Tuesday, 7 April 2020

South Korea and Taiwan - 3rd February (Day 9)

We started the day birding the KM50 area of Dasyueshan Forest Reserve as many of our remaining targets were in the higher elevations of the reserve. We birded the area around the main tourist complex, along the trail to the 'Sky Pond' and a track that extended south-west through bamboo dominated forest from the main car park area called the 230 Forest Road. One of the highlights of the morning was a superb White's Thrush that showed in the open feeding on Cotoneaster berries for at least 15 minutes giving us all time to study the intricacies of this superb birds plumage. Other new birds we had were a pair of Taiwan Rosefinch coming to drink on the pool at the rear of the toilet block, Taiwan Cupwing, White-browed Bush-robin, two Taiwan Thrush and Yellowish-bellied Bush Warbler on the 230 Forest Road. My eBird checklists for the morning can be viewed here, here and here.

White's Thrush - KM50 Area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White's Thrush - KM50 Area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White's Thrush - KM50 Area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White's Thrush - KM50 Area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White's Thrush - KM50 Area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Rosefinch - KM50 Area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Rosefinch - KM50 Area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Rosefinch - KM50 Area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Rosefinch - KM50 Area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Barwing - KM50 Area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Coal Tit of subspecies ptilosus - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Coal Tit of subspecies ptilosus - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

After a superb self cook vegetable and noodle soup at the visitor centre (eBird checklist here). We headed down to KM23 and walked down the road. We enjoyed good views of Taiwan Barbet and our best views yet of Taiwan Whistling-thrush but otherwise the species here were much the same as yesterday mornings session at KM23. My eBird checklist can be viewed here.

Taiwan Barbet - KM23 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Whistling-Thrush - KM23 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Whistling-Thrush - KM23 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Whistling-Thrush - KM23 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Whistling-Thrush - KM23 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-eared Sibia - KM23 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-eared Sibia - KM23 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-eared Sibia - KM23 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-eared Sibia - KM23 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-eared Sibia - KM23 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Swinhoe's Pheasant - KM23 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Swinhoe's Pheasant - KM23 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

It was now 15:00 and we decided to head uphill. As we reached KM30 I heard a call I had not heard before and on stopping the car we found a group of eight Steere's Liochichla feeding along the roadside and then in the tree's above a party of 12 Brown Bullfinch of the endemic subspecies uchidai. Here we also had good views of White-backed Woodpecker of the heavily streaked subspecies insularius and Rufous-faced Warbler, a bird whose insect like trill was commonly heard but we had good views of relatively few. My eBird checklist for the location can be viewed here.

After 30 minutes the fog rolled in and we drove above it to KM35 (eBird checklist here) but it was not long before the fog had risen up the hill and shrouded us once again and so it was time to head back to the lodge after a successful days birding.

White-backed Woodpecker - KM20, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Rufous-faced Warbler - KM20, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Rufous-faced Warbler - KM20, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Brown Bullfinch - KM20, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan 

Brown Bullfinch - KM20, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan 

Brown Bullfinch - KM20, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan 

Brown Bullfinch - KM20, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan 

Brown Bullfinch - KM20, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan 

Brown Bullfinch - KM20, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan 

Brown Bullfinch - KM20, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan 

Brown Bullfinch - KM20, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan 

Monday, 30 March 2020

Covid-19

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19 I will not be posting on this blog in the short to medium term and until it is permissible to go birding once more. I have a backlog of older post to catch up with and will be working on these while the country is on lock down. I hope everybody stays safe and well.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

South Korea and Taiwan - 2nd February (Day 8)

After a good nights sleep in our very cold rooms which have hot water but no heating, we began our first day at Dasyueshan Forest Reserve with a drive up hill to KM50 looking for Mikkado Pheasant but with no luck. We then headed down hill to KM23 arriving at  around 08:30. In the fruiting trees here were many White-eared Sibia, Taiwan Yuhina and Vivid Niltava. It was not long before one of the most difficult Taiwan endemics appeared, a stunning Taiwan Thrush whose head shone in the dull morning light. We spent some time at these fruiting trees watching the birds coming and going, we eventually saw two Taiwan Thrush here plus Taiwan Yellow TitSwinhoe’s Pheasant, Taiwan Barbet and White-tailed Robin. We then walked down the road a short way where we saw a third Taiwan Thrush, Pale Thrush and our only Rufous-crowned Laughingthrush of the trip, a small group of six birds foraging through the understorey. My eBird checklist for this location can be viewed here.

Taiwan Thrush - KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Thrush - KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Thrush - KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-eared Sibia - KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-eared Sibia - KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-eared Sibia - KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-eared Sibia - KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Barbet - KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-tailed Robin - KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Vivid Niltava- KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Vivid Niltava- KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Vivid Niltava- KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Vivid Niltava- KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Vivid Niltava - KM23, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

We then had to head back to the lodge to finish the check-in process and to gather some gen on birding sites for the next few days birding at the reserve. The rest of the day was then spent in the area around KM50 where many of the speciality birds, including Mikkado Pheasant can be encountered. Over the next 5.5 hours the highlights included Taiwan Barwing, Flamecrest, White-whiskered Laughingthrush, Collared Bush-robin, Spotted Nutcracker, Ashy Woodpigeon and Brown-headed thrush. My ebird lists for the afternoon can be seen here, here and here.

Red-flanked Bluetail- KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Red-flanked Bluetail- KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Red-flanked Bluetail - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-whiskered Laughingthrush - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-whiskered Laughingthrush - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

White-whiskered Laughingthrush - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Barwing - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Barwing - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Black-throated Tit - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Flamecrest - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Flamecrest - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Flamecrest - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Flamecrest - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Flamecrest - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Coal Tit of subspecies Ptilosus - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Coal Tit of subspecies Ptilosus - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Reeve's Muntjac - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Eurasian Wren - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Ashy Woodpigeon - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Yuhina - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Taiwan Yuhina - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Brown-headed Thrush - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Brown-headed Thrush - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Brown-headed Thrush - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Spotted Nutcracker - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

Spotted Nutcracker - KM50 area, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan

As the day drew to a close we took a slow drive down the road back to the lodge and at KM47 we encountered a stunning male Mikkado Pheasant feeding on the roadside. My eBird list can be viewed here.

Mikkado Phaseant - KM47, Dasyueshan Forest Reserve, Taiwan