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.
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
Aberrant Bush Warbler
Sichuan Leaf Warbler
Golden breasted Fulvetta
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.
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.
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.
A shockingly bad photo of a Emei Liocichia.
But it is a very rare & localized endemic!
The hotel where I stayed for two nights.