Birding in Shanghai Municipality
There are three major islands namely Chongming, Changxing and Hengsha in Shanghai. Among them, Chongming Island is the third largest island in China. Shanghai is a low-lying region with no mountains and few hills, short of dense forest and good habitats for forest birds. So the number of resident birds in Shanghai is quite small. However, the numerous rivers and lakes in Shanghai are ideal habitats for many migratory birds. In every migratory season, large variety of migratory birds arrives and can be easily seen in Shanghai. They are summer migratory birds flying from the south, winter migratory birds from the north, as well as migratory birds passing through Shanghai during the migratory journey. The total number of bird species recorded in Shanghai reaches 424, including 160 species of water birds.
Shanghai has the north subtropical monsoon climate, featuring distinct seasons, sufficient sunshine, abundant rainfall, short spring and autumn, and long winter and summer. Though Shanghai is the largest city in China, the history of the city is only about 700 years, relatively short in comparison with that of most big cities in China.
Some Important Birding Sites in Shanghai
Chongming Dongtan Reserve
It is located in the east of Chongming Island in the Yangtze River Delta about 40 km northeast of Shanghai. Chongming Island is 76 kilometers long and 15 km wide, covering an area of 16,000 hectares which is formed by the sand and silt brought by Yangtze River. The reserve was set up in 1998, covering an area of 32,610 hectares. The reserve has recorded 312 bird species. The best bird-watching season in the reserve is from the end of October and to early April of the next year. Birds like Bewick's Swan, Falcated Duck, Tufted Duck, Hooded Crane, Greater Sand Plover, Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit, Great Knot, Red Knot, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, Long-toed Stint, Saunders's Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, Eurasian Spoonbill, Black-faced Spoonbill, Peregrine Falcon, Chinese Penduline Tit, Oriental Reed Warbler, Manchurian Bush Warbler, Reed Parrotbill, Pale Thrush, Dusky Thrush, Yellow-billed Grosbeak, Chestnut-eared Bunting, Pallas's Reed Bunting, Rustic Bunting, etc.
North Beach of Chongming
North Beach of Chongming, located in the north of Chongming Island, is about 40 kilometers long. In recent years, a dam has been built in the estuary, forming a brackish lake connected with the tide. Because of its unique geographical environment, combined with rich aquatic life and less human interference, it has become a drop-in-to-feed place for migratory birds flying over north and south oceans. Since 2004, 110 bird species have been recorded, including Reed Parrotbill (Paradoxornis heudei), which is China's endemic bird species. Such as Tundra Bean Goose, Black-necked Grebe, Hooded Crane, Northern Lapwing, Eurasian Curlew, Dunlin, Saunders's Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Eurasian Spoonbill, Chinese Grey Shrike, Chinese Penduline Tit, Yellow-throated Bunting, Rustic Bunting, etc.
Jiuduansha, located in the seacoast to the east of Shanghai city, is an estuary sand island nearest to high sea, including Shangsha, Zhongsha, Xiasha and Nansha islands and surrounding waters. The reserve was set up in 2000 and upgraded into national-level reserve in 2005. It is just located in the migratory route from East Asia-Australia migratory route. It is also an important wintering place for geese and ducks in Shanghai. By 2007 the reserve has recorded 170 bird species. Such as Tufted Duck, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Red-throated Diver, Black-throated Diver, Chinese Penduline Tit, Manchurian Bush Warbler, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Pale Thrush, Naumann's Thrush, Daurian Redstart, Red-throated Pipit, Yellow-throated Bunting, Pallas's Reed Bunting, etc.
Dongtan in Nanhui District
It is located in the southeast corner of the Nanhui district of Shanghai and the midpoint of the north and south coastline of China. In September 2007, Nanhui District Government approved this reserve be no-hunting area. Since 2020, 376 bird species have been recorded. People can enjoy bird-watching in the reserve all year round. Searching birds like 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.