WeiHeYuan, Gansu Birding



WeiHeYuan, Gansu Birding

When:  July 2016      Weather:   Cool 20C

Nikon P900   Leica M240


We were in the small town of Dingxi, about 100km from the main city of Lanzhou in Gansu Province, doing some teaching and supervising surgery and found that we had some time to visit a nature sanctuary called Wei He Park or Wei He Yuan.  It was meant to be about 1.5 hours drive from Dingxi but road works etc meant it took nearer 2.5 hours getting there.  We arrived about 630pm and had about 1-1.5 hr reasonable light left to do a ramble and some birding…

Arriving in the area, the terraced rice and rapeseed fields were a pretty sight and the hilly terrain beckoned…


Pretty terraces in Gansu



arriving at the parking area, the first birds to greet us were the Azure winged magpies….



Azure winged magpie perched on a pavilion railing



We headed up along a wooded path between the hills with pretty pagodas and temples nearby…



A turtle dove watched over the valley


and then this lovely chestnut thrush perched nearby



resplendent in black and golden orange


frontal view of chestnut thrush



distant view of a ? flycatcher



and then this little fellow popped his head out of the grass and played hide and seek with us. the Gansu hamster (Cansumys canus) . It is endemic to China



And then another lifer…Elliot’s Laughing Thrush



with the lovely orange wing flashes



rapeseed fields in fading light


Being time constrained, we only saw these few birds but I have little doubt that had we spent more time, the yield would have been considerably higher….worth spending a day here if you are in Dingxi, Gansu Province, China.



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