AUTUMN and winter are the best seasons for bird watching as large numbers of migratory birds fly across the sky. This year, the birds have returned early to Shenzhen Bay, the Shenzhen Economic Daily reported yesterday.
Billions of migratory birds fly long distances across the globe every year. There are nine important migration routes, four of which pass through China. Shenzhen is located in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.
Figures from the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society also show that there are a total of 3,951 black-faced spoonbills in the world, and 375 of them will spend the winter at Shenzhen Bay this year, accounting for nearly one-10th of the total.
Shenzhen Mangrove Wetlands Conservation Foundation (MCF) has cooperated with Guangdong Neilingding-Futian National Nature Reserve to create suitable habitats for the migratory birds.
The renovation includes combining several small fish ponds into a bigger one to help birds take off and avoid predators, dredging the waterway to facilitate the exchange of water and nutrients at tides and increasing the area of shallows and the length of the waterline for birds to inhabit.
Following the reconstruction of fish ponds of No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4, the water area of the entire wetland has increased by 15 percent, creating a 9-hectare habitat for water birds and 1.5 hectares of freshwater. The number and species of birds, such as Charadriidae, have increased remarkably compared with the same period last year, with a maximum of more than 6,200 and accounting for about 10 percent of the total number of migratory birds at Shenzhen Bay. A total of 38 black-faced spoonbills have also been recorded in this habitat.
MCF has carried out bird-watching activities at Shenzhen Bay, Futian National Mangrove Nature Reserve and Futian Mangrove Ecological Park. Residents interested in bird watching can sign up through MCF's WeChat account to obtain relevant information.