Shanghai, China – June 2019

Another business trip with the brick company took me to Shanghai recently. Luckily, I managed to get away for a few hours on my first and last day, and I decided to concentrate on Century Park. Craig from Shanghai Birding very kindly recommended the spot for visits on limited timescales as you can typically see between 20-30 species in a couple hours. Challenge accepted.

Walking into the park from the Science and Technology Museum end, things got off to a pretty cool start. I dropped into a dark, forested area, not unlike forests in Spain and soon after saw the first hoopoe of the trip, bouncing between the trees and stopping on the ground long enough for me to get a few record snaps. Spotted doves, Japanese tit, Chinese blackbird and light vented bulbuls made up the rest of the list in that spot. A good start!

I soon got used to the bulbuls call and noticed just how many were around. The other call that I soon got used to was that of the azure-winged magpies. I’m cheating a little as used to get these a lot where we lived in Tokyo, but not this many. They were everywhere. I even managed to find a young fledgling motionless on the ground, waiting for its parents, who were nearby and soon returned.

The park has a nature park area, including an island that is inaccessible but full of birds. Red-billed starling and yellow-billed grosbeak (a first) skirted the edge of the woodland and spent a lot of time on the ground near me once I’d settled down. Little grebe ducked and dived, an intermediate egret and up to 8 black-crowned night herons were spotted around the water’s edge with the highest concentration near the cement canal marking the edge of the park.

A new bird for me, a long-tailed shrike gave incredible views, found thanks to its harsh call. Another lifer was an Indian cuckoo which flew towards me then darted to avoid a few bulbuls that weren’t very happy with it being nearby.

On my final day, once work was over, I headed back and was pretty disappointed with the lack of birds. Despite being so much quieter than the weekend, very little seemed around. I came out onto a large patch of grass that I thought would be perfect for hoopoes and after a quick scout, was so happy to find a mother and its young feeding on the grass 50 m away. A slow approach enabled me to get pretty close to this shy bird. The best, longest views I’ve had of this species. Was great fun watching them search for grubs and bugs in the soil, every now and again putting their crests up in the air. The youngster was persistent to say the least.

Other birds spotted during the trip from taxis included: cattle egret; brown shrike; crested myna; white-cheeked starling; little egret

 Full list:

1. Magpie

2. Intermediate egret

3. Little egret

4. Cattle egret

5. Black crowned night heron

6. Azure winged magpie

7. Long tailed shrike

8. Brown shrike

9. Light vented bulbul

10. Hoopoe

11. Japanese tit

12. White cheeked starling

13. Red billed starling

14. Crested Myna

15. Yellow beaked grosbeak

16. Tree sparrow

17. Indian cuckoo

18. Moorhen

19. White wagtail

20. Chinese blackbird

21. Chinese sparrowhawk

22. Spotted dove

23. Rock dove

24. Swallow

25. Little grebe


3 Comments Add yours

  1. So cool! Hoopoes are such striking birds.


    1. davidpallash says:

      Thanks so much. They really are one of my favourites


Leave a Reply to The Evolving Naturalist Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s