The Qinghai Lake is already majestic regardless of the season, but it sparkles even more during the spring and summer seasons, once the ice that covers the waters has already melted. It is during this time that thousands upon thousands of birds would drop by the area to feed and even to lay eggs.
The Bird Island (鸟岛) is found on the northwest portion of the lake. It sits very close to the Buhahe Delta. Different kinds of birds from around Asia consider the island as its home for a few weeks as it has become a very essential migration route for them. The lake, nevertheless, is very ideal. There’s plenty of grass, as well as water. The waters are also teeming with fish, which can be a source of food for a number of them. At the height of their migration, the total number of birds, which can include seagulls and cormorants, can swell to around 10,000. The island is around a kilometer only, but it is subdivided into two sections. One of these is the Haixi Shan, also known as the Egg Island, since it’s a favorite spot for the birds to lay their eggs.
The best month to visit the island is from March to the early weeks of June. The peak, meanwhile, is somewhere around April to May. The lake is highly accessible, and the trip to the island can just be a day trip. Nevertheless, there are accommodation options around. The island as well as the lake is also located in a high altitude, so it’s possible to suffer from altitude sickness the longer you stay here. Bird Island is also now a nature’s reserve, so you may no longer be allowed to touch the birds or transport the eggs, though you’re still welcome to visit and take photos.
Address: northwest of Qinghai Lake, around Buhahe Delta, Qinghai
Admission Fee: CNY 60 (August 21 to April 19), CNY 110 (April 20 to August 20)
Operating Hours: 7:10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
How to Get There: Take a sightseeing bus from Xining bus station.