A displaying Temminck's Tragopan at Balang - see more trip pictures after list

 

Unlike our usual mad twitches this trip, focused on photography, was far more sedate, and128 out of a recorded species total of 236 were photographed. Of special interest to the client were gamebirds, and in this regard we photographed 10 species - Blue and White Eared Pheasant, Golden Pheasant, Common Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Chinese Monal, Temminck's Tragopan, Chinese Grouse, Snow Partridge and Tibetan Snowcock. At Balang we were lucky enough to see 4 male and 1 female Chinese Monal. A male was watched for nearly an hour climbing and feeding on a screeslope (scratching/digging into the scree and feeding off something under the stones). This bird gave good photo opportunities as did a female that was sat on rock ledge. The next day we got a male - in a thick mist - crossing the road on the Rilong side of the km 90 tunnel. Lower down on the Wolong side of the pass we also got some stunning views of a male Temminck's Tragopan, which, being very territorial, was extending its throat lappets. Higher up on the pass Snow Partridge were also performing well. We got two birds sitting on the road side crash-wall, which made for an easy picture. Two pairs of Blue-eared Pheasant were seen in the Baxi area, while at Mengbi we were totally surrounded by a large, very vocal, 50+ flock of Blood Pheasant.

 

Other outstanding birds for the trip included a pair of Przewalski's Finch on the Ruoergai Grasslands. However major road building - they're widening the section of road between Waqie and Zoige - will impact this year's birding in the area, both in terms of scarring roadside birds further into the grassland and with our ability to make road-side stops. Other grassland birds included passage migrants -a flock of Asian Short-toed Lark could be expected but a lone, sorry looking, Chinese Thrush perched up on a wire was a little bit more unusual. Pine Bunting were showing well close to Hongyuan, while our haul of Falcons also included Amur and Merlin together with the usual Sakers.

 

At Baxi a flock of 4 Sichuan Jay gave some great views in the forest to the west of Baxi Village and Crested Tit Warbler were found in twice.

 

Because of general uncertainty over Longcanggou access - birders are getting in but it was a little bit touch and go during late April - we decided on swapping the site out with Emei. We hit Emei during the May holiday and were very lucky to get special permission to drive our vehicle onto the mountain. Otherwise during the holiday period access is strictly restricted to park busses. Having our own transport meant we could drive to the tracks that avoid the crowds - we didn't see a single tourist during our Emei birding - even though the mountain was literally crawling with them.

Outstanding birds included the two new splits - Chinese Wren Babbler and Sichuan Bush Warbler - both of which gave great views.

At the top of the mountain they've cut a new road, which gives more birding chances in the type of conifer habitat that has previously been difficult to access on Emei. Although we didn't get Sichuan Treecreeper, a bird which will be surely be found on this stretch of road, we got both Crimson-breasted and Darjeeling Woodpeckers.  

 

     

 

Sites –

Qingcheng Mountain, Dujiangyan – QM

Wolong/Balang – WB

Emei Shan - ES

Mengbi Shan – MS

Ruoergai Grasslands – RG

Baxi – BX

 

Itinerary

April 21 - arrive - stay first night Dujiangyan - birding base of Qingcheng Mountain

April 22 – drive to Ruoergai – afternoon/evening birding on plateau

April 23 – Ruoergai and Baxi

April 24 - Ruoergai and Baxi

April 25 – drive to Hongyuan – grassland birding

April 26 - drive to Markang – Ibisbill site

April 27 - Drive to Wolong via Mengbi Shan

April 28 - Wolong/Balang

April 29 – Wolong/Balang

April 30 - Wolong/Balang

May 1 – morning birding Wolong drive to Dujiangyan - birding Qingcheng Mountain

May 2 - drive to Emei – afternoon birding Emei Back Mountain

May 3 - Emei

May 4 - Emei – drive back to Chengdu

 

Bird List - those in bold script being photographed species

1. Snow Partridge Lerwa lerwa - WB
2. Chinese Bamboo-Partridge Bambusicola thoracica – heard only – QM, ES
3. Tibetan Partridge Perdix hodgsoniae - RG
4. Tibetan Snowcock Tetraogallus tibetanus - WB
5. Blood Pheasant Ithaginis cruentus – BX, MS, WB
6. Koklass pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha – heard only - WB
7. Chestnut-throated Partridge Tetraophasis obscures - MS
8. Temminck's Tragopan Tragopan temminckii - WB
9. Chinese Monal Pheasant Lophophorus lhuysii – WB, heard Alpine forest between Hogyuan/Maerkang
10. White Eared-Pheasant Crossoptilon crossoptilon – MS, WB
11. Blue Eared Pheasant Crossoptilon auritum - BX
12. Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus – BX, RG, WB
13. Lady Amherst's Pheasant Chrysolophus amherstiae –heard only - ES
14. Golden Pheasant Chrysolophus pictus - WB
15. Chinese Grouse Tetrastes sewerzowi - BX

16. Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus - RG

17. Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea - RG
18. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos - RG

19. Common Teal Anas crecca - RG

20. Garganey Anas querquedula - RG

21. Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca - RG
22. Common Merganser Mergus merganser - RG

23. Crimson-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos cathpharius - ES
24. Darjeeling Woodpecker Dendrocopos darjellensis - ES
25. Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus – QM, road past Sonpang

26. Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis - ES

27. Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius - BX

 

28. Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops – RG, MS


29. Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioide - heard only – QM, ES, WB

30. Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus saturatus – heard only – WB, ES

31. Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopacea – heard only - ES


32. Himalayan Swiflet Collocalia brevirostris - ES

 

33. Little Owl Athene noctua - RG

 

34. Hill Pigeon Columba rupestris - MS

35. Speckled Wood Pigeon Columba hodgsonii - ES
36. Snow Pigeon Columba leuconota - WB
37. Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis - WB
38. Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis – from the car, driving days in the basin

 

39. White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus - WB

40. Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis - RG

41. Solitary Snipe Gallinago solitaria - RG
42. Wood Sandpiper Tringa ochropus - RG
43. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos - RG
44. Common Redshank Tringa tetanus - RG

 

45. Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii – road between Hongyuan and Maerkang

 

46. Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus - RG


47. Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus – RG, WB
48. Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis – RG, MS, WB
49. Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus – RG, WB
50. Black-eared Kite. Milvus linaetus - RG

51. Eastern Buzzard Buteo japonicus – ES

52. Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis - RG

53. Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus - RG
54. Himalayan Buzzard Buteo burmanicus – BX, WB
55. Upland Buzzard Buteo hemilasius – RG

56. Mountain Hawk Eagle Spizaetus nipalensis - ES
57. Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus - QM WB

58. Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis - ES

59. Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus - ES

60. Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis - BX
61. Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus - RG

62. Amur Falcon Falco amurebsis - RG

63. Merlin Falco columbarius - RG

64. Saker Falcon Falco cherrug - RG

 

65. Little Egret Egretta garzetta – driving days from car

66. Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus – RG

 

67. Black Stork Ciconia nigra - RG

68. Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach – QM, ES
69. Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus – RG, WB

70. Tibetan Grey Shrike Lanius giganteus - RG

71. Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius - QM
72. Sichuan Jay Perisoreus internigrans - BX
73. Black-billed Magpie Pica pica - RG
74. Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyana – RG
75. Red-billed Blue Magpie Urocissa erythrorhyncha – QM, WB, ES
76. Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax – WB, RG
77. Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus - WB
78. Daurian Jackdaw Corvus dauurica - RG
79. Carrion Crow Corvus corone – RG WB
80. Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos – WB ES
81. Common Raven Corvus corax - RG

82. Spotted Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes - WB

 

83. Long-tailed Minivet Pericrocotus ethologus – WB, ES
84. Swinhoe’s Minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis - QM

85. Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis – QM WB ES


86. Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii - ES

87. White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus - road between Hongyuan and Maerkang

 

 

88. Blue Rock-Thrush Monticola solitaries – QM, ES

89. Blue Whistling-Thrush Myophonus caeruleus – WB, ES
90. Long-tailed Thrush Zoothera dixoni - BX
91. Chinese Blackbird Turdus mandarinus – QM, ES

92. Grey-winged Blackbird Turdus boulboul - ES
93. ChestnutThrush Turdus rubrocanus – BX, WB
94. Kessler's Thrush Turdus kessleri – BX, RG
95. Chinese Thrush Turdus mupinensis – RG – lone passage bird on telephone wire

96. White-browed Shortwing Brachypteryx Montana – heard only - ES


97. Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata – WB ES
98. Verditer Flycatcher Eumyias thalassina - ES

99. Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla - ES

100. Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra - ES

101 Indian Blue Robin Luscinia brunnea - WB

102. Golden Bush Robin Tarsiger chrysaeus - WB

103. Himalayan Bluetail Tarsiger rufilatus – BX, MS, WB

104. Himalayan Rubythroat Luscinia pectoralis - WB


105. Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis – QM, ES

106. White-throated Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus – BX, WB
107. Hodgson's Redstart Phoenicurus hodgsoni – RG, BX, MS
108. Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus - ES
109. Blue-fronted Redstart Phoenicurus frontalis - WB
110. Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros - RG
111. White-capped Water-Redstart Chaimarrornis leucocephalus – WB, MS
112. Plumbeous Water-Redstart Rhyacornis fuliginosus – MS, ES

 

113. White-tailed Robin Myiomela leucurum – heard only - ES


114. Grandala Grandala coelicolor - WB

115. Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus - RG

116. Grey Bushchat Saxicola ferrea – QM, ES

 

117. White-cheeked Starling Sturnus cineraceus - RG

118. Red-billed Starling Sturnus sericeus - RG
119. Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus – see on driving days in basin

120. Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria - WB

 

121. Hodgson’s Treecreeper Certhia hodgsoni - MS

122. Eurasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes - WB

123. Sichuan Tit Poecile weigoldicus – BX, WB
124. Rufous-vented Tit Periparus rubidiventris – BX, WB, ES

125. Coal Tit Periparus ater – WB, ES

126. Pere David’s Tit Poecile davidi - ES

127. White-browed Tit Poecile superciliosus - RG
128. Yellow-bellied Tit Slyviparus venustulus – QM, ES
129. Grey-crested Tit Parus dichrous – BX, WB
130. Eastern Great Tit Parus major – BX, WB
131. Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus – WB, ES, QM
132. Yellow-browed Tit Sylviparus modestus - ES
133. Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus – QM, ES

134. Eurasian Crag-Martin Hirundo rupestris - MS
135. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica – RG
136. Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica - ES
137. Asian House-Martin Delichon dasypus – MS, WB

138. Collared Finchbill Spizixos semitorques – QM, ES, WB
139. Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis – QM, ES

140. Himalayan Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus - ES
141. Mountain Bulbul Hypsipetes mcclellandii - QM

142. Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus – QM, WB, ES
143. Chestnut-flanked White-eye Zosterops erythropleurus - ES

 

144. White-browed Tit-warbler Leptopoecile sophiae – RG BX WB

145. Crested Tit Warbler Leptopoecile elegans - BX

146. Brownish-flanked Bush-War Cettia fortipes – QM, WB, ES
147. Yellowish-bellied Bush Warbler Cettia acanthizoides - ES
148. Aberrant Bush-Warbler Cettia flavolivaceus - ES
149. Sichuan Bush-Warbler Locustella chengi - ES


150. Chestnut-headed Tesia Tesia castaneocoronata - ES

151. Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus - RG

152. Alpine Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus occisinensis - WB
153. Buff-throated Warbler Phylloscopus subaffinis – WB

154. Ashy-throated Warbler Phylloscopus maculipennis - ES
155. Yellow-streaked Warbler Phylloscopus armandii – BX, WB
156. Buff-barred Warbler Phylloscopus pulcher – BX, WB, ES
157. Sichuan Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus forresti – BX, MS, WB, ES, QM
158. Hume's Warbler Phylloscopus humei - BX

159. Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides - ES
160. Large-billed Warbler Phylloscopus magnirostris - ES
161. Emei Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus emeiensis - ES
162. Claudia's Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus Claudia – WB, QM, ES
163. Kloss's Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus ogilivie-grantii - ES

164. Sulpher-breasted Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus ricketti - QM

165. Bianchi’s Warbler Seicercus valentine - ES
166. Marten’s warbler Seicercus omeiensis – WB ES

167. Chestnut-crowned Warbler Seicercus castaniceps - ES

168. Rufous-faced Warbler Abroscopus albogularis - QM

169. Goldcrest Regulus regulus - BX

170. Sukatschev's Laughing thrush Garrulax sukatschewi - BX
171. Barred Laughingthrush Garrulax lunulatus - WB

172. Giant Laughingthrush Garrulax maximus – BX, MS, WB
173. Plain Laughingthrush Garrulax davidi – RG, BX
174. White-browed Laughingthrush Garrulax sannio - QM
175. Elliot's Laughingthrush Garrulax elliotii – BX, WB, ES
176. Red-winged Laughingthrush Garrulax formosus – heard only - ES
177. Omei Shan Liocichla Liocichla omeiensis - ES

178. Black-streaked Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus gravivox – heard only – WB, QM, ES
179. Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis – QM, WB, ES
180. Pygmy Wren Babbler Pnoepyga pusilla – heard only - ES

181. Chinese Wren Babbler Pnoepyga mutica - ES
182. Rufous-capped Babbler Stachyris ruficeps – QM, WB, ES
183. Chinese Babax Babax lanceolatus - WB
184. Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea – WB, QM, ES

185. Blue-winged Minla Minla cyanouroptera - ES

186. Red-tailed Minla Minla ignotincta - ES

187. Golden-breasted Fulvetta Alcippe chrysotis - ES
188. Chinese Fulvetta Alcippe striaticollis – BX, WB
189. Grey-hooded Fulvetta Alcippe cinereiceps – WB, ES
190. Dusky Fulvetta Alcippe brunnea – QM, ES
191. David's Fulvetta Alcippe davidi – QM, ES

192. White-collared Yuhina Yuhina diademata – WB, ES

193. Black-chinned Yuhina Yuhina nigrimenta – QM, ES

194. Great Parrotbill Conostoma aemodium – heard only - ES

195. Spot-breasted Parrotbill Paradoxornis guttaticollis - QM
196. Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinothura webbianus - QM

197. Golden Parrotbill Sinothura verreauxi - ES

 

198. Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula - RG

199. Asian Short-toed Lark Calandrella cheleensis - RG
200. Elwe’s Horned Lark Eremophila elwesi - RG

201. Tibetan Lark Melanocorypha maxima - RG

 

202. Isaballine Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina- RG

203. Mrs Gould's Sunbird Aethopyga gouldiae – WB, ES

204. Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus – RG, QM, WB, ES
205. Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia - RG

 

206, White-rumped Snowfinch Pyrgilauda taczanowskii - RG

207. Rufous-necked Snowfinch Pyrgilauda ruficollis - RG

208. White Wagtail Motacilla alba – RG QM ES WB
209. Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea – WB ES
210. Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola - RG

211. Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni – BX WB
212. Rosy Pipit Anthus roseatus – BX WB
213. Blyth’s Pipit Anthus godlewskii - RG

214. Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris - WB
215. Robin Accentor Prunella rubeculoides – BX, RG
216. Rufous-breasted Accentor Prunella strophiata – BX, RG, WB

217. Grey-capped Greenfinch Carduelis sinica – QM ES

218. Twite Carduelis flavirost - RG
219. Plain Mountain-Finch Leucosticte nemoricola - WB

220. Brandt’s Mountain Finch Leucosticte brandti – RG WB

221. Przewalski’s Finch Urocynchramus pylzowi - RG

 

222. Dark-breasted Rosefinch Carpodacus nipalensis - WB

223. Pink-rumped Rosefinch Carpodacus eos – RG BX MS, WB
224. Vinaceous Rosefinch Carpodacus vinaceus – QM WB ES
225. Chinese White-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus dubius - BX WB

226. Streaked Rosefinch Carpodacus nipalensis – BX WB
227. Red-fronted Rosefinch Carpodacus puniceus – WB

 

228. Grey-headed Bullfinch Pyrrhula erythaca – WB ES

229. Crimson-browed Finch Propyrrhula subhimachala - WB

 

230. White-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas carnipes – heard only – WB BX

231. Collared Grosbeak Mycerobas affinis – heard only - WB

232. Slaty Bunting Latoucheornis siemsseni - WB

233. Godlewski's Bunting Emberiza godlewskii - BX

234. Elegant Bunting Emberiza elegans – WB ES

235. Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla – ES

236. Pine Bunting Emberiza leucocephalos - RG

 

Chinese Monal calling in the mist

 

Temmink's Tragopan at Balang