Thursday, 12 December 2013

28th November, 2013 TAIWAN 14th Day

Out before dawn to again check the roost site behind our lodge at Wushe. We had decided to make a morning return visit to the Hehuanshan Pass to look for Golden Parrotbill and Alpine Accentor and then move onto Taroko Pass. On our drive up, we first stopped off at Km 18 which was the scrubby area behind the deserted car-park where we stopped briefly late yesterday afternoon. It proved a good sight with superb views of a White's Thrush so we spent an hour photographing this.

As we continued on the drive up to the Hehuanshan Pass, we quickly ran into dense fog and as we drove higher we ran into snow as well and the road became quite icy. As we finally arrived at the summit at around 10,000 ft, it became very difficult with lots of cars stopping and the fog was now dense. David took a short break from driving, but birding was impossible and conditions were getting worse.

We therefore decided it would be safer if we tried to drive on towards Taroko Pass, luckily very few cars were driving  on over the pass and as we drove down we ran out of the snow but still had the thick fog to compete with. As we dropped down to the spectacular  Tarok Gorge we finally ran out of the fog and was able to stop by a boardwalk and walk along the Gorge to enjoy the views and we located 2 Little Forktails on the river. We drove onto a nearby town which is a stake-out for the endemic Taiwan Bulbuls. We soon located a flock of Bulbuls but these appeared to be mainly hybrids with the introduced Chinese Bulbul. We then drove on to a nearby village where we had been told that the Taiwan Bulbul was still present here with no sign of any hybrids and we located a number of Bulbuls and all appeared to be the endemic form.


Views as we travelled through the Taroko Pass

We now drove north for about 100 km's until we came to a large spa town where we were able to find a good hotel to spend the night. We even manage to buy a burger and chips.

Chinese Bamboo Partridge heard only
Eastern Cattle Egret 5
Great White Egret 10
Crested Goshawk 2
Red Turtle Dove 10
Taiwan Barbet 2
Black Drongo 6
Jay 1
Large-billed Crow 4
Pacific Swallow 50 including an albino individual above Taroko gorge
Asian House Martin 10
Black-throated Tit 12
Plain Prinia 1
Chinese Bulbul 25
Korean Bush Warbler 1
Yellow-bellied Bush Warbler 2
Rufous-capped Babbler 2
Taiwan Hwamei 2
White-whiskered Laughingthrush 1
Steere's Liocichla 8
Taiwan Fulvetta 4
Taiwan Sibia 2
Taiwan Yuhina 10
Vinous-throated Parrotbill 20
Japanese White-eye 10
Taiwan Whistling Thrush 2
White's Thrush 1
Eye-browed Thrush 4
Siberian Rubythroat 1
Collared Bush Robin 1 male
Red-flanked Bluetail 1 female
Daurian Redstart 6
Plumbeous Redstart 6
Little Forktail 1
Blue Rock Thrush 1 male
Tree Sparrow 10
White-rumped Munia 3
Grey Wagtail 2
White Wagtail 2
Olive-backed Pipit 1
Vinaceous Rosefinch 3
Black-faced Bunting 1




Taiwan Hwamei behind our lodge at Wushe.
Taken at dawn in the half light as it was leaving its roost, with a very high ISO.

Korean Bush Warbler at Wushe





Vinous-throated Parrotbill - Again they came out of their roost
 at dawn just behind our lodge at Wushe. I managed to position 
myself  better this morning and although I had to set the
 camera on a high ISO, my pictures came out better.

 Female Red-flanked Bluetail at Km 18.

White's and Eye-browed Thrushes at Km. 18

Eye-browed Thrush at Km 18.

White's Thrush at Km 18.

David photographing the White's Thrush at Km 18.

Adult male Plumbeous Redstart of the Tawian endemic race
  fuliginosa in Tarok Gorge.

Amur Wagtail at Tarok Gorge.

Hybrid Chinese x Taiwan Bulbuls at Tarok Gorge

Taiwan Barbet in a village near Tarok Gorge.

 Taiwan Bulbul in a village near Tarok Gorge.