by Craig Brelsford
In Shanghai, the best birding occurs on the coast, 80 km or 50 mi. from the city center. Getting there can be a chore. Birding Pudong’s Century Park, by contrast, only requires a ride on Metro Line 2. Your day list from Century will only be about a third as long as a list from Cape Nanhui, but good birding can occur there, and at little cost.
On Sat. 15 April, my partners Larry Chen, Komatsu Yasuhiko (“Hiko”), Hiko’s biology teacher Zeng Qiongyu, and I had a bout of good birding at Century Park.
I had never heard Eastern Crowned Warbler sing in Shanghai. I am however familiar with the song, because in my wife Elaine Du’s hometown of Boli, Heilongjiang, the song of Eastern Crowned Warbler is one of the most common sounds in the remnant Manchurian forest.
We were in the heavily wooded area near Gate 7 when I heard the wheezy song. It sounded like this recording I made in Heilongjiang:
Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus, Xidaquan National Forest (45.727751, 130.317316), Boli, Heilongjiang, China, June, by Craig Brelsford (0:03; 922 KB)
It was just a snatch of song, and it occurred but once. I knew immediately that it was Eastern Crowned Warbler. The song was coming from the surprisingly high canopy of the wood.
The four of us strained to find the bird. The sun shone brightly through the canopy and into our eyes. Finally, Hiko saw movement. Through the glare we focused in and got a clear view of Eastern Crowned.
It was a shot of birding as good and satisfying as I get anywhere. And it just goes to show—good birding can occur anywhere, even in a busy city park.
Featured image: Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus, Yangkou-Rudong, Jiangsu, September. (Craig Brelsford)