I've returned from China yesterday. I had a 2 weeks study trip in the Shanghai area with fellow Irish artist, Robert Vaughan. 2 of my other friends, Ferenc Dömsödi and Yann Muzika joined us for a few days. Our main target was to see Spoon-billed Sandpipers. The quest was tough, we had to search a huge, 6 kms wide, 10-20 kms long tidal mudflat. We had the great help of Menxiu Tong from China Wild Tours on the first days, who showed us our first Spoonies.
Yann Muzika, Robert Vaughan and me in our pretty mud-walking trousers:
At high tide the birds were roosting on an artificial pond, and could be scanned from a close distance. The only problem was, that they were all sleeping, and when you don't see the characteristic spoony bill, it's impossible to pick the target from the thousands of Red-necked Stints. Give it a try! There's a Spoon-billed Sandpiper sleeping on this photo:
Our sightings of Spoon-billed Sandpiers were not so long, so I don't have field sketches of them, only ones done from memory and my photos and video footage. Here's one:
Keep an eye on my blog in the coming days, I'll put updates from the trip (some nice SBSP photos also).