A Trip to Wanglang (1 Viewer)

Chengdu Bird guiding – [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/



Three-banded Rosefinch - this male is a pretty striking bird - we spotted him on one of the moss covered, primeval like conifer trees that are a feature of the forests at Wanglang. Like other Rosefinches it will respond to calls - this one being brought in by playing White-browed Rosefinch.

Well we tried to stay at home and complete some of those chores we've been promising ourselves to do for ages - but the temptation to get out and bird was far too strong - and being weak-willed...............................
Anyways it seemed a good time to take up north to check out Wanglang and Tangjiahe Panda reserves - and have a look at how the post-quake road mending is coming along.
Areas close to Wanglang were badly hit by the quake - and although the reserve itself is more or less untouched – access by road, when driving the most direct routes from Chengdu, were very badly affected. However, now you can make the journey to Wanglang in 8 hours - and although there are quite a few klm's of unsurfaced temporary road to negotiate - the birds at the end of the journey make all those bumps worthwhile.



Chesnut-headed Tesia - this is a warbler on stilts!!!! Tesia - are lumped under the title of Ground Warbler - being distinguished by short-tails and skulking behavior. But they can become very inquisitive when subjected to a bit of "phishing" - however getting that good shot almost needs an X-ray camera lens that can shoot through dense foliage. We found this bird off the normal paths - in a really dank and damp part of the forest.

Wanglang is a pretty friendly reserve - and it's not spoilt by being "over-touristicated." The basic accommodation is cheap - 60RMB/bed - but if you're into more plush living, there are wooden chalets that cater for a little more luxury. The restaurant is also pretty good for such an out of the way place.
But of course what makes this place is the habitat - nice rough tracks, which are drivable, take you into virgin like conifer forest. There are also walking trails - some being boardwalks - while others being paths into the denser parts of the forest. There are three main valleys to walk - and if you felt really fit – and had a few days to spare - you could walk to either Jiuzhaigou or Huanglong.
One of the best valleys - one we haven't fully explored - comes before you reach the hotel/workplace area (you have to cross the river) - this valley should give the best chance (and of course a rather slim one) for Giant Panda, with March being the best month for finding one.


Chinese Thrush - a shy endemic - which is not that difficult to find up in the Wanglang, Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong areas

Wanglang has an interesting bird list. Being a good site for Blue-eared Pheasant - they'll feed on the pastures that border onto the accommodation area. The best time to see them is when the grass is short - we had good views in early June - but now, during late summer, the grass is longer, so viewing is rather impaired. The only Blue-eared Pheasant we saw on this trip was a group of eight - in a forest area - that hustled their way quickly over the road - and sunk away into the invisibility of dense scrub.



Snowy-cheeked Laughingthrush - a very range-restricted endemic - this is a good tick. You can find these laughers in the bamboo that grows around the board-walk area at the end of the right-hand fork of the driving track.

We spent 3 nights at Wanglang - and then moved off to Tangjiahe - our next blog article will be about this reserve.
 

Marmot

Well-known member
Yet another great selection of Birds seen on the walk...I love the Mesia [could be that my hair used to resemble that]. Super pictures yet again Meggie.

Can I ask does the Laughingthrush call actaully sound like a laugh?
 

china guy

A taff living in Sichuan
- but they do make some rather nice sounds. They all have distinctive calls - and listening out for these is the best way to locate your Laugher. Next step is to play something back - so they'll come out into the open - but I'm afraid those Snowy-cheeked birds weren't in much of a mood to come out and show. Of course when I walked up the track alone - with no camera at hand - one of the birds praticaly landed on my nose!!!!!!
If I could put sounds onto the blog - I'd put on a couple of my calls - but, since it looks like we can only get pics on here, I'll show another Wanglang Laugher - indeed a laugher so common when you get higher that me and Meggie have given this bird the name Elliot's Laughingrubbish (of course real name - Elliot's Laughingthrush) - we should be told off in no uncertain manner for being so disrespectful over this very interesting bird - after all it's a pretty awesome tick for any birder's list.

 
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