Laotieshan: The Trip Report

Paul Holt has just completed his detailed trip report for the autumn migration trip to Laotieshan in Liaoning Province, China.  It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows him (and me!) that Paul is responsible for the incredibly detailed daily counts of the species included in the report.

It was an awesome trip with some stunning counts (including some China records).

 

Highlights:

  • We recorded 202 species in total
  • High counts included 2155 bird-days of Oriental Honey-buzzard with 1035 on our very first day on site, the 24 September;
  • 1150 bird-days of Black Kite with birds being seen almost every day with a peak count of 209 on the 7 October;
  • 1255 Eurasian Sparrowhawks and a peak count of 283 on the 10 October;
  • 248 bird-days of Northern Goshawk with a peak of 64 also on the 10 October;
  • 6944 bird-days of Eastern Buzzard with a peak of 3490 on the 12 October;
  • 7971 bird-days of Amur Falcon with a peak of 1830 on the 10 October;
  • Over 20,000 bird-days of Ashy Minivet with a peak of 7549 on the 28 September;
  • 456 bird-days of Yellow-bellied Tit with birds being noted on 20 of the 23 days we were in Liaoning and a peak of 160 on the 5 October;
  • Nearly 60,000 bird-days of Red-rumped Swallow with 10,000 being estimated on the 27 September;
  • Over 14,000 white-eyes with up to 4500 birds being noted daily while we were in the province;
  • Over 1600 bird-days of Black-faced Bunting with a peak of 700 on the 8 October.

Local rarities included:

  • 14-bird-days of Black Stork with between 1 and 4 birds on five dates;
  • A juvenile Steppe Eagle on the 2 October;
  • 2 juvenile Golden Eagles on the 11 October;
  • An adult male Lesser Kestrel on the 6 October;
  • 70 osculans Eurasian Oystercatchers, a moulting juvenile Pallas’s Gull (only the third for Liaoning) and a first year Glaucous Gull at the Biliu river, Pulandian and a single Little Curlew near Pikou, Pulandian all on the 3 October;
  • Surprising numbers of both Northern and Asian House Martins;
  • Two and one Red-billed Starlings on the 7th & 14 October respectively
  • Several early Alpine Accentors with sightings on three dates after the 11 October.
The full report can be downloaded by clicking on this link:  Birding in Liaoning 24 Sept. – 16 Oct. 2011 

6 thoughts on “Laotieshan: The Trip Report”

  1. Brilliant. Great report.

    Personally I am amazed by all those Yellow-bellied Tits. I’m used to seeing YBTs in.. umm… tit flocks in the Summer palace, etc. Are these ones flying over ? What is the story ?

    Spike

    1. Hi Spike,
      The vast majority were fly-overs, usually in small flocks. But we also saw a few individuals in the shrubs around the point. We were surprised, too. They were previously thought to be ‘scarce’ in Liaoning. However, the species has expanded its range northwards in recent years so, in that context, it is perhaps to be expected that their status in Liaoning is changing.
      T

    1. I think they are well-known to be short distance migrants (as you say, we tend to see them in Beijing in spring and autumn) but they clearly do not mind crossing the Bohai from Liaoning to Shandong. The flocks at Laotieshan reminded me of the flocks of Blue Tits and Great Tits that I used to see heading off out to see from southern Copenhagen towards Germany in late autumn….

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