Thursday, 20 June 2013

Doubletree by Hilton, Shanghai, June 2013

The gardens at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton are small enough that it is possible to see from one side to the other without being obscured by the smog……Well, almost. They are picturesque in that bridgy, fishy, oriental style, but the birds preferred the rougher wasteland and allotments over the wall beyond the tennis court at Google Earth ref; 31 12 43.68N 121 31 49.83E.


Long-tailed Shrikes hawked from deliberately placed bamboo stakes and Chinese (Light-vented) Bulbuls warbled from the reeds near the vegetable plots where the road curves at a right angle. The plots are not shown on Google Earth, but an adjacent construction project has workers living on site and I suspect that they are taking advantage of a bit of spare ground to grow their own.

A small lawn in the gardens had attracted some Azure-winged Magpies and a huge Eurasian Blackbird. The local form of Turdus merula is the mandarinus race and is much bigger and shyer than the nominate which is singing outside my window as I write. More Chinese Bulbuls were seen in the gardens. They are the most commonly seen bird in the area.

I was about to pack up when a movement caught my eye and a Yellow-billed Grosbeak popped up from the undergrowth. I was surprised to see one as I had assumed that they were winter birds in this area. On checking (in case of eBird questions), it appears that they are, according to “A Field Guide to the Birds of China” (MacKinnon and Phillipps), a summer visitor to Shanghai.

Birds seen; 5
Long-tailed Shrike 3, Azure-winged Magpie 5, Light-vented Bulbul 6, Eurasian Blackbird 1, Yellow-billed Grosbeak 1.

The Doubletree Hotel by Hilton can be found in the Pudong District pf Shanghai.