Whos keeping an eye on me....

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Taiwan 2019 Pt 9 - Heading back to Dasyueshan via the Aogu Wetlands

We would enjoy an early but leisurely breakfast before we needed to pack the van and spend an hour or so at mid elevation Alishan before heading to do some Wetland birding and eventually head back to the Dasyeshan Road where we need a few species that are still missing.

As we prepared breakfast an Eurasian Sparrowhawk flushed the early risers and perched at the edge of the garden while I would pick up another eight species in the garden during a very brief walk. Green Backed Tits, Taiwan Yuhinas, Black Throated Bushtits, Rufous Faced Warbler, Brown Headed Thrush, White Eared Sibia as well as a Vivid Niltava and a Steers Liochicla. Not too shabby for a tea plantation garden.
Garden birding habitat

We ate up and packed the van and said our goodbyes to the homestay, we returned to the corner that we had spend some time at a few days ago, it had been productive then so was worth a punt before we left the mountain.
Straight away we had two Steers Liochiclas and two Brown Bullfinches perched up right in front of us. Soon to be joined by four more, an excellent start. As we passed under a telephone wire two Sparrows called out, immediately they looked different to the default Tree Sparrows that we encountered everywhere else....... Russet Sparrows, A lifer for me. However Richard got all excited now..... over a Sparrow I hear you ask!! Apparently a good bird to get, a very good bird. Richard had never seen one while guiding visitors around, going back many many years, so happy days all round. Richard took time to photograph the Russet Sparrows while I went on the chase to photograph four of the Bullfinches which were feeding in someone's garden.

Brown Bullfinch

Russet Sparrow

Steeres Liocichla


Back at the corner, Light Vented Bulbuls were now joined by at least two Siberian Rubythroat. We all got good views of a female, while I missed close up views of a stunning male (that's me wandering off again).
Jeff provides the picture of this fella.

while I got the female

A Common Rosefinch albeit a female is actually a lifer for me, while common species such as Oriental Turtle Doves, Japanese White-eyes, Black Bulbuls and Striated Prinias showed well. Then out of the blue directly underneath us in the orchard called another common species, so common we had heard dozens during the last eight days but a stubborn species that just would not give us a view. Well not anymore.

A Bamboo Partridge called out and another bird a little way off called back. It jumped up onto a low wall, called some more then spent a few minutes wandering in and out of view while stopping shortly to call out again. At bloody last, well seen, enjoyed and in the bag. It wandered off downhill as we watched it go out of view near in the small valley below.

Common Rosefinch

Oriental Turtle Dove

at last.....
Bamboo Partridge

Using natures powers as you bird...... not so smelly now and no better way of drying your socks. Nick and Richard trying to relocate the Siberian Rubythroat.

We had enough time to watch a Steeres Liochicla gathering food, while Richard snaps a lovely Lizard

Richard in the Lizard habitat

Lizard sp

It was time to make our way down the mountain, we weren't going to find anything new now but we still stopped at a few areas for Coffee and to enjoy the scenery, as well as finish off my laundry....
I managed to pick up a Barred Buttonquail running amongst the Tea bushes.

Laundry with a view

We stopped at a number of locations, one in particular gave us great views of three Rusty Laughingthrush, at least three Bronzed Drongos of which a pair mobbed and saw off an Eurasian Sparrowhawk, plenty of Black Naped Monarchs and a Grey-cheeked Fulvetta. While a quick stop at a Raptor watch spot gave us close views of a Crested Goshawk.
Bronzed Drongo
Crested Goshawk

It really was time to move on. We headed to the Aogu Wetlands.
We arrived mid-late afternoon and drove slowly around a number of pools and Oyster Beds. A trip first perched in roadside bushes, Oriental Magpie Robin, while a good number of Grey Headed Martins that had upto now eluded us mixed in with Red Rumped Swallows.
Oriental Pratincoles, Black Drongos in huge numbers (at least 30 in a single tree), as well as a number of Brown Shrike, Long Tailed Shrike, Plain Prinias, Wigeon, Northern Shovelor, Black Winged Stilts, Pied Avocets, a single Black Faced Spoonbill and dozens of Black Crowned Night-Herons.
Black Crowned Night-heron

Black Winged Stilt

We drove a short distance to a causeway that gave access to open water oyster farms. Everything was distant including a few Great Knot. Frustratingly the heat haze didn't help and they weren't in the mood for coming nearer, Ruddy Turnstone, Greater Sand Plover, Dunlin, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Sacred Ibis and Common Redshank made up the numbers.
Road to nowhere

Greater Sand Plover

We finished the day when Nick did well to pick out a single Terek Sandpiper amongst a large flock of waders, great scope views until everything got flushed. A nice addition to the trip list but a most wanted bird for myself after missing it in a number of countries. We headed to our hotel at the base of the Dasyeshan Road ready for the morning where we go back in search of a few missing species. 


Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Another great bird birding for your all and wonderful photographs to show for it. I hope you have a good week ahead.

Kylie Y said...

Hi great reading yyour blog