Saturday, 16 May 2015

Migration Magic Continues....

We returned to the coast this morning, stopping to look at a Yellow Bittern along the way, and walked along the track through the reeds again, which turned out to be quite productive as we found a couple of Pechora Pipits picking their way along the side of the track in front of us. 

Pechora Pipit - a much wanted crippler...

We also saw a couple of Pallas’s Reed Buntings as well to really add a splash of quality to the walk. Other birds seen along here included Bluethroat, Black-faced Bunting, an obliging Pale Thrush, Reed Parrotbill, Oriental Skylark, and a cooperative Manchurian Bush-Warbler was called in as well.

Manchurian Bush Warbler

We drove back along the coast road to the same pool as yesterday and new birds this time included a drake Mandarin Duck, brief Baillon’s Crake for some, and a few Eastern Black-tailed Godwits as well. I particularly liked the fact that Chinese Egret was ignored this morning!

Any patch of trees or bushes can hold migrants,,,

Then we had a picnic breakfast back at the convention centre and although most of yesterdays birds had moved out overnight there were some new quality birds such as Blue-and-white Flycatcher, male Siberian Blue Robin for a few of the group and a pair of Red-billed Starlings

Blue-and-white Flycatcher......

Several Yellow-browed Warblers were singing here, a lone Eastern Crowned Warbler was seen, and overhead Pacific Swifts and Asian House Martins flew by. Just as we were about to leave and head out on our 4 hour drive to Yangkou the Siberian Blue Robin appeared again in front of some Chinese bird photographers so we had better views this time and now everyone in the group got to see this little beauty. 

Siberian Blue Robin

As we returned to the coaster Viv spotted a flock of Japanese White-eyes feeding in a large tree. And that was our time at Nanhui done.

Following a drive of a little over four hours we reached Yangkou around 1.30pm and had lunch in a restaurant before driving to the famous Temple Wood, one of the premier migration hotspots in the region. It’s only the size of a football pitch and despite this being a ‘quiet’ day, was jumping with birds. It was all very exciting really as no sooner had we entered the wood than we were confronted with 2 male and a female Blue-and-white Flycatchers, 3 Mugimaki Flycatchers, a fine male Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Claudia’s Warbler, Pale-legged Leaf-Warbler and numerous Yellow-browed Warblers

Yellow-browed Warbler

Further searching revealed lots of Tristram’s Buntings, lots of Red-billed Starlings, a few Pallas’s Warblers, and best of all a Rufous-tailed Robin. A few Eye-browed Thrushes were moving around the area, a Eurasian Hoopoe flew by a couple of times….

Tristram's Bunting

A ten minute drive saw us at what is known as Magic Wood and it was a lot quieter here than I expected but things soon livened up and we witnessed a fall of Grey-streaked Flycatchers (around 50+ were seen), and 100+ Chinese Grosbeaks were estimated here as well this afternoon. At one stage I heard a call and suspected it was a Little Curlew, so we scanned the sandy field next to us but only initially saw a flock of Whimbrel, but when they flew a smaller bird joined them and in the end we saw 3 Little Curlews in flight. 

Little Curlew with Whimbrel.

We walked out to where we thought they had landed but they were very flighty and flew again. It wasn’t until walking back to the coach much later that we finally had decent and tickable views. What a bird. We also saw a pair of Grey-headed Lapwings in the same area as well, plus 2 Dusky Thrushes were feeding out in the open. 

Grey-headed Lapwing.

Also in the wood were a few Oriental Turtle-Doves, several Asian Azure-winged Magpies, Red-billed Blue Magpie and more ‘phylloscs’, Blue-and-white Flycatcher, male Siberian Rubythroat, female Siberian Blue Robin, 10+ Olive-backed Pipits, both Japanese and the endemic Yellow-bellied Tit, White-cheeked Starling and plenty of Tristram’s Buntings. Back at the bus we saw a Little Bunting and also heard 2 Rufous-tailed Robins singing. 

Little Bunting.

It had been a thoroughly enjoyable day with more quality sightings of what we in the UK term ‘Sibe vagrants’. Really loving the birding here…!

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