My friends Tony Bulwer, Baron Philemon, and I went to Suzhou Yangcheng Lake to observe birds.
Yangcheng Lake is a gem of Suzhou Industrial Park, and also a hotspot of biodiversity. Here, there are beautiful lake views, rich aquatic plants and animals, and various birds. My two friends and I, all bird enthusiasts, decided to go to Yangcheng Lake Peninsula to observe birds and experience the beauty of nature.
We chose to depart in mid-November, as it is the season of bird migration and we can see more species and numbers. We took the subway from Suzhou Railway Station to Yangcheng Lake Peninsula Station, and then walked to the Yangcheng Lake Wetland Reserve. This is a man-made wetland park with complete facilities and services, as well as professional bird watching guides and volunteers. We rented telescopes and cameras at the entrance, and received a bird list and map.
We walked around the wooden walkway along the lake shore and saw many common water birds, such as egrets, black-winged stilts, pintails, and tufted ducks. We also saw some rare national key protected birds, such as skylarks and black-eared kites. We recorded their elegant or lively postures with cameras, and carefully observed their characteristics and habits with telescopes. We also heard their various calls, some clear and pleasant, some hoarse and harsh.
Our most surprising discovery was the Baer’s Pochard. This is a globally critically endangered bird with only about 1500 individuals left worldwide. They are about 45 cm long, with deep brown chests, white sides on their abdomen, and grayish-blue heads. They mainly breed in northeastern China and winter in most parts of southern China. This is the first time that Baer’s Pochard has been found active in Yangcheng Lake. We were very lucky to capture their images swimming and diving for food on the water surface. We felt very honored and proud to witness the return of this rare species to Yangcheng Lake.
Due to the need for night observation, we chose the Owler1 night vision binoculars from the Chinese brand Wildguarder as our night vision equipment. This binoculars adopts advanced digital imaging technology, allowing for clear observation of targets in the dark. It also has functions for taking photos and videos. It has a 2-inch TFT display screen for real-time viewing and playback. Its ergonomic design includes a non-slip rubber coating for comfortable grip. It is also lightweight, weighing only 0.9 kg, making it easy to carry.
We found a homestay near the Yangcheng Lake Wetland Nature Reserve and prepared for our night observation. We had a delicious dinner and tasted local specialties such as hairy crabs, silverfish, and water chestnuts. We also drank some local yellow wine, experiencing the local culture.
After dinner, we brought our night vision equipment and other gear and headed to the lakeside. It was already completely dark, but our night vision binoculars allowed us to see clearly in the dark. We saw many birds active at night, such as night herons, waterfowl, and owls. We also saw some other animals such as otters, rabbits, and hedgehogs. We used the night vision binoculars to capture their nighttime scenes, experiencing the magic and wonder of nature.
We observed at the lakeside for several hours until late at night before returning to the homestay. We imported our photos and videos into the computer to enjoy and share our harvest. We felt that this night observation was very successful and interesting, thanks to the Wildguarder Owler1 night vision binoculars for giving us such a good experience.
This trip to observe birds in Yangcheng Lake in Suzhou left a deep impression on me. Not only did I see many beautiful and rare birds, but I also experienced the natural scenery and cultural customs of Yangcheng Lake. I am also happy to share this trip with my two friends, enhancing our friendship. I hope to have the opportunity to observe birds in Yangcheng Lake or explore more natural mysteries in other places in the future.