re-jigged itinerary we now had a full day on Emei Feng instead of the intended
single night stay so we had a good long time to look for ‘chickens’. We started
off birding the lower slopes and driving around the area looking for Elliot’s Pheasant but couldn’t have
anticipated how successful this would be. We began with a male and female
appearing at the roadside before melting into the undergrowth without everyone
getting a view. So we quietly got off the bus and made our way to a point where
we could scan the bamboo slope below us and unbelievable we watched 4 females
and a male walking below us about 30m away. Wow! But even better was to come
when Steven spotted a male on a grassy slope above us, this time much closer
and from the coach we watched him pick his way across the slope above us and
was on view for a good ten minutes. I managed to get this record shot despite the autofocus not working on my camera again...
This was unbelievable for such a truly
skulking and shy creature and after all of the elation had subsided we
continued driving up the mountain. Next up was a female Silver Pheasant, followed a short while later by a male.
|Koklass Pheasant by Steven An|
Then a Koklass Pheasant appeared by the
roadside before we reached Cabot’s
Tragopan habitat higher up and the first of a frustrating 4 brief tragopan sightings
of the day. At the top we had an encounter with 7 Chinese Bamboo-Partridges at breakfast before we began walking down
the mountain in the hopes of a better tragopan encounter. We never got a
classic view, just a few more brief sightings but the weather was perfect with
sunshine and clear blue skies all day.
Passerines were few and far between in
this tragopan habitat but we still saw Northern
Goshawk, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Grey-headed and a brief Bay Woodpecker, White-bellied Erpornis, Japanese
White-eye, Spotted Forktail, Red-flanked Bluetail, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Dusky & Pale Thrushes.
|Cabot's Tragopan by Steven An|
Driving lower for a short time we found some
fruiting trees where the white-headed form of Black Bulbul was seen, along with several Chestnut and Mountain
Bulbuls. At the end of the day we had a look along the river where a Slaty-backed Forktail was found.