Thursday, 16 July 2015

Baxi Forest

So a nice relaxing 6am departure for Baxi Forest and it’s a lovely clear morning and we can actually see the sun as we drive along. We walk into the moss-encrusted pine forest hoping for really only two birds that we still need (Three-banded Rosefinch and Chinese Nuthatch) but neither are present, although on an other day the birds we see would constitute a good walk: Chinese Leaf-Warbler, Przevalski’s Nuthatch, Sichuan Tit, Red Crossbill, Chinese White-browed Rosefinch and others. We do get a Long-tailed Thrush teed up in the scopes as it sings right from the top of a tall conifer – very nice indeed.

Breakfast is a jovial affair before walking up a beautiful valley with scrub and bushes on both sides where a Sharpe’s Rosefinch had been recently seen. There are a couple fine male White-browed Tit-Warblers, Chinese Fulvetta, Plain Laughingthrush, many Yellow-streaked Warblers, Greenish Warbler, Kessler’s Thrush, Rufous-breasted Accentor, plenty of Common Rosefinches, and best of all a very unexpected Spectacled Parrotbill that comes in very close. Wow! And further up the valley a flock of 14 Tibetan Siskins are feeding in a bush at eye level – again another species giving crippling views and we watch them for ages until they fly off.

Higher up the valley we find many Chinese Beautiful Rosefinches and there’s a nesting pair of White-browed Tits here as well. But all too soon it’s time to leave the Tibetan Plateau and we head towards our next hotel, getting close Daurian Jackdaws by the roadside before stopping at my usual site to scope a superb male Siberian Rubythroat singing from on top of a bush for several minutes. We arrive at the hotel at 4.45pm and have plenty of time to relax this evening.

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