All tour arrangements were made by email beforehand, and the itinerary covered the usual tourist attractions in the area for three days, plus two days of birding in the Protected Area (National Park). We liaised with Jenny Zhang (Spring's sister), who was very helpful and accommodating. Her company is supposedly the largest tour company in Wuyishan. China International Travel Service WuYiShan Co.,Ltd. Address: CITS BUILDING SANGU STREET WUYISHAN HOLIDAY RESORT FUJIAN PROVINCE, CHINA. Jenny's email is email@example.com.
We suffered some anxiety getting the train tickets from our tour agent (the Xiamen end of CITS fouled up big time), with the items going missing from the concierge at the eleventh hour. After a mad scramble to trace the lost tickets with calls flying everywhere, our hotel told us the tall story that their desk manager had actually brought the tickets home. In reality, they were sitting calmly in our fellow tour mate’s room. After admitting their mistake, the hotel dutifully delivered the lost train passes to our room at close to midnight. The next morning, I found out to my horror that the tickets were for the 7pm instead of the 11pm train. This was a big problem as we were returning from Quanzhou to Xiamen that day, a three hour journey (sans jams), and I was afraid that we would miss the train. Thankfully, our Xiamen guide Catherine was very kind to switch things around, making it possible for us to catch our transport inland. And so, after a comfortable ride with sufficient sleep, we arrived bright and early in Wuyishan in time for a delicious breakfast of dried spicy meat noodles. Arriving four hours earlier than planned was definitely a blessing in disguise as we could spread out our tour itinerary with more time for each locale (much needed for our frequent pauses to take pictures and gaze at birds). Also, CITS did not charge us extra for the extended hours.
Day 1 – Tianyou Feng & Dahongpao Tea Plants
Day 2 – Yixian Tian, Bamboo Raft Ride at the Nine Bend River, Wuyi Palace, Spring Garden, Taoist Temple etc.
Day 3 – Huxiao Yan (Roaring Tiger Rock) & Water Curtain Falls
Day 4 – Drive to Wuyishan National Park / Protected Area (Baohuqu), Summit of Mount Huang Gang, Birding from 2pm till 6pm.
Day 5 – Birding from 5am till 12pm, Drive back to catch our overnight train at 8pm.
Day 6 - Xiamen airport back to Singapore.
Both of us managed to find our number one target - the endemic Cabot's Tragopan, a mama-and-chick duo seen at 640am at around KM21.5 on 20 June 2008. The chick was very adorable with rufous face, yellowish down feathers covering its breast/belly and classic tragopan ocelli brown spots on its mantle and wing feathers. Mama had seen us approaching and had immediately sought cover in the thick vegetation of the upper slopes. The chick was left alone perched on a dark ledge just above the road. It look bewildered and confused as mama frantically called for it to move upwards to join her. Finally, the chick got wind of her verbal cues, and after a short flight and some hopping, was happily united with his overwrought mother. Our views were down to 5 meters. Birding doesn't get any better than this!
We stayed at the 4-star Wuyi Mountain Villas for 3 nights. This resort is purportedly the most scenic in the area, having the famous Dawangfeng (大王峰) as its backdrop. It played host to world leaders in the past, evidenced by saplings planted with accompanying dignatary plaques. At present, the tourism boom in Wuyishan has seen the construction of three new 5-star resorts and five more 4-star hotels. There is also a plethora of cheaper accommodation options.
The snaking rocky stairway up Tianyou Feng. We were given a quiz which we answered correctly. During the Mid-Autumn festival while eating mooncakes and drinking tea from a pavilion up a slope at Tianyou Feng , four 'moons' can be seen, how? Answer: 1) the moon itself, reflections from the 2) teacup 3) the water 4) one's eyes.
The forested path downwards was very rich in wildlife. We saw three very cute Blue-breasted Quail here, on top of frogs, insects etc (see photos below).
Plumbeous Water Redstart. This beauty is very common along the river area. It likes to fan its tail (as can be seen in this photo), probably to flush insects. Photographed this at the Tea Canyon in Tianyoufeng.
Ah, my best shot of a butterfly yet. Glenda helped me ID it as the Indian Fritillary (Argynnis hyperbius).
Thanks to Glenda, I found out the name of this jewel in the Tianyou Feng forest, the Club Silverline (Spindasis syama 豆粒銀線灰蝶), considered rare in Singapore. This is an upside down shot which I inverted for easy viewing.
Munching caterpillars filled a small bush.
Lovely cicadas called in union and raised a real ruckus in the noon heat. Its not easy to spot, but our combined sharp eyes produced this green-and-yellow gem.
Another cicada we found at the mosquito-ridden forested patch near our hotel had transparent wings, similar to the ones seen on Fraser's Hill, Malaysia. We each acquired 10 bites trying to photograph this fella (it was rather high up on a tree trunk).
Dahongpao (Big Red Robe) is the most famous of the Wuyi Yan Cha (Wuyi Rock Tea) range. It thrives on the well-drained loose soils of Wuyishan's slopes, formed from eroded rock particles, giving rise to its Rock Tea label. Here, we are posing at the spot of the six 'mother' Dahongpao trees that are around 350 years old (they are the green stuff growing on the upper right hand corner of this photo). These six trees are the revered ancestors to the area's Dahongpao tea plantations and are part of the reason why Wuyishan was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. Up to May 2006, their leaves were still harvested once a year to make tea for the likes of China's President Hu Jintao. Harvesting has since ceased to better protect this natural heritage.
Close-up views of Dahongpao's tea leaves. Notice the characteristic red rim on its green leaves. For normal grade tea, two leaves and one bud are plucked. High grade teas use only one leaf and one bud. We had at least four tea-tasting sessions (once in Quanzhou where I bought Tie Guanyin, once in Wuyishan Tourist area where I bought Dahongpao and wild mushrooms, and twice in the Huang Gang Shan protected area (Sangang village) where I bought the area's famous Lapsang Souchong (Zhengshan Xiaozhong Hong Cha) which is black tea smoked in Pinewood, giving it a robust flavour with a unique smoky aroma.
Our guide taught us the three lessons that can be learnt from tea, based on its Chinese logograph (茶cha) 1) Man should live harmoniously with Nature (the 人ren (man) is in the middle of 草cao (grass) and 木mu (wood)), 2) Drinking tea gives one a long life - up to 108 years old - (20+80+8 = 108, based on adding up the numerical strokes that make up the word 茶cha from top to bottom), 3) The best age to marry is age 28 for a man (the 1st & 2nd part of the logograph), and age 18 for a woman (the 木mu can also be seen as 18).
I first noticed the butterfly on this tree, and upon closer examination, realised that there were plenty of other insects, including a moth, sucking the sap off its trunks. I've never seen such a 6-legged convention before.
Rhinocerous Beetle found lower down on the same sappy tree.
Five-striped Blue-tailed Skink (Eumeces elegans), also called the Shanghai Skink. Thankfully, I managed to shoot it before it scuttled into the undergrowth. Found on the pavement outside the Zhuxi Academy.
Have not found out the name of this bat at Yixian Tian（一线天). This is my most fiendishly difficult photo yet. We had to stand in a dripping cave that reeked of bat urine, aiming our cameras skywards and straining our necks in the process, to shoot at the blackness hoping to get a bat in flight. In the meantime, hundreds of loud-talking Chinese tourists were streaming by, and we had to pause ever so often to give them room to squeeze through. Their constant banter, amplified by the echoes of this very narrow cave, grated at my ears and nerves. And in the middle of it all, it started to drizzle, adding immensely to my misery. But what the heck, at least I got a semblance of a bat in flight.
Yixian Tian （一线天) - basically, this bat filled place is a narrow gap between two monoliths, with views of only a strip of sky, hence its name.
Yixian Tian. The narrowest stairway we had to negotiate ever. Two drops of rainwater on my camera are symbolic of the rainy weather from Day 2 onwards.
We went to a snake research centre cum museum. The person in charge provoked this Chinese Cobra (Naja atra) to raise its hood by proding it with a rod. After that, he tried to sell us snake oil (literally) and other snakeskin products. Sadly, all the Long-nosed Pit Vipers used to make the snakeskin wallets on sale were wild caught from the ironically protected area of Mount Huang Gang.Long-nosed Pit Viper (Deinagkistrodon acutus). According to Wikipedia, Deinagkistrodon is a monotypic genus found in South China and Southeast Asia. In Chinese it is dubbed as the Wubushe or Five-pace Snake - if it bites you, you can only walk five paces before you collapse.
Gosh, there was even a snake god housed in a 'cave', within the compounds of the snake research centre cum museum.
About twenty minutes into the ride, I spied a large brown female Common Pheasant pecking away and drinking water from the shingle banks. The bird then flew across the waters to the other side of the river. What a setting for a lifer! The twin peaks of Yunvfeng 玉女峰 (Jade Lady Peak) and Dawangfeng
大王峰 (Great King Peak) grace the 2nd bend.
This is one of only about 20 boat coffins of the ancient Min Yue culture found suspended from cliffs in the Wuyishan area. These 3,800 year old caskets are the oldest boat coffins in the world. There was a little museum at the end of the bamboo raft ride that showcased the area's natural (eg. Clouded Leopard, South China Tiger etc) and cultural heritage, and where this photo was taken, illegally though as no photography is allowed.
While drifting languidly downstream on our bamboo raft, we were regaled with legends behind the fanciful names of various rock formations. The Nine Bend River is also the favourite spot for location shoots of Chinese movies and drama serials like Xiyouji (Journey to the West). Our raft captain pointed out that the 'holes' seen on this cliff were where boat coffins used to be placed. It is still a mystery how the ancient Min Yue people managed to get the caskets up on these inaccessible cliffs. One theory holds that water levels were much higher in the past.
Woody boat coffin remnants still line some of these ex-burial spots. From my estimation, these were at least 50 to 70 meters off the ground.
One of those poorly translated signs that draw laughs. The correct translation should be 'Grasses are also living things, please love / protect them'.
A spectacular Taoist temple in Wuyishan that deifies Bai Yuchan 白玉蟾 (1194–1227) whose altar occupies the important first floor. Bai Yuchan and his disciples promoted a line of inner alchemy (neidan) masters as their spiritual ancestors. While ninth-century neidan was a peripheral discipline practiced by little-known individuals with oral instructions from unnamed figures in mysterious circumstances, the efforts of those like Bai helped make it an elaborate heritage complete with standardized spiritual genealogies, canonized writings, and historically verifiable networks of teachers and disciples in several cultural niches. The usual Taoist pantheon of gods such as the Jade Emperor (Yuhuang Dadi) and the Three Pure Ones (Sanqing) were relegated to the second floor.
Tim's umbrella rest drew as much curious stares as the surrounding beauty. I had to keep saying '没事，没事' (meishi = no worries).
Roaring Tiger Rock or Huxiaoyan (虎啸岩) required us to climb another steep stairway in order to enjoy this misty view. Its name of 'Roaring Tiger' is derived from the tiger-like howl produced by gusty winds blowing through these peaks.
The tongue of the tiger with missing lower jaw.
Water Curtain Falls. This concave waterfall forms a natural amphitheatre.
Tim at the bottom of the falls. Traditional requires that a person walks 3 rounds around the pool, passing behind the spray of the water curtain. The first round grants the person a good position in his job, the second round symbolises abundant wealth while the third round bestows a good spouse.
This pretty brown-spotted green froggie is numerous around the Wuyishan foothills, residing mainly in water bodies, but some were even seen in the forest. They have certainly taken to civilisation, as we even spied a lot of them in the articifial waterfall at our hotel. Most likely, the tiny black frogs that can be seen hopping everywhere (even in our hotel's car park) are the young of these amphibians. It has a squeaky high-pitched call, contrasting with the deeper barks of the Bronze-ridged frog. This frog was not seen at all in the higher elevations of Mount Huang Gang, most likely replaced by the edible Shiling frogs.
However, if you do not pay attention to nature, it bypasses you readily. We had to point this beauty out to our tour guide. In fact, we guided her, in terms of natural sights, as much as she guided us in the cultural aspects of Wuyishan. She's a real darling though, patiently waiting up for us on innumerable occassions as we took our time to take photographs of any and everything. She also aceded to our many requests, and ran the extra mile (literally) when she helped retrieve our belongings from a lunch place that were too heavy to be carried along.
On our fourth day at Wuyishan, we headed towards the Baohuqu (Protected Area/National Park) about two hours away. Shortly after entering the restricted area which required special passes, we stopped at the Red Suspension Bridge to stretch our legs. Over here, we saw the Black Bulbul (white-headed form), Coal Tit etc. We trekked downwards into the thick forest, and descended to the banks of this fast flowing river.
The ubiquitous Asian House Martin. This is nesting season - we spotted their nests everywhere, from the lowland cliff faces, to the ceilings of houses in Sangang (the town within the Protected Area), to the top of Mount Huang Gang itself.
At 2158m, Mount Huang Gang (Huanggangshan) is the tallest mountain in Wuyishan National Park, located at the Fujian/Jiangxi border within the protected area. It is 97% forested in the Baohuqu (protected area), and 68% forested in the Dujiaqu (tourist area).
One of our first birds up Mount Huang Gang, a female Chestnut-bellied Rockthrush. Funny enough, it behaved like a flycatcher, flying out to catch insects and returning to the same perch.
We found an abandoned missile base station at the top of Mount Huang Gang - the real reason for the need for army guards at the base of the mountain. It was very misty and beautiful at the top, with evanescent fog thickly clothing the stunted trees and alpine meadows. I found two Upland Pipits here. On the drive down, we flushed a majestic Imperial Eagle that leapt into the fog in a downward flight that revealed its white rump and wing tips. The ponds were devoid of life though, while the derelict stone buildings served as perfect nesting sites for Asian House Martins that zipped through the skies in a constant swirl of activity. The sudden chill of getting out from a warm van had me all bundled up and shivering, and particularly grateful for a warm embrace. Here, we are at the commerative plaques that mark the apex of Huang Gang Shan.
Our star find for the whole 12-day trip, on par with seeing the Cabot's Tragopan - an East Asian Mole, Mogera insularis (tentative ID). The 10-cm long fur ball literally dropped from the heavens, a gift from God. We were birding the roads downslope (around KM 23) when suddenly we both heard a plop sound coming from behind us. The blind mole apparently tunnelled from the soils of the upper slopes straight out, tumbling down to the road below where we were! Poor dear. It was obviously concussed and confused, not used to being out in the open. I filmed a video of it running around in circles.
According to Walker’s Mammals of the World Vol 1 & 2, there are 7 species of East Asian Moles with the genus Mogera. Mogera insularis Distribution: Southeastern China, Taiwan & Hainan. Head & body length: 87-115mm, tail length: 14-20mm. Pelage is nearly uniform slate colour. Mogera differs from the genus Talpa and Euroscaptor in lacking canine teeth in the lower jaw, and in the strong development of last lower premolars, which function in place of the canines. Sure fits the description of our mole!
We showed this photo to our guide and driver. Our driver calls it the 'Xiao Huang1zhu1' and told us that huge ones around 15kg can be found at the summit. They only emerge from their burrows at night and are hunted by the natives.
On our first drive up Huanggang Shan (Mount Huang Gang), our driver spotted 2-4 Tibetan Macaques Macaca thibetana (tentative ID) frolicking by the roadside. He gave a startled call, and told us that in his 20 odd years living within the Wuyishan protected area with innumerable trips up Mt Huanggang (he is one of 1400 local villagers), this was his first time encountering these rare monkeys. Tim and I both caught the retreating forms of 2-4 macaques. About half an hour later when we stopped to look at the Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush, our driver spotted some movements high above, and I managed to binocular one lone male, while Tim went one step further by photographing it! This male was calling loudly (our driver said that his call was similar to that of the mountain goat), his voice echoing up and down the mountain side. We felt really privileged to catch a glimpse of this rare primate.
Our hotel room in Sangang. Clean and basic with very hard plank beds. We arrived only late at night when the innkeeper had already gone off to bed and left at 4am the next morning for the Tragopan. As such, we didn't get to see the exterior.
Tea leaves left to wither. Our driver's brother briefed us on how he makes Lapsang Souchong (pine-smoked tea) within his tiny factory just next to his house. The steps are: 1) picking of tea leaves by itinerant workers, 2) drying in the sun, 3) withering, 4) rolling in a hand operated machine, 5) full fermentation, 6) smoking using pine wood. We had two extensive tea drinking sessions at his home where we tasted for ourselves how Lapsang Souchong can be 'paoed' (brewed) up till ten times with little loss of flavour.
Us with our tour guide Spring Zhang (Xiaozhang) with 70-year old tea trees in the backdrop. Over here, instead of being planted in neat rows, tea trees grow haphazardly in clumps and solitary bushes, making harvesting by machinery impossible. As such, all tea is hand-picked, ensuring optimal quality. Harvesting takes place twice a year, compared to 4-5 times a year in other locales.
Bird List - South China (Xiamen / Quanzhou / Wuyishan) from 10 - 21 June 2008
Participants: Gloria Seow & Timothy Pwee
3 birds spotted by Tim crossing the forest path near the bottom of Huxiaoyan (Roaring Tiger Rock). At first, he thought that they were chicks without the mother hen! Had excellent views for at least eight minutes before losing them. Tim found them again crossing the path behind us. They were really cute, but no way to photograph them in the tangle of the undergrowth.
Our star bird. Mama and chick duo. Too bad papa's red feathers were no where in sight. Very thankful to see them at such a late hour (640am) as they are dawn (515am) birds. I had more or less given up hope of seeing the Tragopan and decided to have some breakfast of Wang Wang crackers. I bit into the loud crackers just as I rounded a corner...and bingo, detected the movements of Mama. She was in clear view at the side of the road itself. I beckoned to Tim and he ran forward. We gazed at her for about 10 seconds as she trotted towards us. Then she probably saw us and flew / jumped upwards. Only when we tried to find her in the thick vegetation did we both see the chick hidden on the dark ledge just above the road. The rest of the story can be read in the main blog. We kept a distance of 5m between us and the birds in order not to frighten them too much.
Lifer (female) while leisurely cruising downstream on a bamboo raft at the nine bend river…story is above.
Flying across river.
Asian Barred Owlet
One of our last sightings at the Wanshi Botanical Gardens. Spotted its fat silhouette in the dense pine tree and was extremely happy that it turned out to be my favourite bird - an owl. There was a pair..and we heard one calling to the other. Thought it was the Little Owl at first, but it was sadly a non-lifer - the Asian Barred Owlet, first seen in Doi Chiang Dao (Malee's).
Aside from feral ones, there were kept flocks for tourists to pose with, fed often with birdfeed at the Water Curtain Falls.
Likes to perch high up, silhouetted in the sun, making ID a bit of a headache as views are blackened. Only after much squinting and changing of positions can one determine that its only the common Spotted Dove.
Summit of Mt Huang Gang. White on rump area very distinctive as it launched itself in a downward dive.
Flying high above - seen at river below Red Suspension Bridge at Mt Huang Gang.
Breeding colours. Ponds at WSBG and also at the Nine Bend River
XM (Gulangyu, lakes), WYS-TA
Common along the water bodies in downtown Xiamen. Also at Nine Bend River.
Red suspension Bridge - feeding. This individual was difficult to ID - it had greyish head and typical leafbird green body. Juvenile? Orange-bellied LB is the only one in this range.
Saw at least twice, territorial calling up a tree, and walking on the open lawn.
WSBG, WYS-TA, WYS-HG
Beautiful bird. Moves singly or in flocks of up to 6 birds. Seen on the drive up Huang Gang at its lower elevations, (our driver calls it the changwei que - long-tailed bird) and in the garden of our hotel at Wuyi Mountain Villas.
XM, WSBG, WYS-TA
At least 2-3 fighting Juveniles - my first time seeing this plumage and was thrown off kilter when the MacKinnon book didn't have illustrations or descriptions. Only back in Singapore when I consulted my other guidebooks that I found out the plumage of juveniles. Adults seen too, naturally, but not associating with juveniles.
Photographed a juvenile, Saw an adult, both at HG manning small waterfalls/streams.
Female seen, behaving like a flycatcher - flying one circle to hawk for insects and returning to the same perch. Photos taken. Showed this bird to our guide and driver.
Surprised to find this bird at the Wanshi Botanical Gardens, up the hilly portion as I always thought it was a sub-montane species. Bingwen said that he has seen it at sea level in Langkawi, so OK, learnt something new.
Juvenile & Female seen. Juvenile had lovely blue tail on a speckled brown body, while female had a distinctive blue collar that stood out on its dull brown feathers.
Common along the water bodies in WYS tourist area, as well as HG foothills (river at Red Suspension Bridge). Photographed a male at the Tea Canyon (inland), about 50m from the river.
Looked like a shrike…calling from the tree tops, spotted by Tim.
WSBG, XM, WYS-TA
First saw female in WSBG pecking on the ground just as we were about to leave. Tim left first. Later on in our XM tour, we saw it a few times, eg. Xiamen University - pecking on the ground too. Possibly nesting at the cliff holes in WYS-TA. I saw a bird black bird that flew out of such a hole, chasing another away. Didn't binocular it on time.
Only a couple seen, outside the WSBG. Seen alone, no flocks.
Noisy flocks common in the WSBG, but not encountered (at least not observed) in downtown XM.
Chestnut-vented (Naga) Nuthatch
One bird seen at rather close range, about 6m off the ground.
Japanese Tit (split from Great Tit)
Saw it first at the Dahongpao area. Some poorly taken photos. Looks different from the Great Tit in Japan. Why do they call this Japanese Tit and the Japanese one is called the Great Tit? Confiding and common in our hotel at WYS-TA.
Parus ater kuatunensis
First saw it at the Red Suspension Bridge - with reddish underparts. Subspecies very different from specimens seen in Japan where crest was a lot less prominent.
Pretty little things. Seen previously in Inthanon
Pretty little things.
Pretty little things.
Common throughout WYS, perching on street wires, nesting at all elevations, from the tourist area (200m) to the summit of Mt HG (2158m). Plenty of condominium nests in the abandoned missle base stations, isolated nests on cliffsides and on the ceilings of houses in WYS-TA.
Numerous in downtown Xiamen. Nests found under ceilings and roofs.
Sand / Pale Martin
Less than 10 birds seen sallying around at the start of the Bamboo Raft ride of the Nine Bend River.
Red Suspension Bridge - A couple of lovely specimens seen close-up. Chestnut colours looked amazing in the strong sunlight.
Red Suspension Bridge - The white headed form of the Black Bulbul is a stunner. Probably the same pair seen perching on open branches. Photographed it. At first, I thought it was the same bird seen in Inthanon, only upon checking up my notes that I realized that the Inthanon species is different - the White-headed Bulbul (thompsoni).
Forest beneath of the Red Suspension Bridge and up Mount HG itself.
Funny, but the MacKinnon book's distribution of this species does not seem to include XM, but we saw some birds here - so likely to be escapees.
The most common bulbul in this part of the world, akin to the Yellow-vented Bulbul in Singapore. This is a pretty bird that allows rather close approach and can be readily seen in the streets of XM and at the lower elevations of the WYS-TA.
I’m quite sure I saw it at the WSBG. Much better views throughout the WYS-TA. Rather common and pretty bird.
This is one of those dull brown jobs that flit from bush to bush. Also recorded at the Luoyang Bridge in Xiamen where it was seen feeding over the water hyacinth patches in the river. Abundant in India.
XM, WSBG, WYS-TA
Common garden bird in the lower elevations of South China. Found even in the streets - observed some birds outside the Overseas Chinese Hotel in downtown Quanzhou, on some trees fronting the little lake. Also common in the garden at Wuyi Mountain Villas.
Streak-throated (Grey-hooded) Fulvetta
A rather non-descript bird, IDed via the photographs I took of it finishing off an ant (see picture above).
This Fulvetta was very confiding and cute in Doi Inthanon, flying in huge, low flocks. A birdwave literally passed between our legs and we had 0.5m views. Not as visible in Mt HG.
Cannot recall much details of this bird. Warblers are a huge headache. I'm tempted to say I've seen them all since they are the confounding difficult-to-ID 'waders' of the forest. Its like those Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys books we read as kids - the plot is so similar from story to story that if you have read a few books, you can say you have read the entire series of over 100 books. Of course my favourite mystery series was Alfred Hitchcock's The Three Investigators, so much more intelligent.
XM, WYS-TA (Tim only)
Was happy to finally see a wild Hwamei. These songsters are kept as pets by the locals and in Chinese, are also called Huamei. First saw it while birding the railway track outside the WSBG, a fast-flying bird that fed on the wild figs/berries. Tim also recorded it at our hotel in WYS, I was still dolling up then, heehee.
Loud garrulous birds that moves about in small flocks. Found also in gardens around XM. Tim saw it at the Muslim Tombs in Quanzhou.
The 'Mesia' of Huanggang - very colourful, pretty and common up in the mountains. They also belong to the same family as the Silver-eared Mesia found abundantly in Fraser's Hill, Malaysia.
I must be honest - these mystifying and irritatingly-similar warblers - more or less recorded them although I can't be sure. Had to compare these Chinese warblers with those listed in my previous trips, particularly montane regions like Inthanon, Fraser's, India.
Seicercus castaniceps sinensis
I love this bird - it was skulking in the undergrowth at Huxiaoyan (Roaring Tiger Rock) which I saw on the way up. At least it was a reason to pause and catch one's breath! Near but brief views.
White-browed Shrike Babbler
Female seen. Emerald very prominent on primaries.
Quite a nice bird, despite being called a warbler.
Seen in Inthanon before.
Rufous on head stands out.
Lots of Yuhina looking birds with punk hairdo…the Coal Tit also looks Yuhina-like at first glance, especially when backlighted.
I love these frisky little things, how they fidget ceaselessly as if energy were a free resource.
Buff-bellied (Fire-breasted) Flowerpecker
Only saw the dull-looking female. Seen previously at Fraser's Hill.
Saw it a few times. First view - perched on a rock by the roadside as our car entered the alpine meadows. Difficult to look at it through the thick mist at the summit.
Street bird at WYS-TA, first saw it while eating spicy noodle breakfast right at the start of the WYS leg.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Exceedingly common at the lower elevations of South-east China.
Fat non-descript Juvenile seen.
Flying in the mist at the top of Tianyoufeng.
Introduced - Helmeted Guineafowl
Walking on the lawns, later running upwards for cover when it saw us. Bingwen and Ding IDed it for me, since its an African bird sometimes eaten as food.
Introduced - Indian Peafowl
Calling loudly on top of a tree.
Other Wildlife Seen
Frogs - 3 species (names are descriptive and not real)
Black Bat (outside WYS train station toilet)
Five-striped Blue-tailed or Shanghai Skink
Fishes - 4 types
Insects - plenty of photos
Not IDed accept butterflies
Caged Birds observed - parrots, lovebirds, Java Sparrows (used like a parrot to pick out a stick in fortune telling), juvenile Crested Myna & Black-Collared Starling.