Date: 9/23/19 1:01 pm
From: Kevin Smith <kevinsmithnaturephotos...>
Subject: [obol] Birding in China
Birding in CHINA

Please, let me say this about that.We were in China for eleven days (or
was it ten? What with the international date-line and all) and went to
five cities:Populations

Beijing-30 million- +/-

X’ian-25-30 million

Cheng Du-9 million

Shanghai-30 million

Suzhou-maybe 9 million-sleepy little fishing town, 10 years ago,
according to our guide

Now, what I need to say about THAT.In all these cities we saw a total of
MAYBE 27 species of birds!The MAIN thing I observed was that there are
hardly ANY birds at ALL.Of course we were on a tour of CITIES, not a
birding tour.Now, I have been told that Chairman Mao once directed all
citizens to kill birds as they were eating the seeds produced by
them.True or not there was a decided lack of birds anywhere we went.The
most species we counted was at the Panda Center just outside of Cheng Du
which is located in a ‘dense’ forest.Makes sense.They were also the most
timed of birds.Only the Tree Sparrow and Magpie showed themselves regularly.

I had a most disappointing trip from the standpoint that my camera
decided to quit operating on auto-focus so most of my photos are ever so
slightly out of focus (generally speaking) making it hard to get bird
identifications.Life’s a ***** and then you die.

Thankfully I was able to borrow a ‘Field Guide to the Birds of China’
which has helped greatly.Now, if I can just match my ‘ever so slightly
out of focus’ photos with the sharp depictions in the book---

All in all a wonderful trip with Kei’s two sisters (birding
excepted).12,350 miles, LOTS of good food, great company, a real
eye-opener into China, first-class accommodations, almost total lack of


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