Sunday, 1 May 2016

All stop in Qi Gu

I used to love spending the weekend in Qi Gu, as two days flogging the various coastal woodlots there would invariably produce something (even in the dead of winter). Nowadays, with the woodlots almost completely eroded and the place filled with garbage, it's no longer the pleasure that it once was. The biodiversity also seems to have crashed, with long periods of nothing in the woodlots which never used to occur. It came as no real surprise to me, then, that the decision to spend the weekend there this time round would prove to be a bad one. The woodlots held little more than a few Grey-streaked Flycatchers Muscicapa griseisticta on Saturday, and most of these had gone by Sunday. Area B had an elusive Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus, little compensation for a disappointing seawatch which added only Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana to my year list. There were plenty of egrets on the move, though, principally Cattle Egrets Bubulcus ibis, and the occasional Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes could also be picked out flying past.

The drive home produced the best bird of the weekend, a summer-plumaged Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus, on what was the only flooded field to remain in the area after what seems like quite a lot of rain in recent weeks. This bird proved surprisingly approachable, and I was able to manage some reasonable shots, even with only a small lens.

So this weekend represents something of a 'doldrums' in terms of the migration, as the woodlots should be stiff with cuckoos by now and there really should have been a lot more moving offshore. There's still time for things to pick up a bit though, which hopefully will happen sooner rather than later. Above photos taken in Qi Gu, Tainan County 1/51/16.

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