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Sichuan Birding

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Old Tuesday 16th November 2010, 13:01   #376
china guy
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Those Pandas aren't too difficult to find at Wawu - here's pics of the second day's Pandas - the first pic of number 1 Panda thawing out in the sun - and the second one of that Panda pair. This is the first time we've seen two Pandas together.

We saw the Chinese Tawny Owl twice on this trip - first after being heard at the very start of dawn just behind the top-hotel. I called that one in with a MP3 - which produced a couple of overflights.
The second was found sitting on top of a dead tree using lights during a nighttime mammal run on the mid level access road. Duncan got some nice pics of that bird - I'll have to get copies of those.
We got another Owl species - a daylight bird - it flew high over us during mid evening.
To me the bird immediately suggested Short-eared - but we've also seen Long-eared on the top of Wawu so that is another possibility. The way it flew looked large raptor - Buzzard like, as in the description of Ural Owl flight - so Sichuan Wood Owl could also be a possible species contender.
I've put up three enhanced images of our bird - from Pieter's photo. To me these look like pushing the Owl towards Short-eared - Mark, Mike, Tom, John, Roland or anybody else - what do you make of them??????
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Old Tuesday 16th November 2010, 13:22   #377
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What a magnificent beast that Panda is, gripped.

I think its a Short-eared Sid, you can see a white trailing edge to the secondaries and everything else fits.
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Old Tuesday 16th November 2010, 23:25   #378
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I agree with Mark, it's a Short-eared Owl
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Old Wednesday 17th November 2010, 00:49   #379
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These Panda pix are amazing - and cute enough that I might even be able to entice my wife to Wawu, although I think Balang Shan for Monals in the snow might be a slightly harder sell!

It's been a while since I've seen a Short-eared Owl, but the jizz looks properly long-winged. I 've never been to Wawu - What was the habitat like where you saw the owl?

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Old Wednesday 17th November 2010, 01:57   #380
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Years back I used to live on the west coast of Denmark - just 5km from the German Border - on reclaimed polderland. Occasionally during spring and autumn I could get 360 degrees of Short-eared owls - that is - I could stand on a spot and slowly rotate in a circle and in every direction there would be a migrating Owl hunting over the flat farmland.
Not that kind of habitat at Wawu - this bird was flying high, seen from the mid level just bellow the cable car station, and flew into the far yonder - struck me as a bird in passage flight rather than a hunting bird.
Short-eared are daytime fliers and I suppose they will turn up over passage sites like other BOP's - flying fairly high - like migrating Harriers. I also think everything indicates Short-eared.

Hey Irrobbizl - the wildsound guys got Sichuan Treecreeper at Foping.
And a question - how many species of Flying Squirrel are there at Wawu??????????


Hey Mike - you guys make sure to tell us when you're heading down this way so we can hopefully join you on your trip. PS - don't let onto your wife that Panda spotting can involve some standing around - but then again we can always fix up a stuffed toy panda in a distant tree (with a piece string to produce a little movement) to make any boring wait periods a little more interesting.

Pics of the toes of one of the last Parrotbills the wildsounds guys needed from their Sichuan trip - they'd already got Ashy-throated, Vinous-throated, Spectacled (Foping), Great, Three-toed, Fulvous, Grey-hooded, Grey-headed, Golden - so this bit of toe counting gave them a 101% cert Brown - which looks very similar to Three-toed.
After that tick I suppose we should have rushed south for Brown-winged and then up to Tangjiahe for the legendary - Przewalski's Parrotbill - ohh and we missed Spot-breasted, but they already had that from Thailand.

And a real monster - from earlier mammal reports and a helping hand from Smith and Xie's Guide to Mammals of China - we'll plump for Lesser Striped Shrew (Sorex bedfordiae) - but if anybody knows better, please correct us.
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Old Wednesday 17th November 2010, 13:23   #381
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKinHK View Post

Do you see Chinese Tawny Owl regularly?
I heard Tawny Owl near Moxi / Yanzigou last week and you sometimes can hear one, when staying in an accommodation with good forest nearby. E.g. the mountain range where Wawu Shan belongs to offers some good chances to hear it.
Seeing them is another thing. You really need good old forest to accidentally run into one, but likelihood is not very high. My sighting was only once in Wanglang.

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Old Friday 19th November 2010, 11:27   #382
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Just back this evening from a quick trip to the Old Erlang Road.
Today we got 'his and hers' Streaked Barwing. The day started with a little discussion on where to bird - which resulted in a split up where me and Meggie did different sections. On my part of the trail I ran into a group of three, very showy, Streaked Barwing - and cursed our luck that Meggie wasn't present with her camera. But when I met up with her she was beaming over having found another pair of Barwing lower down. The birds were feeding off what I presume were insects or grubs in the moss that covers tree trunks and branches. Meggie followed her birds for about 5 minutes.
Yesterday we also ran into a good bird - a male White-browed Bush Robin but in some very misty conditions. The bird made a show when we called in a Tit/Goldcrest flock. This was close to the very top of the pass - from where we could hear Koklass Pheasant calling in the distance.
On the way home we got an unexpected bird - a Juv. White-tailed Eagle sitting in a riverside tree that could be seen on the busy Chengdu to Kangding G318 road.

As far as seeing Chinese tawny Owl is concerned - I don't think they should be too difficult at Wawu, that is if you had the right lighting equipment and a call. We got the Owl two nights out of four - as an extra to the focus activity - trying to illuminate mammals. Both times we saw the Owl sitting at the very top of a tree - and one time we were able to illuminate it for a photo. I'll have to get that photo from Duncan.
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Old Friday 19th November 2010, 12:25   #383
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Hi, Sid, Thanks a lot for the info of Sichuan Treecreeper, if the Wildsound guys got GPS wayponits of tianquanensis, that would be great!

As I know, according to Pro. Hu's report of biodiversity survey of Wawu Natural Reserve (2001), there're at least 2 species of Flying Squirrels at Wawu Mt. of certainty. One is the Red and White Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista alborufus), anthoer is the Complex-toothed Flying Squirrel (Trogopterus xanthipes). The latter is found on the top of the table mountain confirmed by my own observation.

And Jon Hall has reported that he found a Chinese Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista xanthotis) around the Gong Tong Hotel which elevation is about 2000m (http://www.mammalwatching.com/Palear...chuan2009.html). Based on pic posted on the web page, I'd like to ID that animal as "Red and White" rather than his "Chinese Giant".

The pic of the shrew is fabulous! Although it's very difficult to make correct IDof those tiny creatures barely on photoes, but the Lesser Striped Shrew is good suggestion : )
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Old Sunday 21st November 2010, 04:34   #384
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Hi Robbi - thanks so much for the info on Flying Squirrel. At first we also assumed that the Flying Squirrels we saw were Complex-toothed - but then read that report, which named Chinese Flying Squirrel. I think our first ID was more accurate - they must have been Complex-toothed

As far as a waypoint mark for the Foping sighting of tianquanensis is concerned - I know Duncan and Pieter didn't have GPS equipment but also know they did most of their birding around the accommodation at Foping - so I suppose the best way to get a marker is to google-earth into that area of Shaanxi and then get coordinates. They got the bird by call - they had one of my MP3's with them.

Here are some more pics from last week at the Old Erlang Road -

No 1 is one my Streaked Barwings - showing how ridiculously easy they were. This picture is taken using 17-85mm zoom - hardly a mainstream birder's lens!!!!!!!!!!

No 2 - we were commenting on that heavy cloud and mist in our last post. Might make birding a bit difficult - but boy can you find some great photo opportunities when this stuff is rolling in and the sun is breaking through the clouds. This is magical Sichuan at its best.

No 3 - whose eaten my porridge - is this Mummy or Daddy bear???? Certainly wouldn't like to be Goldilocks when this guy gets back home for dinner - those claws look a little sharp.

No 4 - Erlang mountain used belong to the bottom of the sea. there are loads of Fossils to be found on this track - here's a huge chunk of coral. There are also lots of sea shells around a point that's close to the top of the track.
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Old Wednesday 24th November 2010, 14:27   #385
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Thanks to the new high speed train from Chengdu to Dujiangyan/Qingcheng Shan it is now possible to reach some good birding places within 30 minutes from Chengdu.

Today I gave it a try and explored a small hill a few minutes from the city centre of Dujiangyan. Since the 2008 earthquake nearly no reparation work has been done here: Houses and the only existing street are abandoned, most of the paths were completely over-grown - good habitat for our birds:

Close to the street I already saw a male Chestnutbellied Rock Thrush and heared the excited call of a small flock of Bamboo Partridges, apart masses of Elliot's Laughingthrushes, Light-vented Bulbuls, and Collared Finchbills.

After a 15minutes hike uphill I ran into a big mixed flock mostly of Grey-cheeked Fulvettas, White-collared Yuhina, Red-billed Leiothrix and Black-throated, Great and Yellow-bellied Tits. However a lot of other good birds also came along with this flock, such as Red-tailed Minla, White-browed Shrike Babbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Rufous-capped Babbler, and Great Barbet.

The train makes this a convenient trip without traffic jam and hurry. There are trains nearly each hour.
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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 13:24   #386
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Today we arrived at Wanglang reserve - although not officially open, the road construction is almost finished and will be fully ready for next seasons birders. Just 2 minutes after the gate we came across a large flock of Blue-eared Pheasant that were feeding in a roadside pasture. There must have been 40 birds - but many were back in the scrub making an accurate count difficult.
But with the talk a couple of posts back about Chinese Tawny Owl - we made that a target bird for this visit. As you can see from our picture we lucked in on this bird during our first night, having used our new Chinese Police flashlight that has a focusing beam. In fact it took us less that 30 minutes to get the bird - just like at Wawu we found one perching on a dead branch - this time at an even closer photographic range.
Yesterday we were at Tangjiahe - Takins, Reeve's Muntjac and Wild Pigs - will get the pics sorted when we're back in Chengdu
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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 15:21   #387
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Another stunner on the Sichuan thread - fantastic!

. . .and 40 Blue-eared Pheasants is pretty fabulous too!

Cheers
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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 19:55   #388
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Thanks, guys: this is one of THE top threads on BF. I will be out there one day.
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Old Thursday 2nd December 2010, 12:29   #389
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Still out in the wilds - at the moment staying at a forestry protection station in the Baxi area - close to Rouergai.
Today's mission was to find the rare Sichuan ssp of Sika Deer - but in the end we came away with something even more exciting.
A super chilly morning - Meggie reckons this has been the coldest morning of her life - gave us a a brief glimpse of a Wolf as it stopped for a second to before it disappeared into the forest. To get the deer involved a lot of finger numbing scanning - until at last we scoped a distant stag on the opposite side of our valley. That was to be the only Sika we were to see - so we decided to give Chinese Grouse a shot at a site that gave a lot of these birds last February.
However the meadow/forest location turned out to be deadly silent - no Grouse, none of the usual Hares - and then we noticed the mother of all Owl gulps - a ball of hair and bones that obvious came from something big - Eagle or Pere David's Owl. On Cue a couple of Kessler's Thrush started to kick up a racket and Meggie went to take a look. As she investigated a large shape came hurtling between the trees and landed half way up one of the big pines - simply stunning - it was Pere David's!!!!!!!
We managed to follow the bird to three different locations - and although the setting sun didn't make for easy photographic conditions - Meggie was able to get a decent shot of this monster owl.
This actually hasn't been our first contact with this species on this trip - we also got to hear it at Wanglang - but couldn't find the bird. Today we lucked in.
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Old Thursday 2nd December 2010, 23:46   #390
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Fabulous bird and nice pic!
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Old Saturday 4th December 2010, 13:15   #391
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Apropos Owls:

Sid and Meggie,

If you are coming back via Pingwu you mustn't miss the big family of Collared Scops Owls living in the Bao'en Temple in the middle of town.

And you don't have to go inside that temple at all. The best view is from a spot outside the temple wall next to the Mosque (Qingzhen Si). They neatly are sitting there in the trees' dead branches.

Excellent models for the camera!

Have fun!

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Old Saturday 4th December 2010, 14:50   #392
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Already home. We got in about an hour ago - on the Songpan/Wenchuan road - which, now almost finished, again puts Ruoergai at an 8 hour drive from Chengdu - so no chance for those Pingwu Owls.
On the way back we got one incredible episode - a pair of young Golden Eagles stooping on a pair of Sika Deer. It's difficult to know how serious the Eagles were in getting such a massive kill - but the Sika didn't seem to enjoy the game too much!!!!! Both birds made stoops - but broke off just a few meters above the deer, who bunched together and defensively positioned heads and antlers towards the attacking birds. This all went on for about 4 minutes - each time the birds rose so they could once again dive, so the deer ran on towards cover. In the end the Deer made it to some scrub - and the Eagles circled and then moved on.
The three pics illustrate the events
pic 1 - an Eagle diving in on the deer - these photos were taken at long range but you can see the bird in the top right hand corner while the Sika are easy to spot, with their white rumps, in the bottom left
pic 2 - the deer and an Eagle at close quarters
pic 3 - a pair of young Eagles - after their bit of fun - now out to find at bit more trouble

By the way - those Sika are far more endangered in China than Golden Eagle - so I suppose it was fair enough that the birds left the scene still hungry. However, Wolf numbers in the Baxi area, at least as far as locals telling about the number they now see, seem to be on the rise - and I should think the Sika would be an important part of their diet.

Tomorrow will start to sort more photos - we've got a few more pics of that Pere David's Owl - which must be one of our best Sichuan finds. And yesterday we got into a lot of Chinese Grouse which made Meggie and her camera pretty happy!!!!!
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Old Sunday 5th December 2010, 06:35   #393
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Here's some pictures of our Chinese Grouse action. These birds inhabit Alpine Forest around the 3000m level - and as can be expected, in Grouse country, winter mornings are often pretty chilly. We found the birds most active when the sun - at around 10am - started to reach into their feeding areas. These birds eat the buds of willow scrub that grows in the forest valleys - its easy to see where they've been at work - and you can actually hear them nipping away at the twigs.
Chinese Grouse is an endangered species - much of its habitat has been destroyed by forestry and farming - but in Sichaun they can still be found in areas such as Baxi and Mengbishan

Pic 1 - a male bird with red eye-ring. ID plates may illustrate the bird in an alarm posture with the crest raised - but our pic shows how a chilled out Grouse should look.

Pic 2 - Chilled out Grouse no 2 - but this time a female.

pic 3 - tell tale signs of Grouse at work. Can't be much fun being a willow tree in this place!!!!

pic 4 - a Grouse photographer dying of hypothermia. Luckily she was able to see a bird or two through those misted specs.

pic 5 - the forest. Morning has broken, the sun is starting to penetrate the valleys and the Grouse are becoming active
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Old Monday 6th December 2010, 14:21   #394
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Here are some more pictures of our Per David's Owl - I just wrote I couldn't find any other pictures of this bird - and then discovered this excellent page. so had to quickly edit my first post - http://english.ioz.cas.cn/special/lh.../lhs_case_swo/
Looking at that makes me want to set up a few of those nest boxes around the Baxi area!!!!!

Pic 1 - the gulp that was our first clue to the presence of a big Owl. looks like there are a set of false teeth mixed up in that mess

pic 2 - probably a bone or two belongs to this forest species that was photographed on the same day - Gansu Pika.

pic 3 - Our first positive ID pic - a distant head shot

pic 4 - Per David's Owl side on

pic 5 - that head on shot from a couple of posts back - but this time a little shined-up in Photoshop.

By the way there seems to be a little difference in opinion whether this a true species or sub-species of Ural Owl - http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=126067

Also there should be an Edit to that Post showing the Golden Eagles and Deer - on further inspection those deer seem not to be Sika but Siberian Roe Deer!!!!!
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Old Monday 6th December 2010, 15:36   #395
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Well done the pair of you for finding it....but must admit that Pika is lovely
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 16:07   #396
James Eaton
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Nice shots Sid...

Taxonomy of Pere David's Owl is interesting - vocally it is within the variation of Ural Owl, plumage is just a bit darker and it is an isolated population. Personally, I would lump it until proven otherwise... There is a paper about a study of a breeding pair and how they responded to extralimital Ural Owl recordings.

Out of interest, how did you id your pika? I wasn't sure if Gansu Pika is identifiable in the field..? I found out just how difficult Chiense rodents are earlier this year when we were trapping and measuring them - some had to be released unidentified - very frustrating!

Cheers,

James
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Old Wednesday 8th December 2010, 06:50   #397
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Hi James - Pikas and Pere David's Owl share a story of lumping and splitting. In the case of Per David's Owl - on a taxonomical front then I let that argument rest with the experts - but with regard to the conservation and local status of this species then I don't mind too much if its differences from from Ural Owl become exaggerated enough to give it species status. The reason for this lies in the fact that Chinese conservation and protection seems very much focused on the enigmatic larger species - especially those that have Chinese endemic status. One only has to look at that page I linked to in my last post - http://english.ioz.cas.cn/special/lhs/lhs_case/lhs_case_swo/
Here the alternative name of Sichuan Wood Owl is used - and at the foot of the page we find written - The Sichuan wood owl is the only endemic owl in China . I should think that kind of status and recognition - as a unique Chinese species - certainly helps this rare birds get a foot in the door if any resources are to be divided out for future conservation projects - and the case for habits becoming protected as nature reserve would surely be further encouraged if they contained a large endemic Owl.

As far as ID'ing that Pika goes - well to be sure you'd have to go around measuring skulls and taking other recordings - but our ID'ing process goes more along the lines of simple deduction.
We use the Mammals of China Guide by Smith and Xie - and in this book, the best there is on Chinese mammals, Gansu Pika isn't included in the Pika Plate. However you can find an illustration of a summer animal - from nearby Wanglang - here

And for those who don't have the Smith and Xie book - an intersting, if dated Pika resource, that includes a decription of Gansu Pika, can be found here - the Gansu Pika pages are 23 24 25

As far as these references go - in terms of winter pelage description, abundance, habitat and the fact that in areas where we saw this pika we could also find burrow openings -
as a characteristic burrowing pika, with a greyish-brown winter pelage found in Northwest Sichuan, living in Dasiphora frusctosa scrub forests adjoining alpine meadow or in grassy embankments under spruces. It appears the pikas avoid the thickest areas of bush, preferring instead areas that are slightly open such as natural mounds created by Zokors (from The Google books link) - Gansu Pika seems the safest choice, even though the pelage colour seems totally grey rather than greyish-brown - but we also have a possibility of it being Tsing-Ling Pika, Moupin Pika or Thomas's Pika - but all of these animals seem to be less well known and found in slightly diffrent habitats, so I think I'd be really sticking my neck out if I named our Pika after one of these animals - but of course labeling it as Gansu Pika is also a bit of a shot in the dark!!!!!

But we do have a picture of another small animal named after Gansu - Gansu Mole. We found these, on this last trip, at Wanglang, close to the Chinese Tawny Owl location so this animal must also be included as likely Owl nosh. The tail and outer toe on the hind claw formation (first toe on hind foot is offset at a different angle) are the clues to our ID on this one. If you google this species - then further pics come up from Wanglang. I'm afraid this specimen has met the same fate as the Monty Python Parrot - looks like its also suffering from a bit of a dental problem - but we did find others alive, as they burrowed through the forest floor moss, but only came up with blurred pics as they streaked past.

And from a dead mole to a couple of cuter pics from 2 weeks ago at Wanglang - Sooty Tit, a flock of which turned up on a frosty morning while we were watching a flock of over 100 Blue Sheep feeding at the Golden Grasslands site - and a fine example of Grey Crested Tit, which was very easy to find during this last trip.

And that last pic shows a few of the Blue Sheep.
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Old Wednesday 8th December 2010, 08:29   #398
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Excellent set of posts again. Let's hope the owl is deemed a species so that protection measures are given a boost. Doesn't look very Ural owl, does it!

Seems the weather's similar in Baxi as it is here at the moment.
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Old Thursday 9th December 2010, 13:39   #399
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Yes we did did meet a bit of snow on that last trip - but Baxi was quite clear - there the chill came from severe frosts generated by an altitude over the 3000 mark and crystal clear night skies. However the high mountain passes were starting to get a bit dodgy - especially the 4000m pass that goes past Haunglong Park. We got to the park gates at around 11PM - when the snow was falling - and slept in the van while parked up in the main carpark. Next morning I had a very chilly kitchen as I cooked up "open-air" french-toast. We've just bought a new petrol cooker - it's designed on the lines of the Coleman Multi-fuel Cooker, works very clean without smells, even when we use 93 octane fuel - and it costs a fraction of the Coleman product.
That next snow picture is at the very top of the pass - we had found 6 Blue-Sheep on one of the scree slopes - and then took a walk to a site that looked likely Snockcock/Snow Partridge habitat - great walk but we only got one brief and distance glimpse of a distant, nosy Snowcock who was peering down from overhang at the idiots who had abandoned their nice warn van to march up an ice covered mountain. That second pic is of Meggie doing a Captian Oates impression.
One species - in fact about the only birds - that were obliging enough to pose for a photo, were the group of Plain Mountain Finch in pic 3.

Now were coming into the new year I've totted up our Sichuan year list - this year although we included three cheat ticks (Grey Nightjar only heard,Yellow Bittern from a dead example on the Litang Grasslands and still a little uncertainty over getting a definite Hodgson's from Eurasian Treecreeper) it comes to well over the 400.

For those who like lists - here it goes -

1. Snow Partridge
2. Tibetan Partridge
3. Chinese Bamboo-Partridge
4. Japanese Quail
5. Tibetan Snowcock
6. Buff-throated Partridge
7. Chestnut–throated Partridge
8. Blood Pheasant
9. Temminck's Tragopan
10. Koklass Pheasant
11. Chinese Monal Pheasant
12. Common Pheasant
13. Golden Pheasant
14. Chinese Grouse
15. Lady Amherst's Pheasant
16. Blue Eared Pheasant
17. White Eared-Pheasant


18. Greylag Goose
19. Lesser White-fronted Goose – 2nd Sichuan record
20. Bar-headed Goose
21. Ruddy Shelduck
22. Mandarin Duck
23. Gadwall
24. Mallard
25. Shoveller
26. Pintail
27. Eurasian Widgeon
28. Spot-billed Duck
29. Common Teal
30. Baikal Teal
31. Garganey
32. Falcated Duck
33. Red-crested Pochard
34. Common Pochard
35. White-eyed Pochard
36. Tufted Duck
37. Smew
38. Common Merganser

39. Eurasian Wryneck
40. Speckled Piculet
41. Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
42. Crimson-breasted Woodpecker
43. Darjeeling Woodpecker
44. White-backed Woodpecker
45. Great Spotted Woodpecker
46. Three-toed Woodpecker
47. Grey-headed Woodpecker
48. Bay Woodpecker
49. Black Woodpecker

50. Great Barbet

51. Eurasian Hoopoe

52. Common Kingfisher
53. Crested Kingfisher
54. Black-capped Kingfisher

55. Large Hawk-Cuckoo
56. Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo
57. Eurasian Cuckoo
58. Indian Cuckoo
59. Himalayan Cuckoo
60. Lesser Cuckoo
61. Asian Koel
62. Chestnut-winged Cuckoo
63. Lesser Coucal

64. Himalayan Swiftlet
65. Pacific Swift
66. White-throated Needletail
67. HouseSwift

68. Eurasian Eagle Owl
69. Collared Scops Owl
70. Pere David’s Owl
71. Chinese Tawny Owl
72. Northern Boobook
73. Little Owl
74. Collared Owlet
75. Asian Barred Owlet

76. Grey Nightjar - heard

77. Hill Pigeon
78. Snow Pigeon
79. Speckled Wood Pigeon
80. Spotted Dove
81. Oriental Turtle Dove
82. Red Collared Dove
83. Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon

84. Black-necked Crane

85. White-breasted Waterhen
86. Common Coot
87. Common Moorhen
88. Greater Painted Snipe

89. Eurasian Woodcock
90. Common Snipe
91. Swinhoes Snipe
92. Solitary Snipe
93. Northern Lapwing
94. Grey-headed Lapwing
95. Pacific Golden Plover
96. Grey Plover
97. Lesser Sand Plover
98. Little Ringed Plover
99. Long-billed Plover
100. Black-winged Stilt
101. Curlew Sandpiper
102. Temminck's Stint
103. Green Sandpiper
104. Wood Sandpiper
105. Common Sandpiper
106. Common Redshank
107. Black-tailed Godwit
108. Ibisbill

109. Pallas's Gull
110. Brown-headed Gull
111. Black-headed Gull
112. Common Gull
113. Common Tern
114. Whiskered Tern

115. Black Baza
116. Black-eared Kite
117. Oriental Honey-buzzard
118. Crested Serpent Eagle
119. White-tailed Sea Eagle
120. Cinereous Vulture
121. Himalayan Griffon
122. Bearded Vulture
123. Hen Harrier
124. Pied Harrier
125. Crested Goshawk
126. Chinese Sparrowhawk
127. Besra
128. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
129. Northern Goshawk
130. Grey-faced Buzzard
131. Eastern Buzzard
132. Upland Buzzard
133. Golden Eagle
134. Steppe Eagle
135. Bonelli’s Eagle
136. Mountain Hawk-Eagle
137. Common Kestrel
138. Eurasian Hobby
139. Peregrine Falcon
140. Saker Falcon
141. Amur Falcon

142. Great Cormorant

143. Little Grebe
144. Great Crested

145. Little Egret
146. Intermediate Egret
147. Great Egret
148. Eastern Cattle Egret
149. Grey Heron
150. Chinese Pond-Heron
151. Black-crowned Night-Heron
152. Cinnamon Bittern
153. Yellow Bittern – one dead example at Litang

154. Black Stork

155. Tiger Shrike
156. Brown Shrike
157. Long-tailed Shrike
158. Grey-backed Shrike
159. Chinese Grey Shrike

160. Eurasian Jay
161. Sichuan Jay
162. Red-billed Blue Magpie
163. Azure-winged Magpie
164. Black-billed Magpie
165. Spotted Nutcracker
166. Grey Treepie
167. Red-billed Chough
168. Yellow-billed Chough
169. Daurian Jackdaw
170. Carrion Crow
171. Large-billed Crow
172. Collared Crow
173. Common Raven

174. Hume’s Groundpecker

175. Black-naped Oriole
176. Black-winged Cuckooshrike

177. Swinhoe's Minivet
178. Long-tailed Minivet
179. Short-billed Minivet

180. Ashy Drongo
181. Black Drongo
182. Spangled Drongo

183. Brown Dipper
184. White-throated Dipper

185. Blue Whistling-Thrush
186. Chestnut-bellied RockThrush
187. Blue Rock-Thrush
188. Long-tailed Thrush
189. Scaly Thrush
190. Chinese Blackbird
191. Grey-winged Blackbird
192. Kessler's Thrush
193. Chestnut Thrush
194. Eyebrowed Thrush
195. Naumann's Thrush
196. Dusky Thrush
197. Chinese Thrush

198. Dark-sided Flycatcher
199. Asian Brown Flycatcher
200. Brown-breasted Flycatcher
201. Ferruginous Flycatcher
202. Yellow-rumped Flycatcher
203. Slaty-backed Flycatcher
204. Taiga Flycatcher
205. Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher
206. Slaty-blue Flycatcher
207. Verditer Flycatcher
208. Fujian Niltava
209. Vivid Niltava
210. Blue-throated Flycatcher
211. Indian Blue Robin
212. Orange-flanked Bush-Robin
213. Golden Bush-Robin
214. White-browed Bush-Robin
215. Rufous-headed Robin
216. Himalayan Rubythroat
217. Firethroat

218. Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher

219. Oriental Magpie-Robin

220. Hodgson's Redstart
221. Black Redstart
222. Daurian Redstart
223. White-throated Redstart
224. Blue-fronted Redstart
225. White-capped Water-Redstart
226. White-winged Redstart
227. Plumbeous Water-Redstart
228. White-bellied Redstart (Chinese Shortwing)

229. White-tailed Robin

230. Grandala

231. Little Forktail
232. Slaty-backed Forktail
233. White-crowned Forktail
234. Spotted Forktail


235. Siberian Stonechat
236. Grey Bushchat

237. White-cheeked Starling
238. Silky Starling
239. Crested Myna

240. Eurasian Nuthatch
241. Chestnut-vented Nuthatch
242. Przewalski's Nuthatch
243. Yunnan Nuthatch
244. Chinese Nuthatch

245. Wallcreeper

246. Bar-tailed Tree-Creeper
247. Sichuan Treecreeper
248. Hodgson’s/ Eurasian Treecreeper – still a little uncertain on separating these

249. Fire-capped Tit
250. Songar Tit
251. Pere David’s Tit
252. White-browed Tit
253. Rufous-vented Tit
254. Coal Tit
255. Yellow-bellied Tit
256. Grey-crested Tit
257. Eastern Great Tit
258. Green-backed Tit
259. Yellow-browed Tit
260. Black-throated Tit
261. Black-browed Tit
262. Sooty Tit

263. Sand Martin
264. Eurasian Crag-Martin
265. Barn Swallow
266. Red-rumped Swallow
267. Asian House-Martin

268. Collared Finchbill
269. Brown-breasted Bulbul
270. Light-vented Bulbul
271. Black Bulbul
272. Mountain Bulbul

273. Plain Prinia
274. Striated Prinia

275. Chestnut-flanked White-eye
276. Japanese White-eye

277. Brownish-flanked Bush-War
278. Aberrant Bush-Warbler
279. Yellowish-bellied Bush Warbler
280. Spotted Bush-Warbler
281. Brown Bush-Warbler
282. Russet Bush-Warbler

283. Chestnut-headed Tesia

284. Dusky Warbler
285. Alpine Leaf Warbler
286. Buff-throated Warbler
287. Yellow-streaked Warbler
288. Buff-barred Warbler
289. Ashy-throated Warbler
290. Pallas’s Leaf Warbler
291. Lemon-rumped Warbler
292. Chinese Leaf-Warbler
293. Sichuan Leaf Warbler
294. Yellow-browed Warbler
295. Hume's Warbler
296. Claudia’s Leaf Warbler
297. Greenish Warbler
298. Large-billed Warbler
299. Eastern Crowned Warbler
300. Emei Leaf Warbler
301. White-tailed Leaf-Warbler
302. Sulphur-breasted Warbler

303. Bianchi’s Warbler
304. Plain-tailed Warbler

305. Chestnut-crowned Warbler
306. Rufous-faced Warbler
307. Goldcrest

308. Crested Tit Warbler
309. White-browed Tit-Warbler

310. Moustached Laughingthrush
311. Snowy-cheeked Laughingthrush
312. Greater-necklaced Laughingthrush
313. Barred Laughingthrush
314. Giant Laughingthrush
315. Spotted Laughingthrush
316. Plain Laughingthrush
317. Buffy Laughingthrush
318. Hwamei
319. White-browed Laughingthrush
320. Elliot's Laughingthrush
321. Black-faced Laughingthrush
322. Red-winged Laughingthrush
323. Emei Shan Liocichla

324. Black-streaked Scimitar Babbler
325. Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler
326. Winter Wren
327. Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler
328. Pygmy Wren-Babbler
329. Rufous-capped Babbler
330. Rufous-tailed Babbler
331. Chinese Babax
332. Red-billed Leiothrix

333. White-browed Shrike-Babbler
334. Green Shrike-Babbler
335. Streaked Barwing
336. Blue-winged Minla
337. Red-tailed Minla

338. Golden-breasted Fulvetta
339. Gold-fronted Fulvetta - pair of birds on Old Erlang Road
340. Spectacled Fulvetta
341. Chinese Fulvetta
342. White-browed Fulvetta
343. Grey-hooded Fulvetta
344. Dusky Fulvetta
345. Grey-cheeked Fulvetta

346. Black-capped Sibia

347. Stripe-throated Yuhina
348. White-collared Yuhina
349. Black-chinned Yuhina

350. Great Parrotbill
351. Three-toed Parrotbill
352. Brown Parrotbill
353. Grey-headed Parrotbill
354. Spectacled Parrotbill
355. Vinous-throated Parrotbill
356. Ashy-throated Parrotbill
357. Grey-hooded Parrotbill
358. Fulvous Parrotbill
359. Golden Parrotbill

360. Tibetan Lark
361. Greater Short-toed Lark
362. Oriental Skylark
363. Horned Lark

364. Fire-breasted Flowerpecker

365. Fork-tailed Sunbird
366. Mrs Gould's Sunbird

367. House Sparrow
368. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
369. Russet Sparrow

370. Rock Sparrow

371. Tibetan Snowfinch
372. White-rumped Snowfinch
373. Rufous-necked Snowfinch

374. Forest Wagtail
375. White Wagtail
376. Yellow Wagtail
377. Citrine Wagtail
378. Grey Wagtail

379. Oriental Tree Pipit
380. Water Pipit
381. Rosy Pipit
382. Red-throated Pipit
383. Richard’s Pipit

384. Alpine Accentor
385. Rufous-breasted Accentor
386. Maroon-backed Accentor
387. Robin Accentor
388. Brown Accentor

389. White-rumped Munia

390. Brambling
391. Grey-capped Greenfinch
392. Black-headed Greenfinch
393. Tibetan Siskin
394. Twite
395. Plain Mountain-Finch
396. Brandt's Mountain Finch

397. Dark-breasted Rosefinch
398. Common Rosefinch
399. Beautiful Rosefinch
400. Pink-rumped Rosefinch
401. Spot-winged Rosefinch
402. Three-banded Rosefinch
403. Vinaceous Rosefinch
404. White-browed Rosefinch
405. Streaked Rosefinch
406. Red-faced Rosefinch
407. Pink-tailed Bunting – one seen Ruoergai


408. Crimson-browed Finch
409. Grey-headed Bullfinch

410. Chinese Grosbeak
411. Collared Grosbeak
412. White-winged Grosbeak

413. Slaty Bunting
414. Godlewski's Bunting
415. Little Bunting
416. Black-faced Bunting
417. Yellow-throated Bunting
418. Pine Bunting


We got the last bird on the list - Pine Bunting (pic 4) - last week. A wintering Flock of around 50 birds at Ruoergai. Another new bird for the list came 2 days latter - in the form of a juv Steppe Eagle (pic 5), soaring over the grassland, close to Flower Lake.
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Last edited by china guy : Friday 10th December 2010 at 00:17.
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Old Thursday 9th December 2010, 14:24   #400
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Hi Sid,

Thanks for that. Interesting...

I agree with you on promoting Pere David's Owl as an iconic symbol as being China's only endemic night-bird despite its very dubious taxonomic placement (Scottish Crossbill anyone!?).

Pika - Hmm, I think the problem lies with Tsing-Ling and Thomas's Pika being so little known, they may well occur sympatically with Gansu Pika, the only way we can find out more about the species is looking further into the identification - definitely worth trying to capture and measuring them (very easy to do, I can send you a PM if you want to know how) so we can identify them with certainty, otherwise these species will continue to get overlooked as we go for the easy way out.
The photo in the link I presume is just a 'presumed' Gansu Pika? or was it measured and released?

I learnt only too well the complexities of rodent id over the past 12 months as I have been attempting to capture and measure and come up with several surprising results, though it is time consuming. In Shaanxi this year we spent considerable time capturing rodents and it would routinely take up to half an hour to measure each individual and even after that we had to 'let go' one or two as they were too difficult to id despite taking measurements of hind-claw, ear, head, body, tail etc. the plates in Smith and Xie are very poor for most of the rodents - read the text and compare, some stark contrasts!

Well done with the bird list - perhaps you should start a Sichuan400 club! I managed a handful of birds in Sichuan that are missing from your total, so I will treasure them!

all the best,

James


Quote:
Originally Posted by china guy View Post
As far as ID'ing that Pika goes - well to be sure you'd have to go around measuring skulls and taking other recordings - but our ID'ing process goes more along the lines of simple deduction.
We use the Mammals of China Guide by Smith and Xie - and in this book, the best there is on Chinese mammals, Gansu Pika isn't included in the Pika Plate. However you can find an illustration of a summer animal - from nearby Wanglang - here

And for those who don't have the Smith and Xie book - an intersting, if dated Pika resource, that includes a decription of Gansu Pika, can be found here - the Gansu Pika pages are 23 24 25

As far as these references go - in terms of winter pelage description, abundance, habitat and the fact that in areas where we saw this pika we could also find burrow openings -
as a characteristic burrowing pika, with a greyish-brown winter pelage found in Northwest Sichuan, living in Dasiphora frusctosa scrub forests adjoining alpine meadow or in grassy embankments under spruces. It appears the pikas avoid the thickest areas of bush, preferring instead areas that are slightly open such as natural mounds created by Zokors (from The Google books link) - Gansu Pika seems the safest choice, even though the pelage colour seems totally grey rather than greyish-brown - but we also have a possibility of it being Tsing-Ling Pika, Moupin Pika or Thomas's Pika - but all of these animals seem to be less well known and found in slightly diffrent habitats, so I think I'd be really sticking my neck out if I named our Pika after one of these animals - but of course labeling it as Gansu Pika is also a bit of a shot in the dark!!!!!
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