Tag Archives: Nanhui

Magical Birding at Nanhui’s Microforests.


The clumps of short trees behind me are the so call Microforests of Nanhui. They are on the leeward slopes of the seawall. In the background are the inner mudflats where shorebirds use as their high tide roost.

If you are on a short business trip to Shanghai I would strongly recommend that you take a morning or a day off and head for Nanhui at the mouth of Hangzhou Bay for some great birding. Situated at the extreme south-eastern part of Shanghai, many birders considered this place as one of the best birding sites in China. Besides providing high tide roost for migratory shorebirds at the inner mudflats, clumps of forests on the leeward side of the seawall provide refuge from the strong winds for migratory passerines. These are the Microforests of Nanhui famed for attracting many of the warblers, flycatchers and thrushes on the way south during the migratory season.


Unlike our rain forests, the microforests of Nanhui is rather sparse with one or two species of  trees and low scrubs almost the prefect habitat for birding. 

The clumps of microforests are well spread out along the length of the inner seawall. You will be looking down at the birds as you walk along the road at the top of the seawall. It is so much more comfortable then cranking your neck to look for birds here. We saw many bird photographers shooting from inside their cars as they cruised along the road. The birds do not have a large area to fly to and will stay inside the same patch once flushed. It is almost like birding in an open aviary. The great company of Jimmy Chew, Tan Gim Cheong, Doreen Ang, Lim Kim Keang, Samantha Ang and Tan Ju Lin, made this another great birding trip for all of us. Many thanks to Alfred Chia for planning the trip and Tong Menxiu for finding the birds for us. Looking forward to more birding trips to come!


Black-winged Cuckooshrike is rather skittish but after a while it got use to our presence. Very similar to the Large Cuckooshrike but smaller, it breeds in southern China and Indian Sub-continent.

Rufous-tailed Robin

Rufous-tailed Robin is quite common often staying very close to the ground. They will come close to you if you stay still.

Yellow-browed Warbler

A head on view of the Yellow-browed Warbler, one of the most common leaf warbler here. The other leaf warblers were not easy to identify as they were not calling.

Mugimaki Flycatcher

There were more male Mugimaki Flycatchers around than females. Most come down to eye level for shots like this.

Blue and White Flycatcher female

Female Blue and White Flycatchers are rather drab.

We passed through Tiaozini on the way to Rudong. The forest on both sides of the long quiet road at Tiaozini was a magnet for passerine migrants. We enjoyed a very productive morning here as it was the only time when we had the sun out for most of the day.

Northern Hawk Cuckoo

This Northern Hawk Cuckoo looks very much like the Hawk Cuckoos that visits us in the winter. It may turn up here one day.

Lesser Cuckoo

The other cuckoo species that we came across is this Lesser Cuckoo. It breeds in Indian Sub continent Tibet and parts of China, winters in E Africa and visits Indochina. I will have a hard time separating it from the Himalayan.

Blue and White Flycatcher

Blue and White Flycatcher is always a great bird to have on your sensors especially the male. The Zappey’s occurs in China as well.

Daurian Redstart Female

This looks like one of those feeding station shots with this female Daurian’s Redstart holding on to what looks like a meal worm, but it was actually something it found on its own. We did not do any baiting. 


Orange-flanked Bluetail ( female) breeds in Siberia in the Taiga forests and winters all the way south to Northern Thailand.

References: Liu Yang, Yong Ding Li and Yu Yat-tung. Birds of China. John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd.