It’s been a while since the last post of Summer 13’. Summer burned up very well with a good wader push by the end of August. With a bit of migrants in the form of waders, warblers and flycatchers, it was safe to say, the Autumn migration of 2013 started by the first week of September. No changes in the weather front though as it was still hot.

25th August – Met Kevin @Zhongchun road of Line 9, Our official starting place of birding. Kevin usually start the birding from his backyard, he had Oriental Magpie Robins in his backyard. A very uncommon bird in Shanghai. We headed straight towards the Turf field southwest of Nanhui in hope’s to find some waders. The result was very rewarding with plenty of Pacific Golden Plovers, Grey-headed Lapwing, Yellow-wagtail in the Turf fields.  Soon we met Anders  and Mark Maddock and headed towards Nanhui. Plenty of Sanderlings, Greater, Lesser Sandplovers, one odd Ruddy Turnstone, Red-necked Stint and my first lifer of the day, 4 “Great Knots” were feeding in a high tide. A flock of Whimbrels made a casuaul appearance followed by a very shabby Black-tailed Gull, most of the flight feather were in moult.





Meanwhile, Mark called me and informed me there are few mystery birds are in the north of the “Holiday Inn”. We zipped up fast in Kevin’s coupe and those mystery birds are nothing but one of the Asian specialites, Asian Dowitcher.5 birds were feeding among few Eastern Black-tailed Godwits. It was hard to distinguish the birds with the bins. Thanks to Anders for his superb scope and he clearly pointed out the peachy breasted, black billed Asian Dowitchers from the Godwits. We also found one Great Knot in this patch. Few Eurasian Teal were on the right edge of the pool. The lake opposite to the Holiday Inn had plenty of Great crested Grebe.

Asian Dowitcher

Black-tailed Godwit

8th September – We hit XiaoYangshan first to get some passerines. Plenty of Siberian Robins skulking in the undergrowth.  First Japanese Paradise Flycatcher(female) of the season showed up, followed by a sub-adult male Blue and white Flycatcher. About 10-15 Meadow Buntings were hopping on the rock behind the Old lady’s hut. Very early sighting  of the Meadow Bunting in two years. I headed towards the garbage dumpyard following up a little “cluks”.  The “Cluks” turned out to be one of the bird which I wanted to see since I came to China, the most notorious skulker “Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler” gave a glimpse before disappearing into the undergrowth. A Black-winged Cuckooshrike was hunting very closely to me, thanks to the thick foliage of XiaoYangshan as I ended up with a clutter shot. Back @ Nanhui, the mudflats are filled with waders. The low tide time and the waders are dispersed in the vast area, some birds which I could ID with my bins are Whimbrel, Far-eastern Curlew, Grey-tailed Tattler, Common Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Red-necked Stints, Greater, Lesser  Sandplovers, Black-winged Stilt, Eastern Black-tailed Godwit. About 50 Black-tailed Gulls were taking the fresh breeze at the far end of the mudflat, Whiskered, Gull-billed, White-winged, Little Tern made brief flight appearance.


Black-winged Cuckooshrike

Subadult male Siberian Blue Robin @ XiaoYangshan

Subadult male Siberian Blue Robin @ XiaoYangshan

A superb adult male Siberian Blue Robin @ Nanhui

A superb adult male Siberian Blue Robin @ Nanhui

15th September – Me and Kevin hit our local patch again(though it’s about 150kms from City centre). Birding started bit slow in the morning. I had my first Lesser Coucal in XiaoYangshan. Birding was bit slow compared to the excitement of past two weeks. Kevin interested in obtaining good shots of the Grey Nightjar which was in the Temple valley for some time but it was more of a shy bird and bit of a hard work for good work. A small thrush sized cuckoo gave some brief  flight views which was more than enough to ID the “Lesser Cucckoo”. The heavy artillery men joined shortly to shoot this uncommon migrant. We headed to Nanhui in the late afternoon as XiaoYangshan was not producing great birds. Same prevailed in magic car park of Nanhui. The WWF boardwalk of Nanhui had reasonable  water in the past two year. Usually, we don’t take the boardwalk as there is no water , no reeds and especially no birds. An Eastern Marsh Harrier put up a good show to hunt some waders and also showed us that the board walk is worth a try. We were totally surprised by the no of waders and waterfowls in the area. Thousands of waders were taking the advantage of the water.  A small break in the autumn as I went back to India for a month and missed the Japanese Robin again, doh!





16th November – First birding break after returning from India. This time, I’m a bird guide (Yeah, any one can be a bird guide inside the great wall). Fortunately, I wasn’t ripping off the visiting bird watchers. Peter from Philippines,  Len Kopka from USA, Ed from Scotland, all of us met @ Ppl square and headed towards Binjiang Forest Park. I was hoping that there could be a slightest chance of seeing a Japanese Robin which I din’t. Plenty of Buntings, Thrushes, Warblers, just the usual wintering birds.



23rd November – Met Kevin @ our usual joint and gave a try again for the Japanese Robin at XiaoYangshan. The place bit sounded like summer with very few birds. Common Buzzard was bit of relief rather than leaving with an empty list. We met Mr.Shen at XiaoYangshan and he was keen to show us some good birding spots which we haven’t seen in the past. Mr.Shen was extremely friendly and he led us to one of the big birds of the season and eventually monster lifers for me. We drove about 20kms north of the Holiday Inn. When we almost reached the Pudong airport, a distant bird with a stork like flight profile arouse my suspicions, is it the “Oriental Stork”, catching up the speed, bins on the bird and yay that’s an  “Oriental Stork”. The bird flew and flew and flew and disappeared. I was scanning the 50+ Grey Herons on the low tide zone and immediately my bins were fixed on a 30+ Swan species. My first ever sighting of the swan species in wild. The birds were too far and could not finalize the id even with record shots. Probably Bewick’s Swan/Whooper Swan, with the latter being uncommon. We also picked up a sub-adult male Japanese Thrush in the car park, which gave some brilliant views before the light pulled the curtains for the autumn season. With Kevin being leaving to Spain for a long Christmas vacation, that would be the end of the report from Shanghai for the Autumn of 2013.






Stay tuned for my upcoming winter trip, till then Adios! Happy Holidays.