Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Late summer Tainan coast and wetlands.

Anping to Qigu (via Sicao) coastal areas.
While avoiding typhoon pestilence, I took an hour or two out from the office several times over a span of 12 days mid to late August to explore coastal areas near my home in Tainan (south west Taiwan). Signs of migration starting. Areas visited: Yenshui riverbank cyclepath near Anping; Sihcao various locations west of #17; wet fields near Sangu Village near Qigu (of Black-faced Spoonbill fame); and the most productive - the river side of the north embankment of the Tsengwen river from #17 to the rivermouth.

As well as birds, I paid more attention to crabs. My knowledge is ‘very limited but improving’, also a good distraction when tired of nearby waders. Cardisoma carnifex, Mangrove crab Helice formosensis, Scylla serrata, Parasesarma plicatum; and fiddler crabs Uca arcuata, and Uca crassipes.

Little Grebe - common.
Cattle Egret - common.
Little Egret - very common.
Great Egret - several.
Intermediate Egret - a couple.
Grey Heron - several.
Malayan Night-heron - 1 in forest along coast just south of Luermen Stream rivermouth.
Cinnamon Bittern - 2 or 3 flybys.
Yellow Bittern - 1 central Sihcao.
Scaly-breasted Rail -1 next to incinerator road.
Greater Sandplover - several.
Whimbrel - over 10, mostly near Tsengwen river.
Far Eastern Curlew - about 10 total various places.
Black-naped Night-heron - common.
Kentish Plover - common.
Little Ringed Plover - common.
Grey Plover - several.
Golden Plover - several.
Sharp-tailed Plover - several.
Curlew Sandpiper - about 10 in rice fields and Tsengwen estuary.
Red-necked Stint - over 20 several days.
Long-toed Stint - around 10 multiple days.
Broad-billed Sandpiper - several.
Black-tailed Godwit - 1 in fallow fields north side of Tsengwen River.
Ruff - 5 in fallow fields north side of Tsengwen River.
Wood Sandpiper - over 20 in various locations.
Common Sandpiper - several.
Common Greenshank - several.
Marsh Sandpiper - several.
Common Redshank - common.
Black-winged Stilt - very common.
Little Tern - about 5.
Whiskered Tern - about 5.
Gull-billed Tern - 1 near fish ponds just north of Yenshui River.
Red-collared Dove - several.
Spotted-neck Dove - several.
Red-rumped Swallow - several, usually near active fish ponds.
Barn Swallow - common, several very large groups.
Black Drongo - several.
Light-vented Bulbul - common!
Plain Prinia - common.
Yellow-bellied Prinia - common.
Tree Sparrow -common..
Black-shouldered Kite - 2 near Luermen Stream.
Common Magpie - several.
Common Kingfisher - 2 or 3.
Zitting Cisticola
Scaly-breasted Munia - several.
Long-tailed Shrike - several.
Brown Shrike - at least 1 near Tsengwen River.
Magpie Robin - 1 near city riverside, 1 central Sicao.
Common Coot - 1 in pond next to #17, early arrival.
White-breasted Waterhen - a couple.
Moorhen - common.
Painted Snipe - 1
Myna - Common, Javan, and Crested.
Blue Rock-thrush - 1 near BFS reserve August 29th

August 29th
This is what gives birdwatchers a bad name.

I had a reliable report of a Lesser Frigatebird in the Tainan area, so of course I dropped everything to spend half the day gazing into hazy, post-typhoon, skies. The closest I came was a maybe/possibly/hmm/probably-not ghostly shape in the scope.

What I was very pleased to get out of the way at last was a Chinese (Swinhoe’s) Egret. Tainan has lots of Little Egrets, and I find it a bit tedious scanning them. Anyway - 2 on the sea side of the embankment on the west side of BFS reserve.

Birds I am on the lookout for at the moment are Oriental Plover, Nordmann’s Greenshank (possible sighting, unconfirmed), Little Stint, Red Phalarope, Various Snipes, Goldcrest, Various Warblers, and Plain Flowerpecker - the last endemic subspecies missing I think.

New Birds

Gull-billed Tern    Gelochelidon nilotica  
Chinese Egret    Egretta eulophotes