Visit your favourite destinations
Sichuan, China, 2nd-30th April,2006,
Route: Chengdu city Beita Lake Emei Mountain Wolong Marerkhang Ruoergai Jiuzhaigou National Park Wanglang National Park Wawu Mountain
Gear: Leica 7*42 Swarovski 8*42 A Field Guide to the Birds of China
Participants: Mr. Tang Jun; Mr. & Mrs. Steve Rose
I am very glad can post the second report to birdtours.co.uk on Sichuan China. I am here with many thanks for Mr. John Girdley who can have me the chance. I am self running a local travel agent( www.chinatibettravel.net) but since the first time guided a birding tour 6 years ago( in 1998), in fact I am more and more interesting on birdwatching.
I am here post the report just want share the information with the birders who will come to Sichuan for a birding tour.
Any birders who would come to China, I think Sichuan area will be the one of the key destinations of China. As Sichuan is really a rich resource of China birds with almost 700 species including about 30 endemic species.
I am here with many thanks for Mr. & Mrs. Rose who are from US and my clients as well, as we do had a wonderful dates and they gave me the time to make the pictures of birds and help me identify the birds as well. Thanks really dear Steve and Diane.
I would like make out the birds list after the itinerary. But looks it will be a huge work for a no-birder. So I would only list out the important birds into the itinerary. Kind please forgive my lazy and short of birds knowledge.
2 April Steve and Diane arrival at Chengdu via Seoul very late, and drive to Huan Hua Hotel where just located at the gate of Huan Hua Park, the park is the start of birding for Sichuan area. Mr. & Mrs. Rose like the hotel as they saw Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird just in the yard of the hotel on the way to breakfast the next morning.
3 April we did a morning birding at Huan Hua then drive to The Panda park which around 10km northeast outside of the city.
Rusty Laughingthrush; Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler;
4 April a full day to Beita Lake 45km one way west of Chengdu with altitude around 800m. We walked around the lake and heard the voice of Bamboo Partridge 10m away but can not see them.
Eurasian jay; Mrs.Gould’s Sunbird; Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher; Yellow-throated Bunting;
5 April 150km drive to the foot of Mt. Emei then another 50km up to Leidong Ping where take the cable car to the Golden Summit(3100m), stay at Golden Summit Hotel
6 April next morning birding around the summit and walk 7km down to Leidong Ping where had lunch, after birding around Leidong Ping walk another 7km to Xi Xiang Pond for overnight. Saw: Crimson-breasted Woodpecker;
7 April early birding around the temple/guesthouse, then walk 13km down to Xian Feng Temple. Around Xian Feng Temple is ideal altitude (1800m) and the habitant. Where is the chance for Mr. Rose became the only person to see the pheasant: Lady Amherst’s Pheasant.: Verditer Flycatcher; Maroon-backed Accentor;
8 April 22km walk from Xian Feng Temple to Wu Xian Gang bus station where we jump into the car drive to Phoenix Hotel located at the foot of the mountain.
9 April after early breakfast at the hotel then did a 2 hours birding on the way from Hongzhu Shan Hotel to Fuhu Temple, back to the hotel check out and drive 300km to Wolong. After arrival at Wolong we did a researching trip to a small Tibetan Monastery, where we found 5 Golden Pheasants( 3M+2F)
10 April birding behind the Wolong Villa Hotel then trek 3 hours to Wuyipeng for overnight.: Slaty Bunting
11 April full day birding around our guesthouse: Great Parrotbill; Barred Laughingshrush; Three-toed Parrotbill; Bay Woodpecker;
12 April full excellent morning for Temmimck’s Tragopan, after lunch then back to Wolong. Thanks Mr. Wang You Fu who is a nice man based at Wuyippeng and his good skill on cooking. That night at Wolong with heavy snow.
13 April We started at 04:30 to baling Mountain from hotel but was stopped by police 15km outside hotel due to heavy snow last night, then back to hotel for rest till 10:30 we can go through. As late for Tibetan Snowcock but we got 6 Blood Pheasants at Beimu Ping.
14 April start at 04:30 again and arrive at the summit of Balang Mountain at dawn. A Snowcock couple just beside the road. One the way back to hotel, Chinese Barabax is the second surprise. The last surprise was we saw about 1000 Grandala having a big meeting.: Snow Patrtridge;
15 April Due to the passes topped by heavy snow, today we spent almost 12 hours drive 280km from Wolong to Maerkhang, but the last 130km is beautiful valley with many good birds. And Mt Mengbi is another recommended place for birding.: White-eared Pheasant; Sooty-Tit; Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler; beautiful Rosefinch;
16 April we get back to Mt Mengbi again, then drive to Zhegu Mountain lunch time. I went to Zhegu Mountain late 2005 and good place for birds. But this time the snow is too heavy and impossible drive to the summit even for a good 4WD. We arrived at Hongyuan for overnight.
17 April today is almost a lazy day as the road is good and distance is short (140km), we drove slowly and stopped a lot for birding. We saw a horse racing as well. Good hotel at Ruoergai and food is excellent.
18 April early departure to Hua Lake,maybe it was still quite cold,the birds for today was not so good. Back to Ruoergai good hotel fro overnight
Black-necked Crane; Steppe Eagle;
19 April excellent full day for birding at a place named Baxi, located west of Ruoergai around 30km, very good habitant. And worthing to walk from the summit down to the vally within 8km along the road. We saw some good birds and almost very close to Chinese Monals. They were right there with singing but how we could not see them? : Chinese Grouse; Crested Tit Warbler; Chinese Nuthatch;
20 April we went to Baxi and spend another 3 hours then carry to Jiuzhaigou National Park for overnight at the entrance gate.
21 April Birding valley to the primary forest, but the last section only open till mid of May. The first bus departure at 07:30: Chinese Thrush;
22 April birding valley to the Long Lake, bad day without tourists and birds. But the evening Tibetan dancing show almost took the sad way due to no birds today.
23 April Early departure 70km to Gonggan Ling for a full day birding, excellent place for birds. This place must be a place for birders to Sichuan. Around the road workers station is the perfect place for Sichuan Jay, the trail from the summit down to road around 4km is perfect trail for birds.
White-checked Nuthatch, Sichuan Jay; Blue-eared Pheasant; Blood Pheasant;
24 April after a late wake up then drive 180km to Wanglang NR where with very good forest and easy for Blue Eared Pheasants. The only problem is the accommodation, they do have normal guesthouses but want only sell the good rooms to foreigners. Very expensive.
25 April after almost a full day birding at the forest then we decide to drive to Pingwu County 100km away. Good hotel with reasonable price and wide food choice.
26 April today is a full day drive with more than 510km from Pingwu to Wawu Mountain. We drive to the mid way of the mountain and overnight at the villa. Nice hotel but a little expensive. The girls and boys are nice and chief cook with the same name of me. The total 3 nights at Wawu were memorable.: Blue Rock Thrush;
27 April Good day for birds and total at least three birds flocks. Just 5km on the way from the hotel down to mountain, good place. It is easy to see Lady Amherst’s Pheasant but impossible to make a picture. This is the only pheasant I saw running so fast.
Darjeeling Woodpecker; Golden-spectacled Warbler; Chestnut-crowned warbler; Emei Shan Liocichla; Golden-breasted Fulvetta; Gray-checked Fulvetta; Golden Parrotbill;
28 April take the first cable car up to the summit, everywhere is bamboo and big trees, one full day at the summit and walk around 10km.
29 April one more day up to the summit and glad to heard that Mr. & Mrs. Rose got Grey-hood Parrotbill.
30 April Last morning at Wawu and happy to get White-belleiedRedstart then drive back to Chengdu. After the last dinner for Thai Food, see off Steve and Dine at Chengdu airport fly to Seoul to connect to US.
Regarding the birdlist, due to I am not a real birder and most time are trying to get pictures, but by the help of Steve and Diane, I can put around 180 different species into the list.
I think for Mr. & Mrs. Rose will have more than 300 species.
I did some pictures and would like to share with the birders who have interest.