“Another day, Another Victory” – That’s how our final day out in Shanghai for this year can be put forth. We started in Hengsha island and finished off Chongming with a surprise visit from a scarce visitor of the Lapland. The identity of the visitor will be revealed later in this post.

There was not so much crowd at the Changxing pier, so we got to Hengsha island bit earlier compared to the last weekend. We were greeted with a single “Baikal Teal” still sporting its eclipse plumage. The winter specialty of this place, “Falcated Ducks” were still absent for unknown reasons. The trio of Siberian Cranes are still hanging around. Its been 3 weeks since the first sighting. On a personal observation, the previous records of Siberian Cranes in Shanghai are either fly or sighted for a single day. Looks like the Cranes will most likely spend the winter here.

Siberian Crane

Siberian Crane trio

 With the absence of the waterfowl, Hengsha looked less appealing. But we were very much intrigued by a flyover of a Black-winged Kite. This is my third ever sighting and their prime time of passage in Shanghai is mid-late October which was confirmed by Kevin Pickering who picked up a single bird during his solo outing to Nanhui during the first week of November.

Hen Harrier

Air Traffic

Eastern Buzzard

Eastern Buzzard

We slowly made our mid day lag to Chongming. The Cranes were as usual found on the southwest corner of the reserve and the no’s have gone up significantly. We counted 70 Cranes with 65 being Hooded and 5 were Common. The highlight in Chongming started with a pair of Rooks which were examining a cell tower installation.


Rook – One of the supervisors of the cell tower installation

As we are heading to the season finale, its time to reveal the “Negan”. While scouting the harvested paddyfields, we found a huge flock of passerines taking off and landing and repeating this for several times. We got out of the car for a closer look. Even with bins n scope, it was hard work to track those fast fliers. Fortunately, i grabbed some shots to find those were the “Lapland Longspurs“.

Lapland Longspur flock in Flight

Lapland Longspur flock in Flight

Lapland Longspur

Visitor from the Lapland

The only other record of Lapland Bunting which i’m aware was reported by Zhang Lin in this Birdforum thread during 1st week of December. As we are closing year 2016, it would be appropriate to give credits to the man of the hour. Many Thanks to Russell Boyman for joining the Spotting Squad and pulled some incredible birds for us this year.

Russell Boyman

Russell Boyman scanning the Crane flock in Chongming