Chinese Urban Winter Birding - February 2013

Published by Jeremy Mark Hurley (hedonistjez AT

Participants: Jeremy Hurley


Public parks, within the bounds of cities and towns, can serve as a very good introduction to the avifauna of their respective countries. The People's Park, ensconced within the busy city of Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, in China, is one notable example.

Nanchang is well placed as a hub from which to visit such well known and lucrative ornithological sites as Guan Shan, Po Yang Hu, and Wu Yuan. However, if one has a few hours or a half day to spare, as I did, then investing the time to explore the People's Park there can be recommended.

I visited the site on two occasions in mid-February 2013 - specifically 16th and 21st, for several hours apiece. The habitat was typical of an urban leisure space, with a maze of paths, interspersed with shrubbery, mature trees and more open zones, including lawns. There was also a sizeable, elongated lake and other smaller areas of water.

On both days, the weather conditions were cold, damp and overcast - uncannily similar to a winter's day in good old Blighty! To compound matters further, the park appeared popular and busy - maybe a result of the ongoing Chinese New Year festivities.

Nevertheless, despite the far from ideal conditions for birding then, the park produced a surprising and varied number of species.

I can find no mention or reference to this locality in any ornithological literature, including Tim Woodward's excellent and still relevant guide, "Birding South-East China" (2006).

The park would certainly warrant further investigation at other times of the year.

Species Lists

Oriental Turtle Dove, 1
Spotted Dove
Asian Azure-winged Magpie, 4
Yellow-bellied Tit, 10
Cinerous Tit
Chinese Bulbul
Vinous-throated Parrotbill, 14
Masked Laughingthrush, 1
Chinese Hwamei, 3
White-browed Laughingthrush
Red-billed Leiothrix, 5
Red-flanked Bluetail, 3
Grey-backed Thrush, 4
Pale Thrush, 1
Red-billed Starling
Grey-capped Greenfinch, 3
Yellow-billed Grosbeak, 25+
White-rumped Munia, 6