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15 July 2015

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Going Birdwatching at Wetlands in Winter


The best time for going birdwatching is at 6:00 am to 8:00 am and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm from November to January the following year. Birds love to inhabit large open wetlands. The following recommended wetlands are great spots for bird watching.

East Dongting Lake
Located in Junshan District, Yueyang, East Dongting Lake covers an area of more than 190,000 hectares. It is known as the largest and best preserved natural seasonal lake among the lakes in Dongting area. It is an internationally important wetland boasting rich biodiversity. The major birdwatching sites here include Junshan Island, Dingzi Dyke, Caicang Lake, Hongqi Lake, Jin’e Park, and Nanhu Park.


West Dongting Lake
Located in Hanshou County, Changde, West Dongting Lake, with a total area of more than 35,000 hectares, is one of China's freshwater wetlands with the richest biodiversity. It is named as "West Dongting Lake National Urban Wetland Park" by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. Every year tens of thousands of migratory birds spend winter in the area. Among them, more than 20 bird species are under first-grade and second-grade state protection. The most distinctive birds often seen in the area are black stork, Siberian white crane, and other rare and endangered species.


South Dongting Lake
A total of 1,680-sqkm wetland of South Dongting Lake adjacent to Yuanjiang City, Yiyang is home to 863 marshy plants, 164 bird species, and 114 fish species. The area of 24,000 hectares of reeds, the world's largest reed area, becomes the best habitat for birds. Birds under first-grade state protection including Siberian white crane, hooded crane, and Chinese merganser can be found. 


Songya Lake National Wetland Park
Songya Lake National Wetland Park covers an area of 365 hectares, including 274.4 hectares of wetland area. It is the only state-level wetland park in Changsha. The park is extremely rich in biological diversity, including two plant species under state first-grade protection, five plant species under state second-grade protection, and 11 wild animals under state second-grade protection.

There are 29 migratory birds included in the Sino-Japanese Migratory Bird Protection Agreement, including white wagtail and olive-backed pipit, 9 migratory birds in the Sino-Australia Migratory Bird Protection Agreement, including barn swallow, and Pacific swift. 


Jinzhou Lake National Wetland Park
Located in the suburbs of Ningxiang, Jinzhou Lake National Wetland Park is known as "Backyard Garden of Ningxiang". Covering an area of 1,427 hectares, the park boasts lake wetland, marsh, constructed wetland, reservoir, pond, irrigation ditches, and paddy fields. Birds such as egret inhabit the park. 


Qianlong Lake National Wetland Park
Located in Getang Town of Wangcheng District, Changsha, Qianlong Lake covers an area of more than 900 hectares. It boasts varied wetland types including lake wetlands, reservoirs and watercourse, and scenic areas such as Tuantou Lake and Qianlong Lake Tourist Resort. Great efforts have been made to maintain the diversity of the ecological system, including establishing bird monitoring stations, and building an ecological corridor around the lake. There are more than 400 wild plants, 46 fish species, and 126 bird species. 

Liuyang River National Wetland Park
Liuyang is rich in wetland resources. The ongoing Liuyang River National Wetland Park is centered around the Xiaoxi River basin in Gaoping Town, with a total area of 2,361 hectares. A total of 88 bird species are recorded in the park, including endangered birds under state protection of black stork, white-eared night heron, tundra swan, mandarin ducks, and egrets. 


Chinese source: