As I was having a short Easter break in Singapore, it was predictably a superb weekend of birding in Beijing..! The main highlight was the appearance of at least 6 DALMATIAN PELICANS (卷羽鹈鹕) at Shahe Reservoir.
Shahe is a regular spot for Irish birding legend, Colm Moore, and he has found some excellent birds at this city reservoir over the last few years, including Black-headed Wagtail, Bar-tailed Godwit, Long-tailed Skua, a recent Black-tailed Gull and many more.
The site is also visited by some Chinese birders including Chen Yanxin and it was both of these guys who found 3 DALMATIAN PELICANS (卷羽鹈鹕) on the reservoir early Saturday morning. Colm also saw an additional 3 flyover DALMATIAN PELICANS (卷羽鹈鹕), bringing the total seen to at least 6.
Shahe suffers from regular disturbance by fishermen and a whole range of other leisure activities, especially at weekends, so it’s certainly a site that should be visited early morning if at all possible. And this was evidenced by the fact that the pelicans flew off north west around 1000am before many local birders could reach the site.
Here are some photos by Chen Yanxin.
Although increasing in parts of Europe, DALMATIAN PELICAN (卷羽鹈鹕) is classified as “Vulnerable” by Birdlife International due to the sharp decline in the Asian population. In the region, these birds breed in western Mongolia and some winter on the southeast coast of China. It is a rare migrant in Beijing, usually in Spring, as it makes its way from the wintering grounds to the breeding areas.
Congratulations to Colm and Chen Yanxin for seeing, and photographing so well, these special birds..!