Wednesday, 16 May 2012

More Migrant Mania at Rudong, SE China

Just ten minutes away from the hotel is the new Magic Wood, a small patch of woodland and scrub a little larger than a football field  day and we were excited about returning there. This morning we paid an early visit and turned up a number of excellent birds, in fact many more birds were present than yesterday evenings visit. A Red-billed Starling posed nicely on top of the temple as we arrived but we didn’t dally as we were eager to see what goodies lay in wait for us. Upon arrival it seemed to be raining birds, when Lesser Cuckoo, Asian Koel, a couple of Hair-crested Drongos, and flocks of phylloscs literally dropped out of the sky. The first of at least 3 Rufous-tailed Robins present demanded our attention, and then Two-barred and Pallas's Warblers appeared amongst roving flocks of Yellow-browed, Claudia's and Eastern Crowned Warblers 

Rufous-tailed Robin

Rufous-tailed Robin

 At least two male Siberian Blue Robins were found and skulked in typical fashion, whilst Siberian and Pale Thrushes, Radde’s Warbler, and both Tristram’s and Meadow Buntings were also new out in the small grassy area. Both Mugimaki and Yellow-rumped Flycatchers showed well, flocks of Yellow-billed Grosbeaks flew over, and the Northern Boobok flew around the area repeatedly looking for a birder-free zone to roost! Moving on to the other forest there appeared to be smaller numbers of flycatchers present although Narcissus and some Asian Brown and Grey-streaked Flycatchers were still around. We even had a brief view of an elusive Elisae's Flycatcher which promptly disappeared, but an impressive Blue-and-white Flycatcher was seen by everyone, as was a Forest Wagtail. More Rufous-tailed RobinsSiberian, Eye-browed and Pale Thrushes, a male Siberian Rubythroat, Dusky Warbler and Japanese Grosbeak were all seen as well. 

Blue-and-white Flycatcher

 There were also loads of  Pale-legged Leaf-warblers around and an estimate of 100+ was made from both sites visited so far today. So with time running out we drove to the coast and donned our wellington boots again and marched out onto the tidal flats getting our first Great Knot and Far-eastern Curlews of the tour amongst hordes of all the usual waders and a flyby Black-capped Kingfisher as well. We even ignored the dozen or so Saunder’s Gulls flying overhead repeatedly! With the tide racing in towards us we walked briskly back to shore and then headed over to the hotel to pack and have lunch. A quick two hour journey was a lot less than expected and we ended up at the airport with several hours to spare for the flight to Nanchang and the next stage of our adventure.

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