Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Longcanggou to Erlang Shan

We birded the lower slopes of Longcanggou this morning and had an enjoyable walk along the road, picking up several new trip ticks. A singing Chinese Blue Flycatcher posed nicely on a bare branch right next to us, an Oriental Cuckoo flew over and a Wedge-tailed Green-Pigeon was also seen. 

Chinese Blue Flycatcher

As always there were several large flocks and we had nice views of a pair of Brown Bullfinches, Steve R picked up a showy Speckled Piculet, and in the flocks we also saw a Marten’s Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Japanese White-eye, Kloss’s and Large-billed Leaf-Warblers, Red-tailed Minla, and there was also a nice pair of Pere David’s Fulvettas. To finish a nice little session we had further views of Sichuan Bush-Warbler before heading back to the lodge, loading our luggage on-board and setting out on the five hour drive to Luding.

Pere David's Fulvetta

Speckled Piculet

Along the way we stopped for a ‘rest stop’ and in the gardens behind the toilets we found Yellow-streaked Warbler and a cracking Tiger Shrike. A short drive further and we headed along the Old Erlang Shan Road where a pair of Spotted Nutcrackers greeted our arrival.

Spotted Nutcracker

As it was 4.15pm we had timed it perfectly and in glorious late afternoon sunshine we managed to find a number of great birds that would definitely make things easier tomorrow. Amazingly, I managed to call in a Rufous-tailed Babbler that perched on top of a bush for a little while and although it was partially obscured by a branch the views were good. Our first Collared Finchbills, Brown-breasted Bulbuls, Daurian Redstart and a White-browed Fulvetta followed. 

Barred Laughingthrush

And our run of good luck continued when a Barred Laughingthrush hopped up into a leafless bush right below us and began to sing for several minutes. Wow! Many Grey-crowned Warblers were showing well in the area and we enjoyed repeated views, and an Indian Blue Robin hopped along the side of the road right in front of us. 

Indian Blue Robin

Walking back to our waiting coach a Long-tailed Rosefinch played hide-and-seek but was seen by most of the group.

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