Monday, 25 June 2012

Tibetan Plateau - Baxi Forest

We returned to Baxi Forest this morning having loaded the luggage aboard the coach and began with a walk in the forest where we followed a narrow trail. After a couple of circuits of the same area we were rather dumbfounded to come across a party of 7 Sichuan Jays in a rather unexpected fashion. After all of our searching previously we were understandably elated with this sighting and celebrated in exuberant fashion! So following breakfast we drove lower, seeing another pair of Blue Eared-pheasants walking across a grassy slope before walking alongside a small stream through pine forest which was very pleasant as the sun was shining and Chinese Leaf-warblers sang all around. Roger managed to catch up with White-bellied Redstart and there was also Slaty-blue Flycatcher, Elliot’s, Pere David’s and Giant Laughingthrushes, Sichuan Tit and a few other things seen before we reached an open area. 

Sichuan Willow Tit

Here we scoped an Olive-backed Pipit perched on top of a tree and then an unfamiliar warbler song caught our attention. Like a bolt of lightning out of the blue the bird in question turned out to be a totally unexpected Gansu Leaf-warbler and a quick burst from the ipod confirmed this. 

Gansu Leaf-warbler

Gansu Leaf-warbler

Gansu Leaf-warbler

In fact there were another two birds singing in the same small area and we spent quite some time watching them, noting the spotting on the carpal area and single obvious wingbar bordered by black above. Wow! Leaving here we headed back up the valley and some of the group managed flight views of Chinese Grouse when Tang and Nick walked though an area of low bushes and pine trees. 

White-browed Tit-warbler (female)

White-browed Tit-warbler

White-browed Tit-warbler (male)

Then we checked an area of low bushes where a pair of fabulous White-browed Tit-warblers performed exceedingly well for us at close quarters, along with weigoldi Dusky Warblers and Hodgson’s Redstart and another White-browed Tit

White-browed Tit

So that was it and time to say goodbye to the Tibetan Plateau and we enjoyed our last looks at Black-necked Crane amidst the spectacular scenery, also noting a male Amur Falcon on the telegraph wires before dropping lower through the hills. 

Siberian Rubythroat

Siberian Rubythroat

Siberian Rubythroat

A superb singing male Siberian Rubythroat sang from the top of a bush was our last good bird of the day and we continued our journey to the next hotel in our Sichuan adventure.

Goodbye to the Tibetan Plateau

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