Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Sichuan - The Beginnning...

Well the Great Fire Wall of China has stopped posts for some time now, but here goes the story of my Sichuan tour so far......

We eventually arrived at a sunny Chengdu airport after a long flight from London via Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific were excellent as always, but must admit I’m really sick of airline food right now! Anyway, we got picked up and transferred to a lovely hotel and soon after walked down the street to the local park. It’s a nice little spot here and we quickly picked up a pair of Yellow-billed (Chinese) Grosbeaks feeding on the floor of one quiet little side trail. 

Chinese Grosbeak

A Chinese Blackbird was then picked up and we spent a little time noting down the structural differences which surely prove this is a good split from its European cousin! A flock of Black-throated Tits was nice, as was a Plumbeous Water-redstart, but not as good as an immature Red-billed Starling feeding along one of the drainage channels. We also enjoyed the antics of several White-browed Laughingthrushes here, and it is a species that is far easier here than elsewhere. So with that done we walked back to the hotel to get ready for our first experience of the excellent local cuisine.

The following morning we drove down to Emei Shan where the plan was to stay at the base of the mountain to pick up some low elevation species. 

Chinese Hwamei

We had Rufous-faced Warbler, at least 11 Chinese Hwamei, Slaty-backed Forktail, a brief Fork-tailed Sunbird, more Vinous-throated Parrotbills, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Brownish-flanked Bush-warbler, White-capped River-chat, and a flock of Pacific & House Swifts were joined by a Himalayan Swiftlet

Slaty-backed Forktail

But I won't make the mistake of coming here again as there's far too many people - something it shares with Jiuzhaigou, but more of that later.

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