Hainan, China September - 27th September - 5th October 2003

Published by Surfbirds Admin (surfbirds AT surfbirds.com)


by Björn Anderson


This trip was a combination of a business and vacation trip, but of course the inevitable birding sessions was an important, although too limited, ingredient. The first two days was spent at a conference in Sanya and late the second day, my family arrived from Beijing and we then spent the rest of the week in or around Sanya. On one day I had the opportunity to accompany a local birder on a full day trip to Jianfengling Nature Reserve. Another morning was spent on my own in Bai Shui Ling Nature Reserve.


Hainan Leaf-Warbler, Yellow-billed Nuthatch and Rufous-cheeked Laughingthrush were the highlights of the trip. Unfortunately two of the high-quality endemics (Grey "Hainan" Peacock-Pheasant and Hainan Wood-Partridge) did not perform, probably due to my visit was during the wrong season.


27-28/9 Two full days a conference activities, but still managed to get a lifer from the balcony; White-shouldered Starling. Stayed at Holiday Inn at Yalong Bay.

30/9 Early start at 5.00 for Jianfengling Nature Reserve together with local ornithologist Liang Wei. Thanks to the expressway it took only two hours to reach the Nature Reserve. We walked the trail up to the ridge and beyond all the way down to the little hut at the river crossing. The forest looked great, but unfortunately it was extremely quite.

4/10 Early start at 5.00 for Bai Shui Ling Nature Reserve. I had booked a taxi at the hotel the day before and settled for the price of 450 RMB for eight hours. Unfortunately we arrived a little bit to late in the morning, as it took two hours to drive due to the driver did not know the exact location. I spent most of the morning birding in good secondary forest along the road that supposedly leads to Dialuoshan and along a trail for about one hour. Again the forest was extremely quite and few birds were encountered. Left the forest at 11.00 and drove back to Sanya.

29/9, 1/10, 2/10, 3/10 All days at Yalong Bay, with no birding.

5/10 Left Sanya with the late evening flight back to Beijing.


Mostly good, but at least two days were fairly rainy. Temperatures ranged from warm to hot. Normally it is best to visit Hainan from November if sunbathing is your cup of tea as the rainy season should be mostly over by then. From a birding perspective it seems best to visit between January and June.

Site descriptions:


Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis One at Jianfengling.

Chinese Pond-Heron, Ardeola bacchus One at Yalong Bay.

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta One at Yalong Bay.

Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Pernis ptilorhynchus orientalis One at Bai Shui Ling.

White-bellied Sea-eagle, Haliaetus leucogaster One pair at Yalong Bay.

Black Kite, Milvus migrans lineatus One at Yalong Bay.

Whiskered/White-winged Tern, Chlidonias hybrida/leucoptera One immature at Yalong Bay.

Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Ducula badia griseicapilla One heard at Jianfengling.

Greater Coucal, Centropus sinensis intermedius One heard at Yalong Bay.

Large-tailed Nightjar, Caprimulgus macrurus hainanus One near Sanya.

Asian Palm Swift, Cypsiurus balasiensis infumatus Five at Bai Shui Ling.

House Swift, Apus nipalensis nipalensis 10+ at Yalong Bay.

Red-headed Trogon, Harpactes erythrocephalus hainanus One at close range at Jianfengling and one at Bai Shui Ling.

Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis bengalensis One at Jianfengling.

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, Ceyx erithacus One heard at Bai Shui Ling.

White-throated Kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis One at Yalong Bay.

Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Nyctyornis athertoni brevicaudata One seen for five minutes close at eye-level from the watch-tower at Jianfengling. One briefly at Bai Shui Ling.

Black-browed Barbet, Megalaima oorti faber Five at Jianfengling and three at Bai Shui Ling. Only one seen.

Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica Singles at Yalong Bay.

White Wagtail, Motacilla alba One at Yalong Bay.

Grey Wagtail, Motacilla cinerea Five at Jianfengling and two at Bai Shui Ling.

Richard's Pipit, Anthus richardi One at Yalong Bay.

Scarlet Minivet, Pericrocotus flammeus fraterculus Five at Jianfengling and five at Yalong Bay.

Grey-chinned Minivet, Pericrocotus solaris griseigularis 15+ at Bai Shui Ling.

Light-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus sinensis hainanus Ten at Yalong Bay, 50 at Jianfengling and 20 at Bai Shui Ling. Ssp with no white on the neck.

Puff-throated Bulbul, Alophoixus flaveolus pallidus One at Jianfengling and two at Bai Shui Ling.

Chestnut Bulbul, Hemixos castanotus castanotus Two at Bai Shui Ling.

Mountain Bulbul, Hypsipetes mcclellandii similis Five at Bai Shui Ling.

Orange-bellied Leafbird, Chloropsis hardwickii lazulina Four at Jianfengling.

Blue Rock-Thrush, Monticola saxatilis ssp One at Yalong Bay.

Large-billed Leaf-Warbler, Phylloscopus magnirostris One probable heard singing at Bai Shui Ling.

Hainan Leaf-Warbler, Phylloscopus hainanus Three + two at Jianfengling and two at Bai Shui Ling.

Rufous-faced Warbler, Abroscopus albogularis fulvifacies Five at Jianfengling.

Flycatcher sp One immature at Jianfengling. Black bill, eyering most prominent behind eye. Scaly breast and esp flanks. Pale tertial fringes and greater covert fringes creating prominent wingbar, median coverts indistinct wingbar. Pale throat. No orange or blue. Long wings.

Pale Blue Flycatcher, Cyornis unicolor diaoluoensis One heard at Jianfengling.

Hainan Blue Flycatcher, Cyornis hainanus Two at Jianfengling.

White-rumped Shama, Copsychus malabaricus minor One at Yalong Bay.

Oriental Magpie-Robin, Copsychus saularis prosthopellus Two at Yalong Bay and a few near Bai Shui Ling.

White-crowned Forktail, Enicurus leschenaulti sinensis Five at Jianfengling and one at Bai Shui Ling.

Black-naped Monarch, Hypothymis azurea styani Four at Jianfengling and one at Yalong Bay.

Black-throated Laughingthrush, Garrulax chinensis monachus One heard at Jianfengling and one heard and seen briefly at Bai Shui Ling.

Rufous-cheeked (Grey) Laughingthrush, Garrulax maesi castanotis One heard at Jianfengling and one heard and four seen at Bai Shui Ling. The latter flock responded to a tape of the nominate form, but on the other hand they also responded to a tape of Black-throated Laughingthrush an hour later.

Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Pomatorhinus ruficollis nigrostellatus One pair at Jianfengling and one pair at Bai Shui Ling.

Eye-browed Wren-Babbler, Napothera epilepidota hainanus One seen well and two more heard at Jianfengling.

Spot-necked Babbler, Stachyris strilolata swinhoei Three small groups at Bai Shui Ling.

White-browed Shrike-Babbler, Pteruthius flaviscapis lingshuiensis One pair at Jianfengling.

Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Alcippe morrisonia rufescentior 30+ at Jianfengling and 20 at Bai Shui Ling.

White-bellied Yuhina, Yuhina zantholeuca tyrranula 15 at Jianfengling and two at Bai Shui Ling.

Sultan Tit, Melanochlora sultanea flavocristata Two at Jianfengling.

Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Sitta solangiae chienfengensis One at Jianfengling.

Olive-backed Sunbird, Nectarinia jugularis rhizophorae Two at Yalong Bay.

Fork-tailed Sunbird, Aethopyga christinae christinae Two at Jianfengling.

Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, Dicaeum cruentatum hainanum One male at Yalong Bay.

Long-tailed Shrike, Lanius schach hainanus Three at Yalong Bay.

Ratchet-tailed Treepie, Temnurus temnurus nigra One pair at Jianfengling.

White-shouldered Starling, Sturnus sinensis Two flocks of totally 25 birds at Yalong Bay.

Scaly-breasted Munia, Lonchura punctulata topela Five at Yalong Bay.