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Look who has Flocked to the West Lake… 2018-11-16

During the Golden Week Holiday, the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon of West Lake and the Jiangyangfan Ecological Park were crowded with tourists who were fascinated by some new comers. These new comers flocked to the lake and took the golden locations of Hangzhou as their new home.

The advance party of the winter birds in Hangzhou

The cormorant was first found on the spire of one of the three stone pagodas in the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon by Zhu Biying, part of the West Lake Supervision Team, during his daily patrol. According to Zhu Biying, in previous years, cormorants had often been seen in Nanshan Road on an abandoned fountain but this year, the cormorants have inhabited Little Paradise Island.

The Cormorant is said to be accustomed to standing on the peak of the high Metasequoia, a fast- growing deciduous tree, for its arrogance and aspiration for freedom. That is why the Little Paradise Island is the chosen one other than Ruan Gong Islet or Mid-Lake Pavilion.

Almost one to two hundred cormorants migrate to the West Lake in late September or early October, and there are also many other kinds of wild animals reaching the West Lake from November to December for winter migration, such as herring gulls, mallards, mandarin ducks, mergus mergansers and so on.

Jiangyangfan Ecological Park becomes a birds’ paradise

For eight years, Jiangyangfan Ecological Park has made efforts on keeping and improving its ecological environment, and thus, boasts an abundance of ponds, reeds and aquatic animals. With such an ideal environmentit has also become a scenic spot for herons.

The park’s guard, Chen, said, “herons stand casually on the railings but, in fact, are alertly seeking food in the water. The lobsters in Jiangyangfan Ecological Park have all been eaten up by the herons”.

Where to see aquatic birds in the West Lake

Since the excellent environment of the West Lake, various kinds of wild birds come in groups to mark their occupations. For example, for ten years now amidst the West Lake, some mini-islands have been occupied by nearly three or four hundred herons; and opposite the Shangri-La Hotel Hangzhou, there is a waterfront terrace, which is home to West Lake mandarin ducks.

“Using a telescope or binoculars, try to watch them from a distance for the birds are afraid to be disturbed.” Said some birds’ enthusiasts.

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