Taiwan, November 7th - 19th 2006

Published by Jo Ann MacKenzie (j.a.mackenzie AT telus.net)

Participants: Simon Liao, Jo Ann MacKenzie, Leaders (Birding in Taiwan tour)


Report by Jo Ann MacKenzie, Taiwan International Birding Association
www.birdingintaiwan.com; www.birdingintaiwan.org

Taiwan is a mountainous island in the South China Sea, about 175 km (110 mi.) off the Chinese mainland. The forested beauty of the island led Portuguese sailors in 1590 to call it Ilha Formosa, meaning “Beautiful Island.” The tropic of Cancer passes through the southern part of the island.

Participants arrived in Taiwan early, and had a day’s birding with Simon Liao in the Taipei area before the tour formally began. Among the species seen that day was FORMOSAN MAGPIE in Yangminshan National Park. That was the only day that the magpie was seen, therefore it is not included on the official Trip Results List. Because tour participants were satisfied with that sighting, the tour itinerary was adjusted to omit other Formosan Magpie habitat in favour of more time in higher mountain habitats.

Tuesday, November 7, To Dasyueshan

We started up the Mt. Tahsueh Road to Dasyueshan, stopping for a leg-stretch now and then, and coming upon Collared Finchbill, Crested Goshawk and Crested Serpent-Eagle on the way. We stopped at the observation platform at Km 23.5, where Idesia polycarpa trees were in fruit. In fall and winter, the trees’ red berries attract many birds. On that day, the Idesia and other trees held WHITE-EARED SIBIA, STEERE'S LIOCICHLA, YELLOW TIT, Black-throated and Green-backed Tits, Eurasian Nuthatch, Gray-cheeked Fulvetta, Gray-chinned Minivet and a transient Mugimaki Flycatcher. An Oriental Honey-Buzzard and 3 White-throated Needletails appeared overhead. Intermittent fog rising from the valley occasionally made viewing difficult.

Continuing on, we crossed a very steep, precipitous slope on a new, sturdy, concrete bridge, situated well away from the crumbling face of the slope, and which replaces the two former roads that were destroyed by typhoons in 2004 and 2005. Soon after, we arrived at the Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area in the Anmashan mountain range. Stopping along the road again, we located TAIWAN BARWIING, TAIWAN YUHINA, and Rusty Laughingthrush. Making use of the remaining daylight, we went straight to Trail 210 where a Pygmy Wren-Babbler bathed in a puddle on the path; Collared Bush-Robin, Black-throated Tit, Eurasian Jay were also seen and White-browed Shortwing was heard. After dark we continued to the Visitor Center, supper and our cottages.

Wednesday, November 8 Dasyueshan

We were out at first light and walked Trail 210 again, but no pheasants were found. We drove higher, to Hsiaolaishan (Shiaosyueshan), 2600 m (8,530 ft.), where we found several WHITE-WHISKERED LAUGHNGTHRUSH , Golden Parrotbill and a briefly, out-of-season-singing TAIWAN BUSH-WARBLER skulked frustratingly along with a Brambling. We had a somewhat better look at a party of White-throated Needletail overhead.

In the afternoon, we tried Trail 210 again, finding Scaly Thrush, but still no pheasants.

Thursday, November 9 Dasyueshan to Chingjing

STEERE'S LIOCICHLAS began to vocalize at 4 a.m, but we didn’t have to get up until 5. At 6 we were on the road to Hsiaolaishan again, watching for the Mikado Pheasants that park staff told us they often see along that road…but not that day. We returned to the Visitor Center for breakfast, and spent the rest of the morning back on Trail 210; the leaders staying behind in hopes that the smaller group on the trail would have better success with pheasants. Unfortunately, still none. We would have to try again, elsewhere.

We left the park. On our way down the mountain, we were surprised to discover a Siberian Flycatcher, a rare transient in Taiwan, perched on a snag.

Between Fengyuan and Dongshih, we stopped at the Shihgang Dam on the Dajia River (Tachia Hsi), where the river had become a waterfall after the severe (M7.3) earthquake of September 21, 1999. (The earthquake’s epicentre was near the town of Chichi in Nantou County.) Great and Little Egrets fed in the river; Plain Martins flew overhead.

Following lunch in Taichung, we drove back into the mountains, on Highway 14 to Chingjing. After checking into the Chingjing Resort, we headed on up to the Meifeng area and the Rueiyan River Trail, “Blue Gate 2” section, to look for pheasants. We found White-bellied Pigeon, Vivid Niltava and heard White-browed Shortwing and Taiwan Macaque. As the afternoon faded into twilight, we hoped for pheasants, but were disappointed, again.

Friday, November 10 Chingjing–Meifeng

After an early “birders’ breakfast”, we returned to the Rueiyan River Trail, this time the “Blue Gate #1” section. We were heartened to find fresh tracks of Swinhoe’s Pheasant and the smaller Taiwan Partridge in the mud. We heard the Partridge calling, but could not see it. Again, to increase the group’s chances with pheasants, the leaders withdrew—but the tactic didn’t help. However, other species seen included TAIWAN YUHINA, WHAITE-EARED SIBIA, White-browed Shortwing, Black-throated Tit, Black-browed Barbet (endemic-to-be), Ashy Wood-Pigeon, Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler, and Crested Goshawk overhead. A return to Blue Gate #2 produced 6 Eye-browed Thrushes, but no pheasants.

After lunch, we drove a very rough back road (under repair) to a different mountain, Beidongyanshan, for another pheasant search. This time a female SWINHOE'S PHEASANT was glimpsed.

Saturday, November 11 Chingjing to Fushih

We tried the Blue Gate #1 area yet again, finding TAIWAN YUHINA, WHITE-EARED SIBIA, along the trail; Black-throated Tit, Spot-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Ashy Wood-Pigeon, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker along the road, Mountain Hawk-Eagle and a small flock of White-throated Needletail overhead.

Giving up on pheasants in this area this time, we drove higher, to Hehuanshan, just inside the western entrance of Taroko National Park. During the climb, we were surprised to see that the highway was infested with motorcycles in a hurry, passing us on both sides, and taking some life-threatening risks. “What’s this all about?” we wondered. On reaching the motorcycle-jam-packed parking area at Wuling (“Big Wind”) at 3275 m (10,750 ft.), we found out—there was a cycle rally in progress. Hundreds of motorcyclists had gathered for a brief time, then would rush back down the mountain. We would not have to contend with them any farther. In spite of the noise and crowd of people, we found a dozen Alpine Accentors on the rocks around and below the lookout.

Continuing on, we found a Bronzed Drongo and Winter Wren below Hohuan Youth Hostel. FLAMECREST and Gray-headed Bullfinch were in the fir and hemlock trees behind the High Altitude Experimental Station of the Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute and the Visitor Center at Shiaofongkou (“Little Wind Gap”).

Making several stops, we continued down the east side of the mountain, finding several STYAN'S BULBULS on the way. We continued on to Fushih, at the park’s east gate, for the night.

Sunday, November 12 Fushih to Taitung

After early morning birding around Fushih (more STYAN'S BULBULS) and breakfast, we drove south a short distance along the east coast, then through the East Rift Valley National Scenic Area to Chihshang (Chrshang). Wind was blowing strongly from the northeast, making birding in the open, around Big Wave Pond difficult. Ring-necked Pheasant is an uncommon resident in Taiwan; we found 9 in Chihshang farmland. After lunch, we continued to Taitung.

We were supposed to fly to Lanyu Island in mid-afternoon, but all 6 daily flights to Lanyu had been cancelled due to the strong wind. So, we made a visit to Taitung’s excellent Museum of Pre-history instead. Late afternoon birding in Chihpen wetland was somewhat hampered by wind, but we did find wintering party of White-shouldered Starling. We spent the night at the Aboriginal Culture Hotel, and hoped for better conditions in the morning.

Monday, November 13 Taitung to Lanyu Island

We had a productive morning birding along the Lichia Trail near Chihpen, with superb views of a sub-adult Black Eagle. We also saw [Taiwan] Hwamei (endemic-to-be), Crested Serpent-Eagle, Maroon Oriole, Emerald Dove, Chinese Bamboo-Partridge, Yellow-browed Warbler, and Black-naped Monarch.

Back in Taitung, we had lunch at an aboriginal-owned restaurant, then went to the airport to try to get on a flight to Lanyu, along with everyone else whose flights had been cancelled yesterday. We succeeded in making the 3:45 p.m. flight, and 20 minutes later, landed on Lanyu Island. After checking in at the hotel and picking up our rental van, we drove to “Flycatcher Creek” where we walked down a rock-strewn dry creek bed in dense forest. There was a brief glimpse of a Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher in the dim and failing late afternoon light.

After supper, we went owling for Ryukyu “Lanyu” Scops-Owl, Otus elegans botelensis, endemic to Lanyu Island. We heard several and saw two; one just beyond the south edge of the village, and another in trees among village houses.

Tuesday, November 14 Lanyu Island to Kending

A pre-breakfast search for Whistling Green-Pigeon failed to find any. Philippine Cuckoo-Doves were scarce. In the ferry basin, we spotted a single Horned Grebe, vagrant in winter in Taiwan; Common Sandpiper, Snowy Plover, 20 Blue Rock-Thrush (19 philippensis and 1 pandoo subspecies; M. s. pandoo is vagrant), Several Brown-eared Bulbul and Lowland White-eye. Late morning showers turned to hard rain by noon, and the wind began to blow again. The 2:40 p.m. flight back to Taitung was “bumpy.” Rain continued with strong wind during the drive south to Kenting, where we stayed in the Kending Youth Activity Center. The attractive complex is built in the architectural style of Fujian in southern China.

Wednesday, November 15 Kenting to Tainan

The wind blew strongly all night and continued into the morning. On the way out of town in the early morning, we stopped at Long Luan Tan (Lake), but the wind interfered with birding. The rice crop had been harvested, and there was little cover for birds. Crakes and rails were not to be seen but we did find more STYAN'S BULBUL, Light-vented Bulbul, Purple Heron, and on the lake, Tufted Duck, Spot-billed Duck and Common Moorhen.

We departed Kending, continuing north and inland. We drove out of the northeast wind and back into hot, humid conditions. We could not find the last known pair of Black-naped Orioles at Inda Eco-Farm, but did find Asian Brown Flycatcher (uncommon transient), Gray-capped Woodpecker, Pale Thrush, Japanese Sparrowhawk (another uncommon transient), Gray Treepie, Black kite and Bronzed Drongo.

After lunch in Chiku (Cigu), we investigated wetland habitats in the Tainan-Chiku area, including the Tsengwen River Estuary where 579 Black-faced Spoonbills were wintering. Also there were 2 Saunders’ Gulls, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Curlew, Dunlin, and Sacred Ibis (introduced). Continuing to Sihcao wetland, we found Cinnamon Bittern, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Garganey, Pacific Golden and Black-bellied Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Lesser Sandplover, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, and Caspian Tern. Night in Tainan.

Thursday, November 16 Tainan to Alishan

In the morning, we drove north to the mouth of the Pachang River in Chiayi County. A Chinese Crested Tern had been found there in April, 1998, and we had a faint hope that we might be lucky enough to find another. We didn’t, but we did find a dark-morph Little Egret, only the second record for Taiwan. We also found Yellow Bittern, Black-headed Gull, Eastern Yellow Wagtail and hundreds of Whiskered Tern.

After lunch in Chiayi, we headed back into the mountains, to Alishan. We stopped in the Shihchou area on the way, for SWINHOE'S PHEASANT. Arriving at Alishan, we settled into our comfortable, heated cabins at the Alishan Youth Activity Center, at 2216 m (7,275 ft.). Rain and darkness prevented any more birding.

Friday, November 17 Alishan

We set out in darkness for Tataka Recreation Area in Yushan National Park, hoping to find MIKADO PHEASANT in the park. Success! A male pheasant fed peacefully along the roadside and we were able to quietly watch him for several very satisfying minutes. At the Couple Trees, there was a Dusky Thrush (eunomis race), Collared Bush-Robin, and Alpine Accentor nearby. We briefly joined a crowd of non-birders to watch the sunrise, an activity that brings thousands of tourists to Alishan each year. Reaching Tataka Recreation Area at 2600 m (8,536 ft.), there was very little bird activity except for a bold WHITE-WHISKERED LAUGHINGTHRUSH at our feet, several STEERE'S LIOCICHLA, Streak-throated Fulvetta, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Nutcracker, a White-browed Shortwing and Yellowish-bellied Bush-Warbler.

After lunch at the Tataka Visitor Center (noon temperature, 15°C; 59°F), we birded our way back toward Alishan and our cabins. Along the way, we found Brambling, WHITE-EARED SIBIA, TAIWAN BARWING, Rufous-capped Babbler, Black-throated and Green-backed Tit, and a large owl that disappeared into the forest before we could identify it. Two people had a fleeting glimpse of a Eurasian Woodcock, a rare winterer in Taiwan.

Saturday, November 18 Alishan to Changhua

We departed Alishan at 5:30 a.m. and headed down the mountain to the Shihchou area again. Birds seen along the steep side road above the village included TAIWAN PARTRIDGE and SWINHOE'S PHEASANT, TAIWAN YUHINA, White-bellied Yuhina, WHITE-EARED SIBIA, Black-browed Barbet, White-backed and Gray-capped Woodpeckers, Black Bulbul, FORMOSAN WHISTLING-THRUSH, Scaly and Pale Thrushes, Yellow-browed and Rufous-faced Warbler, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Vivid Niltava, Daurian Redstart, White-tailed Robin, Black-naped Monarch, STEERE'S LIOCICHLA, Black-throated and Green-backed Tits, Gray Treepie, another glimpsed Eurasian Woodcock, and many Large-billed Crows. A very successful morning, followed by lunch at the Firefly in Kwanghua.

After lunch, we continued to the lowlands, reaching the Changhua area in time for some late afternoon birding in the rice stubble fields of the Pinheur area (Huatan). We found a small party of White-cheeked Starlings perched on an overhead wire. Walking the edges of the fields, through patches of brush and around wet places, produced Barred Buttonquail, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Greater Painted-snipe, Common Snipe, Little Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Oriental Skylark, White Wagtail, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Zitting Cisticola, Brown Shrike, European Starling, Yellow and Black-faced Bunting (winterers), and many Eurasian Tree Sparrows.

After an ample supper at a Japanese hot pot restaurant, we retired to the Formosa Hotel.

Sunday, November 19 Taoyuan and Taipei

We drove north from Changhua to the small city of Sanchia in south western Taipei County to visit the unique Sanshia Tsu Sze Temple, popularly known as the “Bird Temple,” with over a hundred birds carved in wood, in relief on stone pillars and incised on stone panels. After lunch, we continued north to Taoyuan International Airport for evening departures. The rest of the group returned to Taipei to an exhibition of bird photos by K. K. Kuo. The tour concluded.

Results: All 15 endemic species were seen, but one of these, Formosan Magpie was seen only on the one-day pre-tour.

The total bird species for the formal tour was 183; a new November “high.’

Species Lists

Taxonomy, names and sequence follow Birds of the World, a Checklist, 5th edition, 2000, by James F. Clements, updated to December, 2005. Where the name in Clements differs from that in Birds of Taiwan, 1991, the Clements name is given first, followed by the Birds of Taiwan name in brackets. Species endemic to Taiwan are shown in bold all caps. Some birds were not seen by every person. Birds that were “heard only” or “leader only,” are indicated.

Place names
“shan” = “mountain” “tan” = “lake”
Alishan: Alishan National Forest Recreation Area
Blue Gate Trails: Meifeng (Meifong) area
Chihsang: Chihsang (Chrshang) city in northern Taitung County
Dasyueshan: Dasyueshan (Tashueshan) National Forest Recreation Area
Inda Eco-farm: private wildlife preserve in Pingtung County
Huatan: farming area south of Changhua city
Lichia Trail: near Chihpen (Jhihben)
Hsiaolaishan: in Dasyueshan (Tashueshan) National Forest Recreation Area
Kending: Kenting (Kenting) National Park
Long Luan Tan (Lungluantan): 175 hectare lake in Kending
Mt. Tahsueh Road: on the way to Dasyueshan (Tashueshan) National Forest Recreation Area
Pachang River mouth: north of Peimen city, Tainan County
Shihchou: private forest in Alishan area
Sihcao: Sihcao (Cihtao) Wildlife Preserve (wetland)
Taroko: Taroko National Park
Tsengwen River estuary: north of Tainan city

Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis [Podiceps ruficollis] – many in wetland habitats – Tainan-Chiku.
Horned Grebe, podiceps auritus – 1, Nov. 14, in the ferry basin, Lanyu Island. Vagrant.

Great Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo – 11 at coastal sites.

Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea – 9 in freshwater habitat.
Purple Heron, Ardea purpurea – 1, Long Luan Tan, Kending.
Great Egret, Ardea alba – abundant in wetland habitat.
Intermediate Egret, Egretta intermedia – 11, Lanyu Island; 30, Tainan-Chiku wetland.
Little Egret, Egretta garzetta – Abundant in fields, riverbeds and other wetland habitat, including 1 dark morph (Rare, 2nd record for Taiwan) at Pachang River mouth, Nov.16.
Pacific Reef Heron [Eastern Reef Heron], Egretta sacra – 5, Lanyu Island.
Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis – many in lowland habitat.
Black-crowned Night-Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax – 2, Sihcao.
Yellow Bittern [Chinese Little Bittern], Ixobrychus sinensis – 3, Tainan-Chiku wetland.

Black-faced Spoonbill, Platalea minor – 579, Tsengwen River estuary. Globally threatened.

Eurasian Wigeon, Anas penelope – 100, Tainan-Chiku wetland.
Gadwall, Anas strepera – 30, Tainan-Chiku wetland.
Eurasian Teal [Green-winged Teal] Anas crecca – 20, Tainan-Chiku wetland.
Mallard, Anas platyrhnchos – 2, Long Luan Tan, Kending.
Spot-billed Duck, Anas poecilorhyncha zonorhyncha – 4, Lanyu Island; 1, Big Wave Pond, Chihsang Park; 15, Long Luan Tan, Kending. (Sometimes called Chinese Spotbill. It lacks any red on the bill; there are also plumage differences. A. p. zonorhyncha is widespread over Palearctic east Asia.)
Garganey, Anas querquedula – Sihcao.
Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata – 30, Sihcao.
Tufted Duck, Aythya fuligula – 20, Long Luan Tan, Kending.

Osprey, Pandion haliaetus – 2, Lanyu Island; 1, Pachang River.
Oriental Honey-Buzzard [Honey Buzzard], Pernis ptilorhynchus [Pernis apivorus] – 1, Inda Eco-Farm.
Black Kite, Milvus migrans – 5, Inda Eco-Farm
Crested Serpent-Eagle, Spilornis cheela – 1, on the way to Dasyueshan NFRA; 3, Lichia Trail; 2, Inda Eco-Farm; 2, Shihchou.
Crested Goshawk, Accipiter trivirgatus – 1, on the way to Dasyueshan NFRA; 1, Blue Gate Trail #1; 2, Inda Eco-Farm.
Japanese Sparrowhawk [Japanese Lesser Sparrow Hawk], Accipiter gularis – 1, Chingjing; 1, Inda Eco-Farm.
Black Eagle [Indian Black Eagle], Ictinaetus malayensis – 1, Dasyueshan NFRA; 3, Lichia Trail; 1, Shihchou.
Mountain Hawk-Eagle [Hodgson’s Hawk Eagle], Spizaetus nipalensis – 1, over Blue Gate Trail #1.
Eurasian Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus – almost every day, total 20. Common in winter.

TAIWAN PARTRIDGE [TAIWAN HILL PARTRIDGE], Arborophila crudigularis – Heard on 5 mornings in mountain habitat; 1 seen at Shihchou.
Chinese Bamboo-Partridge [Bamboo Partridge], Bambusicola thoracica – Heard at Dashyushan, Blue Gate Trail #1, and Alishan; 1 seen at Beidongyenshan; 6 seen along Lichia Trail.
SWINHOE’S PHEASANT, Lophura swinhoii – 1, Blue Gate Trail #1; 1, Beidongyenshan; 3, Alishan; 1, Shihchou.
MIKADO PHEASANT, Syrmaticus Mikado – 1, Alishan, Nov. 17.
Ring-necked Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus – 9, Chihsang Park, Chihsang.
Barred Buttonquail, Turnix suscitator – 4, in brushy field at Huatan.

White-breasted Waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus – 2, Big Wave Pond, Chihsang; 5, Lanyu Island.
Ruddy-breasted Crake, Porzana fusca – 1, Big Wave Pond, Chihsang: 1, Huatan .
Common Moorhen [Moorhen], Gallinula chloropus – Common in marsh habitat.
Eurasian Coot [Coot], Fulica atra – 1, Big Wave Pond, Chihsang; 1, Lanyu Island.

Greater Painted-Snipe, Rostratula benghalensis – 3, in wet field, Huatan.

Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus – many at Long Luan Tan and Chiku wetland.

Pacific Golden-Plover [American Golden Plover], Pluvialis fulva [Pluvialis dominica] – Many in mudflats of Chiku wetland and Pachang River.
Black-bellied Plover, Pluvialis squatarola – 1, Chiku wetland; 2, Pachang River; 2, Taoyuan.
Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius – 4, Big Wave Pond, Chihsang; 10, Chiku wetland; 10, Pachang River; 5, Pachang River.
Snowy Plover [Kentish Plover], Charadrius alexandrinus – 2, Big Wave Pond, Chihsang; 5, Lanyu Island; over 100 at Chiku wetland and Pachang River.
Lesser Sandplover [Mongolian Plover], Charadrius mongolus – many, Chiku wetland.

Eurasian Woodcock, Scolopax rusticola – 1, Alishan, Nov. 17; 1, Shihchou, Nov. 18; both single- observer sightings. Rare winter visitor.
Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago – 1, wet field, Huatan.
Eurasian Curlew, Numenius arquata – 4, Lanyu Island; 2, Pachang River.
Common Redshank [Redshank], Tringa totanus – 4, Sihcao, Nov. 15; more than 50 at Pachang River.
Marsh Sandpiper, Tringa stagnatilis – 5, Sihcao.
Common Greenshank [Greenshank], Tringa nebularia – many in wetland habitat.
Green Sandpiper, Tringa ochropus – 1, on the beach at Taoyuan, near Taipei Taoyuan International Airport.
Wood Sandpiper, Tringa glareola – 5, Long Luan Tan, Kending; 1, wet field, Huatan.
Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos [Tringa hypoleucos] – 1, Dashyushan; 1, Big Wave Pond, Chihshang; 4, Lanyu Island; 1, Long Luan Tan, Kending; 1, wet garden plot at Taoyuan.
Red-necked Stint [Rufous-necked Stint], Calidris rufficollis – many in Sihcao and Chiku wetlands.
Curlew Sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea – 2, Pachang River.
Dunlin, Calidris alpina – many at Cihtao and Pachang River.

Black-headed Gull, Larus ridibundus – 20, Pachang River, Nov. 16.
Saunders’ Gull, Larus saundersi – 2, Chiku wetland; 5, Pachang River.

Caspian Tern, Sterna caspia – more than 100, Chiku wetland; 2, Pachang River.
Whiskered Tern, Chlidonias hybridus – more than 500, Pachang River, Nov. 16.
White-winged Tern, Chlidonias leucopterus – Pachang River.

Rock Pigeon [Rock Dove], Columba livia – many in varied habitats.
Ashy Wood-Pigeon, Columba pulchricollis – 1, Dashyushan; more than 50, Blue Gate Trails, Nov. 10 and 11.
Oriental Turtle-Dove [Rufous Turtle-Dove], Streptopelia orientalis – 2, Chingjing area; 8, Chihpen area; 1, Lanyu Island; more than 50, Alishan.
Red Collared-Dove [Red Turtle Dove], Streptopelia tranquebarica – seen almost every day at lower elevation, in various habitats.
Spotted Dove, Streptopelia chinensis – common in lowlands.
Philippine Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia tenuirostris – 3 (leader only), Lanyu Island.
Emerald Dove, Chalocophaps indica – 2, Lichia Trail; 1, Lanyu Island.
White-bellied Pigeon [Japanese Green Pigeon], Treron sieboldii [Sphenurus sieboldi] – 35, Blue Gate Trails #1 and #2.

Mountain Scops-Owl, Otus spilocephalus – 1, Km 23, Mt. Tahsueh Road.
Ryukyu Scops-Owl, Otus elegans botelensis – 2 seen, one in Hungtou village, another in the village outskirts; 3 others heard in the forest. “Lanyu” Scops Owl; Fairly common subspecies endemic to Lanyu Island.
Collared Owlet [Collared Pygmy Owlet], Claucidium brodiei – 2, heard before dawn, Dashyushan.

White-throated Needletail, Hirundapus caudacutus – 3, Km 23, Mt.Tahsueh Road, Nov. 7; 3, Hsiaolaishan, Nov. 8; 12, seen well, flying over Highway14 at the entrance to Blue Gate Trail #1 on Nov. 11.
Fork-tail Swift [Northern White-rumped Swift], Apus pacificus – 3 in Taroko Gorge.
House Swift, Apus nipalensis [Alpus affinis] – large numbers in open areas.

Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis – 2, Chiku wetland, Nov. 15; 2, Pachang River, Nov. 16.

Black-browed Barbet [Muller’s Barbet], Megalaima oorti nuchalis – Common; encountered almost daily except at highest elevations and on Lanyu Island.

Gray-capped Woodpecker [Gray-headed Pygmy Woodpecker], Dendrocopos canicapillus – 1, Km. 23, Mt. Tahsueh Road; 1, Dashyushan; 2, Inda Eco-farm, Nov. 15; 2, Shihchou, Nov. 18.
White-backed Woodpecker, Dendrocopos leucotos – 1 (leader only), Shihchou.

Oriental Skylark, Alauda gulgula – 1, field on the outskirts of Taitung; 4, Huatan fields.

Plain Martin [Brown-throated Sand Martin], Riparia paludicola – 6, Shihgang Dam; 5, Pachang River.
Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica – common in lowlands.
Pacific Swallow, Hirundo tahitica – very common in lowlands.
Striated Swallow, Hirundo striolata – common in lowlands. (See footnote 1.)
Asian Martin [House Martin], Delichon dasypus – 6, Dashyushan; 5, Taoyuan.

White Wagtail, Motacilla alba – 1, Beidongyenshan; 2, Big Wave Pond, Chihshang; 3, Huatan fields, Nov. 18 (all ssp. leucopsis); 1 (ocularis), wet garden plot at Taoyuan, Nov. 19..
Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla flava – 1, Sihtao Preserve; more than 50, Huatan fields on Nov. 18.
Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla tschutschensis – 2, Pachang River, Nov. 16; 1, Huatan fields, Nov. 18.
Gray Wagtail, Motacilla cinerea – 1, Dashyushan; 2, fields near Taitung; 2, Lanyu Island, Nov. 14.
Richard’s Pipit, Anthus richardi [Anthus novaeseelandiae] – 2, Big Wage Pond, Chihshang, Nov. 12; 1, Taoyuan.

Gray-chinned Minivet [Yellow-throated Minivet], Pericrocotus solaris – fairly common in appropriate habitat; mostly mid-elevation.

Collared Finchbill, Spizixos semitorques – 2, in scrub along the Mt. Tahsueh Road.
STYAN’S BULBUL [Taiwan Bulbul], Pycnonotu taivanus – Common in the lower parts of Taroko to Kending. Endemic species restricted to the extreme east and south of Taiwan.
Light-vented Bulbul [Chinese Bulbul], Pycnonotus sinensis – abundant at low to mid-elevations almost everywhere, except in Styan’s Bulbul habitat where small numbers may also be present.
Brown-eared Bulbul [Chestnut-eared Bulbul], Ixos amaurotis [Hyupsipetes amaurotis] – common on Lanyu Island.
Black Bulbul, Hypsipetes leucocephalus [H. madagascariensis] – common in wooded habitats.

FLAMECREST [TAIWAN FIRECREST], Regulus goodfellowi – 2, Hsiaolaishan; 10, in conifers behind the Visitor Center at Shiaofongkou (“Little Wind Gap”), Taroko.

Winter Wren [Wren], Troglodytes troglodytes – 1 (heard only), Hehuanshan,Taroko.

Alpine Accentor, Prunella collaris – 12, Wuling, (“Big Wind”), Hehuanshan, Taroko; 3, “The Couple Trees”, Yushan National Park.

Blue Rock-Thrush, Monticola solitarius – 1, Chihsang Park near Chihsang city, north of Taitung; 20 (19 M. s. philippensis, and 1 M. s. pandoo), Lanyu Island, Nov. 14 (M. s. pandoo is “Vagrant”); 1, Alishan.
FORMOSAN WHISTLING-THRUSH [TAIWAN WHISTLING-THRUSH], Myophonus insularis – 1 heard, Chingjing area; 3, mid-elevation in Taroko; 2 on the way to Alishan; 3, Shihchou.
Scaly Thrush [White’s Ground Thrush], Zoothera dauma [Turdus dauma] – 4, Trail 210, Dasyueshan; 2, Alishan.
Island Thrush, Turdus poliocephalus [Turdus niveiceps] – 3, Dasyueshan.
Eyebrowed Thrush, Turdus obscurus – 7, Blue Trail #2, Meifeng.
Pale Thrush, Turdus pallidus – 4, Inda Eco-Farm; 1, Shihchou.
Dusky Thrush, Turdus naumanni – 1, “The Couple Trees,” Yushan National Park (ssp. eunomus), Nov. 17.
White-browed Shortwing [Blue Shortwing], Brachypteryx montana – 4, Blue Gate Trail #1, Meifeng (heard only); I, Tataka Recreation Area, Yushan National Park.

Zitting Cisticola [Fan-tailed Warbler], Cisticola juncidis – 1 Long Luan Tan, Kending; 10, Huatan, brushy edges of fields.
Striated Prinia [BrownHill Warbler], Prinia criniger [Prinia plolychroa] – 3, Chingjing.
Yellow-bellied Prinia, Prinia flaviventris – 1, Chingjing; 2 Alishan.
Plain Prinia [Tawny-flanked Prinia], Prinia inornata [Prinia subflava] – fairly common in low wetland habitat.

Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler [Strong-footed Bush Warbler], Cettia fortipes – 2, Blue Gate Trail #1.
Yellowish-bellied Bush-Warbler [Verreaux’s Bush Warbler], Cettia acanthizoides – 6, along the Blue Gate Trails; 1, Hehuanshan; 5, Alishan.
TAIWAN BUSH-WARBLER, Bradypterus alishanensis – 2 (1 singing), Hsiaolaishan; 1, Lichia Trail.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Phylloscopus inornatus – 4, Lichia Trail; 10, Inda Eco-Farm; 1, Shihchou.
Arctic Warbler, Phylloscopus borealis – 1, Lichia Trail; 3 Inda Eco-Farm.
Rufous-faced Warbler [White-throated Flycatcher Warbler], Abroscopus albogularis – 52 in various mountain habitats.

Siberian Flycatcher [Sooty Flycatcher], Muscicapa sibirica – 1, along the road after leaving Dasyueshan, Nov. 9.
Asian Brown Flycatcher [Brown Flycatcher], Muscicapa daurica [Muscicapa latirostris] – 2, Inda Eco- farm, Nov. 15.
Mugimaki Flycatcher, Ficedula mugimaki – 1, Km 23, Mt. Tahsueh Road; Nov. 7; 1, Shihchou, Nov. 18.
Snowy-browed Flycatcher [Thicket Flycatcher], Ficedula hyperythra – 1, Shihchou, Nov. 18.
Vivid Niltava, Niltava vivida – 1, Km 23, Mt. Tahsueh Road; 12, Km 23, Mt. Tahsueh Road; 5, Blue Gate Trails; 3, Shihchou.
Siberian Rubythroat, Luscinia calliope – 2, in scrubby vegetation, Chingjing Resort, Chingjng.
Red-flanked Bluetail, Tarsiger cyanurus – 1, Blue Gate Trail #1.
COLLARED BUSH-ROBIN, Tarsiger johnstoniae [Erithacus johnstoniae] – 6, Trail 210, Dasyueshan; 4, Blue Gate Trail #1; 3, Shihchou.
Daurian Redstart, Phoenicurus auroreus – 26, mainly in mountain habitats.
Plumbeous Redstart [Plumbeous Water Redstart], Rhyacornis fuliginosus [Phoenicurus fulginosus] – 1, Hehuanshan stream.
White-tailed Robin [White-tailed Blue Robin], Cinclidium leucurum – 3, Shihchou.

Black-naped Monarch [Black-naped Blue Monarch], Hypothymis azurea – 2, Lichia Trail; 4, Inda Eco-farm; 3, Alishan.
Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher, Terpsiphone atrocaudata – 1(single observer), Lanyu Island forest.

White-throated Laughingthrush, Garrulax albogularis – 3, Lichia Trail.
Rusty Laughingthrush [Gray-sided Laughing Thrush], Garrulax poeciloryhnchus [Garrolax caerulatus] – 5, Dasyueshan.
Hwamei, Garrulax canorus taewanus – 2, km 15, Lichia Trail.
WHITE-WHISKERED LAUGHINGTHRUSH [TAIWAN LAUGHING THRUSH], Garrulax morrisonianus – 16, Hsaiolaishan, Dasyueshan; 2, Tataka Recreation Area, Yushan National Park; 20, Alishan.
STEERE’S LIOCICHLA, Liocichla steerii – over 100 in high mountain habitats.
Spot-breasted Scimitar-Babbler [Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler], Pomatorhinus erythrocnemis [Pomatorhinus erythrogenys] – 3 (heard only), Blue Gate Trails.
Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Pomatorhinus ruficollis – 6, Lichia Trail.
Pygmy Wren-Babbler, Pnoepyga pusilla – 2, (one bathing in puddle on the trail) Trail 210, Dasyueshan; 1, Shihchou; 3 others heard in high mountain habitat.
Rufous-capped Babbler [Red-headed Tree Babbler], Stachyris ruficeps – 28 in mountain habitat.
TAIWAN BARWING, Actinodura morrisoniana – 13, Dasyueshan; 8, Blue Gate #1; 1, Alishan.
Streak-throated Fulvetta, Alcippe cinereiceps – 10, Dasyueshan; 2, Chingjing; 10, Alishan.
Dusky Fulvetta [Gould’s Fulvetta], Alcippe brunnea – 22, Shihchou.
Gray-cheeked Fulvetta, Alcippe morrisonia – 50; fairly common, mid- to high elevation.
WHITE-EARED SIBIA [TAIWAN SIBIA], Heterophasia auricularis – many, along Blue Gate Trails, Taroko, and Shihchou.
TAIWAN YUHINA, Yuhina brunneiceps – 95, in mountain habitat.
White-bellied Yuhina, Yuhina zantholeuca – 3, Blue Gate Trails; 3, Lichia Trail; 2, Alishan.

Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Paradoxornis webbianus – 35, around Chingjing Resort, Chingjing.
Golden Parrotbill [Blythe’s Parrotbill], Paradoxornis verreauxi [Paradoxornis nipalensis] – 35 in a single flock, Hsiaolaishan.

Black-throated Tit, Aegithalos concinnus – common in high mountain habitats.
Coal Tit, Periparus ater [Parus ater] –1, Hsiaolaishan; 5, in conifers behind the Visitor Center at Shiaofongkou (“Little Wind Gap”),Taroko.
Green-backed Tit, Parus monticolus – Fairly common in high mountain habitats.
YELLOW TIT [TAIWAN TIT], Macholophys holsti [Parus holsti] – 1, Km 23, Mt. Tahsueh Road; 4, Blue Gate Trail #1.

Eurasian Nuthatch, Sitta europaea – 5, Blue Gate Trails.

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Dicaeum ignipectus – 11, Blue Gate Trails.

Japanese White-eye, Zosterops japonicus – very common everywhere except highest elevation.
Lowland White-eye, Zosterops meyeni batanis – 40, Lanyu Island. At this time, the status of the white-eye on Lanyu and Ludao (Green) Islands is not definitive. To some authors, including those of the Chinese-language Field Guide to the Birds of Taiwan (1991) and Clements’ Birds of The World: A Checklist (with updates to Dec. 2005), it is a sub-species of Zosterops japonicus. Others consider it to be Zosterops meyeni batanis, variously called Lowland White-eye, Batan White-eye and Philippine White-eye. The case for the latter scientific name is persuasive and we use it here.

Maroon Oriole, Oriolus trailii – 3, Lichia Trail.

Brown Shrike, Lanius cristatus – 32 in lowland habitats. Migrant; common in winter.
Long-tailed Shrike [Black-headed Shrike], Lanius schach – 38, lowland habitats.

Black Drongo, Dicrurus macrocercus – common at low elevation.
Bronzed Drongo, Dicrurus aeneus – 19 in mid- to high elevation habitats.

Eurasian Jay [Jay], Garrulus glandarius – 52 in mountain habitats.
Gray Treepie [Himalayan Tree Pie], Dendrocitta formosae – Fairly common in mid-elevation habitats.
Eurasian Magpie [Magpie], Pica pica – 2, Chiku area; 4, Pachang River Mouth.
Eurasian Nutcracker [Nutcracker}, Nucifraga caryocatactes – 13 in high mountain habitats.
Large-billed Crow [Jungle Crow}, Corvus macrorhynchos – fairly common at mid- to high elevation.

Crested Myna, Acridotheres cristatellus – fairly common in open habitats at low elevation.
Common Myna, Acridotheres tristis – common in open lowland habitats. Introduced.
White-shouldered Starling [Gray-backed Starling], Sturnia sinensis – 20, Chihpen wetland, Nov. 12; 18, Inda Eco-farm, Nov. 15.
White-cheeked Starling [Gray Starling], Sturnus cineraceus – 4, Huatan fields, Nov. 18.
European Starling [Common Starling], Sturnus vulgaris – 3. Huatan fields, Nov. 18.

White-rumped Munia, Lonchura striata – 4, Mt. Tahsueh Road Area; 8, Lichia Trail; 10, in scrubby habitat on the way to Alishan.
Nutmeg Mannikin, Lonchura punctulata – common in grassy, scrubby habitats at low elevation.

Brambling, Fringilla montifringilla – 1, Hsiaolaishan, Nov. 8; 3, Alishan, Nov. 17.
Gray-headed Bullfinch [Beavan’s Bullfinch], Pyrrhula erythaca – 5, in trees behind the Visitor Center at Shiaofongkou (“Little Wind Gap”), Taroko.

Yellow Bunting [Japanese Yellow Bunting], Emberiza sulphurata – 2, Huatan fields, Nov. 18.
Black-faced Bunting, Emberiza spodocephala – 6, Chingjing area; 12, Huatan fields, Nov. 18.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow [Tree Sparrow], Passer montanus – abundant in towns.

TOTAL SPECIES: 183*; 178 seen by two or more people, 2 heard only, 3 seen by only one person.
Endemic species: 14 (of 15) seen. FORMOSAN MAGPIE was seen in Yangminshan National Park, Taipei, during a “pre-tour” day before the formal tour began, and is not included in this list.

Red-bellied Squirrel Callosciurus erythacus taiwanensis Nov. 8 – 3; Nov. 9 – 1
Formosan Striped Squirrel Tamiops maritimus formosanus Nov. 7, 9, and 10; one each day.
SWINHOE’S JAPALURA Japalura swinhhonis Nov. 14 – 4
Asian House Shrew Suncus murinus Nov. 7 - 1
TAIWAN MACAQUE Macaca cyclopis Nov. 8 – 8; Nov. 9 and 10 – heard
Spectacled Toad Bufo melanostictus Nov. 13 – 1
Fiddler Crab Uca arcuata and others Nov. 16 – over 50

NOTES:Striated and Red-rumped Swallows are very similar in appearance. Red-rumped appears in Taiwan only in migration, whereas Striated is a resident species.

For more information, please contact Simon Liao, in Taiwan, at: birdsimon0624@yahoo.com.tw, or Jo Ann MacKenzie, in Canada, at: j.a.mackenzie@telus.net