Dongzhai National Nature Reserve

Allmänt / 2015-02-08 / 13:20:00
I've finally been to the nature reserve!
For three whole days!

I've been helping another student who is studying the Yellow-bellied Tit. He keeps them in cages and makes different feeding experiments of them, recording how they eat mealworms for example.
My responsibility was to check the mist-nets, which were empty most of the time, leaving me loads of time to explore the surrounding area. 

The Reeve's Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevsii) is AMAZING! The second morning I saw a male bird casually making its way away from me, no more than 30 meters from where I stood. It has the longest tail of all the pheasants in the world and it's definitely not difficult to see why it's been persued so intensely for its feathers.
Some other favorites were the White-crowned Forktail (Enicurus leschenaulti), Mountain Bulbul (Ixos mcclellandii) and Speckled Piculet (Picumnus innominatus).

It was nice to finally experience the biotop that I expected to be working in when I first came to China, dense mountain forest with plenty of small streams.

This is the lodge, the beds were nice but the food horrible, so I'm grateful to be living with the Chens after all.

This here is a young Yellow-bellied Tit (Periparus venustulus) male, he's got a nice mix of both juvenile and adult feathers, giving him this cool spangled look.

In addition to the playback we kept a male tit in a cage next to the nets, hoping that he would lure the other birds there. Yesterday the bird was left there from 7:30 in the morning until 17:00 in the afternoon, something that would never happen back home! It's hard for me to come to terms with the ethics over here, the treatment of not only the birds but also the dogs and bunnies...

The second day the student went to Xinyang to buy more mealworms, leaving me alone for the most part if the day. When he came back he had this adorable little bunny with him. He's going to use the excrement to try to figure out whether the tits can smell it or not.
I can't help but to wonder what will happen to the poor creature after it's purpose has been fulfilled...

I didn't catch a lot of birds at all and very few species. There were big mixed flocks of Naumann's (Turdus Naumanni) and Dusky Thrushes (Turdus eunomus), and more than a few hybrids, foraging in the area. This morning I caught three Dusky, including this young female and the young male on the next picture.

Now I'm back in my rock hard bed in the Chen's house, until Thursday when Ed and I go to Beijing for the Spring Festival. I will spend a minimum of 16 days in Beijing! Ed is flying back to England on the 21st and then I have about a week to myself until the next volunteer arrives and we head back here. Exciting times indeed...


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