Tuesday, 13 December 2016

China: Poyang Hu - Wuyuan

At breakfast we watched some starlings outside the restaurant, along with Daurian Redstart, Black-faced Bunting and a Red-flanked Bluetail, whilst some White-rumped Munias were seen in the hotel grounds. We then drove a couple of hours to a strip of woodland amidst some stubble fields where we spent the next half an hour trying to get views of Yellow-browed Bunting, which eventually fell to everyone. Yellow-throated (Elegant) Buntings were numerous here and we’d now brought out bunting tally up to 12 species. 

Elegant (Yellow-throated) Bunting

There were lots of Black-faced and some Rustic & Little Buntings here as well, along with 6+ Red-flanked Bluetails, Brambling and Scaly-breasted Munia. Flocks of Taiga Bean Geese were out in the fields, along with our first Black-winged Stilts. Moving on from here to Nanjishan, another area of the vast Poyang Hu Reserve and we saw huge numbers of birds it was incredible. Just driving along we saw 30+ Eurasian Bitterns, and also roadside Buff-bellied and Red-throated Pipits. Lagoons along the road held hundreds of Greylag Geese, Trumpeter Swans, several Swan Geese, Ferruginous Duck and other common waterfowl. 

Swan Goose
Tundra Swan and Greylags
Tundra Swans

After lunch we checked out the huge lake behind the town and we were all in agreement it was “amazeballs”. There must have been almost a thousand Whiskered Terns here, with some still retaining their breeding plumage, plus a couple of White-winged Terns were spotted as well. Two Siberian Cranes were present, along with a flock of Bar-tailed Godwits, a flock of Pied Avocets, hundreds of Spotted Redshanks, Mongolian Gull, hundreds of Black-headed Gulls, another flock of Swan Geese and incredibly 360 Oriental Storks. But by now it was after 3.00pm and we had a 350km drive to Wuyuan so we drove back the same way, stopping a few times to check the ducks and get one last look at Swan Geese before finally ending a cracking days birding Gromit.

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