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In Pursuit of Cranes, Endemics and Winter Migratory Birds in Southeast China
 
We run spring and winter trips in Southeast China, both are classic but with some different target and highlight birds. In this winter trip, we will visit Yancheng and Poyang Lake, two of the most important winter grounds for cranes and other migratory birds, we can expect Red-crowned Crane, Hooded Crane, Common Crane, Sandhill Crane, Siberian Crane, White-naped Crane there. 
 
Besides, other classic birding sites of China's east coast and southeastern forests like Wuyuan, Emeifeng Nature Reserve, Fuzhou Forest Park, and Minjiang River Estuary are covered in the itinerary. We can seek out some unique species like Long-billed Plover, Eastern Spot-billed Duck, Cabot's Tragopan, Elliot's Pheasant, White-necklaced Partridge, Silver Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, etc. 
 

Tour Info Sheet

Highlight Birds
Red-crowned Crane, Siberian Crane, White-naped Crane, Common Crane, Hooded Crane, White-necklaced Partridge, Cabot's Tragopan, Elliott's Pheasant, Silver Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Chinese Bamboo Partridge, Oriental Stork, Bewick's Swan, Whooper Swan, Swan Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Taiga Bean Goose, Tundra Bean Goose, Scaly-sided Merganser, Mandarin Duck, Eurasian Spoonbill, Black-faced Spoonbill, Spotted Elachura, Reed Parrotbill, Marsh Grassbird, Pied Falconet, Peregrine Falcon, Chinese Penduline Tit, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Short-tailed Parrotbill, Grey-sided Scimitar Babbler, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, Great Barbet, Speckled Piculet, Bay Woodpecker, Rufous Woodpecker, Pale-headed Woodpecker, etc.
Numbers of Species to Expect150-200
Ease of Birdingmostly easy birding with a few tricky species
Other AttractionsHui style architecture, Fujian cuisine
Photography Opportunitiesbirding focused but with very good photography chances
Habitats Coveredsubtropical forests, woodlands, wetlands, coast
Expected Climatecool in the morning, windy and cold on the coast and in the Poyang Lake area
Physical Requirementsmostly easy, demanding but optional in certain parts
Accommodationvery comfortable
Transportation19-seat van

What makes this trip irreplaceable?
 
1. The combination of our experienced western guides and local guides ensures your needs are well met.

2. We run the trip in the best season when we have good chances to see many migratory birds. 

3. A small group size of no more than 8 birders. 

4. Years of working as a local partner for some prestigious western companies specialized in birds and wildlife. 

5. A strong logistic team in the office to ensure our trip goes smoothly and every participant has a comfortable and memorable journey.


Dates & Prices

Dates Booking Status Price Single Supplement Group Size Guides
Jan 19 - Feb 3, 2022Space Available4,850USD/pax460USD/pax8Alan Curry & Local Guide
Slide the sheet to the left to see the full sheet if you are viewing it on your phone or tablet.
 
The cost includes the following:
1. Private transportation throughout the trip, including airport pick-up at airports of Shanghai and drop-off at Fuzhou Changle International Airport; Bullet train tickets as listed in the itinerary.
2. All meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 16.
3. All the entrance tickets for places listed in the itinerary including cable cars and shuttle buses.
4. Hotel stays from the first day to the last day, two clients occupy one twin-bed room on a sharing basis at nice 3 or 4 star hotels in big cities and local best guesthouses in remote areas.
5. Bottled water and snacks throughout the trip.
6. Simple western breakfast whenever is possible.
7. Service charges of a professional western bird guide and an experienced local bird guide throughout the whole trip.
8. China domestic travel insurance.
9. Service of all logistic supports.
 
The cost does not include the following:
a. Drinks during meals.
b. Extra charges due to change of itinerary from the client's side or factors beyond the control of AlpineBirding such as natural disaster or governmental policy change.
c. Discretionary tips to guides and drivers.
d. All personal expenses such as laundry service.
e. ANY AIRFARE except those stated in the itinerary.
f. Any program not listed in the itinerary.


Itinerary

Tour Map

Day 1: Arrival in Shanghai, China.
Upon arrival at the airports of Shanghai, you will be met by your AlpineBirding guide or driver and get transferred to the hotel. For early arrivals, we will visit a birding site nearby to see some urban birds such as 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, Gray-backed Thrush, Eyebrowed Thrush, Pale Thrush, Red-flanked Bluetail, Yellow-billed Grosbeak, and we can also expect a big variety of waterfowl.
 
We will get to know the whole crew at dinner time and our guide will give a briefing about our upcoming trip.
 
Day 2: Shanghai to Yancheng 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 winter migrants including 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 Gull, etc. In addition, we will spend some time in the nearby forests and bushes where we will have a good chance of encountering Reed Parrotbill, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, Chinese Penduline Tit, Plain Prinia, Zitting Cisticola, Light-vented Bulbul, Brown-eared Bulbul, Dusky Warbler, Pallas's Warbler, Pale Thrush, Dusky Thrush, Chestnut-eared Bunting, Pallas's Reed Bunting, Black-faced Bunting, etc. In the afternoon, we will drive to Yancheng and stay in a hotel near the coast.
 
Day 3: Yancheng & surrounds.  
Not long ago in July 2019, "Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of the Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I)" was rated as a world nature heritage which marked China's first Coastal Wetland World Heritage Site, the primary mission is to protect the rare wildlife including the elegant Red-crowned Crane and the tidal flat-wetland system that all the wildlife rely on.
 
Yancheng is an irreplaceable part of the vast coastal wetland, it is known as one of the best places for crane watching. Here we will mainly focus on four kinds of crane species while Red-crowned Crane enjoys a top priority. We will also look for Hooded Crane, Common Crane, Sandhill Crane. We also have enough time to search for other specials that stage in the area such as Oriental Stork, Bewick's Swan, Whooper Swan, Swan Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Taiga Bean Goose, Tundra Bean Goose, Common Shelduck, Gadwall, Smew, Goosander, Northern Lapwing, Eurasian Spoonbill, Black-winged Kite, Hen Harrier, Eastern Buzzard, Chinese Grey Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Reed Parrotbill, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, White-cheeked Starling, Buff-bellied Pipit, Yellow-billed Grosbeak, Yellow-throated Bunting, Rustic Bunting, etc. 
 
Day 4: Yancheng to Wuyuan via Shanghai.
Today is a traveling day. We will have a second chance to try our targets in Yancheng before we drive back to Shanghai. In the late afternoon, we will take a 3.5-hour comfortable bullet train ride to our next destination, Wuyuan.
 
Day 5-6: 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. We will go to some stream areas looking for our top targets, the endangered Scaly-sided Merganser, and the stunning Mandarin Duck. Beyond that, we will look for other thought-after species including Long-billed Plover, Eastern Spot-billed Duck, Chinese Pond Heron, Crested Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, White-crowned Forktail, Plumbeous Redstart, Brown Dipper, etc. 
 
We will also spend some time around the village and in the forests, searching for some exciting species such as Pied Falconet, Chinese Bamboo Partridge, Crested Goshawk, Great Barbet, Grey Treepie, Collared Finchbill, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Fork-tailed Sunbird, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Short-tailed Parrotbill, Yellow-bellied Tit, Rufous-capped Babbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Grey-sided Scimitar Babbler, Huet's Fulvetta, Masked Laughingthrush, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, Red-billed Starling, Red-flanked Bluetail, White-rumped Munia, Yellow-browed Bunting, etc. 
 
Day 7: Wuyuan to Poyang Lake area.
After birding in Wuyuan to try our targets in that area, we take a 4-hour journey to Poyang Lake, the largest freshwater lake in China. We will stop to look for Yangtze Finless Porpoise and some waterfowls before we check in our well-suited and lovely guesthouse in the Poyang Lake area.
 
Day 8-9: Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve.
Poyang Lake is a vast area that consists of numerous permanent and seasonal lakes, rivers, inland wetlands, marshes, which make it one of the most important wintering grounds for crane species as well as some other rare and endangered birds. We will have two full days here to maximize our chances of seeing the four stunning crane species namely Siberian Crane, White-naped Crane, Common Crane, Hooded Crane. In the meantime, we will likely encounter a big variety of other wonderful local species including Baer's Pochard, Oriental Stork, Black Stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, Swan Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Taiga Bean Goose, Tundra Bean Goose, Bewick's Swan, Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Shoveler, Falcated Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Brown Crake, Spotted Redshank, Common Snipe, Herring Gull, Rufous Turtle Dove, Eastern Marsh Harrier, White-throated Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Yellow-bellied Tit, Chinese Penduline Tit, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Plain Prinia, Black-collared Starling, White-cheeked Starling, Grey-backed Thrush, Yellow-billed Grosbeak, Water Pipit, Black-faced Bunting, Little Bunting, etc.
 
Day 10: Poyang Lake area to Emeifeng Nature Reserve.
We can spend more time in the Poyang Lake area to try our targets before our journey to Emeifeng. 
 
Day 11-12: Emeifeng 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 being one of the best places 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 roadsides for the game birds, we will shift our attention to the other forest species including Great Barbet, Speckled Piculet, Bay Woodpecker, Grey-chinned Minivet, White-bellied Erpornis, Grey Treepie, Sultan Tit, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Chestnut Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Rufous-faced Warbler, Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Indochinese Yuhina, Rufous-capped Babbler, Huet's Fulvetta, Grey-sided Scimitar Babbler, White's Thrush, White-crowned Forktail, Slaty-backed Forktail, Spotted Forktail, Black-faced Bunting, etc.
 
Day 13: Emeifeng Nature Reserve to Fuzhou.
We will have an extra morning searching for the Emeifeng area before our journey 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, Black Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Chestnut Bulbul, Yellow-browed Warbler, Pallas's Warbler, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Indochinese Yuhina, Black-streaked Scimitar Babbler, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, 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 Nature Reserve.
We will spend the whole day birding in the reserve. Covering 3,129 hectares, the wetland nature reserve was established in 2001. At the estuary, the large mudflats provide abundant food resources for many residents and migratory birds including Eurasian Spoonbill, Black-faced Spoonbill, Bewick's Swan, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Lesser Sand Plover, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Eurasian Curlew, Red-necked Stint, Sanderling, Dunlin, Saunders's Gull, Relict Gull, Black-tailed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-winged Kite, Eastern Marsh Harrier, etc. Although not always be guaranteed, there is a possibility to find the elusive and critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper with some luck.
 
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.


Guide(s)

Alan Curry 
Alan has been afflicted by the birding and travel bug since an early age, and in an attempt to shake off this acute wanderlust embarked on a series of extended travels within Europe, Asia, North America, and the Antipodes for over a decade, developing a keen interest in seabirds and obscure asiatic warblers along the way. Alan, now in a much more settled mode is based in his native Northumberland where he runs an electrical contracting business. When an opportunity came along to get involved with tour leading, he discovered a welcome string to his bow and with a relaxed and easy-going manner it is something to which he is well suited and has escorted groups on a regular basis in Europe, Asia and Africa. Shetland and Central Asia are by far Alan's favourite destinations but stick him on a boat anywhere and he is happy!
 
 
Besides, one of AlpineBirding's local guides in Southeast China will participate in this trip to ensure a high-end birding experience.


Linked Tours


Currently, there is no trip can be linked with this tour. If you want to spend more time before or after the tour to look for certain species or enjoy other attractions, you are warmly welcome to share your ideas with us to tailor make a tour of your own style. Please send us an email to info@alpinebirding.com with your preferences, we will get back to you in a timely manner.

Reports


We don't have a report available for this tour at this stage, please feel free to email us, we are more than happy to answer any of your questions and share the latest bird information with you.

Testimonials


We don't have feedback on this trip yet. Please see other testimonials of AlpinBirding on the page linked at: http://www.alpinebirding.com/About/testimonials/


Carla and Alex / East China (Poyang Lake & Wuyuan)
Winter Poyang lake plus Wuyuan birding
 
My wife and I were on family holidays in Hong Kong and we contacted AlpineBirding for a 5 day trip to the Poyang Lake and Wuyuan (Jianxi province) to see wintering birds on January 2019.

From start to finish all worked exceeding expectations. Bella is great at organising the logistics and responds emails very promptly, and the guides (Philipp and Shay) are very good, from birding to attending all our necessities with care. This includes visiting a very wide representation of local food which was amazing. Birding-wise, we spotted the poker of cranes (Siberian, White-napped, Hooded and common), Baer's pochard, scaly-breasted merganser and many other specialities. A very nice bonus observation was the Yangtzee finless porpoise. Some of the hotels in the Poyang area were basic and cold, but those places are really not touristic at all, so there were no better alternatives and we were properly warned about it.

We would definitively contact them again for birding in China.

 
Carla and Alex / East China (Poyang Lake & Wuyuan) January 16, 2019
Joshua Bergmark / East China (Wuyuan)
Excellent organisers for one-day targeted birding!
 
My friend and I do almost all of our birding independently on a budget, but sometimes it is necessary to hire a local guide for the trickier species with access issues, etc.

We recently contacted AlpineBirding hoping to hire a local guide in Wuyuan to drive us around for a day and find Blue-crowned Laughingthrush (amongst other local specialities), and were very happy with the professional service provided. We requested a non-English speaking guide to keep costs down, and AlpineBirding organised this for us, recommended a hotel, and we were picked up right on time and enjoyed an excellent day out finding all the birds we were looking for!

We also utilised an AlpineBirding guide to find Chinese Crested Tern in Fuzhou, which was of paramount importance due to the complex permit issues in China! I would use them again happily.

 
Joshua Bergmark / East China (Wuyuan) May 08, 2018
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