply Yangkou by a thousand, and you have the situation on the Chinese coast today. Many of the birds being pushed out of formerly tolerable mudflats and coastal marshes are ending up at Dongtai, where the pressure is a tad less. They tend to linger at Dongtai and grow in numbers, as more and more of their kind end up there by a process of elimination.

As numbers of individuals grow, so too grows the variety of species, so that we find Black-faced Spoonbill and Nordmann’s Greenshank there in June, and surprisingly large numbers of Eurasian Curlew and Bar-tailed Godwit.

The presence of Pheasant-tailed Jacana may also be indicative. Back in 2000, MacKinnon already noted that Pheasant-tailed Jacana was “rather rare due to lack of quiet habitat” (A Field Guide to the Birds of China). If in 2000 MacKinnon was saying that, then imagine the situation now. At Dongtai, a Pheasant-tailed Jacana is 200 km north of the Yangtze River, generally accepted to be the northern limit of its range. But if suitable places south of the river are becoming fewer and fewer, then it may be the case that some jacanas, in their search for peace and quiet, are ending up in unexpected places, such as Dongtai.

Once off the new sea wall, at the northern end of the Birding Trail, Elaine and I made a detour to Yellow Sea Forest Park (Huánghǎi Sēnlín Gōngyuán [黄海森林公园]). Bird activity was low. We added Indian Cuckoo and Brown-flanked Bush Warbler to our Dongtai list.

We drove back to our hotel, Greentree Inn (Gélín Háotài Jiǔdiàn [格林豪泰酒店], +86 (0) 515-85820999; 32.749262, 120.850125). At the bank next door, just above the entrance, a pair of Barn Swallow have raised a brood. So accustomed to humans are the swallows that we could walk to an arm’s length of the fledglings without provoking any fear. As common as Barn Swallow are, how can one tire of watching their graceful movements? How can one not admire the way the parents fluttered expertly to the crack above the door where one of their fledglings was perching, and never crash into the glass? I watched a parent snatch a moth from midair, lose it, and then gracefully catch it again, all in the space of 2 seconds. Here was “folk birding” at its best. Every Chinese knows what a swallow is, swallows are revered as harbingers of spring, and no one bothers them. The bank even laid out newspaper on the step under the nest to absorb the droppings.

Next, we drove to Yangkou, where in addition to Japanese Paradise Flycatcher we added Oriental Dollarbird and Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker to our list.

Weather: Warm and overcast in morning, turning hotter. Strong northerly wind hastened our departure from new sea-wall road. High 35°C.

Great Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail, a 40-km loop on coast of Dongtai (Dōngtái [东台]), a county-level city in Jiangsu, China. Important points on Trail are N entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (Dōngtái Hǎidī [东台海堤], 32.868218, 120.912340), T-junction on Dongtai Levee Road (32.855576, 120.896557), viewing area on W side of lagoons (32.850988, 120.958103), S entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (32.759765, 120.928722), SE corner of sea wall (32.759499, 120.962893), & NE corner of sea wall (32.872444, 120.951522). List includes observations from Huánghǎi Sēnlín Gōngyuán (黄海森林公园; 32.871523, 120.826074) as well as from Yangkou (Yángkǒu [洋口]), a fishing town in Rudong County (Rúdōng Xiàn [如东县]; 32.537730, 121.017746). Areas visited in Yangkou: Haiyin Temple (Hǎiyìn Sì [海印寺], 32.558756, 121.044740), unpaved road N of Haiyin Temple (32.570807, 121.015638), & areas around “Little Temple” (32.595616, 120.971194). 05:30-11:30 (Dongtai); 14:30-16:00 (Yangkou).

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 8 (4 heard only)
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 12
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea 2 at Yangkou
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 28
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 5
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus 2 at Yangkou
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 125 at Yangkou
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta 1
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 7
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 1
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus 6
Greater/Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii/C. mongolus 7
Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus 2
Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus 1
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 20
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 31
Common Redshank T. totanus 2
Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis 5
Eurasian Curlew N. arquata 70
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 5
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 40
Little Tern Sternula albifrons 10
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 15
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis 2
Red Turtle Dove S. tranquebarica 12
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 6
Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides 1 heard
Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus 1 heard
Common Cuckoo C. canorus 4
Lesser Cuckoo C. poliocephalus 1 heard
Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus 1 female
Oriental Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis 1 at Yangkou
Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus 1 at Yangkou
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 18
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 1 female
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus 3 at Yangkou
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 3
Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis 3
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 18
Japanese Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata 2 at Yangkou
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus 1
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 7
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 28
Japanese Tit Parus minor 1
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 30
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 14
Brown-flanked Bush Warbler H. fortipes 1
Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis 15
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 7
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 4 heard
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 30
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus 4
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 5
Red-billed Starling Spodiopsar sericeus 8
White-cheeked Starling S. cineraceus 6
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 20
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 50
White Wagtail Motacilla alba leucopsis 2
Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus 9
Grey-capped Greenfinch Chloris sinica 1
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 11
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 1
Chestnut-eared Bunting E. fucata 1

Sat. 20 June 2015
Dongtai

Elaine and I spent 20-22 June at Dongtai and noted 58 species. Highlights:

— On the evening of 21 June, finding Spoon-billed Sandpiper on the mudflat as the tide receded

Chinese Egret (R) with Little Egret, Dongtai, 21 June 2015. Photographed with iPhone 6 and Swarovski ATX-95 spotting scope.
Chinese Egret (R) with Little Egret, Dongtai, 21 June 2015. Photographed with iPhone 6 and Swarovski ATX-95 spotting scope.

— Viewing 2 Chinese Egret, 1 individual each on 2 days

— Noting large numbers of Great Knot (319), Eurasian Curlew (195), and Terek Sandpiper (161), and seeing lesser numbers of Curlew Sandpiper, Red Knot, and Grey Plover. 410 Greater Sand Plover and Lesser Sand Plover were noted, with 30 of the former and 20 of the latter ID’d to species level

— Adding Lesser Coucal to our spring 2015 list

— Positively ID’ing Tolai Hare

— Finding another nesting site of Kentish Plover, this one again in a precarious position just inches from the groove worn by tires onto an unpaved road

On Saturday, Dongtai once again produced interesting species, with Chinese Egret leading the list. Great Knot and Curlew Sandpiper were present, and we noted Spotted Redshank. Numbers of Bar-tailed Godwit were down from last week.

For months now, Elaine and I have been taking the time to pick through groups of Little Egret, looking for the elusive Chinese Egret. Today, gazing from the sea-wall road to the mudflats below, our efforts finally paid off. Our Chinese Egret showed the characteristic dagger-like bill, orange now in breeding season. The legs and feet were uniformly yellow-green. IUCN lists Egretta eulophotes as Vulnerable, mainly because of land reclamation along the coast of China.

The single Dunlin we saw was in breeding plumage, and the Spotted Redshank was in non-breeding plumage. All the Curlew Sandpiper were in breeding plumage, and nearly all the Great Knot were in non-breeding or juvenile plumage.

The hare we saw had black tips to its long ears and black on the middle of its tail. We saw it at about 15:00 running through heavily vegetated areas at the inland base of the sea wall. In Mammals of China, Smith and Xie describe the tail of Tolai Hare Lepus tolai as having a “broad black or blackish-brown stripe above”; they also mention the black tips to the ears.

We noted 29 species of bird.

Weather: Windy, overcast, and cool. 24°C.

Great Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail, a 40-km loop on coast of Dongtai (Dōngtái [东台]), a county-level city in Jiangsu, China. Important points on Trail are N entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (Dōngtái Hǎidī [东台海堤], 32.868218, 120.912340), T-junction on Dongtai Levee Road (32.855576, 120.896557), viewing area on W side of lagoons (32.850988, 120.958103), S entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (32.759765, 120.928722), SE corner of sea wall (32.759499, 120.962893), & NE corner of sea wall (32.872444, 120.951522). 15:00-19:10.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 3
Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes 1
Little Egret E. garzetta 56
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 16
Greater/Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii/C. mongolus 60
Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus 11
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 9
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 1
Common Greenshank T. nebularia 88
Common Redshank T. totanus 11
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 4
Far Eastern Curlew N. madagascariensis 13
Eurasian Curlew N. arquata 35
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 7
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris 59
Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea 5
Dunlin C. alpina 1
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 40
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 5
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus 3
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 1
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 2
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 4
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 3
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 5
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 3
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 3
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 1
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 1

Mammals

Tolai Hare Lepus tolai 1

Sun. 21 June 2015
Dongtai

I viewed a single Spoon-billed Sandpiper for about 15 seconds from our car. I saw the bird at 17:20 on the mudflat at the NE corner of the sea wall (32.872444, 120.951522). I viewed the bird through my Swarovski ATX-95.

The tide was receding, and as the mudflat near the NE corner is always the first to emerge, Elaine and I were on the sea wall above, waiting. Birds began arriving, mainly Eurasian Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Greater Sand Plover, and Lesser Sand Plover. I saw a Dunlin (the only one Elaine and I saw all day), an anomaly that caused me to slow down my scan. Near the Dunlin was a small Calidrid-like bird. Seeing a small Calidrid roused me even further, for throughout the day we had seen only 4 such birds (3 Red-necked Stint and 1 Sanderling). The feeding action looked like Spoon-billed Sandpiper; the bird was not poking at the mud in the manner of a stint but straining the water with its bill, as I’ve seen Spoon-billed Sandpiper do many times. The bird turned its back to me at a slight angle, allowing me to make out the spatulate bill. The bird showed no rufous plumage. I saw brown, possibly white-fringed feathers on the upperparts and buff or brown streaking on the crown. Before I could get a photo, the bird flew off as the receding tide opened up more mudflat. We searched but found it not again.

The view of the critically endangered Calidris pygmea was the capstone on a rich birding day in which we noted 57 species. In addition to Spoon-billed Sandpiper, we noted a second Chinese Egret, and we added Lesser Coucal to our spring 2015 list. We again found reduced numbers of Bar-tailed Godwit, and we noted large flocks of Terek Sandpiper and Great Knot. Eurasian Curlew far outnumbered Far Eastern Curlew; there were appreciable numbers of Eurasian Oystercatcher, Common Greenshank, and Grey Plover; and we noted a handful each of Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, and Curlew Sandpiper.

Scanning a large flock of Sand Plover during the tidal roost, I discovered Greater and Lesser mixing freely together in various plumage stages, from full breeding to full non-breeding. Of the 50 that I analyzed, about 30 showed the long bill, lighter legs, and non-rufous flanks (in breeding plumage) characteristic of Greater Sand Plover. A Greater Sand Plover had a yellow band on its right tibia.

The Chinese Egret was associating with Little Egret near the base of the wall on the landward side. This time, we managed to get photos. This bird, which had blue-black tibiae and tarsi and yellow feet, was not the same individual as the one we saw Sunday. The one we saw Sunday had uniformly greenish-yellow feet, tarsi, and tibiae.

In the morning, we drove 25 km N of the Great Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail. The entire route is tree-lined and little trafficked and may be a good place to view passerines during migration season. However, the cars that do pass are often speeding. Roadkill was great, with Amur Hedgehog Erinaceus amurensis, Chinese Blackbird, and Eurasian Hoopoe among the many victims.

Lesser Coucal, Dongtai, 21 June 2015. Photographed with iPhone 6 and Swarovski ATX-95 spotting scope.
Lesser Coucal, Dongtai, 21 June 2015. Photographed with iPhone 6 and Swarovski ATX-95 spotting scope.

The Lesser Coucal, a pair, were found among reeds near the T-junction on Dongtai Levee Road (32.855576, 120.896557). They were vocal. I made this recording (00:31; 2 MB):

The Larus gull that we saw was possibly a first-summer Black-tailed Gull Larus crassirostris. I noted a prominent black tail bar. The gull was flying S along the sea wall at 40 km/h.

The 46 Black-headed Gull were noted in a single area. Not a single individual was black-hooded. All had vertical head-streaking and clean, grey upperparts and remiges.

Weather: Cloudy, windy, overcast and humid. Cool to downright chilly when wind gusted. 25°C.

Great Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail, a 40-km loop on coast of Dongtai (Dōngtái [东台]), a county-level city in Jiangsu, China. Important points on Trail are N entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (Dōngtái Hǎidī [东台海堤], 32.868218, 120.912340), T-junction on Dongtai Levee Road (32.855576, 120.896557), viewing area on W side of lagoons (32.850988, 120.958103), S entrance to new sea-wall road on Dongtai Levee Road (32.759765, 120.928722), SE corner of sea wall (32.759499, 120.962893), & NE corner of sea wall (32.872444, 120.951522). Also includes records from road N of Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail to 33.007570, 120.883833. 05:55-18:00.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 6 (4 heard only)
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 6
Great Egret Ardea alba 2
Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes 1
Little Egret E. garzetta 95
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 5
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 23
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 42
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus 2
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii 30
Lesser Sand Plover C. mongolus 20
Greater/Lesser Sand Plover C. leschenaultii/C. mongolus ca. 300
Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus 25
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 153
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 63
Common Redshank T. totanus 17
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 8
Far Eastern Curlew N. madagascariensis 14
Eurasian Curlew N. arquata 160
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 29
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 6
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris 240
Red Knot C. canutus 3
Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea 2
Dunlin C. alpina 1
Sanderling C. alba 1
Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis 3
Spoon-billed Sandpiper C. pygmea 1
Larus sp. 1
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 79
Black-headed Gull C. ridibundus 46
Little Tern Sternula albifrons 6
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 3
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 30
Red Turtle Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica 11
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus 4
Lesser Cuckoo C. poliocephalus 1
Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis 2 (pair)
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops 6
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 6
Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis 1 heard
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 12
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 15
Eurasian/Oriental Skylark Alauda arvensis or A. gulgula 11
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 48
Collared Finchbill Spizixos semitorques 1
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 8
Japanese/Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis diphone canturians/H. borealis borealis 13
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 17
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 9
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana ca. 60
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 5
White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus 9
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 7
Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus 9 (8 heard only)
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 3
Chinese Grosbeak Eophona migratoria 9
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 15

Mon. 22 June 2013
Dongtai

Ever searching for new birding areas, Elaine and I drove S rather than N from the SE corner of the new sea wall (32.759499, 120.962893). The tide was out and birds were few on the mudflats. A single Grey Plover was in full breeding plumage.

We stopped at 32.724899, 120.917868 and pulled out the Swarovski ATX-95. Scanning the empty reclaimed land inside the sea wall, Elaine found the young of Common Tern. She spotted the young on the far side of the broad canal that sits at the base of the sea wall. The young were more than 100 m from us. Despite our being more than a football field away, our presence spooked the adults, who converged on us, crying loudly and even hurling their droppings at us.

Kentish Plover nest precariously close to road, Dongtai, 22 June 2015. Note the mud spattered on the eggs, evidence of an earlier close call.
Kentish Plover nest precariously close to road, Dongtai, 22 June 2015. Note the mud spattered on the eggs, evidence of an earlier close call.

While we were watching the angry terns, a few meters away from our car, on the edge of the unpaved track atop the sea wall, a Kentish Plover scurried away. I hurried to the spot from which the plover ran off. Sure enough, just centimeters from the groove in the road worn down by tires, sat three beautiful, mud-spattered eggs. A nest!

It could be the case that Kentish Plover are nesting all around the area and that the nest we found was simply an outlier. I do not believe that’s the case. I believe that the precarious nest of the Kentish Plover, as well as the aggressive display by Common Tern, indicate that the area in which we were standing is just barely suitable for breeding by those species. There are no hidden colonies of Common Tern breeding in some undiscovered quiet area, and there are no better places for Kentish Plover to nest than right on that road. What we saw is the best they have at Dongtai–and remember, Dongtai has some of the best coastal birding within 300 km of Shanghai! If Dongtai, a below-average site, has become so important, then imagine how bad the situation must be at other places along the Chinese coast.

Remember also, the newly reclaimed land at Dongtai is slated for development. What will happen when the factories are built and the aquaculture ponds are dug? Simple. Kentish Plover and Common Tern will no longer breed there. Yet more land will have been taken from them, from Spoon-billed Sandpiper, from Black-faced Spoonbill, and from Chinese Egret.

Driving back toward the mainland, we found Eurasian Skylark taking dust baths in the middle of the road. Red-rumped Swallow flew among the more numerous Barn Swallow. Meadow Bunting were singing.

We had another pleasant stay at Greentree Inn (Gélín Háotài Jiǔdiàn [格林豪泰酒店], +86 (0) 515-85820999; 32.749262, 120.850125).

Weather: Overcast. 23°-26°C.

On coast of Dongtai, Jiangsu, China, S of Great Dongtai Surf ’n’ Turf Birding Trail. Among places visited: SE corner of sea wall (32.759499, 120.962893) and Kentish Plover nesting site on secondary sea-wall road (32.724899, 120.917868). 10:15-12:30.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 11 (2 heard only)
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 25
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 1
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 6
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 1
Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus 2
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 3
Common Redshank Tringa totanus 1
Saunders’s Gull Chroicocephalus saundersi 23
Little Tern Sternula albifrons 5
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 23
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus 2
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 5
Eurasian Skylark Alauda gulgula 6
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 50
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica 8
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 4
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata 3
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana 20
Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus 1
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 1
White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus 20
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides 3

Systematic List of Birds Noted Around Shanghai, China, 29 March 2015 to 22 June 2015

Anseriformes: Anatidae

Mandarin Duck
鸳鸯 (yuānyāng)
Aix galericulata

1 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
2 (pair) at Nanhui on 2015-04-09

Gadwall
赤膀鸭 (chìbǎng yā)
Anas strepera

4 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18

Eurasian Wigeon
赤颈鸭 (chìjǐng yā)
Anas penelope

15 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19

Mallard
绿头鸭 (lǜtóu yā)
Anas platyrhynchos

1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13

Eastern Spot-billed Duck
斑嘴鸭 (bānzuǐyā)
Anas zonorhyncha

1 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
80 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
2 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
61 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
8 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
11 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
33 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
5 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
4 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13

Northern Shoveler
琵嘴鸭 (pízuǐ yā)
Anas clypeata

12 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
14 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13

Garganey
白眉鸭 (báiméi yā)
Anas querquedula

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
8 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
25 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26

Eurasian Teal
绿翅鸭 (lǜchì yā)
Anas crecca

46 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
9 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
20 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
5 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
19 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25

Tufted Duck
凤头潜鸭 (fèngtóu qiányā)
Aythya fuligula

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09

Galliformes: Phasianidae

Japanese Quail
日本鹌鹑 (rìběn ānchún)
Coturnix japonica

2 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12

Chinese Bamboo Partridge
灰胸竹鸡 (huīxiōng zhújī)
Bambusicola thoracicus

5 (flock) heard at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
1 heard at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
5 (flock) at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Common Pheasant
雉鸡 (zhìjī)
Phasianus colchicus

15 (14 heard only) at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 heard at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
6 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
9 (6 heard only) at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
1 heard at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
11 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
14 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
3 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
2 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
2 (1 heard only) at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
2 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
9 (7 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
13 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
1 heard at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
4 (3 heard only) at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
8 (7 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
16 (8 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
8 (4 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
6 (4 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
11 (2 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Podicipediformes: Podicipedidae

Little Grebe
小䴙䴘 (xiǎo pìtī)
Tachybaptus ruficollis

35 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
5 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
16 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
10 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
12 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
20 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
23 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
5 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
35 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
8 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
18 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
30 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
12 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
10 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
3 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
13 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
8 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
5 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
14 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
12 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Great Crested Grebe
凤头䴙䴘 (fèngtóu pìtī)
Podiceps cristatus

4 (2 pairs) at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
6 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
2 (pair) at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
2 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13

Pelecaniformes: Threskiornithidae

Eurasian Spoonbill
白琵鹭 (bái pílù)
Platalea leucorodia

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
12 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
9 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26

Black-faced Spoonbill
黑脸琵鹭 (hēiliǎn pílù)
Platalea minor

24 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
26 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
17 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
15 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
3 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
21 (flock of juvs.) at Dongtai on 2015-06-13

Pelecaniformes: Ardeidae

Eurasian Bittern
大麻鳽 (dà máyán)
Botaurus stellaris

6 heard on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 heard at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
5 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
3 heard at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
3 (2 heard only) at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
2 heard at Nanhui on 2015-06-07

Yellow Bittern
黄苇鳽 (huáng wěiyán)
Ixobrychus sinensis

8 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
4 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
20 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07

Black Bittern
黑鳽 (hēiyán)
Dupetor flavicollis

1 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07

Black-crowned Night Heron
夜鹭 (yè lù)
Nycticorax nycticorax

5 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
7 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
9 at Huangpu Park on 2015-04-06
11 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
7 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
29 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
6 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
71 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
6 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
9 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
4 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
13 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
4 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
125 at Yangkou on 2015-06-14

Chinese Pond Heron
池鹭 (chílù)
Ardeola bacchus

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
11 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
3 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
3 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
2 at Yangkou on 2015-06-14

Eastern Cattle Egret
牛背鹭 (niúbèi lù)
Bubulcus coromandus

18 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
23 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
4 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
7 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
11 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
30 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
4 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
17 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Grey Heron
苍鹭 (cāng lù)
Ardea cinerea

8 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
3 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
17 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
6 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
19 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
17 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
12 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
5 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
5 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
2 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
3 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07

Purple Heron
草鹭 (cǎo lù)
Ardea purpurea

6 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
2 at Yangkou on 2015-06-14

Great Egret
大白鹭 (dàbáilù)
Ardea alba

5 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
6 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
7 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
5 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
22 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
3 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
6 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
9 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
5 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
4 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Intermediate Egret
中白鹭 (zhōng báilù)
Ardea intermedia

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
16 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
6 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
2 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
6 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14

Little Egret
白鹭 (báilù)
Egretta garzetta

32 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
19 at Huangpu Park on 2015-04-06
14 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
16 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
15 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
30 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
8 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
57 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
16 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
22 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
6 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
5 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
21 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
65 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
6 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
25 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
18 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
5 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
30 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
9 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
32 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
28 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
56 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
95 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
25 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Chinese Egret
黄嘴白鹭 (huángzuǐ báilù)
Egretta eulophotes

1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Suliformes: Phalacrocoracidae

Great Cormorant
普通鸬鹚 (pǔtōng lúcí)
Phalacrocorax carbo

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Accipitriformes: Pandionidae

Western Osprey
鹗 (è)
Pandion haliaetus

1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17

Accipitriformes: Accipitridae

Crested Serpent Eagle
蛇雕 (shédiāo)
Spilornis cheela

1 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08

Black Eagle
林雕 (líndiāo)
Ictinaetus malaiensis

1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Japanese Sparrowhawk
日本松雀鹰 (rìběn sōngquèyīng)
Accipiter gularis

1 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08

Eurasian Sparrowhawk
雀鹰 (quèyīng)
Accipiter nisus

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29

Accipiter sp.

1 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Hen Harrier
白尾鹞 (báiwěi yào)
Circus cyaneus

3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12

Pied Harrier
鹊鹞 (què yào)
Circus melanoleucos

1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12

Eastern Buzzard
普通鵟 (pǔtōng kuáng)
Buteo japonicus

1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09

Gruiformes: Rallidae

White-breasted Waterhen
白胸苦恶鸟 (báixiōng kǔ’ě’niǎo)
Amaurornis phoenicurus

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
14 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26

Common Moorhen
黑水鸡 (hēi shuǐjī)
Gallinula chloropus

3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
7 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
23 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
11 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
4 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
22 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
15 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
60 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
21 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
8 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
2 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
30 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
5 (4 heard only) at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
4 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
8 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07

Eurasian Coot
骨顶鸡 (gǔdǐng jī)
Fulica atra

24 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
32 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
4 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
37 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
ca. 300 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
29 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
60 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
19 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
16 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
5 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13

Charadriiformes: Turnicidae

buttonquail or quail sp.

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19

Charadriiformes: Haematopodidae

Eurasian Oystercatcher
蛎鹬 (lìyù)
Haematopus ostralegus

2 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
7 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
7 at Dongtai & Yangkou on 2015-06-14
16 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
23 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Charadriiformes: Recurvirostridae

Black-winged Stilt
黑翅长脚鹬 (hēichì chángjiǎoyù)
Himantopus himantopus

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
7 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
56 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
2 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
51 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
16 along Rural Road 204 on 2015-04-24
18 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
7 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
4 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
2 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07

Pied Avocet
反嘴鹬 (fǎnzuǐ yù)
Recurvirostra avosetta

12 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
34 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Charadriiformes: Charadriidae

Grey-headed Lapwing
灰头麦鸡 (huītóu màijī)
Vanellus cinereus

5 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
2 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
6 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
1 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
5 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
13 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Pacific Golden Plover
金斑鸻 (jīnbān héng)
Pluvialis fulva

5 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26

Grey Plover
灰斑鸻 (huībān héng)
Pluvialis squatarola

48 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
46 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
2 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
5 on Golden Beach on 2015-04-22
116 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
65 along Rural Road 204 on 2015-04-24
6 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
1 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
35 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
15 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
42 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Little Ringed Plover
金眶鸻 (jīnkuàng héng)
Charadrius dubius

28 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
4 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
3 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
5 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07

Kentish Plover
环颈鸻 (huánjǐng héng)
Charadrius alexandrinus

19 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
16 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
33 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
15 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
75 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
13 at Sānmíncūn on 2015-04-24
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
3 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
4 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
5 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
11 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
25 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Lesser Sand Plover
蒙古沙鸻 (měnggǔ shāhéng)
Charadrius mongolus

20 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Greater Sand Plover
铁嘴沙鸻 (tiězuǐ shāhéng)
Charadrius leschenaultii

2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
30 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Greater Sand Plover or Lesser Sand Plover
铁嘴沙鸻 (tiězuǐ shāhéng) / 蒙古沙鸻 (měnggǔ shāhéng)
Charadrius leschenaultii or C. mongolus

36 on Golden Beach on 2015-04-22
ca. 300 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
125 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
6 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
40 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
7 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
60 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
ca. 300 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Charadriiformes: Jacanidae

Pheasant-tailed Jacana
水雉 (shuǐ zhì)
Hydrophasianus chirurgus

1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Charadriiformes: Scolopacidae

Eurasian Woodcock
丘鹬 (qiū yù)
Scolopax rusticola

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11

Pin-tailed Snipe or Swinhoe’s Snipe
针尾沙锥 (zhēnwěi shāzhuī) / 大沙锥 (dà shāzhuī)
Gallinago stenura or G. megala

2 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
6 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26

Common Snipe
扇尾沙锥 (shānwěi shāzhuī)
Gallinago gallinago

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
2 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
5 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
4 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
6 along Rural Road 204 on 2015-04-24

? Snipe
?沙锥 (? shāzhuī)
Gallinago ?

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25

Long-billed Dowitcher
长嘴鹬 (chángzuǐ yù)
Limnodromus scolopaceus

1 along Rural Road 204 on 2015-04-24

Black-tailed Godwit
黑尾塍鹬 (hēiwěi chéngyù)
Limosa limosa

23 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
75 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
45 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17

Bar-tailed Godwit
斑尾塍鹬 (bānwěi chéngyù)
Limosa lapponica

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 at Sānmíncūn on 2015-04-12
13 on Golden Beach on 2015-04-22
18 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
3 along Rural Road 204 on 2015-04-24
3 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
80 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
170 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
540 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
30 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
7 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
29 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Whimbrel
中杓鹬 (zhōng sháoyù)
Numenius phaeopus

32 on Golden Beach on 2015-04-22
29 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
3 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
4 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
8 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Eurasian Curlew
白腰杓鹬 (báiyāo sháoyù)
Numenius arquata

3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
95 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
40 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
41 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
265 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
365 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
70 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
35 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
160 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Far Eastern Curlew
大杓鹬 (dà sháoyù)
Numenius madagascariensis

3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
35 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
13 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
14 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Spotted Redshank
鹤鹬 (hè yù)
Tringa erythropus

3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
4 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
8 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
16 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
20 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
15 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20

Common Redshank
红脚鹬 (hóngjiǎo yù)
Tringa totanus

2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
5 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
13 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
2 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
12 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
8 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
6 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
16 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
11 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Marsh Sandpiper
泽鹬 (zé yù)
Tringa stagnatilis

8 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
240 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
37 along Rural Road 204 on 2015-04-24
23 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
2 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
21 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
5 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Common Greenshank
青脚鹬 (qīngjiǎo yù)
Tringa nebularia

16 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
4 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
10 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
48 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
9 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
55 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
11 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
4 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
14 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
4 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
28 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
28 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
50 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
31 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
88 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
63 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Nordmann’s Greenshank
小青脚鹬 (xiǎo qīngjiǎoyù)
Tringa guttifer

7 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13

Green Sandpiper
白腰草鹬 (báiyāo cǎoyù)
Tringa ochropus

1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18

Wood Sandpiper
林鹬 (lín yù)
Tringa glareola

14 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
6 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
13 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
18 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
7 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
47 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Grey-tailed Tattler
灰尾漂鹬 (huīwěi piāoyù)
Tringa brevipes

7 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
9 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17

Terek Sandpiper
翘嘴鹬 (qiáozuǐ yù)
Xenus cinereus

7 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
9 on Golden Beach on 2015-04-22
62 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
7 along Rural Road 204 & at Sānmíncūn on 2015-04-24
2 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
32 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
8 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
90 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
20 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
9 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
153 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Common Sandpiper
矶鹬 (jī yù)
Actitis hypoleucos

2 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
7 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
12 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
4 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
5 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Ruddy Turnstone
翻石鹬 (fānshí yù)
Arenaria interpres

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
26 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
4 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
5 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Great Knot
大滨鹬 (dà bīnyù)
Calidris tenuirostris

3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
2 at Sānmíncūn on 2015-04-12
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
2 on Golden Beach on 2015-04-22
48 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
13 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
59 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
240 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Red Knot
红腹滨鹬 (hóngfù bīnyù)
Calidris canutus

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
33 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
19 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Sanderling
三趾滨鹬 (sānzhǐ bīnyù)
Calidris alba

1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Red-necked Stint
红颈滨鹬 (hóngjǐng bīnyù)
Calidris ruficollis

5 at Chongming on 2015-04-10
37 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
170 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
9 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
40 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
60 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Temminck’s Stint
青脚滨鹬 (qīngjiǎo bīnyù)
Calidris temminckii

5 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
4 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17

Long-toed Stint
长趾滨鹬 (chángzhǐ bīnyù)
Calidris subminuta

11 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
尖尾滨鹬 (jiānwěi bīnyù)
Calidris acuminata

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
2 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
89 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
36 along Rural Road 204 on 2015-04-24
72 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
22 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
90 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
90 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
8 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Curlew Sandpiper
弯嘴滨鹬 (wānzuǐ bīnyù)
Calidris ferruginea

15 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
3 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Dunlin
黑腹滨鹬 (hēifù bīnyù)
Calidris alpina

ca. 2100 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
58 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
ca. 100 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
57 on Golden Beach on 2015-04-22
ca. 400 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
130 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Spoon-billed Sandpiper
勺嘴鹬 (sháozuǐ yù)
Calidris pygmea

1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Broad-billed Sandpiper
阔嘴鹬 (kuòzuǐ yù)
Limicola falcinellus

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
80 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16

Charadriiformes: Glareolidae

Oriental Pratincole
普通燕鸻 (pǔtōng yànhéng)
Glareola maldivarum

6 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07

Charadriiformes: Laridae

Black-headed Gull
红嘴鸥 (hóngzuǐ ōu)
Chroicocephalus ridibundus

60 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
30 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
46 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Saunders’s Gull
黑嘴鸥 (hēizuǐ ōu)
Chroicocephalus saundersi

444 (incl. roost of ca. 400 birds) at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
63 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
33 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
16 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
40 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
27 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
24 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
60 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
40 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
40 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
79 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
23 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Black-tailed Gull
黑尾鸥 (hēiwěi ōu)
Larus crassirostris

18 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13

Vega Gull
西伯利亚银鸥 (xībólìyà yín’ōu)
Larus vegae vegae or L. v. mongolicus

25 at Huangpu Park on 2015-04-06
39 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
20 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
2 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18

Larus sp.

1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Caspian Tern
红嘴巨鸥 (hóngzuǐ jù’ōu)
Hydroprogne caspia

8 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
8 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Little Tern
白额燕鸥 (bái’é yàn’ōu)
Sternula albifrons

4 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
15 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
25 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
30 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
10 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
35 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
10 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Common Tern
普通燕鸥 (pǔtōng yàn’ōu)
Sterna hirundo

8 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
10 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
40 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
27 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
2 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
16 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
15 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
30 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
23 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

White-winged Tern
白翅浮鸥 (báichì fú’ōu)
Chlidonias leucopterus

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
8 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
17 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13

Columbiformes: Columbidae

Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove)
原鸽 (yuángē)
Columba livia

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
2 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
30 at Huangpu Park on 2015-04-06
4 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
26 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
2 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
1 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07

Oriental Turtle Dove
山斑鸠 (shān bānjiū)
Streptopelia orientalis

4 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
7 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
2 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
5 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
2 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Red Turtle Dove
火斑鸠 (huǒ bānjiū)
Streptopelia tranquebarica

2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
12 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
11 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Spotted Dove
珠颈斑鸠 (zhūjǐng bānjiū)
Spilopelia chinensis

18 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
60 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
14 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
15 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
9 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
2 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
6 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
2 at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20
7 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
17 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
7 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
6 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
5 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
25 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
10 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
2 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
6 (5 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Cuculiformes: Cuculidae

Lesser Coucal
小鸦鹃 (xiǎo yājuān)
Centropus bengalensis

2 (pair) at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Chestnut-winged Cuckoo
红翅凤头鹃 (hóngchì fèngtóujuān)
Clamator coromandus

2 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Asian Koel
噪鹃 (zàojuān)
Eudynamys scolopaceus

1 male at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
2 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
1 female at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Large Hawk-Cuckoo
鹰鹃 (yīngjuān)
Hierococcyx sparverioides

1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
1 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Lesser Cuckoo
小杜鹃 (xiǎo dùjuān)
Cuculus poliocephalus

3 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
2 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
1 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
1 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Indian Cuckoo
四声杜鹃 (sìshēng dùjuān)
Cuculus micropterus

1 heard calling throughout night of 8-9 May 2015 at Wú Jiā Cūn
4 heard at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
13 heard at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
1 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Common Cuckoo
大杜鹃 (dà dùjuān)
Cuculus canorus

13 (9 seen calling, 4 heard only) at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
3 heard at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
6 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
8 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
4 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
4 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

? Cuckoo
?杜鹃 (? dùjuān)
Cuculus ?

Note: Five species of Cuculus cuckoo occur in China (Lesser Cuckoo C. poliocephalus, Indian Cuckoo C. micropterus, Himalayan Cuckoo C. saturatus, Oriental Cuckoo C. optatus, & Common Cuckoo C. canorus). Distinguishing these species when the birds are silent is extremely difficult.

1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
2 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
7 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
4 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21

Strigiformes: Strigidae

Oriental Scops Owl
红角鸮 (hóng jiǎoxiāo)
Otus sunia

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24

Collared Owlet
领鸺鹠 (lǐng xiūliú)
Glaucidium brodiei

3 heard at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
2 heard at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
4 (2 heard only) at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Northern Boobook
鹰鸮 (yīngxiāo)
Ninox japonica

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23

Apodiformes: Apodidae

House Swift
小白腰雨燕 (xiǎo báiyāoyǔyàn)
Apus nipalensis

7 (flock) at Dongtai on 2015-06-13

Coraciiformes: Coraciidae

Oriental Dollarbird
三宝鸟 (sānbǎo niǎo)
Eurystomus orientalis

2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 at Yangkou on 2015-06-14

Coraciiformes: Alcedinidae

Black-capped Kingfisher
蓝翡翠 (lán fěicuì)
Halcyon pileata

1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17

Common Kingfisher
普通翠鸟 (pǔtōng cuìniǎo)
Alcedo atthis

6 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
8 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12

Bucerotiformes: Upupidae

Eurasian Hoopoe
戴胜 (dàishèng)
Upupa epops

1 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
7 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
19 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
9 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
6 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
4 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
2 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
2 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
18 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Piciformes: Megalaimidae

Great Barbet
大拟啄木鸟 (dà nǐzhuómùniǎo)
Psilopogon virens

1 heard at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
5 heard at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Piciformes: Picidae

Eurasian Wryneck
蚁䴕 (yǐ liè)
Jynx torquilla

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 at Sānmíncūn on 2015-04-24

Speckled Piculet
斑姬啄木鸟 (bānjī zhuómùniǎo)
Picumnus innominatus

1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
星头啄木鸟 (xīngtóuzhuómùniǎo)
Dendrocopos canicapillus

1 at Yangkou on 2015-06-14

Great Spotted Woodpecker
大斑啄木鸟 (dà bānzhuómùniǎo)
Dendrocopos major

3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
3 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
2 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
1 heard at Dongtai on 2015-05-17

Grey-headed Woodpecker
灰头啄木鸟 (huītóu zhuómùniǎo)
Picus canus

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24

Falconiformes: Falconidae

Common Kestrel
红隼 (hóng sǔn)
Falco tinnunculus

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Eurasian Hobby
燕隼 (yàn sǔn)
Falco subbuteo

1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12

Passeriformes: Campephagidae

Swinhoe’s Minivet
小灰山椒鸟 (xiǎo huīshānjiāoniǎo)
Pericrocotus cantonensis

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
1 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07

Ashy Minivet
灰山椒鸟 (huī shānjiāoniǎo)
Pericrocotus divaricatus

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23

Swinhoe’s Minivet or Ashy Minivet
小灰山椒鸟 (xiǎo huīshānjiāoniǎo) / 灰山椒鸟 (huī shānjiāoniǎo)
Pericrocotus cantonensis or P. solaris

5 (flock calling while flying quickly overhead) at Nanhui on 2015-05-14

Grey-chinned Minivet
灰喉山椒鸟 (huīhóu shānjiāoniǎo)
Pericrocotus solaris

2 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09

Passeriformes: Laniidae

Bull-headed Shrike
牛头伯劳 (niútóu bóláo)
Lanius bucephalus

1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11

Brown Shrike
红尾伯劳 (hóngwěi bóláo)
Lanius cristatus

1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
2 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
3 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
3 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
1 singing at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
3 at Yangkou on 2015-06-14

Long-tailed Shrike
棕背伯劳 (zōngbèi bóláo)
Lanius schach

23 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
11 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
3 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
8 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
6 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
3 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
3 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
5 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
2 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
5 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
5 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Chinese Grey Shrike
楔尾伯劳 (xiēwěi bóláo)
Lanius sphenocercus sphenocercus

1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18

Passeriformes: Oriolidae

Black-naped Oriole
黑枕黄鹂 (hēizhěn huánglí)
Oriolus chinensis

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
2 (1 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
4 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
1 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Passeriformes: Dicruridae

Black Drongo
黑卷尾 (hēi juǎnwěi)
Dicrurus macrocercus

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
7 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
4 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
11 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
18 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
12 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Hair-crested Drongo
发冠卷尾 (fàguān juǎnwěi)
Dicrurus hottentottus

2 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
4 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Passeriformes: Monarchidae

Japanese Paradise Flycatcher
紫寿带 (zǐ shòudài)
Terpsiphone atrocaudata

1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
2 at Yangkou on 2015-06-14

Passeriformes: Corvidae

Eurasian Jay
松鸦 (sōngyā)
Garrulus glandarius

2 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
2 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
25 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Azure-winged Magpie
灰喜鹊 (huī xǐquè)
Cyanopica cyanus

75 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
4 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
32 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
2 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Red-billed Blue Magpie
红嘴蓝鹊 (hóngzuǐ lánquè)
Urocissa erythroryncha

3 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Grey Treepie
灰树鹊 (huī shùquè)
Dendrocitta formosae

2 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
1 heard at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
6 (2 heard only) at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Eurasian Magpie
喜鹊 (xǐquè)
Pica pica

ca. 75 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
8 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
11 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
30 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
7 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
4 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
14 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
6 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
2 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
7 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
9 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
10 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
7 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
15 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Carrion Crow
小嘴乌鸦 (xiǎozuǐ wūyā)
Corvus corone

2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23

Large-billed Crow
大嘴乌鸦 (dàzuǐ wūyā)
Corvus macrorhynchos

2 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
3 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
2 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21

Passeriformes: Stenostiridae

Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher
方尾鹟 (fāngwěi wēng0
Culicicapa ceylonensis

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16

Passeriformes: Paridae

Yellow-bellied Tit
黄腹山雀 (huángfù shānquè)
Pardaliparus venustulus

5 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
1 heard at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Japanese Tit
远东山雀 (yuǎndōng shānquè)
Parus minor

8 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
12 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
5 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
2 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
2 at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20
5 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
5 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
3 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
3 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
4 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
4 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
2 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Passeriformes: Remizidae

Chinese Penduline Tit
中华攀雀 (zhōnghuá pānquè)
Remiz consobrinus

25 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
42 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
55 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
30 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
9 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
ca. 180 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
5 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
60 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26

Passeriformes: Alaudidae

Eurasian Skylark
云雀 (yúnquè)
Alauda arvensis

ca. 150 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
ca. 80 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Oriental Skylark
小云雀 (xiǎo yúnquè)
Alauda gulgula

7 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29

Eurasian Skylark or Oriental Skylark
云雀 (yúnquè) / 小云雀 (xiǎo yúnquè)
Alauda arvensis or A. gulgula

15 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
9 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
22 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
10 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
11 (10 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Passeriformes: Pycnonotidae

Collared Finchbill
领雀嘴鹎 (lǐng quèzuǐbēi)
Spizixos semitorques

1 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
6 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
5 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
3 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Light-vented Bulbul
白头鹎 (báitóu bēi)
Pycnonotus sinensis

75 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
37 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
3 heard at Huangpu Park on 2015-04-06
9 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
3 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
30 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
30 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
35 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
12 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
5 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
6 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
12 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
25 at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20
45 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
36 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
8 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
40 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
48 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
28 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
5 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
23 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
20 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
25 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
13 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
15 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
5 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
25 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
10 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
30 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
4 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
8 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Mountain Bulbul
绿翅短脚鹎 (lǜchì duǎnjiǎobēi)
Ixos mcclellandii

5 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08

Chestnut Bulbul
栗背短脚鹎 (lìbèi duǎnjiǎobēi)
Hemixos castanonotus

2 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
7 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08

Black Bulbul
黑短脚鹎 (hēi duǎnjiǎobēi)
Hypsipetes leucocephalus

8 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
18 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08

Brown-eared Bulbul
栗耳短脚鹎 (lì’ěr duǎnjiǎobēi)
Hypsipetes amaurotis

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12

Passeriformes: Hirundinidae

Hirundine sp.

8 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07

Barn Swallow
家燕 (jiā yàn)
Hirundo rustica

5 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
32 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
40 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
38 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
39 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
27 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
28 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
5 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
28 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
35 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
25 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
24 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
2 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
18 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
67 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
50 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
58 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
3 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
35 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
45 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
25 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
28 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
48 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
50 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Asian House Martin
烟腹毛脚燕 (yānfù máojiǎoyàn)
Delichon dasypus

8 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
15 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
8 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Red-rumped Swallow
金腰燕 (jīnyāo yàn)
Cecropis daurica

1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
10 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
7 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
3 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
8 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Passeriformes: Cettiidae

Rufous-faced Warbler
棕脸鹟莺 (zōngliǎn wēngyīng)
Abroscopus albogularis

4 heard at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
13 (12 heard only) at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
6 heard at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
34 (33 heard only) at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Japanese Bush Warbler or Manchurian Bush Warbler
日本树莺 (rìběn shùyīng) / 远东树莺 (yuǎndōng shùyīng)
Horornis diphone canturians or H. borealis borealis

9 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
4 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
12 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
7 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
7 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
7 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
5 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
2 heard at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
2 heard at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
8 heard at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
6 heard on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
1 heard at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
18 (15 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
8 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
14 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
13 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Brown-flanked Bush Warbler
强脚树莺 (qiángjiǎo shùyīng)
Horornis fortipes

7 (6 heard only) on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
4 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
8 heard at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
2 heard at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
3 heard at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
1 heard on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
1 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Passeriformes: Aegithalidae

Silver-throated Bushtit
银喉长尾山雀 (yínhóu chángwěishānquè)
Aegithalos glaucogularis

3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24

Black-throated Bushtit
红头长尾山雀 (hóngtóu chángwěishānquè)
Aegithalos concinnus

8 (flock) at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
55 (3 flocks) at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
32 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Passeriformes: Phylloscopidae

Dusky Warbler
褐柳莺 (hè liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus fuscatus

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Pallas’s Leaf Warbler
黄腰柳莺 (huángyāoliǔyīng)
Phylloscopus proregulus

2 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
15 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
12 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 at Sānmíncūn on 2015-04-24

Yellow-browed Warbler
黄眉柳莺 (huángméi liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus inornatus

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
7 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
5 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
9 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
2 at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20
26 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
43 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
6 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
3 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Arctic Warbler
极北柳莺 (jíběi liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus borealis

1 ID confirmed by call & song at Yangkou on 2015-05-16

Arctic-type leaf warbler (Arctic Warbler Complex)

a. Arctic Warbler (极北柳莺 [jíběi liǔyīng])
Phylloscopus borealis borealis & P. b. kennicotti

b. Kamchatka Leaf Warbler (堪察加柳莺 [kānchájiā liǔyīng])
P. examinandus

c. Japanese Leaf Warbler (日本柳莺 [rìběn liǔyīng])
P. xanthodryas

Note: The three sp. in the Arctic Warbler Complex are virtually indistinguishable in the field except by song.

2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
2 heard at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Two-barred Warbler
双斑绿柳莺 (huāngbān lǜliǔyīng)
Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus

3 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16

Pale-legged Leaf Warbler or Sakhalin Leaf Warbler
灰脚柳莺 (huījiǎo liǔyīng) / 库页岛柳莺 (kùyèdǎo liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus tenellipes or P. borealoides

Note: Phylloscopus tenellipes & P. borealoides are virtually indistinguishable in everything but song. P. tenellipes is the more common migrant in the region.

2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 along Rural Road 204 on 2015-04-24
3 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
9 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
6 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Eastern Crowned Warbler
冕柳莺 (miǎn liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus coronatus

6 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
4 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
14 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
15 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21

Passeriformes: Acrocephalidae

Oriental Reed Warbler
东方大苇莺 (dōngfāng dàwěiyīng)
Acrocephalus orientalis

1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
20 (18 heard only) at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
10 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
90 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
150 (ca. 120 heard only) at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
120 (ca. 90 heard only) at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
70 (ca. 55 heard only) at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
15 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Black-browed Reed Warbler
黑眉苇莺 (hēiméi wěiyīng)
Acrocephalus bistrigiceps

25 (20 heard only) at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
2 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
3 heard on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
10 heard at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Thick-billed Warbler
厚嘴苇莺 (hòuzuǐ wěiyīng)
Iduna aedon

1 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16

Passeriformes: Locustellidae

Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warbler
北蝗莺 (běi huángyīng)
Locustella ochotensis

1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Passeriformes: Cisticolidae

Zitting Cisticola
棕扇尾莺 (zōng shànwěiyīng)
Cisticola juncidis

30 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
4 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
60 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
5 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
8 heard at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
10 heard at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
24 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
7 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
14 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
7 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
17 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
4 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Plain Prinia
褐头鹪莺 (hètóu jiāoyīng)
Prinia inornata

6 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
4 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
7 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
25 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
7 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
7 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
2 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
24 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
5 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
23 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
8 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
3 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
2 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
3 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
6 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
5 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
14 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
7 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
4 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
9 (8 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Passeriformes: Timaliidae

Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler
棕颈钩嘴鹛 (zōngjǐng gōuzuǐméi)
Pomatorhinus ruficollis

11 heard at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
4 heard at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
1 heard at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
7 (3 heard only) at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Rufous-capped Babbler
红头穗鹛 (hóngtóu suìméi)
Stachyridopsis ruficeps

1 heard at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08

Passeriformes: Pellorneidae

Huet’s Fulvetta
黑眉雀鹛 (hēiméi quèméi)
Alcippe hueti

11 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
27 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Passeriformes: Leiothrichidae

Chinese Hwamei
画眉 (huàméi)
Garrulax canorus

1 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
2 at Sānmíncūn on 2015-04-12
1 along Rural Road 204 on 2015-04-24
4 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
10 (9 heard only) at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Buffy Laughingthrush
棕噪鹛 (zōng zàoméi)
Garrulax berthemyi

1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
5 (2 heard only) at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Masked Laughingthrush
黑脸噪鹛 (hēiliǎn zàoméi)
Garrulax perspicillatus

5 at Sānmíncūn on 2015-04-12

Red-billed Leiothrix
红嘴相思鸟 (hóngzuǐ xiāngsīniǎo)
Leiothrix lutea

3 at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20

Passeriformes: Sylviidae

Vinous-throated Parrotbill
棕头鸦雀 (zōngtóu yāquè)
Sinosuthora webbiana

65 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
13 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
60 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
60 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
50 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
50 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
82 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
10 (heard 1 flock) at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
81 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
3 at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20
50 (heard 5 flocks) at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
120 (6 flocks) at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
20 (heard 2 flocks) on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
10 (heard 1 flock) at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
10 (heard 1 flock) at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
15 (heard 2 flocks) at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
18 (heard 1 flock, plus 3 singles) at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
20 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
49 (heard 3 flocks, saw 4 singles) at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
25 (20 heard only) at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
40 (3 flocks, 3 singles) at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
ca. 60 (5 flocks) at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
30 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
ca. 60 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
20 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Grey-headed Parrotbill
灰头鸦雀 (huītóu yāquè)
Psittiparus gularis

2 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08

Reed Parrotbill
震旦鸦雀 (zhèndàn yāquè)
Paradoxornis heudei

1 heard at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
20 (heard 2 flocks) at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
7 (4 heard only) at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
32 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
1 heard at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
ca. 80 (heard 4 flocks) on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
44 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
20 (heard 2 flocks) at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
10 (heard 1 flock) on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 heard at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
1 heard at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
6 (2 heard only) at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
5 singles at Nanhui on 2015-06-07

Passeriformes: Zosteropidae

Indochinese Yuhina
栗耳凤鹛 (lì’ěrfèngméi)
Yuhina torqueola

30 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
32 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Japanese White-eye
暗绿绣眼鸟 (ànlǜ xiùyǎnniǎo)
Zosterops japonicus

7 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
32 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
30 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
2 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
9 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
16 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
28 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
5 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
4 (3 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Passeriformes: Regulidae

Goldcrest
戴菊 (dàijú)
Regulus regulus

1 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
3 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24

Passeriformes: Sturnidae

Crested Myna
八哥 (bāgē)
Acridotheres cristatellus

13 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
4 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
4 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
7 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
27 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
10 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
17 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
17 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
11 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
16 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
1 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
4 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
8 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
9 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Red-billed Starling
丝光椋鸟 (sīguāng liángniǎo)
Spodiopsar sericeus

2 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
5 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
54 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
26 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
3 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
10 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
32 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
10 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
8 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

White-cheeked Starling
灰椋鸟 (huī liángniǎo)
Spodiopsar cineraceus

11 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
2 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
34 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
23 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
17 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
46 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
3 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
20 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
7 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
3 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
2 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
19 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
18 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
6 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
9 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
20 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Black-collared Starling
黑领椋鸟 (hēilǐng liángniǎo)
Gracupica nigricollis

3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19

Passeriformes: Turdidae

White’s Thrush
怀氏虎鸫 (huáishì hǔdōng)
Zoothera aurea

1 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23

Grey-backed Thrush
灰背鸫 (huībèi dōng)
Turdus hortulorum

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
8 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
4 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
4 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
4 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
4 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
5 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24

Japanese Thrush
乌灰鸫 (wūhuī dōng)
Turdus cardis

1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19

Chinese Blackbird
乌鸫 (wū dōng)
Turdus mandarinus

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
55 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
3 at Huangpu Park on 2015-04-06
16 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
26 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
8 at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
60 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
6 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
6 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
2 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
1 heard at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
2 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
2 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
7 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
20 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
7 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Eyebrowed Thrush
白眉鸫 (báiméi dōng)
Turdus obscurus

2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16

Pale Thrush
白腹鸫 (báifù dōng)
Turdus pallidus

3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
26 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
40 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
29 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
16 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
14 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
10 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
5 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25

Brown-headed Thrush
赤胸鸫 (chìxiōng dōng)
Turdus chrysolaus

3 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16

Dusky Thrush
斑鸫 (bān dōng)
Turdus eunomus

11 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
7 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
20 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
10 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
5 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
6 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
4 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
7 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
4 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24

Passeriformes: Muscicapidae

Oriental Magpie-Robin
鹊鸲 (quèqú)
Copsychus saularis

1 at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20

Grey-streaked Flycatcher
灰斑鹟 (huībān wēng)
Muscicapa griseisticta

3 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
2 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
3 at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
8 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
2 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21

Dark-sided Flycatcher
乌鹟 (wū wēng)
Muscicapa sibirica

1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14

Asian Brown Flycatcher
北灰鹟 (běihuī wēng)
Muscicapa latirostris

3 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
2 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
3 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
3 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
6 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
5 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Blue-and-white Flycatcher
白腹姬鹟 (báifù jīwēng)
Cyanoptila cyanomelana

1 at Sānmíncūn on 2015-04-12
2 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
4 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
4 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
5 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
2 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16

Siberian Blue Robin
蓝歌鸲 (lán gēqú)
Larvivora cyane

1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09

Rufous-tailed Robin
红尾歌鸲 (hóngwěi gēqú)
Larvivora sibilans

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24

Red-flanked Bluetail
红胁蓝尾鸲 (hóngxié lánwěiqú)
Tarsiger cyanurus

2 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
5 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
14 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
6 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
6 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
2 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
1 at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20
6 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24

White-crowned Forktail
白冠燕尾 (báiguān yànwěi)
Enicurus leschenaulti

2 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Blue Whistling Thrush
紫啸鸫 (zǐxiàodōng)
Myophonus caeruleus

1 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher
白眉姬鹟 (báiméi jīwēng)
Ficedula zanthopygia

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19

Narcissus Flycatcher
黄眉姬鹟 (huángméi jīwēng)
Ficedula narcissina

1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
2 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16

Mugimaki Flycatcher
鸲姬鹟 (qú jīwēng)
Ficedula mugimaki

3 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
5 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Black Redstart
赭红尾鸲 (zhě hóngwěiqú)
Phoenicurus ochruros

1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18

Daurian Redstart
北红尾鸲 (běi hóngwěiqú)
Phoenicurus auroreus

7 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
4 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
5 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
4 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23

Plumbeous Water Redstart
红尾水鸲 (hóngwěi shuǐqú)
Phoenicurus fuliginosus

6 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
2 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Blue Rock Thrush (“Red-bellied Rock Thrush”)
蓝矶鸫 (lán jīdōng)
Monticola solitarius philippensis

1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
5 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21

Stejneger’s Stonechat
东亚石䳭 (dōngyà shíjí)
Saxicola stejnegeri

3 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
2 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24

Passeriformes: Cinclidae

Brown Dipper
褐河乌 (hè héwū)
Cinclus pallasii

1 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08

Passeriformes: Passeridae

Russet Sparrow
山麻雀 (shān máquè)
Passer rutilans

5 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
2 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
20 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
9 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Eurasian Tree Sparrow
树麻雀 (shù máquè)
Passer montanus

ca. 500 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
70 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
35 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
ca. 250 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
70 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
50 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
30 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
30 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
ca. 250 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
25 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
35 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
23 at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20
30 on Golden Beach on 2015-04-22
ca. 100 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
ca. 200 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
30 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
ca. 100 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
3 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
20 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
30 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
10 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
10 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
10 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
ca. 200 at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
5 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
15 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
50 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-20
15 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Passeriformes: Motacillidae

Forest Wagtail
山鹡鸰 (shān jílíng)
Dendronanthus indicus

4 (1 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-05-16
5 (4 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
9 (7 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
9 (8 heard only) at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Eastern Yellow Wagtail
黄鹡鸰 (huáng jílíng)
Motacilla tschutschensis

1 taivana at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
3 tschutschensis at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
12 (8 tschutschensis, 4 taivana) at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
45 (10 tschutschensis, 10 taivana, 25 unassigned) on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
5 (4 tschutschensis, 1 taivana) at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
27 tschutschensis at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
6 (1 taivana, 5 tschutschensis) on Hengsha on 2015-04-26

Citrine Wagtail
黄头鹡鸰 (huángtóu jílíng)
Motacilla citreola

1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18

Grey Wagtail
灰鹡鸰 (huī jílíng)
Motacilla cinerea

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
2 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
4 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
6 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21

White Wagtail
白鹡鸰 (bái jílíng)
Motacilla alba

1 lugens at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 leucopsis at Century Park on 2015-04-04
2 leucopsis on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
10 (6 leucopsis, 3 ocularis, 1 lugens) at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
5 (2 leucopsis, 1 ocularis, 2 lugens) at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
9 (6 leucopsis, 1 ocularis, 2 lugens) at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
5 leucopsis at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
1 leucopsis on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
8 (3 leucopsis, 2 ocularis, 3 lugens) at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
5 (2 leucopsis, 1 ocularis, 2 lugens) at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
21 (12 leucopsis, 3 ocularis, 6 lugens) on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
8 (5 leucopsis, 3 lugens) at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
1 leucopsis at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20
3 lugens at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
2 leucopsis at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
7 (3 leucopsis, 4 lugens) on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
3 leucopsis at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
6 leucopsis at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
2 leucopsis at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
8 leucopsis at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
4 leucopsis at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
1 leucopsis on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
2 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21
6 leucopsis (4 ads., 2 juvs.) at Nanhui on 2015-06-07
1 leucopsis at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
2 leucopsis at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Olive-backed Pipit
树鹨 (shù liù)
Anthus hodgsoni

3 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
15 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
6 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
13 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
6 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
10 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
8 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
13 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14

Red-throated Pipit
红喉鹨 (hónghóu liù)
Anthus cervinus

10 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
2 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23

Buff-bellied Pipit
黄腹鹨 (huángfù liù)
Anthus rubescens japonicus

8 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
2 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
2 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
5 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26

Passeriformes: Fringillidae

Brambling
燕雀 (yànquè)
Fringilla montifringilla

64 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
14 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
4 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
4 along Rural Road 204 & at Sānmíncūnon on 2015-04-24
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10

Chinese Grosbeak
黑尾蜡嘴雀 (hēiwěi làzuǐquè)
Eophona migratoria

6 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
23 at Century Park on 2015-04-04
8 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
2 at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20
8 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
19 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
25 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
3 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
8 at Yangkou on 2015-05-16
3 at Dongtai on 2015-05-17
13 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
9 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
11 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
9 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21

Common Rosefinch
普通朱雀 (pǔtōng zhūquè)
Carpodacus erythrinus

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19

Grey-capped Greenfinch
金翅雀 (jīnchìquè)
Chloris sinica

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
4 along Rural Road 204 on 2015-04-24
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
6 at Nantianmu Forest Park on 2015-05-07
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Eurasian Siskin
黄雀 (huángquè)
Spinus spinus

50 (flock) at Century Park on 2015-04-04
15 (flock) at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20
15 (flock) on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
7 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26

Passeriformes: Emberizidae

Crested Bunting
凤头鹀 (fèngtóu wū)
Emberiza lathami

1 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08

Meadow Bunting
三道眉草鹀 (sāndàoméi cǎowū)
Emberiza cioides

5 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
3 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
3 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
5 at E Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-08
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-09
1 at W Tianmu Mtn. on 2015-05-10
2 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
1 heard at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
2 at Dongtai on 2015-06-13
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-21
3 at Dongtai on 2015-06-22

Tristram’s Bunting
白眉鹀 (báiméi wū)
Emberiza tristrami

21 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
13 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
2 at Zhongshan Park on 2015-04-20
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
6 along Rural Road 204 on 2015-04-24
1 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26

Chestnut-eared Bunting
栗耳鹀 (lì’ěr wū)
Emberiza fucata

12 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-12
1 at Dongtai on 2015-06-14

Little Bunting
小鹀 (xiǎo wū)
Emberiza pusilla

5 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
6 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
6 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19

Yellow-browed Bunting
黄眉鹀 (huángméi wū)
Emberiza chrysophrys

1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
13 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
6 along Rural Road 204 on 2015-04-24

Rustic Bunting
田鹀 (tián wū)
Emberiza rustica

2 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11

Yellow-throated Bunting
黄喉鹀 (huánghóu wū)
Emberiza elegans

4 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
1 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25

Yellow-breasted Bunting
黄胸鹀 (huángxiōng wū)
Emberiza aureola

1 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24

Chestnut Bunting
栗鹀 (lì wū)
Emberiza rutila

1 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19

Yellow Bunting
硫磺鹀 (liúhuáng wū)
Emberiza sulphurata

1 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16

Black-faced Bunting
灰头鹀 (huītóu wū)
Emberiza spodocephala

12 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29
24 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-09
6 at Nanhui on 2015-04-09
7 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-10
17 at Yangkou on 2015-04-11
5 at Yangkou on 2015-04-12
29 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-04-16
6 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
2 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-04-17
27 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
24 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
1 on Golden Beach on 2015-04-22
29 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
25 at Yangkou on 2015-04-24
9 on SE Jiangsu coast on 2014-04-25
8 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26
3 at Nanhui on 2015-05-14
2 on Lesser Yangshan on 2015-05-21
1 at Nanhui on 2015-05-21

Pallas’s Reed Bunting
苇鹀 (wěi wū)
Emberiza pallasi

9 at Nanhui on 2015-04-16
ca. 90 on Hengsha on 2015-04-18
17 at Nanhui on 2015-04-19
2 at Yangkou on 2015-04-23
70 on Hengsha on 2015-04-26

Japanese Reed Bunting
红颈苇鹀 (hóngjǐng wěiwū)
Emberiza yessoensis

1 at Chongming Dongtan on 2015-03-29

List of Place Names

Century Park (Shìjì Gōngyuán [世纪公园]): urban green space in Pudong New Area (Pǔdōng Xīn Qū [浦东新区]), Shanghai. Largest park in Shanghai. 31.219361, 121.551900.

Chongming Dongtan National Bird Sanctuary and Nature Reserve (Chóngmíng Dōngtān Niǎolèi Guójiājí Zìrán Bǎohùqū [崇明东滩鸟类国家级自然保护区]): nature reserve E Chongming Island. 31.510109, 121.961955.

Chongming Island (Chóngmíng Dǎo [崇明岛]): large alluvial island at mouth of Yangtze River. Area: 1041 sq. km. Part of municipality of Shanghai. See Chongming page.

Dongtai (Dōngtái [东台]): county-level city E Jiangsu, China. See Dongtai page.

East Tianmu Mountain Scenic Area (Dōng Tiānmùshān Jǐngqū [东天目山景区]): nature reserve in Zhejiang. 30.342422, 119.509490. See also West Tianmu Mountain Scenic Area.

Garbage Dump Coastal Plain: broad area between Donghai Bridge & Garbage Dump Gully on Lesser Yangshan Island. 30.638860, 122.060089.

Garbage Dump Gully: birding spot on Lesser Yangshan Island near Donghai Bridge, known for its tall trees. A small garbage-processing plant lies at mouth of gully. 30.641565, 122.062836.

Haiyin Temple (Hǎiyìn Sì [海印寺]: place of worship Yangkou, Jiangsu. 32.558756, 121.044740.

Hangzhou Nantianmu Forest Park (Hángzhōu Nántiānmù Sēnlín Gōngyuán [杭州南天目森林公园]): green space in Zhejiang. 30.184555, 119.472668.

Hengsha Island (Héngshā Dǎo [横沙岛]): small alluvial island at mouth of Yangtze River. Area: 56 sq. km. Part of municipality of Shanghai. S gate to birding area at 31.297333, 121.859434.

Huangpu Park (Huángpǔ Gōngyuán [黄浦公园]): green space on The Bund in Shanghai. 31.241578, 121.490811.

Huangpu River (Huángpǔ Jiāng [黄浦江]): river 113 km in length, running through Shanghai. Tributary of Yangtze River.

Jiangsu (Jiāngsū Shěng [江苏省]): province E China on Yellow Sea. Area: 102,600 sq. km. Population: 79.2 million.

Lesser Yangshan Island (Xiǎo Yángshān [小洋山]): island Zhejiang Province in Hangzhou Bay (East China Sea). 30.634096, 122.058079.

Magic Parking Lot: parking area next to Holiday Inn in Nanhui, one of the few places in the area with tall trees & thus attractive to many species of bird. 30.882784, 121.972782.

Nanhui (Nánhuì [南汇]): area in Pǔdōng (浦东) in SE Shanghai, on Hangzhou Bay & East China Sea.

Pudong Nanhui Dongtan Wetland (Pǔdōng Nánhuì Dōngtān Shīdì [浦东南汇东滩湿地]): nature reserve in Nanhui, on East China Sea. 30.920507, 121.973159 (corner of Shìjìtáng Lù [世纪塘路] & main access road leading inland).

Sānmíncūn (三民村): village SE Jiangsu ca. 40 km S of Yangkou. Mudflats: 32.459155, 121.294937. Sānmíncūn Magic Forest: 32.438124, 121.278211.

Shanghai (Shànghǎi Shì [上海市]): provincial-level city E China, at mouth of Yangtze River on East China Sea. Area: 6341 sq. km. Population: 24.3 million.

Suzhou Creek (Sūzhōu Hé [苏州河]): tributary of Huangpu River; flows near Zhongshan Park in Shanghai. Also known as Wusong River (Wúsōng Jiāng [吴淞江]).

Temple Mount: area on Lesser Yangshan Island, named after Guānyīn Temple (Guānyīn Chánsì [观音禅寺]). 30.639945, 122.048277.

West Tianmu Mountain Nature Reserve (Xī Tiānmùshān Zìrán Bǎohùqū [西天目山自然保护区]): protected area in Zhejiang, China. 30.333333, 119.416667. See also East Tianmu Mountain Scenic Area.

Wusong River: see Suzhou Creek.

Xiǎo Yángshān (小洋山): see Lesser Yangshan Island.

Xiǎoyánglíng Cove: bay & surrounding land on Lesser Yangshan Island. Named after Xiǎoyánglíng Tǎ (小洋陵塔), a Buddhist monument. To reach cove, walk through tunnel from Garbage Dump Gully. 30.642243, 122.066940.

Yangkou (Yángkǒu [洋口]): fishing town Rudong County, Jiangsu, China. 32.537730, 121.017746.

Zhejiang (Zhèjiāng Shěng [浙江省]): province E China, on East China Sea. Area: 101,800 sq. km. Population: 54.9 million.

Zhongshan Park (Zhōngshān Gōngyuán [中山公园]): urban green space 6 km W of People’s Square in Changning District (Chángníng Qū [长宁区]), Shanghai. 31.221888, 121.420066.

Selected Bibliography

Alström, Per, Krister Mild, & Bill Zetterström. Pipits and Wagtails. Princeton University Press.

Brazil, Mark. Birds of East Asia. Princeton University Press. Craig’s first reference in the Shanghai region.

Brelsford, Craig. A Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China. (Work in progress; notes and drafts in Craig’s laptop. Please help us create this field guide by making a donation.)

del Hoyo, Josep, et al., eds. The Handbook of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions.

Kennerley, Peter & David Pearson. Reed and Bush Warblers. Christopher Helm.

Lynx Edicions. The Internet Bird Collection. ibc.lynxeds.com

MacKinnon, John & Karen Phillipps. A Field Guide to the Birds of China. Oxford University Press.

Message, Stephen & Don Taylor. Waders of Europe, Asia, and North America. Christopher Helm.

Olsen, Klaus Malling & Hans Larsson. Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America. Christopher Helm.

Oriental Bird Club. Oriental Bird Images. orientalbirdimages.org.

Robson, Craig. Birds of Southeast Asia. Princeton University Press.

Smith, Andrew T. & Yan Xie, eds. Mammals of China. Princeton University Press.

Svensson, Lars. Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. HarperCollins.

Xeno-Canto Foundation. Xeno-Canto: Bird Sounds from Around the World. xeno-canto.org. Craig has downloaded hundreds of calls from this Web site.

Equipment

Cameras: Nikon D3S; for landscapes, Apple iPad, Apple iPhone 4S, and Apple iPhone 6
Lens: Nikon VR 600mm F/4G
Sound recorder: Olympus DM-650
Binoculars: Swarovski EL 8 x 32 (Craig), Zeiss Conquest HD 8 x 42 (Elaine)
Spotting scope: Swarovski ATX-95

Featured image: Craig Brelsford photographing Brown-flanked Bush Warbler, Lesser Yangshan Island, Zhejiang, China, 9 April 2015. Photo by Elaine Du.

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