Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Abroad in China: Shanghai - Buyecheng Park

A Birding Visit to Shanghai's Buyecheng Park While staying in Shanghai, I was fortunate to be able to walk to quiet Buyecheng Park from my hotel. Despite its odd shape, lobed and narrow and straddling a traffic-heavy road, it harbored a few birds of interest, and was relatively peaceful for the parks we visited in China.

I first visited the park with my father and brother just to scout out its southern end. A stroll along the main path in the wooded portion quickly yielded the commonest birds: Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Spotted Dove, Light-vented Bulbul, and “Rock” Pigeons overhead. However, we were amazed when we spotted a Rufous-backed Shrike (Lanius schach) in plain view along the trailside, perched in the top of a yucca! I had certainly never seen a shrike in a city park before. Unfortunately the individual stayed put only briefly, and flew off to parts unknown before we could take a photo of it.

Two days later, we returned to Buyecheng Park (along with my mother and grandfather) to spend the majority of our morning there. With more time to spare, I was able to find a few East Asian migrants scattered in the park.

The shady grove of Schneider’s Zelkovas at the northwest corner of the park harbored an active female Mugimaki Flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki) at their edge, flycatching along the sidewalk.

In the canopy of these trees was an extremely quiet, difficult-to-see female Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) in the midst of their canopy.

The very last bird I identified there was a highly mobile and vocal Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) that I eventually ended up tracking from the park’s northwest corner to its south-central end. Despite its continual presence, I was unable to photograph it - too quick a flyer for me.

Although my time there was somewhat limited, I would guess that Buyecheng Park is generally a good quiet park to find migrant species. Despite its city-park appearance, species like Rufous-backed Shrike and Mugimaki Flycatcher were easy to find there even given as little as 15 minutes. I would gladly revisit the park at any time of year, if only to see what changing avifauna it harbors.

A department store just a block or two west of Buyecheng Park's west end has at least a few options for food, including a South Asian-style food court in the basement. We opted for a restaurant on the third floor, Orange House. They offered a range of upscale semi-fast-food from American-style to generalized (but tasty) Chinese. Very bright and clean.

List - 10/21/13

Rock Pigeon – x (flyovers)
Spotted Dove – 1
Rufous-backed Shrike – 1 (great views of individual in top of yucca bloomstalk)
Light-vented Bulbul – 1 (innumerable)
Eurasian Tree Sparrow – x
List - 10/23/13

Spotted Dove – 2 (possible undercount)
Light-vented Bulbul – x (innumerable, easy to photograph)
Yellow-browed Warbler – 1 (calling constantly and highly active, if hard to see)
Mugimaki Flycatcher – 1 (female flycatching at NW edge of park)
Eurasian Tree Sparrow – x
Brambling – 1 (female sitting motionless in shady canopy of zelkovas)


  1. That was a fun day, the day Gung Gung and I went with you guys. :)

  2. Looks so beautiful... love all the greenery. Great bird pix! I have to try birding this summer. I am happy all of you had a great trip!