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Taiwan Blue Magpie -Huisun FR



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Finest birding in Asia


Black-faced Spoonbills, Tsengwen Estuary


Ashy Woodpigeon, Blue Gate track Wushe


Alpine Accentor, Hehuan Pass


Beavan's Bullfinch -Anmashan


All birds photographed ‘on tour’

are opportunity shots by

Stijn De Win


Brown Dipper, Anmashan


Black-crowned Night-Heron, Chichi


Striated Swallow, Wushe


Black Bulbul, Chichi Endemic Station


View at Anmashan


Black Eagle, Bedongyueshan


Black Drongo, Huben


Crested Goshawk on prey, Chuchan


Eurasian Nutcracker -Anmashan


Brown Shrike, Longluan Lake Kenting


Eastern Spot-billed Duck, Longluan lake


Eye-browed Thrush, Chung Yang Farm


Grey-capped Woodpecker, Chichi


Forest view from the Blue Gate track, Wushe


Mikado Pheasant, Anmashan


Plumbeous Water Redstart -Wushe


Crested Goshawk, Chuchan Bot. Garden


Mikado Pheasant, Dasyueshan


View in Dasyueshan Forest Rec. Area


Pheasants! Anmashan


Swinhoe's Pheasant, Anmashan


Taiwan Barbet , Anmashan


Whimbrel, coast near Kenting




All photographs © Stijn De Win

Copyright © Birding2asia 2008-2011. All rights reserved.

B2A - Taiwan 2010

Endemics and Black-faced Spoonbills

30 October - 8 November


Participants ; Noel Lock and Jill Gillman

Tour leader ; Stijn De Win


Trip list taxonomy follow "Birds of East Asia" by Mark Brazil.

Latin names of distinct subspecies in bold green.


Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis

common Tsengwen estuary


Great Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo

5+ Tsengwen estuary and 10+ Longluan Lake


Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea

50+  Tsengwen estuary, few Longluan Lake


Purple Heron  Ardea purpurea

2 seen Longluan Lake


Great Egret  Ardea alba

few en-route and more seen Tsengwen and Longluan


Intermediate Egret  Egretta intermedia

Tsengwen and Longluan


Little Egret  Egretta garzetta



Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis

regularly recorded in small numbers


Black-crowned Night-Heron  Nycticorax nycticorax

fairly common


Malayan Night-Heron  Gorsachius melanolophus

We enjoyed 1 imm. in the tropical botanical garden in Chushan.


Yellow Bittern  Ixobrychus sinensis

2 birds Longluan Lake


Black-faced Spoonbill  Platalea minor Endangered

Almost 1/3 of the entire world population was present at the Tsengwen estuary during our visit, an amazing 608 birds! No need to tell you that they provided us with an unforgettable spectacle. See photos.



Eurasian Wigeon  Anas Penelope

50+ seen at Tsengwen and 10 birds counted at Longluan Lake


Eurasian Teal  Anas crecca

200+ were present on pools at Tsengwen estuary


Garganey  Anas querquedula

20+  on pools at Tsengwen


Mallard  Anas platyrhynchos

5 at Longluan Lake


Eastern Spot-billed Duck  Anas zonorhyncha

5 birds at Longluan Lake


Northern Pintail  Anas acuta

At least 2 birds noted Tsengwen estuary


Northern Shoveler  Anas clypeata

Around 25 birds at Tsengwen and 10 at Longluan Lake


Tufted Duck  Aythya fuligula

100+ on Longluan Lake


Greylag Goose  Anser anser

Described as an accidental winter visitor to Taiwan, we noted 2 small groups at Longluan Lake, totaling about 15 birds and indeed a new species on my Taiwan list.


Osprey  Pandion haliaetus

A bird seen en-route on the freeway near Miaoli and 1 bird present at Longluan Lake.


Oriental Honey-buzzard  Pernis ptilorhynchus

A few birds seen almost daily.


Black-shouldered Kite  Elanus caeruleus

I’m not sure sightings of this species have become more regular in Taiwan lately. Mark Brazil does note it only as a local resident on Kinmen island (belongs to Taiwan), not as  present on mainland Taiwan. The species does get increasingly recorded in E China though. We did see 2 birds, both from the freeway and on our journey between Chiali and Dongshih. Another surprise find and write-in species on our trip list. Of course also new on my Taiwan list.


Black-eared Kite  Milvus lineatus

Scarce and local in Taiwan with perhaps a population of less than a 100 birds, but we were lucky to see 1 near Dapeng Bay. My second ever sighting in Taiwan.


Crested Serpent-Eagle  Spilornis cheela hoya

A total of 8 birds seen on this trip.


Crested Goshawk  Accipiter trivirgatus formosae

At least 6 birds noted during the tour.


Japanese Sparrowhawk   Accipiter gularis

Seen only once, at Anmashan.


Besra  Accipiter virgatus fuscipectus

Seen perched at Huben.


Eurasian Sparrowhawk  Accipiter nisus

Seen twice on this trip.


Grey-faced Buzzard  Butastur indicus

We obviously catched some late raptor migration in the Kenting area. Three late Grey-faced Buzzards together were busy making their way south over Longluan Lake.


Eastern Buzzard  Buteo japonicus

The same as above applies for this species. Three singles seen on migration at Longluan lake.


Black Eagle   Ictinaetus malayensis

Some amazing encounters with this one. Twice we got a bird good for eye-level views to enjoy and at Bedongyueshan we had a bird perched which is apparently very rare to come by as they usually perch inside the forest interior. Our bird enjoyed some early hour sunshine at the forest edge. A total of 5 birds seen during our trip.


Mountain Hawk-Eagle  Spizaetus nipalensis

Certainly scarce in Taiwan and we did better than average with 3 sightings. All at Anmashan and all three at different elevation.


Eurasian Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus

A good number of this increasingly scarce species in East Asia with 5 birds seen.


Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus

One bird seen Longluan Lake, a winterer only in Taiwan and good to see.


Taiwan Partridge  Arborophila crudigularis  Near-threatened (NT)  Country endemic

At Bedongyueshan, 2 birds flushed one by one and  at close range on the track gave reasonably good flight views before disappearing and later on we got another bird that  flew in to playback. Heard also at Anmashan and Huisun Forest Reserve.


Chinese Bamboo-Partridge  Bambusicola thoracica sonorivox  Near-endemic

A nice group of 10+ birds scurried across the track near the tea plantation clearing at Bedongyueshan. Plenty more heard throughout the tour.


Swinhoe's Pheasant  Lophura swinhoii  Near-threatened (NT)  Country endemic

A superb male posed also on this tour  for photos at Anmashan.  Then at Bedongyueshan we saw 2 more males and no less than 5 females. On the Blue Gate track near Wushe, 1 male and 2 females were seen. In total we got an amazing 11 different birds seen on the tour, a record so far.


Mikado Pheasant  Syrmaticus mikado  Near-threatened (NT)  Country endemic

Another “Pheasant record” and one I won’t beat easily again… No less than 16 different birds seen on the tour must be good! It all started with a superb group of 4 males and 3 females at Anmashan, which we watched for 20 minutes and at a range of up to just 4 meters away while they simply kept foraging undisturbed in the roadside grasses. An unforgettable experience and so good to see these birds be so confiding as a result of zero hunting pressure. Rare enough in Asia! We went on to score on Mikado’s at Yushan NP  despite the rainy weather. A good start we made  with 3 females  encountered on our first evening, then on the next morning we got 3 males by the roadside first thing, then little  later another  2 males and a female.


(Rudy-breasted Crake)  Porzana fusca

A dead bird by the roadside at Longluan Lake.


Common Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus

Longluan Lake and Jiji endemic research station.


Eurasian Coot  Fulica atra

10 birds at Longluan Lake


Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus

Small numbers at Tsengwen and Longluan


Oriental Pratincole  Glareola maldivarum

A single bird seen near Longluan Lake.


Northern Lapwing  Vanellus vanellus

A scarce winter visitor to Taiwan, we got 1 bird at Longluan Lake.


Pacific Golden-Plover  Pluvialis fulva

Good number at Tsengwen and Longluan.


Grey Plover  Pluvialis squatarola

10+ at Tsengwen


Little Ringed Plover  Charadrius dubius

2 birds seen Tsengwen and 50+ in wet fields near Longluan Lake


Kentish Plover  Charadrius alexandrinus

Small numbers Tsengwen


Lesser Sandplover  Charadrius mongolus

Small numbers at Tsengwen


Bar-tailed Godwit  Limosa lapponica

A single bird at Tsengwen


Whimbrel  Numenius phaeopus

Single bird seen on coast en-route to Kenting.


Eurasian Curlew  Numenius arquata

3 birds at Tsengwen


Far Eastern Curlew  Numenius madagascariensis

1 bird at Tsengwen


Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos

Tsengwen, Longluan and 1 at Lushan


Spotted Redshank  Tringa erythropus

Single bird at Tsengwen


Common Greenshank  Tringa nebularia

Small numbers Tsengwen and Longluan


Marsh Sandpiper  Tringa stagnatilis

Good numbers Tsengwen and few Longluan


Wood Sandpiper  Tringa glareola

Few Tsengwen, Longluan and also noted en-route to Wushe.


Common Redshank  Tringa totanus

5+ birds at  Tsengwen


Red-necked Stint  Calidris ruficollis

Good number at Tsengwen


Little Stint  Calidris minuta

2 birds at Tsengwen


Long-toed Stint  Calidris subminuta

10+  birds noted Tsengwen and a single Longluan


Curlew Sandpiper  Calidris ferruginea

500+ Tsengwen


Dunlin  Calidris alpina

Approx. 10 birds seen at Tsengwen


Saunders’ Gull  Larus saundersi

Always nice to get and we enjoyed 3 birds at Tsengwen.


Little Tern  Sternula albifrons

Several on coast near Tsengwen


Caspian Tern  Hydroprogne caspia

50+ birds near Tsengwen


Whiskered Tern  Chlidonias hybrida

5+ birds noted near Tsengwen, 10 near Dapeng Bay


Common Tern  Sterna hirundo

2 Tsengwen, 1 Longluan


Great Crested Tern  Thalasseus bergii

A single bird out to sea at Tsengwen.


Ashy Wood-Pigeon  Columba pulchricollis

Seen on 4 tour dates, with a max. of 20 birds at the Blue Gate track near Wushe.


Oriental Turtle-Dove  Streptopelia orientalis orii



Red Collared-Dove  Streptopelia tranquebarica

common Tsengwen and coast


Spotted Dove  Streptopelia chinensis formosona

fairly common in lowlands throughout


White-bellied Pigeon  Treron sieboldii soronius

Lots more birds around of this species than on previous visits in April. Seen on 7 tour dates with approx. 50 birds seen at Anmashan, another 50 or so at Bedongyueshan and 20+ at the Blue Gate track. Remember that this isn’t an easy to get species on the Asian mainland…


Collared Owlet  Glaucidium brodiei pardalotum

Heard Bedongyueshan and Anmashan


Silver-backed Needletail  Hirundapus cochinchinensis formosanus

The beautiful clear weather enjoyed on the first 5 days of our journey provided us with plenty sightings of this species up in the blue skies… At least 10 birds daily at Anmashan, 30+ at Bedongyueshan, and also seen Blue Gate track Wushe.


Fork-tailed Swift  Apus pacificus

Singles noted at Anmashan.


House Swift  Apus nipalensis stictomus

Good for sightings on all tour dates.


Common Kingfisher  Alcedo atthis

A single bird at Tsengwen and another in the river at Anmashan while watching Brown Dipper.


Taiwan Barbet  Megalaima nuchalis  Country endemic

Recorded on most tour dates with a max. of 5 birds seen in a single day.


Grey-capped Woodpecker  Dendrocopos canicapillus kaleensis

Heard Anmashan and Huisun, seen at Chung Yang Farm and we saw at least 5 birds at Jiji endemic station.


White-backed Woodpecker  Dendrocopos leucotos insularis

Two sightings at Anmashan


Grey-headed Woodpecker  Picus canus tancolo

Definitely scarce and easy to miss in Taiwan but we taped in 1 bird at Anmashan with later 2 birds seen close to the first location. Then a single bird was also seen at Bedongyueshan.


Oriental Skylark  Alauda gulgula  wattersi

A single bird at Tsengwen seen singing high up in the air.


Grey-throated Martin  Riparia chinensis chinensis

3  birds seen at Tsengwen and 1 Longluan Lake


Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica

Few in the lowlands.


Pacific Swallow  Hirundo tahitica namiyei

fairly common at lower altitudes + coast, noted on all  tour dates


Asian Martin  Delichon dasypus nigrimentalis

common at higher altitudes


Striated Swallow  Cecropis striolata striolata

fairly common, usually in and  near towns


Richard’s Pipit  Anthus richardi

1 bird only, near Longluan Lake


White Wagtail  Motacilla alba

Several single birds noted on the tour, mainly in the Wushe area (leucopsis)


Eastern Yellow Wagtail  Motacilla flava

taivana (Green-headed Wagtail), 15+  birds seen  en-route to  Wushe

tschutschensis (Alaska Wagtail), 2 birds Tsengwen


Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea

Few throughout but seen on all tour dates.


Grey-chinned Minivet  Pericrocotus solaris

Fairly common


Collared Finchbill  Spizixos semitorques cinereicapillus  Near-endemic

Surprisingly absent from Anmashan, Huisun and Chung Yang farm near Wushe. We noted a few though at Huben.


Styan's Bulbul  Pycnonotus taivanus Endemic

Plenty seen at Longluan Lake.


Chinese Bulbul  Pycnonotus sinensis formosae



Black Bulbul  Hypsipetes leucocephalus nigerrimus



Flamecrest  Regulus goodfellowi  Country endemic

Quite a few sightings and plenty more heard Anmashan, also heard Bedongyueshan and Hehuan Pass.


Brown Dipper  Cinclus pallasii

We found 3 birds at Anmashan of which 1 gave good close views. The other two at 1 point disappeared under a waterfall which must presumably have been their nesting spot.


Winter Wren  Troglodytes troglodytes taivanus

Only one seen, at Hehuan Pass.


Alpine Accentor  Prunella collaris fennelli

Two birds by the top  parking lot on Hehuan Pass.


Blue Rock-Thrush  Monticola solitarius

Two birds seen near Longluan Lake.


Taiwan Whistling-Thrush  Myophonus insularis  Country endemic

Several sightings Anmashan, also Wushe and Yushan NP.


Scaly Thrush  Zoothera dauma

Four individuals seen, great views of 1 at Anmashan and then singles at Wushe and Yushan NP.


Eye-browed Thrush  Turdus obscurus

Seen on 4 tour dates with max. 10+ at Chung Yang Farm near Wushe.


Taiwan Shortwing  Brachypteryx goodfellowi  Country endemic

1 bird seen Anmashan top walk, then great views on the Blue Gate track Wushe, total 4 birds seen, more heard.


Striated Prinia  Prinia crinigera striata

Few seen  Chung Yang Farm, heard Anmashan.


Plain Prinia  Prinia inornata flavirostris

Few seen Tsengwen


Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler  Cettia fortipes robustipes

Few seen at Anmashan, one bird only got briefly into song once (autumn).


Yellowish-bellied Bush-Warbler  Cettia acanthizoides concolor

Seen well at Anmashan top (also song here) and photographed at Huhuan pass.


(Taiwan Bush-Warbler)  Bradypterus alishanensis  Country endemic

Not usually singing at this time of year, although I thought once to hear a few bits of song at Anmashan but nothing thereafter to confirm this. In the same location we followed movements of a Bush-warbler through dense vegetation as it called continuously and different from both previous species on this list. It was then seen briefly in flight and might have well been a Taiwan Bush-Warbler. While Taiwan Bush-Warbler is tricky to find in November, it must be said that almost all of the other important target species on Taiwan are pretty vocal indeed in this season with equal chances on sightings as would be in the breeding season. Add the much greater chance on good weather, which is important with most endemics having a home in the mountains, and one knows that November indeed is a prime season for birding in Taiwan. On this trip we enjoyed 5 full days in a row with brilliant blue skies and quite a bit of interesting migration going on still.


Yellow-browed Warbler  Phylloscopus inornatus

heard Huisun Forest Reserve


Arctic Warbler  Phylloscopus borealis

2 birds seen at Jijhi endemic research station


Rufous-faced Warbler  Abroscopus albogularis

Fairly common


Snowy-browed Flycatcher  Ficedula hyperythra innexa

A female seen at Anmashan while a male showed well at Bedongyueshan.


Vivid Niltava  Niltava vivida vivida

Several sightings Anmashan, then at one time on the Blue Gate track we basically got surrounded by 6 or 7 birds when they came in from all sides on tape playback –extremely responsive for autumn!


White-browed Robin  Tarsiger indicus formosana

Definitely seen more of those than on the average April visit with regular sightings on the higher altitudes at Anmashan including some fine males showing well. Also seen in the Wushe area.


Collared Bush-Robin  Tarsiger johnstoniae  Country endemic

Daily sightings at Anmashan,  and few at Yushan NP and in the Wushe area.


Plumbeous Redstart  Rhyacornis fuliginosa affinis

Common along streams and waterfalls; Anmashan, en-route Bedongyueshan, Wushe area, Yushan.


Daurian Redstart  Phoenicuris auroreus

Another one not normally on the list for a late spring visit but this November was good for a fine male and 4 females seen in the Wushe area where they favoured the fruit orchards.


White-tailed Robin  Cinclidium leucurum montium

Three sightings at Anmashan with more birds heard singing.


Little Forktail  Enicurus scouleri fortis

Seen on 2 dates  on a small waterfall at Anmashan.


Siberian Stonechat  Saxicola maurus

Single bird seen at Hehuan pass.


Black-naped Monarch  Hypothymis azurea oberholseri

Fairly common with regular sightings.


Taiwan Hwamei  Garrulax taewanus  Country endemic

1 bird heard at a roadside stop en-route to Huisun, 4 birds showed at Chung Yang Farm and 1 seen briefly at Longluan Lake.


White-whiskered Laughingthrush  Garrulax morrisonianus  Country endemic

Fairly common at higher altitudes of Anmashan, Hehuan and Yushan.


Steere’s Liocichla  Liocichla steerii  Country endemic

common throughout in the mountains


Black-necklaced Scimitar-Babbler  Pomatorhinus erythrocnemis  Country endemic

Two calling birds at Anmashan showed after some work and persistence put in. At Bedongyueshan we obtained good views of a couple birds more easily.


Taiwan Scimitar-Babbler  Pomatorhinus musicus  Country endemic

Pretty vocal in November which resulted in quite a few more sightings than on our tour last April. Seen at Anmashan, Huisun Forest Reserve, Wushe area and Huben.


Taiwan Wren-Babbler  Pnoepyga formosana  Country endemic

Anmashan might not be the best spot to connect with this species and we gave up on a bird singing from dense vegetation knowing more and better chances would come up later on the tour. And indeed, some good sightings followed at Blue Gate track and at Bedongyueshan where 1 bird performed brilliant and close by in sparse undergrowth for excellent looks.


Rufous-capped Babbler Stachyris ruficeps praecognita

Fairly common and vocal.


Taiwan Barwing  Actinodura morrisoniana  Country endemic

3 different sightings on this tour again. We first got a few birds at Anmashan, then 1 bird at Bedongyueshan which is not the most regular spot for the species and later on we saw another 2 birds on the Blue Gate track.


Taiwan Fulvetta  Alcippe formosana  Country endemic

Quite a few seen Anmashan top walk and on the Blue Gate track Wushe.


Dusky Fulvetta  Alcippe brunnea brunnea

Two birds seen at Anmashan and we watched 4 birds at close range for 15 min. at  Bedongyueshan.


Grey-cheeked Fulvetta  Alcippe morrisonia morrisonia



White-eared Sibia  Heterophasia auricularis  Country endemic



Taiwan Yuhina  Yuhina brunneiceps  Country endemic

fairly common in flocks


White-bellied Erpornis  Erpornis zantholeuca

Two birds seen at Huben.


Vinous-throated Parrotbill  Paradoxornis webbianus bulomachus

About 10 birds at Chung Yang Farm seen well and we saw another 4 birds at Anmashan on the last tour day.


Black-throated Tit  Aegithalos concinnus

fairly common


Coal Tit  Periparus ater ptisolus

seen only at Anmashan top


Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus insperatus

fairly common and regularly encountered


Yellow Tit  Macholophus holsti  Near-threatened (NT)  Country endemic

4 + 2 birds seen at Anmashan on different dates.


Varied Tit  Sittiparus varius castaneoventris

They were easy at Huisun last April but proved difficult to find on this trip. After much effort just 1 bird came into view in the end and only briefly at that.


Eurasian Nuthatch  Sitta europaea

Regular encounters at Anmashan and Bedongyueshan


Plain Flowerpecker  Dicaeum concolor uchidai

Only 1 bird seen, at Anmashan, but more heard, also on the Blue Gate Track.


Fire-breasted Flowerpecker  Dicaeum ignipectum formosum

Seen twice, at Anmashan and Bedongyueshan, more heard.


Japanese White-eye  Zosterops japonicus simplex



Brown Shrike  Lanius cristatus

A few seen near Tsengwen and about 10 birds around Longluan Lake


Long-tailed Shrike  Lanius schach formosae

4 birds seen en-route along the coast


Black Drongo  Dicrurus macrocercus harterti

fairly common


Bronzed Drongo  Dicrurus aeneus brounianus

Regular sightings at Anmashan and also seen Huben.


Eurasian Jay  Garrulus glandarius taivanus

Regular encounters at Anmashan and 1 seen on the Blue Gate track.


Taiwan Blue Magpie  Urocissa caerulea  Country endemic

We enjoyed great views of 2 different groups at Huisun Forest Reserve.


Grey Treepie  Dendrocitta formosae formosae



Eurasian Magpie  Pica pica

A single bird en-route near Tsengwen and 1 near the airport.


Eurasian Nutcracker  Nucifraga caryocatactes owstoni

Up to 5 birds daily at Anmashan.


Large-billed Crow  Corvus macrorhynchos

small numbers throughout


Javan Myna  Acridotheres javanicus  Introduced

several noted en-route throughout


Common Myna  Acridotheres tristis  Introduced

Single bird noted.


White-shouldered Starling  Sturnus sinensis

A nice surprise with 8 birds seen near Longluan Lake, Kenting.


Eurasian Tree Sparrow  Passer montanus



White-rumped Munia  Lonchura striata

Small numbers at Anmashan and Chung Yang Farm.


Scaly-breasted Munia  Lonchura punctulata

Few at Tsengwen and Longluan Lake.


Vinaceous Rosefinch  Carpodacus vinaceus formosanus

A female gave great views at km 47, Anmashan.


Brambling  Fringilla montifringilla

A nice surprise find at Anmashan top walk. Brambling is a rare/accidental winter visitor to Taiwan.


Brown Bullfinch  Pyrrhula nipalensis uchidae

We had scope views of 2 birds on a first brief visit to the Blue Gate Track. The next morning 5 birds showed there nearby the first spot.


Beavan’s Bullfinch  Pyrrhula erythaca owstoni

Lots of berries around on the Anmashan top walk made it easy for us to find this otherwise tricky species. A nice group of 5 birds showed at close range for as long as we wanted as they were busy feeding.


Black-faced Bunting  Emberiza spodocephala

5 birds seen at Chung Yang Farm near Wushe.


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