Wetlands for Bird Watching in Beijing

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Often compared to the “Kidney of the Earth”, wetlands are one of the three equally important ecological systems on earth with the other two being forests and the sea. One of the functions of wetlands are to provide a habitat for birds. Birds use wetlands for breeding, nesting, resting, shelter, and social interactions.

If you visit Beijing as a bird watcher or birder, you may have the temptation to see the birds in Beijing. It is recorded that there are about 350 kinds of birds in Beijing with 80% of the them being migrant birds. Usually spring (Feb -Mar) and autumn ( Oct -Nov) are the best times to watch the birds in Beijing. To watch these birds, you need to go to the parks, lakes, reservoirs and wetlands. We’ve summed up a list of Top 10 Wetlands in Beijing where you can have better opportunities for your Beijing bird watching.

1. Yeyahu Lake Wetland Natural Reserve 北京延庆野鸭湖湿地
Yeyahu Lake is located on the northwest of Yanqing County, about 100km northwest of Beijing city center. Its protected area covers 6,873 hectares with wetlands area of 3,939 hectares, one of the favorite wetland birds nature reserves in Beijing.

There are a total 280 kinds of wetland birds – passing migrant birds 56.6%, summer migrant birds 21.1%, resident birds 14.7% and winter migrant birds 7.6%.

Watching Birds in Yeyahu Lake.

Watching Birds in Yeyahu Lake.

The main birds in this area includes Common Pheasant, Spot-billed Duck, Common Black-headed Gull, Far-Eastern Curlew, White-eyed Pochard , Common Kestrel, Mallard, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black-capped Kingfisher, Northern Harrier, Northern Harrier, Eurasian Hobby, Little Egret, Chinese Pond-Heron, Black Stork, Azure-winged Magpie, Black-billed Magpie, Rusty-rumped Warbler, Black-browed Reed Warbler, Oriental Reed Warbler, Dusky Warbler, Grey Wagtail, Little Bunting and more.

How to get there: Take Bus 919 at Deshengmen Bus Terminal and get off at Yanqing, then connect Bus 921 for Yeyahu Lake.
2. Beijing Sahe Reservoir Wetland 北京沙河水库湿地
Sahe Reservoir Wetland is about 40 km to the northwest of Beijing city center, one of the nearest wetlands in Beijing. The reservoir is nicknamed by bird watchers as “Zuihu”, which literally means ” Drunk Lake”, a beautiful lake that makes people drunk. The Drunk Lake is a haven for bird watchers.

It is recorded that there are 189 kinds of birds in the Sahe reservoir area. The main birds include Common Pheasant, Whooper Swan, Whistling Swan, Mallard, Spot-billed Duck, Spot-billed Duck, Grey Heron, Common Teal, Black-billed Magpie, Dusky Thrush, Barn Swallow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Pallas’s Bunting, Common Kestrel, Swan Goose, Smew, Oriental Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Purple Heron, Red-rumped Swallow, Wigeon, Spot-billed Duck, Black-crowned Night-Heron, White Wagtail, Large-billed Crow and many more.

3. Cuihu National Urban Wetland Park 翠湖湿地公园
Cuihu National Urban Wetland Park is located on the north of Shangzhuang Reservoir in Shangzhaung Town, Haidian District, Beijing. The wetland park occupies an area of 157 hectares, 1,9 km long from east to west and 1.2 km wide from north to south, with a surface area of 90 hectares. The wetland park consists of enclosed protected area, transit area and experimental area open to the public.

There are 178 kinds of birds in the wetland park including Great bustard, golden eagle, Larus relictus, red-crowned cranes and black-crowned cranes.

4. Daxing Nanhaizi Park 大兴南海子郊野公园
Daxing Nanhaizi Park is one of the four largest wild suburban parks in Beijing. It is located on the northeast of Daxing District, about 15km south of Beijing city center. It is also known as the largest wetland park in Beijing.

It is built on the former imperial Pere David’s Deer garden in Qing Dynasty. Beside the Pere David’s Deer Garden which has been restored and opened to the public, people have the opportunity to see birds here. It is recorded that there are 81 kinds of birds in the wetland park.

5. Hanshiqiao Wetland in Shunyi District, Beijing 顺义汉石桥湿地
Hanshiqiao Wetland Nature Reserve ( also known as Health Bridge Wetland ) is located about 50 km to the northeast of Beijing city center. The wetland is the only large reed marsh wetland on the plain area in Beijing with an area of 19,000 hectares including the core zone and experimental zone.

It is recorded that there are about 153 species of birds ever discovered in the reserve, a habitat and transit area for many endangered migrant birds. Hanshiqiao ( or Health Bridge ) Wetland Reserve was established in April, 2005 aimed at effectively protecting the typical reed marsh wetland ecological system and wild animals and plants.

Enquiry:010-61411200 61411577
Add:Beijing Hanshiqiao Wetland Reserve (Shunyi) 北京市顺义区汉石桥湿地自然保护区
Zip: 101309

6. The Wetland in the Olympic Green Park 奥林匹克森林公园叠水花台湿地
Beijing Olympic Green Park consists of lawns, forests, wetlands, lakes and Gravel banks, a large and complicated ecological system.

The wetland features a three-layered terrace with cascading water, forming a small beautiful waterfall. The wetland is teemed with reeds, bulrush, calamus and canna, making people feel as they were in a water town.

The quiet wetland with green trees and blooming flowers attract resident and migrant birds coming here for a rest and nesting. It is recorded that there are over 200 species of birds ever discovered on the wetland and the Olympic Park as a whole, becoming a best bird watching spot in the city of Beijing.

7. Changgou National Wetlan Park长沟国家泉水湿地公园
Changgou wetland is a newly built national-level wetland park. It is located in Changgou Town, Fangshan District, about 75km to the southwest of Beijing city center.

The wetland park has the planned area of 249 hectares with one marsh land, one lake, two belts and 10 sites. The most important part of the park is the wetland area, where a birding area is the highlight of the wetland park.

8. Chaohe River Wetland at Gubeikou Town北京古北口潮河湿地
Gubeikou was once a strategically important passage linking Inner Mongolia and Beijing. The passage is sandwiched by the two mountains which faces each other – Wohushan (Crouching Tiger Mountain ) and Panlongshan ( Coiled Dragon Mountain ).

On the both of the mountains built with the Great Wall, namely Wohushan Great Wall and Panlongshan Great Wall which are collectively known as Gubeikou Great Wall.

Chaohe River passes through the passage of the two mountains from the north to the south. The Chaohe River area at Gubeikou is also a paradise for bird watchers in Beijing.

9. Yongding River Wetland 北京永定河湿地
Yongding River Wetland is also known as Lianshi Lake Wetland (莲石湖湿地). Yongding River is the longest tributary of the Haihe River with a length of 170 km within Beijing area. Lianshi Lake is one of the lakes along Yongding River.

Lianhu Lake is located on the borders of Shijingshan District, Mentougou District and Fengtai District in Beijing. It was once a part of Yongding River. Now Yongding River in this area is dried up. The construction of the Lianhu Lake Wetland started in August,2008 and finished in October, 2011 with 4.6 billion yuan investment.

The whole park occupies an area of 226 hectares with the water surface of 102 hectares. With the improvement of the eco-system in Lianhu Lake, more birds are discovered in the wetland park, one of the favorite place for birding.

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