Dujiangyan and Qingcheng Mountains
Only an hour and half from Chengdu airport, with lots of interesting birding, good hotels and clean air, Dujiangyan and Qingcheng, make for interesting alternatives, to Chengdu, as first or last night destinations. They're also a good choice for day-trip birding from Chengdu.
Dujiangyan town lies on the very edge of the Sichuan Basin just at the base of the Qingcheng Mountains - you have to pass this way to get to Wolong and Balang. It's a scenic area, and, because of it's close proximity to Chengdu, is a popular tourist/day-tripper destination. However, despite the crowds, there are plenty of, off the beaten-track, quieter areas, which offer some very good birding.
Of particular interest are the forested areas of mountain, where the habitat is a combination of maturing secondary forests and small pockets of primary species interspersed with plantation and orchard. Grey-winged Blackbird and Great Barbet are easy ticks, but higher up the mountain in bamboo you can find Golden Parrotbill, Golden-breasted Fulveta and laughingthrushes. On the so-called back-mountain (hou shan) a fast flowing stream gives Little, Spotted and White-crowned Forktail, while during passage BOP migration can be quite impressive. Owls are good - Collared and Oriental Scops, Northern Boobook and collared Owlet are all very possible within walking distance of the city center. The rivers that run through the area contain Large-billed plover and the town park with larger trees give Swinhoe's Minivet and Forest Wagtail.
During 2016 a pair of Silver Oriole were spotted on the Front Mountain (the main tourist site) - the habitat here looks good for this species.
Golden Pheasant, Great Barbet, Northern Boobook, Oriental Scops, Collared Scops, Black Baza, Brown Dipper, Chestnut-bellied RockThrush, Grey-winged Blackbird, Chinese Blue Flycatcher, Little Forktail, Slaty-backed Forktail, White-crowned Forktail, Spotted Forktail, Silky Starling, Moustached Laughingthrush, Chinese Wren Babbler, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Black-capped Sibia, Vinaceous Rosefinch
There is a fast motorway link between Dujiangyan and Chengdu
Lingyan Mountain - very close to the town center. Good for Grey-winged Blackbird and Great Barbet. Golden Pheasant can be heard but difficult to see. Other birds include Black-streaked Scimitar Babbler, Dusky Fulvetta, David's Fulvetta and Moustached Laughingthrush. Collared/Oriental Scops and Northern Boobook can be found at the base of Mountain.
River - any area of mud/shingle are likely sites for Large-billed Plover
Qincheng (front) Mountain - the main tourist site in area, can be heaving with tourists. But still very birdy - a pair of silver Oriole were noted here during 2016
Back Mountain (Hou Shan) - here the mountain streams give the forktails, while up on top there's bamboo. Less tourists than front mountain - it will still be crowded during weekends and holidays. Concrete/stone paths and steps over whole area.