Birding in Taiwan

 

 
Birding Stories

 

David Stirling

 

Macdonald Burbidge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr.Rob Butler

 

Karen Shih

 

Madelon Schouten

BIRDING TAIWAN MAY 2–11 2005 — A PERSONAL VIEW

 

George Clulow

 

Bill Keay

 

Simon Liao

 

Yang Chung-Tse

 

Allan Ridley

 

Hue Mackenzie

 

Hugh Currie

 

Kijja Jearwattanakanok

 

Peter Candido -

Re-Tern to Taiwan

 

Dave & Carol Roelen

 

Mark Wilkie

 

Phil Rostron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taiwan Endemics and Near-endemics Nov. 6–19 2006

 

Phil Rostron

Smithville Texas U.S.A.

            As a keen world birder I was looking forward to heading to Taiwan to try to get to grips with the 15 current endemics.  In addition I wanted to see as many of the distinctive endemic taxa which are currently classified as subspecies only (two of these namely the Hwamei and Black-browed [Muller's] Barbet have been published in English recently and raised to the species level).  I signed up with Birding Taiwan understanding that I would be very lucky to see all my targets.  

            On arrival in Taiwan after talking to Simon and checking with the other participants he quickly re-vamped the trip to give us more time in the mountains and a better chance at the more difficult endemics.  Initially we were unlucky with the weather at Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area formerly called just Anmashan. (Too hot and sunny!) and missed both pheasants.  
            Simon made more changes in the itinerary to give us additional time at Alishan
later in the trip.  In the meantime we wanted to visit Lanyu Island but flights were disrupted because of high winds.  Just when we were about to give up trying to get there Simon came through and managed somehow to get us all on a flight.  We had fantastic looks at the Elegant “Lanyu” Scops-Owl so we were happy we made it over there finally.
            On to Alishan National Forest Recreation Area with high hopes of catching up with the pheasants.  Both Simon and Lee (our driver) had been in touch with their contacts and came up with a new spot on the way up to Alishan where we were treated
to great looks at a female Swinhoe's Pheasant and the tail of a male as it crept away in the forest.  Higher up in Yushan National Park the next morning we had ten minute views of a male Mikado right along the road as promised (!) by Simon.  Later on we even managed to get views of the very shy Taiwan Partridge.
            In the end we managed to see of all the current endemics plus most of the
interesting subspecies.  Of my targets only the Island Thrush remained invisible (although it was seen by the leaders as the rest of us were prowling the trails in search of pheasants).  We would not have done so well were it not for Simon's hard work in re-organizing the trip (multiple times) and giving us several shots at the key species.
            Thanks Simon — I can not wait to return in Spring for the Fairy Pitta.