|Birding in the mist on Emei Feng...|
Then we followed a nice trail for several kilometres but with thick mist making viewing difficult things didn’t look too promising, but within ten minutes a fantastic male Cabot’s Tragopan was seen sauntering along the path in front of us. Even in these conditions the views were very nice indeed and can't tell you what a relief it was to nail this sucker so quickly.
|Atmospheric pics of Cabot's Tragopan in the mist....|
We continued on and came across another three tragopans, with one bird feeding in a tree above the trail and two others walking in front of us – and even the mist lifted slightly.
Other birds were few and far between but we did see Buffy Laughingthrush, Small Niltava, Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Grey-chinned Minivet and even more Huet’s Fulvettas. The rest of the morning was spent walking down the mountain but our effort was hampered by the mist which didn’t seem like lifting, There wasn’t much bird song at all and it was quite frustrating, with just a heard only Pygmy Wren-Babbler and several flocks of Black-chinned Yuhinas to show for our efforts. Driving lower we had lunch at the roadside and managed to see a pair of Yellow-cheeked Tits and a flock of handsome Indochinese Yuhinas.
|Indochinese Yuhina - not in the mist....!|
The early afternoon period was spent at lower altitudes but despite the mist clearing all we saw was a soaring Crested Goshawk being mobbed by a Chinese Sparrowhawk, a few Chestnut Bulbuls and a Rufous-faced Warbler. So we then made another concerted effort to find Elliott’s Pheasant and checked various sites to no avail. However, as luck would have it, sometime later we found a fantastic male standing at the edge of an open area allowing most of the group some fine views. What a bird this is and one of the ‘most-wanted’ species of the entire tour. The same area also held several Mandarin Ducks, White-breasted Waterhen, another Chinese Sparrowhawk perched on telegraph wires, Asian Barred Owlet, Dollarbird and White-crowned Forktail. And that was our day and we enjoyed a nice dinner in the nearby village before driving back up the mountain to the hotel in pouring rain. Nice!