I was still “high” after seeing the “Knot” cloud at Hengsha Island last week. So time to check out the passerines. As usual, i met Kevin at Zhongchun Road and we set our destination to XiaoYangshan Island, the mysterious deep water port island. The garbage dump yard gate is closed again and we set on foot with few other Chinese photographers who arrived at the same time. Manchurian Bush Warblers were heard as they always call from the undergrowth or from the tree top. We scored our first lifer of the day, a “Chinese Thrush,” perched briefly right above us. We spent next one hour trying to locate a call (tsit-tsit) which first reminded me of a robin call but the bird never showed but responded to phishing. When we are about to give up the small rusty brown warbler hopped from one bush to another, still no clue of what it is. Another 30mins of phishing and tracking, finally the dwarf revealed himself as my long nemesis, the “Asian Stubtail“. Yellow-browed Warblers were singing in high pitch.


Do i have a stubby tail?

From the temple valley, the grounds of the Ferry terminal were not empty as before. Atleast thousands of newly arrived “White Cadillacs” were lined up for customs inspection. White cars are the recent trend in China. We flushed an almost white/fawn coloured “Eurasian Woodcock” who kept playing his hide, seek & flyaway game. A sub-adult male Narcissus Flycatcher was busy with his morning breakfast. A good flock of Bramblings had few adult males in Superb breeding plumage. Other highlights in XiaoYangshan were Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Little Bunting, Grey Nightjar.

We set our next destination to the (Black) Magic car park of Nanhui. The presence of dozen photographers was a forecast of something there. 2 male Blue and White, Narcissus Flycatcher were perched in the setup. However, the star of the day is the Manchurian Bush Warbler which made quiet an appearance. A superb adult male Siberian Blue Robin showed up briefly. We then left the car park to find the “Marsh Grassbird” which we eventually did along with the same flock of Black-faced Spoonbills in the same pond two weeks before, few Japanese Thrushes, Common Snipe, Black-collared Starling. We also had good fun with a Siberian Weasel which roamed around for a while and gave some superb pose. The fish ponds near the flood gates had good no of waders. A Peregrine Falcon came in and created a havoc among the waders was a nice sight as we maintained our Peregrine streak for the second week.


Yo, Yo! Try to ID me


Don’t ignore me


Pink legs


I have a sharp tail


“The Magic”


Blue and (where is) white?


Well, i’m special too


Care to shoot?


Curiosity killed the Weasel

Overall, the first week of migration was noted for the Shorebirds, the second week is dominated by the Passerines. Can’t wait to get out next week to see what’s out there.

Species list:

Grebes (Podicipedidae) – 2 / 23
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus cristatus

Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae) – 1 / 36 
Black-faced Spoonbill – EN Platalea minor

Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae) – 7 / 72
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 
Striated Heron Butorides striata 
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus 
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 
Great Egret Ardea alba 
Little Egret Egretta garzetta 

Kites, Hawks and Eagles (Accipitridae) – 1 / 256
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 

Rails, Crakes and Coots (Rallidae) – 2 / 151
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra 

Stilts, Avocets (Recurvirostridae) – 1 / 10
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 

Plovers (Charadriidae) – 1 / 67
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius 

Sandpipers, Snipes (Scolopacidae) – 9 / 96
Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola 
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago  
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus  
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus  
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 
Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata  
Dunlin Calidris alpina 

Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae) – 2 / 335
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis  
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis 

Nightjars (Caprimulgidae) – 1 / 98 
Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka

Kingfishers (Alcedinidae) – 1 / 93
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis

Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae) – 1 / 67
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

Shrikes (Laniidae) – 1 / 33
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach

Crows, Jays (Corvidae) – 2 / 131
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica 
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos 

Tits, Chickadees (Paridae) – 1 / 61
Great Tit Parus major  

Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae) – 1 / 151
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis  

Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae) – 1 / 88
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica  

Cettia Bush Warblers and allies (Cettiidae) – 2 / 32
Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis borealis   
Asian Stubtail Urosphena squameiceps

Leaf Warblers and allies (Phylloscopidae) – 2 / 77

Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus  
Pale-legged Leaf Warbler (or Sakhalin’s) Phylloscopus tenellipes

Grassbirds and allies (Locustellidae) – 1 / 60
Marsh Grassbird Locustella pryeri 

Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae) – 1 / 159
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata  

Sylviid Babblers (Sylviidae) – 2 / 70
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana  
Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei 

Starlings, Rhabdornis (Sturnidae) – 3 / 123
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus  
White-cheeked Starling Spodiopsar cineraceus 
Black-collared Starling Gracupica nigricollis

Thrushes (Turdidae) – 6 / 166
Grey-backed Thrush Turdus hortulorum  
Japanese Thrush Turdus cardis 
Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus
Brown-headed Thrush Turdus chrysolaus 
Dusky Thrush Turdus eunomus
Chinese Thrush Turdus mupinensis 

Chats, Old World Flycatchers (Muscicapidae) – 8 / 320
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris  
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana 
Siberian Blue Robin Larvivora cyane 
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus 
Narcissus Flycatcher Ficedula narcissina 
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus  
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus 

Old World Sparrows, Snowfinches (Passeridae) – 1 / 51
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus  

Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae) – 4 / 67
Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis  
White Wagtail Motacilla alba  
Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi  
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni  

Finches (Fringillidae) – 1 / 219
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla  

Buntings, New World Sparrows and allies (Emberizidae) – 3 / 176
Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla 
Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica 
Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala  

Total Species : 69