Wild Duck Lake (part 3)

On Saturday I paid my third visit to Wild Duck Lake in the company of Jesper Hornskov, his wife Aiqin, and a visiting Danish bio-chemist, Max.  It was a glorious but coolish day, about the fourth consecutive day of good weather.  We arrive in good time, at about 0715 and were immediately greeted with good numbers of Asian Short-toed Larks, several hundred Bean Geese, a few flyover Lapland Buntings and a smaller flock of geese that included 2 Bar-headed Geese (my first) and some Swan Geese.  A juvenile mongolicus Herring Gull was loafing at the edge of the lake and, on the water, were 120+ Ruddy Shelducks, a single drake Pintail, good numbers of Smew and a few Goosander.  On a small island, several juvenile heinei Common Gulls congregated, along with a couple of Spotted Redshank and 2 Grey Plover.

The very pleasant walk around produced 2 Short-eared Owls, 80+ Common Cranes (most of which arrived in the afternoon, clearly fresh in), several Buff-bellied Pipits, a single Water Pipit, 3 Chinese Grey Shrikes, 2 (possibly 3) Upland Buzzards, a single Peregrine (probably of the form peregrinator), a handful of Black-headed Gulls, double figures of Chinese Spot-billed Duck, 6 Common Pochard, good numbers of Little and Great Crested Grebe, one or two Reed Buntings and 20+ Pallas’s Reed Buntings.

Ruddy Shelduck against a mountain backdrop, Wild Duck Lake, north-west of Beijing, 30 October 2010
Chinese Grey Shrike, one of three seen at Wild Duck Lake, 30 October 2010

Common Pheasant (a real one!)