Siberian Crane still at Miyun!

On Sunday I visited Miyun Reservoir with a few friends from the embassy, a language student and a Dutch birder visiting Beijing.  We enjoyed a good day and recorded 71 species.  The most significant record was the immature SIBERIAN CRANE that is still on site in company with a dwindling group of White-naped and Common Cranes.  It is now over a month since Paul Holt and I first discovered this bird, originally in the company of 2 adults.

A single Short-toed Eagle, a stunning male Pied Harrier, a fishing Osprey and excellent views of Japanese Quail were other highlights of another good day at this site.  With sunny weather and very light winds, it was a lovely day to be out and about… and great fun to be in the company of such a wonderful group of people!!

They will all become birders – it’s inevitable.  Resistance is futile.

Aron, John and Sarah behaving completely naturally...

John, Sarah, Eva and Aron taking the 'chilled approach' to birding.. while Nick wonders if his count of Great Crested Grebe is statistically significant.

Ben and the girls scanning for cranes at Miyun Reservoir as Nick looks on.

Full species list:
1. Japanese Quail – 3
2. Common Pheasant – 7
3. Swan Goose – 1
4. Bean Goose – 5
5. Ruddy Shelduck – 29
6. Gadwall – 8
7. Mallard – 12
8. Chinese Spot-billed Duck – 14
9. Shoveler – 18
10. Eurasian Teal – 12
11. Common Pochard – 2
12. Little Grebe – 4
13. Great Crested Grebe – 10
14. Black Stork – 1
15. Spoonbill sp – 7
16. Eurasian Bittern (heard only)
17. Grey Heron – 8
18. Great Egret – 6
19. Little Egret – 7
20. Kestrel – 2
21. Merlin – 1 adult male whizzed past us at the second site
22. Osprey – seen very well; hovered and caught a fish
23. Short-toed Eagle – 1
24. Eastern Marsh Harrier – 3
25. Pied Harrier – 2 (including one adult male)
26. Eurasian Sparrowhawk – 1
27. Goshawk – 1
28. Coot – 12
29. SIBERIAN CRANE – 1 (immature)
30. White-naped Crane – 4
31. Common Crane – 3
32. Black-winged Stilt – 78
33. Avocet – 2
34. Northern Lapwing – 34
35. Little Ringed Plover – 22 (including some spectacular close views of 3 birds interacting)
36. Common Snipe – 8 (using their characteristic ‘drilling’ feeding technique)
37. Black-tailed Godwit – 7
38. Common Redshank – 4
39. Wood Sandpiper – 12
40. Oriental Pratincole – 42
41. Mongolian Gull – 1 2cy probably this species
42. Black-headed Gull – 57
43. Common Tern – 4
44. Little Tern – 2
45. Oriental Turtle Dove – 4
46. Collared Dove – 3
47. Common Kingfisher – 2
48. Hoopoe – 1
49. Great Spotted Woodpecker – 1 seen from the car between the first and second sites
50. Grey-headed Woodpecker – 2 heard from the car
51. Azure-winged Magpie – several seen from the car
52. Red-billed Blue Magpie – 5 (including two that flew right overhead calling near the parking spot at the first site)
53. Common Magpie – too many
54. Carrion Crow – 2
55. Large-billed Crow – 1
56. Great Tit – several heard from the car
57. Barn Swallow – 6
58. Red-rumped Swallow – 4 seen from the car
59. Zitting Cisticola – 1 heard
60. Chinese Bulbul – 1 heard near the parking spot at the first site
61. Vinous-throated Parrotbill – several heard at the first and second sites
62. White-cheeked Starling – c10 seen from the car
63. Daurian Redstart – 3
64. Tree Sparrow – lots
65. Eastern Yellow Wagtail – 3
66. White Wagtail – 3 (subspecies ‘leucopsis’)
67. Olive-backed Pipit – 1
68. Red-throated Pipit – 1 possible heard
69. Buff-bellied Pipit – c100 (in a mixed flock that included some Water Pipits)
70. Water Pipit – c20
71. Pallas’s Reed Bunting – 8
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About Terry Townshend

I am a British birder living and birding in Beijing from August 2010 until 2015. Through this blog I hope I can convey a sense of what it is like to live in this thriving, confident and contrasting city and the birdlife that can be found in its environs. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it! Terry Townshend, Beijing September 2010
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8 Responses to Siberian Crane still at Miyun!

  1. Gretchen says:

    Sounds like a great day – sure that all your friends enjoy birds even more for it! What do you make of the young sibe there by himself? Did he look okay? It seems strange he didn’t go off with the other Sibes, doesn’t it?

    • The young Sibe Crane looked fine. It seemed to be feeding well and even indulged in a bit of ‘dancing’, albeit to an unresponsive audience of White-naped Cranes! It’ll be very interesting to see how long he/she stays.

  2. Man – I just spent an hour and a half of work time looking through your blog – I hope you feel guilty! Really marvellous stuff – and good to see some familiar faces (both avian and human!). I’ll definitely be back! Thanks!
    Dave/digdeep

    • Hi Dave, thanks for the comment on the blog. Hope you don’t get sacked for reading it! :) Planning to stay in Beijing for at least the next 2-3 years, so hopefully there’ll be many more posts to come… Please drop by again! Cheers, Terry

  3. Hmm – I’m self-employed – so that presents a challenging ethical dilemma – do I give myself the sack or just one more chance?!

  4. John Holmes says:

    Pretty useful day list… your companions should be impressed, I am !

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