你好，不好意思，我知道我的报告是英文的。希望你们能理解：如果我贴在英文处(Birdwatching in Shanghai)的话，没有人看它。所以，我贴在这儿。
Hainan, Jan.-Feb. 2013
by Craig Brelsfordwww.craigbrelsford.com
For taxonomy and English names, my first reference is the IOC World Bird List, Version 3.3 (http://www.worldbirdnames.org/ioc-lists/family-index/). For Chinese names, my first reference is中国观鸟年报"中国鸟类名录" 2.2(2012) The CBR Checklist of [the] Birds of China v2.2 (2012).
* heard only
I spent 27 nights on Hainan Island, arriving in Sānyà on 14 Jan. and leaving on 10 Feb. My goal was to create a photographic survey of the birds of Hainan. I am currently writing and serving as chief photographer for a photographic field guide to the birds of China; any good photos I could get on Hainan would be candidates for inclusion in my book. I saw or heard 94 species, about a quarter of the total recorded for the island; 3 of the species are endemic to Hainan and 23 are subspecies endemic to Hainan. I spent most of my time at Jiānfēnglǐng National Forest Park.
-- At Bàwánglǐng, finding and photographing the Hainan silver pheasant by driving slowly at dawn and dusk along the mountain roads
-- At Jiānfēnglǐng, photographing the ratchet-tailed treepie, a species in China found only on Hainan
-- Discovering a flowering tree next to a rooftop at Jiānfēnglǐng and from the vantage point atop the roof observing and photographing many species of bird
-- Watching a greater racket-tailed drongo wait patiently for a greater yellownape to finish drilling. If the yellownape had prey, then the drongo would attempt to snatch it
-- Finding purple swamphens and lesser whistling ducks at Hǎiwěi Wetland
-- Seeing, but never photographing, the Hainan peacock-pheasant; hearing, but never seeing, the Hainan partridge. Both are endemic to Hainan
-- Enjoying the cool nights and warm days at 950 m above sea level at Jiānfēnglǐng
-- Camera: Nikon D3S
-- Lens: Nikon VR 600mm F/4G
-- Binoculars: Swarovski EL 8 x 32
-- In my backpack: Birds of Southeast Asia, by Craig Robson. In my hotel room: A Field Guide to the Birds of China, by John MacKinnon and Karen Phillipps
Mon. 14 Jan. 2013
Shanghai, Sānyà, Jiānfēnglǐng
At 0500 my assistant, Shàng Qún Yīng (尚群英), arrived at my apartment in Shanghai. Our flight for Sānyà took off from Hóngqiáo Airport at 0710. At Sānyà Airport, I rented a Nissan Tiida. I drove west, my destination Jiānfēnglǐng National Forest Park (尖峰岭国家森林公园, Jiānfēnglǐng Guójiā Sēnlín Gōngyuán). Near the entrance to the preserve (at an elev. of about 125 m), I photographed a female brown shrike (红尾伯劳, hóngwěi bóláo, Lanius cristatus, ssp. prob. lucionensis [supercilium indistinct]). At the gate, I found an Asian brown flycatcher (北灰鹟, běihuī wēng, Muscicapa latirostris latirostris) and an Oriental magpie-robin (鹊鸲, quèqú, Copsychus saularis prosthopellus). In the park I stopped at a parking area 750 m above sea level. A bird wave was passing through. Within it were a male and female Blyth's shrike-babbler (红翅䴗鹛, hóngchì júméi, Pteruthius aeralatus ricketti), a white-throated fantail (白喉扇尾鹟, báihóu shànwěiwēng, Rhipidura albicollis celsa), a puff-throated bulbul (白喉冠鹎, báihóu guānbēi, Alophoixus pallidus pallidus, endemic ssp.), and a grey-capped pygmy woodpecker (星头啄木鸟, xīngtóuzhuómùniǎo, Dendrocopos canicapillus swinhoei, endemic ssp.). On a branch 31 m away, just visible through a break in the trees, was a collared owlet (领鸺鹠, lǐng xiūliú, Glaucidium brodiei brodiei). I was able to photograph both the face and the false face on the nape. Driving again, I found grey wagtails (灰鹡鸰, huī jílíng, Motacilla cinerea cinerea) and white-crowned forktails (黑背燕尾, hēibèi yànwěi, Enicurus leschenaulti sinensis). The white-crowned is the only species of forktail on Hainan. We arrived at the resort, elevation 950 m. In the parking lot, I found some very tame puff-throated and mountain bulbuls (绿翅短脚鹎, lǜchì duǎnjiǎobēi, Ixos mcclellandii holtii). In the forest, taking a short walk on the 2-km loop trail, I heard the clear, unmistakable calls of the Hainan partridge* (海南山鹧鸪, hǎinán shānzhègū, Arborophila ardens, endemic sp.). The birds, which judging by their calls were in two groups, were within a few hundred meters of me. I noted the loud, two-note, cuckoo-like call. After night fell, I heard the metallic, two-note whistle of the mountain scops owl* (黄嘴角鸮, huángzuǐ jiǎoxiāo, Otus spilocephalus latouchi).
Tues. 15 Jan. 2013
On the loop trail I photographed a female pale blue flycatcher (纯蓝仙鹟, chúnlán xiānwēng, Cyornis unicolor diaoluoensis, endemic ssp.). At Kōngzhōng Huāyuán (空中花园), a scenic spot on the loop trail, I found two Hainan silver pheasants (白鹇, bái xián, Lophura nycthemera whiteheadi, endemic ssp. of the silver pheasant). I admired the view of Mt. Jiānfēng, elev. 1400 m. Chinese barbets (黑眉拟啄木鸟, hēiméi nǐzhuómùniǎo, Megalaima faber faber, endemic ssp.) were feeding in fruiting trees. Joining them were mountain, puff-throated, and chestnut bulbuls (栗背短脚鹎, lìbèi duǎnjiǎobēi, Hemixos castanonotus castanonotus). Just down the trail from the deck at the scenic area, I found a female red-headed trogon (红头咬鹃, hóngtóu yǎojuān, Harpactes erythrocephalus hainanus, endemic ssp.). I saw a flock of grey-headed parrotbills (灰头鸦雀, huītóu yāquè, Psittiparus gularis hainanus, endemic ssp.). After lunch, a bird wave passed through the resort. Within the wave was a yellow-billed nuthatch (淡紫䴓, dànzǐ shī, Sitta solangiae chienfengensis, endemic ssp.). I found a grey-capped pygmy woodpecker and an olive-backed pipit (树鹨, shù liù, Anthus hodgsoni, ssp. uncertain). Asian palm swifts (棕雨燕, zōng yǔyàn, Cypsiurus balasiensis infumatus) were flying noisily around the parking lot. They are a daily presence here.
Wed. 16 Jan. 2013
As soon as it was light, I walked slowly on the loop trail to Kōngzhōng Huāyuán. I glimpsed the Hainan silver pheasants again. I had a brief encounter with a white-bellied erpornis (白腹凤鹛, báifù fèngméi, Erpornis zantholeuca griseiloris). The Chinese barbets and the three species of bulbul were feeding. I saw one of the better-known Hainan endemics: the Hainan leaf warbler (海南柳莺, hǎinán liǔyīng, Phylloscopus hainanus, endemic sp.). Lemon-yellow and unmistakable (a rare distinction within Phylloscopus), the warbler was making its loud call and working its way through a tree near me. I got my first images ever of a grey-chinned minivet (灰喉山椒鸟, huīhóu shānjiāoniǎo, Pericrocotus solaris griseogularis). In the afternoon, at the resort, I got my first images of a male red-headed trogon. Standing on the roof of one of the chalets, I witnessed an interesting bit of behavior by a greater racket-tailed drongo (大盘尾, dà pánwěi, Dicrurus paradiseus johni, endemic ssp.) The drongo was perched beside a greater yellownape (大黄冠啄木鸟, dà huángguānzhuómùniǎo, Chrysophlegma flavinucha styani). The yellownape was drilling. As soon as it dug out something, the drongo reached in and tried to snatch it. Does not such behavior indicate that the drongo could envision a future event? The drongo must have learned that a drilling woodpecker is likely to dig out something worth stealing. I see training there, learning, not mere instinct.
Thurs. 17 Jan. 2013
Another morning spent along the loop trail. The highlight of the morning was photographing a streak-breasted scimitar babbler (棕颈钩嘴鹛, zōngjǐng gōuzuǐméi, Pomatorhinus ruficollis nigrostellatus, endemic ssp.). I also had a familiar bird, a red-flanked bluetail (红胁蓝尾鸲, hóngxié lánwěiqú, Tarsiger cyanurus). Bluetails are common in wintertime in the city parks of Shanghai; here was a reminder of home. In the afternoon I took a drive. Just down the road from my hotel, I found a loud flock of about 25 sultan tits (冕雀, miǎn què, Melanochlora sultanea flavocristata). I again found streak-breasted scimitar babblers. Olive-backed pipits were feeding in an orchard near Lake Tiānchí, elev. 825 m. I drove about 4 km on the dirt road leading from the lake. I was pleasantly surprised at the considerable amount of forest on the ridges and mountainsides; in places, unbroken forest stretched to the bottom of the valley. There were farms but no rubber plantations. On the way back, I saw a long-tailed shrike (棕背伯劳, zōngbèi bóláo, Lanius schach schach). I made a valiant effort but was unable to photograph a flock of five spot-necked babblers (斑颈穗鹛, bānjǐng suìméi, Stachyris striolata swinhoei, endemic ssp.).
Fri. 18 Jan. 2013
I once again was out at dawn. On the boardwalk I found a red-headed trogon, and, upon arriving at Kōngzhōng Huāyuán, a green-billed malkoha (绿嘴地鹃, lǜzuǐ dìjuān, Phaenicophaeus tristis tristis). The malkoha was foraging at the top of a tall tree. In the gloomy forest near the deck, I found a red-flanked bluetail. By the house-sized rock upon which "鳴鳳谷" (Míngfèng Gǔ) is written in traditional Chinese characters, a bird wave passed by. In it were a white-bellied erpornis, a white-throated fantail, a few Hainan leaf warblers, a pair of grey-chinned minivets, and a Phylloscopus warbler, most likely a yellow-browed warbler (黄眉柳莺, huángméi liǔyīng, Phylloscopus inornatus). An afternoon drive netted little, but I was pleased to meet Xǔ Hán (许涵), a biodiversity researcher at the Jiānfēnglǐng Environmental Observation Station (尖峰岭生态观测站, Jiānfēnglǐng Shēngtài Guāncèzhàn). A bóshì (博士, Ph.D), Hán literally wrote the book on the local environment. (Actually, he co-authored it.) Hán gave me a copy of his book. Hán told me that tigers and elephants have never occurred on Hainan and that the Hainan gibbon no longer occurs at Jiānfēnglǐng.
Sat. 19 Jan. 2013
Walking alone on the loop trail at first light, I heard a wing beating the air. The sound came from a small bird on the ground. I strained to find the bird. Finally I discerned an eyebrowed wren-babbler (纹胸鹪鹛, wénxiōng jiāoméi, Napothera epilepidota hainana, endemic ssp.). The bird was only 3 m from me. This tiny brown bird is a master skulker; it almost never leaves the forest floor. If a breeze is blowing, then it's difficult to know whether the wind just twitched that fallen leaf, or whether the wren-babbler moved it while foraging. I photographed this species in Xishuāngbǎnnà in Yunnan last year, and I therefore spared myself the exertion of photographing it again. I found yet another red-headed trogon near the giant tree. Another bird wave near the Míngfèng Gǔ Rock afforded me views of a pair of grey-chinned minivets, a Hainan leaf warbler, a black-winged cuckooshrike (暗灰鹃䴗, ànhuī juānjú, Coracina melaschistos saturata), and a yellow-browed leaf warbler. I'm basing my ID of the bird as a yellow-browed (and not a two-barred leaf warbler, Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus) on the yellowish-white tips to the secondaries and tertials, visible in my photo. A grey-capped pygmy woodpecker was high in a tree. At Kōngzhōng Huāyuán, I got a fleeting glimpse of a male Hainan blue flycatcher (海南蓝仙鹟, hǎinán lánxiānwēng, Cyornis hainanus). A Chinese barbet was there, as were the bulbuls and the grey-chinned minivets. I had lunch at the little restaurant by Lake Tiānchí. In the lake was a single little grebe (小䴙䴘, xiǎo pìtī, Tachybaptus ruficollis poggei). Along the shore was a Baikal wagtail (白鹡鸰, bái jílíng, Motacilla alba leucopsis, ssp. of white wagtail). After lunch, I was by the research station talking to some of the researchers. As we chatted, a noisy flock of sultan tits flew in. I ran for my camera and grabbed some shots. As I was shooting, I spotted a pair of black-throated laughingthrushes (黑喉噪鹛, hēihóu zàoméi, Dryonastes chinensis monachus, endemic ssp.). There were also a long-tailed shrike and a pair of Chinese bulbuls (白头鹎, báitóu bēi, Pycnonotus sinensis hainanus). Finally, I saw a white-rumped munia (白腰文鸟, báiyāo wénniǎo, Lonchura striata swinhoei).
Sun. 20 Jan. 2013
In the morning, in the parking lot of the resort I found a male scarlet minivet (赤红山椒鸟, chìhóng shānjiāoniǎo, Pericrocotus speciosus fraterculus). At Lake Tiānchí I was able to get good photos of black-throated laughingthrushes. I drove to the old "botanical garden." There, I found a puff-throated bulbul. I returned to Lake Tiānchí, where I found a little grebe, "Baikal" white wagtail, Chinese bulbul, white-rumped munia, Chinese pond heron (池鹭, chílù, Ardeola bacchus), and a female Siberian or Stejneger's stonechat (黑喉石鵖, hēihóu shíjí, Saxicola maurus przewalskii or Saxicola [maurus] stejnegeri).
Mon. 21 Jan. 2013
At dawn I drove down to Lake Tiānchí. I wanted another look at the black-throated laughingthrushes. I didn't see them this time. The stonechat was still there, as were a pair of streak-breasted scimitar babblers. I photographed a plain prinia (褐头鹪莺, hètóu jiāoyīng, Prinia inornata extensicauda). I returned to the resort. Tiānjīn Māma pointed to a female red-headed trogon in a nearby tree. A male was nearby. I found a Hainan leaf warbler, finally getting a satisfactory image of that species. I met Mrs. Huáng, a budding bird photographer from Beijing. Mrs. Huáng and I photographed a male fork-tailed sunbird (叉尾太阳鸟, chāwěi tàiyángniǎo, Aethopyga christinae christinae, endemic ssp.). We walked the boardwalk trail to Kōngzhōng Huāyuán, where we saw the Chinese barbet and the three species of bulbul, once again feeding on the abundant fruit. Somewhere in the trees above, a pale blue flycatcher* was singing. I couldn't see the pale blue, but I ID'd it by comparing the song I was hearing to the almost identical song I'd downloaded from Xeno-Canto and synced over to my iPhone 3GS. After lunch with Mrs. Huáng and her sister, I was walking back to my room. Suddenly I was in the middle of a mixed flock. The biggest ingredient was Huet's fulvettas (黑眉雀鹛, hēiméi quèméi, Alcippe hueti rufescentior, endemic ssp.). There were also puff-throated bulbuls, a pair of male sultan tits, and a yellow-billed nuthatch. An olive-backed pipit jumped onto one of the posts holding up the clotheslines.
Tues. 22 Jan. 2013
At the resort, I climbed onto the rooftop of the employees' dormitory next to a flowering tree; this spot became so productive that I named it the Magic Rooftop. There I met a pair of orange-bellied leafbirds (橙腹叶鹎, chéngfù yèbēi, Chloropsis hardwickii lazulina, endemic ssp.). A Chinese barbet and some mountain bulbuls joined them. A white-bellied erpornis showed up, as did a pair of grey-chinned minivets. The grey-chinned minivets were building a nest in the upper branches of the flowering tree. Scarlet minivets were sticking to the higher parts of the taller trees. A grey-capped pygmy woodpecker was atop one of the tall trees. The chirring of red-headed trogons* was audible from the rooftop. When the sun became too bright, I moved to the picnic table in front of my room. I heard the sweet, cheerful song of a pale blue flycatcher. I knew the bird was somewhere near, but where? I spotted the bird on a low bough of a tree. The song of the flycatcher moved me. He was singing beautifully, softly. The flycatcher was barely opening his bill, and still the music came out. The song welled up from deep inside him. It's an intimate part of him, something he very much believes in . . . I was brunching in the chalet area, admiring the flycatcher and eating at the same time. I was sitting at a little picnic table. I had a front-row seat to Paradise. In Heaven, the weather will be something like Jiānfēnglǐng in January: cool nights, warm days, morning dew, no rain. Later I walked around the resort and saw a fork-tailed sunbird and streak-breasted scimitar babblers.
Wed. 23 Jan. 2013
I was on the Magic Rooftop at first light. Orange-bellied leafbirds were feeding along with mountain bulbuls. A yellow-billed nuthatch flew to a bare tree. I had first views in Hainan of a bronzed drongo (古铜色卷尾, gǔtóngsè juǎnwěi, Dicrurus aeneus aeneus), Japanese white-eye (暗绿绣眼鸟, ànlǜ xiùyǎnniǎo, Zosterops japonicus hainanus, endemic ssp.), and verditer flycatcher (铜蓝鹟, tónglán wēng, Eumyias thalassinus thalassinus), and my first look ever at a mountain imperial pigeon (山皇鸠, shān huángjiū, Ducula badia griseicapilla). After nine nights at Jiānfēnglǐng, I headed to Bàwánglǐng.
Thurs. 24 Jan. 2013
At the hotel in Bàwánglǐng Zhèn (Town), I had my first look ever at an ashy woodswallow (灰燕䴗, huī yànjú, Artamus fuscus). Driving up to Bàwánglǐng National Forest Park, I saw bronzed drongos. Around the "haunted house" (an abandoned building near Kilometer 23), I saw a flock of perhaps 20 Chinese bulbuls, mountain and puff-throated bulbuls, a green-billed malkoha, white-throated fantails, Huet's fulvettas, olive-backed pipits, and a grey wagtail. My assistant and I took a walk up the road. We found two grey-chinned minivets and a mixed flock containing Huet's fulvettas, a white-throated fantail, and a rufous-faced warbler (棕脸鹟莺, zōngliǎn wēngyīng, Abroscopus albogularis fulvifacies). Back at the haunted house, I found another big flock of Huet's fulvettas, a yellow-browed warbler, a fork-tailed sunbird, and two black bulbuls (黑短脚鹎, hēi duǎnjiǎobēi, Hypsipetes leucocephalus perniger, endemic ssp.). Bàwánglǐng is a good preserve, but access to the topmost area is restricted; I was allowed to go to the area around the haunted house today only; afterward, the manager said, I would need a permit from the authorities in Hǎikǒu.
Fri. 25 Jan. 2013
Food poisoning. No birding today.
Sat. 26 Jan. 2013
I was still weak but managed to bird for a few hours. On the road heading up the mountain at Bàwánglǐng, at about 1000 m above sea level, I saw two raptors: a perching crested goshawk (凤头鹰, fèngtóu yīng, Accipiter trivirgatus indicus) and a soaring crested honey buzzard (凤头蜂鹰, fèngtóu fēngyīng, Pernis ptilorhynchus orientalis). I saw both birds on the main road leading into Bàwánglǐng. Near Bàwánglǐng Town, I found a spotted dove (珠颈斑鸠, zhūjǐng bānjiū, Spilopelia chinensis chinensis). Other birds: Huet's fulvetta, chestnut bulbul, and white-throated fantail.
Sun. 27 Jan. 2013
Today was Hainan silver pheasant day. We saw our first pair by Dong Yi. Then at dusk we saw another. The view at dusk came about this way: As the afternoon light began to fade, I said to my assistant, "Let's not quit just yet. Let's drive up the mountain a ways. Maybe a silver pheasant will cross the road." We drove up the hill. Five minutes later, a silver pheasant crossed the road. It felt good to guess correctly. Also by Dong Yi, we found a flock of large woodshrikes (钩嘴林䴗, gōuzuǐ línjú, Tephrodornis virgatus hainanus). Woodshrikes resemble shrikes but are not closely related to them; they are easily distinguished from shrikes by their flocking behavior and preference for forests.
Mon. 28 Jan. 2013
Early this morning at Bàwánglǐng, I once again found Hainan silver pheasants along the side of the road. This time, there were four: three males and a female. The female and two of the males flew across the road. The third male stayed on the ground long enough to allow a photo. I had about four seconds to record an image. In that time, I had to stop the car, reach over to the foot of the passenger seat for my camera, stick it through my open window, set it on the rear-view mirror, and shoot. One mistake and the bird would have gotten away. What a thrill it was to get the process right and come home with a winner. Further uphill I saw, feeding on the road, a common emerald dove (绿翅金鸠, lǜchì jīnjiū, Chalcophaps indica indica). Also saw mixed flock containing Huet's fulvettas and white-bellied erpornis. On the road leading to Dong Yi, I found a Eurasian woodcock (丘鹬, qiū yù, Scolopax rusticola). The woodcock was sitting motionless on the pavement. It looked like any of the leaves lying here and there on the road; the difference was that this leaf had a long bill. At the large cleared-out area around Dong Yi, I had male and female Oriental magpie-robins, olive-backed pipits, grey wagtails, Siberian or Stejneger's stonechat, long-tailed shrikes, and cinereous great tits (苍背大山雀, cāngbèi dàshānquè, Parus cinereus hainanus, endemic ssp.). Driving slowly on the forest road, we found streak-breasted scimitar babblers. We left Bàwánglǐng and drove to the coast. Our destination: Chāngjiāng Xiàn Hǎiwěi Shīdì Gōngyuán (昌江县海尾湿地公园). English: Hǎiwěi Wetland. I was looking for the purple swamphen (紫水鸡, zǐ shuǐjī, Porphyrio porphyria poliocephalus) and lesser whistling duck (栗树鸭, lì shùyā, Dendrocygna javanica). I found both species inside the park. Before entering the park, I photographed a black drongo (黑卷尾, hēi juǎnwěi, Dicrurus macrocercus cathoecus), eastern cattle egrets (牛背鹭, niúbèi lù, Bulbulcus coromandus), a common kestrel (红隼, hóng sǔn, Falco tinnunculus interstinctus), and a Chinese sparrowhawk (赤腹鹰, chìfù yīng, Accipiter soloensis). Inside: little grebe, spotted dove, cinereous great tit, Chinese bulbul, common moorhen (黑水鸡, hēi shuǐjī, Gallinula chloropus chloropus), grey heron (苍鹭, cāng lù, Ardea cinerea), little egret (白鹭, báilù, Egretta garzetta garzetta), great egret (大白鹭, dàbáilù, Ardea alba), black-crowned night heron (夜鹭, yè lù, Nycticorax nycticorax nycticorax), black-capped kingfisher (蓝翡翠, lán fěicuì, Halcyon pileata), pied kingfisher (斑鱼狗, bān yúgǒu, Ceryle rudis insignis), white-throated kingfisher (白胸翡翠, báixiōng fěicuì, Halcyon smyrnensis fokiensis), and olive-backed sunbird (黄腹花蜜鸟, huángfù huāmìniǎo, Cinnyris jugularis rhizophorae).
Tues. 29 Jan. 2013
Still at Hǎiwěi Wetland. New Hǎiwěi species: Siberian/Stejneger's stonechats, plain prinias, eastern marsh harrier (白腹鹞, báifù yào, Circus spilonotus), pheasant-tailed jacana (水雉, shuǐ zhì, Hydrophasianus chirurgus), purple heron (草鹭, cǎo lù, Ardea purpurea manilensis), and Richard's pipit (田鹨, tián liù, Anthus richardi).
Wed. 30 Jan. 2013
Spent day resting at Qióngzhōng. No birding.
Thu. 31 Jan. 2013
At Ātuólǐng I photographed a rufous-capped babbler (红头穗鹛, hóngtóu suìméi, Stachyris ruficeps goodsoni, endemic ssp.). Also got a nice shot of a Hainan leaf warbler, and I found a Huet's fulvetta. I'm near Mt. Five Fingers (五指山, wǔzhǐshān). Elev. at Ātuólǐng: about 925 m.
Fri. 1 Feb. 2013
On the road leading up to the television tower at Ātuólǐng, I photographed a male white-throated rock thrush (白喉矶鸫, báihóu jīdōng, Monticola gularis) and a Pallas's leaf warbler (黄腰柳莺, huángyāoliǔyīng, Phylloscopus proregulus). Other birds: common emerald dove, Chinese barbet*, black bulbul, white-bellied erpornis, Huet's fulvetta, rufous-capped babbler, and white-crowned forktail. On the road to Máoyáng (毛阳), I snapped a photo of a male red-bellied rock thrush (蓝矶鸫, lán jīdōng, Monticola solitarius philippensis, ssp. of blue rock thrush). Grey wagtails were numerous along the side of the road. Oriental magpie-robins were common near villages. After a long drive, I arrived back at Jiānfēnglǐng.
Sat. 2 Feb. 2013
Once again heard, but still have yet to see, the Hainan partridge*. Morning on Magic Rooftop: Chinese barbet, a greater racket-tailed drongo flying gracefully by, scarlet minivets, verditer flycatcher, sultan tit, yellow-billed nuthatch, Hainan leaf warbler, grey-chinned minivet, Japanese white-eyes, red-headed trogon*, white-bellied erpornis, ever-present white-crowned forktail, mountain and puff-throated bulbuls, and fire-breasted flowerpecker (红胸啄花鸟, hóngxiōng zhuóhuāniǎo, Dicaeum ignipectus ignipectus). The mountain bulbuls are no longer interested in the flowers on the tree next to the Magic Rooftop.
Sun. 3 Feb. 2013
At long last, I've bagged a spot-necked babbler, yet another subspecies endemic to Hainan. Yesterday afternoon, I took a long, slow drive up the hill, putt-putting in my Nissan, half-looking for pheasants, half-looking for babblers. Then, I heard calls that sounded like fulvettas', but weren't quite the same. My Swarovski 8 x 32 binoculars pulled in the image from the dim forest: spot-neckeds! A long wait last night produced no images but confirmed that I'd found the place. Then the early run this morning; I saw the spot-neckeds within a minute of arriving at the spot. They darted into the gloom, but I was confident that they'd be back. Sure enough, they were back, and I got my first set. Fair-to-middlin' shots; I wanted more. Another disappearance, another long wait, and then, once again, paydirt. I hung in and fought the battle. I stood in the leech-infested forest; I held out for the spot-necked babblers. I was totally focused. Highwaymen, grim Hainan mountain highwaymen, could come to rob me, and I'd say, "Can you hold off on robbin' me a minute? I'm in the middle of shooting the Hainanese subspecies of the spot-necked babbler." "Oh, well, in that case ... " they'd say respectfully, backing off. In the afternoon I went back to the spot and got best-evers of that species. Some of my shots were taken at ISO 12800, and they turned out good. Just before shooting the spot-necked babblers, I got my first-ever views and images of a dusky fulvetta (褐顶雀鹛, hèdǐng quèméi, Alcippe brunnea arguta, endemic ssp.).
Mon. 4 Feb. 2013
Finally, finally, finally! I've photographed the ratchet-tailed treepie (塔尾树鹊, tǎwěi shùquè, Temnurus temnurus). I was on the Magic Rooftop. A pair passed through quickly, using only the crowns of the trees. Within minutes they were gone. Leaving the Magic Rooftop, I found a male red-headed trogon on the wall separating the resort from the military property next door. In the afternoon, on another rooftop (that of the highest building at the resort), I heard a collared owlet calling. Other birds: sultan tit, white-bellied erpornis, and grey-chinned and scarlet minivet. I got my best-ever images of a pale blue flycatcher. Spot-necked babblers made their characteristic calls, then, just as it was getting dark, very fleetingly appeared. I got full-body images of a black-throated laughingthrush.
Tues. 5 Feb. 2013
Although I saw no new species today, it was an exciting day photographically; I achieved memorable shots of a male Hainan blue flycatcher and a female fork-tailed sunbird. I got those images in the garden of a hotel near Lake Tiānchí. In the morning, I was on the Magic Rooftop at the resort. Birds were plentiful. The most interesting bird was a rufous-faced warbler, which I recorded for the first time at Jiānfēnglǐng.
Wed. 6 Feb. 2013
At long last, I've seen a Hainan peacock-pheasant (海南孔雀雉, hǎinán kǒngquèzhì, endemic sp.). I was on the boardwalk trail at the resort. At about 0830 I came upon the bird. It was a female, apparently alone. I noted its smallness (it's noticeably smaller than the female silver pheasant) and the lack of bare red facial skin. I observed its long tail. There was no chance for a photograph. The peacock-pheasant slipped into the undergrowth. Soon after, tourists started arriving. There were Huet's fulvettas near the spot where I saw the peacock-pheasant. A pair of streak-breasted scimitar babblers have made a nest. Later in the morning, there arrived a very loud mixed flock containing three greater racket-tailed drongos, two ratchet-tailed treepies, and a flock of five lesser necklaced laughingthrushes (小黑领噪鹛, xiǎo hēilǐng zàoméi, Garrulax monileger schmackeri). I photographed a lesser yellownape (黄冠啄木鸟, huángguānzhuómùniǎo, Picus chlorolophus longipennis, endemic ssp.). In the afternoon around Lake Tiānchí, I saw a single Chinese blackbird (乌鸫, wū dōng, Turdus merula mandarinus, ssp. of common blackbird). The female fork-tailed sunbird was still there, as was the male Hainan blue flycatcher. Japanese white-eyes and a chestnut bulbul appeared.
Thu. 7 Feb. 2013
I spent the morning in the forest around the resort. I watched the nesting scimitar babblers again and saw red-headed trogons and dusky fulvettas. Later, a large mixed flock arrived. In it were two ratchet-tailed treepies, three greater racket-tailed drongos, seven large woodshrikes, three sultan tits, a pair of grey-chinned minivets, and three rufous-cheeked laughingthrushes (栗颊噪鹛, lìjiá zàoméi, Garrulax castanotis castanotis, endemic ssp.). I was able only to get a blurry image of the rufous-cheeked, a disappointment. Still, it's a useful record shot; the orange patch is discernible.
Fri. 8 Feb. 2013
I once again was in the forest at first light. A collared owlet* was hooting and Hainan partridges* were calling. I found two puff-throated bulbuls and got a best-ever photo of spot-necked babblers. Streak-breasted scimitar babblers were once again conspicuous. A single male fork-tailed sunbird was using a flowering tree in the forest. I saw a ratchet-tailed treepie. In the afternoon, I hardly needed to walk at all: just outside my room I found greater racket-tailed drongos, yellow-billed nuthatches, and a red-headed trogon. Because Hainan is the northern tropics, there is some approximation of seasons; it's now "springtime" down here, and birds are beginning to want to mate. In recent days I've seen yellow-billed nuthatches constructing a nest, I've seen streak-breasted scimitar babblers at their nest, and I've heard pale blue flycatchers singing throughout the day (and especially at sunrise and sunset). Today I was thrilled to see Asian palm swifts making nests in the thatched roof of the open-air restaurant at the resort. It's thrilling to see these birds fly into the restaurant at blinding speed then with incredible precision disappear into the roof. The roof is thatched with palm fronds, just the material these swifts need for nesting.
Sat. 9 Feb. 2013
Today is Chúxī, Chinese New Year's Eve. This is my last full day on Hainan. This trip has been a culmination; a culmination of a lifetime as a nature lover, of five years learning to be a photographer, of eight years studying birds, and of five years studying Chinese. The weather has been nearly perfect; I've lost not a single hour to rain. Along the coast and at the lower elevations, the weather was too warm for me, but at the higher elevations such as Jiānfēnglǐng, the weather has been fine. Yes, it's tough photographing birds in a rain forest. Dim light, birds hidden in the thick vegetation, birds lost in the high canopy: I've long since accepted the limitations. Every day involves hours of fruitless searching and waiting. But every day I manage to come up with one, two, or more compelling images. As Shijin put it in a text message to me, "[T]he difficulty [of birding in a rain forest] makes the reward that much sweeter when it eventually arrives." Today, once again, I was in the forest at first light. Almost immediately, a flock of rufous-cheeked laughingthrushes flew through. Later on, I found, high in the canopy, a single common green magpie (蓝绿鹊, lán lǜquè, Cissa chinensis chinensis). I saw a green-billed malkoha and once again a ratchet-tailed treepie. I got my best-ever shot of an eyebrowed wren-babbler. The wren-babbler jumped onto the edge of the boardwalk, a most impressive sight, as it's rare to see these birds clear of leaves and twigs. Two eyebroweds were together, and earlier today I'd seen other eyebroweds singing. Chinese barbets* and spot-necked babblers* were noisy but remained unseen. I saw Huet's fulvettas and an eastern crowned warbler (冕柳莺, miǎn liǔyīng, Phylloscopus coronatus). Why eastern crowned? No other Phylloscopus warbler has my bird's combination of single wingbar (faint here), elongate shape, long bill, long supercilium (almost meeting on nape), and yellowish undertail coverts. I know that in MacKinnon as well as the Handbook to the Birds of the World the eastern crowned warbler is not listed as occurring on Hainan. But note that a few days before I took this photo, a Chinese birding friend of mine got clear images of a scaly thrush (Zoothera dauma) near Míngfèng Gǔ Rock on the boardwalk trail. I looked in MacKinnon; no scaly on Hainan. I looked in the Handbook to the Birds of the World; no scaly on Hainan. So clearly, the books aren't infallible.
Sun. 10 Feb. 2013
Jiānfēnglǐng, Sānyà, Shanghai
Heard the calls of the spot-necked babbler: first, the clear, three-note whistle, then the whinnying call. A spot-necked appeared, making a third sound, a snort. Saw dusky fulvettas. Left forest and walked the grounds of the resort. Quiet. I made a final climb up to the Magic Rooftop and saw no new species. A small mixed flock flew into the trees; the rufous-faced warblers were agitated, singing constantly, and I saw a white-bellied erpornis. The flowers of the tree beside the rooftop were no longer attractive to the orange-bellied leafbirds. Mrs. Shàng and I drove to Sānyà Airport without incident. Our plane was delayed for more than three hours because of Spring Festival traffic. I arrived in Shanghai in the wee hours of Monday morning.