With just a few key species to find we headed down to Baxi Forest at 6am and quickly picked up the robustus race of Dusky Warbler feeding quietly in some roadside bushes, plus an Eurasian Wryneck was calling from the top of a small conifer. Further down a pair of Blue Eared-Pheasants were seen briefly walking inside the forest before we had our picnic breakfast. Once on the trails we were able to track down a pair of Crested Tit-Warblers amidst much rejoicing having missed it at Mengbishan.
Shortly after a pair of Maroon-backed Accentors showed well and began calling from the top of a conifer and then after we’d almost given up hope Jeff spotted a bird sat on a distant conifer that turned out to be the elusive Sichuan Jay. We’d actually settled for a rest in a clearing when the bird was seen and over the next half an hour a group of 9 jays flew across the slope above and we enjoyed pretty decent views of a few of them quietly feeding in some much closer trees.
It’s interesting to note that this species is nowhere near as responsive to tape playback as, say, 3 years ago and is getting harder every year to find. A great deal of luck is needed with this one. And that was us done. There were some common species seen such as Hume’s and Sichuan Leaf Warblers, Large-billed Leaf-Warbler, Chinese White-browed Rosefinch and last but not least a pair of Snowy-cheeked Laughingthrushes appeared close by.
|Chinese White-browed Rosefinch|
We took an early lunch in the village and then set off on a 3 hour drive to our next hotel at Chuanzhusi and an early finish to the day.
Along the way we had a couple close encounters with singing Siberian Rubythroats and despite a roadblock we still made it to our hotel by 5.15pm.