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Bird Report of Alex’s Poyanghu Lake & Wuyuan Birding Trip
--By Shay
Sitting in the southeast of China, Jiangxi Province has milder temperature in winter compared with cities further north in China with abundant water resources. The numerous lakes and rivers here attract huge number of wintering birds such as stocks, cranes, ducks, swans and plovers including some rare and endangered species. The two most famous birding destinations in this area are Poyang Lake near Nanchang and Wuyuan located to the east of Nanchang. I feel very lucky that I guided two clients from Spain coming here in search for great birds as a special way to welcome to the arrival of 2019.
Birds in Poyang Lake

January 1st,Poyang Lake.
After picking up Alex and his wife Carla from Nanchang Train Station in the afternoon of December 31st, we drove directly to Wucheng, a village by the side of Poyang Lake so that we could start our birding early in the next day.

In the morning after breakfast, we drove to our birding site near the village where we had stayed for the night to look for birds. We drove to the lake side along a small paved road and found there were already lots of waders and water fowls feeding or resting in the lake or on the mudflat. We got off from our car and started our search, we found rare Siberian Crane, White-naped Crane, Hooded Crane, Black Stock, Tundra Swan, and Eurasian Spoonbill and numerous other water birds such as Swan Goose, Chinese Spot-billed Duck, Eurasian Teal, Spotted Redshank, Grey Heron and Northern Lapwing.

We drove back to the town to have lunch, before we drove to another lake to continue our birding. En route, we drove past a small river, here we spotted a rare and endangered species, a female Scaly-sided Merganser, from a mixed flock of Chinese Spot-billed Ducks and Mallards. After we got to our destination lakeside, we continued our search for birds and found Oriental Stock and Eurasian Spoonbill as well as a number of other water birds including Greylag Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Tundra Bean Goose, Falcated Duck, Mallard, Eurasian Wigeon and Pied Avocet. From the woods by the side of the lake, we spotted a good number of forest birds such as Common Pheasant, Chinese Hwamei, Chinese Bulbul, Red-billed Starling, Crested Myna, Black-collared Starling, White-cheeked Starling and Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler, Red-flanked Bluetail, Daurian Redstart and Long-tailed Shrike. Toward the end of the day, we found beautiful Pied Kingfisher and Common Kingfisher near the fish pond by the side of the lake. It became dark so we decided to drive back to our hotel in the village. The discovery of a Common Buzzard perching on a wire post on our way back concluded our first birding

January 2nd, Poyang Lake.
Early in the morning, we drove to the same lake I had visited the previous morning to try another search for birds we had missed. On the way to the lake, we found a big flock of cute Vinous-throated Parrotbill feeding on the harvested farmland and a Brown Crake. When we searched the bushes on the both side of the road, we spotted Chinese Grosbeak, White-browed Laughingthrush, Black-faced Bunting and Yellow-bellied Tit. Though most of the birds we found from the lake side have already been seen the previous day, we eventually spotted two Smew and two Northern Shoveler from thousand ducks. We did some more search but failed to find new birds, so we decided to drive to our next spot.

It took us about two hours getting to our next birding site, a relatively smaller lake located in the south of Jiujiang City. While we were driving through a small village and some woods, we saw flock of very stunning Red-billed Blue Magpie. As soon as we arrived at the lake side, we started our search with our spotting scope. From the little island in the middle of the lake we saw Tundra Swan, Greylag Goose, Taiga Bean Goose and Tandra Bean Goose on the island. From the lake, we saw big flocks of Coot, Little Grebe and Common Pochard. Eventually, we found our target birds from the lotus ponds by the side of the lake, the extremely rare and critically endangered Baer’s Pochard. The estimated population of this bird in the world is only about 500, on the verge of extinction. Every year about 200 Bae’s Pochard come to this small lake for wintering. Now the small lake is under the protection of local government, hopefully they will be able to enjoy a safe wintering here.

After finishing our birding here, we drove on to our next birding site called Nanji Wetlands located by the side of Poyang Lake. Though by the time we arrived it already got pretty dark, we still spotted 4 beautiful birds we haven’t seen before, namely Common Crane, Black-winged Kite, Black-winged Stilt and Common Snipe. With that we concluded our birding for the day and drove to the nearby village to rest and prepare for the next birding day.

January 3rd,Poyang Lake-Wuyuan.
After early morning breakfast, we drove to Nanji Wetlands for birding. We first come to the front of big reed clusters and started our search there. After some search, we spotted Chinese Penduline Tit, Chestnut-eared Bunting, Black-faced Bunting, Palla’s Bunting, Yellow-bellied Prinia and Plain Prinia. Then we drove on to another lake and continued our search. Though most birds found here, we have seen them before such as Oriental Stock, Eurasian Spoonbill and Tundra Swan, we were still able to find some new species Eurasian Curlew and White-throated Kingfisher.
In the afternoon, we drove to Kangshan Township located in the south side of Poyang Lake. When we drove along the road by the side of the river, we saw critically endangered Yangtze Finless Porpoise, the only one in the world that can live in fresh water. Its total population is only about 1000 while there are 450 living in Poyang Lake. After enjoying a great view of Yangtze Finless Porpoise, we headed to our another birding destination, Wuyuan.
January 4th, Wuyuan.
After early breakfast at our hotel, we drove to our first birding spot in Wuyuan, Xiaoqi Village. We saw a beautiful Crested Kingfisher perching on the wire by the side of the road. Before we got into the village, we saw rare Mountain Hawk Eagle, lovely Spotted Woodpecker and cute Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker. It was raining, so we came to village and stayed in the shelter on the top of the village house in face of several big trees, searching for birds in the lush tree branches in front of us. Here we had an encounter of beautiful Orange-bellied Leafbird, the panda bird Pied Falconet, the elegant Crested Goshawk as well as Great Barbet, Grey Treepie and Chinese Blackbird. We walked out to search for birds when the rain stopped, we found Plumbeous Water Redstart, White-crowned Forktail and Brown Dipper at a creek by the side of the village.

After quick lunch in a village restaurant, we drove to another important birding site named Dutou. It was raining heavily and had to search for birds from our car window most of time. Whenever we found the rain became less heavy, we searched for the birds hiding in the trees or feeding by the riverside. Even under such tough situation, we spotted the precious Scaly-sided Merganser and beautiful Mandarin Duck. From the roadside, we spotted some forest birds including Grey-sided Scimitar Babbler, Collared Finchbill, Mountain Bulbul, Chestnut Bulbul and Black-throated Tit.

January 5th,Wuyuan.
We were lucky with the weather today, it was not raining. We drove to the street to find a restaurant before daybreak and had breakfast there instead of having breakfast in our hotel which served much later so that we could search for the birds we missed the previous day. The morning light just fell when we got to Dutou. Here we found Russet Sparrow, an auspicious beginning for birding today. Then we found Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush, White-rumped Munia, Yellow-throated Bunting, David's Fulvetta, and Rufous-faced Warbler. After that, we drove to Wuyuan Train Station where our clients would take a speed train back to Hongkong and we drove back to Nanchang. Thus we concluded our New Year 5-day New Year birding trip in Jiangxi successfully.

After this trip, we got an email from Alex in which he told us he had written a review for us on tripadvisor. If you have the interests, you can either search for AlpineBirding tour on tripadvisor or click open the following link:
In this five day birding trip, we saw 116 species of birds in total. All of us have been impressed by many beautiful birds we saw in this trip. They became lasting sweet memories in our mind including four species of elegant cranes,Siberian Crane, White-naped Crane, Hooded Crane and Common Crane,precious Black Stork, Oriental Stock, Eurasian Spoonbill, Scaly-sided Merganser, the critically endangered Baer’s Pochard, beautiful Pied Falconet and Orange-bellied Leafbird. We also have been impressed by the beautiful critically endangered mammal Yangtze Finless Porpoise.

In short, this New Year birding trip in Jiangxi has rewarded us with some unique and charming birds. I hope every year I have chance to come here and meet them here again.

List of Birds Seen in 2019 Alex’s New Year Birding Trip in Jiangxi
No. Chinese name English name Scientific name
1 雉科 Phasianidae GALLIFORMES
1 雉鸡 Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
2 鸭科 Anatidae ANSERIFORMES
2 鸿雁 Swan Goose Anser cygnoides
3 豆雁 Taiga Bean Goose Anser fabalis
4 短嘴豆雁 Tundra Bean Goose Anser serrirostris
5 灰雁 Greylag Goose Anser anser
6 白额雁 Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
7 小天鹅 Tundra Swan/Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus
8 鸳鸯 Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata
9 琵嘴鸭 Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata
10 罗纹鸭 Falcated Duck Mareca falcata
11 赤颈鸭 Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope
12 绿头鸭 Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
13 斑嘴鸭 Chinese Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha
14 针尾鸭 Northern Pintail Anas acuta
15 绿翅鸭 Eurasian Teal Anas crecca
16 红头潜鸭 Common Pochard Aythya ferina
17 青头潜鸭 Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri
18 白秋沙鸭 Smew Mergellus albellus
19 红胸秋沙鸭 Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
3 䴙䴘科 Podicipedidae PODICIPEDIFORMES
20 小䴙䴘 Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
21 凤头䴙䴘 Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
4 鹳科 Ciconiidae CICONIIFORMES
22 黑鹳 Black Stork Ciconia nigra
23 东方白鹳 Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana
5 鹮科 Threskiornithidae PELECANIFORMES
24 白琵鹭 Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
25 夜鹭 Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
26 苍鹭 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
27 大白鹭 Great White Egret/Great Egret Ardea alba
28 白鹭 Little Egret Egretta garzetta
7 鸬鹚科 Phalacrocoracidae SULIFORMES
29 普通鸬鹚 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
8 鹗科 Pandionidae ACCIPITRIFORMES
9 鹰科 Accipitridae ACCIPITRIFORMES
30 黑翅鸢 Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
31 鹰雕 Mountain Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus nipalensis
32 凤头鹰 Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus
33 白腹鹞 Eastern Marsh Harrier Circus spilonotus
34 普通鵟 Eastern Buzzard Buteo japonicus
10 秧鸡科 Rallidae GRUIFORMES
35 红脚苦恶鸟 Brown Crake Amaurornis akool
36 黑水鸡 Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
37 骨顶鸡 Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
11 鹤科 Gruidae GRUIFORMES
38 白鹤 Siberian Crane Leucogeranus leucogeranus
39 白枕鹤 White-naped Crane Antigone vipio
40 灰鹤 Common Crane Grus grus
41 白头鹤 Hooded Crane Grus monacha
12 反嘴鹬科 Recurvirostridae CHARADRIIFORMES
42 黑翅长脚鹬 Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
43 反嘴鹬 Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
13 鸻科 Charadriidae CHARADRIIFORMES
44 凤头麦鸡 Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
14 丘鹬科 Scolopacidae CHARADRIIFORMES
45 白腰杓鹬 Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
46 扇尾沙锥 Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
47 泽鹬 Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
48 林鹬 Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
49 鹤鹬 Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
50 青脚鹬 Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
51 红嘴鸥 Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus
52 乌灰银鸥 Herring Gull/Heuglin's Gull Larus heuglini
16 鸠鸽科 Columbidae COLUMBIFORMES
53 山斑鸠 Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis
54 珠颈斑鸠 Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis
17 翠鸟科 Alcedinidae CORACIIFORMES
55 白胸翡翠 White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
56 普通翠鸟 Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
57 冠鱼狗 Crested Kingfisher Megaceryle lugubris
58 斑鱼狗 Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
18 拟啄木鸟科 Megalaimidae PICIFORMES
59 大拟啄木鸟 Great Barbet Megalaima virens
19 啄木鸟科 Picidae PICIFORMES
60 星头啄木鸟 Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus
61 大斑啄木鸟 Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
20 隼科 Falconidae FALCONIFORMES
62 白腿小隼 Pied Falconet Microhierax melanoleucos
63 红隼 Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
21 伯劳科 Laniidae PASSERIFORMES
64 棕背伯劳 Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach
22 鸦科 Corvidae PASSERIFORMES
65 红嘴蓝鹊 Corvidae Urocissa erythroryncha
66 灰树鹊 Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae
67 喜鹊 Common Magpie/Oriental Magpie Pica pica
68 小嘴乌鸦 Carrion Crow Corvus corone
23 山雀科 Paridae PASSERIFORMES
69 黄腹山雀 Yellow-bellied Tit Pardaliparus venustulus
70 远东山雀 Japanese Tit Parus minor
24 攀雀科</

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In this five day birding trip, we saw 116 species of birds in total including four species of elegant cranes, Siberian Crane, White-naped Crane, Hooded Crane and Common Crane, preciou
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