Sunday, 18 December 2016

China: Fuzhou Forest Park

We had a really enjoyable day at Fuzhou Forest Park, adding 14 new species to our trip list in the process. We arrived just after 6am and had a picnic breakfast before walking the trails until lunchtime and this turned out to be quite a productive morning as we began with a fine Rufous-faced Warbler in the first flock of the day, followed by a very surprising and very yellowish Hartert’s Warbler picking its way along a branch in nuthatch-fashion. I didn’t expect this species at all. We came across a few more feeding flocks and saw White-bellied Erpornis very well, Red-billed Leiothrix, Fork-tailed Sunbird, Tristram’s Bunting, and both White’s and Pale Thrushes. A male Silver Pheasant melted away into the undergrowth and as we approached the upper car park a pair of Orange-bellied Leafbirds, a flock of Black-throated Bushtits, and a Fire-breasted Flowerpecker were seen.

During a break over lunch an Oriental Honey Buzzard flew over, and we also saw Red-whiskered Bulbul, Grey-sided Scimitar-Babbler for Derek and a Blue Whistling-Thrush. Then we birded along the hillside trail and despite only having a couple of hours before we needed to leave for the airport and our flight back to Shanghai we notched up a few more goodies. A Slaty-backed Forktail was very pleasing for Trish as well. I was surprised how many Asian Stubtails were along this trail and everyone caught glimpses of at least one of them. Then a flock of Indochinese Yuhinas appeared close by, we had very nice looks at Chestnut Bulbul, Barred Cuckoo-Dove, and a Spotted Elachura was coaxed in for repeated views. With time running out we descended towards the car park but still had time to nail a Grey-backed Thrush before it was time to leave for the airport.

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