Birdingpals Trip Report
BIRDING IN DUBAI, UAR, HONG KONG, CHINA AND THAILAND 20 APRIL – 7 MAY 2006
submitted by Birdingpal Ron Bartlett
www.travelcollection.co.uk Pandas and the Orient cost £1099 + Single Supplement £247 leaving Gatwick on 19 April 2006. I
took an extension called Bangkok and Beach for a further £249.
The fight with the excellent Emirates Air made a two and a half hour stop at Dubai early the next morning. I found a
spacious uncrowded lounge with plush toilets and a view from windows. Bird flew close-by House Sparrow, Common Bulbul,
Common Myna,, Laughing Dove and lifer – Arabian Babbler. The onward plane to Hong Kong had less legroom but the food and
service were still good.. It arrived at 9pm and I got to bed at 11pm.
Next morning I had arranged to meet Birding Pal Andy Smith at University Station 15 minutes from Mong Kok, a short walk
from the comfortable Metropole Hotel.Ron Bartlett
Sure enough Andy’s car arrived as I exited the station. We went straight to Tai Po Kau, a woodland. As we walked up the
steps, a local birder pointed out Asian Paradise Flycatcher (with short tail) along with a Japanese P.F. complete with long
tail which was a lifer for Andy. We also had a good selection of woodland birds including a Red Throated Barbet and a
stunning Scarlet Minivet. As we were leaving, we spotted Blue Winged Minla, Asian Brown Flycatcher and Fire Breasted
Flowerpecker with Violet Laughing Thrushes by the stream. We went then to the “Golden Triangle” another patch of woodland
with good raptors – Oriental Honey Buzzard, Crested Goshawk and Eurasian Sparrow Hawk. Back to University to pick up Maxine
from Seattle, Andy is a very busy Birding Pal as there appears to be no organised tours in Hong Kong, then off to Long
Valley, an area of paddy and agricultural fields. With shrikes, wagtails, prinias, waders, herons. A Large Hawk Cuckoo
called, but we had Japanese Yellow Bunting a vagrant reported the day before, another Lifer for Andy. Lunch at a corrugated
iron restaurant was excellent with beers, soft drinks and 2 lunches for £4!.
By now it was late afternoon, and too late to get into Mai Po, also the walk from the entrance was too long for a couple of
old fellows. We decided to walk part of the entrance road, Koels and Azure Winged Magpies flew around the Visitor Centre
while a Plaintive Cuckoo called. There were ponds on each side of the road and we were soon ticking waders and reed bed
birds. One of the ponds was surrounded by wide grassy areas good for Red Throated Pipit but there was also a Richard’s and
a Rosy Pipit another lifer for Andy! Dusk was now setting in so we made for a hillside for Savannah Nightjar which duly
chirruped and flew for us.. This had been a great day’s birding with 75 species, many thanks to Andy who limped painfully
towards the end of the day.
Next day, we were leaving by train for Guangshuo and Guilin but I got down to Kowloon Park to pick up another half dozen or
so species and lose my digital camera.
After a pleasant two hour train journey we did a city tour of Guangshuo including a bonsai park, where singing birds in
cage competed with the wild Magpie Robins. Had local blackbird and Great Tit here along with Red Billed Leothrix and
Chinese Bybax. We flew to Guilin arriving at the Hotel Osmanthus at 11 pm another long day.
A tour of Guilin including Fubo Hill and Reed Flute Caves was part of the trip but I could not manage either due to steps
with no hand rail, but birded the parks outside.
Bought a very nice little automatic camera for £17 including film and batteries from helpful people who spoke no English.
After an evening at the theatre, we went on a 3 hour boat trip along the River Li to Yangshuo, but birds were few, but had
Collared Crow, Slaty Backed Forktail and a Kingfisher, also a Plumbeous Water Redstart just where we docked. The scenery
Next morning it was an excursion to the countryside which was really beautiful but the birds were few, as they were in most
After a lunch at the King’s Food of China , get it(?) following a Chinese painting lesson in the afternoon we attended a
marvellous sound and light show on the river in the evening.
It rained most of the next morning but did get out to Yangshuo Park, which though large was very thin on birds. In the
afternoon we left, to fly to Chengdu calling off at a tea plantation, with shrikes, Grey Faced Buzzard and Greater Coucal.
arriving at the excellent Tibet Hotel at 11pm.
Next morning we were off on the 4 hour coach journey to Wolong along a rough road by a river with masses of construction
work going on above a large dam.. After lunch we arrived at the Wolong Panda Sanctuary, the pandas were in pens which were
mostly concreted with a single concrete walkway so few birds, they did however have 16 charming babies. Then followed a
visit to the Panda Museum which was very interesting I picked up the beautiful Daurian Redstart in the evening. Was out
again at 7am in the park in the middle of the village. 2 trees with feathery leaves provide the best birding in China so
far, with yuhinas, tits and minivets etc in good numbers. Wolong is close to the Tibetan border so have done myself out of
a trip to Tibet! After being scolded for being late for breakfast, we left for Chengdu calling at the brilliant Dujiangyan
Irrigation Project built in 300 BC by a man and his son, had Red Billed Starling and Tibetan House Martin here. On arrival
back in Chengdu, we called at the Bamboo Park with over 150 species, this was a good place for birds with more tits, hoopoe
and laughing thrushes, had 15 lifers on this day.
The rest of the party of 22 were either flying home or going on to Beijing, leaving at 12 noon. I was not flying to Bangkok
until 1.25am, so decided to pay a visit to the Chengdu Panda Sanctuary getting back to see them off. The pandas were in a
very large park, small buses were provided to take visitors from the main gate to the animals. I took a slow stroll up the
road between bamboo and other trees, soon had Red Headed Trogon, more tits, Vinous Throated Parrotbill, white morph Asian
Paradise Fl;ycatcher and Red Tailed Laughing Thrush among others. After spending a while with the pandas I made for the
advertised lake but it was still under construction, noon had come and gone, I made my way to the restaurant, where they
served up enough vermicelli to feed 4 people with a beer and a coffee was about £2. The waitresses were lovely, conversed
with them using with my Travellers’ Aid from Aldi which among other things did an English/Chinese translation. Strolled back
to the entrance and took a cab back to the hotel just in time to check out by my 4pm extension. This was a truly beautiful
park and well worth a visit.
Sitting for 5 hours in the hotel lobby, school children approached the window smiling and waving, sometimes families too.
English is taught in schools and there are always signs in English, there was an advertisement which proclaimed “Success in
English, success in life”. A surprising number of people spoke English and there were many who wanted to try theirs out on
visitors. My few words of Chinese went a long way also. The Chinese people were great but they did think that anyone who
watched birds was mad.
All the hotels were excellent, clean and comfortable with well equipped bathrooms, with bottled water, tea and coffee
facilities. All except 3 meals were provided but I am afraid the food did not agree with my stomach but managed to avoid
using a floor level toilet in China anyway! I set a record for Imodium! Each meal was accompanied by Pepsi or beer, the
beer was 11% so a little went a long way!
I arrived at the Hotel Arnoma in Bangkok at 3.45am, there was a miscalculation on the number of days here but Travel
Collection arranged an extra night at no charge.
I decided to look for a digital camera to replace that lost in Hong Kong and went to the Big C department store next to the
Hotel. Was directed to the 3rd floor where I bought a real beauty complete with 2 SD cards and a battery charger. I met
Nina the Kuoni Rep, who kindly arranged with the hotel that I was leaving the next morning. All the local reps were
excellent, Nina even spoke to Dem Kantamara, a Birding Pal who had arranged the next two nights in bungalows in the Kaeng
Krachan National Park. I had been exchanging emails with Dem for some time thinking she was a fellow, she brought along
friends Act and Bir as well.
Dem duly arrived at 8am the next morning and we were off on the 2 hour journey to the National Park stopping at a couple of
birding spots, recording Asian Open Billed Stork.
It was May 1st – Labour Day and the Sunnee Resort was packed with life jacketed people enjoying the fast flowing but rather
smelly river that flowed through. We went for lunch to a restaurant with a fantastic view across the 45 sq km reservoir lake.
After lunch we set off in Dem’s car to bird this huge park, which contains tiger, elephant, wild dog and leopard. The latter
was seen by others along the road. Birds were plentiful with 4.broadbills, woodpeckers and all manner of woodland birds, we
returned after dark avoiding an Indian Nightjar sitting in the road.
Next day a jeep with driver was hired for £20 and we made for The Summit, near to the King’s Summer Palace. We also stopped
for Red Bearded Beaeater and got good views of this stunning bird. Blue Winged Pitta was heard and Crested Serpent Eagles
and a Mountain Hawk Eagle performed for us. Dem and the others left the jeep 3km before the camp ground, well into the park.
I stayed on which was a wise decision considering the heat. After a drink, I birded around the camp ground with the driver,
who showed me Sultan Tit and Forest Wagtail while Oriental Pied Hornbills flew across. I had missed Giant Hornbill earlier
in the day and Brown Hornbill was seen by the others during their walk which took two and three quarter hours. We finished
with a late lunch by the lake. We spent both evenings looking at Bir’s vast collection of photographs on his laptop some
taken during the day.
Early next morning, I had a walk around the lake at the Resort, with Malay Night Heron, Lesser Coucal and Streak Eared
Bulbul. A nice breakfast was provided free. The Sunnee Resort was clean, comfortable with really nice people.
Dem had to work in the afternoon, so she dropped me off at the Regent Hotel , Cha Am, half an hour from the National Park.
It had been a great two days and a highlight of the holiday, proving that Birding Pal works.
The Regent Hotel is absolute luxury, spent most of the day on the shady balcony except for some seawatching with Lesser
Sand Plovers flying onto the beach.
After an early night, I was up early to walk the nature area which though beautiful had few birds but did get Bar Bellied
Spent the rest of the day on the beach, but the only seabirds were one Cormorant but had a pair of Saunders’ Terns.
Had a nice lunch at Wan’s which was Nee’s – www.the email@example.com where two courses with drinks came to under a
fiver. On the way back a man chased a 5ft lizard out of a toilet in the hotel grounds!
Repeated the action of the previous day with not a lot but went along to Wan’s for a last night dinner, on the way back
there was a loud UHU, UHU, coming from a patch of shrubs!
After a last morning walk, I had to check out of the room by 12 noon, so after sitting around in the lobby, made my way
along to Wan’s at 3pm for a late lunch, by the time I left and had a manicure on the beach it was well after 6pm, and just
had time to get changed in the changing room provided before the Kuoni coach arrived at 7pm. The people at Wan’s were
really nice, even the bouncer who was throwing people IN.
The Regent is a lovely hotel with great people and just the place to relax after a hectic tour. I never left the grounds,
the excursion to Hua Hin was cancelled due to lack of people although the hotel ran a shuttle bus which looked full, but I
did not want to spend 5 hours in there with nothing arranged. I had a massage at the hotel which was supposed to be hands
and feet but it seemed to be most of the body and was brutal rather than soothing, but I did feel good after, even though
the masseuse did not seem to understand about my replacement knee.
Wan’s is refurbishing rooms over the restaurant with sea views available shortly.
The Thai people were very nice with smiles and helpfulness everywhere. It was a three hour run to Bangkok airport and had
to queue for an hour at check-in with other waits at passport control and security, it took a quarter of an hour to
convince them of the metal in my knee!.
1.25am arrived and we took off, all the planes on the holiday were on time. There was 3 hours to wait in Dubai, I could not
find the nice lounge used on the way out. Had a stroll around Duty Free and was directed to a toilet at the end in a
corridor behind the stairs which seemed little used and was being cleaned as I left. Sat in a very crowded area with an
overcrowded toilet until it was time to take off for Gatwick.
Arrived half an hour early – noon – at Gatwick, but my wife forgot where she left the car and it took nearly an hour to find
Kuoni and Tour East’s organisation ran like clockwork with every one in the right place even at unearthly hours. John at
Guilin and Whangshuo was particularly good with an organised programme of excursions and visits, including a night at the
theatre with acrobats and dancing, also the fantastic Whangshuo Son et Lumiere show on the River Li which should not be
missed and Jane at Chengdu and Wolong looked after us very well.
In China no-one dress like Chairman Mao and nobody called me an “imperialist running dog” and everyone smiled and responded
to my “Ni hao” hallo, more people than expected spoke English.
This had been one of my most enjoyable holidays for the people, the sights and scenery although the birding has been much
better in other places, except Hong Kong and Thailand.
Birding Pal worked very well, both were great on birds and very enthusiastic.
I think I have just about done Asia now, but may have one or two stop-offs to make on future visits to Australia – Japan?
Total species: 239
Trip Report China – 26-29 May 2005
submitted by Birdingpal Zoe Zuo
submitted by Birdingpal Ron Bartlett
Taibaishan, Shaanxi, China ...in search of Blackthroat
by Björn Anderson
This is a report from a “twitch” based on 100 years old gen! One of the least known birds in China is the beautiful Blackthroat, of which extremely little is known. Myself,
Jocke Hammar and Chris Campion were all keen on finding this gem. However, our information was limited to say the least and mostly based on the following quote from the Red Data
Shaanxi Taibai Shan (Tai-pai Shan), Qinling (Tsinling) Shan, four adult males collected, "half way up", late May and July 1905 (Hartert 1907b, specimens in AMNH and BMNH).
“He who dares wins”, so loaded with much hope, we decided to spend an extended weekend on this mountain, the highest in eastern China. The number of visiting birders to the Qinling
mountain range has so far been very few and therefore we saw the trip also as an exploratory visit. As it turned out, we did not find the target bird, but anyway had some great
birding in a very scenic area.
"Birders in Taibaishan, Shaanxi"
We recorded a number of interesting birds like Temminck’s Tragopan, Blood and Golden Pheasants, the recently described Sichuan Treecreeper on its most northeasterly site so far,
ten species of Phylloscopus warblers, at least three species of Seicercus warblers, sympatric occurrence of the still sometimes lumped Spotted and Pere David’s Bush-Warblers,
Indian Blue Robin, Golden Bush-Robin, nesting Spectacled Parrotbill, Sooty Tit and Slaty Bunting.
Rather interestingly, we also noted that the local Goldcrests had a completely different song and seemingly a slightly different plumage…
We arrived simultaneously in the evening at Xian airport from Beijing and Hong Kong respectively and were met by Mr Lei and guide Ms Zoe. Within minutes we were leaving the
airport in their new Great Wall jeep. After a swift and comfortable ride on the express road west from Xian, we arrived at the small village of Tangyu after only 1.5 hours. We
checked in at the pre-arranged hotel and went to bed dreaming of stunning views of Blackthroats.
Woke up early, i.e. 4.00, by the sound of Common Cuckoo, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Lesser Cuckoo and Grey Nightjar. The entrance gate to Taibaishan Forest Park was only about a km
from the hotel, but unfortunately did not open until 6.00 or 6.30 depending on the peak season. We therefore spent almost one hour around the gate listening to at least six
calling Golden Pheasants and several Eastern Crowned Warblers.
At 6.15 we set off up the mountain. We wanted to reach high altitudes as soon as possible so drove rather quickly. Golden Pheasants were calling along the way in the lower parts
of the valley. A quick stop at Hong Hua Ling at almost 2300 m yielded a nest-building pair of Spectacled Parrotbills and a nice chorus with Chinese Leaf-Warblers as lead vocalists.
From here we continued up to Xiabansi at more than 2700 m. At this elevation we could however find no bamboo and the highest area we noticed any bamboo was around 2500 m. From
Xiabansi we took the cable car to Shangbansi at over 3100 m. From the cable car I heard a singing Sichuan Treecreper, a very distinct species only very recently described from
Sichuan and here probably at the northeastern most point of its range. Later we heard and saw at least two more individuals slightly below Shangbansi.
The habitat around and above Shangbansi was probably not very interesting from a Blackthroat point of view as it lacked good understorey and especially bamboo. Instead we started
to walk slightly downhill through the rhododendron forest. A pair of Blood Pheasant was joined by an extra male and they all slowly walked past us at point blank range. Sichuan
Treecreepers were singing as was a couple of Goldcrests. The latter having a song very different from “normal” Goldcrests. We worked our way through the mixed forest diagonally
downhill in order to cover ground and traverse trough different vegetation zones. No sign of any Blackthroat, but loads of Greenish and Hume’s Warblers as well as numerous
Red-flanked Bluetails. After having crashed through the forest for quite some time we suddenly came across a paved trail. This led us through nice forest all the way down to just
above Hong Hua Ling. This walk took us most of the day and we rounded it off with walking down past Hong Hua Ling and a couple of kilometers below that. Initially we had planned
to stay at Xiabansi, but as it was only a short drive away and the accommodation at Hong Hua Ling was seemingly good enough or better, we decided to stay overnight there. As we
had been in the forest all day, only eating the local “socks”, we all enjoyed the nice dinner spiced up with some donkey meat and Bowmore.
Chinese Leaf-Warbler with its galloping song that was heard throughout the days at mid to high elevations.
Jocke came up with the idea that Blackthroat, being a Luscinia, perhaps sings at night. Up predawn and positioned us in a nice area of bamboo at 2400 m. Needless to say, this did
not pay off. We birded this area in the early morning until driving up to Xiabansi and deciding to walk the trail along the ridge that would take us back down to Hong Hua Ling.
At first this trail climbed to well over 2900 m and then followed the ridge for most of the time. Added some birds for the trip-list like Golden Bush-Robin, Spotted Bush-Warbler,
White-winged Grosbeak and had some good views of the local Goldcrests. Along this trail we did not find any bamboo at all.
The last part of the trail was extremely steep and was made by cut foot-steps in the sometimes not far from vertical mountain side.
Once we were back at Hong Hua Ling, we had an early lunch while there was a short rain shower. After having recharged our batteries, we started walking down the main road to
about 1800 m elevation. Good views of Indian Blue Robin, Slaty Bunting and not so satisfactory views of the trilling Seicercus warblers.
In the mid afternoon we called for Mr Lei to catch us up and drive further down the road. We then birded the area between KM 5 and 8 until dusk, in the hope of finding Moustached
Laughingthrush, which has been seen in this area. Plain-tailed Warblers Eastern Crowned Warblers, Manchurian Bush-Warblers and Golden Pheasants were recorded but not much else.
By dusk we were back at Hong Hua Ling for our last night and another nice dinner.
We were up slightly before dawn around 5.00 and after a quick bite we drove down the main road in search of Golden Pheasant. They totally eluded us and the only pheasant we saw
was a female Temminck’s Tragopan. At one point I also briefly heard a Pere David’s Bush-Warbler singing when we drove past it. It then did not take us long before we had
eyeball-to-eyeball views of it. We then heard a couple of more individuals along the drive. We actually drove all the way down to the first gate before turning around and
stopping at KM 5. We then spent the entire morning until 11.00 in the area between KM 5 and 8, but we still dipped on Moustached Laughingthrush.
At 11.00 we left Taibaishan and drove back to Xian airport. The journey was quick, only 1.5 hours, and the only interesting bird along the road was a Tiger Shrike.
The weather was with us for most of the time, which is far from guaranteed at this time of the year. Very comfortable temperature and we only had the occasionally raindrops. One
day was rather windy. On the top of the ridges at about 3000 meters elevation, the deciduous trees were still growing the new leaves, whereas in the valley at below 2000 meters
it was full summer. The top of the mountain at ca 3700 meters still had some snow, although the summit is out of reach for foreigners and probably also rather birdless.
Jocke had arranged everything via Internet. He got in contact with a local travel agent named Ecotours, which proved to be absolutely excellent. The manager of the company,
Mr Lei and the guide, Ms Zoe, were very professional, efficient and most of all very nice persons. We all enjoyed their company and expertise. Mr Lei was especially knowledgeable
in all the nature reserves right across the Qinling and Min mountain ranges.
Ecotours can be contacted at www.wildgiantpanda.com and email firstname.lastname@example.org
If planning a trip to the Qinling Shan, we could warmly recommend their services.
Taibaishan is the highest mountain in the Qinling Shan. Only a few mountains in this range reach the altitude of 3000+ meters. So far, rather few birders have visited Taibaishan,
but given its proximity to Xian, this is likely to change. Taibai Forest Park is very easy to visit, only 1.5 hours from Xian, good accommodations and food supply. In order to
find Blackthroat, it may however be necessary to venture off to other places on the mountain and this requires more careful planning and permits.
Map of Taibai Shan Forest Park. Note that south is “up”.
Comments on Blackthroat
We know for certain that we did not hear any Blackthroats singing. Even though we did not spend a lot of time in this part of Taibaishan, we believe that it is not likely that
it occurs in the accessible parts of Taibaishan Forest Park. The reason for this statement is that there are only rather small areas of bamboo and these are mostly below 2500
meters. Of course, the information on preferred habitats for this species is extremely limited. Given that it is closely related to Firethroat and a few of the historical records
are in bamboo, we assume that it should be looked for primarily in bamboo, most likely at rather high elevations.
Alternative sites where it should be looked for are: - the southern slope of Taibaishan where there is extensive bamboo up to at least 3100 m.
This is a military area and requires permits as well as walking 5-10 hours, excluding five hours drive from Xian.
- the northern slope of Taibaishan, but in the area within the Nature Reserve east of the Forest Park. This is also military area and requires special permits.
- Changqing Panda Reserve, north of Hanzhong (Crested Ibis area), which apparently has bamboo up to around 3000 m.
- Baishuijiang on the border with Gansu province. This is ten hours drive from Lanzhou. This site could also be highly interesting to check for Przewalski’s Parrotbill, another
species of which virtually nothing is known.
Needless to say, the Qinling and Min mountains will see us back next breeding season, most likely at Baishuijiang…
"Birds of Taibaishan, Shaanxi"
The following list is mostly my personal observations, although I have added a few species that were noted only by Jocke and Chris.
Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea ssp
Three between Taibaishan and Xian.
Little Egret, Egretta garzetta garzetta
One in the river at low elevation.
Sparrowhawk sp, Accipiter sp
Singles at high elevation.
Eurasian Buzzard, Buteo buteo japonicus
A pair at Shangbansi.
Eurasian Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus interstinctus
One at KM 5.
Blood Pheasant, Ithaginis cruentus sinensis
Two males and a female together above Xiabansi at 2900m. A real show as they slowly wandered past us at very close range.
Temminck’s Tragopan, Tragopan temminckii
One female by the roadside at dawn at 2000 m. Surprisingly none heard calling.
Golden Pheasant, Chrysolophus pictus
Common between the first and second gates. Probably 25-30 heard, but none seen, although we did not put in any effort other than driving along the road after dawn.
Spotted Dove, Streptopelia chinensis chinensis
A pair at the second gate and more common at low elevations outside the park.
Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Cuculus sparverioides sparverioides
About 10-15 heard.
Common Cuckoo, Cuculus canorus canorus
One heard at Tangyu village.
Himalayan Cuckoo, Cuculus saturatus saturatus
At least three heard from the ridge. Calling with the four-syllable song: hu, ho-ho-ho, different from the northern form species.
Lesser Cuckoo, Cuculus poliocephalus
Several heard all the way from Tangyu to the ridge.
Asian Koel, Eudynamys scolopacea chinensis
About ten from the second gate and below.
Chinese Tawny Owl, Strix [aluco] nivicola nivicola
One heard at dawn at 2400 m and one heard at dawn at Honghualing. The typical doublehoot call of the Chinese forms.
Grey Nightjar, Caprimulgus indicus jotaka
One heard at Tangy village and one heard and another seen on the road pre-dawn at Honghualing.
Fork-tailed Swift, Apus pacificus kanoi
Sometimes seen in large flocks.
Black-capped Kingfisher, Halcyon pileata
Two at lower elevation.
White-backed Woodpecker, Dendrocopos leucotis tangi
One above Xiabansi.
Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dendrocopos major stresemanni
Three seen at low and mid elevations.
Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica gutturalis
Several between Xian and Taibaishan.
Asian House Martin, Delichon dasypus cashmiriensis
Two flocks seen, one low and one high.
White Wagtail, Motacilla alba leucopsis
Several at low elevations.
Grey Wagtail, Motacilla cinerea melanope
About ten seen, low- high elevations.
Long-tailed Minivet, Pericrocotus ethologus ethologus
5-8 at mid-high elevations.
Collared Finchbill, Spizixos semitorquatus semitorquatus
About five at low elevations.
Goldcrest, Regulus regulus yunnanensis
One heard at Shangbansi, one heard and seen below Shangbansi and three heard and seen along the ridge. The song of this form is completely different from those in Europe.
It is more reminding of a sort of phylloscopus. The plumage seemed to differ in the wing pattern, with a lack of whitish bases to the primaries.
Brown Dipper, Cinclus pallasii pallasii
Four seen at low and mid elevations.
Winter Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes szetschuanus
About five heard around Xiabansi and the ridge.
Rufous-breasted Accentor, Prunella strophiata strophiata
One at Xiabansi.
Blue Whistling-Thrush, Myophonus caeruleus caeruleus
Common at low elevations.
Chestnut Thrush, Turdus rubrocanus gouldi
Three between 2400-2700 m.
Manchurian Bush-Warbler, Cettia canturians
Two heard around KM 5.
Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler, Cettia fortipes davidiana
Fairly common at low elevations.
Yellowish-bellied Bush-Warbler, Cettia acanthizoides acanthizoides
About five heard between Shangbansi and Xiabansi.
Spotted Bush-Warbler, Bradypterus thoracicus przevalskii
Four at 2700-2800 m at Shangbansi and along the first part of the ridge. Two of them really showing well and singing out in the open. The song is a fast three-syllable
Pere David’s Bush-Warbler, Bradypterus davidi davidi
Four below Xiabansi at around 2100-2200 m. Also this species behaved well and responded well to the tape. The song of this form is a repeated single buzz, clearly different
from the previous species.
Yellow-streaked Warbler, Phylloscopus armandii armandii
Two at 2300 m above Xiabansi.
Buff-barred Warbler, Phylloscopus pulcher pulcher
Five at the ridge and around Shangbansi.
Sichuan Leaf-Warbler, Phylloscopus forresti
One at the ridge at 2800 m.
Chinese Leaf-Warbler, Phylloscopus yunnanensis
Very common from about 2200 m and above. The two song-types of this species were heard almost constantly throughout the day.
Hume’s Leaf-Warbler, Phylloscopus humei mandellii
Very common from about 2400 m and above. Commoner higher up, where this species, together with the previous, made up the constant background. Also this species has two different
Arctic Warbler, Phyllsocopus borealis ssp
One heard at the first gate was probably a migrant.
Greenish Warbler, Phylloscopus trochiloides obscuratus
Very common from Xiabansi and above. Commoner higher up. The song of this form is clearly different from viridianus, by being shorter, fuller and not so complex. Mostly showing
a large square greater covert wingbar and a narrower median covert wingbar, similar to plumbeitarsus. The bill seems to be darker than viridianus, although still somewhat pale
inner lower mandible.
Large-billed Leaf-Warbler, Phylloscopus magnirostris
Common from 1800-2200 m, where its typical song was constantly heard.
Eastern Crowned Warbler, Phylloscopus coronatus
Fairly common from the first gate to KM 5. The song is very similar to e.g. Japan, although it was consistently only a three-note song: tschui-tschui-dzzzzheee.
Blyth’s Leaf Warbler, Phylloscopus reguloides claudiae
Only two identified at about 2100 m.
Plain-tailed Warbler, Seicercus soror
Common between KM 5-8, 700-900 m.
Bianchi’s Warbler, Seicercus valentini
Common between 2200-2700 m.
Omei Warbler, Seicercus omeiensis
Common between 1800-2200 m. At least two identified on basis of trilling song and complete eye-ring unbroken at the rear. Call-note a single or double soft “du” or “du-du”.
We cannot exclude that any of the others were not Grey-crowned (S tephrocephalus), which is also reported by Martens from this mountain range.
Rufous-faced Warbler, Abroscopus albogularis fulvifacies
About five around KM 5.
Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Ficedula strophiata strophiata
One at the ridge at 2800 m.
Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Culicicapa ceylonensis calochrysea
About five heard at mid elevation.
Indian Blue Robin, Luscinia brunnea brunnea
Seven around 2000 m.
Red-flanked Bluetail, Tarsiger cyanurus rufilatus
Common at high elevations.
Golden Bush-Robin, Tarsiger chrysaeus chrysaeus
One male at the ridge at 2800 m.
Daurian Redstart, Phoenicurus auroreus leucopterus
Several at high elevation and one at KM 5.
Blue-fronted Redstart, Phoenicurus frontalis
Two between Xiabansi and Shangbansi.
White-capped Water-Redstart, Chaimarrornis leucocephalus
Fairly common at mid elevation.
Plumbeous Water-Redstart, Rhyacornis fuliginosus fuliginosus
Common at mid elevation.
White-bellied Redstart, Hodgsonius phaenicuroides phaenicuroides
5-10 heard at 2200-2400 m.
Two heard at low elevations. White-crowned?
Hwamei, Garrulax canorus canorus
Two at KM 5.
Elliot’s Laughingthrush, Garrulax elliotii elliotii
About five at 2300-2500 m.
Spot-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Pomatorhinus erythrocnemis gravivox
At least five heard around KM 5.
Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Pomatorhinus ruficollis (intermedius?)
At least three heard at low elevations.
Rufous-capped Babbler, Stachyris ruficeps davidi
About five at low elevations.
Streak-throated Fulvetta, Alcippe cinereiceps fessa
Two at 2300 m and two higher up.
White-collared Yuhina, Yuhina diademata
A few at mid to high elevation.
Spectacled Parrotbill, Paradoxornis conspicillatus conspicillatus
A pair building a nest at Honghualing.
Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Paradoxornis webbianus suffusus
Fairly common at low elevations.
Black-throated Tit , Aegithalos concinnus concinnus
Several flocks at low elevations.
Sooty Tit, Aegithalos fuliginosus
One at 2400 m was showing at a distance of one meter. Sooty Tit carrying food.
Rufous-vented Tit, Periparus rubidiventris beavani
One seen by Jocke and Chris at the ridge.
Yellow-bellied Tit, Pardaliparus venustulus
One at 2200 m.
Grey-crested Tit, Lophophanus dichrous dichroides
Two seen by Jocke near Xiabansi.
Green-backed Tit, Parus monticolus yunnanensis
About ten at low-mid elevation.
Eurasian Nuthatch, Sitta europaea sinensis
One between Honghualing and Xiabansi.
Sichuan Treecreeper, Certhia tianchuanensis
Three, maybe four, between Xiabansi and Shangbansi. This species was very recently described from a few sites in west-central Sichuan. Subsequently is has been found in northern
Sichuan (Jiuzhaigou) and last year also in Shaanxi at the same site where we recorded them. The song is completely different from Eurotreecreepers. A rather short falling trill,
prrrrrrrrrrr, or prrrrrr-r-r-r-r-r. We were all familiar with the song from Wolong and Wawushan in Sichuan.
Tiger Shrike, Lanius tigrinus
One between Taibaishan and Xian.
Brown Shrike, Lanius cristatus lucionensis
One between Taibaishan and Xian.
Grey-backed Shrike, Lanius tephronotus tephronotus
Three below Shangbansi.
Hair-crested Drongo, Dicrurus hottentottus brevirostris
Two near KM 5.
Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius sinensis
About ten at low elevation.
Red-billed Blue Magpie, Urocissa erythrorhyncha brevivexilla
Fairly common at low elevation.
Eurasian Nutcracker, Nucifraga caryocatactes macella
Fairly common in the high elevation coniferous forest.
Large-billed Crow, Corvus macrorhynchos colonorum
At least two at low elevation.
Carrion Crow, Corvus corone orientalis
At least one at low elevation.
White-cheeked Starling, Sturnus cineraceus
Common between Taibaishan and Xian.
Russet Sparrow, Passer rutilans rutilans
A pair at KM 8 and several around Tangyu.
Common Rosefinch, Carpodacus erythrinus roseatus
One heard singing at the ridge.
Vinaceous Rosefinch, Carpodacus vinaceus vinaceus
About five around Shangbansi and the ridge.
Oriental Greenfinch, Carduelis sinica sinica
Two between Taibaishan and Xian.
Grey-headed Bullfinch, Pyrrhula erythaca erythaca
About ten above 2400 m, mostly around Shangbansi.
White-winged Grosbeak, Mycerobas carnipes carnipes
One at 2900 m at the ridge.
Slaty Bunting, Latoucheornis siemsseni
Two males (one recorded when singing) and another heard bird at 1900 m. Singing Slaty Bunting.
Godlewski’s Bunting, Emberiza godlewskii omissa
A nesting pair at KM 8.