Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Leaving Paradise..!

My spider senses were telling me that with only two hours to bird the Temple Wood that something would happen to delay our departure to the airport for our flight to Wuyuan. So it was no surprise that 5 minutes before we were about to leave, the ‘biggie’ that we had been waiting for appeared. News filtered through of a Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher on the other side of the Temple resulted in mass panic and a sweaty run around to the far set of trees, but fortunately the bird remained obliging and everyone saw it. 

Record shot of Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher

We had been enjoying a reasonably calm, quiet mornings birding prior to this with flocks of Eye-browed Thrushes flying around, another fine male Siberian Thrush, female Daurian Redstart being new, a couple of Radde’s Warblers, Eastern Crowned Warbler, Chestnut Bunting, Mugimaki Flycatcher etc. It was all rather sedate and there had obviously been no significant fall, so the star bird of our time here just had to turn up at the most awkward time. Well that’s birding!

Mugimaki Flycatcher

Following this excitement we then drove just over 3 hours to the domestic airport in Shanghai, took the short 1 hour flight to Huangshan and then drove for an hour to a picturesque little village surrounded by forested hills and a river. This is the famous site for Pied Falconet and we stood on the roof of a restaurant waiting for one to appear. 

Nice habitat around the falconet's village

Scoping the Pied Falconet

It took around an hour and was just after 6pm when a falconet flew by and landed in a tree maybe 200m away and although not the crippling point-blank views you can get, through the scope it still looked rather sexy. As we were waiting we also saw Plumbeous Water-Redstart, Oriental Magpie-Robin, Collared Finchbill, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Black Bulbul and a perched Chinese Sparrowhawk.

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