Wild Duck Lake National Wetland Park (Yeyahu)
Beijing may not be known for environmental values, but Wild Duck Lake National Wetland Park (Yeyahu) outside the city is flying the flag for natural restoration. Migrating birds and indigenous plants adorn the flat wetlands that fringe Wild Duck Lake, while a network of cycle paths make it a pleasant place to explore.
Gain entry to Wild Duck Lake National Wetland Park for a moderate charge. It is located close to the Great Wall at Badaling, the most popular stretch of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most tours that depart from Beijing take in both the park and the wall, but dedicated birders may want to spend the day exploring the natural environment. Travel the trails on foot or by bicycle: You can rent them at the entrance for a small charge.
Things to Know Before You Go
Wild Duck Lake National Wetland Park is a must-visit for bird-watchers, especially during the migration seasons.
Wetland restoration and wildlife protection measures mean bird numbers are trending upward.
The wide, flat, lakeside trail at Yeyahu is suitable for travelers who use wheelchairs. The elevated hides are not accessible.
How to Get There
Wild Duck Lake National Wetland Park is located just below the popular Great Wall at Badaling, about 44 miles (71 kilometers) northwest of Beijing. While the S2 train connects Badaling to Beijing, and it’s also possible to piece together buses if you speak Chinese, it’s easiest to reach the lake on a tour or with a private driver.
When to Get There
Visit Wild Duck Lake National Wetland Park during the main migration seasons, spring and fall, for maximum birdlife. The park is open from morning until early evening, seven days a week. It generally closes from mid-November to mid-March, when there’s little to see and it’s extremely cold.
What to See at Wild Duck Lake National Wetland Park
Serious bird-watchers, equipped with binoculars, will find a lot to love at Wild Duck Lake (Yeyahu). Besides the obvious geese and ducks, look out for falcons, harriers, buntings, bitterns, and warblers. If booking a private birding guide, ask about a stop at Badaling National Forest Park to look for Chinese tawny owls.
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