White-winged Tern and Terek Sandpiper, Dapeng Bay, August 15th

Highlights:

  • Terek Sandpiper 1
  • Ruddy Turnstone 1
  • Grey-tailed Tattler 5
  • Red-necked Stint 8
  • Common Redshank 10
  • Common Greenshank 12
  • Mongolian Plover 15
  • Kentish Plover 15
  • Pacific Golden Plover 80
  • Black-winged Stilt 8
  • Common Sandpiper 1
  • White-winged Tern 1
  • Whiskered Tern 2
  • Yellow Bittern 1
  • Little Egret c.20

After a week of near-continuous torrential rain and relatively cool temperatures, summer has returned to southern Taiwan with 33C(91F) highs, baking sunshine and high humidity.

Today I set out early for Dapeng Bay, which is around a 50-55 minute drive from my home in north Kaohsiung. Thankfully, despite the abundant recent rainfall, the wader pools in the north-eastern corner of the bay had normal water levels. I spent about two hours watching these pools, and wandering south along the cycle path that borders the eastern edge of the bay.

Eleven shorebird species were seen, showing that autumn migration is well and truly under way. Best among these were a single Terek Sandpiper, a Ruddy Turnstone, five Grey-tailed Tattlers, and higher than usual numbers of Common Redshank and Common Greenshank. A flock of about 80 Pacific Golden Plovers circled the pools for a while; eventually some of them landed on the mud.

A near full summer-plumaged White-winged Tern flew through the area, heading east, and two Whiskered Terns settled on the mud for a time.

Finally, a good post-breeding build-up of Little Egrets will be worth keeping an eye on for Chinese Egret, which I saw here regularly in the spring.

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