Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Asian Bird Fair 2016 Jingshan, China

 Signboard welcoming participants to the Forum that was held at the Park
Cuncaoxin Rural Environmental Protection Promotion Association (CCX), in partnership with the People’s Government of Jingshan County, China Wildlife Conservation Association, Hubei Wildlife Conservation Association and the Asian Bird Fair Executive Committee, invited the Wild Bird Club Malaysia (WBCM) to the 7th Asian Bird Fair in Jingshan County, Hubei Province, China from 11th to 15th November 2016. WBCM was represented by Andy Lee (President), Mark Ng (Vice-President), Tang Tuck Hong, Wilbur Goh, Ang Teck Hin and yours truly. CCX had allocated full board and lodgings, including meals for five days, to four (4) delegates from WBCM. The additional participant was charged USD220 per person for registration fee. Since there were six (6) of us, we shared the total costs of USD440 amongst us. We paid for our own flight tickets. There was no direct flight to Wuhan, China from Kuala Lumpur (by either Malaysia Airlines or AirAsia) and the only available flight that day was by AirAsia, via Bangkok, Thailand.   
Transit in Bangkok. 
Early dinner before our final stop at Wuhan Airport
All aboard Bus No. 2 to Wenfeng Park
Jingshan County is located in the middle of Hubei Province, lying in the south of Mount Dahong. It is in the north of Jianghan Plain. It covers a total area of 3,520 sq. km, which has a population of 650,000. Jingshan County is rich in natural sceneries and human landscape, which is especially famous for Kongshan Cave – “the first karst cave of Central Hubei” and Lulin scenic spots – “the source of the Lulin uprising”. Jingshan is known as “Emerald of Central Hubei” and “the backyard garden of Wuhan City”. Thus it is awarded as “the hometown of birdwatching in China”, “the hometown of tennis in China” and “the national ecological county.” This brief introduction was printed on the Activity guidelines which each of us received when we checked into Haowei Hotel, Jingshan late Friday night, 11th November 2016, after our 2-hour bus ride from Wuhan Airport.
CCX was kind enough to arrange a bus for us that night and it seems their volunteers were on duty that day since 6am in the morning waiting for all international delegates to arrive, and we were on the last bus to Jingshan. We missed the Welcome Dinner at Yufeng International Hotel.
Jingshan’s thick forest, accounting for 45.13% of total area, has more than 500 rivers, 220 reservoirs, superior geological environment, vast water area and wetland provided favorable living conditions for birds’ inhabiting, multiplying and migrating. 209 species of birds have been recorded in Jingshan.
Pictures paint a thousand words – the highlights from WBCM’s journey to Jingshan, China are as below:-
WBCM Information Banner as background to our booth on 12th and 13th November 2016. Although a majority of visitors to Wenfeng Park were local residents who did not read English,   the pictures on the Banner attracted them to our booth. 
Malaysia (including WBCM, Dr Chan Kai Soon, Susan Cheong) getting ready for the Parade of Nations
 Spot the Malaysian Flag!
The Opening ceremony being telecast on huge screen outside the stadium

Scene from within the stadium with crowd filling up seats and the local dignitaries in front of us. The Chinese media snapped away when we entered the stadium. Andrew Sebastian represented ABF Committee at the opening ceremony. His opening speech was translated from English to Chinese, on the spot. WBCM lent a helping hand to our friend Dr Gombobaatar, General Director Mongolian Ornithological Society, the sole representative from Mongolia:-

Opening ceremony front seat row for international delegates during the performances

Ready to welcome visitors & delegates from China, Asia & South America to our booth. Mike Xiong, our booth assistant for the 2 days. He is an English teacher in Jingshan. 

Booth next to WBCM was displaying jigsaw puzzles of Paradise Flycatchers, Scaly-sided Mergansers and Mandarin Ducks

Visitors at WBCM booth below. 

Scenic route towards the public toilets in Wenfeng Park

Calligraphy painting of the majestic Eagle in the Forum building (top left). Pagoda in the middle of Wenfeng Park (top right). Cypress Tree outside the building (bottom left) and a lovely poster of Endemic Bird Species of Taiwan on display at the Wild Bird Society of Taipei booth
The dragon-themed entrance to Wenfeng Park, with replica of Scaly-sided Mergansers their iconic bird species of Jingshan County, which is recovering from the brink of extinction

Read on in Part Two Asian Bird Fair 2016 Jingshan, China

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