Monday, 19 November 2007

North East China, Oct - Nov 2007

The motorway connecting Beijing with the coast was shut because of 'fog', (smog, pollution, crap, etc) so we had to go on a smaller road. It was a hellish 5hr journey through what appeared to be a thick blanket of cement dust. It covered everything from people to trees for as far as the eye could see. We guessed it may have had something to do with the Olympics and the fact that they are not quite ready for it next year. Despite this bad start we did have some quality migration birding although several sky- watching days were lost due to smog filled skies. Click on pictures for bigger image.

Pallas's Reed Buntings

Red-flanked Bluetail

Pallas's Reed Bunting, male

Saunders Gulls, 1st winters

The Saunders quarter the beach on the look out for crabs. When they spot one they drop like a stone on to it and precede to tear its legs off, swallowing each one whole. Then they swallow the carapace whole. Only the more determined crabs are spared.

Oriental White Storks

We counted over 1000 of this endangered bird during are stay. The Great Wall is just visible in the first photo, behind the tower block.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

No peace for the tired

The last place you want to rest after a long sea crossing is on a Chinese beach.

A crab too far

This crab defended itself against the Saunders Gull and was spared

Oriental White Storks

270 came through just before dark and headed off south-west over the rush hour traffic.

Black-tailed Gull, juv

Common Gull

This second winter bird showed a lot of immaturity more typical of Kamtschatschensis but its size and structure didn't convince me.

Short-eared Owls just arrived

We watched four SEO's arrive in off the sea together. All were extremely buffy.

Distant Ship

The ships reflection is visible even though the whole thing appears to be floating in mid-air.

Stretching Mongolian Gull

Magpies mobbing Short-eared Owl


Oriental White Storks

Japanese Reed Bunting

Reminds me of a cross between an Aquatic Warbler and a Bobolink.