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- +/-
Cheng Du-9 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 birds.