Monday, 24 May 2010

CHINA May 2010: Wuyuan and Wuyishan

Wednesday 19 May:  We started the day in poor weather with an unsuccessful attempt to find Elliot’s Pheasant at a sub-optimal site that Laolin knew, his better site being inaccessible due to flooding.  The rest of the day was spent birding in rural areas and around small villages.  Birds included Mandarin 4, Pied Falconet 2, Black Baza 2, Brown Crake 1, Grey-headed Lapwing 2, Barred Owlet 1, White-throated Needletail 2, Crested Kingfisher 3, Great Barbet 2, Swinhoe's Minivet 3, Tiger Shrike 2, Red-billed Blue Magpie 12, Collared Finchbill 6, Chestnut Bulbul 1, Rufous-faced Warbler 1, Grey-sided Scimitar-Babbler 2, Masked Laughingthush 5, Blue-crowned Laughingthrush 20, White-browed Laughingthrush 1, Chinese Hwamei 1, Vinous-throatd Parrotbill 3, Chinese Blackbird 12 and White-crowned Forktail 2.


Blue-crowned Laughingthrushes

Pied Falconet
Thursday 20 May:  We had a morning of not very productive rural birding before saying goodbye to Zhang Lin.  Laolin then drove us south to Wuyishan NNR where we arrived in the early evening, just in time for an hour birding in the conifers above the guest house.  Birds included Black Baza 1, Brown Crake 3, Long-billed Plover 1, Large Hawk Cuckoo 1, Crested Kingfisher 3, Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler 1, Hartert's Leaf Warbler 3, White-spectacled Warbler 2, Alstrom's Warbler 2, Rufous-faced Warbler 2, Chines Hwamei 2, Chinese Blackbird 12 and Crested Bunting 1.

Friday 21 May:  We drove the dirt road up into Wuyishan as far as possible being stopped by a landslide about 4kms short of the tree line, but not before we’d seen our first Cabot’s Tragopans.  All day was then spent walking the road above and below the landslide.  The day started with low cloud making birding by the tree-line and ended with showers.  Birds included Chinese Bamboo Partridge 2, Cabot's Tragopan 8 (3 males, 3 females and 2 chicks), Lesser Cuckoo 1, Collared Pigmy Owl 1,  Yellow-cheeked Tit 1, Yellow-browed Tit 4, Mountain Bulbul 5, Yellowish-streaked Bush Warbler 3, Brown Bush Warbler 4, Buff-throated Warbler 1, Hartert's Leaf Warbler 1, Kloss's Leaf Warbler 2, Bianchi's Warbler 3, Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler 1, Grey-hooded Fulvetta 6, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch 3, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush 3 and Rosy Pipit 1.

Brown Bush Warbler in the clouds
birding the road at Wuyishan
Saturday 22 May:  Another full day inside Wuyishan walking the road, often in the rain.  Two Bamboo Partridges from the car in the conifers between the guest house and entrance gate and more tragopans on the road.  Birding was similar to, but quieter than, yesterday with three male and two female Cabot's Tragopans the obvious highlight.

Sunday 23 May:  Another full day inside Wuyishan walking the road, sometimes in the rain.  A female Elliot’s Pheasant from the car in the conifers between the guest house and entrance gate and more tragopans on the road.  I concentrated on the area below the tree-line hoping for Golden Parrotbill but the bamboo there looked to have died and I was unsuccessful although seeing Silver Pheasant was some compensation.  Birds included Cabot's Tragopan 17 (7 males, 6 females and 4 chicks), Silver Pheasant 4, Elliot's Pheasant 1 female, Speckled Piculet 1,  Yellowish-streaked Bush Warbler 1, Buff-throated Warbler 2, Hartert's Leaf Warbler 4, White-spectacled Warbler 4, Alstrom's Warbler 1, Chestnut-crowned Warbler 4, Grey-hooded Fulvetta 5, Indochinese Yuhina 7, Vinous-throated Parrotbill 4, Blue Whistling Thrush 3 and Small Niltava 1.

Barry on the road at Wuyishan

Cabot's Tragopan

Monday 24 May: A final morning along the dirt road at Wuyishan produced more tragopans and a superb White-necklaced Partridge taped in by Pete.  Laolin drove us some way down to a station and put on train to Fuzhou.  The train was very long and very slow taking 5.5 hours and not arriving until 8pm.  Lin Chen (Forest) was standing on the platform to meet us at exactly the point we disembarked our carriage.  Very impressive, even when we realised that Laolin had phoned him with our carriage number.  We then took a taxi to a hotel near Min Jiang.  Thirty-seven species were recorded including White-necklaced Partridge ),  Cabot's Tragopan 3 (2 males and a female), Crested Kingfisher 1, Hartert's Leaf Warbler 3, Kloss's Leaf Warbler 2, Spotted Wren-Babbler heard, White-crowned Forktail 1 and Fujian Niltava 1 male.

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