Sunday, 24 April 2011

TAIWAN 24-27 April 2011: Wushe to Kenting


Sunday 24 April (continued). We left Anmashan late morning for the three hour drive to Wushe where stayed in the hotel over the 7-11 on the main street. We spent the early afternoon at the nearby Chun Yang Experimental Farm were we saw 8 Black-throated Tits, Strong-footed Bush-Warbler, Rusty Laughingthrush rather briefly and a pair of Taiwan Vivid Niltavas. We finished the day on the Blue Gate/Pipeline trails which proved rather frustrating as although we saw male Swinhoe’s Pheasant we only heard, or glimpsed, Taiwan Wren-Babbler and Taiwan Shortwing.




Monday 25 April.
We left the hotel before dawn and drove to Beidongyueshan as it was getting light. We walked the track up through excellent forest to the second clearing and back seeing 2 male Swinhoe’s Pheasants, Collared Owlet, White-backed Woodpecker, 2 Yellow Tits, 4 Rufous-faced Warblers, Black-necked Scimitar-Babbler, 6 Rufous-crowned Laughingthrushes, another Rusty Laughingthrush in silhouette, 2 Steere’s Liochiclas, Taiwan Whistling Thrush and 3 White-tailed Robins. We continued east stopping at an deach side of the pass at Hohuanshan where it was noticeably colder. 4 White-whiskered Laughingthrushes, 2 Flamecrests, male White-browed Bush-Robin, 2 Collared Bush Robins, 8 Alpine Accentors and a male Vinaceuos Rosefinch. We continued east down through Taroko Gorge but it was a very popular destination with coach parties and stopping opportunities were limited although we did see 2 Plumbeous Redstarts and another Taiwan Whistling Thrush. We continued south to Taitung, last part in darkness, seeing our first Taiwan Bulbuls almost as soon as we’d left the gorge. We stayed in the basic but convenient Royal Motel but disaster struck when Barry received a text to say the morning’s ferry to Lanyu, that we’d rushed down to be in time for, had been cancelled due to engine failure that would take at least a week to repair.



first clearing at Beidongyueshan
Collared owlet
near Hohuanshan pass





Alpine Accentors


Hohuanshan

White-whiskered Laughingthrush

Wren

Taroko gorge
Tuesday 26 April. We went to Taitung airport as it was opening hoping to get a flight to Lanyu but all were fully booked until early May. So much for being able to turn up and go. We drove south of town and after a couple of false starts found the mouth of an estuary which was fairly productive. We then tried the harbour in case there was another boat going to Lanyu and found another river mouth north of town. Around Taitung we saw 8 Ring-necked Pheasants, Chinese Egret, Barred Buttonquail, 8 Great Knot, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, 15 Oriental Pratincoles, 2 roosting Savannah Nightjars, Long-tailed Shrike, Oriental Reed Warbler, male Blue Rock Thrush and 4 Richard’s Pipits. We decided to heard south to Kenting and stopped at Longluan Lake where a male Philippine Duck was found amongst the Eastern Spot-bills as well as a Grey-headed Lapwing and 2 Chinese Hwamei. We finished at Eluanbi Lighthouse hoping for some migrants but none were evident, not that the time of day or number of people around helped. A seawatch produced 35 Streaked Shearwaters (all moving north, most distant), Brown Booby, Pacific Reef Heron and 2 Black-naped Terns. We returned to Kenting and found the Golden Ocean hotel where Steve got us a bargain price.
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Red-necked Stint
Red-necked Stint and Great Knot
Great Knot
Lesser Sand Plover

Taiwan Bulbul
Savannah Nightjar
Temple near Kenting

Philippine Duck (left) with Eastern Spotbills




Taiwan Hwamei
Wednesday 27 April. We left the Golden Ocean as it was getting light, seeing our first Taiwan Barbets outside, and drove up to Sheding where small flocks of Chinese Goshawks totalling over 100 were moving north. Also seen were Chinese Bamboo Partridge, 2 Taiwan Green Pigeons, male Blue Rock Thrush, Brown-headed Thrush and 90 Eastern Yellow Wagtails, the latter also flying north. We returned to Eluanbi for a short seawatch recording 15 Streaked Shearwaters (all north, none close), Pacific Reef Heron and a migrant Grey-streaked Flycatcher and superciliosus Brown Shrike. We then decided to head back north to Wulu.

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