Birding Sites around Shanghai

This page describes some of the major birding areas in the Shanghai region. On the map below, click on any of the markers for brief details about the location. More information about sites is presented below. Hyperlinks to locations take you to pages with even more details.

URBAN SHANGHAI: Century Park in Pudong offers good birding and is easily accessible on Metro Line 2. Parks such as Gongqing, Binjiang, and Shanghai Botanical Gardens are similar to Century but harder to reach. Huangpu Park on the Bund is a good place to view gulls. For a list of all the birds ever noted at Century Park, please click here.

NANHUI: Despite development that threatens its status as mainland Shanghai’s best birding area, the coastal area east of Dishui Lake remains a must-see. Nanhui’s microforests are an astonishingly effective trap for migrating woodland birds. In the wetlands, Black-faced Spoonbill, Asian Dowitcher, and even Spoon-billed Sandpiper have been found. In winter, Dishui Lake holds hundreds of ducks.

LESSER YANGSHAN ISLAND: Technically in Zhejiang and home to Shanghai’s largest deep-water port. Known in Chinese as Xiǎo Yángshān (小洋山). Lies 25 km off coast of Nanhui and is accessible by car over Donghai Bridge. Migrating passerines, in particular buntings, are the major attraction.

CHONGMING ISLAND: Large alluvial island at mouth of Yangtze. Boasts most important nature reserve in Shanghai: Chongming Dongtan National Bird Sanctuary and Nature Reserve. Here, about 100 Hooded Crane winter. Hundreds of other species, many of them passage migrants, visit the island.

HENGSHA ISLAND: Small alluvial island at mouth of Yangtze. Has huge, still undeveloped, reclaimed area that is a magnet to migrating birds and is one of the better places in Shanghai to view ducks.

YANGKOU: Yangkou is in Rudong County, Jiangsu, 200 km north of Shanghai. The small fishing town is famous for its mudflats, an important staging area for Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Flocks containing hundreds of Nordmann’s Greenshank have been recorded here.

DONGTAI: The birding area at Dongtai lies 40 km north of Yangkou. This major staging area is slated for development but for the time being is one of the finest birding sites in the region. Flocks of more than 700 Nordmann’s Greenshank have been recorded there, Spoon-billed Sandpiper is a regular visitor, and Black-faced Spoonbill rely on the vast spaces.

TIANMU MOUNTAINS: Range W of Hangzhou offers refreshing contrast to Shanghai region’s mainly coastal environments. Interesting location at border of Indo-Malayan and Palearctic biogeographical regions.

YANCHENG: 300 km north of Shanghai, well-known as a winter home of Red-crowned Crane, Oriental Stork, and many species of goose and duck.

HANGZHOU: West Lake Scenic Area, marked above, offers a good introduction to southeast China’s temperate forest. Nearby Xixi Wetland has a well-deserved good reputation. Fast, easy access by bullet train from Shanghai.

NANJING: One of the best places to bird in Nanjing is Nanjing Zhongshan Botanical Garden, marked above. Fairy Pitta breeds at Laoshan National Forest Park, on the northern side of the Yangtze River. Bullet train from Shanghai.