Hunan, China

My hometown is in the capital city of Hunan Province, Changsha. Most of our time was spent there with family. On one walk in a park, though, I saw a new bird, a White-browed Laughingthrush; this was a nice bonus for me.

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White-browed Laughingthrush

We took a side trip to Yueyang, a city in northern Hunan by the shore of the once-mighty Dongting Lake. Yueyang is famous for its namesake tower. Unfortunately for us, we picked a very cloudy day for this trip. The tower has been rebuilt several times in the past, and in the park where the tower is, they put up models of previous incarnations of it, which is actually more interesting than the tower itself.

Model of Yueyang Tower

Yueyang Tower

I had a pretty good birding experience here. The first interesting bird I saw was a Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, actually pretty uncommon for this part of China in this season.

Rufous-bellied Woodpecker

There were many small birds foraging in the trees by the lake, these two birds below were also new to me.

Rufous-capped Babbler

Yellow-bellied Tit

Yellow-bellied Tit

I also saw some familiar birds there too.


Oriental Greenfinch

We then went to Junshan Island, an island in the middle of the Dongting Lake. At this time of the year, the water is very low, and miles of dried lakebed were visible.

Dongting Lake

The bamboo on this island have splotches of dark colorations, known as Spotted Bamboo, which in Chinese legend is said to be the tear marks of two concubines of an ancient emperor.



It was here that I saw probably the best bird of this trip -- the Collared Finchbill.

Collared Finchbill

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