Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kinmen in the Fall.

Kinmen in the Fall.

Sorghum processing - letting the traffic do the hard work!
Simple message: Go to Kinmen! As well as great birding - good travel facilities, historical sites, and traditional architecture (NOT usually a feature of Taiwan) are big attractions. A good destination for the not-very-serious bird-watcher in need of other peaceful distractions. Be sure to stay in a traditional homestay, and (if you have a Chinese visa ready) pop over to Xiamen, China for some wild life.

Lots of good birding sites, but if only wanting one - then I suggest the traversable path between the Shuangli Nature Center, along the edge of Ci Lake, to the sea embankment.

Follow this by a scoot of the nearby Nanshan ‘Forest’ Road. And then after this I would suggest Lingshui Lake on Little Kinmen and the various reforested areas, ponds, and sorghum (to make vile Kaoliang) fields. At the very quiet and tranquil Lingshui Lake It is breathtaking to suddenly spot the skyscrapers in bandit-territory.

Guesthouse - traditional while being modern.
This was not a birding orientated trip, but before breakfast (6-8am) over two mornings I was able to escape and see a few decent birds: Greater Coucal, Hoopee, Duarien Redstart, Oriental Magpie-Robin, Common Magpie, Tree Sparrow, Chinese Bulbul, Richard’s Pipit, Common Kingfisher, various egrets, Whimbrel, various waders, Crested Myna, Long-tailed Shrike, Collared Crow, Moorhen, Little Grebe, swallows & martins, Plain Prinia, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Chinese Blackbird, various common doves, Japanese White-Eye, Black-winged Stilt, White Wagtail, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Grey Heron, Far-Eastern Curlew, White-breasted Waterhen, Caspian Tern, Kestrel, Pied Kingfisher, Black-capped Kingfisher, Yellow Bittern, Great Cormorant, White-throated Kingfisher, Oriental Skylark, Oriental Greenfinch, Stonechat, Black Drongo, Black-collared Starling, Common Pheasant.

This lists a couple birds seen at other locations while not distracted with flora/bunkers/knives/kaoliang/butterflies/peanut candy/more rotten kaoliang/nice buildings.

Unfortunately I was not able to visit Kinmen over the summer, thus did not tick off the Blue-tailed Bee-eater.

New Birds:
Herring Gull    Larus argentatus  unsatisfying views
(Eurasian) Sky Lark    Alauda arvensis