Mid-October would be the best time to witness the peak passerine migration. 18th October, i was out with Kevin Pickering and Len Kopka, a visiting birder from US. The earlier post showed the massive flock of Bramblings. We picked up the day’s first Bull-headed Shrike. Kevin picked up a first winter male Red-flanked Bluetail, that man has a built-in Swarovision, he also picked up the bird of the day later.


Juvenile Bull

The no. of Buntings has steadily increased compared to the last weekend, more Tristram’s and Black-faced Bunting. The togs have abandoned the Nanhui Car park and made Yangshan as their new studio with fake branches popping out everywhere. The action for the day started with a Common Kestrel pair hunting together, later a Kestrel turned to harass an Eastern Buzzard. We also got very initimate with a Japanese Paradise Flycatcher.


David vs Bigger David


The Lady of Japan

The temple side, as usual bustling with Flycatchers. Mugimaki Flycatchers definitely had the edge of the day.


Mugimaki “The Berry” catcher


Very Confiding Pipit

A female Bull-headed Shrike sent me puzzling as i have never seen an adult female before but this male was strikingly handsome.


The Male Bull


I love rocks n I hug ground but i don’t have “Sulphur” Belly

I was very much expecting to see some “variety” of raptors. No pigeon-headed raptor for us though. The cere, tail bands, flight feathers are more strong factors to ID the sex and age though, if the pigeon-head cannot be distinguished from a photo in hand, i could sign myself up to write a book. Neverthless, we did well without the Honey Buzzard. An osprey, Couple of Kestrels, Eastern Buzzard, the fastest flying machine “Peregrine Falcon” kept us happy.

Back at Nanhui, the car park loved its solitude as the togs have left for Yangshan, it was again like the good’ol days. A Swinhoe’s Robin (aka Rufous-tailed Robin) was out in the open and i was able to secure my first ever shot of this species without the courtesy of any meal worms. A Pale Thrush popped out of the undergrowth and stayed solidly in a spot for more than 15 minutes.


Swinhoe’s Robin


Love for Solitude

Near the old reserve road, we picked up few shorebirds, i scanned the big flock of Egrets and packed up. Kevin didn’t give up, his built in Swarovision and his Swaro Scope picked up the single  “Swinhoe’s Egret” from the mixed flock of Great, Intermediate and Little Egrets. I put the blame on bad light and enjoyed his great spotting. While the sun was going down fast with the help of ugly smog, we called it a day with delightful two “Swinhoe’s”.

Species List :

Common name Scientific name
Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae) – 1 / 173
Gadwall Anas strepera
Grebes (Podicipedidae) – 2 / 23
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae) – 8 / 72
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Great Egret Ardea alba
Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Chinese Egret – VU Egretta eulophotes
Ospreys (Pandionidae) – 1 / 2
Eastern Osprey Pandion cristatus
Kites, Hawks and Eagles (Accipitridae) – 1 / 256
Eastern Buzzard Buteo japonicus
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) – 3 / 67
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus
Sandpipers, Snipes (Scolopacidae) – 9 / 96
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
Common Redshank Tringa totanus
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis
Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii
Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta
Dunlin Calidris alpina
Gulls, Terns and Skimmers (Laridae) – 1 / 102
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae) – 2 / 335
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis
Kingfishers (Alcedinidae) – 1 / 93
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae) – 2 / 67
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Shrikes (Laniidae) – 3 / 33
Bull-headed Shrike Lanius bucephalus
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach
Monarchs (Monarchidae) – 1 / 99
Japanese Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata
Crows, Jays (Corvidae) – 1 / 131
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
Tits, Chickadees (Paridae) – 1 / 61
Japanese Tit Parus minor
Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae) – 1 / 151
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis
Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae) – 2 / 88
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
Cettia Bush Warblers and allies (Cettiidae) – 1 / 32
Manchurian Bush Warbler Horornis borealis
Leaf Warblers and allies (Phylloscopidae) – 4 / 77
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus
Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis
Pale-legged Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus tenellipes
Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus
Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae) – 2 / 158
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata
Starlings, Rhabdornis (Sturnidae) – 1 / 123
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus
Thrushes (Turdidae) – 3 / 166
Japanese Thrush Turdus cardis
Common Blackbird Turdus merula
Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus
Chats, Old World Flycatchers (320) (Muscicapidae) – 9 / 320
Grey-streaked Flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta
Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana
Rufous-tailed Robin Larvivora sibilans
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus
Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
Old World Sparrows, Snowfinches (Passeridae) – 1 / 51
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae) – 4 / 65
Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
White Wagtail Motacilla alba
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni
Finches (Fringillidae) – 1 / 219
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
Buntings, New World Sparrows and allies (Emberizidae) – 4 / 176
Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides
Tristram’s Bunting Emberiza tristrami
Chestnut Bunting Emberiza rutila
Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala
Species: 73