Sunday, 18 May 2014

Taiwan: Aowanda & the quest for Fairy Pitta!

It rained hard all night! We put on our wet clothes from yesterday on once more! Lovely! It was just getting light outside, but dawn was delayed by the ever darkening skies. The rain stopped! We went out searching for Taiwan Bamboo Partridge. We looked hard, kept hearing them, but no sign. Then I spotted a pair deep in the bush, but fortunately they came out into the open to feed. And what fine birds they were too!
Searching for the Taiwanese Bamboo Partridges at dawn.
 It was wet!
 Taiwan Bamboo Partridge -soon to be split?

This was a superb, very scenic area,
which we didn't get the best out of, because of the rain.

Other birds were in short supply & as the heavens opened up yet again we spotted a couple of Taiwan Blue Magpies, but it was impossible to get a shot, in the ever worsening light. The only other birds of note here were 3 White-bellied Green Pigeons flying over. By now it was impossible to bird, so after a quick breakfast we hit the road to drive to Daoliou City & Yunlin, one of the few sites for Fairy Pitta.

Searching for Dusky Fulvetta,
which we eventually found.
The very colourful Taiwan Barbet.
Taiwan Scimitar Babbler.
After a couple of hours in the bus, we arrived & it had briefly stopped raining. We birded an agricultural valley with lots of secondary forest & bamboo. Good birds included: Taiwan Barbet; 4 Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpeckers; both Black & Bronzed Drongos; several Pacific Swallows; a pair of Yellow-bellied Prinia; 4 very confiding Dusky Fulvettas & 3 Taiwan Scimitar Babblers.  
 We were on the right track!

 The road to the Pitta!

Beautiful orchids were festooned
around the trees.

We picked up our local guide who took us through the village & out into a valley, where we quickly found a scrum of Taiwanese bird photographers & in their midst, a pair of breeding Fairy Pittas! They seemed oblivious to all the disturbance & put on a great show for us.
 The magnificent & rare, Fairy Pitta.
One of the birds of the trip!

The other great bird here was the very secretive Black-neck laced Scimitar Babbler. They gave us the run around, but eventually we all obtained good views, but no photos.
The dramatic & interesting temple.

It had started to rain again, so we backtracked back through the village, admiring a temple en route to the bus. The rest of the day was spent driving to our hotel for the night.

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