Birdwatchers tend to like the rare, the exotic – yet many common birds are exciting as well. This is something most easily realized when traveling – what is common for the locals may be the trip`s highlight for a foreign visitor.
With that in mind, I would like to introduce what might be the 20 most common birds of Shanghai. The first 10 will be shown in this post, and the remaining 10 in a post two weeks later. Today`s species are just the first 10 by alphabetical order. After all, this is not a hit parade.
The Azure-winged Magpie is an East Asian endemic. It spends most of its time in urban parks, generally looking much more stylish than the average Shanghainese park visitor.
Barn Swallows are pretty much anywhere in the world (I just saw them back in Germany). So why shouldn’t they be in Shanghai, at least in summer?
If the Black-crowned Night Heron wasn`t fairly common in Shanghai, I think local bird watchers would plan weekend trips around it. But the way it is, familiarity breeds (relative) contempt. I have seen this bird right at the Bund waterfront, possibly the most famous tourist spot in all of Shanghai.
The Cattle Egret (or Eastern Cattle Egret, to be exact, but that would mess with my alphabetic order) can be seen in farmland around Shanghai. Instead of cattle, it nowadays often follows tractors ploughing the fields and thus stirring up small animals. A thoroughly modern bird.
The Chinese Blackbird was formerly considered to be a subspecies of the Common Blackbird, and does not really look or behave much different.
The Chinese Pond Heron is another attractive bird, particularly in its breeding plumage. It is still reasonably common in those (shrinking) parts of Shanghai where there is water and farmland.
During my last trip to Germany, several people pointed out locations of Common Kingfisher. I was not really that interested though – the species is not difficult to see in Shanghai. It resides in some urban parks, where it is a favorite target of some local bird photographers. So, no, I did not spend time searching for it in Germany.
The Common Moorhen seems to do well in the remaining rice paddies of Shanghai, but sometimes small dirty pools are enough for it to breed here.
A friend of mine once described the Shanghai late afternoon light on a particular day as so good that he would even take photos of Common Sandpiper. That is a bit unfair to this species.
The Crested Myna no longer has a foothold in Vancouver but fortunately is very common in Shanghai. The crest gives it the look of a bird with an attitude.
(to be continued)
I do a loop around the river sincluding the bike trails in Pudong and past the night heron colony about 4 times a week that includes two trips on the ferries. I guesstimate there are literally 1,000s of night herons around huangpu River . There are wild peasants on the Pudong side close to the south end of the bike trails. And did you know there is a bird or prey , possibly a falcon or hawk nesting in Zhongshan park this year?
Blaine, I think the raptors breeding in Zhongshan Park are Crested Goshawk.
Saw a large raptor today in Fengxian district. I’m guessing it had at least a 3 foot (1 Meter) wingspan and was a consistent brown/ dark brown color. It soar with flat wingspan almost no dihedral. Any clue as to what this bird might be? I have a short video on my iPhone but it is zoomed max and not very large in the video.
The bund was very crowded, so I couldn’t see a single bird.(Almost Chinese New Year ?