Friday, October 30, 2015

Taiwan Day 1, Part 2

We finished the first day birding at the Chingshui Wetland in Jinshan, where in December 2014 a young Siberian Crane had arrived. It proved easily the most productive birding area of the day. Apart from the crane, which has become habituated to a guy who works the paddies, highlights included a female Painted Snipe, a great mass of herons and egrets taking the air, and a distant Long-tailed Shrike.
Siberian Crane... and friend
Spot-billed Duck
Pre-roost departure of mixed egrets and Grey Herons
Intermediate Egret
Crane warning...

Taiwan Day 1, Part 1

Crested Goshawk, Taipei Botanical Gardens
Chinese Bulbul, Taipei Botanical Gardens
Black-crowned Night Heron, Taipei Botanical Gardens
Swallowtail sp., Taipei Botanical Gardens
Grey Treepie, Taipei Botanical Gardens
Kingfisher, Taipei Botanical Gardens
Kingfisher lotus pond, Taipei Botanical Gardens
Butterfly sp, Taipei Botanical Gardens
Taiwan Barbet, Taipei Botanical Gardens
Juvenile Crested Goshawk, Taipei Botanical Gardens
Spotted Dove, Taipei Botanical Gardens
Malayan Night heron, Taipei Botanical Gardens
Red-bellied Squirrel, Taipei Botanical Gardens
Bird photographers, Taipei Botanical Gardens
The botanical gardens gave us our first insight into Taiwan's birds, and our first chance to tick some endemics, with Taiwan Barbet being number one on my list (though my photos were not at all good). There were small flocks of Black Bulbuls near the entrance (like little Choughs or Black-fronted Nunbirds) and much larger flocks of elderly Taiwanes enjoying the gardens to exercise , do Tai Chi etc. The biggest flock of all was a group of photographers wh were keenly snapping juvenile Crested Goshawk, as well as Asian Brown and Grey-streaked Flycatchers.
Probable Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, Yehliu Geopark
Blue Rock Thrush, Yehliu Geopark
Yehliu Geopark, at the northern tip of the Taiwan mainland, was one of the busiest places I have ever visited, with shuffling masses of parasol toting tourists coming to see the 'unusually shaped' rocks, having been to the ugly gladiatorial arena to see the 'performing' dolphins. A few hundred yards further along, suddenly the crowds thinned to nothing. From here we walked to the Magic Toilets where a few hopeful photographers were awaiting migrants. The paradise flycatcher was the highlight here, and the eastern race Blue Rock Thrush was one of a few out on the rocks and cliffs.