Guangzhou Birds

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Sun Yat-Sen University

After working on the Maoming gator, I took a stroll through a boardwalk in some of the woods on the Sun Yat-sen University campus. There were birds calling around me, but they were partially drowned out by the cicadas. They were loud. Really loud. And at eye/ear level. Also, they sing with their butts.

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Cicada

When the birds weren’t drowned out, many of them were invisible because they were in the thick, tropical canopy. There weren’t many species of birds here (not that I saw, anyways, and it takes more time to learn to ID calls), but most of them were new to me. It was a pretty campus, just too hot and muggy. I swear the water I drank in Guangzhou skipped my digestive system entirely and just went straight out my pores.

Red-whiskered Bulbul. They were common here and have a pretty song.

Red-whiskered Bulbul. They were common here and have a pretty song.

White-rumped Munia

White-rumped Munia

Yingzhou Ecological Park

I finished working the first day and had another full day in Guangzhou, so one of the hostel workers and I went to Yingzhou Park on the other side of the river island I was staying on. Google Maps called it an Ecological Park, but it was…odd. I’m not sure what kind of park it should be called. It was a mix of nature walk, tiny zoo, and semi-abandoned kiddy park.

There was a shallow enclosure full of crabs.

There was a shallow enclosure full of a local type of crab.

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Plus a random crawdad in a pipe

Plus a random crawdad in a pipe

And a frog

And a frog

Out of nowhere, we came on this dinky dinosaur park with a kiddy train around it. This is a depiction of the famous Tenontosaurus & Deinonychus bone bed. Supposedly the herbivore was being attacked by a pack of the raptors. Originally, that was only said based on association (which could be a taphonomic artifact). I don't know if it's been re-examined to confirm that that's actually the case.

Out of nowhere, we came upon this dinky dinosaur park with a kiddy train around it. This is a depiction of the famous Tenontosaurus & Deinonychus bone bed. Supposedly the herbivore was being attacked by a pack of the raptors. Originally, that was assumed based on association (which could be a taphonomic artifact). I don’t know if it’s been re-examined to confirm if that’s actually the case. This was also the find that originally put forth the idea of dinosaurs as pack hunters (but, again, association in death does not necessarily equal association in life).

Bleahhhh!

Bleahhhh!

Next door to it was a continuation of the same habitat, but people had built little houses in there and looked like they were mostly living off the land and their chickens, though there were trash piles full of things like plastic bottles at the entrance. One couple we ran into was gathering some sort of root for stomachaches

I don't remember the name now

I don’t remember the name anymore

There were lots of butterflies in the area. I don't know what species any of them are.

There were lots of butterflies in the area. I don’t know what species any of them are.

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Butterflies are much easier to photograph than birds.

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Lots of flowers, too

Lots of flowers, too

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Hibiscus makes a tasty tisane

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Water hyacinth: not only invasive in North America

IMG_3576 IMG_3556 IMG_3566IMG_3570The park was quite pretty. There was a huge variety of plants and animals. And I finally saw an Asian Stubtail Warbler! I’ve been wanting to see one since I first saw a picture in the Thailand bird books on the way there in January. They’re a type of Old World warbler with a stubby little tail—very cute. It ran away before I could snap a photo, unfortunately. At another point, we had stopped to take a break on a bench in the shade when the sky above us was suddenly filled with swallows and martins started flying through the sky above our heads catching bugs. And I saw a White-breasted Waterhen! It also ran away and hid before I could take a picture; they’re quite shy. Lots of Japanese White-eyes flitting about (see the featured image). They’re tiny little things. About the size of the kinglets you see in the US.

Long-tailed Shrike. They're very noisy. Kind of sound like a parrot. Shrikes are fun birds because they skewer the birds they eat on sticks and barbed wire fences to eat later. Kind of like leopards stashing their prey in trees.

Long-tailed Shrike. They’re very common and noisy. Kind of sound like a parrot. Shrikes are fun birds because they skewer their prey on sticks and barbed wire fences to eat later. Kind of like leopards stashing their prey in trees.

Sooty Bulbul

Sooty Bulbul

On our way back, we stopped by her college campus near the hostel, which had a few common Tailorbirds in the trees. They were everywhere in Thailand in January.

List

Twenty birds here. A low number because of limited time and my location in the city center. But 12 of them were lifers. Not a bad run all things considered.

  1. Common Blackbird
  2. *Red-whiskered Bulbul
  3. Chinese Bulbul
  4. *Japanese White-eye
  5. Oriental Magpie-Robin
  6. *Japanese Paradise Flycatcher
  7. *White-rumped Munia
  8. *Alström’s Warbler
  9. *Long-tailed Shrike
  10. *Sooty Bulbul
  11. Barn Swallow
  12. Red-breasted Swallow
  13. *Asian House Martin
  14. Eastern Great Tit
  15. *White-breasted Waterhen
  16. *Asian Stubtail Warbler
  17. *Oriental Reed Warbler
  18. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
  19. *Greenish Warbler–This one wasn’t on the avibase list for Guangdong, but I don’t know of other green warblers that make a “too-wee” sound like the Northern Cardinal of North America.
  20. Common Tailorbird

//

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