Lingshan for last…

06/12/2014 –  Lingshan mountain

 

After our arrival at Beijing Central Station we had breakfast and said goodbye to Lucas, who flew back home one day earlier than the rest of us. We on the other hand had one more day birding on the locally famous Lingshan mountain ahead of us…

 

Lingshan is a 2000 meter high mountain that lies about 2.5 hours drive west of Beijing. It is famous among local outdoorsmen for its beautiful scenery and among birders for wintering White-winged Redstart, flocks of Asian Rosyfinches, Pallas’s- and Chinese Beautiful Rosefinches and the occasional Ala Shan Redstart.

 

Lingshan Mountain by Garry Bakker

Lingshan Mountain by Garry Bakker

 

While we drove east towards Lingshan we had a lucky encounter with 8 Japanese Waxwings perched on a wire over the road, this time allowing for excellent photographic opportunities. A nice Bonus!

 

Japanese Waxwings by Garry Bakker

Japanese Waxwings by Garry Bakker

 

Upon arrival at Lingshan we started birding the slopes along the roadside and soon found our first male Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch that is – as the name already suggests – truly a beautiful little bird. To our big surprise we found good numbers Red-throated Thrush; among them a couple of immaculate adult males; for me the best looking thrush of the 11 (!) species we recorded this trip. Another nice surprise was our 12th bunting this trip: Meadow Bunting. Several birds were found alongside Godlewski’s Buntings and allowed for prolonged close-up views.

 

Red-throated Thrush by Garry Bakker

Red-throated Thrush by Garry Bakker

 

Meadow Bunting by Garry Bakker

Meadow Bunting by Garry Bakker

 

We quickly found a couple of White-winged Redstartsstunning black-white-and-red Redstarts the size of a small starling – and after some searching a large flock of Pallas’s Rosefinches alongside several Chinese Beautiful Rosefinches.

 

Pallas's Rosefinches by Garry Bakker

Pallas’s Rosefinches by Garry Bakker

 

White-winged Redstart by Garry Bakker

White-winged Redstart by Garry Bakker

 

Chinese beatiful Rosefinch by Garry Bakker

Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch by Garry Bakker

 

After this early success we drove to the summit where we searched in vain for a flock of Asian Rosy Finches. However we did see two Cinereous Vultures soaring overhead and even better we flushed a covey of 8 Daurian Partridges, a totally unexpected find and a lifer for all of us!

While we were looking for Rosefinches further downhill Bas had one of the encounters of the trip when he heard some birds alarming and to his amazement saw the rare Northeastern-China race of Leopard Cat walking just 20 meters past him; what a lucky bastard!

 

Amur Leopard Cat by Bas van de Meulengraaf

Amur Leopard Cat by Bas van de Meulengraaf

 

Around 3 PM the sun disappeared behind the mountain and it started to get really cold so we decided to head back to Beijing, where we checked in to the Airport Hotel.

We all agreed that Lingshan was a nice change of scenery and an excellent ending to our trip!

 

Species list day 16 (underlined are LIFERS)

 

  1. Daurian Partridge 1 covey
  2. Common Pheasant
  3. Mallard
  4. Grey-headed Woodpecker
  5. Great-spotted Woodpecker
  6. Spotted Dove
  7. Cinereous Vulture 2
  8. Common Kestrel
  9. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  10. Chinese Great Shrike 3
  11. Red-billed Blue Magpie
  12. (Oriental) Magpie
  13. Azure-winged Magpie
  14. Carrion Crow
  15. Large-billed Crow
  16. Red-throated Thrush 40+
  17. White-winged Redstart 5 males 2 females
  18. Eurasian Nuthatch (Sinensis)
  19. Japanese Tit
  20. Songar Tit
  21. Chinese Bulbul
  22. Chinese Hill Babbler common
  23. Tree Sparrow
  24. Japanese Waxwing 8
  25. Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch 10+
  26. Pallas’s Rosefinch 30+
  27. Meadow Bunting 10+
  28. Godlewski’s Bunting

 

Red-throated Thrush by Garry Bakker (2)

Red-throated Thrush by Garry Bakker

 

Pallas's Rosefinch by Garry Bakker

Pallas’s Rosefinch by Garry Bakker

 

Lingshan Mountain by Garry Bakker (2)

Lingshan Mountain by Garry Bakker

 

Happy Birding!

 

 

Arjan Dwarshuis
Arjan Dwarshuis
birding@arjandwarshuis.com