One of the best places on the planet to see GREY-SIDED THRUSH (Turdus feae) is Wulingshan, a stunning mountain park just across the border from Beijing Municipality in Hebei Province. For birders, it’s a brilliant location in late spring and summer. As well as breeding Grey-sided Thrushes this site also hosts Green-backed (Elisae’s) Flycatcher, White-bellied Redstart, Siberian Blue Robin, Koklass Pheasant, Grey Nightjar, White-backed and Japanese Pygmy Woodpeckers and a plethora of leaf warblers including Claudia’s, Hume’s, Yellow-streaked, Chinese Leaf and Large-billed Leaf. Perhaps even more exciting is that it is said to still be home to Leopard.
At the weekend, I visited the mountain with Marie and, despite many birds having stopped singing by mid-July, we had a great time and were very fortunate to see one of our target birds – the GREY-SIDED THRUSH – so well. This thrush, classified as “Vulnerable” by BirdLife due to its restricted range, breeds here in reasonable numbers. We saw at least 8, including 3 juveniles – the first time I had seen this plumage – and early on Sunday morning we enjoyed prolonged views, allowing me to capture some video of an adult and a juvenile.
The views are incredible and the sunsets are also spectacular if lucky enough to coincide a visit with a smog-free day.