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Posted Saturday 18th April 2009 at 08:27 by china guy
Chengdu Bird guiding Ė [email protected] - Chengdu, Sichuan, the gateway to Tibet - to see more travel pics of Sichuan go to my travel blog at - http://chengdutravel.blogspot.com/
To see more of our birding pics go to - http://sichuanbirds.blogspot.com/


A pic from yesterday - Citrine wagtail - a lot of these birds are passing through at the moment. This one, in a flock of four, was found on paddies that I can see from my apartment.

We've been mighty busy, with tours and survey work, over the last couple of months - which is reflected in our absence from the blog. But we've just had a couple of free days, before were out again - which gives us a chance to share a few photos.


Richard's Pipit - this photo is from today - and from the same location as the last pic of Citrine

I'm glad we've chosen to live outside Chengdu - in an area that has both wetland, river and farmland habitat. If nothing else, it's brilliant that we can escape the awful pollution and smog that seems part and parcel of all Chinese cities - but the good bird watching we get within walking distance of our front door certainly puts the icing on the cake. The last two days have given Rosy and Richard's Pipit, Chesnut-eared Bunting, Grey-headed Lapwing, Citrine Wagtail, Chinese Pond Heron, Swinhoe's and a suspected Pintail Snipe, Greater Painted Snipe, Little Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper and yesterday, an Oriental Honey Buzzard gave a fly-by. All of this action in a small area of partially flooded paddies that canít be more than 6 acres in size. As the season progresses, rice is planted and these wet areas give more cover, we hope to see and get pics of Watercock. We've seen and heard them here for the last couple of years - but itís darn difficult to get a decent photo of these shy birds!!!!


Striated Prinia - these birds, when skulking about in their habitat of long-grass and scrub, can also be difficult to see - but when they get territorial, they can decide to scold everything that dares walk through their patch.

That last pic was taken during a day of sunshine - while those first two were taken in the grey damp weather that's hit us over the last couple of days. The weather at the moment is very changeable - three days ago we were sweltering in 30C of sunshine while now it's barely over 20C during the day - with a lot of rain falling during the nights. On a recent tour we gave to Wawu, we had the usual problem with low cloud, and one day was so rainy and foggy that it also stopped normal birding at the mid and lower elevations. But these conditions can also give birds - in this case Pheasant and Tragopans. By driving up and down the Wawu access road we spotted 8 Lady Amherst's (7 males and 1 female) and 4 Temminck's Tragopan (3 females and 1 male) - they had given up their rain saturated forest for a stroll on the highway.


Moroon-backed Accentor - a couple of weeks back we found flocks of these birds on the top of Emei

Of course the higher you go the colder it gets - and when doing the tops of Emei and Wawu you still find a little snow. But I suppose it's the variation in Sichuan habitat types - where a drive from the bottom to the top of a birding spot can take you from the balmy sub-tropical all the way to a chilly sub-alpine is one of the reasons we get such a rich diversity of species in this neck of the woods
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Old
Marmot's Avatar
Great to see you back...I had been sitting on that chair next to the stream in one of your previous blogs for too long :-)

Seems like you have had a really good time and did you realise the Striated Prinia was the first one here on BF...whilst on that subject have you got any of the Lady A. Pheasant as the only one on here is actually a painting of one.

Glad to have you back.
Posted Sunday 19th April 2009 at 07:40 by Marmot Marmot is offline
Old
Peewit's Avatar
I have to say I enjoyed reading your report very much, and the area that you have discovered for birding goes without saying.

The Wagtail - what a lovely shade of yellow. What a beautiful bird.
All the other birds which are difficult to photograph goes without saying.

Amazing eye that Moroon-backed Accentor has, It is a very penetrating shade of yellow.

I must investigate the blog link you have given here, so I find out more about the area that you live in

Regards
Kathy
Posted Tuesday 21st April 2009 at 03:33 by Peewit Peewit is offline
Old
china guy's Avatar
Im afraid this is our best Lady Amherst's pic - at least you can make out the tail as the bird scampers away into the fog!!!!

These birds can be difficult to see - even when they're calling from very close. I'm afraid Lady A are trapped and hunted in the Wawu park area (and this is supposed to be a nature reserve) - which makes them even more skittish!!! However in some areas, viewing them at distance, with a scope, from one valley side to another can sometimes give prolonged views.
Posted Sunday 26th April 2009 at 15:44 by china guy china guy is offline
Updated Sunday 26th April 2009 at 15:51 by china guy
 
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