Tour Reports
Reports By Destinations: Sichuan
2013 24th May to 11th June 11 Sichuan birding tour report
Reported by Zu Hang.

Having left bird watching tour for 4 years, it was a great pleasure to lead my favorite birding tour in Sichuan again. The tour members met in Shuangliu International airport in early afternoon on May 24th,and then headed to hotel. After checked in, we went to nearby park and did our first group birding in small patches of woods with noisy local karaoke bands and amateurs’ dancing troops. We watched a pair of Mandarin Ducks, and some other common city birds like Tree Sparrow,Red Collared Dove, Light-vented Bulbul, Crested Myna.

The next morning, we had an early start at 5AM to a Huanhua stream swamp which is out of a Dufu thatched cottage park. However, the morning rain almost made our morning walk in vain, we did not see many birds, excepted some aquatic birds such as Little Grebe, Little Egret. We went back to hotel to have breakfast and then left hotel for a three hours drive to the base of Emeishan (Mt.Emei). We started birding in the trails leading to the entrance of a Fuhu Nunnery, immediately after left our bags in a Fenghuang Lake hotel around 11AM, the trail was built alongside a stream and in 2 hours time we saw Common Kingfisher, Red-billed Leiothrix, Hwamei, Forktail, Japanese Tit, Long-tailed Shrike. After lunch, we drove about 4 kilometers to the countryside and continue our birdwatching till dusk. We saw Red-billed starling, Rufous-vented Tit,

Black-throated Tit,Yellow-billed Grosbeak and White-browed Laughingtrhush, Red-rumped Swallow.

On May 26th, we took expressway the drive to a Longcang-gou(Dragon emerald valley) National park in Yingjing county, we used this place and stayed here for 3 days as an alternative for the devastating earthquake in April 20th in Ya’an, which resulted a temporary close of our original destination, Labahe Natural Reserve. It proved to be a right decision. In our three days stay the birding activity was very fruitful, and besides,we saw a Red Panda, an extra bonus of our tour.

We saw 2 times female Terminck’s Tragopan, together with 3 babies. And one of our birder, luckily saw a beautiful male Terminck’s Tragopan. Other birds included Oriental Honey Buzzard, Oriental Cuckoo, Lesser Cuckoo,Grey Wagtail, Daurian Redstart, White-browed bush Robin, varieties of bush warblers and leaf-warblers, Dark-sided Flycatcher, Elliot’s Laughingthrush, Emeishan Liocichla, White-collared Yuhina, Ashy-throated Parrotbill, Red-billed blue Magpie, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, etc.

In the afternoon of May 29th, after another morning attempt to find some game birds and firethorat but in vain, we drove to Lengqi, a small town next to Erlangshan to take another chance to see LadyAM and firethorat. We were very lucky the next early morning to see both of them quite a lot times and then we had a long driving day of more than 300 hundreds Kilometers to Rilong(More than half of it was bumpy Road) alongside the mighty Dadu River.

We stayed in the small Tibetan town Rilong for 3 night, Rilong is based at the foot of a Siguniang Shan( four girls Mountain), its 3160 meters above sea level and very close to Balangshan of Wolong Natural Reserve made it one of the most popular birding base in whole Sichuan province.

Thanks for the God, Balang shan and Wolong have fully recovered from the 2008 deadly earthquake. We saw almost all our targeted birds includes Tibetan Snow Partridge, Snow Cock, Chinese Monal, Blood Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, White-eared Pheasant, Gold Pheasant, Lamergier, Grandala. Varieties of Rosefinches, and so on. Other important birds include Snow Pigeon, Rosy Pipit, Giant Laughingthrush, White-capped Water Redstart, Chinese Fulvetta, Crested tit warbler.

On June 2nd ,We drove to Maerkang from Rilong, via Mengbi shan, and spent the next full day there. In Mengbi shan we saw Sichuan Jay, Black Woodpecker, Himalayan griffon, Blue-eared pheasant, Oriental Turtle Dove,Blue-fronted Redstart, Hodgson’s Redstart, Blue Rock thrush, Blue

Whistling Thrush, Chestnut and Kessler’s Thrush, Carrion Crow, Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch, Pink-rumped Rosefinch, Three-banded Rosefinch Grey-headed Bullfinch

On June 4th, we drove to Ruoergai, via Hongyuan, we gradually left deep valleys and had our journey on high plateau, we stopped on the way for White Browed Tit, Tibetan Lark, Tibetan Grey Shrike, and we spent a happy 20 minutes at least for a Saker falcon nest( 2 adults plus 5 babies) on a cliff nearby roadside. And of course, we saw loads of Black-necked Crane.

The next day, we drove to Baxi forest, where we saw Blue-eared Pheasant, Tibetan Partridge, Chinese Grouse,

On June 6th, we drove to Chuanzhusi town, we saw a Siberian Rubythroat before sunset.

The highlight of the tour was on June 7th, we searched in the forest of Gonggangling ,and we were so close to a Sichuan Wood Owl,a split of Ural Owl. Then we drove to our hotel in Jiuzhaigou town.
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From June 8th to 9th, we spent 2 short full days in the Jiuzhaigou National park,( open from 7AM to 6PM(actually 4:30PM)),trying to search Rufous-headed Robin. This little naughty thing seemed too smart, we heard its singing a couple of times and one time it was just flew from the group. Other important bird we saw was Spectacled Parrotbill.

On June 10th, We had another early morning and search some Thrushes in Gonggangling and then had a last long drive of this successful birding tour, back to Chengdu.

One June 11th, saying goodbye to all my dear birders and our top birding guide, Mr.Nick BREY. With his heartful and energetic work, we had the chance to see almost 270 species of Birds in Sichuan! For the detailed and professional bird report, please go to :

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