Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

November 6, 2019

Xi Chang Sichuan Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:15 am

Qionghai Lake, Dream Lake Wetland

So I tok the slow train from Kunming to Xi Chang and now I am in the region of Sichuan. This morning I got up and was out by 7am, but it was still dark! doh! So I set off anyway, waiting for it to get a bit lighter so I could take some photos. There were heaps of Brown-breasted Bulbuls frolicking around in the bad light but it was pointless taking any photos of them. So I just wandered around waiting for the light to come up.

red-billed starling

, Red-billed Starling (Spodiopsar sericeus)

I have seen the scientific name Sturnus sericeus, so I do not know which is right.

red-billed starling

Red-billed Starling (Spodiopsar sericeus)

common starling

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris )

I was quite surprised to see this Common Starling with the Red-billed Starlings. There is also a Red-vented Bulbul in the shot.

crested myna

Crested Myna (Acridotheres cristatellus)

Blurry photo, but it was the best i got. doh!

brown breasted bulbul

Brown-breasted Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthorrhous)

red vented bulbul

Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)

Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)

Mystery bird

I have no idea what this is. My guesses include Clamorous Reed Warbler, Oriental Reed Warbler and Zitting Cisticola.

Xi Chang bird list

Red-billed Starling (Spodiopsar sericeus)
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris )
Crested Myna (Acridotheres cristatellus)
Brown-breasted Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthorrhous)
Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
Eurasian Magpie
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba )
Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saulari)
Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)
Common Coot
Chinese Pond-heron (Ardeola bacchus)
Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)
Scaly-breasted Munia
White-fronted Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus )

Resource:
https://ebird.org/hotspot/L4811712?yr=all&m=&rank=mrec

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November 4, 2019

Xi Shan Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 9:18 am

Western Hills Park

It was a funny morning today. I got up about 6:30am and grabbed a taxi to the subway and got to the Western Hills Park before 8am. I had no idea where to go so I followed the other people down the hill to a bus station. I guessed that you had to catch a bus to the park. I finally sorted out the green bus with the help of a nice lady. I was surprised when it just kept going right up to the top of the mountain almost. I wandered around the area for a little while until I spied my one and only species for the day – the Rusty-capped Fulvetta (Alcippe dubia). Then it started raining so I sat under some shelter and had a few meat dumplings (baozi) for breakfast.

Rusty-capped fulvetta

Rusty-capped Fulvetta (Alcippe dubia)

The rain was not going to stop so I jumped back on the bus and headed downhill. On the way back I went shopping for some shoes at Walmart, but it was crap, so I found some shoes that fitted me in a store nearby. Some tasty noodles from a little shop and back to bed for a rest before editing photos this afternoon in the rain.

Rusty-capped Fulvetta (Alcippe dubia)

Rusty-capped Fulvetta (Alcippe dubia)

“The rusty-capped fulvetta is a species of bird in the Pellorneidae family. It is found in Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.” (wikipedia)

Resources:
https://ebird.org/hotspot/L957784?yr=all&m=&rank=mrec

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November 3, 2019

Kunming Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:59 am

Green Lake Park

I got the bus from Dali to Kunming. More than five hours on a slow coach. Arghh! I arrived late into Kunming and found my hostel. Early in the morning I got up headed off to the Green Lake Park, which is quite close to my hostel. There were a few waterbirds and I was lucky to find a few new bush birds. I gave up when the dancing aunties started blaring out their music and wiggling their hips.

brown-breasted bulbul

Brown-breasted Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthorrhous)

This is a new bulbul. I saw the yellow vent and thought it might have been a yellow-vented but no, it ain’t.

black-throated bushtit

Black-throated Tit (Aegithalos concinnus)

This is also known as the Black-throated Bushtit. First time for this one too. That is two ticks for the morning. Not bad for the beginning of winter.

chinese pond heron

Chinese Pond-Heron ( Ardeola bacchus )

“Identification: Indistinguishable from other pond-heron species when in non-breeding and juvenile plumage. Adult in breeding plumage has distinctive chestnut-maroon head, head-plumes, neck and upperbreast, white underparts and blacklish-slate mantle and scapulars.” (singaporebirds.com)

grey heron

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

little egret

Little Egret ( Egretta garzetta )

common moorhen

Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

This is also known as the Common Moorhen, which I think is the correct name.

white-breasted Waterhen

White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)

The White-breasted Waterhen was not on the ebird list for the Green Lake. It is well within range.

eurasian tree sparrow

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus )

squirrel

Squirrel

Kunming bird list

Brown-breasted Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthorrhous)
Black-throated Tit (Aegithalos concinnus) aka Black-throated Bushtit
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) aka Common Moorhen
White-breasted Waterhen ( Amaurornis phoenicurus )
Chinese Pond-Heron ( Ardeola bacchus )
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus )
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret ( Egretta garzetta )
White Wagtail
Yellow-browed Warbler
Mallard

Resources
https://singaporebirds.com/species/chinese-pond-heron/
https://ebird.org/hotspot/L957929?yr=all&m=&rank=mrec

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October 31, 2019

Yunan Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:27 am

Dali, Yunan Birding

It was still dark at seven in the morning in Dali. I got started late but there was not much around early on the road to Er-hai lake. As the sun came up, the birds got a bit more active and were most active from around nine in the morning.

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

These White Wagtails were frollicking around on the road and up in the wires. There were about half a dozen of them.

White Wagtail ( Motacilla alba)

I just managed to sneak a look at this Grey Wagtail before it took off into the bushes.

grey wagtail

Gray Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)

I got a shot of both male and female Daurian Redstart but the male photos came out all blurry. It was the camera’s fault of course.

Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus) – female

long-tailed shrike

Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)

I have seen so many Red-vented Bulbuls all over Asia, so another one will not hurt.

red-vented bulbul

Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)

siberian stonechat

Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)

Dali bird list

Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)
Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
White Wagtail ( Motacilla alba)
Gray Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Chinese Pond-heron (Ardeola bacchus)
Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus)
Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis)
Rock Pigeon

Resource : https://ebird.org/hotspot/L947441

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October 29, 2019

Guangxi Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:19 am

Guilin Birding 2

Back to Guilin, the capital of Guangxi province, again. This time I stayed in the centre of town. It is heaps touristic but closer to the parks. Yesterday, I went for a walk along the Lijiang River foreshore. There were heaps of tour groups but not many birds. I did manage to get some photos of Chinese Pond Herons, a first for me. I have been wanting to see them for ages.

chinese pond heron

Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus)

This morning I got up early and went to the Zizhou Island Park, which is an island in the middle of the river just opposite the city centre. The first thing I saw was some juvenile Scaly-breasted Munia feeding on some grass on the river banks.

Scaly-breasted Munia ( Lonchura punctulata ) juvenile

I found this Dusky Warbler in a ditch in the middle of the park. A new one for me.

dusky warbler

Dusky Warbler ( Phyloscopus fuscatus )

This is an old friend, a female Siberian Stonechat. I saw them them lots in India and the Middle East.

siberian stonechat

Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)

This is a badly out of focus photo but it was the best I got. doh!

Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus)

I think this is a female. The pair were feeding on the lawns.

white wagtail

White Wagtail ( Motacilla alba) – female


White Wagtail ( Motacilla alba) – male

Spotted Dove( Spilopelia chinensis )

Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicas)

Guilin bird list

Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus)
Little Grebe
Chinese Blackbird ( Turdus mandarinus )
Chinese Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis)
White Wagtail ( Motacilla alba)
Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicas)
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saulari
Scaly-breasted Munia ( Lonchura punctulata )
Dusky Warbler ( Phyloscopus fuscatus )
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)
Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)
Spotted Dove( Spilopelia chinensis )
Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus)

This is a good link to a birding trip by other birders to this area:
https://www.birdinghongkong.com/blog-update—alberta-july-2019/guilin-guangxi-22-26-april-2019

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October 27, 2019

China Tourist Photos 2

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 9:34 am

Beijing to Yangshuo Tourist

This is the second installment of tourist photos from China. The last few days I went to Olympic Forest Park and the Beijing Botanical Garden. There were heaps of people early in the morning walking around, playing music and doing their exercises.

beijing botanical garden

Early morning exercises

Next stop was Wuhan where it was raining as soon as I got there. I got one day of nice weather. Here is the high-rise building where I stayed at a hostel on the 24th floor.

wuhan

Wuhan lodgings

I caught the very fast train from Wuhan to Guilin. It looks like a space ship.

very fast train

Very fast train

The maximum speed was about 300 kilometers per hour.

Top speed on the very fast train

When I got to Guilin I went to the Seven Star Park to find some birds.

guilin 7 star park

Guilin Seven Star Park

I had some great meals near the markets at North Guilin. Jozu were five yuan for eight and I was having rice and vegetables for 10 yuan.

guilin north markets

Guilin North Markets

Then I caught the bus to Yangshuo which was super busy. I was glad I did not stay there. I changed buses to Xingping which I thought might be a little quieter but there were thousands of tourists there too. ha ha.

xingping

xingping old town

I walked along the river and took a photo of the river that is on the 20 yuan note.

lijiang river

Lijiang River

For dinner I went for a walk to the markets and seen this dog butchered ready for sale.

dog for dinner

Dog for dinner ?

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Xingping Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:57 am

Xingping Guangxi Birding

I caught the bus from Guilin to Yangshuo and then caught another bus to Xingping. I found my hostel real easily and in the afternoon went for a walk along the river. In the morning I got up just before 7am and headed out. It was overcast and miserable as per usual, so the light was horrendous. The highlight was seeing some Plumbeous Water Redstarts along the banks of the river. I got photos of both the male and female. The male has a red butt and the female has a white one.

Plumbeous Water Redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosa) ¬†–¬†male

Plumbeous Water Redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosa) – female

long-tailed shrike

Long-tailed Shrike( Lanius schach)

white wagtail

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba )

collared crow

Collared Crow ( Corvus torquatus )

common kingfisher

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

Xingping bird list

Plumbeous water redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosa)
Long-tailed Shrike( Lanius schach)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba )
Oriental Magpie-Robin
Chinese Blackbird
Collared Crow ( Corvus torquatus )
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

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October 25, 2019

Guilin – Guangxi Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:41 am

Seven Star Park

This morning I wake up in Guilin North, near the railway station. It looks a bit bleak outside but I venture forth bravely nevertheless. I dial up my Dido cab and it will cost me 20 yuan to get to the park. Thats about four aussie dollars. And it is seven kilometers away. As I head on down the road, the weather gets more and more miserable.

japanese tit

Japanese Tit (Parus minor)

I get my ticket for the park. It will cost more than ten bucks. Very expensive. But I bite the bullet and pay the piper. I wander along a path near the river. As usual it is crowded with locals playing cards, singing songs, playing instruments, doing tai chi, or doing their version of aerobics.

japanese white-eye

Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus)

It starts to drizzle, but it is light, so I carry on around the hill and find a few birds, despite the atrocious weather. Then I scurry past the childrens deserted playgrounds and find a little creek where there are a few birds hanging out along the banks.

citrine wagtail

Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)

After a few hours of getting soaked, I exited through the gates and went for a walk along the streets. I found a couple of two dollar shops. The prices were the same as Australia! I was mortified. So I bought some chopsticks. I have been living off two minute noodles. But I could not find a coffee anywhere. What the hell is going on. I haven’t had a coffee in days. Argghhhh.

yellow-browed warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)

common kingfisher

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

oriental magpie robin

Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saulari)

chinese blackbird

Chinese Blackbird (Turdus mandarinus)

Guilin bird list

Japanese Tit (Parus minor)
Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus)
Chinese Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis)
Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)
Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saulari)
Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris)
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Chinese Blackbird (Turdus mandarinus)

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October 21, 2019

Beijing Birding 2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:43 am

Olympic Forest Park and Botanical Gardens

On Sunday I went to Olympic Forest Park to the north of the city of Beijing. There were thousands of people there when I arrived. A fun run was going on with runners going hither and thither all lathered up and excited. I walked along the pond for a while and found a few deserted tracks.

Chinese Grosbeak (Eophona migratoria)

This morning I headed off early to the Botanical Gardens. Two subways later and I was there.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus)

Red-billed Starling (Sturnus sericeus)

Eurasian Blackbird and Red-billed Starling

Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus)

I think this id is right. There were a heap of bird photographers hanging around at the side of a creek and I did not know what they were doing. I came back later and they had all gone and maybe this was what they were waiting for. doh! Edit: Not a Guldenstadt Redstart! More likely Daurian Redstart like I originally thought.

Beijing Babbler (Rhopophilus pekinensis)

Also known as the Chinese Hill Babbler. Maybe this is one. I really have no idea. Plus it looks like a drowned rat, so it is really difficult to tell.

Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)

The Azure-winged Magpies were hanging around in a mob near the water, feeding on something in the grass and bushes. I also say a Red-billed Blue Magpie but he few off before I could get a photo!

Chinese Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis)

Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)

Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)

The Spotted Dove also goes by the scientific name of Spilopelia chinensis. I have no idea which one is correct. I am wondering if this is the same one we have in Australia. Edit: Yes it is. It was introduced around 1900.

Eurasian Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

Beijing bird list

Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus)
Chinese Grosbeak (Eophona migratoria)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)
Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus)
Chinese Blackbird (Turdus mandarinus)
Red-billed Starling (Sturnus sericeus)
Beijing (Chinese Hill) Babbler (Rhopophilus pekinensis) – maybe
Chinese Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis)
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)
Red-billed Blue Magpie (Urocissa erythrorhyncha) seen only.
Little Grebe
Mallard
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) or (Spilopelia chinensis)

Beijing mammals

Eurasian Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

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October 19, 2019

The Hutong Clan

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 4:22 am

Beijing Tourist Photos

Two days ago I went to Yuanmingyuan Park to do some birding and there was some nice scenery around so I took a few photos. There were a few boats on the waterways and you could get a boat ride or hop on an electric cart.

Scenic waterways

And of course I had to get my photo taken with the cute figures. I have no idea what they are.

Cute figures

Yesterday I went to the hutongs, the old area of Beijing. It is mostly a tourist area, complete with rickshaw ride and boat rides, etc etc.

Hutong rickshaws.

Wedding photos

There was a nice couple getting their wedding photos done. Very nice.

The bell tower

This was a tower with a bell that got struck when the invading mongols came sweeping down from the hills.

Tower in the circle

Hutong lane

In the back streets of the old area of Beijing.

Beijing traffic

The usual city pile-up at sunset.

Night scene

Lit up at night, near Tiananmen Square.

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