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Beidaihe & Happy Island, China
Spring migration on the East Asian Flyway
Now includes most birding excursions and meals!
Client quote “I would go again AND RECOMMEND” K.S May 2012
Beidaihe has earned an enviable reputation among western birders for its consistently exciting spring migration. WildWings have led fifteen tours to this eastern mecca and each one has been outstandingly successful. We have been taking birders there for longer than anyone else, we have the best local contacts and know all the best sites including some we have exclusive access to only.
Despite pressures from development, which are beginning to seriously affect some of the habitats, the volume and variety of migration continues unabated each spring, with dramatic falls of regular Siberian migrants plus rare and unseasonal species, most of which will be in full summer plumage!
The main attraction of Beidaihe is the opportunity to see much-sought-after Siberian and other Far Eastern species in a country where the people, culture and way of life are so different from our own. Add a reasonable price, the sure knowledge that the group will include some top birders from around the UK to help to find the good birds, and it becomes irresistible. Whether you measure it in terms of new species, total number of species, or per mile travelled, the cost represents excellent value for money - a two and a half week trip to the other side of the world, a round trip of some 10,000 miles, and about 240 species of birds.
And those species should include such mouth-watering goodies such Siberian Rubythroats, Siberian Blue Robins, Siberian Thrushes, White's Thrushes, Lanceolated Warblers, Yellow-browed and Meadow Buntings, Asian Brown and Mugimaki Flycatchers, Needletail Swifts, Red-necked and Long-toed Stints, Great Knots, Asian Dowitchers, Little Whimbrels plus Relict and Saunders' Gulls to name but a few.
Although every spring is different, the pattern and timing of migration and the variety of species is consistent, and birds just pour through, day after day. If we have rain and strong winds, then dramatic falls can occur. The numbers of birds involved can be huge, and the spectacle extraordinary.
Each year we turn up something exceptional, from Spoon-billed Sandpiper to Oriental Plover, Fairy Pitta to Grey Bushchat, Blue Whistling Thrush to Blue-fronted Redstart .We've also seen Oriental White Stork, Red-crowned Cranes, Lagger Falcon, Black Baza, Japanese Waxwings, Chestnut-crowned Warblers, Mongolian Larks, Japanese Yellow Bunting, Fujian Niltava, Asian House Martins, Grey-crowned Warbler (a split from Golden Spectacled Warbler), Rufous-faced Warbler, Long-tailed Minivets and Gray’s Grasshopper Warbler. 2011 highlights included two Black-faced Spoonbills, Chinese Egrets, Falcated Duck, male Pied Harrier, Yellow-legged Buttonquail, Koklass Pheasant, Upland Buzzard, Grey Bushchat, Plumbeous Redstart, Blue and White Flycatcher plus a Streaked Reed Warbler. We also enjoyed a record passage of Amur Falcons and 1000+ Great Knot, plus three WildWings ‘firsts’. The 2012 highlights were once again, many and included a mix of the stunning, the elusive, the endangered and the ultra-rare. The trip list of around 250+ species included Black-faced Spoonbills, Yellow, Shrenk’s and Black Bitterns, Chinese Egrets, Harlequin and Falcated Duck, male Pied Harrier, a flock of Asian Dowitchers, Little Whimbrel, Relict and Saunder’s Gulls, Yellow-legged Buttonquail, Grey-crowned Warbler, Blue and White Flycatcher, four Tiger Shrikes, Collared Crow and, monumentally, a Cotton Pygmy-goose, possibly only the third record for north-eastern China. An extremely early Styan’s Grasshopper Warbler was a great bonus for those trudging up and down the Jinshan Field. Add an amazing passage of birds past Lighthouse Point involving thousands of birds on May 11th, one of those very special days this patch of China has to offer on occasion. Four new WildWings ‘firsts’ were added to the ever- growing checklist, including all the ‘usual’ migrants and once again cementing another very memorable birding experience for it’s participants.
The now included birding excursions will include one for Ibisbill and Long-billed Plover, two days of orientation trips on arrival in Beidaihe, a multi-day trip down the coast to the south of Beidaihe to visit several estuaries and isolated woods and we now stay on the legendary Happy Island. We will also spend a night at Old Peak, a forested mountain, we will be looking for such local breeding species as Chinese Leaf Warbler, Chinese Nuthatch, Claudia’s (Blyth’s) Leaf Warbler, Manchurian Bush Warbler, Eastern Rock Bunting, Grey-sided Thrush, Bull-headed Shrike, Yellow-streaked Warbler and if we are fortunate, Koklass Pheasant and White-bellied Redstart.
We stay throughout the trip in comfortable hotels with en suite facilities; we eat really good Chinese food as you have never tasted before; we have first-class ground agents and local guides; and we really enjoy ourselves. Join us for this unrivalled birding bonanza. Come now, while the woods, estuaries, wetlands, islands and headlands are still pulling in the birds.
Please note: This is an intensive birding trip with long days in the field, and a lot of travelling. It is not recommended for anyone with any mobility problems, or for beginners, we recommend that you are familiar with the commoner eastern vagrants. The trip requires a reasonable amount of stamina and offers little to non-birding partners, we will not be visiting any ‘tourist sites’ - its just birds, birds, birds!
Day 1: Afternoon flight from Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester and others to Beijing via Amsterdam or Paris.
Day 2: Arrive Beijing in the morning, transfer by coach to Beidaihe. Into the field!
Days 3-4: Birding around Beidaihe, we will keep the bus for introducing you to the local sites.
Days 5-7: Birding the Beidaihe area.
Days 8-11: Move south to visit estuaries, woods and Happy Island. Stay on Happy Island.
Day 12: Birding the Beidaihe area.
Day 13: Full day excursion for Ibisbill and more.
Day 14: Birding the Beidaihe area.
Days 15-16: Old Peak. Stay overnight.
Days 17-18: Birding the Beidaihe area.
Day 19: Very early bus back to Beijing for flights home, arriving back UK late afternoon/early evening.
NB: Exact itinerary in China subject to local conditions and government permissions.
Dates: 4th – 22nd May 2013
Leaders: Mark Andrews
Cost: £2115 per person sharing a twin
Single supp: £275 per person.
Deposit: £700 per person
Group Size: The maximum number of participants will be 15 plus the leader. The group invariably breaks up into smaller parties and couples/ or singles, so rarely are you birding all together. We encourage this independence in Beidaihe and Happy Island in particular, as we can cover more ground and hopefully find and see more species.
Dates: 3rd– 21st May 2014
Advance register for £50 per person (refundable)
No of bird species: approx. 250+ species.
The flights are based on non-stop London departure, regional airports are also available for this tour but may incur a flight supplement. Please ask for your local airport at the time of booking.
Price includes: Economy class air travel with BA Heathrow to Beijing, prepaid airport taxes and current fuel surcharges, group transfers Beijing to Beidaihe and return, accommodation in Beidaihe on a half board basis in twin rooms with private facilities, accommodation with private facilities and half board at Old Peak and Happy Island (full board), birding excursions as per itinerary, services of WildWings leader, local guides and interpreters, WildWings pre-tour information pack and daily checklist of birds.
Price excludes: Lunches in Beidaihe and Old Peak (allow approx £5 per person per day), drinks, laundry and other items of a personal nature, travel insurance, Visa fees (c£85 for UK passport holders), other transport around Beidaihe eg taxis.