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Guangdong Province

Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha ©Alister Benn Website

Guangdong is a heavily populated province spread across 600km of tropical south China, between the Nanling mountain range to the north and the South China Sea to the south. The provincial capital is Guangzhou (formerly Canton) at the head of the Pearl River delta.

The former Portuguese colony of Macau lies to the west of the Pearl River delta, and former British colony of Hong Kong to the east of it. In the past thirty years, much of lowland Guangdong had been transformed into factories and industrial estates. This has led to economic advancement on a huge scale, but the environment has paid a heavy price.

Nonetheless, Nanling National Nature Reserve, which straddles Guangdong’s northern border with Hunan Province, has a good coverage of warm temperate forest and is home to Cabot’s Tragopan and Silver Pheasant, as well as the spectacular Red-tailed Laughingthrush. Silver Orioles breed in Nanling in summer, before dispersing to southeast asia for the winter.

Further east and at a lower elevation, Chebaling National Nature Reserve is a site for Blyth’s Kingfisher and White-eared Night Heron. It is a good place to see and hear Chinese Barbet, recently “split” from Black-browed Barbet. The site has suffered from ill-considered development in the past few years, especially small hydroelectric projects downstream from the reserve boundary which have damaged riverine habitat. However, Chebaling still has five species of woodpecker, Crested Kingfisher, Red-headed Trogon, and some wintering species that rarely get to the south of the province, such as Eurasian Siskins, Common Rosefinch and some buntings.

There are few nature reserves on Guangdong’s coast, but Gongping Dahu in Haifeng County supports a good number of wintering duck, and a significant proportion of the very rare eastern population of Dalmatian Pelican.

On the west side of Shenzhen city the mangrove reserve of Futian looks south across Deep Bay to Hong Kong’s Mai Po Nature Reserve.

Although Dalmatian Pelicans have become irregular in Deep Bay in recent years, there is still plenty to see in winter. The bay supports over 200 endangered Black-faced Spoonbills, as well as thousands of duck, Avocet and Black-headed Gulls.

In spring and autumn there are thousands of migrating waders of about forty species - including Nordmann’s Greenshank and Spoon-billed Sandpiper.

The Shenzhen Birdwatching Society is heavily committed to public education about wild birds, and members travel all over China to pursue their hobby.


John & Jemi Holmes

Hong Kong


Useful Reading

* Field Guides & Bird Song

For a comprehensive list of recommended titles covering China as a whole - please see the China page of Fatbirder

Birding South East China

Tim J Woodward and Geoff J Carey 197 pages, col photos, line illus, 30 maps.

ISBN: 9628508415

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of Hong Kong and South China

Clive Viney, Karen Phillips and Lam Chiu Ying - Hong Kong Government Information Service 2005

ISBN: 9620204042

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

Official Provincial Bird

Silver Pheasaant Lophura nycthemera


Shenzhen Bird Watching Society


Shenzhen Bird Watching Society (SZBWS) was formally established on 3 March 2004, with support from Shenzhen Municipal Oceanic Bureau. The organization is now a legal entity, with the approval of the Shenzhen Civil Affairs Bureau…

Shenzhen Bird Watching Society


Shenzhen Bird Watching Society (SZBWS) was formally established on 3 March 2004, with support from Shenzhen Municipal Oceanic Bureau. The organization is now a legal entity, with the approval of the Shenzhen Civil Affairs Bureau…


Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)

Ba Bao Shan Nature Reserve

One of the last refuges for the Chinese Tiger…

Dinghu Mountain National Nature Reserve


Satellite View

…there are more than 170 species of birds, 30 species of animals and 20 species of pythons, among which leopards, serows and silver pheasants are under the state protection. Silver pheasant is the official bird of Guangdong Province…

Huidong Harbor Sea Turtle National Nature Reserve


At the juncture of Daya Bay and Honghai Bay in the South China Sea, presently the only sea turtle protected area in China, with seawater and gently-sloping sandy beaches still in good environmental quality and eminently suitable for sea turtles…

Wuyishan National Key Nature Reserve


Wuyi Mountain stretches for thousands of miles like a green dragon all the way across the provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Guangdong. The world-famous Wuyishan National Key Nature Reserve just sits on the highest section on the north of the Mountains. It is the single biggest and the most comprehensive surviving semi-subtropical forest system in the south-east mainland China. It is within the World biosphere Protection Network of the United Nations and is ranked Class-A global nature reserve…

Zhanjiang Mangrove National Nature Reserve


Satellite View

The largest mangrove forest wetland reserve in China, located along coastal areas of the Leizhou Peninsula at the southernmost tip of China between the South China Sea and the Tonkin Gulf, adjacent to Hainan Island…

Trip Reports

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CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2005 [04 April] - Mike Waite


During a short birding trip to Hong Kong earlier this year, I was determined to squeeze in a few days on mainland China. The original plan was to visit Ba Bao Shan (north of Shaoguan)…

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Owen Chiang - Hong Kong Bird Photo Gallery


I start my bird photo record since Nov 2003. Nearly one year past and I'd setup this bird gallery finally…