Photographer captures migrating bird flocks in Tai'an's Dongping Lake

( Updated: 2023-03-03

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A large flock of migrating birds is captured flying above Dongping Lake in Tai'an. [Photo by Qi Yong/WeChat account: SDTXTA]

Dongping Lake in Dongping town, Tai'an, Shandong province has attracted more and more migrating birds to shelter through the winter in recent years.

Qi Yong, a 53-year-old photography shutterbug, has been taking photos of birds at Dongping Lake for 14 years and has captured large flocks of migrating birds many times, including rare and endangered species such as the protected Baer's pochard, reed parrotbill and oriental white stork, which are seen as the pandas of the birds.

"It is a visual feast," said Qi. He was impressed by the magnificent scene last year when he captured it for the first time. Such bird-flock scenes used to only be seen by the sea, but one now occurs at Dongping Lake, which tells us that the ecological environment has been improved.

Dongping Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in Shandong province, with a perennial water surface area of 209 square kilometers. More than 170 kinds of birds have been captured in Qi's lens at Dongping Lake.

The lake's improved ecological environment has also attracted some migrating birds to live and breed there instead of travelling.

For example, the number of the critically endangered Baer's pochards grew from 200 from the first sightings to 1,600 in 2022, according to Chen Changlun, director of Dongping Lake's Baer's Pochard Observation Station.


Groups of birds are spotted migrating to Dongping Lake to live through the winter. [Photo by Qi Yong/WeChat account: SDTXTA]

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A flock of Baer's pochards, a critically endangered species, is spotted having fun at Dongping Lake, Tai'an. [Photo by Qi Yong/WeChat account: SDTXTA]


Two reed parrotbills, which are seen as pandas of the birds, are captured at Dongping Lake in Tai'an. [Photo by Qi Yong/WeChat account: SDTXTA]


A mother pheasant-tailed jacana leads her chicks in search of food at Dongping Lake in Tai'an. [Photo by Qi Yong/WeChat account: SDTXTA]