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With a population running into the hundreds of thousands rather than the millions, this city is very much smaller than the previous two city bases. This is very evident from the physically smaller area covered by the city, although it is still fairly large by UK standards. However, much of the area is still fairly well developed, while being softened by the surrounding limestone karst hills which even seep into the city boundaries. April to June is reputed to be the wet season for this semi tropical location, but we were fortunate in only being exposed to this for half a day (during the Li River cruise). Our hotel was situated next to one of Guilin’s lakes, which was surrounded by a line of trees. Light-vented Bulbuls were the predominant bird throughout the city, with lesser numbers of Tree Sparrows, interspersed by the odd Oriental Magpie-robin and Oriental White-eye.

Guilin

Oriental White-eye

Within Guilin city

Oriental White-eye

Pale-vented Bulbul

Crested Mynah

Light-vented Bulbul

Crested Mynah

Much better habitat was served during the cruise down the Li River, and subsequent time within and around the town of Yangshuo, which was where the boat docked, as well as the hills to the North-west of the city, which we visited to see some of the minority people and dragon terraces. The former trip along the river was primarily to see the stunning karst scenery. Birds could occasionally be seen from the boat, but were generally difficult to make out. A trio of Black Kites overhead was easy, with a Eurasian Hobby a little harder. A Red-billed Blue Magpie looked soaked and forlorn while perched on wires next to the river. A Common Kingfisher flew into view and landed over the water as we passed its favoured fishing spot. We paid extra for a “golf buggy” trip through the farmland and villages a short ride from Yangshuo, where Crested Mynahs were occasional, and a single Plain Prinia called while walking the track next to the rice paddies.

Li River

Yangshuo

Limestone Karst hills from the Li River

Paddies near Yangshuo

The trip to the hills inhabited by the Yao people was as usual a tourist hotspot, but the ascent through the vendor stalls and traditional village does offer some open and impressive hilly vistas. Great Tits and Light-vented Bulbuls were as usual the most common offering, although both Barn & Red-rumped Swallows were in good numbers overhead. However, new birds were found here – a handful of Russet Sparrows replaced Tree Sparrows within the village, and a pair of Collared Finchbills were together in a tree at the apex of the uphill walk, with a brace of Grey-capped Greenfinches close by. The earlier journey had many shrikes perched on wires over the paddyfields, but one found here was to clinch the identity of the South-eastern race of Long-tailed Shrike (showing grey head and upper back, and no white on the wing). Another Yao village was visited, about 20 minutes from the Dragon Terraces, which included an inviting river running through it, and an even more inviting Plumbeous Water Redstart beneath the footbridge over it. Within the village, a female Pied Wheatear may have been on migration, since these should be more of a northern bird at this time of year.
 

Dragon terraces

Pied Wagtail

Dragon terraces from Yao village

Pied Wagtail (leucopsis race)

Pied Wheatear

Plumbeous Water Redstart

Pied Wheatear

Plumbeous Water Redstart

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Beijing

Xi'an

Guilin

Chengdu

Species list

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