9th – 26th June 2017
Leader: Summer Wong
This is a tour joined by two families: Paul & Jill Rendell, Ophelia Winyard and her parents: Colin Winyard, Cordelia Brand
Day 1-2, Paul and Jill arrived on 9th June, Colin family arrived on 10th June.
Day 3 June 11 Chengdu Panda Base, Chengdu to Tangjiahe NNR
It’s Sunday today, lots of tourists in the panda base, we headed straight to the place where normal tourists do last in sightseeing tour, so no body there except us on the begging of the day, there we got our first male Chinese Grosbeak, and White-browed Laughingthrush every where on the ground and trees, Chinese Bulbul flying around on the top of the trees, Grey-capped Greenfinches very active and in big number, Chinese Pond Heron, Black-capped Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret flying across above head. Red-billed Liothrix went crazy to the owlet call, 2 Rufous-capped Babblers came with a few Japanese White-eye and a pair of Collared Finchbill. When we were watching at a small group of Vinous-throated Parrotbill on a open flowering land a pair of Chinese Bamboo Partridges walking alone the edge of bamboo, and eventually cross the flower field and the road into another bamboo field. Near the swan lake we got a big group of White-rumped Munia, Common Moorhen and Little Grebe in the lake. On the way to baby panda enclosure, we got Rufous-faced Warbler right above our head. After lunch outside of the panda base, we headed to Tangjiahe, birding on the way, got Brown-breasted Bulbul, Crested Myna, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Asian House Martin, Long-tailed Minivet, Crested Kingfisher. We arrived at Tangjiahe in late afternoon, on the way to hotel, we got Wild Boar and Chinese Goral.
Day 4 June 12 Tangjiahe
Before we took the bus inside the park to the tragopan place, we tried to look for Golden Pheasant on the way by our own coach, on a usual place, we heard it, but seems like it up on the slope somewhere, it’s calling a lot, but not interested our tape, so we decided to climb up to reach the bird, Colin and I went up on the middle area of the slope, then we found the male pheasant feeding on a tree, we told the others we got the bird, but no one wanted to climb up, we had to go down and decided to leave to the tragopan place, on the way, we changed mind, decide to have a try again, to photograph the bird, so we drove back, and this time, Ophelia, Cordelia and Paul made up mind to come with Colin and I，when we reached the pheasant tree, we found a gap to look the bird, after we all had a view of it, it jumped off the tree, we moved quietly to change a anger hiding behind a tree, we got great view of it feeding on the grass for around 10 minutes, everybody was happy of the result. We had breakfast on the parking lot while we were waiting for the bus to the tragopan place, there we got Sulphur-breasted Warbler. With some other Chinese tourists, we took the bus to Motianling, did birding alone the way up, got Yellow-bellied Tit, Martin’s Warbler, Large-billed Leaf Warbler, Salim Ali’s Swift, while we were watching a bird wave of small birds, a pair of Barred Laughingthrush singing in the background, took us a while to get them out. In he bird wave we had Ashy-throated Warbler, Claudia’s Leaf Warbler, Emei Leaf Warbler, Kloss’s Leaf Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Warbler. On the middle way, we got a group of White-throated Laughingthrush, and a pair of Spotted Nutcracker, and a singing Indian Blue Robin, very cooperative, had great view of it, near to the top area, got a very close view of a White-backed Woodpecker, in the bamboo, got Golden-breasted Fulvetta, on the top, we got another small birds’ wave, Pere David’s Tits, Yellow-browed Tits, Fire-capped Tits, White-collared Yuhina and Japanese White-eye. We waited for the tragopan to show, but no sign, around lunch time then we decided to go down slowly, on the way down, we got Ferruginous Flycatcher, Colin walked in the front, he spotted a male Temminck’s Tragopan walking alone the trail, Ophelia and I had a glimpse of it running into the bamboo, I went back to show the other the direction of the bird, but it crossed the river to the other side disappeared in the bamboo, the others behind missed it. On the way back to hotel, on the river, got White-crowned Forktail and Brown Dipper. On the low area, in a bird wave, got Mrs Gould’s Sunbird, Chestnut-flanked White-eye. On the day, got Tibetan Macaque on the road in the moring, Reeve’s Muntjac, Takin, Chinese Serow.
Day 5 June 13 Tangjiahe to Chuanzhusi
After breakfast in hotel, we headed to Chuanzhusi via Huanglong, out of Tangjiahe nature reserve, we managed to see a Black-streaked Scimitar Babbler and a Collared Crow flew across the road and landed on a big tree, there we also got actively singing Eastern-crowned Warbler and Chinese Leaf Warbler, a pair of Yellow-throated Bunting showed well near by the road, Elliot’s and White-browed Laughingthrush and a group of Vinous-throated Parrotbill in the same place. When we arrived at the high altitude area, we got Chestnut Thrush, Daurian and Blue-fronted Redstart, Grey-backed Shrike, Red-billed Chough and Alpine Leaf Warbler. After dinner we discussed about the plan for next morning, normally we will start in the very early morning to look for Sichuan Wood Owl, but except Colin would like to try very early for the owl, nobody else want to do so, the final decision is we will start after sunrise.
Day 6 June 14 Gonggangling, Ruoergai
This morning we started around 6AM, had breakfast at a parking lot. The first bird I tried was Sichuan Wood Owl, but no response at all, I heard Siberian Rubythroat singing in the bush, so we tried to get the rubythroat, but it started to rain and was windy, making the bird very hiding, it kept moving around us but always through the bushes near to the ground, very hard to get a chance to have good view of it for everybody. After everybody had reasonable view of the bird, we headed to look for other species. There we got Hodgson’s Redstart, Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch,
Hodgson’s Treecreeper, Grey-crested Tit, White-winged Grosbeak, Greenish Warbler, Bianchi’s Warbler, Buff-barred, Sichuan, Hume’s and Alpine Leaf Warbler. We heard Snowy-cheeked Laughingthrush singing nearby, managed to get them out, but they were very hiding, just got view of them flying through the pine trees and moved around the bushes on the ground. Around 8:30 AM，I heard Sichuan Wood Owl calling in long distance behind us, we turned back, tried to get it closer, then we heard it very close, but took me some time to spot it was just in front of us hiding behind the thick pine leaves, can only saw it through a small hole. But later it moved out just seating on a dead pine tree in the open. We kept following it, it was moving around us more than 2 hours. A pair of Crested Tit Warbler hanging around in the pine trees for a while, they were always high up on the big pine trees, while we were watching the tit warbler, a Grey-headed Woodpecker calling loudly and flew to the pine tree behind us. After Gonggangling forest, we had lunch in Chuanzhusi then headed to Ruoergai. On the way, we got Daurian Jackdaw, Black-necked Crane, Little Owl, Carrian Crow, Northern Raven, Golden Eagle, Lammergier and Himalayan Griffon.
Day 7 June 15 Ruoergai
Started in the early morning, our first target species was Blue-eared Pheasant, on the way I heard the call, so stopped there and checked, eventually found it sitting on a pine tree down the valley, because most of it’s body was hiding in the tree and distance made it hard to spot it. We had good view of it through the telescope. Later it jumped off the tree, starting to walk up the slope, another 3 Blue-eared Pheasants just showed on the slope too, no idea where they came from. We stayed there watching them walked up the slope slowly, obviously they were about to cross the road to the up area. After breakfast, we started to look for Chinese Grouse, we flashed one out from the bushes, it flew into the pine forest in front us. In that area, we got a male Three-toed Woodpecker on top of a dead pine tree, Maroon-backed Accentor singing on top of pine trees. On the way up we got a pair of White-browed Tit Warbler in the small pine trees and bushes, alway moving and hiding. White-cheeked Nuthatch was found on the usual place, singing loudly on top of pine trees. A pair of Tibetan Siskin were heard and spotted on pine trees alone with Goldcrests, Rufous-vented Tit. Chestnut and Kessler’s Thrush were very common, and got Golden Eagle, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Olive-backed Pipit, Common, Chinese White-browed and Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch, Grey-headed Bullfinch, White-winged Grosbeak, Godlewski’s Bunting, Buff-throated, Buff-barred, Sichuan, Chinese, Hume’s Leaf and Greenish Warbler there. Heard Chestnut-throated Monal Partridge, Blood Pheasant and White-bellied Redstart.
On the way back, Cordelia and Jill spotted a Black Woodpecker sitting on a short dead trunk on up slope of the road, close view but after we stopped the vehicle to check, it moved away. Got Pere David’e, Giant and Elliot’s Laugingthrush.
We had lunch in downtown of Ruoergai, then headed to Flower Lake area, there we got Upland Buzzard, Saker Falcon sitting on a high point on rocky area of the grass land, 10 Black-necked Cranes, Brown-headed Gull, Ruddy Shelduck, Red-collared Dove, 10 Common Cuckoos, Daurian Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Northern Raven, Ground Tit, 4 Tibetan Larks, Horned Lark and Oriental Skylark, White-rumped and Rufous-necked Snowfinch.
Day 8 June 16 Ruoergai to Maerkang
In the early morning we headed to Maerkang, had field breakfast on the way. There we got a male Przevalski’s Rosefinch in the yellow flower land, very actively singing. We tried to get Tibetan Partridge, we were once quite close to it, we heard it call behind us down the slope, but when we approached it, it stopped, never call again and disappeared. White-browed Tits were found on the same place alone with 3 young male Przevalski’s Finch. Dusky Warbler singing loudly inside the bush, managed to get it out in the open. Tibetan Snowfinches were found on a mud slope of roadside. Saker Falcon was spotted on wire. Other species we got on this day were:
Brown and Grey-backed Shrike, Black Drongo, Azure-winged Magpie, Ground Tit, Hume’s Short-toed Lark, Oriental Skylark, Horned Lark, Black and Hodgson’s Redstart, Siberian Stonechat, Rock Sparrow, White-rumped Snowfinch, Rufous-necked Snowfinch, Citrine Wagtail, Rosy Pipit, Twite and Common Rosefinch. Mamals this day were : Plateau Pika, Woolly Hare, Himalayan Marmot.
After hotpot dinner, we discussed about the plan for next day, Colin family didn’t want to start early in the morning, Paul and Jill agreed to start late, so the plan for next morning is had breakfast in hotel at 7:30 AM, then start to leave hotel at 8:00 AM.
Day 9 June 17 Mengbishan
After breakfast at hotel, we started at 8:00 AM, heading to Mengbishan, when we arrived at the mountain it was around 9:00 AM, wondering maybe it’s too late for the partridge, but still had a try for the Chestnut-throated Monal Partridge, very quite, no response at all. But in the meantime, I heard Blood Pheasant calling on the up slope, so I set clients hiding behind high bushes, I went up to get close to the pheasant, to attract it crossing the open grass between the pine trees, and it worked, clients had good view of it in the open grass under pine trees. Later I decided go to a spot where I had seen partridge before, not sure about this time of the day, but still gave it a try. Unexpectedly, a pair of Chestnut-throated Monal Partridge were very excited and active, running all the way up directly to us from down slope ! Near lunch time, we heard Blood Pheasants calling near the road, gave it a try, got 2 males and 1 female, good view close to the roadside. A group of 6 White-eared Pheasants were feeding on a mountain on the other side of the valley, good view through the telescope, I think it’s the same group we saw in April and May, they were always on the same place. Around 10:30 AM, when Ophelia said hungry, so we decided to stop and have a brunch with Tibetan bread and Yak yoghourt, while we were eating, I heard some strange call behind us, I was expecting Sichuan Jay, so I ran back to check, and it was a Sichuan Jay !! It just came from down slope climbing up a pine tree and feeding, I called every body back to see it, and ran back to get my camera, two Sichuan Jays feeding quietly through the pine trees and crossed the road to up slope, great view!! Giant Laughingthrush was spotted feeding on the open land out of the fence, not afraid of us at all. 3 Chinese Fulvetta were found near to the top of the mountain in the bushes. 1 Przevalski’s Nuthatch was spotted on top of a pine tree on up mountain, a pair of Hodgson’s Treecreeper were found nearby.
Other good species of the day : Himalayan Buzzard, Rufous-vented Tit, Grey-crested Tit, Goldcrest, Alpine, Buff-throated, Yellow-streaked, Buff-barred, Hume’s Leaf, Greenish Warbler, Elliot’s Laughingthrush, Himalayan Bluetail, Blue-fronted, White-throated, Plumbeous and White-capped Water Redstart, White-crowned Forktail, Slaty-backed, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Common, Pink-rumped，Chinese White-browed Rosefinch, White-winged Grosbeak, Godlewski’s Bunting. Long-tailed Thrush was heard in long distance, but too far away, couldn’t see it.
Day 10 June 18 Maerkang to Wolong
We started in the early morning, planning to pass by Balangshan and do some birding there, but when we went down Mengbishan, passed by the nearest town, the road was blocked, workers told us, because of the rain, the flood and landslide, the road further down was destroyed by the river water, we got out of coach and walked further to check, indeed more than half of the road was washed away by the river, workers there told me that it gonna take at least 5 days to repair it, we had to return back and took another longer way to Wolong via Lixian. It took us whole day on the road, when we arrive at Wolong, it’s dinner time already. No birding this day.
Day 11-12 June 19 – 20 Balang Shan
During the two full days in Balang Shan, we had great two days there. Chinese Monal was still active, a male one flew across the valley to our side just below us on the down slope grassland in the open! Later we spotted it crossed the road to the up slope. We watched it the whole way, had great view of it. A group of Snow Partridges were spotted just 5 meters above us on the up slope of the road, they were calling a lot too, while we were watching the partridge, a pair of Tibetan Snowcock with 3 chicks were spotted just down there on other side of the road! The parents snowcock calling a lot to the chicks to follow them. After that I heard another group of Snow Partridges on the corner down the road, I went down and got very close view of them while they were walking up to cross the road. 4 White-eared Pheasants were spotted on the usual slope. Alpine Thrush was spotted on a rocky part of the mountain while we were watching a male Grandala on the grass, some females feeding nearby. Snow Pigeons were spotted feeding on the ground while we were watching a pair of Red-fronted Rosefinches. Sichuan Tits were found on Rilong side of the mountain. Chinese Babax was also found on Rilong side, and Chinese Beautiful , Pink-rumped Rosefinch. Chestnut-headed Tesia was very active and singing a lot, it’s not hiding that as usual, we had good view of it in a open gap through bushes. Spotted Bush Warbler and Baikal Bush Warbler these similar two species were found by their typical sound on the way from Wolong to the mountain. White-tailed Rubythroat was found on the found near to the top, in total got 4 of them. Brown-breasted Flycatcher was found near Wolong. White-throated Dipper were somewhere 4000 meters place in a stream. Plain, Brandt’s Mountain Finch were found on the top area alone with Alpine Accentor. 2 male and 1 female Sharpe’s Rosefinches were found down the tunnel, 2 female Streaked Rosefinch were found in the rain above the big tunnel. Slaty Bunting was found near Wolong. 3 Firethroats were found on a usual spot, but very hiding, eventually every body managed to see it through leaves, one male flew down to bushes nearby us, had good view of it.
Other good species in Balang Shan: Lammergeier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Long-tailed Minivet, Grey-backed Shrike, Yellow-billed Chough, Alpine, Yellow-streaked, Ashy-throated, Sichuan Leaf, Hume’s Leaf, Greenish, Claudia’s Leaf, Bianchi’s and Marten’s Warbler, Eurasian Wren, Giant and Elliot’s Laughingthrush, Vinaceous Rosefinch.
Day 13 June 21 Wolong – Labahe
After breakfast at Wolong Hotel, we headed to Labahe, had lunch at Ya’an, a restaurant with Beijing roasted duck. We arrived at Labahe in early afternoon, after checked it, clients wanted ot have a rest before go out birding. In the afternoon we did some birding behind Lanshuijin hotel, on the trail there we got a pair of Golden Parrotbills, great view, but I didn’t take my camera, no photo. Got 4 Slaty Buntings near to a small stream. Other good species there are Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Grey-hooded Fulvetta, Stripe-throated Yuhina, female Indian Blue Robin.
Day 14 June 22 Labahe
Started early in the morning to look for Lady Amherst’s Pheasant, in the low area, we got a young male and a female, on the up area, got another two female. Then we started to look for Temminck’s Tragopan, heard one calling in the bamboo, we tried to get closer to it, but it hided well in the bamboo, couldn’t see it. A White-browed Shortwing singing a lot in the bamboo, managed to get it crossed the trail. When we were on the way down to the main road, a male Temminck’s Tragopan was spotted, but it ran quickly down into the thick bamboo, Paul and Jill didn’t see it, so I tried to find it again, the lucky thing is the bird didn’t go far away, still nearby in the bamboo, and eventually it showed up and landed on a tree, this time we all had good view of it, it stayed there more than 20 minutes, we watched it until it flew down into the bamboo. The rest of the day we managed to see some small birds, Chinese Wren Babbler singing near a broken board walk, it showed up a few seconds standing on a open dead wood. Pygmy Wren Babbler took us some effort to get it into view. Ophelia like the wren babblers very much because they look so naughty and cute round shape. On a bird wave we got 6 Fire-capped Tits, a group of Black-browed Tit, Coal Tit, Dark-sided Flycatcher, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher etc. In the bamboo area, we got Aberrant and Yellowish-bellied Bush Warbler, and a curious and active Chestnut-headed Tesia. Speckled Wood Pigeons flying across the trees, got White-throated Needletail on up area. Other good species of the day are: Spotted Nutcracker, Ashy-throated, Sichuan Leaf, Greenish, Large-billed Leaf, Claudia’s Leaf, Marten’s Warbler, Rufous-capped Babbler, Elliot’s Laughingthrush, Golden-breasted, Grey-hooded Fulvetta, Eurasian Nuthatch, Mrs Gould’s Sunbird.
Day 15 June 23 Labahe – Longcanggou
Before we headed to Longcanggou, we did some birding in Erlangshan, there we got 2 Firethroats, one of it we had great close view. Rufous-headed Babbler was spotted in middle area of the mountain, White-tailed Robin was hiding deep in the bush, Colin managed to had a view of it. A pair of Long-tailed Rosefinches were very actively singing, Black-browed Tit showed in the same place.On the other side of the mountain we got Bay Woodpecker and Fujian Niltava, Emei Leaf Warbler. Other species in Erlangshan are : Yellow-browed Tit, Collared Finchbill, Brown-breasted Bulbul, Ashy-throated, Chinese Leaf, Large-billed Leaf, Claudia’s, Kloss’s Leaf, Marten’s Warbler. Russet Sparrow, Grey-headed Bullfinch, Godlewski’s Bunting.
After arrived at Hulin Hotel and checked in，we did some birding before dinner, got 4 Ashy-throated Parrotbills near the hotel.
Day 16-17 June 24-25 Longcanggou
Spent two full days in Longcanggou, in the two days we got 4 Temminck’s Tragopans in the first day, and another 5 in the next day, all female and chicks. Got 11 Lady Amherst’s Pheasants in two days, all female and chicks too. The first day morning we focused on Grey-hooded Parrotbill and eventually got 2 of them in the rain. A pair of Brown Parrotbills were spotted on top area of the mountain. In the middle of the mountain, we spotted a pair of Emeishan Liocichla were playing in the bamboo in distance, Colin and I decided to go down a slope to get closer view, while we were down there watching the liocichla, Ophelia spotted 3 Three-toed Parrotbills in the bamboo on other side, they were hanging around and feeding there long time, sometime deep in to the bamboo, probably nesting there. On the top area，spot a female Golden Bush Robin was calling under the rhododendron，and a male White-bellied Redstart showed well on a pine tree. On the low area, a bird wave brought Yellow-bellied Tit, Fire-capped Tit,Blue-winged Minla, Golden-breasted and Grey-hooded Fulvetta, Dark-sided and Ultramarine Flycatcher. Near to the bottom area we got 4 Buffy Laughingthrushes singing and playing in the pine trees.
Other good species in the two days: Speckled Wood Pigeon, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Grey-headed Pygmy Woodpecker, Black-naped Oriole, Hair-crested Drongo, Spotted Bush Warbler, Brown Bush Warbler, Buff-throated, Sichuan Leaf, Greenish, Large-billed Leaf, Claudia’s Leaf, Kloss’s Leaf, Bianchi’s Warbler, White-crowned Forktail,, Rufous-gorgeted, Verditer, and Slaty-blue Flycatcher female, Fujian Niltava, Vinaceous Rosefinch, Grey-headed Bullfinch, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler. Heard Lesser Shortwing.
Day 18, June 26 Chengdu
Airport send off.
Will put the bird and mammal species list later…