Moxi - we need more birders out this way. (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 -
To see more of our birding pics go to -
For More Sichuan bird info go to our Sichaun Birding thread -

Rufous-vented Tit - this is a nice little bird – it’s a common Tit at higher elevations. These birds were seen at around the 4000m mark - noisily flying around in scrub that forms around the tree-line. Nosy and inquisitive the pictured bird is showing a hint of rufous around the vent area and the slightest of touches under the wing covert. However those dabs of color, which give this bird its name can be difficult to see in the field - but with that crown, black bib that stops at the throat area and the smart blue-gray breast/belly - this bird is pretty easy to recognise.

Well, we tried, again, to stay at home - this time succeeding for 4 days, before the strain got too much and off we set for one of our favourite spots - Moxi. This is a town that's about 5/6 hours drive from Chengdu – most of the drive going along the G318 highway that eventually ends up in Lhassa.
We were pleased road workings - just past Ya'an - that have been causing hold-ups, are now near complete. However, further on, the state of the road seems to promise more repair delays in the near future.
Moxi town provides a whole load of hotels that service the Hailuogou Glacier park - a tourist site that gives views over the magnificent 7000m Gongga Mountain. But these intrepid blogsters always stay in a Lorry driver hotel - just on the edge of town. It’s a bit grotty - but under 3 quid/night its very cheap ($5) - and we've been staying at this place for years. For those who need more luxury there's ample choice - please don't follow our lead on the accommodation front!!!!!!!!!!!!
As for food, we just go the local farmers market and buy salad veggies, one of the many varieties of freshly cooked meat (you can get Yak up here), a bottle of Sesame oil, salt/dried red-peppers to make a salad sauce and some local flat-bread - and we can dish-up an extremely good-tasting, but cheap meal in our hotel room.
By the way we've been eating salad here for years - never any stomach problems - if we ever do get a gripe it’s invariably from a restaurant cooked meal!!!! But saying that - one of the great pleasures of exploring China is to sample the local cuisine - and Moxi has all sorts of restaurants - but the longer you've been here..... well we like making our own food!

Greenish Warbler - the lighting in this pic has given this bird a strong yellowish tinge to the breast (other pics have a plainer breast) - that solid cap (no hint of median crown stripe) - the orange under mandible - sparrow like cheep (you have to take my word on that one) - and a double wing-bar meet the identification points for ssp. plumbeitarsus - or Two-barred Greenish Warbler. This bird is supposed to be common in NE China - and migrant through the rest of China - but we have been picking up very similar birds all Summer.
Leaf Warblers can be a bit of a nightmare in Sichuan - so many species - often hard to identify - no wonder many of our guests get Leaf Warbler fatigue after 3 or 4 days hectic neck stretching.
This trip brought many Large-billed on the lower areas and a mass of Buff-barred and Tickell's from around 3500m.

To bird around Moxi - you don't need to the Hailuogou Glacier Park, since much of the time you're not allowed to walk and are bussed in a party, often have to share your birding with a noisy tourist crowd and the whole experience will cost an entrance ticket. We bird the areas that are found outside town in the direction of the small road that leads over a 4000m mountain pass that winds its way to Kangding. This route will take you to various elevation Zones - in the spring and summer 3000 - 4000m generally gives the most interesting watching - but in the winter great birding is found in the lower scrub/marginal farmland around the 2000m when many of the high altitude species come down - and form big mixed flocks.
For those who aren't with guide or driver, its not so difficult to find transport with which explore this areas - at the main-cross in Moxi there are plenty of motorbike taxis or minivans that can be cheaply hired. On the way home it’s a matter of flagging down passing transport. I think the best tactic is to get your driver to take you about 20km out of town - from here you can walk the road and the explore paths that take you into other interesting areas.
On this last trip we had Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, both Great and Brown Parrotbill and Darjeeling woodpecker as roadside birds - during past trips the road has given us goodies like Pere David's Tit, Green-backed Shrike-babbler and Crimson-browed Finch. Searching – with bins - those meadows that make up the lower parts of the valleys can give a chance for Lady A Pheasant.
At the very top - which is just on 4000m - you've got the chance to walk into an area of high grassland - which has an interesting flora that includes a lot of Rhododendron scrub.
This is a good site to tick off some of the high altitude species like - Tickell's Leaf Warbler, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Blue-fronted Redstart and White-browed Rosefinch - Blood Pheasant and Monal Pheasant are also around but it's best to go a tad lower for these species.. During this last trip we were able to pick up Streaked Rosefich and a juv. Himalayan Rubythroat at this top area - and Chinese Fulvetta and White-browed Tit Warbler were briefly seen through the tangle of Rhody stems.

From left to right - Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker and Streaked Rosefinch - these were two of our latest Moxi photographs that caught birds that have not been pictured on OPUS. Moxi is an area that invariably turns-up rare and unusual species - In previous blogs, other birds we've pictured here from have included Crimson-browed Finch and the Sharpe's ssp. of Spot-winged Rosefinch - high quality birding!!!!!

This is one of the areas that gets very little attention from visiting birders - but makes for a handy birding destination - because of a combination of varied habitat types that can be observed from a single road and its close proximity to Chengdu. It's a location that can easily be fitted into a short Sichuan tour that also takes in sites like Emei and Wawu.
Like many great Chinese birding areas, Moxi is very vulnerable to development and change - at the top pass workers are quarrying sand which has caused a lot of habitat destruction - large numbers of domestic goat and sheep are causing damage to the scrub and forest areas - and there's always the threat of poaching and illegal logging. So more foreign birdwatchers visiting - making important sightings - will hopefully help give this area a higher profile and encourage local authorities to put more effort into conservation and protection measures. We need more foreign birders out this way!!!!!!!!

And of course it isn't just the birding that brings us to Moxi. Here's a pic from several years ago - taken in one of the valleys that lead up to the 7000m Mt. Gongga. It was love at first sight - and me and Meggie - being very greedy - just can't stop coming back for more!!!!!

china guy

A taff living in Sichuan

Blood Pheasant - the only game bird we got to see on this trip - but as you can see from the list 6 species we've included on our list.

Here's a list of species that you could expect within the Moxi area - in all 196 birds.
I've compilled this list by going through China Bird Report data - - adding additional species from my own sightings - and taking the liberty to add a few commoner birds that are found in similar habitat in neighbouring areas, that must be found in this area, but have not been included in any lists. However this list is still incomplete regarding rarer birds - for example at the very top-elevations there must be a chance for more high-montane species. The denser areas of forest also hold great potential for recording further species.

1. Tibetan Snowcock Tetraogallus tibetanus
2. Blood Pheasant Ithaginis cruentus
3. Temminck's Tragopan Tragopan temminckii
4. Chinese Monal Pheasant Lophophorus lhuysii
5. White Eared-Pheasant Crossoptilon crossoptilon
6. Lady Amherst's Pheasant Chrysolophus amherstiae
7. Yellow-legged Buttonquail Turnix tanki
8. Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus
9. Darjeeling Woodpecker Dendrocopos darjellensis
10. Crimson –breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos cathpharius
11. Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
12. Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus
13. Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis
14. Greater Barbet Megalaima virens
15. Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
16. Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata
17. Eurasian Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
18. Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus saturatus
19. Lesser Cuckoo Cuculus poliocephalus
20. Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus
21. White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus
22. Brown Hawk Owl Ninox scutulata
23. Collared owlet Glaucidium brodiei
24. Hill Pigeon Columba rupestris
25. Snow Pigeon Columba leuconota
26. Speckled Wood Pigeon Columba hodgsonii
27. Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis
28. Red Collared Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica
29. Wedge-tailedGreen-Pigeon Treron sphenura
30. Black Baza Aviceda leuphotes
31. Oriental Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus
32. Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus
33. Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis
34. Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus
35. Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
36. Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
37. Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis
38. Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
39. Upland Buzzard Buteo hemilasius
40. Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
41. Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
42. Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo
43. Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
44. Little Egret Egretta garzetta
45. Chinese Pond-Heron Ardeola bacchus
46. Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach
47. Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus
48. Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
49. Red-billed Blue Magpie Urocissa erythrorhyncha
50. Black-billed Magpie Pica pica
51. Spotted Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes
52. Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
53. Carrion Crow Corvus corone
54. Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
55. Common Raven Corvus corax
56. Long-tailed Minivet Pericrocotus ethologus
57. Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus
58. Yellow-bellied Fantail Rhipidura hypoxantha
59. White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus
60. Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii
61. Blue Rock-Thrush Monticola solitarius
62. Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush Monticola rufiventris
63. Blue Whistling-Thrush Myophonus caeruleus
64. Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula
65. Kessler's Thrush Turdus kessleri
66. Naumann’s Thrush Turdus naumanni
67. Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica
68. Slaty-backed Flycatcher Ficedula hodgsonii
69. Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata
70. Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva
71. Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra
72. Grey-headed Canary-Flycather Culicicapa ceylonensis
73. Himalayan Rubythroat Luscinia pectoralis
74. Orange-flanked Bush-Robin Tarsiger cyanurus
75. White-browed Bush Robin Tarsiger indicus
76. Golden Bush robin Tarsiger chrysaeus
77. Hodgson's Redstart Phoenicurus hodgsoni
78. White-throated Redstart Phoenicurus schisticeps
79. Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus
80. Blue-fronted Redstart Phoenicurus frontalis
81. White-capped Water-Redstart Chaimarrornis leucocephalus
82. Plumbeous Water-Redstart Rhyacornis fuliginosus
83. White-bellied Redstart Hodgsonius phoenicuroides
84. Grandala Grandala coelicolor
85. Little Forktail Enicurus scouleri
86. White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti
87. Common Stonechat Saxicola torquata
88. Grey Bushchat Saxicola ferrea
89. Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea
90. Chestnut-vented Nuthatch Sitta nagaensis
91. Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria
92. Eurasian Tree-Creeper Certhia familiaris
93. Sichuan Tree-creeper Certhia tianquanensis
94. Bar-tailed Tree-Creeper Certhia himalayana
95. Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
96. Songar Tit Parus songara
97. Pere David’s Tit Parus davidi
98. White-browed Tit Parus superciliosus
99. Rufous-vented Tit Parus rubidiventris
100. Coal Tit Parus ater
101. Yellow-bellied Tit Parus venustulus
102. Grey-crested Tit Parus dichrous
103. Great Tit Parus major
104. Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus
105. Yellow-browed Tit Sylviparus modestus
106. Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus
107. Black-browed Tit Aegithalos bonvalotis
108. Sand Martin Riparia riparia
109. Eurasian Crag-Martin Hirundo rupestris
110. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
111. Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
112. Asian House-Martin Delichon dasypus
113. Goldcrest Regulus regulus
114. Collared Finchbill Spizixos semitorques
115. Brown-breasted Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthorrhous
116. Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis
117. Mountain Bulbul Hypsipetes mcclellandii
118. Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus
119. Striated Prinia Prinia criniger
120. Plain Prinia Prinia inornata
121. Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus
122. Brown Bush-Warbler Bradypterus luteoventris
123. White-browed Tit-Warbler Leptopoecile sophiae
124. Crested Tit Warbler Leptopoecile elegans
125. Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus
126. Tickell's Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus affinis
127. Buff-throated Warbler Phylloscopus subaffinis
128. Buff-barred Warbler Phylloscopus pulcher
129. Lemon-rumped Warbler Phylloscopus chloronotus
130. Sichuan Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus sichuanensis
131. Hume's Warbler Phylloscopus humei
132. Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides
133. Large-billed Warbler Phylloscopus magnirostris
134. Blyth's Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus reguloides
135. Sulphur-breasted Warbler Phylloscopus ricketti
136. Bianchi’s Warbler Seicercus valentini
137. Giant Laughingthrush Garrulax maximus
138. Hwamei Garrulax canorus
139. Elliot's Laughingthrush Garrulax elliotii
140. Black-faced Laughingthrush Garrulax affinis
141. Red-winged Laughingthrush Garrulax formosus
142. Spot-breated Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus erythrocnemis
143. Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis
144. Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
145. Pygmy Wren Babbler Pnoepyga pusilla
146. Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler Pnoepyga albiventer
147. Rufous-tailed Babbler Chrysomma poecilotis
148. Chinese Babax Babax lanceolatus
149. Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea
150. White-browed Shrike-Babbl Pteruthius flaviscapis
151. Streaked Barwing Actinodura souliei
152. Red-tailed Minla Minla ignotincta
153. Golden-breasted Fulvetta Alcippe chrysotis
154. White-browed Fulvetta Alcippe vinipectus
155. Chinese Fulvetta Alcippe striaticollis
156. Rusty-capped Fulvetta Alcippe dubia
157. Grey- hooded Fulvetta Alcippe cinereiceps
158. Grey-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe morrisonia
159. Stripe-throated Yuhina Yuhina gularis
160. White-collared Yuhina Yuhina diademata
161. Black-chinned Yuhina Yuhina nigrimenta
162. Ashy-throated Parrotbill Paradoxornis alphonsianus
163. Spot-breasted Parrotbill Paradoxornis guttaticollis
164. Great Parrotbill Paradoxornis oemodium
165. Brown Parrotbill Paradoxornis unicolor
166. Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula
167. Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris
168. Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum melanoxanthum
169. Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus
170. Mrs Gould's Sunbird Aethopyga gouldiae
171. House Sparrow Passer domesticus
172. Russet Sparrow Passer rutilans
173. Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
174. White Wagtail Motacilla alba
175. Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
176. Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
177. Orienfnl Tree Pipit Anthus hodgsoni
178. Rosy Pipit Anthus roseatus
179. Robin Accentor Prunella rubeculoides
180. Rufous-breasted Accentor Prunella strophiata
181. Maroon-backed Accentor Prunella immaculata
182. Grey-capped Greenfinch Carduelis sinica
183. Twite Carduelis flavirostris
184. Plain Mountain-Finch Leucosticte nemoricola
185. Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus
186. Beautiful Rosefinch Carpodacus pulcherrimus
187. Vinaceous Rosefinch Carpodacus vinaceus
188. White-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus thura
189. Streaked Rosefinch Carpodacus rubicilloides
190. Spot-winged Rosefinch Carpodacus rhodopeplus
191. Crimson-browed Finch Propyrrhula subhimachala
192. Grey-headed Bullfinch Pyrrhula erythaca
193. White-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas carnipes
194. Slaty Bunting Latoucheornis siemsseni
195. Godlewski's Bunting Emberiza godlewskii
196. Yellow-throated Bunting Emberiza elegans
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