Monday, 23 April 2012

Taiwan Tour Day 6

We spent the entire day at mid-elevation on Hehuan Mountain in the search for Taiwan Hill Partridge. With a big improvement in the weather we were hopeful but despite extensive searching failed to get a sniff of the elusive beastie. Our day began after a later than usual start, followed by a quick change of destination due to a small landslide blocking the narrow road we were following. So we drove higher up the mountain and checked out the Blue Gate Trail briefly but it was very quiet apart from a Collared Owlet, so we drove down into the steep-sided valley through a large tea plantation. After many kilometres of winding narrow lanes it was apparent this road was also blocked, so we had to retrace our route back up the bumpy road, although we saw Crested Goshawk and a flock of Brown Bullfinches on some telegraph wires close to the road. 

Crested Goshawk

We stopped abruptly a little later when a couple of Taiwan Bamboo-partridges were seen at the side of the road and we enjoyed our best views so far when one of them slowly crossed the road and then gave point blank views on the steep bank when we drove closer. This area gave wonderful views across the numerous mountain ridges and right through the mist enshrouded valley so we decided to have our picnic lunch here. 

Vinous-throated Parrotbill

A scrub covered field next to us held several Black-faced and a Little Bunting, along with numerous Tree Sparrows and a flock of Vinous-throated Parrotbills which all gave cracking views. Leaving here we returned to the Blue Gate Trail and walked in a different direction through great forest but the path became to muddy and waterlogged so we drove back down the mountain and parked beside the road to check out the other end of the trail. 

Vivid (Taiwan) Niltava

A Taiwan Cupwing gave some decent views as it circled us and then a large flock came near us which held a superb male Vivid Niltava, along with Yellow and Black-throated Tits and all the usual suspects. Leaving here we checked out another site and heard a Taiwan Hwamei and saw Taiwan Scimitar-babbler,and a pair of Taiwan Bamboo-partridges

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