Sunday, 27 May 2018

Taiwan 24th March 2018

I started off the day with a pre-dawn walk around the hotel to finally try to see a Savanna Nightjar. We had these birds calling at night around every hotel that we had stayed at so far in the trip. They seem to have no problem living right in the middle of the biggest most lit-up and noisy cities. Several males could be heard calling above most city streets at any given time during the night time. I finally managed to lock eyes on one bird on the top of a high rise building at about 0400 hours.
Come the dawn we travelled to the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology. We spent a few hours on the university grounds and the adjacent Jing-si Lake park.
We were now in the far south of the island and we travelled nearly as far south as possible to Longluan Lake Nature Center. There were bus loads of Taiwanese tourists visiting the visitor centre overlooking the lake which was really a large relatively quiet reservoir. The main reason for coming so far south was to catch up with Styan's Bulbul or Taiwan Bulbul, one of the few remaining endemics left for the trip. This species has undergone a long term decline due to hybridisation with the introduced Light-vented/Chinese Bulbul and is now largely restricted to the extreme south of the island.
We headed back north to our hotel but stopped at the large river at Xinpi. Most the large rivers that we had seen were confined to very small channels due to low flow rates. It's quite clear that a huge amount of rain must fall to fill up these rivers from time to time. It was a little discouraging to see that most of rivers were subjected to large scale industrial gravel extraction. We had great views of a small flock of Black-faced Spoonbills here. The species is listed as endangered by the IUCN. While the numbers have increased in recent years, globally the population still only stands at just under 4000 individuals. Around half of this winters in Taiwan. We also had a colour ringed bird which I'm still trying to pin down.
While the Styan's Bulbul was the only new endemic for the day I also ticked Savanna Nightjar, Maroon Oriole, Whistling Green Pigeon, Eastern Marsh Harrier and Black-faced Spoonbill.

Taiwan Barbet

Brown Shrike
 
Brown Shrike

House Swifts

House Swifts

House Swift

Moorhen and Common Thread Turtle

Grey Treepie

Grey Treepie

Eastern Yellow Wagtail 
Eastern Yellow Wagtail

Black Drongo

Maroon Oriole

Maroon Oriole

Blue Rock Thrush
Red Turtle Dove 

White-bellied Green Pigeon

White-bellied Green Pigeon

Whistling Green Pieon
Black-eared Kite


Black-eared Kite

Black-eared Kite

Black-eared Kite

Black-eared Kite

Crested Goshawk

Crested Goshawk
Tree Sparrow

Styan's Bulbul

Styan's Bulbul

Styan's Bulbul

Styan's Bulbul

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

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