Saturday, 5 June 2010

CHINA June 2010: Pingtai, Xiainghai & the Wall

Thursday 3 June 2010:  After an early flight from Beijing we were met at Wulanhot  and driven for over an hour to a hotel in Baichang.  This was to serve as our base for two days. Here we met Mr Li and soon drove another two hours to a remote area of grassland at Pingtai where we spent the rest of the day.  Highlights were Japanese Quail ), Amur Falcon 6, Great Bustard 15, Yellow-legged Button-Quail 1, Common Cuckoo 6+ (parisitising the buntings?), Mongolian Lark 7, Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler 1, Lanceolated Warbler 2, Arctic Warbler 1, Daurian Jackdaw 3, Jankowski's Bunting 7 (seemingly quite common in a very restricted area where isolated bushed remained) and Pallas's Reed Buntiung 3.

 Jankowski's Buntings

Pallas's Reed Bunting

Friday 4 June:  We spent all day at the Xianghi wetlands, about two hours drive south of Baichang.  Birds recorded included Swan Goose 7 adults (plus 15 goslings that were being stolen/domesticated by a local with a dog), Smew 1, Amur Falcon 15, White-naped Crane 2, Red-crownd Crane 4 (a pair with two chicks, plus c20 captive birds let out for their daily flyround for the Chinese tourists, and us!), Asian Dowitcher 3, White-winged Black Tern 25, Pallas's Sandgrouse 1 male flew directly overhead twice), Common Cuckoo 12, Little Owl 2, Chinese Grey Shrike 4, Chinese Penduline Tit 1, Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler 1, Manchurian Reed Warbler 1 and Chestnut-eared Bunting 1.
Asian Dowitcher
 White-winged Black Tern (and Oriental Reed Warbler!)

Swan Goose
Red-crowned Crane with chicks

captive Red-crowned Crane

it's behind you ...
Amur Falcon

Chinese Grey Shrike

 Chestnut-eared Bunting

Saturday 5 June:  After a morning flight back to Beijing we were taken to the Great Wall at Badalung for our final afternoon.  Very busy initially we soon got away from the crowds by walking a 3-4 km section before picked up.  Birds included Amur Falcon 1, Azure-winged Magpie 30 (in one big noisy flock), Red-billed Blue Magpie 1, Chinese Hill Warbler 1, Plain Laughingthrush 5, Daurian Redstart 2 males and Godlewski's Bunting 2.
Plain Laughingthrush

Richard, Barry, Alan and Pete (me and the 'A' Team)

Sunday 6 June: flew back home from Beijing Airport.  Common Swift 10 pekinensis, Magpie 2, White-cheeked Starling 2 and Tree Sparrow 6 were the only species seen.

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