Complete bird-lover’s guide to birdwatching in Sanya
Ideally located by the South China Sea and nestled among green mountains, Sanya is a popular family-friendly tropical tourist city with a wonderful natural environment and plenty of natural food resources for birds.
Sanya boasts many pristine mangrove forest wetland reserves. They are mainly distributed along the Sanya River, Qingmei Port in Yalong Bay, Tielu Port in Haitang District and Yulin River in Jiyang District.
According to incomplete statistics, the mangrove wetlands in the city are home to more than 100 species of birds, including rare and nationally protected Chinese egrets and black-faced spoonbills.
Grab your binoculars and go for a great weekend getaway to one of the following top spots in the city for finding birds.
Sanya River 三亚河
Sanya River is often referred to in Chinese as a “heaven for birds.” With warm temperatures and a long coastline, the mangrove trees around the Sanya River is an ideal habitat for egrets, waders, Kentish plover and grey-backed starlings.
The best time for watching birds along the Sanya River is during the two hours after sunrise and the two hours before sunset.
Egret Park 白鹭公园
Sanya Egret Park is home to large numbers of wild egrets that are endemic to Sanya.
The park is the perfect getaway for anyone looking to spend a few quiet hours away from the hustle and bustle of Sanya city. With a quiet lake in the middle of the park, Egret Park is one of the most pristine and relaxing places you will find within the city, where there are a wide array of plants and birds.
Many water birds and forest birds can be seen up close everywhere in this ecological park, such as Chinese bulbul, oriental magpie-robin, red-billed starling, white-shouldered starling and chestnut-flanked white-eye
Yuya Salt Field 榆亚盐场
Yuya Salt Field was once the largest salt field on Hainan Island. The large salt field is a hot spot for seeing adorable birds, including the common greenshank, Kentish plover, little ringed plover and long-toed stint
As an important migratory winter stopover, the Yuya Salt Field attracts hundreds of thousands of birds that choose this spot as a good wintering ground every year, which makes the Yuya Salt Field a heaven for bird watching.
If you are lucky enough, you may come across rare bird species, such as black-faced spoonbill, white spoonbill, red-necked phalarope, greater painted-snipe, whiskered tern and white-winged tern.
Luhuitou Park 鹿回头公园
Luhuitou Park is a nice place built on top of the hill of the Luhuitou Peninsula. The park is also a good place to go bird watching.
Most of the birds near the top of the mountain are black-naped blue flycatcher, white-rumped shama, streak-breasted scimitar babbler and black-throated laughingthrush. They go about their business punctually, hovering in the sky, creating a beautiful landscape.
Linchun Forest Park临春森林公园
Linchun Forest Park is not only an ideal place for exercises and recreation, but also a place to observe many local birds. Black-throated laughingthrush, long-tailed shrike and green-billed malkoha are among the species that are ubiquitous. Also, birds like Streptopelia chinensis have settled and flourished on the beautiful mountain.
Dong’an Wetland Park 东岸湿地公园
Regarded as a significant part of the Sanya’s wetland system, the Dong’an Wetland Park features abundant botanical resources and functional amusement offerings. The Dong’an Wetland Park is the largest freshwater wetland park in the city. The increasingly improved environment and water quality draw a growing number of endangered birds here, including northern shoveler, Terek sandpiper, white-browed crake, and swamp chicken.
Qingmei Port Mangrove Wetland in Yalong Bay 亚龙湾青梅港红树林湿地
The Qingmei Port Mangrove Wetland Reserve is located in Yalong Bay, Jiyang District. The reserve covers a total area of 1.56 square kilometers. There are 16 species of mangrove trees growing in the reserve, accounting for 18.6 percent of the species in the world.
The Qingmei Port Mangrove Wetland Reserve is a great habitat for over 50 species of birds, such as Chinese bulbul, oriental magpie-robin, warbling white-eye birds, Chinese egrets and orange minivet and common greenshank.