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Dave 2x
Monday 26th August 2013, 07:38
Based upon some info from local birders we had a quick trip to Keelung (about 15 miles NE of Taipei) yesterday morning to check out a flock of Brown Boobies attacking bait fish in the harbour. Approx. 100 Brown Boobies and maybe 50 Great Crested Terns were oblivious to the small army of photographers.

Will try and remember to keep updating this thread with some regular reports/photos.

Cheers

Dave

thirudevaram
Wednesday 28th August 2013, 02:54
Incredible shots Dave!

Gretchen
Wednesday 28th August 2013, 15:32
Agree, very nice pictures - especially the booby with the fish.

Dave 2x
Monday 2nd September 2013, 05:46
Thanks for the comments!

This weekend I managed to escape for a few hours to make a trip with the Yilan Wild Bird Society to Ming Chi Lake in Yilan. This location is at a high altitude so it's possible to pick up most of the more common mountain birds. Some of the highlights were:-

Gray-chinned Minivets - nice flock at lower altitude
Bronzed Drongo - common
Brown Shrike - have not see them for a while
Varied Tit - approx. 15 in a mixed flock
Green-backed Tit - a few
Rufous-faced Warbler
Large-billed Crow
Taiwan Yuhina
Taiwan Barbet
Gray-capped Woodpecker
Formosan Whistling-Thrush
Crested Serpent Eagle
and my target species Mandarin Duck

This location is a known breeding area for Mandarin Duck and we found a group of around 15 males and females approx. 1km past the lake.

Dave 2x
Tuesday 3rd September 2013, 04:56
and a few more photos from the weekend....

chowchilla
Tuesday 3rd September 2013, 06:55
Great stuff Dave. Takes me back to my visit to Taiwan in May last year. Took us about three hours in appalling weather to tick a single Varied Tit!

thirudevaram
Thursday 5th September 2013, 06:17
Striking pictures again Dave! Never knew the female Mandarin Duck could be beautiful.

Dave 2x
Monday 9th September 2013, 09:55
Thanks Chowchilla...Varied Tits can be easy at times and other times impossible...I guess like all birding!

Thanks Dev!

This weekend I escaped to Mount Kinabalu for a few days so will put my brief report in the Borneo section this time.

Mt Kinabalu report here:
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?p=2821960#post2821960

Dave 2x
Wednesday 2nd October 2013, 06:58
This past weekend I visited Taiwan's Matsu Islands which are actually much closer to China's coastline than mainland Taiwan

Friday 27 September 2013
Met up with members of the Taipei Wild Bird Society at the Ferry Terminal in Keelung. Nice to see a few familiar and friendly faces from my trip the previous year. Ferry departed on time at 10:00pm.

Saturday 28 September 2013
Ferry arrived at Dongyin Island at approximately 6:00am. We stayed on the ferry and traveled another 2 hours to Nangang Island. I spent the whole 2 hours sea watching with a grand total of 2 birds, a Bridled Tern and a Black-naped Tern.

The day spent on Nangan quickly made us realize that the number of migrants was low compared to the previous year. Some of the highlights were, Ashy Drongos, Oriental Magpie-Robin, Eurasian Kestrel, Chinese Sparrowhawk, Black-throated Tit, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Curlew Sandpiper, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Hobby, Black-winged Cuckooshrike (for me heard only), Long-tailed Shrike, Brown Shrike, Arctic Warbler, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Blue Rock Thrush, Stonechat, White-cheeked Starling, Yellow-billed Grosbeak, White Wagtail, Gray Wagtail.

Sunday 29 September 2013
Took the early morning ferry to Dongyin Island. An hour’s sea watching produced a Pomarine Jaeger and 2 Great Crested Terns. The island itself produced Asian Brown Flycatcher, Dark-sided Flycatcher, Gray-streaked Flycatcher, Black-naped Oriole, Yellow-browed Warbler, Arctic Warbler, Chinese Sparrowhawk, Little Bunting, Richard’s Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Pechora Pipit, Zitting Cisticolas, Eurasian Hobby, Eurasian Kestrel, Osprey, Black Drongo, Ashy Drongo.

Monday 30 September 2013
On the last day we first headed to Daqiu island which was also quiet with very few migrants. Blue Rock Thrush, Japanese White-eye, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Chinese Sparrowhawk, Black-naped Oriole were the only birds I managed to identify. A bonus on this island was the chance to photograph the endemic Formosan Sika Deer. Others picked up a rare (for Taiwan) Hair-crested Drongo.

We then transferred by ferry to Beigan island where we only added Kentish Plover to the trip list.

Overall a disappointing trip compared to the previous year with a lack of migrant flycatchers and buntings this year. It was still a good trip with stunning scenery, fresh seafood and a few good birds. I will be back for the Spring migration in 2014 and again in the summer to hopefully photograph the Chinese Crested Terns.

As usual more photos will follow later once I have time...

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Thursday 3rd October 2013, 02:25
A few photos...more to come

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Tuesday 15th October 2013, 03:09
This weekend I made a Sunday morning trip to Yehliu which on it's day can be a great migrant trap. I timed it badly and missed the Siberian Blue Robin that had spent the last 2 weeks there, by one day! Sunrise brought a flock of Eurasian Siskin flying in off the ocean but they didn't stop for a photo. Chinese Sparrowhawks were also passing through but too high for good photos while a Peregrine Falcon was perched in it's usual spot on the radio mast. The only migrants I managed to photograph on this trip were Asian Brown Flycatchers...at least 3 different birds at various locations.

Other birds seen/heard included Taiwan Scimitar Babblers, Pacific Reef Egrets, Blue Rock-Thrush, Common Sandpiper and a probable Japanese Sparrowhawk.

Only a couple of photos this week....and a juvenile Chinese Cobra from the previous week.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Tuesday 22nd October 2013, 07:12
Saturday 19 October 2013
Decided to do a day trip to my favourite location in Taiwan…Dasyueshan.

Setting off from Taichung at 4:30am we reached Dasyueshan Km23.5 at 5:30am. On the way to Km23.5 White-tailed Robins and Taiwan Whistling Thrushes jumped off the road.

First birds to show up were Black-throated Tits, Steere’s Liocichla and White-eared Sibias. A Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler, numerous Taiwan Partridge and a Formosan Barking Deer were also calling but never came into view. 2 Female Swinhoe’s Pheasants were more obliging and carried on feeding within 6ft of us.

Leaving Km23.5 we continued up the mountain stopping briefly to admire a male Swinhoe’s Pheasant before stopping at Km32. A large troop of Formosan Rock Macaques were feeding here and the only birds of note were an Ashy Wood-Pigeon, a group of Rufous-capped Babblers and brief views of a Besra.

Next stop was the carpark at the entrance gate around Km35. Everything was quiet until we located a mixed flock working the trees in the carpark that included Black-throated Tit, Taiwan Barwing, Eurasian Nuthatch, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker and a lone Ferruginous Flycatcher.

As Trail 210 is still closed we decided to try the trail that commences about 0.5km further up the mountain. Large mixed flocks were feeding around here mainly made up of Barwings, Black-throated Tits, Taiwan Yuhinas, a lone Green-backed Tit and numerous Rufous-faced Warblers.

About 50 metres into the trail a female Mikado Pheasant was searching for food in the dry leaves but it disappeared once it spotted me. Perhaps another 100 metres up the trail 3 Taiwan Partridge were spotted before scurrying away.

Further stops produced Asian House-Martin and House Swifts before reaching Anmashan at Km42. Anmashan produced our first of many White-whiskered Laughingthrush, Large-billed Crows and lots of Steere’s Liocichla and Black-throated Tits.

Nothing was happening at the Mikado Steak out at Km47 so we headed to the top of the mountain before walking along the Forest Road behind the restaurant. New birds found on this road were Brown Bullfinch (3), Taiwan Fulvetta and a nice male Vinaceous Rosefinch. A Ferruginous Flycatcher was the only other bird of note.

Changing strategy we headed up towards the lake with approx., 100 noisy tourists. We still managed our first Flamecrests, Eurasian Nutcracker and a sole Yellowish-bellied Bush-Warbler.

Heading back to Km47 a beautiful male Mikado Pheasant was already waiting for us and was soon joined by a female. At Km41.5 waterfall we picked up a Little Forktail that wasn’t keen on having it’s photograph taken and then headed back down to Km23.5.

On arrival at Km23.5 a large group of tourists were surrounding a poor photographer who got frustrated as his subject, a Taiwan Partridge, had just been spooked by the tourists. We waited another 20 minutes but only a group of 5 Swinhoe’s Pheasants (1 male and 4 females) walked past.

As we headed back down the mountain we briefly stopped at Km23 for a group of 7 Swinhoe’s Pheasants (1 male and 6 females) before heading back to Taichung.

As always this mountain never seems to fail to deliver….15 Swinhoe’s Pheasants, 3 Mikado Pheasants and 3 Taiwan Partridge in one day so can’t really complain! B (:

Surprising misses on this trip were the Bush-Robins, Woodpeckers, Vivid Niltava and Yellow Tit.

As usual photos will follow when I get some spare time….

Cheers

Dave

Jeff hopkins
Tuesday 22nd October 2013, 11:33
Only a group of 5 Swinhoe's pheasants.

So jealous. Maybe in January.

Dave 2x
Tuesday 22nd October 2013, 11:48
Only a group of 5 Swinhoe's pheasants.

So jealous. Maybe in January.

January is a great time to go....the Swinhoe's are very common right now, even outnumbering the photographers! The Mikado are usually more difficult and the Taiwan Partridge are even more difficult.

Dave 2x
Friday 25th October 2013, 00:57
A few photos, more to come....the Sibia was from an earlier trip.

Cheers

Dave

thirudevaram
Friday 25th October 2013, 01:39
As we headed back down the mountain we briefly stopped at Km23 for a group of 7 Swinhoe’s Pheasants (1 male and 6 females) before heading back to Taichung.



That's one hell of a male handling 6 females o:D Lovely chicken haul. Great photos again.

Jeff hopkins
Friday 25th October 2013, 15:16
Great shots, Dave. Love the pheasant pic.

Dave 2x
Monday 28th October 2013, 02:24
26/27 October 2013

After receiving a tip that Yehliu Geopark just outside of Taipei was producing some good birds, I decided to skip the Birdfair at Guandu and go chasing migrants!

Some amazing migrants found this weekend included:-

Pallas's Rosefinch (First record for Taiwan)
Chinese Thrush (Second record for Taiwan)
Yellow-throated Bunting
Tristram's Bunting (male and female)
Taiga Flycatcher (1)
Red-breasted Flycatcher (2)
Brambling
Pallas's Leaf-Warbler (common)
Lanceolated Warbler (a few)

Other birds seen by others included Eurasian Siskin, Yellow-browed Bunting, Pale-legged Leaf-Warbler, Sakhalin Warbler.

On top of that the more usual birds included Peregrine Falcon (3), Black Kites, Taiwan Scimitar-Babbler, Black-naped Monarch, Yellow-browed Warbler, Pale Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush.

As usual I have not had time to go through all my photos yet but will add some more when I get a chance.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Tuesday 29th October 2013, 23:12
...and some more photos

BabblerVille
Wednesday 30th October 2013, 05:32
Gutted I was unable to join you. Resorting to using my first ever smilie to randomly express my congratulations...:-C

Dave 2x
Wednesday 30th October 2013, 23:27
Will try again this weekend Richard and let you know if any of them are sticking.

Dave 2x
Sunday 3rd November 2013, 23:37
Saturday 2 November 2013

On Saturday I joined a trip with the Taipei Wild Bird Society to Guishan Island off Yilan. A year ago we had a great trip there with some amazing birds. Unfortunately this year the boat taking us over decided it was too rough to land (although it looked calm)...a major disappointment as there is apparently a Ruddy Kingfisher there at the moment. The 2 hour round trip produced just one bird, a Streaked Shearwater.

We then traveled around Yilan picking up a variety of species (68 for the day) including Ruddy-breasted Crake, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Arctic Warbler, Purple Heron, Greater Painted-Snipe, Whiskered Tern and Black-faced Spoonbills (4). The highlight of the day was undoubtedly a juvenile Dalmatian Pelican which is apparently the first record in Taiwan since 1911.

Sunday 3 November 2013

On Sunday I returned to Yehliu Geopark but the rare birds from the previous week had all left due to the good weather. The only notable birds were a female Red-flanked Bluetail and a Red-breasted Flycatcher. Following that we made a trip to Jinshan which was also slow.

Reports on Sunday of a Black Stork, Greater White-fronted Goose and Lesser Black-backed Gull may tempt me to go to Aogu Wetlands next weekend.

Photos to follow.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Tuesday 5th November 2013, 23:05
Rather than post my terrible distant photos of the Pelican...here's a link to some great photos of this extremely rare bird for Taiwan, taken by a Photographer who managed to get much closer.

http://gallery.dcview.com/showGallery.php?id=107338

Cheers

Dave

JannaSB
Friday 8th November 2013, 02:17
I saw this baby bird on the ground in the garden today. Does anyone know what it is?
Location: Laonung, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Based on the belated appearance of "mom," I'm guessing this is a bird is Red Collared Dove - Juvenile (Streptopelia tranquebarica).

Does anyone agree?

Dave 2x
Monday 11th November 2013, 06:00
I saw this baby bird on the ground in the garden today. Does anyone know what it is?
Location: Laonung, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Based on the belated appearance of "mom," I'm guessing this is a bird is Red Collared Dove - Juvenile (Streptopelia tranquebarica).

Does anyone agree?

Sorry can't help with the ID....but in this area Red Collared Dove is certainly common.

Dave 2x
Monday 11th November 2013, 06:09
Sunday 10 November 2013

Decided to try again for the Dalmatian Pelican in Yilan, in the hope of getting better photos...the Pelican is still there but moving about and it never came close enough to me for a good photo. Hopefully it stays for the winter and I get another chance.

Some of the other birds picked up in the area included Oriental Skylark, Mallard, Greater Scaup, approx 500+ Black-winged Stilt, Pacific Golden Plover, Kentish Plover, 33 Curlew Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Gray-throated Martin.

Dave 2x
Wednesday 27th November 2013, 01:19
17 November 2013
This weekend I decided to head to Wulai. Nothing really unusual but some nice birds including Taiwan Scimitar-Babbler, Maroon Oriole (2 females), Formosan Magpie, Besra and the arrival of numbers of Eyebrowed Thrush.

Some photos...

Dave 2x
Wednesday 27th November 2013, 01:36
23 November 2013
This weekend we decided to go to Aogu Wetlands near Chiayi...reports of Baer's Pochard, Black Stork, Greater White-fronted Geese and Greater Spotted Eagle the previous week had got our hopes up.

We missed most of the above but still had a good day. Highlights included
Black-faced Spoonbill, Eurasian Spoonbill, Pied Avocet, Greater White-fronted Geese (7), Siberian Rubythroat, Great Bittern, Yellow Bittern, Cinnamon Bittern, Eurasian Curlew and assorted ducks and shorebirds.

A link to my Ebird checklist...
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15738064

Some photos...

Dave 2x
Monday 2nd December 2013, 23:27
Saturday 30 November 2013
Made a trip to Yehliu on Saturday morning...birds were fairly active with the highlights being Japanese Bush-Warbler, Manchurian Bush-Warbler, Siberian Rubythroat (2), White-tailed Robin and Red-flanked Bluetail. A quick trip over to Jinshan afterwards produced another Siberian Rubythroat and an obliging Bluethroat

Sunday 1 December 2013
On Sunday I decided to visit Wulai...approx 40 minutes drive from Taipei. the cold weather had brought down some of the higher mountain birds. Highlights were, White-eared Sibia, Vivid Niltava, Formosan Magpies chasing a Besra, a nice male Maroon Oriole, 2 Black-necklaced Scimitar-Babblers that came into the open but refused to look at the camera (one day I will get them!), Eyebrowed Thrush, Pale Thrush, Brown-headed Thrush, Rufous-capped Babbler, White-bellied Erpornis, Black-naped Monarch, Varied Tit, Gray-capped Woodpecker, Taiwan Scimitar-Babblers, Gray-chinned Minivets and a group of 4 Black-throated Laughingthrushes (introduced but seem to be established in this one location).

A few photos...

Gretchen
Tuesday 3rd December 2013, 00:52
Oh, just catching up! Sounds like you're getting lots of interesting birds. I love the Taiwan scimitar babblers - very handsome fellows. Amazing shot of the Yellow Bittern strolling around in plain view. Also, interesting interactions between the Little egrets - yes, they can be a bit territorial.

Thanks for sharing.

Jeff hopkins
Tuesday 3rd December 2013, 11:30
Those are some spectacular birds for Wulai!

Dave 2x
Tuesday 3rd December 2013, 11:41
Those are some spectacular birds for Wulai!

Thanks Gretchen and Jeff....yep Wulai was pretty good at the weekend, actually it's nearly always good for the first few hours of daylight.

Thinking I may have the Niltava ID wrong....could be a much rarer (for Taiwan) Niltava, Fujian or Rufous-bellied?

Dave 2x
Monday 20th January 2014, 22:42
Haven't posted for a while.....so just an update on some of the more unusual species we have been seeing in Taiwan lately:

Eared Grebe - a pair at Yilan;
Long-tailed Duck - a first record for Taiwan also at Yilan;
Black-browed Reed-Warbler - found a pair at Yilan over the weekend;
A leucistic Wood Sandpiper was interesting - also at Yilan;

Another interesting find by others (not seen by myself) was a pair of Greater Flamingos in the South of Taiwan at Pingtung...escapees?

Here's a few photos...

Dave 2x
Monday 20th January 2014, 22:44
and some of the more common birds I have been seeing lately...

Jeff hopkins
Tuesday 21st January 2014, 12:20
How in God's name did you get a rufous-capped babbler to sit in the open long enough for that amazing photo!?!

Dave 2x
Monday 10th March 2014, 00:35
Haven't reported on Taiwan's birding for a while.

A couple of weeks ago we had a Japanese Waxwing in Taipei and more than 20 at Yangminshan. Japanese Waxwings see to pass through every year and stay for around 1 week. This weekend I was looking for a Watercock but missed it, as compensation we had a Rosy Starling.

Other good birds in Taiwan at the moment are 4 Hooded Cranes, Oriental Plovers, Gray-headed lapwings, Greater White-fronted Goose all at YienLiaoYang(田寮洋) to the NE of Taiwan. Hopefully some of them stick till next weekend!

Here's a few recent pics....

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Tuesday 18th March 2014, 02:09
This weekend I went looking for the 4 Hooded Cranes that showed up in Gongliao last weekend. I somehow managed to keep missing them by seconds/minutes and never even got a glimpse...will try again this weekend if they stay around.

Other notable birds seen were Gray-headed Lapwings (6), Spotted Redshank, Pacific Swift, Black-tailed Gulls.

Here's a couple of photos...

Jeff hopkins
Tuesday 18th March 2014, 11:03
Nice shot of the lapwing, Dave. Not a bird I've seen in Taiwan yet.

Dave 2x
Monday 24th March 2014, 05:30
Nice shot of the lapwing, Dave. Not a bird I've seen in Taiwan yet.

Thanks Jeff....first time I have seen them anywhere.

This weekend I tried again for the Hooded Cranes at Gongliao and this time I got lucky with the 4 Cranes showing well in the Paddy Fields. Other birds of note were Red-billed Starlings (30), Eurasian Hobby and what I think is an American (Buff-bellied) Pipit.

Some photos...

Jeff hopkins
Monday 24th March 2014, 10:51
Dave,

I don't think it's an American pipit. Our birds have dark grey or black legs. Also the facial pattern seems on the weaker side.

Maybe japonicus?

MKinHK
Monday 24th March 2014, 10:56
In Asia we just call this Buff-bellied Pipit - as Jeff says the N American rubescens is very different.

Sounds like you're having a good run with vagrants too - I envy you those Hooded Cranes!

Cheers
Mike

Dave 2x
Monday 24th March 2014, 11:12
Thanks Jeff and Mike.....I have it labelled as japonicus but just as a subspecies of American Pipit...is it now a confirmed split?

Cheers

Dave

Jeff hopkins
Monday 24th March 2014, 15:26
It's a nomenclature thing. In Asia, they're called Buff-bellied pipit, but Clements still calls it American pipit, probably because 3 of the 4 subspecies are found in N. America.

I know Clements hasn't split them yet. I'm pretty sure the other authorities haven't yet, either.

Dave 2x
Tuesday 22nd April 2014, 00:15
Migrants are starting to arrive at Yehliu...on Saturday (19 April) there was only one Narcissus Flycatcher but apparently more Flycatchers and Buntings started arriving yesterday (21 April). Will try again this weekend!

Cheers

Dave

Gretchen
Friday 25th April 2014, 18:56
Very nice action shot of the bittern!

Dave 2x
Tuesday 29th April 2014, 00:05
Thanks Gretchen!

This Saturday (26 April) I tried Yehliu situated on the North coast of Taiwan. Yehliu had been getting good reports all week of various flycatchers and buntings including a long tailed Japanese Paradise Flycatcher. Unfortunately (or fortunately for the birds) due to the good weather everything had left. The only bird remaining was a Yellow-breasted Bunting surrounded by 100 photographers!

On Sunday I joined a trip to Guishan (Turtle) Island off the coast of Yilan. Highlights included a lifer Chestnut-eared Bunting, 2 male Chestnut Buntings, Chinese Pond-Heron, lots of Fork-tailed Swifts, 3 Streaked Shearwaters on the crossing, lots of Brown-eared Bulbuls (common on this island) and a King Ratsnake.

Here's a few photos from the weekend...

Dave 2x
Tuesday 29th April 2014, 00:06
...and a few more photos.

Cheers

Dave

brd
Thursday 1st May 2014, 06:12
Nice stuff! I trust the weather was better this year than last year. Still hope I can make it back there some day to get a proper trip to Guishandao.

As to your earlier question about the niltava, not sure if you reached a decision on it, but books around here say that the rufous-bellied would have a more glistening crown and would lack the indent on the neck that the vivid, and the nilatava in your photo, have. So I would think vivid but I don't know about Fujian.

Dave 2x
Thursday 1st May 2014, 06:17
Nice stuff! I trust the weather was better this year than last year. Still hope I can make it back there some day to get a proper trip to Guishandao.

As to your earlier question about the niltava, not sure if you reached a decision on it, but books around here say that the rufous-bellied would have a more glistening crown and would lack the indent on the neck that the vivid, and the nilatava in your photo, have. So I would think vivid but I don't know about Fujian.

Yep the weather was better....which always means less birds! You are right the Niltava is just a Vivid Niltava. The one we saw at Yehliu is now apparently thought to be a Fujian rather than a Rufous-bellied...but nobody is 100% certain.

Will be back at Turtle Island this Saturday...hoping for something good!

brd
Thursday 1st May 2014, 08:11
Wow, I should look back at those old photos, I've actually seen the rufous-bellied here, time to compare! I'm not above adding a bird to the list ex post facto.

Dave 2x
Wednesday 7th May 2014, 08:02
Saturday (3 May) I joined the taipei Wild Bird Society on their annual spring trip to Guishan (Turtle) Island. Birding was even slower this weekend with very few migrants despite the heavy constant rain. Great reports coming in from Matsu Islands, so I guess a lot of migrants have passed us already.

Highlights of this trip were a Lesser Frigatebird (not seen by me), perhaps 10 or more Yellow-browed Buntings, a Little Bunting, Black-faced Buntings, a single Brambling, lots of Brown-eared Bulbuls, Pacific Reef Heron, Peregrine Falcon, Olive-backed Pipits, Common Terns, Great Crested Terns, Red-necked Phalaropes (not seen by me), lots of Oriental Skylarks, a single Oriental Pratincole, Black-tailed Gull and a Striated Heron (which I don't see very often in Taiwan).

A few photos...including a couple more from last week.

birdingaroundtaiwan
Thursday 8th May 2014, 05:53
Just came across this thread, it's good to hear what's been seen elsewhere in Taiwan. I'm based in Kaohsiung, and bird mainly along the south-west coast as far north as Chiayi, and the southern mountains as far as Yushan/Alishan.

I've found one or two good birds over the last few weeks, including Asian Dowitcher at Aogu last Sunday, Tristram's Bunting at Donggang on Tuesday, and at least ten individual Chinese Egrets so far this spring.

I'm keeping a regularly updated blog about my birding in Taiwan, here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/.

Happy birding!
Cheers.

Dave 2x
Thursday 8th May 2014, 06:50
Nice to find another English speaking birder in Taiwan...love the blog! Still waiting for my first Asian Dowitcher. Feel free to update your sightings on this thread.

Cheers

Dave

schiffornis
Thursday 8th May 2014, 13:59
Finding this thread and your blogs/photos really interesting. I'm heading over to Taiwan next week for 2 weeks birding, looking for the Fairy Pitta and endemics and keen to see as much as possible really. Would also be keen to see the Black-faced Spoonbills if there are some still around?

Thanks, Andy

birdingaroundtaiwan
Friday 9th May 2014, 01:54
^ Andy, there were still Black-faced Spoonbills at both Budai and Aogu last weekend .... I saw about 40 in total. Hopefully there will still be one or two late lingerers by the time you arrive :-)

I'll be at Alishan and Yushan National Park next weekend (May 17th and 18th), looking to get some of the high-altitude birds on to the year list. I hope it won't be too rainy up there. Let me know if you're around at the same time.

Dave 2x
Friday 9th May 2014, 03:44
Andy, even in the North of Taiwan there are still some Spoonbills around, including one in the middle of Taipei (Huajiang) this week. Budai and Aogu are of course a much better bet!

Here's some pics from Watzuwei Nature Reserve close to Taipei from May 2013...this is another area that is also a reliable place for Chinese Egret.

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Sunday 11th May 2014, 04:36
Dave, just to make you jealous, I found my second Asian Dowitcher in just seven days in Tainan yesterday. There was a Gull-billed Tern and a Little Bunting at Qigu, and dazzling migrant White-winged Terns have started to appear with the Whiskered Terns at fishponds.

Full report on my blog.
Happy birding!
Cheers.

Dave 2x
Sunday 11th May 2014, 04:56
Dave, just to make you jealous, I found my second Asian Dowitcher in just seven days in Tainan yesterday. There was a Gull-billed Tern and a Little Bunting at Qigu, and dazzling migrant White-winged Terns have started to appear with the Whiskered Terns at fishponds.

Full report on my blog.
Happy birding!
Cheers.

I am jealous, but good to know there are still some passing through! They never seem to be reported in the North of Taiwan so I guess I need to head South more often!

My birding was limited this weekend...only managed to escape for a couple of hours at Huajiang. Only none-common birds (for this location) were a Chinese Pond Heron and at least 4 Oriental Reed Warblers. First time I have seen any Reed-Warblers at this location.

Cheers

Dave

schiffornis
Sunday 11th May 2014, 20:33
Thanks for the info both, really helpful. Our plans are not really set yet and probably won't know our route until Tues/Wed -depends on a few things. We're hoping to get over to Lanyu too all being well - if we can work out when the boats go/come back!
Cheers, Andy

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 13th May 2014, 08:55
A much quieter morning around Tainan today, with migrant waders noticeably much fewer in number - and no sign of Saturday's Asian Dowitcher. Fewer birds + hot and sultry weather = a distinct feeling that summer is on the way :-(

Late in the morning, I finally rescued a new bird for the year in the form of a pair of Azure-winged Magpies at Sihcao Artillery Fort. This is an introduced species in Taiwan, but it's an attractive bird and in the context of this morning's very lean pickings it was most welcome!

Full report on my blog.
Cheers and happy birding!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Thursday 15th May 2014, 03:50
A pair of Black-naped Orioles are currently nesting at Chengching Lake in central Kaohsiung. The birds are easily seen and very popular with photographers.

Full details on my blog.
Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Thursday 15th May 2014, 06:01
Nice find....have been seeing photographs of these Orioles getting posted on Flickr this week!

Dave 2x
Thursday 15th May 2014, 06:06
Wow, I should look back at those old photos, I've actually seen the rufous-bellied here, time to compare! I'm not above adding a bird to the list ex post facto.

Here's the bird in question...originally ID'd as Rufous-bellied Niltava. The author of a recent photographic guide to Taiwan states in his book that he believes this bird is Fujian Niltava....both birds are very rare for Taiwan.

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 20th May 2014, 03:36
I just spent an enjoyable (but sometimes rainy) weekend in the Alishan and Yushan National Park area. The highlight was close views of a singing Taiwan Bush-Warbler. Also lovely Vinaceous Rosefinches, White-backed Woodpeckers and Taiwan Wren-Babblers, and finally seeing my most-wanted East Asian bird - Russet Sparrow - on about the millionth attempt :-)

Full details on my blog, birdingaroundtaiwan.com.

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Tuesday 20th May 2014, 09:23
I just spent an enjoyable (but sometimes rainy) weekend in the Alishan and Yushan National Park area. The highlight was close views of a singing Taiwan Bush-Warbler. Also lovely Vinaceous Rosefinches, White-backed Woodpeckers and Taiwan Wren-Babblers, and finally seeing my most-wanted East Asian bird - Russet Sparrow - on about the millionth attempt :-)

Full details on my blog, birdingaroundtaiwan.com.

Cheers and happy birding!

Some great finds there....enjoying reading your blog!

Yesterday there was a Northern Boobook in Taipei Botanical Gardens.

Cheers

Dave

Jeff hopkins
Wednesday 21st May 2014, 11:34
I just spent an enjoyable (but sometimes rainy) weekend in the Alishan and Yushan National Park area. The highlight was close views of a singing Taiwan Bush-Warbler. Also lovely Vinaceous Rosefinches, White-backed Woodpeckers and Taiwan Wren-Babblers, and finally seeing my most-wanted East Asian bird - Russet Sparrow - on about the millionth attempt :-)

Full details on my blog, birdingaroundtaiwan.com.

Cheers and happy birding!

Totally gripped! The bush-warbler and the wren-babbler are a couple of the endemics I haven't managed to see yet.

schiffornis
Sunday 25th May 2014, 13:20
Just back from a really great 10 days birding in Taiwan. Will sort out my photos/report over the next few days on my blog and put a link here for those interested. Highlights were Fairy Pitta, all the recognized endemics, most of the potential splits and a lot of the sub-species. Good numbers of Island Thrush was a nice surprise in the Wushe area and we saw three different Chinese Tawny Owls in the Alishan/Yushan Area. We managed to get most birds without going to known stake-outs and didn't even touch the Anmashan area!

Found all of the Lanyu specialties within 56 minutes, including a Japanese Paradise Flycatcher at a nest! Had Frigatebird (presumed Lesser, underside not able to be seen from view) on the boat crossing, as well as lots of Bulwer's Petrels, Streaked Shearwaters and Red-necked Phalarope.

Didn't get too many migrants though with just Arctic Warbler and Middendorff's Grasshopper Warblers recorded on the east coast/Lanyu. Lots of Brown Shrike on Lanyu were probably migrants, as was the Grey-faced Buzzard. Had a Black-winged Kite on Lanyu too, not sure if that was a migrant, it was behaving like one. On Friday morning had a very smart male Eye-browed Thrush in Kwangua.

A very enjoyable trip, recording over 150 species though we did lose a lot of time in the mountains due to the horrendous weather up there. Thanks to everyone here who gave advice.

Cheers, Andy

Dave 2x
Monday 26th May 2014, 01:14
Three Tawny Owls.....amazing!!!! Glad to hear you had a good trip despite the weather.

I spent this weekend at Huben trying to photograph Fairy Pitta and some frogs...luckily both were obliging. Usual birds were also present including both Scimitar-Babblers, lots of Savanna Nightjars, Oriental/Himalayan Cuckoo, Collared Finchbill, Rufous-capped babbler, Gray-cheeked Fulvetta, Black-naped Monarchs nesting...Oriental Honey Buzzard on the drive down.

Apparently a White Stork at Taipei Botanical Gardens over the weekend!

Here's some photos from the weekend...

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 27th May 2014, 10:40
Sounds like a great trip, Andy. Reassuring to hear you cleaned up on Lanyu so quickly .... I'll hopefully be making my first trip out there in a couple of weekends time.

Lovely photos Dave. Looks like the Fairy Pitta is still at that same spot in Linnei Park. I almost felt cheated to see such a beautiful member of such a notoriously difficult family so well .... part of me wanted to spend hours creeping around in the forest to get a mere glimpse, instead of getting grandstand views of one out in the open almost as soon as I arrived!

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Tuesday 27th May 2014, 23:33
Sounds like a great trip, Andy. Reassuring to hear you cleaned up on Lanyu so quickly .... I'll hopefully be making my first trip out there in a couple of weekends time.

Lovely photos Dave. Looks like the Fairy Pitta is still at that same spot in Linnei Park. I almost felt cheated to see such a beautiful member of such a notoriously difficult family so well .... part of me wanted to spend hours creeping around in the forest to get a mere glimpse, instead of getting grandstand views of one out in the open almost as soon as I arrived!

Cheers and happy birding!

I failed to see the Pitta on the Saturday...Sunday we staked out the Pitta nest but only got fleeting glimpses and poor photos. In desperation we went to the photographer's "Hollywood set" on Trail No. 3 and at the last minute this bird flew in.

I remember a guide telling me in Ecuador that he used to spend days camped out in the rainforest lying in mud, covered in mosquitos just to get a glimpse of an Antpitta....and now you just whistle and they come right up to you! You certainly don't get the same sense of achievement.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 2nd June 2014, 03:49
Saturday 31 May 2014

This weekend I decided to look for the two Greater Flamingos that have spent many months in Budai, Chaiyi. I spent the morning searching for them but with no luck. Apparently they had been missing for 3 days but turned up in the afternoon after I had already left!

Birding is really slowing right down now...other birds seen included, Whiskered Terns, Little Terns, Black-winged Stilts with chicks, Kentish Plovers, Pacific Golden-Plovers, Cinnamon and Yellow Bittern, a Striated Heron and a lifer Slaty-breasted Rail at Aogu. Another highlight was a Big-eyed Ratsnake.

Some pics....

schiffornis
Sunday 8th June 2014, 13:14
As promised, here (http://awbirder.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/taiwan-trip-report.html)is the link to my Taiwan report from May 2014. Thank you both for your advice etc. I've put some pics in the report, but nowhere near as good as the standard on here!!

Cheers, Andy

Dave 2x
Monday 9th June 2014, 01:43
As promised, here (http://awbirder.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/taiwan-trip-report.html)is the link to my Taiwan report from May 2014. Thank you both for your advice etc. I've put some pics in the report, but nowhere near as good as the standard on here!!

Cheers, Andy

Fantastic report Andy...some amazing birds, glad you enjoyed Taiwan despite the weather!

Saturday 7 June 2014
My plan this weekend was to start at Baihe to target Russet Sparrow, move to Guantian to photograph Pheasant-tailed Jacanas in their summer breeding plumage and I had also been informed of a large amount of Oriental Pratincoles in the nearby fields. Last stop was to try for the Greater Flamingos in Budai again.

Everything went to plan apart from the Flamingos which eluded me yet again. Bonus birds were some Indian Silverbills (Taiwan bird No. 351...introduced but established) also at Guantian and a very late pair of male Northern Shovelers at Budai.

Here’s a few pics….

Dave 2x
Tuesday 10th June 2014, 00:37
...and a few more pics.

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 10th June 2014, 07:52
Great report, Andy, I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you for posting.

Last weekend, I finally made it to Lanyu Island. Winged the ferry crossing and accommodation, but with a little bit of luck all went according to plan and I saw all the target birds.

Here's my report: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2014/06/10/lanyu-island-specialities-june-7th-and-8th/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Tuesday 10th June 2014, 08:32
Great report, Andy, I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you for posting.

Last weekend, I finally made it to Lanyu Island. Winged the ferry crossing and accommodation, but with a little bit of luck all went according to plan and I saw all the target birds.

Here's my report: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2014/06/10/lanyu-island-specialities-june-7th-and-8th/

Cheers and happy birding!

Another great report and some very useful information, especially as I haven't made it to Lanyu yet. Maybe next year!

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 23rd June 2014, 02:12
Sunday 22 June 2014
Birding is incredibly slow now in Taiwan....local photographers are busy photographing nesting Maroon Orioles and Red-whiskered Bulbuls that also appear to be nest building (introduced but I guess will eventually end up as countable).

I decided to visit NTU in Taipei to photograph a pair of Besras that are currently nest building. One bird was in the nest and the other was quite distant collecting nesting material.

I didn't stay very long due to the extreme heat and mosquitos! A White-bellied Pigeon was also nearby perched on a rooftop.

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 24th June 2014, 03:11
A big mid-summer surprise for me this weekend was an adult female Lesser Frigatebird, which flew directly overhead as I drove up Highway 9 in Taitung County on Saturday morning.

Report here:

http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2014/06/24/lesser-frigatebird-taitung-county-june-21st/

Cheers and happy birding!

cranefan
Tuesday 1st July 2014, 13:01
Hello all,

Just got back from my first trip to Daxueshan, which was fantastic with 18 lifers and most of the endemic species and subspecies down now - just missing the wren babbler which there was no sign of, the shortwing which we gave up on having tried several within a few feet of us, and the partridge.

I don't know if this is already well known, but we found that a spot just before the main entrance at 35km on the main road was excellent. With a large dead tree on the right hand side of the road and several other big trees, we had multiple Island Thrushes every day, as well as Rusty Laughingthrushes, Rufous-crowned Laughingthrushes, White-backed Woodpecker and lots of the common species.

Also struck lucky with Golden Parrotbills, Taiwan Fulvetta and Grey-headed Bullfinches at the top, as well as a ridiculously cooperative Flamecrest that sat still for about 15 minutes. What a place!

Dave 2x
Wednesday 2nd July 2014, 03:48
Hello all,

I don't know if this is already well known, but we found that a spot just before the main entrance at 35km on the main road was excellent. With a large dead tree on the right hand side of the road and several other big trees, we had multiple Island Thrushes every day, as well as Rusty Laughingthrushes, Rufous-crowned Laughingthrushes, White-backed Woodpecker and lots of the common species.



Thanks for the info....I may try there the next dry weekend we get!

You got some fantastic birds!!

Cheers

Dave

cranefan
Wednesday 2nd July 2014, 10:13
You're welcome, let me know if you need more specific directions.

We also had a flock of Yellow Tits at 22km, Little Forktail at the waterfall at 41km, and White-browed Robin at the spot at 46.8km.

birdingaroundtaiwan
Saturday 12th July 2014, 03:43
I went up to Tengjhih National Forest yesterday, where bird activity was a lot higher than it was a month ago. Post-breeding bird flocks are starting to form again and there was plenty to be seen, with the highlight being a small flock of Rufous-crowned Laughingthrushes - my first record of this scarce endemic for this site.

Full details here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2014/07/12/rufous-crowned-laughingthrush-tengjhih-national-forest-july-11th/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Monday 14th July 2014, 00:26
Nice, good to know there are still some good birds showing in this heat!

12 July 2014
I decided to do a half day at Dasyueshan this weekend...forecast was rain and thunderstorms but as usual they got the forecast wrong and it was blue skies all day!

Following Cranefan's advice (Thanks for that!), I started at 35km and had some good mixed flocks at dawn which included Yellow Tit, Green-backed Tit, Black-throated Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, White-backed Woodpecker, Steere's Liochichla, White-eared Sibia, Vivid Niltava, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker and many Taiwan Yuhinas. As promised by Cranefan a couple of Island Thrushes also showed up....great birds!

Next stop was a walk down the forest trail at 35Km....very quiet with only an Ashy Wood-Pigeon and some Formosan Macaques for company.

Moving on we went to the top of the mountain (50Km) and picked up White-browed Bush-Robin, Grey-headed Bullfinch, Yellowish-bellied Bush-Warbler and of course many White-whiskered Laughingthrushes.

At 47Km we picked up a nice male Vinaceous Rosefinch before heading home, stopping briefly to try and photograph the Asian House Martins.

Other birds spotted from the car included a single Rusty Laughingthrush, Taiwan Whistling Thrush, White-tailed Robin. Heard only were Taiwan Cupwing and Taiwan Partridge.

This is the first time I have ever been to the mountain and not seen any pheasants, although this time we did not stop at any of the feeding stations.

I love the mountain but in summer the number of people increases as the Taiwanese hit the mountains to escape the heat.

A few photos....

Jeff hopkins
Monday 14th July 2014, 11:49
Love the island thrush. That's a bird I've dipped on many times in Taiwan.

cranefan
Monday 14th July 2014, 12:50
Sounds like a great day at Daxueshan - very glad my tip came good!

cranefan
Thursday 17th July 2014, 09:05
Yesterday's trip to Wulai proved that some birds can still be spotted in this weather. I spotted Plain Flowerpecker and Black-throated Laughingthrush up at the top of the road branching off the road passing the cemetery (thanks for the tip Dave!) and was within two metres of a Bamboo Partridge, which annoyingly stayed hidden in the foliage. Then walked the main road past the waterfall, crossed a little bridge and followed that track, where I finally met with a Dusky Fulvetta, along with Taiwan Blue Magpies, Rufous-capped Babblers, White-bellied Erpornis and Grey-cheeked Fulvetta. There was also a Striated Heron flying up and down the river all day.

Dave 2x
Friday 18th July 2014, 05:20
Very nice, some great birds that can be tough to see in Taiwan!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Monday 21st July 2014, 13:25
Account of my visit last week to Dahanshan, a rather remote mountain at the southern end of the central mountain range in Pingtung County. Not many birds were seen, but it should be an excellent site to check out again in late fall and winter:

http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2014/07/21/rusty-laughingthrush-and-taiwan-bamboo-partridge-dahanshan-july-16th/

Cheers and happy birding!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Thursday 31st July 2014, 02:47
A nice visit to Tengjhih National Forest, with a party of Black-necklaced Scimitar-Babblers seen well, plenty of Rufous-crowned Laughingthrushes, several Yellow Tits, and Black Eagle. Also - at long last - White-rumped Munia for the year.

Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2014/07/31/black-necklaced-scimitar-babbler-tengjhih-national-forest-july-27th/

Cheers and happy birding!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 12th August 2014, 01:46
Continuous torrential rain in southern Taiwan has scuppered the best birding intentions recently. In Kaohsiung, we've had comfortably more than London's annual rainfall in just the last five days.

However, I braved the elements on Saturday and found a few opportunities to set up my scope during short breaks in the rain. The good news is that autumn wader passage has definitely started!

Water levels at several sites (including the usually excellent Aogu wetlands, and Qigu near Tainan) were too high to offer much habitat for passage waders. But pools alongside Highway 17 near Budai were very productive, with hundreds of waders of fourteen different species.

Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Tuesday 12th August 2014, 05:52
Finally some birds.....great report!

Other birds getting reported in that area include a number of Asian Dowitchers (one day I will get mine), Ruff and even a Schrenck's Bittern on the 5 August.

Maybe time to get off the sofa!!!

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Wednesday 13th August 2014, 13:21
^ Thanks for the info, Dave. If you hear of any good birds in my neck of the woods, then do let me know. I'm not on any birding "grapevine" here in Taiwan, so any info would be much appreciated!

Hoping to head up that way again this weekend, weather permitting .....

Dave 2x
Wednesday 13th August 2014, 23:53
^ Thanks for the info, Dave. If you hear of any good birds in my neck of the woods, then do let me know. I'm not on any birding "grapevine" here in Taiwan, so any info would be much appreciated!

Hoping to head up that way again this weekend, weather permitting .....

No problem.....ebird is becoming more and more popular in Taiwan now so I get most of my information from there. You can set it up to send you alerts for any "Rarity" reported in Taiwan and/or any species that are not on your own list already. Taiwanese ebirders are pretty accurate with the locations of their sightings so it really helps me a lot.

I am also seeing lots of photos at the moment of Asian Dowitchers in the Taoyuan area...hopefully I will get the chance to try there this weekend.

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Friday 15th August 2014, 07:11
No problem.....ebird is becoming more and more popular in Taiwan now so I get most of my information from there. You can set it up to send you alerts for any "Rarity" reported in Taiwan

^ Done! Thank you for the tip.

Migrants were in evidence at a couple of local sites this morning, most notably White-winged Tern, Terek Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone and Grey-tailed Tattler. Some uncommon resident birds were around too: three Cinnamon Bitterns, a Savanna Nightjar and a singing Golden-headed Cisticola.

Full details here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Monday 18th August 2014, 23:34
One day I will get an Asian Dowitcher....on Saturday 16 August I went to a location next to Taoyuan Airport. Asian Dowitchers had been reported there since 5 August until 15 August but of course when I get there they have gone!

Birding was still pretty good for this time of year and shorebirds included Pacific Golden Plover, Greater Sand-Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Terek Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Gray-tailed Tattler, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Long-toed Stint, Red-necked Stint, Sanderling, Dunlin. Terns were alo active with Little Tern breeding in this area, Whiskered Tern and a single White-winged Tern.

Will keep trying for that Asian Dowitcher...apparently now also showing up in Yilan.

Glossy Ibis being reported from Kenting.

A few photos...

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Wednesday 20th August 2014, 03:30
^ Dave, I'm sorry to do this to you, but I found two Asian Dowitchers at Budai yesterday. I also saw the two long-staying Greater Flamingoes there, which I believe you have also had no luck with. I took some truly terrible record shots of both species. Given the high standard of your bird photos, you would no doubt have done the birds proper justice with your camera if you had been there.

Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Last weekend, I also saw a Slaty-legged Crake, at a location about halfway up Alishan. A great and very unexpected lifer! There is a report of the sighting on my blog.

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Thursday 21st August 2014, 02:02
Yep this is certainly the time of year to see those Asian Dowitchers....keep seeing lots of photos at the moment! Good to know the Flamingos are still around as I hadn't heard anything about them for a couple of months. Unfortunately I have no time at the moment to get down there.

Cheers

Dave

Larry Lade
Thursday 21st August 2014, 12:11
I really need to get over to Taiwan sometime!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Monday 25th August 2014, 04:12
Two groups of Taiwan Hill Partridge at Tengjhih National Forest on Saturday morning. Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Thursday 28th August 2014, 09:28
Wow! Autumn wader passage has really got cracking since last week. Some fantastic birding in the Beimen, Budai and Qigu areas yesterday, with many shorebird species represented in their hundreds, and a scattering of scarcities among them including a male Ruff, two Temminck's Stints and at least one Pintail Snipe. Other goodies included single Gull-billed Tern and White-winged Tern.

Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2014/08/28/26-wader-species-and-gull-billed-tern-beimenbudaiqigu-august-27th/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Monday 1st September 2014, 06:22
After reading your report, I decided to travel down to Budai on Saturday 30 August. On my 3rd attempt in this area over the last couple of months, we finally managed to see and photograph the Greater Flamingos. Lots of Terns and Shorebirds showing in the Budai area including hundreds of Pacific Golden Plover, plenty of Black-tailed Godwits, 10 Pied Avocets, 1 Ruff, Broad-billed Sandpipers, Curlew Sandpipers, Red-necked, Long-toed and Temminck's Stint, Ruddy Turnstone, Wood Sandpipers and lots of Marsh Sandpiper.

A couple of photos...

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Monday 1st September 2014, 13:21
^ I'm pleased you finally connected with the Greater Flamingos, Dave. I'm thinking of heading up there tomorrow before work to see what I can find. Nordmann's Greenshank and Little Curlew are the two remote possibilities that will get me leaping out of bed in anticipation at 5am tomorrow morning and driving two hours each way on a scooter.

The Nordmann's Greenshank is probably most likely on tidal mudflats, a habitat that I haven't found a great deal of in Taiwan .... and such areas are often difficult to view from dry land. I don't suppose you know of any such places worth trying?

For the Little Curlew, I reckon there's some pretty good areas to try around Beimen - dried-out rice paddies along minor roads leading off Highway 17 at around Km 146.

Spoon-billed Sandpiper would be great, too, but I am fortunate enough to have already seen it in Thailand, so it's not such a high priority! But I'll keep checking those Red-necked Stint flocks just in case.

Anyway, it's nice to dream. If I do make it out of bed tomorrow I will be sure to report how I get on.

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Monday 1st September 2014, 14:43
I went looking for Nordmann's Greenshanks that had been seen at Gongliao in April 2013.....missed the Nordmann's Greenshanks but got a couple of lifer Little Curlews. Have not seen them since, but they seem to turn up pretty regularly. Sorry, that location is a bit far for a scooter ride!

Haven't heard of any Nordmann's Greenshanks reported anywhere else in Taiwan....so far (and nothing on ebird). There was a single Spoon-billed Sandpiper in Tainan in October 2012. If Richard is reading this he may be able to help!

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Tuesday 2nd September 2014, 00:04
Some more pics from the weekend...

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 2nd September 2014, 12:36
^ Beautiful photos, Dave. I saw plenty of each of those species at Budai today. I didn't get my Nordmann's Greenshank or Little Curlew, but instead something that - according to the Mark Brazil book - is potentially even rarer in Taiwan: Common Ringed Plover.

Full report (and some record photos) here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2014/09/02/common-ringed-plover-budai-september-2nd/

The two Greater Flamingoes were showing again on pools beside the Expressway at Km 276, but today they were accompanied by half a dozen photographers - the power of your eBird report, perhaps? :-)

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Tuesday 2nd September 2014, 12:41
Now thats a great find for Taiwan.....jealous yet again!!! Now tempted to go back.

There were approx. 10 photographers there on Saturday....if they were newly found there would be over 100 photographers setting up a stage for them and feeding them with goldfish! ;)

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 9th September 2014, 13:50
Did you go back to Budai, Dave? Did anyone refind/photograph the Common Ringed Plover, to your knowledge?

I spent an exhausting but enjoyable Moon Festival weekend in the Dasyueshan and Wushe areas. Good birds seen included Taiwan Thrush, Taiwan Whistling Thrush, Taiwan Hwamei, Rufous-crowned and Rusty Laughingthrushes, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Swinhoe's Pheasant, Taiwan Barwing, Yellow Tit, Little Forktail, Brown Dipper, Vinaceous Rosefinch and Grey-headed Bullfinch. However, I failed to connect with Mikado Pheasant or White-browed Robin, and the continued absence of Brownish-flanked Bush-warbler from my list is puzzling!

Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2014/09/09/dasyueshan-and-the-wushe-area-september-6th-8th/. I have also provided some updated notes about Dasyueshan and the other sites visited, which may be of use to anyone planning a visit.

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Wednesday 10th September 2014, 02:32
I didn't go back to Budai and don't know anyone that looked for the Common Ringed Plover.

Great info for Dasyueshan....I never have any luck on that Trail 210 even though I try it every time I go there.

I guess migrants will start to pick up very soon...photographers have been shooting a Dollarbird near Taipei this last week.

birdingaroundtaiwan
Sunday 14th September 2014, 13:42
Tataka in Yushan National Park produced this weekend's best sightings, with Golden Parrotbills showing well at their usual location of Km 108.5 (about the third or fourth time I have seen them at this exact spot, and never anywhere else in Taiwan), and a male White-browed Robin there too.

Full report on my blog: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Sunday 14th September 2014, 13:51
Nice....I really need to head south more often.

I escaped for 3 hours this morning and decided to try Yehliu Geopark. Very few birds around...a few Pacific Reef Herons and a couple of hunting Peregrine Falcons were there as expected. More unusual birds were a female Siberian Blue Robin (lifer), a Japanese Paradise Flycatcher and a flyby Brown Booby.

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Friday 19th September 2014, 12:57
^ Congratulations on your lifer, Dave. That's one I've seen in a couple of places, but not (yet) in Taiwan. If you'd been out birding with me this morning, you would have had another lifer .... Asian Dowitcher. My fifth individual this year was at Dapeng Bay, also five tern species and a nice selection of waders in small numbers.

Full report and photo here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2014/09/19/asian-dowitcher-and-terns-dapeng-bay-september-19th/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Saturday 20th September 2014, 07:56
Nice, another Asian Dowitcher....still seeing quite a few photos of them from along the west coast but no time to go and search! Also keep a lookout for Long-billed Dowitcher as they get reported much less than Asian Dowitcher in Taiwan. 3 birds were reported on 13 September here:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/23%C2%B004'52.0%22N+120%C2%B005'04.0%22E/@23.0811195,120.0844395,13z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0

Went to Yehliu this morning before the typhoon arrived....very very quiet. Only birds of note were approx. 12 Brown Boobies and a first of the season (very early) Brown-headed Thrush.

I am seeing lots of photographs of Dollarbirds from Beitou, Taipei.

Yehliu should really start producing any time now, so will concentrate there for the next 6 weeks.

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Sunday 21st September 2014, 04:33
^ Cheers for the info, but I'm one step ahead of you Dave! I decided to follow up on that eBird report yesterday morning. The three Long-billed Dowitchers are still there, along with hundreds of other shorebirds.

So now I've seen both dowitcher species on the Taiwan list in the space of two days! Pretty happy with that :-)

Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2014/09/21/long-billed-dowitcher-qigu-september-20th/

Exciting birding times ahead ..... hopefully this typhoon will bring some interesting birds in!

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Monday 22nd September 2014, 00:09
^ Cheers for the info, but I'm one step ahead of you Dave! I decided to follow up on that eBird report yesterday morning. The three Long-billed Dowitchers are still there, along with hundreds of other shorebirds.

I should have known....congrats, that one can be tough to find in Taiwan!!!

This report on E-bird got my attention:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19887799

If I didn't have to work I would be there after this typhoon.

Also Grey-streaked Flycatcher and Ashy Minivets being reported from Yilan over the weekend.

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Wednesday 24th September 2014, 03:53
^ That eBirder had a great seawatch .... Swinhoe's Storm-petrel and Aleutian Tern are still on my most-wanted list :-)

I spent the day on the west coast yesterday, visiting Qigu, Beimen, Budai, and Aogu. 23 wader species (including a personal Taiwan first, Sanderling), 6 tern species (sadly not including Aleutian!), and some evidence of passerine migration including a flock of 18 White-shouldered Starlings. Also Chinese Egret and the first returning Black-faced Spoonbills of the autumn.

Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Wednesday 24th September 2014, 06:10
Nice report.....I believe the photographers you mentioned were "training" a Blue-and-white Flycatcher which was reported there this week!

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Saturday 27th September 2014, 10:21
Saturday 27 September
This morning I was back at Yehliu for a few hours. More birds there this week compared to last week. Highlights were:-

Formosan Magpie (4) seen near my home on the way to Yehliu;
Chinese Sparrowhawk (1);
Taiwan Yuhina (1) which really should not be at sea level;
Blue-and-white Flycatcher (2) male and female
Japanese Paradise Flycatcher (at least 2);
Arctic Warbler (3)
Brown Booby (2)
The usual Pacific Reef-Herons, Peregrine Falcon, Black Kites, Blue Rock Thrush, Brown Shrikes, Taiwan Scimitar-Babbler also there.

Will post some photos soon.

Next week I will be joining the Wild Bird Society for a trip to Guishan Island....timing looks about right!

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 29th September 2014, 23:19
Here's a couple of photos from the weekend...

Reports and lots of photos of a Siberian Thrush at Cigu the last 2 days.....if only I didn't have to work!

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Wednesday 1st October 2014, 03:32
^ Stunning photos, Dave - especially the Peregrine.

Now prepare to get jealous - here are the highlights of my two visits to Qigu and the Tsengwen Estuary area, on Sunday and Tuesday:

Siberian Thrush
Siberian Blue Robin
Black-winged Cuckooshrike
Blue-and-White Flycatcher
Grey-streaked Flycatcher
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Pallas's Warbler
Arctic Warbler
White-shouldered Starling
Richard's Pipit
Black-shouldered Kite
Peregrine
Malayan Night Heron
Ruff
Great Knot
Pintail Snipe
Greater Painted-Snipe
Bar-tailed Godwit
Eurasian Curlew
Gull-billed Tern
White-winged Tern

Full details and a few photos here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Maybe you should try and get down south at some point in the near future :-)

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Wednesday 1st October 2014, 03:50
Good to see migration is fully on! Congrats on some really good birds!

The Siberian Thrush is certainly tempting...but due to my limited birding time, I will have to hold out for some rarities dropping in on the North Coast.

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Saturday 4th October 2014, 05:40
Compared to Tuesday's exceptional haul, it was generally much quieter at Qigu this morning, but there were still several quality birds to be seen. Highlight was a migrant Northern Boobook showing well. Also notable, singles of Striated Heron and Asian Brown Flycatcher.

Full details on my blog: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Saturday 4th October 2014, 06:32
Guishan trip was cancelled due to the weather and instead I had a disappointing morning at Yehliu. Yesterday birders at Yehliu had a Bull-headed Shrike, Ashy Drongo, Asian Stubtail, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Blue-and-white Flycatcher......today they had all left. Only migrants were 4 or 5 Asian Brown Flycatchers.

Dave 2x
Sunday 5th October 2014, 09:35
Decided to give Yehliu one more try this morning....much the same apart from one better bird an Ashy Drongo (will post photos later). Others also had an Asian Stubtail which I heard but never saw.

Apparently there are now Black-faced Spoonbills at Guandu, which is an easy trip for anyone only visiting Taipei. A Long-tailed Starling (definite escapee) continues at Huajiang in Taipei.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 6th October 2014, 00:08
Some photos from the weekend...

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 13th October 2014, 08:41
Wet and windy the last weekend so didn't bother to go out...if anyone is interested there are Pied Harriers being reported from Jinshan and a Pectoral Sandpiper has been present the last 4 days at Huajiang.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 13th October 2014, 13:43
Apparently with the good weather, reports are that many birds have turned up at Yehliu today...Yellow-browed Warblers, Pallas's leaf-Warblers, Lanceolated Warblers, Two-barred Greenish Warbler, a Gray-backed Thrush, Scaly Thrush, Tristram's Bunting, Black-faced Buntings, Chestnut-eared Bunting, Red-flanked Bluetails, Daurian Redstarts and Gray-faced Buzzards passing through.

Forest Wagtail being reported from Taichung.

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 14th October 2014, 10:04
^ Sounds good. I spent a couple of hours at Qigu this afternoon. In the coastal forest, three Bramblings showing well, but almost nothing else - the weather here has been clear and sunny for many days and probably most migrants are passing straight through without stopping.

There were also at least 300 Black-faced Spoonbills on the reserve, alongside nineteen Caspian Terns also back for the winter, plus three passage Gull-billed Terns.

Cheers and happy birding!
http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

birdingaroundtaiwan
Wednesday 15th October 2014, 02:53
Blog post about yesterday's Qigu visit here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2014/10/15/brambling-qigu-october-14th/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Thursday 16th October 2014, 08:13
Still stuck at work, however reports are still showing plenty of birds at Yehliu.

Apparently 25 Yellow-browed Warblers and 7 Tristram's Buntings on the 14 October and today (16 October) there is a Rufous-tailed Robin which I am hoping will stay till at least Saturday!

Dave 2x
Saturday 18th October 2014, 06:25
Numbers of birds at Yehliu this morning (Saturday 18 October) were apparently a lot less than yesterday but still some good migrants including:

Rufous-tailed Robin (people had traveled from all over Taiwan to see this one)
Brambling (3)
Little Bunting
Black-faced Bunting
Tristram's Bunting (1 female)
Yellow-browed Warbler (a few)
Daurian Redstart (5)
Red-flanked Bluetail (1)
Blue-and-white Flycatcher (1 female)
Thrush sp. (likely the Gray-backed Thrush that had been reported the day before)

We then moved to Jinshan looking for the Pied Harriers that had been reported this week. We dipped on them but got a bonus pair of Ring-necked Pheasants (Taiwan endemic subspecies) which I have never seen in the North of Taiwan.

Photos to follow...

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 20th October 2014, 06:21
A couple of photos and one change to the previous post. The female Blue-and-white Flycatcher was upon review of the photos, a female Mugimaki Flycatcher.

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Wednesday 22nd October 2014, 01:49
^ Rufous-tailed Robin is a quality East Asian bird indeed .... the only one I've ever seen was on an offshore Korean island in May.

Looks like you are getting the best of the migrants "up north". Qigu coastal forest has been very quiet during my last couple of visits, with a nice Northern Boobook (my second of the autumn at this site) yesterday, but almost nothing else at all. The weather isn't helping - it's clear and sunny here every day with light winds from the wrong direction. Let's hope we get some inclement weather passing through soon to shake things up a bit.

Record shot of the owl plus a short report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Sunday 26th October 2014, 06:53
I spent Saturday and Sunday morning (25 and 26 October) back at Yehliu with a huge amount of other birders and photographers. Highlights included:-

Japanese Sparrowhawk;
Asian Stubtail;
Yellow-browed Warbler;
Lanceolated Warbler;
Red-flanked Bluetail (many);
Gray-backed Thrush;
Tristram's Bunting (one male and a few females);
and my personal highlight, a Japanese Quail

Other birds that I missed Included Dusky Warbler, Black-browed Reed-Warbler and Pallas's Leaf Warbler.

5 Greylag Geese were reported at Huajiang on Friday but did not stick.

Photos to follow.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 27th October 2014, 06:54
Here's a few photos...

Cheers

Dave

BabblerVille
Monday 27th October 2014, 08:19
and my personal highlight, a Japanese Quail



Nice work on the quail - really wanted to see it chomping that seed.

A Pied Harrier was still at the Jinshan wetland last Wednesday.

Dave 2x
Monday 27th October 2014, 23:23
Nice work on the quail - really wanted to see it chomping that seed.


Right, this time I am very grateful for the photographers baiting the area!

Here's a few more pics.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Tuesday 28th October 2014, 23:25
Goldcrests and a possible Black Redstart reported at Yehliu yesterday.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Sunday 2nd November 2014, 23:29
Saturday 1 November 2014
I returned to Yehliu for a few hours and most of the birds of the previous week had disappeared. Notable birds were my first Japanese Bush Warbler of the season, a Brown-headed Thrush (Thrushes should be coming over in numbers soon) and a remaining female Tristram's Bunting.

Sunday 2 Noveber 2014
Decided to try Tian Liao Yang for some different birds. Only stayed a couple of hours due to the non-stop rain. Highlights included a Yellow-throated Bunting, 2 Chestnut-eared Buntings, Eurasian Hobby, Buff-bellied and Red-throated Pipit.

Seen by others - Black-headed Bunting, Mandarin Duck, Lesser Kestrel

Baikal Teal being reported from Yilan.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Tuesday 4th November 2014, 01:14
A few photos...

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Wednesday 5th November 2014, 01:52
Finally, Qigu produced a good autumn day .... with only me and one other birder there to appreciate it!

Highlights were a Goldcrest (very rare in the south of Taiwan), two Mugimaki Flycatchers including an adult male, a Red-flanked Bluetail, two Yellow-browed and one Arctic Warbler, and six Daurian Redstarts.

Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Saturday 8th November 2014, 08:41
Nice, Goldcrests are rare all over Taiwan....they only ever stay 1 to 2 days in Yehliu when they are passing through.

Today I went back to Tian Liao Yang which is between Keelung and Yilan. A couple of Taiwan Blue Magpies were seen as I left home and Tian Liao Yang had better birds this week with the raptors showing well in the hot weather:

Osprey
Crested Serpent Eagle
Crested Goshawk
Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Black Kite
Common Buzzard
Eurasian Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon

The star birds today were 6 Pallas's Buntings which brought with them a small army of photographers and birders.

Other birds included 5 Stonechats (all female), Chestnut-eared Bunting, Red-throated Pipit, Green Sandpiper (reliable at this location) and a group of White-rumped Munia.

Photos to follow...

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 10th November 2014, 04:40
A few photos from the weekend...please let me know if I have any of these IDs wrong!

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Tuesday 11th November 2014, 08:20
A couple more photos...and forgot a Buff-bellied Pipit from the list above.

Cheers

Dave

Paul Rhodes
Wednesday 12th November 2014, 10:44
A couple more photos...and forgot a Buff-bellied Pipit from the list above.

Cheers

Dave
In Taiwan atm visited Guandu yesterday 2 male Daurian redstarts yb warbler asian flycatcher and a warbler with bright yellow legs which was probably an arctic warbler all birds in low trees by visitor centre also brief view of a female pied harrier no sign of chinese grosbeak and black billed spoonbill which I was told had been seen day before but could still be present also caught up with some residents and waders good reserve but a touch noisy! Visited Yelihu today with my wife to see rock formations in terrible weather some good taiwanese birds on headland +many grounded lurking migrants inc 2+ eye browed thrushes siberian chiffies a brown headed thrush a probable female siberian rubythroat ,if any local birders can get up there tomorrow and weather improves it should be good!

Dave 2x
Thursday 13th November 2014, 07:10
Some good birds there Paul...congrats!

...and you were right about Yehliu. I just received a report that this morning at Yehliu some good birds showed up including Japanese Thrush, Japanese Robin and Asian Stubtail. Hoping they stay till at least the weekend.

Cheers

Dave

Paul Rhodes
Thursday 13th November 2014, 09:41
Some good birds there Paul...congrats!

...and you were right about Yehliu. I just received a report that this morning at Yehliu some good birds showed up including Japanese Thrush, Japanese Robin and Asian Stubtail. Hoping they stay till at least the weekend.

Cheers

Dave

Yes hope they stay for you after today they may do ! I had a small dark thrush at last light but could not pick up any features unfortunately! Stayed in Taipei today to do museums.There were a lot of thrushes calling over Botanic garden early doors, but to high to ID managed the Malaysian Pond Heron wb waterhen and the common endemics going to try my luck in surrounding hills tomorrow if weather improves.

Best regards

Paul

birdingaroundtaiwan
Friday 14th November 2014, 01:14
Sounds good, Paul. Arctic Warbler is a common migrant through Taiwan, so there's a high chance your bird was that species. I've never heard of Siberian Chiffchaff turning up in Taiwan, though - maybe your birds at Yehliu were something else?

I spent a few hours on the west coast on Tuesday, with 63 species observed. Many wintering birds are back on the marshes, including thousands of ducks. I saw a total of 27 Common Pochard, at Cheting and Budai - I wonder if there's a much larger than normal influx of this species this year? Mark Brazil has this bird down as a scarce to rare winter visitor.

An adult Mongolian Gull was a good bird, and a Taiwan tick for me. Other highlights included Black-shouldered Kite, Peregrine, Osprey, at least 400 Black-faced Spoonbills (easy to find at most suitable sites in the southwest), Garganey, Avocet, Black-headed Gull, lots of Caspian Terns, Richard's Pipit, and a male Daurian Redstart.

The weather is almost always dry and sunny in the south of Taiwan in winter - if it's too rainy up north, Paul, head this way! Tengjhih National Forest, two hours drive from Kaohsiung, is lovely at this time of the year and offers fairly reliable sightings of Yellow Tit, as well as many of the other mid-elevation endemics.

I have plenty of trip reports from Tengjhih on my blog here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/, plus a write-up and full species list from Tuesday's west coast trip.

Cheers and happy birding!

Paul Rhodes
Friday 14th November 2014, 01:58
Hi Dominique

The two birds I saw were definitely chiffchaffs one was seen at very close proximity to be fair I did not hear either bird call so despite behaviour both fed on ground or in low vegetation and plumage small amount of yellow in wing I could not ascribe them to other species i.e. plain no wingbars dark legs plain super. Heading down south after weekend hopw you are right about weather and thanks for your info better day so far in Taipei

Cheers Paul


QUOTE=birdingaroundtaiwan;3112891]Sounds good, Paul. Arctic Warbler is a common migrant through Taiwan, so there's a high chance your bird was that species. I've never heard of Siberian Chiffchaff turning up in Taiwan, though - maybe your birds at Yehliu were something else?

I spent a few hours on the west coast on Tuesday, with 63 species observed. Many wintering birds are back on the marshes, including thousands of ducks. I saw a total of 27 Common Pochard, at Cheting and Budai - I wonder if there's a much larger than normal influx of this species this year? Mark Brazil has this bird down as a scarce to rare winter visitor.

An adult Mongolian Gull was a good bird, and a Taiwan tick for me. Other highlights included Black-shouldered Kite, Peregrine, Osprey, at least 400 Black-faced Spoonbills (easy to find at most suitable sites in the southwest), Garganey, Avocet, Black-headed Gull, lots of Caspian Terns, Richard's Pipit, and a male Daurian Redstart.

The weather is almost always dry and sunny in the south of Taiwan in winter - if it's too rainy up north, Paul, head this way! Tengjhih National Forest, two hours drive from Kaohsiung, is lovely at this time of the year and offers fairly reliable sightings of Yellow Tit, as well as many of the other mid-elevation endemics.

I have plenty of trip reports from Tengjhih on my blog here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/, plus a write-up and full species list from Tuesday's west coast trip.

Cheers and happy birding![/QUOTE]

Dave 2x
Friday 14th November 2014, 02:45
Hi Dominique

The two birds I saw were definitely chiffchaffs one was seen at very close proximity to be fair I did not hear either bird call so despite behaviour both fed on ground or in low vegetation and plumage small amount of yellow in wing I could not ascribe them to other species i.e. plain no wingbars dark legs plain super.

Not impossible but so far never recorded in Taiwan (not on the Taiwan list anyhow)....Yehliu has had more than 20 species of warbler recorded so lots of unusual birds do show up at this location and especially this time of year. Feeding close to the ground at the moment should be plenty of Japanese and Manchurian Bush-Warblers which fit the"plain and no wingbars" description?

3 Japanese Robins present at Yehliu yesterday.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Friday 14th November 2014, 12:58
Paul...I think your bird was probably a Radde's Warbler....fits your description and people are reporting them today at Yehliu. A good bird for Taiwan!

Cheers

Dave

Paul Rhodes
Saturday 15th November 2014, 14:27
Paul...I think your bird was probably a Radde's Warbler....fits your description and people are reporting them today at Yehliu. A good bird for Taiwan!

Cheers

Dave

Hi Dave noted that I have seen probably six raddes warblers in UK structurally my two birds were different shorter less defined super etc I have seen a number of putative sibe chiffs in UK and I say putative because not all features to nail the ID have always been present hearing them call is a must imo and in hindsight I cannot claim the two birds were of this race ho hum! Hope you got over today to Yelhieu if so looking forward to your post. I have been down to Tainan today on wader expedition! Saw the bb spoonbill and a good selection of waders adding a few new species I had not seen in Oz ie eastern curlew ls plover and sharp tailed sand a few teal shoveler and a single pochard streaked swallow was also new failed to see Taiwan bulbul are there any pure birds left ? Btw it was hot and no rain !

birdingaroundtaiwan
Saturday 15th November 2014, 21:36
^ There are still plenty of Taiwan Bulbuls, but you'll need to go further south for them. On the west coast, they start replacing Chinese Bulbul south of Fangliao, about 40km south of Kaohsiung City. They are abundant in the Kenting area, at the far southern tip of the country.

A Hooded Crane was reported at Aogu Wetlands yesterday - I'll try and get up there on Tuesday. This morning I'm going to Tengjhih National Forest, for the first time in a few weeks. Looking forward to some cold, clear air up there.

Keep us updated Paul!

Cheers and happy birding.

Dave 2x
Sunday 16th November 2014, 23:10
Saturday 15 November 2014

Managed to escape for a few hours to try Yehliu again and as is often the case at this time of year, some good birds turned up. Highlights included:

Japanese Robin (1 male and 1 female);
Japanese Thrush (1 male);
Dusky and Pale Thrushes have now arrived;
Pallas's, Yellow-browed, Arctic and Japanese Bush-Warbler (common);
Red-flanked Bluetail (male and female)

I missed the Radde's Warbler and the Goldcrests that are apparently still there.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 17th November 2014, 06:38
Hi Dave noted that I have seen probably six raddes warblers in UK structurally my two birds were different shorter less defined super etc I have seen a number of putative sibe chiffs in UK and I say putative because not all features to nail the ID have always been present hearing them call is a must imo and in hindsight I cannot claim the two birds were of this race ho hum! Hope you got over today to Yelhieu if so looking forward to your post.

I was wrong, I checked again and "Common Chiffchaff" is on the Taiwan list and considered "Rare/Accidental"...have never heard of any being reported but you could well be right.

Cheers

Dave

Paul Rhodes
Monday 17th November 2014, 09:25
I was wrong, I checked again and "Common Chiffchaff" is on the Taiwan list and considered "Rare/Accidental"...have never heard of any being reported but you could well be right.

Cheers

Dave

Hi Dave thanks for your trouble in looking this up I suspect they may be overlooked. Been back in Taipei today Daan Park was good early doors loads of thrushes pale brown headed this pm I did Botanic gardens and whilst checking out a warbler in canopy probably yellow browed I was grabbed by a photographer who took me to the lily pond by hot house there was a mini twitc h going on for a brambling ! Took a back of camera pic but not sure how to attach also seen were Taiwan Hwamnei which had eluded me so far Taiwan Magpie loads of thrushes again one of which was an orange headed thrush ? Not sure of its status eye browed and pale thrush as well, could be others but moving around and in canopy.May try again early am tmw.

Cheers Paul

Paul Rhodes
Monday 17th November 2014, 10:04
Hi Dave thanks for your trouble in looking this up I suspect they may be overlooked. Been back in Taipei today Daan Park was good early doors loads of thrushes pale brown headed this pm I did Botanic gardens and whilst checking out a warbler in canopy probably yellow browed I was grabbed by a photographer who took me to the lily pond by hot house there was a mini twitc h going on for a brambling ! Took a back of camera pic but not sure how to attach also seen were Taiwan Hwamnei which had eluded me so far Taiwan Magpie loads of thrushes again one of which was an orange headed thrush ? Not sure of its status eye browed and pale thrush as well, could be others but moving around and in canopy.May try again early am tmw.

Cheers Paul

By the way and you may know the answer as you are on local grapevine one of the Taiwanese birders at the brambling showed me a picture on his camera of a juvenile chestnut sided rock thrush I tried to ascertain where he saw it and he indicated that it was at Botanic Gardens today this seems most unlikely . There was also a wagtail in gardens which was characteristic of Amur wagtail.

Cheers Paul

birdingaroundtaiwan
Monday 17th November 2014, 13:04
^ Sounds like plenty is happening up north!

I shall get out early tomorrow and hit up my usual coastal Tainan and Chiayi County sites: Qigu, Budai, and Aogu wetlands. Hopefully there's some migration still going on down here as well.

Yesterday, a beautiful cool day up at Tengjhih didn't yield anything spectacular, but bird activity was high. Thrushes were often heard and sometimes glimpsed, but they were very flighty and elusive in the abundant cover, with only one Eyebrowed and two Pale Thrush seen well enough to ID.

Taiwan Hill Partridge and Black-necklaced Scimitar-Babbler were good heard-only birds. Also notable were two Black Eagles (reliable at this site), a Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (winter visitor here), a Black-faced Bunting, and the return of wintering Olive-backed Pipits and a Daurian Redstart.

Full report on my blog: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Tuesday 18th November 2014, 00:00
Hi Paul,

Orange-headed Thrush would be another one that I have never heard of being reported although it is on the Taiwan list.

Bramblings are fairly common at this time of year, but unusual in the Botanical Gardens.

Taiwan Hwamei - unusual for the Botanical Gardens and generally they are escaped cage birds when found here (but who knows for sure!)

Eyebrowed, Pale, Brown-headed and Dusky are the most expected Thrushes. Naumann's and Scaly Thrush should also turn up quite regularly. Da'an and Chiang Kai Shek memorial are probably the best places in Taipei for thrushes.

Chestnut-sided Rock-Thrush - I believe we have two subspecies of the Blue Rock-Thrush that are found in Taiwan and the "philippensis" is similar to the Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush. Very common around the coast but not so common in the City centre although I have seen a few.

Amur Wagtail - Yes this one can be found here.

Cheers

Dave

Paul Rhodes
Tuesday 18th November 2014, 00:32
Hi Paul,

Orange-headed Thrush would be another one that I have never heard of being reported although it is on the Taiwan list.

Bramblings are fairly common at this time of year, but unusual in the Botanical Gardens.

Taiwan Hwamei - unusual for the Botanical Gardens and generally they are escaped cage birds when found here (but who knows for sure!)

Eyebrowed, Pale, Brown-headed and Dusky are the most expected Thrushes. Naumann's and Scaly Thrush should also turn up quite regularly. Da'an and Chiang Kai Shek memorial are probably the best places in Taipei for thrushes.

Chestnut-sided Rock-Thrush - I believe we have two subspecies of the Blue Rock-Thrush that are found in Taiwan and the "philippensis" is similar to the Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush. Very common around the coast but not so common in the City centre although I have seen a few.

Amur Wagtail - Yes this one can be found here.

Cheers

Dave

Hi Dave all very helpful thanks apparently the Hwamnei has been around for some three days so you may be right. The local birders were dashing about from place to place there were a lot of birds in BGit was one those days when anything seemed possible! Given what you say it is highly possible that the rock thrush was there Brazil indicates both breeding coastal birds and migrants only wished I saw it a real cracker.A few days left in Taiwan before I head to Okinawa !

Best regards

Paul

Paul Rhodes
Tuesday 18th November 2014, 13:34
Hi Dave all very helpful thanks apparently the Hwamnei has been around for some three days so you may be right. The local birders were dashing about from place to place there were a lot of birds in BGit was one those days when anything seemed possible! Given what you say it is highly possible that the rock thrush was there Brazil indicates both breeding coastal birds and migrants only wished I saw it a real cracker.A few days left in Taiwan before I head to Okinawa !

Best regards

Paul

Hi Dave

Quiter day today a bit of sightseeing and went up gondola to Maokong a few new birds and a male Daurian Redstart but weather very poor to view birds Daan Park early am was quiet a pale thrush and a dusky flyover the best I was surpised to find 3 scaly breasted munias here whic whilst I had seen elswhere were not expected in an urban setting. Heading to Yangminshan NP tmw if weather is better have you any tips as to which stop off park us would be most productive.

Thanks Paul

Dave 2x
Tuesday 18th November 2014, 14:33
Hi Dave

Quiter day today a bit of sightseeing and went up gondola to Maokong a few new birds and a male Daurian Redstart but weather very poor to view birds Daan Park early am was quiet a pale thrush and a dusky flyover the best I was surpised to find 3 scaly breasted munias here whic whilst I had seen elswhere were not expected in an urban setting. Heading to Yangminshan NP tmw if weather is better have you any tips as to which stop off park us would be most productive.

Thanks Paul

To be honest I have only been to Yangminshan a few times...never found it too productive, but you can pick up a quite a few of the endemics with a bit of luck. If you have time maybe try Huajiang which can have some good birds.

Cheers

Dave

Paul Rhodes
Wednesday 19th November 2014, 00:59
To be honest I have only been to Yangminshan a few times...never found it too productive, but you can pick up a quite a few of the endemics with a bit of luck. If you have time maybe try Huajiang which can have some good birds.

Cheers

Dave

Thanks Dave not sure where Huajiang is tho!

Dave 2x
Wednesday 19th November 2014, 01:20
Try this...

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Huajiangyanya+Natural+Park/@25.0386286,121.4904303,17z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x3442a8535ca1f30b:0x59f2316e1acbc e7a

Paul Rhodes
Wednesday 19th November 2014, 09:16
Try this...

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Huajiangyanya+Natural+Park/@25.0386286,121.4904303,17z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x3442a8535ca1f30b:0x59f2316e1acbc e7a

Cheers Dave

Went after lunch big crowd for a lapwing! Picked up a few species there as well plus curlew sandpiper plain prinia black eared kite finished day in BGs oriental magpie robin was causing a fuss there also himalayan bulbul brown headed munia plain thrush and dusky thrush giving photographers the run round.So off to Okinawa tomorrow really enjoyed Taiwan people very friendly and many thanks to you and Dominque for your advice and help much appreciated I hope to come back to pick up birds I have missed and to do Lanyu.

Many thanks again good luck and good birding !!

Cheers Paul

birdingaroundtaiwan
Thursday 20th November 2014, 03:10
^ No worries, Paul. Enjoy Okinawa!

The outstanding highlight of Tuesday's visit to various wetlands along the west coast (Cheting, Qigu, Budai and Aogu) was an adult Heuglin's Gull - my first lifer in Taiwan since Slaty-legged Crake back in August.

70 species were seen in total during the day. Apart from the Heuglin's Gull there was nothing really exceptional, but thousands of ducks at Budai still included 12 Common Pochard and a lone Garganey. A few migrants in Qigu coastal forest comprised male and female Daurian Redstarts and a male Black-faced Bunting. At Aogu, no sign of Saturday's Hooded Crane, although it was extremely windy there and using a telescope was difficult.

Full report including a photo of the Heuglin's Gull here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Paul Rhodes
Thursday 20th November 2014, 07:37
Cheers Dominque

Gulls in short supply in Taiwan which came as a surprise! Pity about the Hooded Crane for such large bird it is surprising how they evade finding managed crested goshawk before leaving and a brown shrike a nice way to leave.Best regards Paul

Dave 2x
Sunday 23rd November 2014, 23:36
22 November 2014
Tried Yehliu again in the morning for a couple of hours, however the good birds had left with the good weather. Highlights included:

Great Cormorants (approx. 200 flying);
Japanese Bush-Warbler (approx. 20)
Manchurian Bush-Warbler
Pallas's Leaf-Warbler
Siberian Rubythroat
Red-flanked Bluetail

23 November 2014
As Yehliu was quiet I tried staying in Taipei and started off at Huajiang for sunrise. Highlights included:

Orange-cheeked Waxbill (4);
Common Waxbill (3);
European Starling - first one I have seen in Taipei;

Next stop was the Botanical Gardens where the only birds of note were 4 Taiwan Blue Magpies.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 24th November 2014, 23:50
A few more pics from the weekend...

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 25th November 2014, 11:50
A great day on the southwest coast today, with 74 species seen. The highlight was three Black-necked Grebes - two at Budai and one at Aogu - seemingly quite an influx of this very rare winter visitor.

Other excellent birds today included nine Gadwall and a Purple Heron at Aogu, and still 21 Common Pochard at Budai.

Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Wednesday 26th November 2014, 00:00
A great day on the southwest coast today, with 74 species seen. The highlight was three Black-necked Grebes - two at Budai and one at Aogu - seemingly quite an influx of this very rare winter visitor.

Great find with the Grebes...I had a couple in Yilan earlier this year having dipped on them a couple of times at Aogu and Budai last year. Let me know when you find a Baer's Pochard and I will take a day off work!!

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Wednesday 26th November 2014, 01:14
^ An adult drake Baer's Pochard spent a few weeks on my "local patch" in Korea in winter 2010/11. I remember thinking at the time that it might be the first and last Baer's Pochard I'll ever see, considering their catastrophic decline in numbers. Let's hope I can prove myself wrong by finding one in Taiwan :-)

Dave 2x
Sunday 30th November 2014, 23:20
29 November 2014

Finally made it to Daxi to try for the Slay-legged Crake, a bird I had seen before but never photographed. A photographer/farmer at Daxi has set up a hide and the Slaty-legged Crake is a regular visitor to his small pond.

We had been told that between 4pm and 5pm would be the most likely time to see the bird and it turned up right on time giving us fairly good views and then spending a good 15 minutes bathing out in the open.

Other birds seen included a group of Chinese Bamboo-Partridge.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Tuesday 2nd December 2014, 07:37
Chinese bamboo-Partridge (Taiwan Bamboo-Partridge) also showed up at the hide...

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 2nd December 2014, 09:01
^ That Slaty-legged Crake is beautiful .... not a bird one has the chance to see very often in Taiwan, let alone photograph!

Winter has suddenly arrived in southern Taiwan. It was decidedly cold and overcast today during an extended visit to Cheting Marshes, on the Kaohsiung/Tainan border, plus shorter visits to other marshes in the local area.

The birding was spectacular: brief views of a Great Bittern out in the open on the ground, as well as in flight, a Short-eared Owl flushed twice, two Purple Herons, 40 Common Pochard, two Gadwall, Red-billed, White-shouldered and Chestnut-tailed Starlings, and excellent counts of Black-faced Spoonbills and Avocets among 73 species seen.

Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Tuesday 2nd December 2014, 23:48
Wow....congrats on the Short-eared Owl and Great Bittern....two really difficult birds to see in Taiwan!!!! Impressive!!!

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 8th December 2014, 23:08
Saturday 6 December 2014

As the weather is starting to get colder I decided to visit Wulai. Birding was very slow and I only picked up expected birds for this location including Dusky and Gray-cheeked Fulvetta, Taiwan Blue Magpie, Gray-chinned Minivets, Chinese Bamboo-Partridge, Gray-capped Woodpecker, White-bellied Erpornis, Taiwan Whistling-Thrush.

Here's a few pics....

Cheers

Dave

Jeff hopkins
Tuesday 9th December 2014, 16:07
Nice shots, Dave. How'd you get the fulvetta to sit still? 8-P

Dave 2x
Tuesday 9th December 2014, 23:17
Nice shots, Dave. How'd you get the fulvetta to sit still? 8-P

As you know Jeff, they never sit still.....if you try enough times, eventually you will get a shot!

Cheers

Dave

Jeff hopkins
Wednesday 10th December 2014, 12:36
Impressive!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Friday 12th December 2014, 12:31
With Typhoon Hagupit putting an end to my planned Philippines mini-break, I decided to stay in Taiwan and mop up one or two of the few remaining Taiwan specialities I still needed to see.

The highlight was finally getting Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler safely onto my list - my final Taiwanese endemic species. I also had views of Alpine Accentor down to just a couple of feet on Hehuan Mountain summit. Vinous-throated Parrotbill and Varied Tit were other personal highlights, while Swinhoe's Pheasant, Taiwan Blue Magpie, Black-necklaced Scimitar-Babbler and Snowy-browed Flycatcher were also great birds to see.

Full report and photos here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Sunday 14th December 2014, 01:39
Saturday 13 December 2014

Had an early morning visit to Guandu. Highlights included:

Black-winged Kites with nest/chicks;
Oriental Honey-Buzzard
Marsh Harrier
Eurasian Spoonbill (3)

Missed the Black Bittern that was photographed by lots of people at the Nature Centre.

Sunday 14 December 2014

Went to Jinshan to twitch the Siberian Crane that turned up the day before. Myself and approx. 200 photographers shared close views of this juvenile bird which is a first record for Taiwan.

Others birds seen included Golden-headed Cisticola, Black-winged Kite, Richard's Pipit.

Missed a Bull-Headed Shrike which was apparently nearby.

As usual, photos to follow.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 15th December 2014, 06:40
A couple more photos....

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 16th December 2014, 13:34
^ Congrats on the Siberian Crane .... the juvenile is a surprisingly ugly bird, considering how beautiful the adults are!

It was a very windy day down south today. A morning visit to Cheting Marshes, on the Kaohsiung/Tainan border, produced many of the usual species, including excellent counts of 143 Black-faced Spoonbills, 180 Pied Avocets and 42 Common Pochard. I read in the newspaper today that Black-faced Spoonbills currently number in excess of 2,200 individuals in Taiwan, an all-time record, and the global population census is expected to exceed 3,000 birds - a record for recent times. Good to hear these rare birds are doing so well.

Short report on today's Cheting visit here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

Paul Rhodes
Tuesday 16th December 2014, 15:25
Hi Dominque and Dave

Siberian Crane what a record !

On the subject of Black faced spoonbill there were two on the Manko reserve in Naha,Okinawa apparently they are annual also of note were four grey tailed tattler and peregrine, a particularly small bird possibly of the tundra form.

May your run of good birds continue !

Dave 2x
Thursday 18th December 2014, 05:28
Yep the Siberian Stork was an unexpected but great record for Taiwan and I am sure that will be the sixth species of Crane to be added to next year's Taiwan List.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Had non-birding friends from UK visiting so decided to take them up Dasyueshan for one day. Not a birding trip but still managed to get both Pheasants and all the normal regular birds. Fruiting trees at 23.5km attracted numerous species of bird and photographer!

For anyone going to Dasyueshan, there is now an additional new feeding area for Mikado Pheasant at the very top carpark.

Cheers

Dave

davidhru
Sunday 21st December 2014, 00:56
Dave thanks for your posting of the imm. Siberian Crane sighting. I went out yesterday the 20th hoping this rarity was still around and with luck it still was but maybe in a different location than your photos--yesterday it was by the 7-11 parking lot with a gaggle of 6 or 7 photographers snapping only a few feet away which didn't seem to bother the bird. Perhaps we will bump into each other since I see you go to a lot of the sites I do and I'm starting to get more active in birding again after a few years hiatus.

David

Dave 2x
Sunday 21st December 2014, 01:35
Dave thanks for your posting of the imm. Siberian Crane sighting. I went out yesterday the 20th hoping this rarity was still around and with luck it still was but maybe in a different location than your photos--yesterday it was by the 7-11 parking lot with a gaggle of 6 or 7 photographers snapping only a few feet away which didn't seem to bother the bird. Perhaps we will bump into each other since I see you go to a lot of the sites I do and I'm starting to get more active in birding again after a few years hiatus.

David

Hi David,

Have been reading your reports on E-bird...and yes we do go to the same areas. Glad you got to see the Crane!

Here's a photo of the crane location last Saturday (taken with my phone). This was early morning and there were still people arriving constantly as we left.

Cheers

Dave

delia todd
Sunday 21st December 2014, 08:14
Great goodness... and I thought twitching was a 'British' thing LOL.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year.

Dave 2x
Sunday 21st December 2014, 13:43
Great goodness... and I thought twitching was a 'British' thing LOL.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year.

This bird is so popular it now has it's own fan page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/%E9%87%91%E5%B1%B1%E5%B0%8F%E7%99%BD%E9%B6%B4/418768578274427?notif_t=fbpage_fan_invite

Thanks Delia and the same to you, have a Happy Xmas and New Year, always appreciate your kind comments.

Reports of Common Shelduck and Common Goldeneye now in Yilan.

Cheers

Dave

delia todd
Sunday 21st December 2014, 13:58
Thanks for the FB link Dave. Shame I can't read the comments though.

He really seems to be a famous and popular bird - hope he hangs around for you.

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 23rd December 2014, 09:11
Some excellent birding in southern Taiwan at the moment ....

Sunday 21st December: A four-hour visit to trails along the approach road to Tengjhih National Forest (altitude up to 1,500m) produced an excellent range of endemics and other mid-mountain species. Highlights included three Taiwan Hill-Partridge seen well in flight, good views of both Scimitar-Babblers, Black Eagle, Vivid Niltava, White-tailed Robin, Korean Bush-Warbler, Striated Prinia, White-bellied Green Pigeon and Fire-breasted Flowerpecker.

Tuesday 23rd December: Five hours at Cheting Marshes, on the Kaohsiung/Tainan border, produced an excellent 64 species. Best of the bunch were two Eurasian Spoonbills (personal Taiwan tick), more than a hundred Black-faced Spoonbills, a Great Bittern (my second of the winter at this site), a Cinnamon Bittern, still 33 Common Pochard, 3 Greater Painted-Snipe, and good counts of both White-shouldered Starling and Chestnut-tailed Starling.

Full report from both visits here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Thursday 1st January 2015, 02:43
Now that 2014 is over, I have compiled my year list. I finished the year with 265 bird species seen in Taiwan - not a record-breaking total by any means, but not bad considering my main form of transportation is a scooter, almost all of my birds were self-found, and I didn't visit Matsu or Kinmen during the year.

My list can be found here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2015/01/01/2014-taiwan-year-list-review/

Happy New Year and good birding to all in 2015!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Sunday 4th January 2015, 12:32
A great start to 2015, with lots of good birds at Tengjhih National Forest today including a personal Taiwan first: Asian Stubtail.

Taiwan Thrush, Yellow Tit, Rusty Laughingthrush, White-backed Woodpecker, Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler, White-bellied Green Pigeon, a showy male Vivid Niltava and four sightings of Black Eagle rounded off an excellent day.

Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Friday 9th January 2015, 10:09
Does anyone have any details about the Oriental Stork, reported today close to Longluan Lake in Pingtung?

Dave 2x
Monday 12th January 2015, 23:43
Does anyone have any details about the Oriental Stork, reported today close to Longluan Lake in Pingtung?

I heard about the Stork but unfortunately don't have any more details.

10 January 2014

Tried Guandu again after reports of a Baillon's Crake.....no joy on the Crake and nothing unusual around. Highlights included Black-shouldered Kite, Peregrine Falcon, Chinese Pond-Heron.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21272116

11 January 2014

Started the day at Huajiang in Taipei. Again nothing too exciting around but picked up Naumann's Thrush, Dusky Thrush, Common Waxbill.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21289283

Moved to Taipei Botanical Gardens after hearing reports of Ashy Wood-Pigeon, Eurasian Blackbird and Collared Scops-Owl. Missed all of those but got my first Taiwan Blue Magpies of the year.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21289351

Moved to Nangang Park where a crowd of photographers indicated the presence of a Striated Heron to finish the day off.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21289448

Maybe time to head South next weekend!

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Tuesday 13th January 2015, 11:45
^ Yes, south is where it's at! :-) I'm going down to Pingtung County on Saturday, will have a look for the Oriental Stork while I'm there.

My recent birding highlight was an adult male Japanese Thrush in the Maolin Valley on January 11th. I've not heard of this species overwintering here, but I guess it's not too far-fetched given that they winter in SE China.

Saunders Gull and Greater Scaup both made it on to my Taiwan list, and a flock of six Black-necked Grebes was also good to see, in the Chiayi County coastal wetlands on January 6th.

Full reports and my 2015 World Year List here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/

Cheers and happy birding!

SteveMM
Tuesday 13th January 2015, 15:40
Chipping in with my own tuppence-worth, if you miss Oriental Stork at Long Luan Can, you can always get it on Jiu Xue River where it is now resident (pair).

In respect of the south, at least one Great Black-headed Gull has returned to Ba Zhang River and should be there on-and-off until March now.

Dave 2x
Tuesday 13th January 2015, 23:57
Chipping in with my own tuppence-worth, if you miss Oriental Stork at Long Luan Can, you can always get it on Jiu Xue River where it is now resident (pair).

In respect of the south, at least one Great Black-headed Gull has returned to Ba Zhang River and should be there on-and-off until March now.

Great info! Just checked out your blog Steve and I am totally amazed by the great birds you have found. Is there anything left for you to see in Taiwan? I really need to try harder!!!

Cheers

Dave

SteveMM
Wednesday 14th January 2015, 00:59
Great info! Just checked out your blog Steve and I am totally amazed by the great birds you have found. Is there anything left for you to see in Taiwan? I really need to try harder!!!

Cheers

Dave

The big glaring omission is Brown Wood Owl (only heard before). The understandable one is Small Buttonquail. The rest is comfortably OML!

The best way to bump your list up is to spend quality time on the coast (Yehliu in your case) and make frequent visits to those absolutely wonderful islands (Dongyin!). Big drives for me, but fortunately in winter eveything is in (or near enough in) Tainan!

Dave 2x
Wednesday 14th January 2015, 01:38
The big glaring omission is Brown Wood Owl (only heard before). The understandable one is Small Buttonquail. The rest is comfortably OML!

The best way to bump your list up is to spend quality time on the coast (Yehliu in your case) and make frequent visits to those absolutely wonderful islands (Dongyin!). Big drives for me, but fortunately in winter eveything is in (or near enough in) Tainan!

Yes I spent almost every weekend at Yehliu from September to November last year and got a few of the bonus birds that turn up there. Planning to hit Matsu in June/July for the Chinese Crested Tern which is my top priority whilst in Taiwan. Unfortunately not enough free time to hit migration there this year.

Cheers

Dave

SteveMM
Wednesday 14th January 2015, 14:29
Yes I spent almost every weekend at Yehliu from September to November last year and got a few of the bonus birds that turn up there. Planning to hit Matsu in June/July for the Chinese Crested Tern which is my top priority whilst in Taiwan. Unfortunately not enough free time to hit migration there this year.

Cheers

Dave

Ha! If you want Chinese Crested Tern, I'd do your best to co-ordinate with a bunch of birders/photographers if you can and charter the whole boat. That way you just go straight to the breeding island and spend all your time there.

The regular tourist boat goes all around the houses and you only get about ten minutes at the relevant island. To add insult to injury, you then spend the rest of the morning (ages) looking at boring temples, only 'from a boat'.

Dave 2x
Wednesday 14th January 2015, 21:49
Ha! If you want Chinese Crested Tern, I'd do your best to co-ordinate with a bunch of birders/photographers if you can and charter the whole boat. That way you just go straight to the breeding island and spend all your time there.

The regular tourist boat goes all around the houses and you only get about ten minutes at the relevant island. To add insult to injury, you then spend the rest of the morning (ages) looking at boring temples, only 'from a boat'.

Luckily I know the person who does the Chinese Crested Tern surveys in Matsu each year and he has agreed to help me get some photos from a private boat.

Cheers

Dave

birdingaroundtaiwan
Friday 16th January 2015, 00:23
Fascinating blog, Steve - given that we visit many of the same sites along the coast, I'm surprised we haven't bumped into each other yet. In your "woodlot A" (what I refer to as Qigu Coastal Forest in my blog), I've been asked several times by Taiwanese birders if I know you. Seems we may be destined not to meet, as I'll be leaving Taiwan permanently in about 10 days time.

Which one is the Ba Zhang river you mention? Mark Brazil also name-checks it in his field guide. Googling the Chinese characters for "Ba" and "Zhang" failed to come up with anything resembling the river names on Google maps. I'm assuming it's somewhere south of the Puzi river, and north of Qigu - in fact I've probably been there but I'm not sure which river it is. If you can enlighten me, that would be great - and Great Black-headed Gull would be a lifer for me, so I know where I'll be heading next Tuesday.

Cheers!

Dave 2x
Friday 16th January 2015, 01:29
Which one is the Ba Zhang river you mention? Mark Brazil also name-checks it in his field guide. Googling the Chinese characters for "Ba" and "Zhang" failed to come up with anything resembling the river names on Google maps. I'm assuming it's somewhere south of the Puzi river, and north of Qigu - in fact I've probably been there but I'm not sure which river it is. If you can enlighten me, that would be great - and Great Black-headed Gull would be a lifer for me, so I know where I'll be heading next Tuesday.

Cheers!

I had the same question and my Mrs told me it's the border river between Chiayi and Tainan. I will be trying there tomorrow and will try and give you an update before Tuesday.

Sorry to hear you are leaving Taiwan, your detailed info has been really useful! So where are you heading next?

Cheers

Dave

SteveMM
Friday 16th January 2015, 03:05
Fascinating blog, Steve - given that we visit many of the same sites along the coast, I'm surprised we haven't bumped into each other yet. In your "woodlot A" (what I refer to as Qigu Coastal Forest in my blog), I've been asked several times by Taiwanese birders if I know you. Seems we may be destined not to meet, as I'll be leaving Taiwan permanently in about 10 days time.

Which one is the Ba Zhang river you mention? Mark Brazil also name-checks it in his field guide. Googling the Chinese characters for "Ba" and "Zhang" failed to come up with anything resembling the river names on Google maps. I'm assuming it's somewhere south of the Puzi river, and north of Qigu - in fact I've probably been there but I'm not sure which river it is. If you can enlighten me, that would be great - and Great Black-headed Gull would be a lifer for me, so I know where I'll be heading next Tuesday.

Cheers!


Hi.

Try these co-ordinates in Google Maps: 23.315121, 120.151587. Great Black-headed Gull usually arrives late in December (in some winters more than one) and will hang around that general area (but not necessarily strictly on Ba Zhang River (八掌溪), though traditionally that is the one it prefers). This individual was last seen on Pu Zi River (23.446393, 120.174074), so may be rather more wide-ranging.

Quite funny to hear you're leaving. The main reason for my joining this forum was to try and connect with some English-speaking birders as I'd heard there were a few around these days! Not for long, though, it seems!

Area A used to be a large forest, and very much my local patch (birding there almost daily from 2000). It had plenty of water in it in the past and hundreds of Locustella (Gray's (25 in one morning once) and Middendorff's mostly) on passage. I've found all kinds of birds in there historically, the best probably being Hooded Pitta, Manchurian and Blyth's Reed Wablers, Thick-billed Warbler, Ijima's Leaf Warbler, Sulphur-breasted Warbler and Crested Bunting, and it is the place to focus on during the migration. I go there a lot less now as it's depressing enough to begin with (a fraction of its former size and dry) and I'm not an especially big fan of the huge crowds it now draws. In fact, I'm more inclined to avoid the place altogether and go elsewhere along that coast these days. I can't complain though, as I did have it to myself for the best part of a decade!

If you're going north from Gaoxiong this next few days, there has been a pair of Baer's Pochards on-and-off at Jia Ding Marshes on the Tainan-Gaoxiong border (though I have just been and dipped on these this very morning (for the second time!)) and I can see no reason why the Hooded Crane is not still there (though have not checked this area for a couple of weeks - PM me if you want the site for that, though). I'm told there's a Philippine Duck at Long Luan Can, so I myself may well be heading south!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Friday 16th January 2015, 12:04
Thank you both. I shall be looking for that Great Black-headed Gull on Tuesday morning. And if it's not windy, also hitting up Aogu to try for Red-breasted Flycatcher (very interesting to read that this is the species usually occurring here in winter, and not Taiga Flycatcher). I assume the network of forest roads inside the reserve are the place to search for these?

Sounds like "woodlot A" used to be wonderful. I probably went there 10 times last autumn, it's quite a long drive on a scooter from Kaohsiung but there was always the feeling that something good could be there. My best personal finds were Goldcrest, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Mugimaki Flycatcher and Red-flanked Bluetail, probably birds you've seen in there hundreds of times. I also saw a bit of what was found by other people including the Siberian Thrush. It was a bit of a circus in there when a rare bird was present. It would be OK if people could just talk in low voices, but it seems the "de rigueur" mode of communication among bird photographers in Taiwan is to yell loudly even if the person you are talking to is standing right next to you :-(

Dave, my travels this year will take me to Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, India, the UK, Hungary, France, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand again, Myanmar, India again, and the USA - in that order. Planning on doing as much birding as possible, and I'm keeping a world year list to keep things fresh :-)

SteveMM
Friday 16th January 2015, 13:28
Thank you both. I shall be looking for that Great Black-headed Gull on Tuesday morning. And if it's not windy, also hitting up Aogu to try for Red-breasted Flycatcher (very interesting to read that this is the species usually occurring here in winter, and not Taiga Flycatcher). I assume the network of forest roads inside the reserve are the place to search for these?

Sounds like "woodlot A" used to be wonderful. I probably went there 10 times last autumn, it's quite a long drive on a scooter from Kaohsiung but there was always the feeling that something good could be there. My best personal finds were Goldcrest, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Mugimaki Flycatcher and Red-flanked Bluetail, probably birds you've seen in there hundreds of times. I also saw a bit of what was found by other people including the Siberian Thrush. It was a bit of a circus in there when a rare bird was present. It would be OK if people could just talk in low voices, but it seems the "de rigueur" mode of communication among bird photographers in Taiwan is to yell loudly even if the person you are talking to is standing right next to you :-(

Dave, my travels this year will take me to Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, India, the UK, Hungary, France, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand again, Myanmar, India again, and the USA - in that order. Planning on doing as much birding as possible, and I'm keeping a world year list to keep things fresh :-)

The standout bird there is Goldcrest. I can only recall seeing three in Qi Gu in the last fifteen years. I missed the Siberian Thrush, but have seen several before, so no big deal.

The 'circus' bothers me if not anybody else. I find those photographers to be quite a boorish bunch, and some of them are racist. They also have no real interest in birds as they do not know what any of them are, so it puzzles me just what on earth they're actually up to in there!

Anyway, that's a mouthwatering year you have set for yourself, Dominic. I'm stuck with Qi Gu! Sorry to have missed you while you were here, but the best of luck with that big tour!

SteveMM
Sunday 18th January 2015, 10:48
Found this corker today on Jiu Xue River! My first decent find of the year!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Sunday 18th January 2015, 23:34
Found this corker today on Jiu Xue River! My first decent find of the year!

Excellent find! Now the inevitable question from me .... which one is the Jiu Xue river? ;-)

Dave 2x
Monday 19th January 2015, 00:09
Found this corker today on Jiu Xue River! My first decent find of the year!

Wow, what an amazing find and a great photo!!!!!

Dominique - that is one amazing year of travel and some great birding locations. Good luck and I hope you will keep updating your blog. Always enjoy reading it.

This weekend I spent Saturday at Budai/Aogu and Sunday morning at Wulai. Nothing really remarkable to report. Lots of birds but all expected species. Great Crested Grebe and Mongolian Gull near Budai were probably the best birds. Have never seen Aogu so quiet in Winter....I guess most of the birds have moved to Budai this year. Varied Tits at Wulai were probably the best bird on a very quiet morning.

Cheers

Dave

SteveMM
Monday 19th January 2015, 00:53
Excellent find! Now the inevitable question from me .... which one is the Jiu Xue river? ;-)

Jiu Xue River is the very big river at Mailiao in the north of Yunlin County. This is a vast open area, and has the biggest concentration of harriers in winter. The southern side is probably best for birding, but, if the wind gets up, forget it, as the whole area turns into one big dust storm, and it can be difficult to even breathe, let alone see!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Monday 19th January 2015, 12:32
^ Thanks Steve .... sadly it's a bit too much of an epic ride from Kaohsiung on a scooter, and I've seen a fair few Desert Wheatears before, so I don't think I'll be going for that one!

My own weekend was fantastic, even though I didn't spend a great deal of time actually birding. First off, thank you again Steve for the impeccable directions to the Blue-breasted Quail site near Jiadong. I had brief flight views of a female there on Saturday, and returned on Sunday for another try, when I connected with the holy grail of Taiwanese quail - a superb male, flushed and seen very well in flight.

A Siberian Stonechat there was a personal Taiwan first, and six Savanna Nightjars were flushed from bare areas among the pineapple crops.

Further south, near Hengchun, the long-staying Oriental Stork showed well, and there was also a Purple Heron at the same spot.

On the way back to Kaohsiung, a quick stop at Dapeng Bay was worthwhile for some year-tick waders, including a Red Knot - only my second or third record of this species in Taiwan.

Full report here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2015/01/19/blue-breasted-quail-oriental-stork-and-siberian-stonechat-pingtung-january-17th-18th/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Monday 19th January 2015, 23:56
Nice find with the Blue-breasted Quail...another bird I haven't seen yet! If only I didn't have to work!!!!

I forgot to mention that there was a Ferruginous Duck at the pond to the North of road 163 at Budai. I had to check the ID later from photos as it was very distant and mixed in with the Tufted Ducks.

Cheers

Dave

SteveMM
Tuesday 20th January 2015, 12:54
Nice find with the Blue-breasted Quail...another bird I haven't seen yet! If only I didn't have to work!!!!

I forgot to mention that there was a Ferruginous Duck at the pond to the North of road 163 at Budai. I had to check the ID later from photos as it was very distant and mixed in with the Tufted Ducks.

Cheers

Dave

Ferruginous Duck is an excellent find. There are a few being claimed at the moment (Ilan, Taidung), and they are subject to small influxes, but are generally absent most years. When Ferruginous comes, so does Baer's Pochard, so all those Aythya look well worth a second look this winter!

birdingaroundtaiwan
Wednesday 21st January 2015, 11:38
^ Continuing with the Ferruginous Duck theme, I found my own bird yesterday on the outskirts of Kaohsiung. Presumably it's one of the two individuals recently reported from Cheting Marshes.

Other notable birds seen yesterday between Kaohsiung and Chiayi included Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Greater Scaup, Mongolian, Saunders and Black-tailed Gulls, Azure-winged Magpie and Pheasant-tailed Jacana.

Full report and some poor record photos here: http://birdingaroundtaiwan.com/2015/01/21/ferruginous-duck-and-great-crested-grebe-west-coast-wetlands-january-20th/

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Monday 26th January 2015, 06:53
24 January 2015

Started the day at sunrise in Yilan trying to find Baikal Teal and Common Shelduck which had been reported a week or two earlier. I failed with both of those but picked up Greater Scaup, Temminck's Stint, Common Pochard and large groups of Northern Lapwing.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21512244

Next stop was the harbour at Daxi to see if there were any interesting gulls around. The 7 Gulls present (on a distant rock) all appeared to be Black-tailed.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21512276

Inspired by Steve's blog, after Daxi I stopped off at Shitoushan Park to finally go and see the Japanese Cormorants that are present there during winter. Taiwan tick number 367.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21512283

Last stop was to re-visit the most famous bird in Taiwan at the moment. The Siberian Crane was still drawing visitors to Jinshan after staying for more than one month.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21512287

Cheers

Dave

SteveMM
Wednesday 28th January 2015, 03:39
24 January 2015

Started the day at sunrise in Yilan trying to find Baikal Teal and Common Shelduck which had been reported a week or two earlier. I failed with both of those but picked up Greater Scaup, Temminck's Stint, Common Pochard and large groups of Northern Lapwing.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21512244

Next stop was the harbour at Daxi to see if there were any interesting gulls around. The 7 Gulls present (on a distant rock) all appeared to be Black-tailed.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21512276

Inspired by Steve's blog, after Daxi I stopped off at Shitoushan Park to finally go and see the Japanese Cormorants that are present there during winter. Taiwan tick number 367.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21512283

Last stop was to re-visit the most famous bird in Taiwan at the moment. The Siberian Crane was still drawing visitors to Jinshan after staying for more than one month.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21512287

Cheers

Dave

If you're interested in simply 'seeing' the Pelagic Cormorant (it is a bugger to photograph), you just need to hang around that pagoda on the end of Shi Tou San and wait for it to fly past. It should be there all winter, as there is often (usually?) one present. It will not sit on the top with the Temminck's Cormorants if on the rock, but lower down nearer the water, often on its own. The recent bird was sitting on the seaward side of the rock, so out of view.

I just got back from my annual jaunt to Kinmen, which as usual was excellent. Pick of the crop was Chinese Grey Shrike, but also Red-throated Diver, Purple Swamphen, Great Black-headed Gull, Chestnut Bulbul, Chinese Penduline Tit and Carrion Crow there (+ all the regulars).

SteveMM
Wednesday 28th January 2015, 13:08
A White-browed Crake has also shown up at Guan Tian (Tainan), but is just about out of range for my small camera.

Dave 2x
Wednesday 28th January 2015, 23:28
I will try for that Pelagic Cormorant next time I am in Jinshan...thanks for the info, never heard about that before.

Amazing collection of rare birds Steve.....Kinmen is amazing, can't wait to go back again! I heard about the Crake from Richard a few days ago, happy to know it is still showing. What else was showing at Guantian...any good ducks?

This weekend I will be chasing a pair of Baikal Teals in Yilan which have been there for at least the last couple of weeks. Still present this morning.

Cheers

Dave

SteveMM
Thursday 29th January 2015, 01:29
I will try for that Pelagic Cormorant next time I am in Jinshan...thanks for the info, never heard about that before.

Amazing collection of rare birds Steve.....Kinmen is amazing, can't wait to go back again! I heard about the Crake from Richard a few days ago, happy to know it is still showing. What else was showing at Guantian...any good ducks?

This weekend I will be chasing a pair of Baikal Teals in Yilan which have been there for at least the last couple of weeks. Still present this morning.

Cheers

Dave


There was nothing else of interest at Guan Tian, except for a few Northern Lapwings. However, the White-browed Crake is pretty easy to find as there's almost no vegetation there right now. I was there all on my own and had found it inside of 20 minutes!

Good luck with your Baikal Teal, Dave. I'm not sure where you're looking for a pair, but I keep seeing records posted of a male at Tai Yang Pi (Yilan). There is also a pair in Miaoli somewhere if the birds in Yilan prove to be awkward.

birdingaroundtaiwan
Thursday 29th January 2015, 07:05
^ That White-browed Crake is about a week too late me! I'm at Taipei Airport, next stop Bangkok and then Pak Thale/Laem Pak Bia for a little wader-watching :-) Not going to be back in Taiwan for the foreseeable future.

I was staying with some non-birding friends in Taipei the last couple of days, but still managed a short trip to the Botanical Gardens, where I got Malayan Night Heron safely onto the world year list. I also bumped into Taiwan Blue Magpie, Oriental Turtle Dove, Taiwan Scimitar-Babbler, and a bush-warbler that I have down as Manchurian (with its reddish-brown forecrown and heavy bill, it looked like what I used to call Korean Bush-Warbler) - what is the taxonomy of Japanese/Korean Bush-Warbler at the moment?

Near my friend's house this morning, alongside the river near Songhan Airport, I finally got Dusky Thrush for my Taiwan list - and a pair of Black-collared Starlings were also good to see (these are rare in south Taiwan).

Cheers and happy birding!

SteveMM
Thursday 29th January 2015, 10:22
^ That White-browed Crake is about a week too late me! I'm at Taipei Airport, next stop Bangkok and then Pak Thale/Laem Pak Bia for a little wader-watching :-) Not going to be back in Taiwan for the foreseeable future.

I was staying with some non-birding friends in Taipei the last couple of days, but still managed a short trip to the Botanical Gardens, where I got Malayan Night Heron safely onto the world year list. I also bumped into Taiwan Blue Magpie, Oriental Turtle Dove, Taiwan Scimitar-Babbler, and a bush-warbler that I have down as Manchurian (with its reddish-brown forecrown and heavy bill, it looked like what I used to call Korean Bush-Warbler) - what is the taxonomy of Japanese/Korean Bush-Warbler at the moment?

Near my friend's house this morning, alongside the river near Songhan Airport, I finally got Dusky Thrush for my Taiwan list - and a pair of Black-collared Starlings were also good to see (these are rare in south Taiwan).

Cheers and happy birding!


Good luck in Thailand, Dominic. I myself do stretch the definition of 'work' as much as I can and get away with doing as little as possible, but could in no way manage to accommodate the ambitious plans you have set out for yourself this year (of which I'm obviously quite jealous!).

The bush warblers here seem 'thorny' at best, and the most recent taxonomic arrangement I saw only added to the confusion!

There are two really very distinct calls amongst the forms that occur here, a 'drrrt' and a 'tchak' (and both have very different songs in spring). The big red one makes the familiar 'drrrt' call, and a smaller, often greener-looking one the 'tchak'. The 'tchak' call you only hear on bushy headlands on the north coast in winter (e.g. Yehliu, Shi Tou San), and is coming from some form of Japanese (cantans and I think occasionally sakhalinensis). The 'drrrt' is coming from the 'other one', which winters very very commonly island-wide.

The last taxonomic arrangement I saw chose to lump canturians with diphone, and treat borealis as a monotypic species: Manchurian Bush Warbler. I do not see how this could have happened if canturians and diphone have different calls, hence now assume all the 'drrrt' calls to be being given exclusively by borealis. What this does mean is that canturians does not occur in Taiwan in winter (contra quite a lot of the literature).

I previously assumed boralis and canturians to be a lump (as in Brazil), and to share similar calls and be basically inseparable. If canturians does in fact belong to diphone, then it should be a big red one calling with a 'tchak', a form which I have yet to encounter in Taiwan (anywhere, including outlying islands).

birdingaroundtaiwan
Thursday 29th January 2015, 14:08
^ Thanks Steve. A confusing situation, indeed. "Manchurian" Bush-Warbler it is, then ... for now. I didn't hear the bird call.

Still en route to the Gulf of Thailand wader hotspots - Nordmann's Greenshank is my top target there!

Cheers and happy birding!

Dave 2x
Monday 2nd February 2015, 01:00
31 January 2015
Finally managed to track down the Baikal Teal. No sign of the female but the beautiful male was sat in amongst a bunch of Mandarin Ducks (more than 40).

Spent the rest of the morning around Yilan and apart from the usual shorebirds we had, a pair of Gadwalls, 4 Common Shelducks, a female Falcated Duck, Greater Scaup and lots of Tufted Duck.

1 February 2015
Tried again for the Rufous-crowned Laughingthrushes that have been posing for photos at Waterfall Park in Wulai. Although seen the day before, they again failed to turn up for me. A visiting birder had an amazing total of 45 in the valley I usually visit in Wulai. The Highlight (if you can call it that) for me was probably a Eurasian Jay!

Some poor heavily cropped photos to follow.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 2nd February 2015, 01:16
There was nothing else of interest at Guan Tian, except for a few Northern Lapwings. However, the White-browed Crake is pretty easy to find as there's almost no vegetation there right now. I was there all on my own and had found it inside of 20 minutes!

Good luck with your Baikal Teal, Dave. I'm not sure where you're looking for a pair, but I keep seeing records posted of a male at Tai Yang Pi (Yilan). There is also a pair in Miaoli somewhere if the birds in Yilan prove to be awkward.

Thanks Steve, that is exactly where I was in Yilan....actually easy to find when you go to the right location! There was a pair there during the week (friends took photos/video of both) but I couldn't see the female. The ducks were not active so both could still be there.

Cheers

Dave

SteveMM
Monday 2nd February 2015, 11:59
Thanks Steve, that is exactly where I was in Yilan....actually easy to find when you go to the right location! There was a pair there during the week (friends took photos/video of both) but I couldn't see the female. The ducks were not active so both could still be there.

Cheers

Dave

Apart from the White-browed Crake, a rather frustrating and far too windy few days for me down here recently:

One Ashy Drongo is wintering in Xin Hua (Fri), scarce here, but not too difficult to find in winter elsewhere (esp. Pingtung); one Chinese Egret was on Ba Zhang River (Sat), but was too far away to photograph; an apparent influx of Falcated Ducks, with at least 40 at Bu Dai (Sat), all too far away to photograph; and the Hooded Crane still present this afternoon (Mon), also too far away to photograph!

One taimyrensis (not rare, just usually not near) did drop in on my sandbar on Sunday afternoon, fortunately quite near enough to photograph!

SteveMM
Wednesday 4th February 2015, 12:44
I'm sure there must be better photos of it around, but I think this is probably the best I myself will manage of the miles-away (but easy to see) White-browed Crake at Guan Tian (taken yesterday (Tues)).

Dave 2x
Monday 16th February 2015, 06:39
Sunday 15 February 2015
Reports of a cooperative Yellow Bunting in Huajiang tempted me, but in the end I decided to go South to Chiayi. I started the day at Dabu looking for the White-bellied Sea-Eagle that was photographed there a couple of days ago. If I am not wrong this individual has been at this location for some time now. Anyway I failed to see it and had to settle for 6 Russet Sparrows, Japanese Bush-Warbler, Besra, Black Kite, Arctic Warblers and Crested Serpent-Eagle.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21846884

Next stop was Guantian at the Jacana Reserve to try for Steve's White-browed Crake. As promised the bird was easy to see and very active and also as promised very distant! (Taiwan tick number 371).

Other birds of note included Garganey (which I don't see very often) and of course the Pheasant-tailed Jacanas in their non-breeding plumage.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21846901

Last stop was Budai. The majority of birds are still there but have moved around a bit since last time I visited the area a few weeks ago. Highlights included Great Crested Grebe, Saunders's Gull and Far-eastern Curlew.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21846924

Possibly no more Taiwan birding for a month or so, as I have a trip to the Andamans followed by Sri Lanka coming up soon.

Cheers

Dave

davidhru
Monday 16th February 2015, 08:21
Dave looks like you had a busy weekend--congrats on the White-browed Crake. Since I sold my car when I retired a few years ago I must wait for an opportunity with TWBS for most of my Southern Taiwan birding.
I went after the Yellow Bunting today at Huajiang but I dipped. I found the group of photographers staked out where it was showing around 1030 and I stayed until 1200 but it didn't show again. Apparently it was showing between 0900 and 1000. I may try again tomorrow since it is both a Taiwan tick and life tick for me.

Nice trip you've got coming up. Hope you get lots of lifers.

David

davidhru
Tuesday 17th February 2015, 05:23
Tried for the Yellow Bunting again today and was successful after a 3 and a half hour wait. For those who might be in the Taipei area the next few days it might be worth a trip to Huajiang Wild Duck Sanctuary. For the last few days it has come out in close view some 30 meters east of the large parking lot. You will probably spot a large group of photographers--it's almost as popular as the Siberian Crane. From my experience it is most likely to come out when the tide is out and it can feed on exposed muddy areas.

David

SteveMM
Sunday 22nd February 2015, 00:37
Sunday 15 February 2015
Reports of a cooperative Yellow Bunting in Huajiang tempted me, but in the end I decided to go South to Chiayi. I started the day at Dabu looking for the White-bellied Sea-Eagle that was photographed there a couple of days ago. If I am not wrong this individual has been at this location for some time now. Anyway I failed to see it and had to settle for 6 Russet Sparrows, Japanese Bush-Warbler, Besra, Black Kite, Arctic Warblers and Crested Serpent-Eagle.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21846884

Next stop was Guantian at the Jacana Reserve to try for Steve's White-browed Crake. As promised the bird was easy to see and very active and also as promised very distant! (Taiwan tick number 371).

Other birds of note included Garganey (which I don't see very often) and of course the Pheasant-tailed Jacanas in their non-breeding plumage.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21846901

Last stop was Budai. The majority of birds are still there but have moved around a bit since last time I visited the area a few weeks ago. Highlights included Great Crested Grebe, Saunders's Gull and Far-eastern Curlew.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21846924

Possibly no more Taiwan birding for a month or so, as I have a trip to the Andamans followed by Sri Lanka coming up soon.

Cheers

Dave


That's a nice-looking winter! Circumstances conspired to put me on Langkawi last week, which was all very nice but a bit limited for me bird-wise really.

I have just returned to Tainan from my annual New Year North Coast bash, which was decent (as it always is). My focus as ever was Ma Gang for seabirds, with Tian Liao Yang serving as 'backup'. Over four days, the stand-out birds were:

Ma Gang: Short-tailed Albatross (1), Black-footed Albatross (5-6), Masked Booby (4), Brown Booby (40-50), Japanese Murrelet (1), Pomarine Skua (1), Streaked Shearwater (100s).

Tian Liao Yang: Long-billed Plover (1), Hoopoe (1), Bull-headed Shrike (1), Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler (2), Bluethroat (1). Also the usual lugens White Wagtails and Buff-bellied/American Pipits (which I don't seem to see elsewhere). Some of the birds at Tian Liao Yang were up for being photographed.

SteveMM
Tuesday 24th February 2015, 12:49
Spent Monday on the coast at Dong Shi, specifically looking for Common Gull as late February is the best time to find them in Taiwan. Found two nice 'Kamtchatkas' on the estuary, but far off and a bit grainy in the fog we had here.

The Great Black-headed Gull has also been back on Ba Zhang River, but I missed that one this weekend.

SteveMM
Saturday 7th March 2015, 02:22
What I believe to be a Common Pochard x Baer's Pochard hybrid has been present at Xin Wen (Chiayi) all week. Quite a challenge to provenance, and sadly always a bit beyond what a cheapo camera can handle distance-wise!

SteveMM
Sunday 15th March 2015, 05:49
A few (seven in total) Oriental Plovers have appeared at San Gu this weekend, the first evidence of migration I have come across this spring.

davidhru
Saturday 28th March 2015, 06:20
There was a Chinese Penduline-Tit today (the 28th) at HuaJiang Bridge Park in Taipei. Unfortunately I'm still learning the ropes on my new camera and wasn't able to get a photo of this energetic bird but lots of other folks did--word got around fast. Don't know how long it will stay around but worth a try if you're in the vicinity.

David

SteveMM
Saturday 28th March 2015, 10:07
There was a Chinese Penduline-Tit today (the 28th) at HuaJiang Bridge Park in Taipei. Unfortunately I'm still learning the ropes on my new camera and wasn't able to get a photo of this energetic bird but lots of other folks did--word got around fast. Don't know how long it will stay around but worth a try if you're in the vicinity.

David

Quite an interesting record for the mainland. Fortunately (for me at least), they're regular on Kinmen in winter, so no need to make the long journey north this time!

The southwest coast is getting one or two migrants now, with one owstoni Flycatcher and a Tristram's Bunting in Qi Gu this week.

Dave 2x
Saturday 28th March 2015, 11:37
There was a Chinese Penduline-Tit today (the 28th) at HuaJiang Bridge Park in Taipei. Unfortunately I'm still learning the ropes on my new camera and wasn't able to get a photo of this energetic bird but lots of other folks did--word got around fast. Don't know how long it will stay around but worth a try if you're in the vicinity.

David

Just been asking around and my contacts believe there are 4 birds....one male and 3 female/immature. You have managed to wake me up from my post holiday birding coma....I will be there tomorrow!!! Thanks for the info.

Steve....have been following your blog, the birds you find are truly amazing! Narcissus Flycatchers have also apparently started showing at Yehliu as well.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Monday 30th March 2015, 00:10
I made a trip to Huajiang yesterday (29th March) and reached there about 6:30am....already there was perhaps 100 photographers. The birds were there when I arrived and within 5 minutes I was happy with the photos I had got. 4 birds flew past me later in the morning and I had them to myself for 10 minutes.

Thanks again David for the quick info...much appreciated!

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22566896

SteveMM
Wednesday 1st April 2015, 02:16
I made a trip to Huajiang yesterday (29th March) and reached there about 6:30am....already there was perhaps 100 photographers. The birds were there when I arrived and within 5 minutes I was happy with the photos I had got. 4 birds flew past me later in the morning and I had them to myself for 10 minutes.

Thanks again David for the quick info...much appreciated!

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22566896


Congratulations on those Penduline Tits, Dave. These are birds you really have to go for if you're anywhere near them!

It's all quiet down here at the moment, with just a few flocks of Brown-headed Thrushes and the odd Yellow Bunting popping up along the coast since the weekend. The holiday will bring a big change I'm sure, but with any luck I'll be on Dongyin for that!

SteveMM
Tuesday 7th April 2015, 04:00
Congratulations on those Penduline Tits, Dave. These are birds you really have to go for if you're anywhere near them!

It's all quiet down here at the moment, with just a few flocks of Brown-headed Thrushes and the odd Yellow Bunting popping up along the coast since the weekend. The holiday will bring a big change I'm sure, but with any luck I'll be on Dongyin for that!

A disappointing trip to Dongyin over the holiday period, with some common migrants but no real diversity to speak of. Pretty much all the buntings there were Little Buntings, and a singing Bluethroat didn't do much to break the monotony of the daily fog.

There had been birds before and will surely be some there now as the cold front arrives. The weather had just been far too nice for far too long in the days running up to this past weekend!

Dave 2x
Wednesday 8th April 2015, 08:08
A disappointing trip to Dongyin over the holiday period, with some common migrants but no real diversity to speak of. Pretty much all the buntings there were Little Buntings, and a singing Bluethroat didn't do much to break the monotony of the daily fog.

There had been birds before and will surely be some there now as the cold front arrives. The weather had just been far too nice for far too long in the days running up to this past weekend!

I just read your blog Steve and I would have been quite happy with some of those birds you saw....Bluethroat, Goldcrest, Brown-cheeked Rail and the Shearwater are all great finds!

I tried Huajiang again at the weekend...nothing to report apart from the Chinese Penduline-Tits seem to have increased from 4 to 7 birds and the photographers have decreased from 120 to 10!

Cheers

Dave

SteveMM
Wednesday 8th April 2015, 14:37
I just read your blog Steve and I would have been quite happy with some of those birds you saw....Bluethroat, Goldcrest, Brown-cheeked Rail and the Shearwater are all great finds!

I tried Huajiang again at the weekend...nothing to report apart from the Chinese Penduline-Tits seem to have increased from 4 to 7 birds and the photographers have decreased from 120 to 10!

Cheers

Dave

Cheers, Dave.

Yes, I agree, but I do have very high expectations of places like Dongyin as I was spoilt something rotten on my last trip there over the Tomb Sweep Day holiday (in 2013)!

A trip list of a massive 120 species included: Northern Goshawk, Brown-cheeked Rail, Baillon's Crake, Woodcock, Japanese Woodpigeon, Ryukyu Minivet, Japanese Robin, Bluethroat, Hartert's Leaf Warbler, Bianchi's Warbler, Goldcrest, owstoni Flycatcher, Daurian Starling, Common Rosefinch and 11 species of bunting including Common Reed Bunting!

All the common migrants were also present (in numbers, too) and we got Black-footed Albatross and Pomarine Skua from the ferry home!

Perfect conditions, perfect birds, and an extra day's holiday with the boat cancelled really was a case of 'died and gone to heaven'. I was by no means expecting a repeat performance this year, but was certainly hopeful of more than I actually got!

Short-tailed Shearwaters are also no big deal if you seawatch and will become quite common offshore towards the end of the month (and Wedge-taileds will start turning up, too). They're especially nice when they're flying up and down the beach in Qi Gu (as two astonishingly chose to do last May)!

SteveMM
Sunday 12th April 2015, 14:30
There seem to be Little Stints all over the place at the moment. This one is from Bu Dai on Friday. As the coast seems to be a dead loss for passerines at the moment, I finally went for that Black Bittern today.

Dave 2x
Tuesday 21st April 2015, 06:06
That Black Bittern is tempting.....depending on other reports I may make it down to Kaoshiung this weekend. Thanks for posting.

Little Stint is another bird I have never got a good photo of to date...one day!

This last weekend I went to Yehliu following reports of Japanese Paradise-Flycatchers being seen there the day before. Upon entering the Geopark I quickly picked up a Chinese Hwamei in the garden next to the carpark, which is obviously an escaped cage bird.

While photographing the Hwamei a Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher flew in, quickly followed by another. Altogether I think there were at least 5 birds...2 in the garden at the entrance, one at the top of the set of steps up the rock and 2 by the toilets on the top (one of these a long-tailed male).

Next to the Queen's head 4 Chinese Egrets were hanging around...lots of photographers were arriving but none stopped for these birds even when I tried to point them out. The Chinese Egrets hung around all morning and were still there when I left close to lunchtime.

The following day (Sunday 19 April 2015), I tried Huajiang....absolutely nothing unusual or even slightly uncommon to report!

Cheers

Dave

davidhru
Tuesday 21st April 2015, 10:41
Dave,
I'm always amazed at the photos you get. I was at Yehliu a day previous to you and felt lucky just to get a glimpse of the male Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher nevertheless a photo. I think I saw the Chinese egrets also but with no scope I couldn't confirm so I'll have to wait for another day to add them to my TW list.
BTW when I went to WBST to pay for the upcoming Guishan trip the girl thought that I was you since we have the same first name. So if you're going on that trip hopefully we can meet up.

David

Dave 2x
Tuesday 21st April 2015, 11:13
Dave,
I'm always amazed at the photos you get. I was at Yehliu a day previous to you and felt lucky just to get a glimpse of the male Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher nevertheless a photo. I think I saw the Chinese egrets also but with no scope I couldn't confirm so I'll have to wait for another day to add them to my TW list.
BTW when I went to WBST to pay for the upcoming Guishan trip the girl thought that I was you since we have the same first name. So if you're going on that trip hopefully we can meet up.

David

I tried to book the Guishan trip last week but there is already a waiting list...a shame as that island usually holds some really good birds!

We should meet up one of these weekends and go birding!

Cheers

Dave

davidhru
Tuesday 21st April 2015, 19:52
I tried to book the Guishan trip last week but there is already a waiting list...a shame as that island usually holds some really good birds!

We should meet up one of these weekends and go birding!

There is still hope for the Guishan trip--I was also on the waiting list but got called a couple of days ago. I've never been to Guishan Island but the part of not landing if the seas are too rough is a little off-putting.
Anyway I'm free most weekends as well as weekdays for birding now since I've retired. I can get to most of the northern sites via public transportation but it's always nice to go with someone if possible. If you are going to make a trip to dashueshan anytime I would especially love to join--I'm still missing the endemic Taiwan Partridge despite several trips to find it.

David

SteveMM
Wednesday 22nd April 2015, 05:48
A few flycatchers on the south-west coast, but migrants generally still seem to be few and far between. I have this one down as an unusually poor spring.

I've heard rumours of Orange-headed Thrush at Yehliu, but don't know how accurate they are. Apparently, there was also Pied Triller in Qi Gu earlier in the month (when I was on ******* Dongyin!). Birds, eh!

Dave 2x
Wednesday 22nd April 2015, 08:20
I've heard rumours of Orange-headed Thrush at Yehliu, but don't know how accurate they are. Apparently, there was also Pied Triller in Qi Gu earlier in the month (when I was on ******* Dongyin!). Birds, eh!

Hadn't heard anything about the Orange-headed Thrush....that would be a great bird for Yehliu! Not even close to being in the same league, but a male Chestnut Bunting is being reported from there today.

David - they just called and I am now booked on the Guishan Island trip so I will see you there. The island is very hit and miss but if you get lucky and time it right there can be lots of migrants. Also resident on the island are Brown-eared Bulbul and Lowland White-eye which are difficult to get on the mainland. I also had an Aleutian Tern on their spring trip 2 years ago.

Cheers

Dave

Dave 2x
Thursday 23rd April 2015, 02:46
A few good birds reported on 22 April at Yehiu including a Baillon's Crake and a Ruddy Kingfisher.

Pied Harrier also on the 22 April at Jinshan, with 5 Oriental Storks reported in Jinshan earlier in the week.

Cheers

Dave