Well today was definitely a day of two halves with the morning bringing us many of the key target species for the area. I already knew that Sichuan Jay had proven elusive to some other groups prior to our arrival, so I wasn’t confident with that species at all – and yes we failed to see it here.
However, our day got off to a cracking start with a Koklass Pheasant crossing the road and then walking across a clearing not too far away from us. Oh and we also saw a couple of Blood Pheasants at the same spot, before scoping a singing Long-tailed Thrush. We tried to drive up above the treeline but the top of the mountain was covered in low cloud so we headed lower and what a good move this was as we found a close singing Three-banded Rosefinch that posed nicely at the top of the roadside conifers.
It’s a bird I always worry about finding so this was a great relief. And shortly after a Przevalski’s Nuthatch did the same thing and called back at us from some close trees. Excellent.
So by now the weather had cleared and we enjoyed clear blue skies, so drove up above the treeline and found plenty of Chinese Beautiful and some Pink-rumped Rosefinches, but its interesting to note there weren’t any Streaked Rosefinches present like yesterday. We again saw Verreaux’s Monal-Partridge, but this time there was a pair of Sichuan Tits, a pair of cracking White-browed Tit-Warblers and Ivan found us a female Crimson-browed Finch.
Once were were finished here we walked down along the road into the forest but it was exceedingly quiet, as it proved to be all afternoon. A singing Long-tailed Thrush flew past us but the remainder of the day until 5pm when we left was a washout. There were just a lack of birds, either calling or on view. It was devoid of birdlife in the forest. So it was with much relief that we headed back to the hotel..! Must admit I was disappointed we couldn't find the jay or even a Crested Tit-Warbler today, but we still have chances later in the trip....