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Shanxi Province

Brown-breasted Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthorrhous ©Alister Benn Website

Shanxi is a province in the northern part of the People's Republic of China. Its one-character abbreviation is Jin, after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn Period.

Shanxi's name literally means 'the west of the mountain', which refers to the province's location west of the Taihang Mountains. Shanxi borders Hebei to the east, Henan to the south, Shaanxi to the west, and Inner Mongolia to the north. The capital of the province is Taiyuan.

Shanxi is located on a plateau, which is in turn made up of higher ground to the east (Taihang Mountains) and the west (Lüliang Mountains), and a series of valleys in the center through which the Fen River runs. The highest peak is Mount Wutai (Wutai Shan) in northeastern Shanxi at an altitude of 3058 m. The Great Wall of China forms most of the northern border of Shanxi with Inner Mongolia.

The Huang He (Yellow River) forms the western border of Shanxi with Shaanxi. The Fen and Qin rivers, tributaries of the Huang He, run north-to-south through the province, and drain much of its area. The north of the province is drained by tributaries of the Hai River, such as Sanggan and Hutuo rivers. The largest natural lake in Shanxi is Xiechi Lake, a salt lake near Yuncheng in southwestern Shanxi.

Shanxi has a continental monsoon climate, and is rather arid. Average January temperatures are below 0 °C, while average July temperatures are around 21 - 26 °C. Winters are long, dry, sunny and cold, while summer is warm and humid. Spring is bone dry and prone to dust storms. Shanxi is one of the sunniest parts of China; early summer heat waves are common. Annual precipitation averages around 350-700 mm, with 60% of it concentrated between June and August.

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Wikipedia

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanxi

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Capital

The provincial capital of Shanxi is Taiyuan…

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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] - Edward C Hall

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During the course of an OAT tour of China, I took every opportunity to break away for birding. Following are some suggestions as to where others might productively visit. These suggestions reflect, of course, the time of year that I was there and may not be as applicable to other seasons…

Organisations

Xian Birdwatching Society