Saturday 28 April 2018

South-east China - 28th April (Day 8)

We spent the entire day in dark, damp and drizzly conditions at Emeifeng today with the main targets being Elliot's Pheasant and Cabot's Tragopan. Elliot's Pheasant is, on paper, the most difficult species at Emeifeng and so we spent the morning looking for it although, having seen this previously at Emeifeng, my desire was to be looking for Cabot's Tragopan. Still, I stayed with the group and after breakfast at the lower edge of the forest and some birding here seeing Rufous-faced Warbler, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Black-throated Tit. and Masked Laughingthrush we did a couple of drives up and down the road for the pheasant but with no luck, we did see Chinese Bamboo Partridge and Silver Pheasant but little else. We then spent the rest of the day birding the mid-altitude zones seeing a moderate range of species including Red-headed Trogon, Great Barbet, Chestnut-bellied Rock-thrush, Indochinese Yuhina, Black-chinned Yuhina, Chestnut Bulbul, Black Bulbul, Rufous-faced Warbler, Golden-crowned Warbler, Speckled Piculet, White-bellied Erpornis, Grey-chinned Minivet and Sultan Tit. A male and two female Koklas Pheasant showed moderately well but briefly on the forested slope below the road and a single male was flushed from the road by the vehicle. A small gully produced a singing Spotted Elachura which showed very well as it crept about in the brash overhanging the stream that ran through its territory. Best of all though, a flyby thrush that Andy D thought may have been a Siberian Thrush seemed to land deep in the forest alongside the road. We scanned for a while then applied a little playback and Martin soon picked up a stunning male Siberian Thrush. The bird was feeding in the leaf litter deep in the undergrowth alongside the road giving good views until it flew and perched in full view allowing us all to study the slatey black plumage with pristine white supercilium - a stunning species.

The day was drawing to a close and so we headed up hill to the Tragopan zone and as we entered the prime area the driver spotted a male on one of the slopes above the road, some of those in the front of the bus had brief views of the bird but Ian, Barry and I failed to get onto the bird through the windows of the vehicle which were partly steamed and covered with rain - all I saw was a stone dislodged by the bird tumble down the slope. Rather annoyed by this, we headed back to the lodge for food and beer.

Chinese Bamboo Partridge - Emeifeng Mountain

Juvenile Black-cheeked Tit - Emeifeng Mountain

Yellow-cheeked Tit - Emeifeng Mountain

Yellow-cheeked Tit - Emeifeng Mountain

Rhododendron - Emeifeng Mountain

Rhododendron - Emeifeng Mountain

Mist covered hillside - Emeifeng Mountain

Chestnut-bellied Rock-thrush - Emeifeng Mountain

Sultan Tit - Emeifeng Mountain

Rather monotonous call of Sultan Tit - Emeifeng Mountain

Spotted Elachura. The species is the sole member of the recently recognised family Elachuridae - Emeifeng Mountain

This is the remarkable, high pitched, song of Spotted Elachura - Emeifeng Mountain

Grab of a section of Spotted Elachura song showing the simple song structure delivered at between 5.5 and 5.9 KHz

Indochinese Yuhina - Emeifeng Mountain

Montane forest at Emeifeng Mountain

Birding the montane forest at Emeifeng Mountain

Siberian Thrush, this superb bird is a first summer male with the retained wing feathers being browner than the body. This was one of the highlights of the trip for me - Emeifeng Mountain

Black Bulbul - Emeifeng Mountain

Links to Other Days of the Trip (Click to View)
Day 1 and 2 – International flight and Dongtai.
Day 3 - Dongtai.
Day 4 – Dongtai and Magic Wood.
Day 5 - Nanhui then fly to Fuzhou.
Day 6 - Shanutan Island and Fuzhou Forest Park.
Day 7 - Fuzhou Forest Park then Emeifeng Mountain.
Day 9 - Emeifeng Mountain.
Day 10 - Emeifeng Mountain then Wuyuan.
Day 11 - Wuyuan.
Day 12 – Drive Wuyuan to Dongzhai.
Day 13 - Dongzhai.
Day 14 – Dongzhai then fly Wuhan to Korlor.
Day 15 – Taklamakan Desert.
Day 16 – Taklamakan Desert then Urumqi.
Day 17 and 18 – Nanshan in the Tien Shan Mountains then fly Beijing. International flight.