Headed up into the hills at 5.15am in a couple of small minivans and drove to the pass, stopping along the way to secure absolutely crippling views of a pair of Grey-hooded Parrotbills. Sounds easy right? Well, it was our second stop where we searched for this rare endemic and it was very pleasing to find them right beside the main track. What a bird!
Up at the pass we had our breakfast and watched 14 Oriental Honey Buzzards flying over in the clear blue sky, plus a couple of White-throated Needletails.
|Oriental Honey Buzzard|
Afterwards we began our time consuming search for Sichuan Treecreeper and walked down to some fantastic forest. Along the way we absolutely nailed Spotted Bush Warbler with very close looks at a singing bird, followed by a pair of Buff-throated Warblers, a posing White-bellied Redstart and a singing Chestnut Thrush.
When a Chinese Wren-Babbler began calling I didn’t feel too optimistic about our chances of actually seeing it but how wrong can you be? I mean we watched it for about 5 minutes walking along a log on the forest floor repeatedly and then scurrying around a clearing before leaving it in peace. What a result.
Well, we couldn’t locate any treecreepers but did get a pair of confiding Great Parrotbills, Bianchi’s Warbler, and eventually fine views of a Chestnut-headed Tesia. We ended the morning’s session with scope views of a calling Lesser Cuckoo.
After our picnic lunch we continued walking and saw Eurasian Wren, Darjeeling Woodpecker, lots of Sichuan Leaf Warblers, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, and amazingly a Pere David’s Tit - very happy with that. But with mist and low cloud descending, bird activity died off completely as it did yesterday so we drove lower down and found a Sichuan Bush Warbler singing from the top of a grassy bank. And a nearby trail proved to be very quiet with only Claudia’s Warbler and Red-tailed Minla to enliven proceedings so we called it a day. Well that was until we returned to the lodge a little earlier than normal and decided to walk along the road in the forlorn hope of seeing a Chinese Bamboo-Partridge. But we did get our first Eurasian Cuckoo, Grey-backed Shrike, Black-naped Oriole and a few other commoner species.