We headed up the mountain early this morning in two jeeps, and unbelievably after just driving a couple of kilometres a male Temminck’s Tragopan crossed the track in front of us! YES!! It fed briefly beside the road before walking up the slope and out of sight, only to be refound a little later perched about 20 metres above us on a small ridge. It remained for around twenty minutes, ample time to study it through the scope, despite the mist which frustrated us for most of the day. So what a great start and we continued with a few sightings of Lady Amherst’s Pheasant as well as we drove ever higher along the bumpy dirt road. A herd of Golden Takins below the road caused out next stop, and we also had a Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, first of two Brown Parrotbills to be seen today, before reaching the end of the road and the start of the boardwalk.
With a persistent drizzle and accompanying mist and low cloud continuing for the whole day it was a particularly frustrating affair but we soldiered on admirably and were suitably rewarded for our efforts with some quality birds. We began with our first attempt at White-browed Shortwing which would ultimately prove fruitful later in the day. The forest was ringing to the sound of warblers and we notched up the common Claudia’s Warbler, followed by Large-billed and Sichuan Leaf-warblers, and eventually Bianchi’s Warbler. We followed the boardwalk for quite a way and then went quite steeply downhill where a Himalayan Cuckoo, flock of Speckled Woodpigeons, Elliot’s Laughingthrush, Aberrant Bush-warbler, Long-tailed Minivet and White-collared Yuhina were the highlights.
Returning a couple of hours later we added Yellow-browed Tit to our list before eating our picnic lunch in the rain! With the weather looking to continue in the same horrible manner for the rest of the day we decided to head lower down and the next couple of kilometres produced Large Hawk-cuckoo, Grey-backed Shrike, Ferruginous and Rufous-gorgeted Flycatchers, Gould’s Sunbird, Grey-headed Bullfinch, and best of all an Emei Shan Liocichla was lured in for great views. This latter species was one I was afraid of missing, as we normally see it on Wawu Shan - which is closed for the next few years for 'redevelopment'........
We eventually reached our cabins around 4pm and after a much needed hot coffee checked out the immediate vicinity culminating in a grandstand performance by a pair of Golden-breasted Fulvettas who were accompanied by a confiding Rufous-capped Babbler. Not a bad day at all!