Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Longcanggou - Arrival

We left Emei Shan early and drove a couple of hours to Ya’an where at a nice little site we quickly scored with several flocks of Ashy-throated Parrotbills, Swinhoe’s Minivet, Brown-breasted and Yellow-rumped Flycatchers, plus a few other common species. Then after lunch at a lovely outdoor restaurant along the river we drove to the ‘new’ site of Longcanggou and drove up the mountain. This is the  substitute site for Labahe and Wawu Shan, both of which are closed for the time being. I find it exciting visiting a new place and getting to grips with the tricky warblers, and was pleasantly surprised to find Kloss’s and Emei Leaf-warblers relatively common – as, of course, Claudia’s was as well. A Yellow-bellied Tit was new for us, and being a Chinese endemic all the more special. 

Chinese Blue Flycatcher - being held by Per Alstrom!

But when we came round a corner and found Per Alstrom holding a beautiful male Chinese Blue Flycatcher – well that was something else! He is mist-netting here and taking blood samples for dna research and gave us some very useful info which I hope to use tomorrow. Anyway, we continued walking uphill over the 1700m mark, getting Bianchi’s Warbler. Further up we had  our first raptors, Crested Goshawk, Oriental Honey Buzzard and even a Rufous-winged Buzzard carrying a snake up through the fir trees. With Large Hawk and Lesser Cuckoos calling in the distance and great habitat, things were looking good for tomorrow...

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