When Ray Tipper told me that he and two Avian Adventures clients were planning to spend the first two weeks of May in China it didn’t take long to persuade me to join them! Their main aim was to be bird photography but for Ray it was also to be a scouting trip with the intention of possibly arranging a tour for 2014.
Red-billed Blue Magpie
The itinerary included six nights at Beidaihe, four nights on Happy Island and excursions to Old Peak to look for Koklass Pheasant and to Qinglong River in the hope of seeing Ibisbill. Beidaihe and Happy Island have long been known as migration hotspots with early to mid May the best time to be there. Clearly there was the possibility of seeing plenty of birds!
For me it was also an opportunity to travel to Asia for the first time, to see the Great Wall of China and maybe to see some of those species that I have previously only read about, the ones that have names beginning with the word Siberian! Just as importantly, there was also the chance of seeing more than a dozen wader species that I hadn’t seen before.
I’ve been back for four days and am now starting to make progress with processing the many photographs taken, a few of which will appear here on the blog over the next couple of weeks or so together with some details of the trip and the birds seen.