Friday, 20 September 2013

Recovering from bad news!

It was nice to be in Xinang again, a comfortable place to stay with good food & good beer.

 It is a bright, clean & very modern city
 of over 2 million people!

What could possibly go wrong? Well it went wrong, & badly! We received news from my wife Carol that China had just closed down Tibet to foreigners! We were supposed to catch the train to Lhasa & then fly back. But that plan was stopped in its tracks! Jesper arranged a side trip for us to bird a nice area of mountains with good forest, only a few hours drive away. So we hid our disappointment & went along with the plan.
Wonderful scenic, green valleys, 
cloaked with dense scrub & forest.

Birding on very steep ridges, 
was a bit of a challenge!

All this shagging up & down mountains 
took it's toll on some!

Mike, taking a leaf ,or was it a branch ,
out of a Panda's book & building himself a den, 
as protection from the passing storm.

Blue-eared Pheasant - 
the reason we were walking all those ridges!

Spotted Bush Warblers were in the scrub
 along the ridge tops.

 We had a genuine surprise waiting for us. 
Our hotel was newly built, modern & clean!

There was also an extra bonus - it was smack bang 
in the middle of the national park
 & on that cliff behind it was this...


Of course, all the best birding areas 
were on the other side of the river - again!

 At first walking was easy!

 But, of course, we climbed higher!

Stunning forested valley.

We all had some of our best views ever
 of a Northern Goshawk!
 Chinese Nuthatches were common in the tall trees.

Przevalski's Nuthatch was also found
 in the same place.

The stunning Chestnut Thrush was also
 in good numbers in the forest.

With a bit of tape playback, we saw this fantastic
 male White-bellied Redstart.

 White-throated Redstart - a real stunner!

The female was also helping out!

I think we all enjoyed our two days here. It made a welcome change from the very high altitude of the previous few weeks. We saw some great birds in a great location & we had a clean room, with a soft bed to sleep on!

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