Spent the day amidst the fine pine-clad mountain slopes of Mengbishan. Having already nailed Koklass Pheasant we didn’t need an early start and instead enjoyed the luxury of a 6am departure from the hotel. Upon arrival the sun was just creeping over the horizon but it took quite a while for the birds to get active. In fact for the next couple of hours we didn’t really see much at all, so when a couple of birders said they had seen ‘the jay’ higher up the road we drove straight there. Well, there was nothing at all here and no sign of any jays, which are usually tape responsive.
So we decided to drive above the treeline and see if any Rosefinches were around. A good move as it turned out as we had Chinese Beautiful, Chinese White-browed, Pink-rumped and 3 female and a cracking male Streaked Rosefinch.
Back down in the forest we began walking along the road from a point about a kilometre below the treeline and it was still quiet. However, Peter B then found us a pair of Crested Tit-warblers feeding quietly in some roadside trees and we were able to watch them for a good quarter of an hour. What a bird!
Continuing on for another 2 kilometres and seeing Hodgson’s Treecreeper and all of a sudden Peter B again picked up a large bird flying through the trees and a quick burst from the ipod resulted in 3 Sichuan Jays flying right towards us and perching right in front of us. A huge relief for all of us as things weren’t looking too promising.
|Poor shot of Sichuan Jay|
Our picnic lunch was taken up above the treeline and a great move as it turned out, because we had 3 Severtzov’s (Chinese) Grouse flying past us and into the forest below – a great result! A pair of Verreaux’s Monal-partridges were also called in as well.
We spent the rest of the afternoon following a trail which was very quiet before driving back to the hotel for an early finish.