My personal thanks to Desmond Allen, Mike Collins, Barney Gardner, Urs Geiser, Houlem [Mike Houle], John Lobel, Gail Mackierman, Karl Ng, Pierre van der Wielen, Jeff R. Wilson, and Bill Wiser who all helped in preparation for the trip in one form or another.
Perhaps some of you may have wondered what it would be like to go to China on a non-birding sightseeing trip. What kind of birds might one see when you could steal a few moments to do some birding?
My wife and I and 36 other non-birding participants recently completed just such a trip with Grand Circle Tours of Boston, Massachusetts. The trip was extremely well run, and we now have many wonderful memories of the country and its people.
The birding on this tour, however, was not good compared to most other tours of this type to other countries. The tour spent most of the time in the large cities of China and visited sites where most tourists would go, and thus we were surrounded most of the time with a lot more people than birds. We did, however, spend a lot of time where there should have been birds, and there were not. If you eliminate the Rock Doves, Hill Pigeons and the Eurasian Tree Sparrows, an average of only 37 birds per day were seen. If you count Rock Dove, Hill Pigeon and Eurasian Tree Sparrows, an average of only 8 species per day were recorded.
Eight different hotels were required. Nine air plane flights, four river cruises, four train rides, four taxi rides, and several bus rides were also required. All of them left on time which still amazes me; in fact one flight left 1/2 hour early. When the plane had all the seats full they closed it up and departed.
Quantity: Common name: Scientific name: 20 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 3 Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 8 Little Egret Egretta garzetta 5 Gray Heron Ardea cinerea 2 Great Egret Ardea alba 5 Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis 13 * Chinese Pond-Heron Ardeola bacchus 1 Striated Heron Butorides striatus 25 Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 18 Black Kite Milvus migrans 2 * Oriental Hobby Falco severus 6 Common Sandpiper Tringa hypoleucos 6 Common Tern Sterna hirundo 4 Little Tern Sterna albifrons 470 Rock Dove Columba livia 602 * Hill Pigeon Columba rupestris 39 Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis 7 * Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopacea 72 Common Swift Apus apus 17 * Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus 6 * House Swift Apus nipalensis 6 * Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major 2 * Blue Magpie Urocissa erythrorhyncha 33 * Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyana 46 Black-billed Magpie Pica pica 3 * Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos 2 * Collared Crow Corvus torquatus 16 Common Raven Corvus corax 2 * Gray-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris 3 * Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus 1 * Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons 1 * Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach 2 Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula 3 * Black-collared Starling Sturnus nigricollis 22 Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus 20 * Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis 1 * White-capped Redstart Chaimarrornis leucocephalus 12 * Plumbeous Redstart Rhyacornis fuliginosus 1 Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe 5 * Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis 44 Bank Swallow (Sand Martin) Riparia riparia 76 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 31 Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica 72 Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus 94 * Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis 1 * Chestnut Bulbul Hemixos castanonotus 8 Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus 3 * Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris 1 Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava 1 * Japanese Bush-Warbler Cettia diphone 1 * Russet Bush-Warbler Bradypterus seebohmi 5 * Inornate Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus 3 * Masked Laughingthrush Garrulax perspicillatus 1 Hwamei Garrulax canorus 1 Great Tit Parus major 1 * Yellow-cheeked Tit Parus spilonotus 482 Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus 48 * White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata 14 White Wagtail Motacilla alba 1 * Richard's Pipit Anthus richardi
2401 BIRDS, 61 SPECIES, 30 LIFERS (*):
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