Ambassador, you’re spoiling us!

Continuing the theme of birds in city centre locations (see the previous post on my ‘garden’), this blog post is about a recent survey of the UK Ambassador’s garden.

In May this year the UK Ambassador invited me to survey his garden for birds.  Although not a birder, he is interested in the birds in his garden and has been known to interrupt internal meetings with the occasional – “Oh look, there’s a Woodpecker outside the window”.

After making arrangements with security, I planned to visit the garden each day for an hour to log the birds present during the height of Spring migration.  The May survey produced a few highlights and one major surprise – Beijing’s first TREE PIPIT (see “First for Beijing: Tree Pipit”).  It was always going to be fascinating to repeat the exercise in Autumn and so, in mid-September, I arranged to visit the garden each day for a week.

In total, 30 species were seen and the highlights included:

  • At least 4 RUFOUS-BELLIED WOODPECKERS (棕腹啄木鸟) on 10th (a record number seen together in Beijing)
  • 3 SIBERIAN THRUSHES (白眉地鸫) on 16th
  • Single WHITE’S THRUSHES (虎斑地鸫) on 11th, 12th and 16th
  • A single DAURIAN STARLING (北椋鸟) on 10th
  • ASHY MINIVET (灰山椒鸟) heard on 16th
  • BLACK DRONGO (黑卷尾) on 11th
  • Single SIBERIAN RUBYTHROATS (红喉歌鸲 [红点颏]) on 12th, 13th and 16th
WHITE'S THRUSHES were seen on three dates during the mid-September survey.
WHITE’S THRUSHES were seen on three dates during the mid-September survey.

A total of 47 species have now been recorded in the Ambassador’s garden in Spring and Autumn, including some difficult-to-see species.  You can download the full report (including a systematic list of the species seen).  It just goes to show that Beijing is a great location during migration season.

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