Saturday, 22 September 2018

Taiwan 26th March 2018

On our last full day in country we birded back up in the hills in the general area of the Huisun Forest Area and the Hehuanshan National Forest Recreation Area. This was the highest we reached during our Taiwan trip at around the 3,000 metres mark. It was unsurprisingly rather chilly up there and there was some snow on the ground on the surrounding peaks. It was here that we found a few of the species that are only really found at the highest elevations in Taiwan such as the Eurasian Wren and Alpine Accentor.
Lifers for the day included Brown Dipper, Asian House Martin, Taiwan Wren-Babbler, White-browed Shortwing, Siberian Rubythroat and Eastern Buzzard. The Wren-Babbler and the Shortwing were both excellent species to get as they take a significant amount of time to see properly. We had encountered both species on call previously on the trip and a few had been lucky to get short views of each. I had given up hope on seeing either and it was equally satisfying to get the Wren-Babbler as this was the last of our targeted endemics for the trip. The Shortwing like many of the other distinctive Taiwan subspecies are a possible likely split in the future. The Rubythroat was incredibly brief and I was about the only one to get onto it other than our guide. We had heard several during the trip but none showed.

Eastern Buzzard

Eastern Buzzard

Eastern Buzzard

Eastern Buzzard

Eastern Buzzard

Crested Goshawk
White-tailed Robin

White-tailed Robin
White-whiskered Laughingthrush

White-whiskered Laughingthrush

White-whiskered Laughingthrush

White-whiskered Laughingthrush

White-whiskered Laughingthrush

Eurasian Wren subspecies taivanus.

Eurasian Wren subspecies taivanus.

Eurasian Wren subspecies taivanus.

Coal Tit subspecies ptilosus.

Coal Tit subspecies ptilosus.

Alpine Accentor subspecies fennelli.

Alpine Accentor subspecies fennelli.

Alpine Accentor subspecies fennelli.

Alpine Accentor subspecies fennelli.
Male Fire-breasted Flowerpecker

Female Fire-breasted Flowerpecker

Taiwan Barwing

Collared Bush Robin

Collared Bush Robin

Flamecrest

Flamecrest

Flamecrest

Flamecrest

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Taiwan 25th March 2018

Looks like I let the blog slip yet again. I'm going to try to throw up the last of the Taiwan pics as soon as possible. I was just in Cyprus two weeks ago and have plenty of shots from that trip as well. Quite on the homefront here so far with the only recent good bird being an adult American Golden Plover at Omey Strand.

Back to Taiwan. We spent the first half of 25th March around the Zengwun Estuary which is one the main areas for wintering Black-faced Spoonbills which we saw good numbers of. The estuary and adjacent shrimp ponds proved to quite good for waders. I managed to tick my first ever Long-toed Stint here. I spotted one bird resting on a dyke immediately adjacent to the bus. It quickly flew off before I managed to get any shots. Other notable waders seen in the area included a small distant flock of Great Knot, Pacific Golden Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint and Marsh Sandpiper. In all we recorded nineteen species of waders here. Another unexpected surprise was a single Chinese Egret. Easily overlooked amongst the local Little Egrets. This species is listed as Vulnerable by the ICUN and the global population numbers no more than 3,200 individuals.

No new endemics for the day but I did have the following four lifers - Chinese Egret, Long-toed Stint, White-shouldered Starling and Black-faced Bunting.

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill
Chinese Egret

Chinese Egret

Chinese Egret

Chinese Egret

Chinese Egret

Chinese Egret

Little Egret
Black-crowned Night Heron

Green Sandpiper
White-shouldered Starling with a Red Turtle Dove.

Light-vented Bulbul

Brown Shrike

Javan Myna
Pacific Swallow

Pacific Swallow

Pacific Swallow

Male Plumbeous Redstart

Male Plumbeous Redstart

Female Plumbeous Redstart

White Wagtail leucopsis

White Wagtail leucopsis

White Wagtails subspecies leucopsis (top) and ocularis (below).

White Wagtail subspecies ocularis

White Wagtail subspecies ocularis