Friday, May 4, 2012

Matsu Migrants

Matsu Migrants

Matsu's coast.
The weekend of April 28 - May 1st, I visited five of the main islands in Matsu (馬祖) with a group led by Taipei Wild Bird Society. Very well organized and guided - another example of how well developed the local birding scene is - a pity many foreign visitors are not yet aware of this.

Matsu consists of over 30 Taiwan-controlled islands and islets just across from the Min River rivermouth Fuzhou, Fujian, China. The military importance of these islands has meant minimal (or different sort of) human interference. Important habitats are well protected, researched, and now accessable.

Chestnut Bunting (or 'rusty' in Chinese)
We focused on various vegetable gardens and small reservoirs. Highlights included the first record of the Chinese Penduline Tit for Matsu and lots of migrating buntings and flycatchers. Many, many thanks for the help with identification!

We took the overnight Taima ferry from Keelung (north of Taipei), and flew back to Taipei from Nangan. Please note - if arranging a tour to Matsu between February and June, both airports on Matsu are very prone to closures due to fog.

Chinese Crested Tern Tour.

July 19-22th 2012 I hope to have a tour (in conjunction with the Taipei Bird Society) of Matsu for Bridled, Roseate, Black-naped, Great Crested, Black-tailed...and of course the Chinese Crested Tern! Breeding grounds are well protected and appropriately managed. Edit: Sorry Full.

Fall Asian Flyway Tour. September 21-25. Full

All birds seen over the 3 days:
Great Crested Grebe
Streaked Shearwater
Yellow Bittern
Black Bittern
Grey Heron
Great Egret
Intermediate Egret
Little Egret
Cattle Egret
Chinese Pond-Heron
Striated Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Crested Goshawk
Chinese Goshawk
Grey-faced Buzzard
Common Buzzard
Eurasian Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
White-breasted Waterhen
Common Moorhen
Snowy Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Black-winged Stilt
Common Sandpiper
Grey-tailed Tattler
Common Greenshank
Marsh Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Black-tailed Godwit
Great Knot
Red-necked Stint
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Common Snipe
Swinhoe’s Snipe
Eurasian Woodcock
Black-tailed Gull
Bridled Tern
Great Crested Tern
Long-tailed Jaeger
Oriental Turtle-Dove
Spotted Dove
Large Hawk-Cuckoo
Himalayan Cuckoo
Greater Coucal
Fork-tailed Swift
House Swift
Black-capped Kingfisher
Brown Shrike
Long-tailed Shrike
Black Drongo
Hair-crested Drongo
Barn Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Great Tit
Chinese Penduline-Tit
Manchurian Bush-Warbler
Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler
Black-throated Tit
Light-vented Bulbul
Pallas’s Leaf-Warbler
Yellow-browed Warbler
Arctic Warbler
Eastern-crowned Leaf-Warbler
Blyth’s Leaf-Warbler
Oriental Reed-Warbler
Zitting Cisticola
Yellow-bellied Prinia
Plain Prinia
Dark-sided Flycatcher
Grey-streaked Flycatcher
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Narcissus Flycatcher
Oriental Magpie-Robin
Daurian Redstart
Grey Bushchat
Blue Rock-thrush
Blue Whistling-Thrush
Japanese White-eye
Crested Myna
Common Myna
White-shouldered Starling
Red-billed Starling
Western Yellow Wagtail
Eastern Yellow Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
White Wagtail
Richard’s Pipit
Olive-backed Pipit
Red-throated Pipit
Tristram’s Bunting
Chestnut-eared Bunting
Yellow-browed Bunting
Little Bunting
Yellow-throated Bunting
Yellow-breasted Bunting
Chestnut Bunting
Yellow Bunting
Black-faced Bunting
Oriental Greenfinch
Yellow-billed Grosbeak
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Scaly-breasted Munia
Only birders...actually almost impossible to do this now in Taiwan - no landfills.
New birds:

Streaked Shearwater    Calonectris leucomelas
Black Bittern    Ixobrychus flavicollis
Gray-tailed Tattler    Tringa brevipes
Black-tailed Godwit    Limosa limosa
Swinhoe's Snipe    Gallinago megala    
Eurasian Woodcock    Scolopax rusticola
Bridled Tern    Onychoprion anaethetus
Black-naped Tern    Sterna sumatrana
Great Crested Tern    Thalasseus bergii
Long-tailed Jaeger    Stercorarius longicaudus
Large Hawk-Cuckoo    Hierococcyx sparverioides
Red-rumped Swallow    Cecropis daurica
Great Tit    Parus major
Chinese Penduline-Tit    Remiz consobrinus
Eastern Crowned Leaf-Warbler    Phylloscopus coronatus
Blyth's Leaf-Warbler    Phylloscopus reguloides
Dark-sided Flycatcher    Muscicapa sibirica
Gray-streaked Flycatcher    Muscicapa griseisticta    
Asian Brown Flycatcher    Muscicapa dauurica   
Narcissus Flycatcher    Ficedula narcissina
Gray Bushchat    Saxicola ferreus
Red-throated Pipit    Anthus cervinus
Tristram's Bunting    Emberiza tristrami    
Chestnut-eared Bunting    Emberiza fucata    
Yellow-browed Bunting    Emberiza chrysophrys   
Chestnut Bunting    Emberiza rutila
Yellow Bunting    Emberiza sulphurata
Brambling    Fringilla montifringilla