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List of species seen

Common Pheasant

Only present at the Great Wall at Jinshanling, where one was seen on the crest of a nearby hill, and at least one more was heard calling

Mandarin Duck

A single male swam by as we dined in a restaurant next to Quinhai Lake, one of the three developed lakes in the centre of Beijing

Mallard

8 were on Beihei lake, the largest of the 3 lakes in the centre of Beijing

Little Grebe

A single bird was on the lake to the front of our hotel in Guilin

Black-crowned Night Heron

5 birds landed on wood planks next to the restaurants on Quinhai Lake, generally relaxing, although one did catch a decent sized goldfish

Chinese Pond Heron

At least 6 were on the journey from Yangshuo to Guilin, at least 1 on the journey from Leshan to Chengdu, and 1 was in Xi’an

Little Egret  

Many more were likely than the dozen or so recorded on car journeys, since good numbers of white egrets were seen, but most were too brief or distant to be identified

Black Kite

3 were over the boat on the Li River

Amur Falcon

Separate male and female were positively identified on the return journey from Jinshanling to Beijing. One or two other small falcons were also likely to have been this species

Eurasian Hobby

1 flew over the boat on the journey along the Li River

Eurasian Collared Dove

Only 2 were seen on the journey from Jinshanling to Beijing

Spotted Dove

A single bird was in the undergrowth at the base of one of the hills in Seven Star Park, Guilin

Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo

This bird is normally quite difficult to see, being a bit of a forest skulker. The one seen was fortunate, since it landed on a branch next to the steps up to the temples at Mount Qingcheng

Common Cuckoo

A single bird was calling in a tree next to one of the Panda enclosures at Ya’an

Asian Barred Owlet

A single bird flew from the open ground into a low bush in the gardens below our hotel in Ya’an

Common Swift

Quite common in some city areas – Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin (perhaps the largest flocks over Elephant Hill Park - ~40), and Chengdu

Common Kingfisher 

A single bird landed on the banks of the Li River as we passed by on the cruise

Eurasian Hoopoe 

1 was seen from the car on the journey to Jinshanling from Beijing, with a second seen from the city wall at Xi’an

Long-tailed Shrike

Best numbers were on the journey from Guilin to the Dragon Terraces, with ~20, and 1 perched near to the apex of the walk through the village. Smaller numbers were seen on subsequent days, with 4 the following day in Guilin, to 1 on the journey from Leshan to Chengdu, and 4 on the journey from Chengdu to Mount Qingcheng

Black Drongo

2 were on the journey from Jinshanling to Beijing, 2 from the city wall at Xi’an, 1 on the journey to the Dragon Terraces, and 1 at Ya’an

Eurasian Jay 

2 were in the Panda sanctuary at Ya’an

Azure-winged Magpie

These were particularly common around the city of Beijing, with most of the birds being in groups around the tourist sites, such as the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven. Smaller numbers were at the Terracotta Army site at Xi’an (1), Moslem Quarter, Xi’an (2), and Ya’an (2)

Red-billed Blue Magpie

These are very large and stunning magpies, and tend to stand out from the greens and browns of the landscape – first was below the Great Wall at Jinshanling, second below the cable car on the descent. 2 were seen on the Li River trip at Guilin – one rain soaked and perched on a wire adjacent to the river, the other at the roadside on the return journey. Another was at Ya’an, and the sixth near Leshan

Eurasian Magpie

These were quite common around Beijing, with 4 even being seen on arrival at the airport. Following this, only a further 2 were seen on the journey back from Yangshuo to Guilin

Large-billed Crow 

Only seen in the Beijing area – 6 within the Forbidden City; 2 at the Great Wall at Jinshanling; 1 at Beihei Lake

Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher

At least 4 were at the lower levels of the forest at Mount Qingcheng

Great Tit

Quite common in all the areas visited: 4 at Jinshanling; 2 at Seven Star Cave, Guilin; 2 at Yangshuo; 6 at the Dragon Terraces; ~6 at Seven Star Park, Guilin; ~10 at Ya’an; ~10 at Leshan

Green-backed Tit 

This species is likely to have been merely a subspecies of Great Tit until recent times, and looks more like the brightly coloured North European variety of Great Tit than the dowdy grey version seen above. It was only seen in the Chengdu area, with 2 birds at Mount Qingcheng, one carrying food for young

Collared Finchbill

A pair of these were playing in a conifer at the top of the steps while visiting the Yao village in the hills from Guilin. 2 separate birds were subsequently seen – 1 as we left the Giant Buddha site at Leshan, and the other briefly while ascending the steps at Mount Qingcheng

Light-vented Bulbul

These were very common, being very vocal as well as obvious on sight, in Xi’an, Guilin and Chengdu. None were at Beijing, which is out of its more southerly distribution

Black Bulbul

The birds seen were all of the white headed variety, and only seen in the Chengdu area, with ~10 at Ya’an, and a single bird in the forests of Mount Qingcheng

Barn Swallow 

Quite common throughout

Eurasian Crag Martin

~4 birds were at ~4 birds were at Ya’an

Red-rumped Swallow 

1 over the city wall at Xi’an; common at the Dragon Terraces

Black-throated Bushtit

A noisy and busy group of ~8 birds were in the trees next to the restaurant we spent lunchtime at near to the base of Mount Qingcheng

Plain Prinia

1 on the track to the small village at Yangshuo

Common Tailorbird

~8 were very noticeable at Seven Star Park, Guilin

Masked Laughingthrush

~6 wet birds were in one of the Giant Panda enclosures at Ya’an

White-browed Laughingthrush

3 were in the tea terraces at the tea stop just outside of Leshan, and 1 was at the Giant Buddha site within Leshan

Black-chinned Yuhina

~8 were in a tight and noisy group in a couple of low bushes next to the steps up to the temples at Mount Qingcheng

Ashy-throated Parrotbill

2 small groups were at Ya’an – 2 together near to the nursery enclosure at the Panda sanctuary, and a group of 4 in the trees next to the hotel

Oriental White-eye

4 birds seen in singles – Yangshuo; Guilin; Leshan; Mount Qingcheng

Chinese Nuthatch

Bizarrely, a single bird was perched at the top of a tree next to the descending cable car from the Great Wall at Jinshanling

Crested Myna

Most commonly seen in the Chengdu area, with ~10 on the journey from Leshan to Giuilin and ~8 on the journey from Guilin to Mount Qingcheng. The first two were among the rice paddies of Yangshuo

White-cheeked Starling

Only one seen – a bird perched near to the entrance to the Terracotta Army site, Xi’an

Common Blackbird 

Xi’an (2); Seven Star Park, Guilin (~4); Ya’an (2)

Oriental Magpie-Robin

Li River/Yangshuo (~8); Guilin (1); Seven Star Park (~8); Mount Qingcheng (1)

Daurian Redstart 

Only seen at the Great Wall, Jinshanling. They had a much lighter light grey crown than depicted in the books, looking almost as if they had a white cap

Plumbeous Water Redstart

One below the footbridge over the river at the Yao village, from Guilin

Pied Wheatear 

Rather unexpected, since the distribution in the books would indicate that this species should be much further North at this time of year, two females were seen in totally different localities. 1 was at the Yao village, from Guilin, the other next to the river on the opposite bank of the Giant Buddha, Leshan

Asian Brown Flycatcher

This is another species which is supposed to be much further North at this time. A single bird was in the trees outside of the hotel at Ya’an

Plain Flowerpecker

A very vocal bird was seen and heard in the canopy outside of the hotel at Ya’an, and a second was heard at the site of the Giant Buddha, Leshan

Russet Sparrow 

Only seen at the Dragon Terraces, where 4 were within the Yao Village

Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Seen throughout, these were abundant in Beijing. Fewer numbers were regularly seen at the other major centres visited

Grey Wagtail

1 on wires at the Dragon Terraces; 2 Mount Qingcheng

White Wagtail 

Terracotta Army, Xi’an (1); journey from Yanshuo to Guilin (1); Dragon Terraces (~4); Seven Star Park, Guilin (1); Leshan (2). Two distinct races were seen – leucopsis in the North, and personata in the West

Grey-capped Greenfinch

Great Wall, Jinshanling (4,3,1); Terracotta Army, Xi’an (1); Dragon Terraces (2 juveniles)

Godlewski's Bunting

2 singing next to the Great Wall, Jinshanling

Meadow Bunting

1 next to the car park at Jinshanling; 3 from the train approaching Xi’an

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Beijing

Xi'an

Guilin

Chengdu

Species list

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