Thursday, 16 May 2013

CHINA - Day 6 - Nanhe River, Chengdu

Night Heron
Today we arrived early after our 3-hour flight from Nanning to Chengdu. After a short bus ride from the airport we checked in to the hostel we had chosen. Nat was meeting his friend at the university so I decided to walk the length of the river and see what I could find. I also wanted a look at Dufu Thatched Cottage as a matter of interest. The river I followed was called the Nanhe River and basically splits the city into two halves.

Along the banks of the river there were various little copses and areas of scrub which were the places I concentrated on. The river is as with all Chinese rivers concreted in with no visible mud at the edges so you can imagine my surprise when a Temminck's Stint came flying downstream!

Nanhe River - Chengdu

Nanhe River - Chengdu
I also encountered my first Black-throated Tit's here and these quickly became one of my favourite birds to date. They were beautifully marked and had real little characters however they were sooo active and almost impossible to photograph.

Black-throated Tit
My next stop was next to a bridge as I saw a bird drop out of a bankside willow and land on a rock. I watched the bird as it bobbed and flicked its tail. I quickly realised it was a female Plumbeous Water Redstart and picked up the camera to take a few pictures. As I was doing so the bird dipped down on to the rock and came up with a huge grub. I thought it was pretty impressive at the time and carried on walking. When I got home that evening I looked back through the pictures from the day and realised the bird had actually landed on a dead Pig!!!! If you look closely you can see the hairs on the carcass and it had actually just pulled a huge maggot out of the rotting pig! This could only happen in China...delightful!

Plumbeous Water Redstart
I then carried on to Dufu's Thatched Cottage and to be honest it was pretty underwhelming but still saw a few other birds. Below are several photo's of the grounds where Dufu wrote his inspirational poetry. The best bird I saw in the cottage grounds was a single White-tailed Leaf Warbler.

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