Day 1: Arrival in Shanghai, China.
Upon arrival at the airports of Shanghai, you will be met by your AlpineBirding guide or driver who will transfer you to the hotel accommodation. For early arrivals, we will visit a birding site nearby to search for some urban birds including Long-tailed Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Oriental Magpie, Coal Tit, Yellow-bellied Tit, Rock Pigeon, Light-vented Bulbul, Yellow-browed Warbler, Pallas's Leaf Warbler, Red-billed Starling, White-cheeked Starling, White's Thrush, Chinese Blackbird, Grey-backed Thrush, Eyebrowed Thrush, Pale Thrush, Red-flanked Bluetail, Yellow-billed Grosbeak, and we can also expect a big variety of waterfowl.
In the evening, we will enjoy a group dinner that will provide an opportunity for us to get to know one another and know more about the upcoming trip from the trip briefing by our guide.
Day 2: Shanghai to Rudong via Nanhui Dongtan.
After a 6,300km journey from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Yangtze River runs into the estuary of the East China Sea near Shanghai. The abundant water resources from this river have nurtured vast wetlands and lush forest ecosystems while transforming the seacoast area into a breadbasket for many creatures. As a result of this, Shanghai is a vital stopover site for many migratory bird species on the long journey between East Asia and Australia. However, the mudflat is gradually receding under the pressure of urban expansion. Among the mudflat habitats left, Nanhui Dongtan is an ideal place for us to look for some residents and migratory shorebirds.
We will spend the whole morning in Nanhui Dongtan and mainly focus on the mudflats and wetlands in search of Eurasian Spoonbill, Black-faced Spoonbill, Baikal Teal, Northern Shoveler, Falcated Duck, Northern Pintail, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Greater Scaup, Velvet Scoter, Black Scoter, Black-necked Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Northern Lapwing, Dunlin, Herring Gul, etc. In addition, we can spend some time in the nearby forest where we have a good chance of encountering birds such as Reed Parrotbill, Marsh Grassbird, Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, Chinese Penduline Tit, Plain Prinia, Zitting Cisticola, Light-vented Bulbul, Brown-eared Bulbul, Dusky Warbler, Pallas's Warbler, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Pale Thrush, Dusky Thrush, Chestnut-eared Bunting, Pallas's Reed Bunting, Black-faced Bunting, etc.
In the afternoon, we will complete a 4-hour drive to Rudong, another important birding site on the east coast.
Day 3: Rudong & surrounds.
We will spend a whole day in Rudong searching for birds either in the mudflats or in nearby forests. One of our most top targets here is the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Rudong is so far the most reliable site to try the sandpiper, but we do need patience as it mixes with millions of other wading birds. We will also look for other coast specials including Nordmann's Greenshank, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Grey-headed Lapwing, Kentish Plover, Pacific Golden Plover, Eurasian Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Curlew Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, Terek Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Saunders's Gull, Black-tailed Gull, Chinese Pond Heron, etc.
Besides wading birds and waterfowls, we will also have time to explore the nearby "Magic Forest" in search of Reed Parrotbill, White-cheeked Starling, Japanese Thrush, Eyebrowed Thrush, Azure-winged Magpie, Chinese Penduline Tit, Zitting Cisticola, Yellow-browed Warbler, Eastern Crowned Warbler, Two-barred Warbler, Manchurian Bush Warbler, Dark-sided Flycatcher, Blue-and-white Flycatcher, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Rufous-tailed Robin, Red-flanked Bluetail, Yellow-billed Grosbeak, Tristram's Bunting, Meadow Bunting, etc.
Day 4: Rudong to Shanghai and bullet train to Dongzhai.
Today's schedule will be comprised mostly of travel. We will have some time to try our targets in Rudong before we drive back to Shanghai. In the afternoon, we will take a 6-hour bullet train ride to our next destination, Dongzhai, and check in at our lovely guesthouse in the reserve.
Day 5-6: Dongzhai National Nature Reserve.
Dongzhai is located on the north side of Dabie Mountain and is in the transition zone between middle and low mountains to the east plain. The rich and various forest resources here are home to many endemic and unique species found in the central region of China. We will spend two full days here enjoying the gorgeous endemic Reeves's Pheasant and the endangered Crested Ibis. During our exploration, we can also encounter other specials including Fairy Pitta, Black Baza, Chinese Sparrowhawk, Crested Goshawk, Oriental Scops Owl, Rufous Turtle Dove, Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Asian Koel, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Indian Cuckoo, Grey Nightjar, Black-capped Kingfisher, Crested Kingfisher, Speckled Piculet, Grey-capped Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Brown-rumped Minivet, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Black Drongo, Ashy Drongo, Eurasian Jay, Collared Crow, Brown-breasted Bulbul, Rufous-faced Warbler, Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler, Silver-throated Tit, Black-throated Tit, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Masked Laughingthrush, Blue Whistling Thrush, White-crowned Forktail, Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Russet Sparrow, Forest Wagtail, etc.
Day 7: Dongzhai to Wuyuan.
We will have a short birding excursion near our guesthouse before catching a 4.5-hour bullet train to Wuyuan. Wuyuan is a small peaceful county being known as one of China's most beautiful villages. We will start birding upon arrival.
Day 8-9: Wuyuan & surrounds.
Located in East China, Wuyuan is a well-forested area surrounded by rolling hills. So far, about 300 bird species have been recorded here including some of eastern China's rarest endemic species. During our two days of exploration, we will get to see the critically endangered Blue-crowned Laughingthrush, with a population around 200, they can only be found in the low-elevation forest of Wuyuan now. Additionally, we should also encounter some other sought-after species including Pied Falconet, Chinese Bamboo Partridge, Chinese Sparrowhawk, Crested Goshawks, Dollarbird, Great Barbet, Grey Treepie, Collared Finchbill, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Short-tailed Parrotbill, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Grey-sided Scimitar Babbler, Huet's Fulvetta, Masked Laughingthrush, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, Black-collared Starling, White-rumped Munia, etc. We will also spend some time in stream areas looking for Long-billed Plover, Mandarin Duck, Grey-headed Lapwing, Chinese Pond Heron, Crested Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, White-crowned Forktail, Plumbeous Redstart, Brown Dipper, etc.
Day 10: Wuyuan to Emeifeng.
We can spend more time in Wuyuan to search for our target species before we depart for Emeifeng region.
Day 11-12: Emeifeng National Nature Reserve.
Belonging to Wuyi Mountain Range, Emeifeng features a notable vertical zonality of different flora species. The well-protected ecosystem provides an excellent habitat for a great variety of birds. It is renowned for the best place to look for game birds, including some rare and endemic pheasants in Southeast China. To make the best use of our time, we will cover ground in our vehicle transport in the morning to look for Cabot's Tragopan, Elliot's Pheasant, White-necklaced Partridge, Silver Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Chinese Bamboo Partridge.
When not patrolling the area for game birds, we will focus on the search for some other forest species including Large Hawk Cuckoo, Black Eagle, Serpent Eagle, Collared Owlet, Great Barbet, Speckled Piculet, Bay Woodpecker, Grey-chinned Minivet, Blyth's Shrike Babbler, White-bellied Erpornis, Grey Treepie, Sultan Tit, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Brown Bush Warbler, Pygmy Cupwing, Chestnut Bulbul, Black Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Buff-throated Warbler, White-spectacled Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Hartert's Leaf Warbler, Rufous-faced Warbler, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Indochinese Yuhina, Black-chinned Yuhina, Rufous-capped Babbler, Grey-sided Scimitar Babbler, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, Spotted Elachura, Spotted Forktail, Slaty-backed Forktail, and the Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush.
Day 13: Emeifeng to Fuzhou.
We will have an extra morning in Emeifeng before boarding a 2-hour bullet train to Fuzhou.
Day 14: Fuzhou Forest Park to Minjiang River Estuary.
Built in 1960, Fuzhou Forest Park covers 860 hectares and is rated as one of the top ten forest parks in China. This extensive natural area features more than 2,500 kinds of rare and precious trees from 36 countries that have been introduced and planted inside the park. Inside the park, there are many gardens for certain groups of precious trees species.
We will spend most of the day birding in this nice park in search of birds such as White-necklaced Partridge, Chinese Bamboo Partridge, Silver Pheasant, Spotted Elachura, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Greater Coucal, Red-headed Trogon, Rufous Woodpecker, Pale-headed Woodpecker, Scarlet Minivet, Large Woodshrike, Common Tailorbird, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Chestnut Bulbul, Yellow-browed Warbler, Pallas's Warbler, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Black-streaked Scimitar Babbler, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Tristram's Bunting, etc.
In the late afternoon, we will drive to the Minjiang River Estuary area to stay the night.
Day 15: Minjiang River Estuary Wetland Reserve & surrounds.
We will spend the whole day birding in the estuary area. Covering 3,129 hectares, the Minjiang River Estuary Wetland Reserve was founded in 2001. At the estuary, the extensive mudflats provide abundant food resources for many residents and migratory birds, including the critically endangered Chinese Crested Tern. In the past, we could go to the core area of the reserve by boat to look for these lovely birds. But now birders are not allowed to get into the core areas as a result of the recently enforced strict control measures from the reserve. However, it is possible to spot this species outside the reserve as we did see this bird in our past trips. As a registered travel company in China, we are very cautious about our behaviors and dedicated to practicing responsible eco-tourism and will follow the rules and guidelines set by the reserve.
Along the way, we can expect some other exciting species including Great Crested Tern, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Black Tern, Caspian Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Black-tailed Gull, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, Sanderling, Red-necked Stint, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Red Knot, Far Eastern Curlew, Grey Plover, Black-faced Spoonbill, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Plain Prinia, and the Oriental Reed Warbler.
Day 16: Departure from Fuzhou.
Following a lovely breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to the airport to depart from Fuzhou. This will conclude the services for this scheduled itinerary from AlpineBirding.