Fujian Province

Sulphur-breasted Warbler Phylloscopus ricketti ©Craig Brelsford Website
Birding Fujian

Fujian is a province on China’s east coast, opposite the island of Taiwan. The provincial capital is Fuzhou, which lies on the Min River whose estuary has a wide expanse of sandbars and mudflats. As well as waterfowl in the winter, Dalmatian Pelicans are regularly recorded. In summer a variety of terns can be seen, including the critically endangered Chinese Crested Tern. The birds seen at the Min river estuary appear to be the same group that actually nest on the Taiwan-controlled Matsu Islands, about 30km east of the mainland. Breeding waders include the ‘dealbatus’ form of Kentish Plover, ‘White-faced’ Plover.Fujian’s second coastal city is Xiamen, formerly known as Amoy. Here in 1866 Robert Swinhoe shot the type specimen of the bird now known as Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel.

Inland Fujian has been little-visited by foreign birders, except for Wuyi Shan, a National Nature Reserve based around the highest peaks in eastern China, on Fujian’s northwest border with Jiangxi Province. In autumn 1873 the legendary Lazarist Missionary Armand ‘Pere’ David spent two months studying the birds and other wildlife from a base in Kuadun. (David’s greatest claim to scientific glory was his securing of the first specimen of Giant Panda in Sichuan a few years later.) Today, Wuyi’s scenery and famous tea are great attractions for the tens of thousands of domestic tourists who visit annually. Some of the best birding on the mountain is done along a narrow track that leads to the summit of Huanggang Shan, the highest peak in the Wuyi range. (Also accessible from the Jiangxi side.) Cabot’s Tragopan, Elliot’s Pheasant and White-necklaced (Rickett’s) Hill Partridge may be seen, but is usually only heard.

Fujian is a relatively prosperous and outward-looking province. A growing number of keen local birdwatching groups, such as Fujian Birdwatching Society and Xiamen Birdwatching Society co-ordinate birding of this still relatively under-watched area. Blyth’s Kingfisher has been found at Longxi NNR, perhaps the easternmost record of this ‘difficult-to-find’ species. Elsewhere Scaly-sided Mergansers can be found on some inland rivers. Recently the spectacular Sultan Tit was rediscovered in the province after an absence of records for eighty years. The rare and secretive White-eared Night Heron has also been found at a couple of inland sites.

Fujian is well off the beaten path of the Lonely Planet crowd, and has few Chinese endemic species. Nevertheless, it is still a rewarding place for both birder and general interest visitor.

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Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 542

    (As at August 2018)
Useful Reading

  • Birding South East China

    | By Tim J Woodward | Tim Woodward | 2006 Paperback | 423 pages, 88 colour photos, 160 maps | ISBN: 9789628508426 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Guide to the Birds of China

    See main China page for details ISBN: 9780192893673 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • The Birds of Hong Kong and South China

    | By Clive Viney, Karen Phillips & Lam Chiu Ying | Hong Kong Government Information Service | 2005 | Paperback | 255 pages, 91 colour plates, b/w illustrations, 4 maps | ISBN: 9789620204043 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Fujian Bird Watching Society

    FBWS, whose full name is the Bird Watching Society of Fujian Wildlife Conservation Association, is an independent organization under the leadership of Fujian Wildlife Conservation Association…
  • Xiamen Bird Watching Society


Abbreviations Key

  • NF Fuzhou National Forest Park

    ArticleSatellite View
    ...And one that offers a chance to see some species that one can never get in Shanghai, such as Red-headed Trogon or Silver Pheasant, or a variety of bulbuls? And maybe a place that in winter is warmer than Shanghai? Time to go to Fuzhou National Forest Park...
  • NNR Wuyi Mountains

    InformationSatellite View
    Forty-nine vertebrate species are endemic to China and three are endemic to the Wuyi Mountains. The latter are the bird David's parrotbill (Neosuthora davidiana), Pope's spiny toad (Vibrissaphora liui), and the bamboo snake Pseudoxenodon karlschmidti (family Colubridae). Other known endangered species in the area include South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), North China leopard (Panthera pardus japonensis), hairy-fronted muntjac (Muntiacus crinifrons), Sumatran serow (Capricornis sumatraensis - a goat antelope), Cabot's tragopan (Tragopan caboti), Chinese black-backed pheasant (Syrmaticus ellioti), Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus), and the golden Kaiser-i-Hind (Teinopalpus aureus - a swallowtail butterfly).
Trip Reports
  • 2015 [05 May] - Craig Brelsford - Emeifeng

    From 30 April to 3 May 2015, and again from 28 to 31 May 2015, Elaine and I birded Emeifeng, a mountain in Fujian, China.
  • 2016 [05 May] - Devaram T

    Emeifeng is one of the key location in China which has easy accessibility to see the endemic gamebirds like Cabot’s Tragopan and Elliot’s Pheasant. The plan of seeing the Gamebirds and other woodland birds had an unanimous vote among the squad and it was decided to hit the place when the migration starts to tail-off in Shanghai.
  • 2017 [04 April] - Summer Wong

Other Links
  • Birding Fujian

    Located on the southeast coast of China, Fujian Province covers 124,000 square kilometers of land territory and 136,000 square kilometers of ocean territory with 3,751 kilometers of rugged coastline. Fujian Province has numerous islands, bays, and intertidal mudflat areas. Being in the subtropical area, Fujian has abundant rainfalls and mildclimate enjoys rich and diversified wildlife resources.
  • Birdwatching in Xiamen

    Xiamen bird watchers have formed the Observe Birds Association (OBA), and each March the OBA promotes

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