Mongolian Gull and Common Pochard, West Coast Wetlands, November 11th

Complete list (63 species):

  • Eurasian Wigeon 100s
  • Northern Shoveler 1000
  • Northern Pintail 100s
  • Garganey 3 (2 Cheting, 1 Budai)
  • Eurasian Teal 100s
  • Common Pochard 27 (7 Cheting, 20 Budai)
  • Tufted Duck 70 (20 Cheting, 50 Budai)
  • Little Grebe
  • Sacred Ibis
  • Black-faced Spoonbill 400+ (54 Cheting, 300 Qigu, 25 Budai)
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • Eastern Cattle Egret
  • Grey Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Little Egret
  • Great Cormorant 2
  • Peregrine 1 (Qigu)
  • Osprey 2 (Budai)
  • Black-shouldered Kite 1 (Qigu)
  • Common Moorhen
  • Common Coot
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Pied Avocet 2 (Budai)
  • Pacific Golden Plover
  • Grey Plover
  • Kentish Plover
  • Bar-tailed Godwit 5 (Qigu)
  • Eurasian Curlew
  • Common Redshank
  • Common Greenshank
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Common Sandpiper 1 (Qigu)
  • Dunlin
  • Red-necked Stint
  • Mongolian Gull 1 (Budai)
  • Black-headed Gull 1 (Budai)
  • Caspian Tern 100s
  • Little Tern
  • Whiskered Tern
  • Feral Pigeon
  • Red Collared Dove
  • Spotted Dove
  • Common Kingfisher
  • Grey-capped Woodpecker
  • Brown Shrike
  • Black Drongo
  • Common Magpie
  • Grey Treepie
  • Grey-throated Martin
  • Barn Swallow
  • Pacific Swallow
  • Striated Swallow
  • Plain Prinia
  • Chinese Bulbul
  • Japanese White-eye
  • Common Myna
  • Javan Myna
  • Oriental Magpie-Robin
  • Daurian Redstart 1 male (Budai)
  • Tree Sparrow
  • Scaly-breasted Munia
  • Eastern Yellow Wagtail
  • Richard’s Pipit 1 (Qigu)

A few hours on the west coast, from Cheting to Budai, showed that autumn migration is all but over, and winter birds are back in good numbers.

Ducks were much in evidence from the viewing tower at Cheting, including most notably seven Common Pochard on the right hand lake. This is a scarce winter visitor to Taiwan. Also here, 54 Black-faced Spoonbills, two Garganey, and high numbers of Sacred Ibis.

Qigu coastal forest was deserted by birds and birders, with no migrants seen there at all. Resident birds in evidence today included Oriental Magpie-Robin, Grey-capped Woodpecker, and a beautiful Peregrine soaring overhead. On the nearby Qigu reserve, thousands of waders on the mud were mostly too far away to identify, but Dunlins made up the overwhelming majority of the closer birds. Distant Eurasian Curlews and five Bar-tailed Godwits were seen. At least 300 Black-faced Spoonbills huddled together, with 150 resting Caspian Terns nearby. A Black-shouldered Kite drifted through, and there was a lone Richard’s Pipit on the embankment.

The Budai area was teeming with birds, with the best place being the complex of pools to the south of the road at Km 134.5 on Highway 17. Thousands of ducks included a further 20 Common Pochard – evidence of an unusual influx so far this winter? I added another Taiwan tick here – an adult Mongolian Gull – and a Black-headed Gull also flew through the area.

Taiwan ticks: Common Pochard, Mongolian Gull (total 263).

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