A Suzhou Sojourn and a little birding

A Suzhou Sojourn and a little birding

When:  September 2019                    Weather: Hot 25C

Leica Q, Nikon P900

Aspen last week and Suzhou this week…a study in contrasts…flying into Shanghai, Suzhou is a water city 2 hours away by car.   I stayed at the Novotel Suzhou Industrial Park(SIP) which adjoins the convention centre where my meeting was held.   Suzhou is famed for its private gardens and canals…Venice of the East!


typical canal scene in Pingjiang Road which is a touristy pedestrian walk beside a canal

I was brought to the enormous Suzhou Central Mall to get some stuff….but seriously, you can see malls like this in any major city centre in the world so give it a miss and visit the gardens and canals instead…

I had a free morning the next day and had identified the Taihu Wetland Park about 50km away from Suzhou as my main birding trip….unfortunately my escort came late and by the time we left Suzhou at 720am, the traffic was bad and we only arrived at the wetland park nearer to 9am…by which time it was very hot and the bird  life thin…


the Taihu Wetland park…


Tranquil surrounds with a temple pagoda in the distance


pretty waterways


bridges and pavilions were everywhere and you could take a boat to cruise around

The ubiquitous light vented bulbul which is seen all over China

Light vented bulbuls

Egret in the forest

The whiskered terns were active
Whiskered tern
pagoda temple in the background
water lilies
The birding was so thin that I resorted to shooting other things in the sky…
Suzhou is of course known for its gardens and so aborting the trip to Taihu Wetland Park early, we headed back to town and visited the Lingering Garden…
Liu Yuan…or literally ‘lingering garden’
tranquil corners were everywhere
pavilions in the garden
We also made it to the rather larger Humble Administrator’s Garden…
where the bonsais were magnificent
the rock formations were landscaped
the lotus leaves were enormous
the water and pavilions interacted
serenity is a chinese garden
So on the final morning before I departed Suzhou, I ventured out to the patch of green along either side of the curved Suzhou Avenue East, right next to the Novotel Suzhou SIP and took a walk wondering if I would see any birds at all….there was a well maintained lake…
First bird of the morning was this insistent magpie calling out to his mate
Long tailed magpie
there was a good view of the Suzhou art and cultural centre nearby
and in the early morning light by the Jinji lake, the city centre gleamed
I walked along the short of the lake
White wagtails were active
White wagtail
the lotus flowers were blooming by the lakeside
Little Grebe on the water
Little Grebes
Chinese Blackbird
and then a bright flash of colour landed in the trees
a beautifully coloured long tailed shrike
and his mate
these birds were near this statue next to the cafe
and then in the distance…..a little bird hopped
a beautiful Hoopoe, one of my fav birds…so nice to see one in the industrial city of Suzhou! As disappointing was my outing to the Taihu Wetland Park the day before, this short walk along Suzhou avenue East made up for it…
Suzhou, a contrast in development and nature.

Thanks to KC for help in bird identifications

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