4 Days Guizhou Birding Travel Experience to Guiyang and Weining Caohai Lake
Located in the middle part of Guizhou Province, Guiyang is one of the major cities in southwest China and the capital of Guizhou Province. Geographically, Guiyang sits on the east part of Yungui Plateau and belongs to the transitional area between Eastern China to western Plateau. By the 2010 nationwide census, Guiyang has a total population of 4.32 million and is populated by 23 different minorities including Miao and Buyi.
Besides its diversified minority culture, Guiyang is also famous for various landscapes featuring karst mountains, beautiful rivers and unique caves. About 40 percent of its territory is covered by forest.
Climate-wise, Guiyang has a four-season, humid subtropical climate, tempered by its low latitude and high elevation.
Following are some good birding place in and around Guiyang.
1. Huaxi Park
Located 17 km to the south of Guiyang City, Huaxi Park was built in 1937 covering 53 hectares. Famed as one of the Three Pearls on The Yungui Plateau, Huaxi Park was made on the basis of natural forest, lakes and rivers featuring natural scenery and minority culture. The good environment of the park has also turned it into a good birding place. Here you have chances to see Crested Bunting，White-breasted Waterhen, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker and Striated Prinia.
2. Qianlin Park
Sitting in the northwest of Guiyang City, Qianlin Park is covered by giant old trees and lush vegetation. There are more than 1500 kind of trees and flowers as well as 1000 famous medicinal herbs grown inside the park. They become ideal habitats for a great number of birds. It is not difficult to see some forest birds such as Grey-headed Woodpecker, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Red-capped Babbler and Red-billed Leothrix.
3. Caohai Lake or Grass Lake
Caohai Lake, the largest fresh water lake in Guizhou, is located in the west of Weining County, with an area of 12,000 hectares. It is named ‘Grass Lake’ (or Sea of Grass) because of the vast water surface of the lake and lush grass at the bottom of the lake. The lake is a marvelous habitat for over 200 bird species. Caohai Nature Reserve was established in 1985 to protect Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis as over 400 over-winter from November thru March, and the ecosystem of plateau wetlands and was upgraded to national-level reserve in 1992. The hedgerows around villages at the edge of of Caohai are a place for Daurian Redstart, Brown-breasted Bulbul and White-browed Laughingthrushes. In an area with few mature trees, Grey-headed Woodpeckers will search for grubs under the eaves of traditional houses. There are also good numbers of Bar-headed Geese, Red-crested Pochard and other wintering ducks.