Friday, 20 April 2012

Taiwan Tour Day 2

We began with an early morning walk close to the lodge and although it took a while longer to reach proper birding light due to the low cloud we still saw a number of endemics and other good birds. Of course, Taiwan Yuhinas were ever present, but Steere’s Liocichla and White-eared Sibia were new for us. A Taiwan Shortwing gave brief views as it hopped on the ground and flew past us on a couple of occasions but that was the best we could come up with today, with a number of other individuals heard but none were tape responsive. A Spotted Nutcracker and White-tailed Robin were also seen before heading back to the restaurant for a nice breakfast. Afterwards we drove up to the top of Anmashan, stopping along the way at a nice spot where a cracking male Collared Bush-robin and an extremely co-operative Taiwan Bush-warbler both performed extremely well for us. 
Collared Bush-robin

At the top car park we followed one of the paths, with the mist fortunately clearing but that wasn’t necessary to see the numerous endemic White-whiskered Laughingthrushes – which were often hopping around our feet! More Collared Bush-robins appeared, along with lots of Yellowish-bellied Bush-warblers, as well as our first beautiful Flamecrest. When the mist descended making visibility poor we retreated to the local cafĂ© for some much welcomed hot soup and fried rice before following another path. We did battle with another couple of shortwings and saw a few commoner species but as it was very quiet we headed back down the mountain. 

Swinhoe's Pheasant

We ended up at the mid-elevation level and spent the next three hours watching a couple of male and a female Swinhoe’s Pheasants feeding close to the road. At one stage the sun even came out and the iridescent greens and blues of the male really shone – such a stunning bird. A female White-tailed Robin also appeared, but was much too close to photograph! We held on until dusk in the vain hope of any partridges appearing, although we were entertained by more sibias and Yuhinas before heading back up to the lodge for dinner.

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