Despite its haggard look, we can still appreciate the beauty of this white-throated rock thrush (白喉矶鸫, báihóu jīdōng,
Monticola gularis). Note the abraded plumage, a result of normal wear and tear--the bird last molted months ago--as
well as evidence of the rigors of migration. In Yángkǒu (洋口), Jiangsu, where I photographed this male, the bird was
halfway through a journey that will take it from its wintering grounds in Southeast Asia and southern China to its
breeding grounds in northeast China and the Russian Far East. It's a long journey, one made even tougher by the
out-of-control development on the Chinese coast. Migration is hard enough on birds; but on the coast of China, every
year, birds like this rock thrush run an ever tougher gauntlet. Nikon D3S, 600 mm + 1.4x TC, F/9, 1/125, ISO 2000.