I have just returned from a week with Marie Louise Ng in China’s largest province – Xinjiang – in the far north west. Xinjiang is vast, covering an area greater than France, Spain and Portugal combined. And with just a handful of birders. It’s almost certainly THE place to visit to add new species to the China list and with an avifauna list resembling that of Europe, it’s a superb place to see some species that can be found nowhere else in China. For a European like me, a visit to this stunningly beautiful province offers an opportunity to re-acquaint oneself with some familiar birds, such as Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Nightingale, House Sparrow and a whole lot more. We recorded over 160 species.
A full report will appear here soon.
With very little hunting, many of the birds in Xinjiang are much more approachable than I have become accustomed to in eastern China. As a taster, here is a video of BLACK WOODPECKER…. this male devoured ants just a few metres away, seemingly oblivious to our presence.