We headed down the mountain and spent the morning walking along a trail that zigzagged its way into the hills and we turned up a number of very good birds and another mega as well, but more of that later. The habitat was fantastic with beautiful valleys complete with mist rising out of the river and rolling forest-cloaked hills more reminiscent of eastern Europe.
|Slaty Bunting (female)|
We began with a surprise find in the shape of the endemic Slaty Bunting, several of which were seen during our walk and an excellent way to begin the day. The demure Brownish-flanked Bush-warbler was then called in, before we tried to catch a glimpse of a singing Chinese Song Thrush which was only seen in flight, as was a Wedge-tailed Green-pigeon. A Barred Laughingthrush was a surprise and it was a shame that a Spotted Laughingthrush couldn’t be enticed closer, although a flock of White-throated Laughingthrushes was a nice find.
Meanwhile a fine Elegant Bunting sat out in the open for all to admire and another Fujian Niltava appeared briefly, and there was also Streak-breasted Scimitar-babbler, a pair of Chinese Babax sat up nicely in a tree at the back of a clearing and Chestnut-vented Nuthatch all seen. We concentrated on the numerous stands of bamboo as we knew that the endemic and rarely-seen Golden-fronted Fulvetta had been seen here recently, but all we found to start with was numerous Golden-breasted Fulvettas and Rufous-capped Babblers.
The distinctive trilling song of an Emei Leaf-warbler was soon tracked down and we also found another couple a little later as well. But when we reached just about as far as we could walk and had to think about turning back, a pair of endemic Grey-hooded Fulvettas appeared, and after a while a third bird appeared in the shadows behind them..........
It took a little time to confirm the fact we had an endemic and mega Golden-fronted Fulvetta in front of us, but it didn’t linger too long and allowed most of the group to get onto it. Wow! Wish I could have got a record shot of it, but it was too mobile and skulky!
Heading back down to the waiting coach we picked up Kloss’s Leaf-warbler and Buff-throated Warbler, along with some previously mentioned species to round off a good morning’s birding. In the afternoon we drove back down the mountain to a lower elevation and quickly picked up Marten’s Warbler singing beside the road and giving some relatively decent views. As we drove back to our cabins, we saw a Mountain Hawk-eagle soaring along the side of the hills. And upon arrival back at base we staked out the bamboo and were rewarded with 3 Golden Parrotbills to round off a great day’s birding.