Thursday, 21 May 2015

Sichuan: Longcanggou Forest Park

I flew out of Abu Dhabi to Chengdu, in Sichuan province in China on 22nd May. The flight was uneventful, but on arrival my driver was one & half hours late! Not a good start! We drove through the darkness & arrived at the hotel very late & I tumbled into bed, not really knowing where I was. I was of course on the edge of Longcanggou Forest Park,  a mixture of  deciduous forest at lower altitudes, but as you climb, this slowly changes to coniferous forest & finally more open areas. The area has been heavily logged in the past, but the forest still holds good numbers of birds.

Longcanggou Hotel.

Found in most Chines Hotels!

 The rough track up the mountain.

Good deciduous forest still exists.

This is the kind of habitat for Red Panda.
I didn't manage to see one though.

I was up at 5.15 am on 23rd May & drove about 7.5 kms up the mountain. Where the car was parked & I walked further up the mountain birding.

Female Plumbeous Redstart

Rufous gorgeted Flycatcher

Fire-capped Tit

 Aberrant Bush Warbler

Sichuan Leaf Warbler

Large billed Leaf Warbler

 Golden breasted Fulvetta

 White collared Yuhina

 Mrs Gould's Sunbird

Best birds were: a female Lady Amherst's Pheasant by the side of the track.Grey capped Pygmy Woodpecker; 15 White-throated Needletail; Long tailed Minivet; Plumbeous Redstart; Rufous gorgeted Flycatcher; Fire-capped Tit; Brownish flanked Bush Warbler; Aberrant Bush Warbler; Sichuan Leaf Warbler; Large-billed Warbler; Kloss's Leaf Warbler; Marten's Warbler; Red-winged Laughing Thrush; Red-billed Leiothrix; Golden breasted Fulvetta; White collared Yuhina; Brown Parrotbill; Grey hooded Parrotbill; Mrs Gould's Sunbird; 

Later in the day I worked the lower elevation forest closer to the hotel. A few migrants around in the gardens, but nothing special.

On the 24th May I was again up early & birded the mid elevation forest, then walked back down the mountain towards the hotel.

A shockingly bad photo of a Emei Liocichia.
But it is a very rare & localized endemic!

 Blue-winged Minla.

Additional species recorded included: Himalayan & Lesser Cuckoo; Northern Booboook; Red billed Blue Magpie; Brown Bush Warbler; Emei Liocichia; Golden Parrotbill; Blue-winged Minla & Vinaceous Rosefinch.


The hotel where I stayed for two nights.

In the afternoon we drove to Luding. This was a tiring journey on the main highway, but slow going because of all the trucks on the road. Luding was not a pretty town but very strategically placed to bird the nearby Erlang Shan.

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