Tuesday 25 May: The Min Jiang Estuary was reached by taking a small boat from a jetty up a creek to a beach which we crossed to reach the sea. The tide was just starting to go out when we arrived and we walked along the shore seeing a reasonable selection of roosting waders, and what appeared to be breeding White-faced Plovers. A distant Chinese Crested Tern was picked up perched on the top of a fishing post offshore and several soon flew towards the shore to rest on the edge of exposed sandbanks. The tide then dropped very quickly and we waded out after the terns as they followed the retreating tide. At one stage nine CCTs were resting on the tide line while Barry had two more flying over. Sadly one of those seen was slightly oiled. A fantastic morning finished with us wading through mud, in places over a foot deep, before getting a boat back across the creek to the jetty. The afternoon was spent visiting a site Forest knew for Collared Crow some two hours drive inland of Fuzhou. After checking a few areas around Da Hu we were finally successful, although it took some time to get prolonged views. Birds included Yellow Bittern 1, Crested Serpent Eagle 1, Chinese Sparrowhawk 1, White-breased Waterhen 1, Little Ringed Plover 2, Kentish Plover 10, White-faced Plover 20, Greater Sand Plover 25, Terek Sandpiper 50, Sanderling 50, Red-necked Stint 75, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper 1, Broad-billed Sandpiper 5, Oriental Pratincole 1, Chinese Crested Tern 11+ present (9+ seen by me), Crested Tern 150, Little Tern 1, White-winged Black Tern 6, Collared Crow 5, Chinese Hwamei 1 and Richard's Pipit 1.
|Alan, Forest and Pete on the way to Min Jiang beach|
|Terek and Broad-billed Sandpipers|
|White-faced Plovers (in not so white-faced breeding plumage?)|
|White-winged Black, Crested, Chinese Crested and Gull-billed Terns|
|Chinese Crested and Crested Terns|
|Chinese Crested Terns|
|Collared Crow habitat at Da Hu|
Wednesday 26 May: This was pretty much an insurance day in case we failed at Min Jiang on our first attempt. Forest was reluctant to return to the estuary as he seemed to have only got a permit for one day (a confidence we’d not had the luxury of sharing!) so we visited Fuzhou Forest Park instead. It was probably the best location for general birding around Fuzhou although it involved crossing town to get to. A rather flat day after the highs of the estuary although it produced the hoped for Fork-tailed Sunbird. Our evening flight to Beijing was delayed by two hours (volume of air traffic due to the Shanghai Expo?) and we didn’t arrive until midnight. Birds included Crested Goshawk 2, Little Ringed Plover 2, Asian Koel 1, Rufous Woodpecker 5, Large Wood Shrike 1, Chestnut Bulbul (7), Himlayan Black Bulbul 3, Masked Laughingthrush 3, Chinese Blackbird 10, Orange-bellied Leafbird 1 and Fork-tailed Sunbird 3 males.
|Chestnut Bulbul (better than expected)|
|Fork-tailed Sunbird missing named feature|
|Fork-tailed Sunbird with fork|