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Wood Warbler at Yangkou,Rudong- 20th September,2008

by Li Jing,Zhang Lin etc




A high tide at Yangkou on 20th Sep provided very good chance for watching waders including Spoon-billed Sandpiper which arrived there in mid-August in full breeding plumage.We started driving from Shanghai early in the morning,and arrived around ten o'clock.After a quick lunch in the town,we were prepared to go down to the mudflat.But the weather was becoming worse and worse,then heavy rain and thunderstorm came!Nothing to do in the restaurant,we decided to stay in our car on the seawall,hoping the rain to stop soon.Here and there on the mudflat,lightnings were hitting the ground.Wow!What a wonderful while horrible view!

Wood Warbler

Wood Warbler,photo by Wei Ming


We talked about jokingly how it felt to be hit by the lightning when birding there.Gradually it went better.Rain stopped.We dressed up,ready to go.Just at this moment,an ambulance rushed into us.A tractor came back from the mudflat,taking many fishermen,including one lying there,moaning.A terrible hurt came down his breast!He was hit by the lightning!Lucky that he was still alive!
After the ambulance's leaving,we retreated to the woodlands nearby,waiting for the sky's being clearer. There seemed to be not many birds active,which gave us a good chance to look at every one carefully.Among some Arctic and Eastern Crowned Warblers,a White-eye-like warbler attracted Li Jing.It was not like any common warbler we often saw here.It behaved well,just 5 to 10 meters from us.Wei Ming tried to take some photos of it.After some discussions,we believed it to be a vagrant Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix.

a large warbler,with large bill,as Arctic and Eastern Crowned,
bright yellow supercilium and throat,
silky white breast and belly,
bright green upperpart,
short tail,
very long primary projection,
although the yellow tinge on vent didn't fit well with our Collin's guide.

When we believed it to be really safe to go to the mudflat,the tide had already went down far away.The waders were too spreaded .We only found one Spoon-billed Sandpiper.
The next morning the sky was quite clear.We came back to the woods,trying to find the Wood Warbler again and take some better photos.But there were hundreds of warblers and flycatchers,plus many other passages!We finally failed.

There are very few records of Wood Warbler in China,only coming from the Altai Mountains in North Xinjiang,Northwest China.This one is probably the first in East China.







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