This morning I spent a couple of hours in our local green space – Ritan Park. It’s about 5-10 minutes walk from the flat and is a focal point for just about any and every activity you can think of. During my time there, I saw Chinese exercising, dancing, jogging (including backwards!), playing music, reciting poetry, walking dogs, sleeping, reading and flying kites… Needless to say, I was the only birdwatcher and I attracted several puzzled looks as I focused my binoculars on, to most people, seemingly random trees and bushes.
I was pleasantly surprised that, among all this activity, there was much birdlife. Dominated by the troupes of Azure-winged Magpies and Tree Sparrows, there were also Common Magpies, Spotted Doves, lots of Yellow-browed Warblers (their calls were a constant companion during my walk), a few Arctic Warblers, a probable Eastern-crowned Warbler (just didn’t see enough of it to be sure), a Great Spotted Woodpecker and, perhaps most surprisingly, a Rufous-bellied Woodpecker!
One of the Arctic Warblers favoured some low saplings in a relatively quiet area of the park and posed nicely for photographs.
Later, after returning to the flat to do a few hours work, I thought I’d try a local cafe for lunch (eating out is seriously cheaper than cooking yourself!) and was delighted to see on the menu a page with the wonderful title “Global Treasures”. Included in this list was that age-old Chinese favourite – Fish and Chips. Result!