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Sichuan Birding (1 Viewer)

Dahe

Well-known member
Yes, as it happens I got clear views of a Daurian Redstart this morning, and seeing its habit and colours I realised this was the correct species. It was the photographed bird’s prominent position at the highest point on a small mountain that made me think flycatcher. I like that they’re relatively approachable (so far).

Fulvetta makes sense, as it wasn’t behaving like I imagine flycatchers to. As far as I can remember this is my first, probably as I’ve looked them over in the past. As Pere David’s isn’t a name used in my McKinnon book and I am struggling to find it on Baidu, what’s its scientific name?

Thanks all for your help

Ed
 

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
Pere David's Fulvetta was split off from Grey-cheeked Fulvetta. Clements uses David's Fulvetta. Scientific name is alcippe davidi.

It was a 4-way split: Huet's, Yunnan, (Pere) David's, and Morrison's/Taiwan Fulvettas.
 
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Dahe

Well-known member
Ok, thanks, I understand now. I was wondering about the Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, and looking at how variable the pictures are it's easy to see why it was split. Gretchen, the photo matches what I saw very well.

Thanks

Ed
 

Summer Wong

Local bird guide in China
Wawu Shan latest info

Hi, John

I had been to Wawushan few days ago with some local birders,got the latest news about it |:p| We stayed in a conservation station inside the park on the foot of the mountain. The director of this station told us this park would't be available for tourists in recent years even though it's planned to be open in Oct 2015, but nowadays seems like the whole park is abandoned, the hotels, the cable car, the original road etc…as no company would like to invest this park, no money to fix all these things…

The original road was broken ( the first photo ) , but there is another road is available now, from the other side of the mountain, except the first 3 kms on the start is muddy road, the rest of the road is concrete.

Photo 1, 2, The broken road

Photo 3, Near the cable car station there was a hotel, but it had been tore down

Photo 4, Near the cabler car station, abandoned house

Photo 5, Jinhuaqiao Conservation Station, 金花桥保护站
 

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Summer Wong

Local bird guide in China
Wawu Shan latest info

Photos near the gate, the abandoned house inside and unfinished house outside the gate
 

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Summer Wong

Local bird guide in China
Wawu Shan latest info

We spent one day birding on the concrete road area, mainly focused on photographing Emeishan Liocichala, did't try to climb up to the top of it because one of us had lung problem during that time, some other good species: Spotted Laughingthrush, Rusty Laughingthrush, Red-winged Laughingthrush, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Ashy-throated Parrotbill, fe. Lady Amherst's Pheasant.
 

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china guy

A taff living in Sichuan
Thanks for that info Summer - even though the debacle at Wawu means that getting around this park is a difficult task, at least, at the moment, it's fauna and flora are spared the full force of tourist development. In the present economic climate where $3 trillion were recently wiped off Chinese stock markets, hopefully there will be a lot less investment money to fund idiotic wildlife destruction schemes like Wawu, Labahe and Longcanggou!!!!

Currently I'm at home in Dujiangyan - the last of my major summer trips finished a couple of weeks back. Lots of great birds this season - my last trip gave me some the best views I've ever had of Pere David's Owl. Here are a few pics taken on those trips - I'll put more of them up in the next few posts

firstly some picture from Michael Turner Cain -
1 - Temminck's Tragopan displaying at Balang - -unfortunately we never saw him inflate his horns but those extended lappets are quite a sight.

2 - lots of great view of Monal this year - but we saw and heard this guy in zero visibility. Monal calling in the mist.

and a couple from Rob Fray
1 - Tawny Fish Owl were showing very nicely at Tangjiahe this year. A lot of photographs were taken - but this shot captures the bird very nicely

2 - Rufous-tailed Moupinia - don't see too many pictures of this bird.
 

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johnjemi

Well-known member
Summer,
Thanks for posting these photos. It's a pity to see Wawu Shan looking such a mess. Still, as Sid said, perhaps the wildlife will get left alone for a while.

Sid,
Mouth-watering photos as usual !
 
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James Eaton

Trent Valley Crew
Summer,
Thanks for posting these photos. It's a pity to see Wawu Shan looking such a mess. Still, as Sid said, perhaps the wildlife will get left alone for a while.

Sid,
Mouth-watering photos as usual !

Great report Summer, as John and and Jemi say though, it's a real pity to see how it's looking now - hotel and restaurant in ruin and dismantled, road crumbling away etc.

From a birding perspective it might be great birding areas with few tourists. However, tourism offers a level of protection to certain species (both birds but especially mammals). I would have no doubt that Lady Amhurst's Pheasant and tragopan numbers will be down at Wawu due to increased hunting (they were hunted in small numbers by the staff even when it was open, so no doubt with no birders/tourists makes it easier for locals). Though the big issue would be to the mammals; especially bears, ungulates and even Red Panda (with it being a known, widely reported site for the latter) I would guess they will be adversely affected by the lack of tourism - hunting for certain species should never be underestimated unfortunately.

I guess we won't be visiting the park for many, many years, really disappointing!

James
 

china guy

A taff living in Sichuan
One can speculate whether bringing tourism into areas of rich and fragile biodiversity will have a beneficial of damaging affect to conservation. I should image some of both - with an underlying positive trend to preserve areas of outstanding natural beauty being undermined by expanding, habitat destroying, tourist developments, where the economic goals of making more money override the interests of ecological protection.
This is surely what happened at Wawu? It was a park that protected an area, where they could accommodate a certain number of tourists on an already existing park road - house them in already existing hotels - and transport them up to the summit on an already existing cable car. Then the powers to be decided they wanted to develop - build more roads, bigger hotels, develop roads on the summit for electric buggies - a new cable car. I believe economic drive trumped ecological protection - maybe a reason why an observer close to the scene, especially one who loved and cherished this site for birding, would rather label this kind of project as 'idiotic wildlife destruction scheme' rather than another step towards conservation.

By the way the locals, who carry out poaching, have always been allowed free access into both Wawu and Longcanggou - for medicinal plant and bamboo shoot harvesting - but in the wake of tourist development comes officially sanctioned hunting -
http://www.chinahunt.net/en/sfh.htmhttp://www.chinahunt.net/en/sfh.htm
This advert is for hunting in the Labahe area.
Whether this will have a good - keeping tourists and poachers out of prime habitat - or bad affect - greed takes over and hunting conservation regulations are ignored - is also open to speculation.

But enough of that rant - apologies - here are some more pics from recent trips -
These come from a Spanish guest Miguel Rouco -
1 - Rufous-headed Robin at JZ - this bird was singing high from a tree.

2 - Fire-capped Tit at Longcanggou

3 - Chinese grouse at Baxi

4 - a magnificent Monal at Balang
 

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nebli

Active member
hello everybody , I'm trying to find out the situation of the peregrine falcon and barbary falcon in the thibetan plateau , has any of you observe there do they breed ? any pictures from them thank you very much
juan
 

china guy

A taff living in Sichuan
Jesper Hornskov has just posted up a Qinghai Barbary Falcon record, from June 30th on his newsletter -

BARBARY FALCON F. pelegrinoides
An adult male in the Qaidam basin on 30th.
***Zheng et al. (2011) listed the species only for 'N Ningxia & Qinghai'.


- but I know little of this species' status - and because of the the scarcity of Qinghai records assume they're uncommon.

I've never seen evidence of Peregrine breeding on the plateau - but then it's a huge place, with little birding activity - so I have little Idea of its true status. Peregrines certainly breed in lower areas bordering the Plateau
 

Dahe

Well-known member
Interesting discussion regarding the pros and cons of tourist development. I’m sure as Sid says that some species benefit and others lose out. Must admit I was glad to hear that the development has been put on hold/cancelled. For me it’s not just the impact on individual species, but on the landscape as a whole. I really treasure those wilder quieter areas of prime habitat, where you can see the landscape without excessive human impact.

Preserving the ‘wildness’ of areas is a common motivation for conservation and is celebrated by peoples across the world but so far I haven’t noticed much consideration for this in China. Surely attitudes will change so I hope that not too much damage will be done now that will be regretted later. Of course there needs to be a massive amount of tourist infrastructure to serve a big population and it’s great that people are able to get out and enjoy these beautiful places – it’s just it needs to be balanced by other considerations. My impression at the moment (largely limited to Pengzhou area) is that there is a free for all for developers, and almost every aesthetically attractive location is being developed to a lesser or greater extent if it is feasible to do so. It would be really nice if somewhere as exceptional as Wawu Shan could be spared, esp as Emei Shan already has so many hotels.

On the wildlife consumption issue, I saw a large salamander (~50cm long) in a restaurant tank on Emei Shan this summer. I know there are some very rare giant salamanders in China and that part of the problem is that they’re poached. Not knowing much about them I wasn’t sure if what I was seeing was a rare species (local? Imported?) and shouldn’t have been there, or perhaps it was farmed or even a common species and I needn’t have been concerned? What should you do if you see protected species being hunted or on the menu? E.g. are there authorities you can inform?
 

Dahe

Well-known member
I came across this interesting article that answers most of my salamander questions.

http://www.zsl.org/science/news/farming-a-threat-to-endangered-chinese-giant-salamander

I’m pretty sure now it was a Chinese Giant Salamander in the restaurant since it looks just like the images of the species online and it is a distinctive species. Apparently, for the last decade the species has been farmed for the restaurant trade. Poaching still continues, and the CGS is found in Sichuan, but given that the article states millions are raised in captivity, the salamander I saw was probably farmed rather than taken. While the article focuses on the threat posed by farming to wild populations (spreading disease etc), the academic on whose work the research is based goes on to say ‘With better farming practices, the Chinese giant salamander farming industry has the potential to benefit, rather than threaten, their conservation.’

So the upshot is, if you didn’t know already, don’t be disheartened if you see a Chinese Giant Salamander on the menu.
 

china guy

A taff living in Sichuan
Hi there - Noah and I have just arrived at Emei - each day is a mad morning and early afternoon's birding followed by a huge drive to the next destination - in 4 days we've covered as much ground as in 10 of a normal birding tour - and we have to work over Sichuan at greater pace than planned, since the original plan of 8 days has, because of travel rescheduling, been cut down to 6.

Today was a huge travel day from North to South Sichuan - but Noah still managed 24 ticks - which means that we're nearing the 100 haul from Sichuan.

Tomorrow we do Emei - the original plan was Longcanggou - but the present construction work, and the difficulty in getting even my 4WD vehicle up the track, has made this site too difficult for effective high-speed birding.

I'll write more details from this trip after I get Noah onto his next plane on the 15th - and have had a decent kip!!!!

Sid
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
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