Taiwan - February 16 – April 3, 2008

Published by Sander Bot (sanderbot AT yahoo.co.uk)

Participants: Sander Bot


For my study I went for 7 weeks to Taiwan. The weekends and last week were used for bird watching. I stayed at the AVRCD research centre near the science park of Tainan in Shanhua Township. The end of March and the start of April seems to be a good period for visiting Taiwan: The weather is usually good, Black-faced Spoonbill and Saunders’s Gull are still present and Taiwan Bush-Warbler starts singing. I managed to see or hear all 18 endemics, 5 out of 7 possible splits and all 19 well marked subspecies (Collar 2006, see last link in literature section).


- A Field Guide to the Birds of China. A pain in the ass, heavy and some color plates completely filled with birds not to be seen in Taiwan. But better times are coming: in summer 2008 the guide ‘Birds of East Asia’ by Mark Brazil should be published.
-I found these trip reports very useful:
15-22 January 2005 by Gruff Dodd, gives good directions:
09-31 December 2006 by Paul French, map of Chung-Yang Farm and up to date:
21 December – 14 January 2006 by Fergus Crystal, covering southern Taiwan:
July 4-6, 2004, Gary and Marlene Babic, gives a map of the key sites on Lanyu Island: http://www.birdtours.co.uk/tripreports/taiwan/taiwan4/lanyu-jul-04.htm
May 7-20 2007, Jo Ann MacKenzie
-Interesting website about birding in Taiwan and many pictures: http://www.birdingintaiwan.org/
-Some useful information about possible splits: http://www.birdingintaiwan.org/spotlightontaiwan.htm

Places visited

Shanhua Township

I did my research during the week in a cultivated area. The research center was near Tainan Science Park, north-east of the city Tainan in Shanhua Township. The center itself was situated in a park-like setting. The most surprising resident was for sure the Malayan Night-heron. On the first day I saw 4 adults, feeding on the grass. Later I also saw a juvenile with a broken wing, so at least 5 birds were present. That saved me a long trip to Taipei botanical gardens! The far most common birds were Eurasian Tree Sparrow and Chinese Bulbul. Other residents were Brown Shrike, Black-naped Monarch, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, etc. A male Dusky Thrush (eunomus) was wintering in my back yard. The dirty ditch behind the centre was good for White-breasted Water-hen and occasional an Oriental Reed Warbler. In the fields around the centre Brown Shrike, Pacific Swallow, Common Myna, Green-headed Wagtail, and Plain Prinia were common and a pair of Long-tailed Shrikes was seen on the same spot nearly daily.


On biking distance from the centre, the village Danei was the first place with hills and some forest, so I biked several times to there. Around Danei I bird watched along the 182 and 182-1. Danei lies along the Zengwun River in Tainan County.

Maolin, Kaohsiung county

Well known for its butterflies, it is also worth visiting as a bird watcher. I found the hike to the Maolin Gorge waterfall very nice, and despite being Sunday not many tourists were around. At the entrance of the park is a visitor centre who can provide you a map of the area.

Tengjhih forest recreation area, Kaohsiung county.

This park is north of Maolin. From Highway 1 or 3 take Highway 10 to Cishan and Liouguei. After Liouguei Bridge keep left, you are on the 27 now. After passing Banfu Bridge follow the Tengjhih Forest Drive. From here it is a 20 kilometre drive to the park. Near the entrance is the very small village Tengjhih, where you can eat local food and stay overnight. We paid NT2000 for a 4 person room. The park is very nice and despite I arrived there only at midday I managed to see many birds.


Main reason to visit Kenting was Stayan Bulbul and Taiwan Hwamei. I did not find many birds in The Kenting Forest Recreation Area despite visiting it twice, though Brown-headed Thrush was common in the park. From Kenting it is a 7km ride to Eluanbi, the south point of Taiwan. In the park near the lighthouse not many birds were seen, but the constant passing of Streaked Shearwaters seen from this point was a big surprise. I decided to visit Longluan Lake, 6km north of Kenting to see the Spot-billed Duck. On the northwest side of the lake is a visitor centre. They have a whole row of telescopes which visitors can use to overlook the lake. Many Spot-billed Ducks were visible at close range. Back on the car park I was rewarded with 3 lifers within a minute in the area direct south of the car park: Lesser Coucal, White-shouldered Starling and Taiwan Whamei.

Pheasant-tailed Jacana Reserve

This reserve is in Guantian Township, Tainan County. The place is north of the city Tainan, along road 64, near the junction with road 65. From Freeway 3 take the Guantian exit. From Guantian take the 171 to the west, it is signposted along this road to the right. The place is not very big and has 3 pools, filled with about 50 Pheasant-tailed Jacanas. Because the new high speed railway goes straight through their original habitat, this reserve was made to save them. Besides the Jacana’s I was quite happy to see Cinnamon Bittern and Yellow Bittern here as well.

Sihcao Wildlife Preserve

According to Lonely Planet you can reach the Black-faced Spoonbill Reserve by public transport to take the 99 tourist bus from Tainan City. This proved to be wrong, the bus goes to Sihcao Wildlife Preserve, a few km south of the Zengwun River. There are some mangroves and salt pans, but no Black-faced Spoonbills. Thank you Lonely Planet. Fortunately the volunteers of the local nature visitor centre were happy to bring me up and down to the Black-faced Spoonbill Reserve when they found out I was at the wrong spot!


Chiku is a large area of fish ponds near Tainan City, north of the Zengwun River. In this area is also the Black-faced Spoonbill Reserve. Form Tainan follow the 17, and after crossing the Zengwun River the Black-faced Spoonbill Reserve is well signposted. According to trip reports many people found the place fantastic and wished they could stay there longer. To be honest, I didn’t like the place too much. The mud flat where you can see the spoonbills is good, but besides that, the surrounding ponds held low numbers of birds. But seeing Black-faced Spoonbills and Suanders’s Gulls makes the area well worth a visit.

Guandu Nature park

This park is near Taipei and also known as Kuandu marshes. To get there take the metro: From Taipei Main Station take the metro to Danshui. The 15th station is Guandu. From the station its an easy walk, the park is signposted from the station.

Yushan National Park

This National Park lies just east of Alishan. From freeway 3 take the exit near Chiayi City to Alishan, route 18. From the freeway it’s a 80km drive to Yushan National Park. After about 60km you first pass Alishan, where you can stay over night. I came there on a Saturday, a bad idea. When I drove past Alishan at 4:30 pm there was already much activity! It was blossom season and the park was packed with people who wanted to see the sunrise at Tatajia, in Yushan National Park. They get there by taking the road where I had to look for Mikado Pheasants! Tatajia is not much more than a visitor centre and many car parks for people coming to see the sunrise.

-Route 21 is the spot for Mikado Pheasants. See the species list for more details on finding the Mikado Pheasant. Besides the pheasant, I found many other birds: Vinaceous Rosefinch, Collared Bush-robin and White-tailed Robin were common. Other birds seen here: 2 Yellow Tits, 2 family groups of Taiwan Barwing, 4 Green-backed Tits, 3 Fire-breasted Flowerpeckers, 4 Fork-tailed Swifts, 3 Scaly Thrushes, 1 Pale Thrush, 3 Red-flanked Bluetails and 2 Black-faced Buntings.

- 800m after the Tatajia visitor centre (seen from Alishan) there is a short trail to Dongpu Mountain. That was a quiet trail where I saw Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler Yellowish-bellied Bush Warbler and Flamecrest.

- What proved to be a good hike was from Shangtungpu to the Lintzu Mnt. entrance, 2.2 km one way. Half way is a big Chinese Hemlock. Shangtungpu is along road 18, 1km before Tatajia. This paved road produced 12 (twelve!) White-browed Bush-robins, 4 tame Grey-headed Bullfinches, ± 10 flamecrests and 2 Bramblings. If you take Lintzu Mnt. entrance you can choose between some trails. Walking around here was good for Taiwan Bush-Warbler, Golden Parrotbill, Spotted Nuthatch and Coal Tit.

- On the way back I stopped at Siding, a village along route 18 at km55,5. A 2005 report added Russet Sparrow here. I couldn’t find any sparrows, only 2 Collared Finchbills.

Hui Sun Forest Area

This place is a good spot for Formosan Magpie and Varied Tit. If you come from Wushe, take the 14 to Pulli. In Pulli take the 21 to the right, the forest is already signposted. Weird enough, when you have to get of the 21, Hui Sun forest is not signposted! At km 29 route 21 makes a sharp left, go straight here on the 80. Coming from the other way it is signposted. After following the 80 for 8km you reach the gate of the forest area. The magpies were easily found, the tit took me a bit longer. Seeing a Malayan Night Heron here was a surprise.

Lanyu Island

This beautiful island lies about 65km southeast of the city of Taitung. Well worth a visit because of a scops owl, white-eye, bulbul, flycatcher and some dove species. The island can be reached by boat or plane. It’s a good idea to take the ferry on at least one way because of the sea bird watching. In winter ferry’s don’t sail, I had the very first ferry of the year on March 30. It is hard to find out the ferry time table yourself, because the ferry sails irregularly and their website is in Chinese. The ferry sails both from Kenting and Taitung and costs NT1000 one way. The plane flies 6 times a day from Taitung and costs NT1345 one way. At Lanyu Island I can recommend a guest house in Yujen. This was a perfect place, close to both the airport and Hungtou, a good spot for the Ryukyu Scops Owl. I paid NT 700 for a room per night. The owner, Syaman Lamuran, is extremely friendly and speaks good English. E-mail: ttung@hotmail.com. Tel: (089)732610. It might be a good idea to stay at least 2 nights. Not only because it takes some time to see all specialties, I also saw some species on this island which were not seen on the mainland: Siberian Rubythroat, Roseate Tern, Greater White-fronted Goose, Red-throated Pipit, Greater Sand Plover, etc.

‘Flycatcher Creek’ was a very good spot to see specialties. From Hungtou follow the road 2km to the South. There is a dried out river bed crossing the road near a fenced concrete building on the right, it’s the only building in the area. From here, on the left hand side of the road goes a small path down to the creek. You can follow the creek bed for a few 100m. Do this very carefully and you can see the pigeons and Japanese Paradise Flycatcher. The July 2004 report mentioned in the literature section gives a map of an area near Yeyin where the saw the Cuckoo dove. I saw them too there, and Whistling Green Pigeon as well.

Around Wushe

-Chun-Yang Farm
This farm lies 3,5 km from Wushe. If you leave Wushe you get a fork in the road where you can choose between route 14 and… route 14. At the left route 14, km signs start at 0, at the right fork the km signs continue (Wushe is at 80). Take the right fork and after km sign 83.5 Chung-Yang Farm is at the left. You can enter the farm without permission. Just wave and smile to everyone you meet and everything is fine. The Paul French report gives a map of the farm. I saw my only Vinous-throated Parrotbill and Dusky Fulvetta here.

-Blue Gate Trails
From Wushe take the left fork out of town, the start of the first Blue Gate trail is just before km 16. After 2 km, the first Blue Gate trail crosses a paved road, at the other side of the road the path is named second Blue Gate Trail or continuation trail. Since I found the 2nd Blue Gate trail better for bird watching it is maybe better to park the car between the 2 trails. To reach that spot: follow route 14 till the police station at km 18. Turn left here and the steep narrow road crosses the blue gate trails after 700m. There is a small parking lot at the start of the 2nd Blue Gate Trail.

This road to a farm can be reached by taking the left fork out of Wushe. At km 4 take the well signposted road to Lishan to the left. This road is in very bad shape! After km 8 is the road to the farm to the left. Its signposted with a green sign in Chinese. Its hard to miss cause it’s nearly the only road leaving the main road in the whole 8km stretch. After 1,5km is a gate. You can park here and walk the 5km to the farm through good forest. Birding was not as good as the blue gate trails. For instance no Scaly-breasted Wren Babblers and Blue-Shortwings were noted. But its still worth visiting, because I saw Yellow Tit here, missed this bird at the Blue Gate Trails. And seeing 7 Swinhoe’s Pheasants is also not too bad!

Species Lists

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Common at ponds and lakes.
Streaked Shearwater Calonectris leucomelas
8/3: Seen from land at Eluanbi, near Kenting: at least 200 individuals, about 10 per minute, all flying to the south at around 4:15 PM.
30/3: Common from the ferry from Kenting to Lanyu Island.
Leach’s Sorm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus
30/3: 2 from the ferry between Kenting and Lanyu Island.
During my observation I was not aware that this would be a new species for Taiwan. I was just disappointed that they were not Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel, a lifer. They flew together to the North. They were fairly big and brownish storm-petrels with a small white rump. I couldn’t see more details, but in Holland I would call this Leach. If they were no Leach, then they must have been Wilson’s or Madeiran. However, the size, color, and rump patch all suggest Leach. Whatever is was, a storm-petrel with a white rump is a new species for Taiwan anyway?
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster
30/3: 1 from the ferry between Kenting and Lanyu Island.
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
9/3: 1 at Longluan Lake.
16/3: few at Chiku.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Common, specially at Chiku.
Great Egret Egretta alba
Less common than Intermediate and Little Egret, but still common.
Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Very common.
Pacific Reef Egret Egretta sacra
8/3: 1 seen at Eluanbi, near Kenting.
30/3 – 1/4: 3 at Lanyu Island.
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Very common, also 2 at sea between Kenting and Lanyu Island.
Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus
14/3: 1 flying over the Zengwun River near Danei.
1/4: 3 near Hungtou at Lanyu Island: 2 adults, 1 immature.
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Common, even seen in a dirty ditch near the Tainan Science Park.
A big colony in a patch of mangroves near Chiku.
Malayan Night Heron Gorsachius melanolophus
The surprise of the research center where I studied, near the Tainan Science Park. At least 6 birds present, 4 adults and 2 juveniles. One juvenile with broken wing. According to the residents, the birds are there since two years. Very easy to see as they stay motionless in the open fields, gardens, or the tennis court, staring at the ground. Persistent calling often heard at the end of the night.
7/3: 2 adults at an orchard near the village of Danei.
27/3: 1 adult standing under the pines on the right hand side of the road just before the conference center in Hui Sun Forest Area. The conference centre is 500m before the main service center.
Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis
14/3: 1 adult briefly seen at the Pheasant-tailed Jacana Reserve in Guantien.
Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus
14/3: Good views of an immature bird at the Pheasant-tailed Jacana Reserve.
Black-faced Spoonbill
23/2: at least 400 ind. seen from the hide in Chiku.
16/3: ± 350 ind. seen from the hide in Chiku.
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
1/4: 1 1st winter flying past to the North near Hungtou at Lanyu Island.
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
9/3: 1 pair at Longluan Lake.
3/4: 1 male at Guandu Nature park, Taipei.
Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha
9/3: At least 130 birds at Longluan Lake, best visible from the visitor centre.
14/3: 3 flying birds at the dry riverbed near Danei.
1/4: Few in a stream seen from the train near Taitung.
3/4: At least 10 at Guandu Nature park, Taipei.
Northern Pintail Anas acuta
9/3: 2 small groups at Longluan Lake.
Gadwall Anas strepera
9/3: 1 pair at Longluan Lake.
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
Garganey Anas querquedula
3/4: 3 males and 1 female at Guandu Nature park, Taipei.
Common Teal Anas crecca
Eurasian Wigeon Anas Penelope
16/3: Some small groups at Chiku.
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
9/3: 2 males at Longluan Lake.
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
9/3: 1 at Longluan Lake.
3/4: 1 at Guandu Nature park, Taipei. The broad dark breast-band indicates a female. Inner primaries old, outer new: adult.
Oriental Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus
2/3: 1 dark phase at the entrance of the Maolin Gorge waterfall, Maolin.
15/3: 3 birds at Yushan National Park were probably this species.
27/3: 1 dark phase along route 21, 20 km before Pulli.
Black-eared Kite Milvus lineatus
2/3: 1 flying over the entrance of Maolin Park.
Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela Well-marked subspecies
Most common raptor, common in forested areas.
Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus formosae
Fairly common, seen at different places in forested hills or mountains. Stange flight: flapping very fast with their short wings for a few seconds, than gliding. Clearly heavier built and bigger than Sparrowhawk, but longer tail than Goshawk. The white bushy ventral area was often seen in flight.
Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gulari
7/3: 1 flying past in the hills near Danei. Mainly identified on size: very small! Also appeared more bulky than Eurasian Sparrowhawk to me.
Besra Accipiter virgatus fuscipectus
27/3: 1 at Hui Sun Forest Area.
Grey-faced Buzzard Butastur indicus
23/3: 6 migrating north over the research center in Shanhua Township. Because of the strong northern wind it took them 20 minutes to pass.
30/3: About 8 migrating North on Lanyu Island.
30/3-1/4: Daily 2 near Hungtou at Lanyu Island.
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
A pair seen often around Tainan Science Park, also seen on other places in the lowlands. Common on Lanyu Island.
Peregrine Falco peregrinus
16/3: 1 immature bird above the sea at Chiku
Taiwan Partridge Arborophila crudigularis Endemic species
26/3: Heard once at the 2nd Blue Gate trail.
28/3: Heard and voice recorded at Peitungyenshan, between the first tea fields and the actual farm.
Chinese Bamboo Partridge Bambusicola thoracicus sonorivox Possible full species
24/2: 1 flushed alongside a road near Danei.
28/2: 2 flushed from the 182-1 near Danei.
9/3: 2 flushed from a grassy area near the car park of the Longluan Lake visitor centre, near Kenting.
27/3: Heard and flushed at Chun-Yang Farm.
Swinhoe’s Pheasant Lophura swinhoii Endemic species
26/2: Male at the 2nd blue gate trail around 9:00AM.
28/3: 7 (seven!) at Peitungyenshan. First a male on the road to the gate. The rest was seen on the road from the gate to the first tea plantations: a male, group of 3 males and 2 females. All males seen very well.
Mikado Pheasant Syrmaticus mikado Endemic species
25/3: 1 female seen well along the 21 in Yushan NP at 6 AM, between km 135.5 and 136. One minute after my sighting the first car drove past.
Different trip reports give kilometer numbers where they saw Mikado Pheasants, but the kilometer numbers have changed! Route 18 ends in Tatajia at km 108.9, not at km 90. Then the road continues as the end of route 21. Route 21 ends in Tatajia at km 145, not km 150. The pheasants are usually reported at the last 5 km of route 18 and the last 10 km of road 21. Many cars drove past the route 18 site, it is impossible to be the first there at dawn, so maybe better concentrate on route 21. At route 21 the last sunrise view point is between km 140 -140.5 so the best place to look starts at km 140. Most people turn around at km 135, but good habitat continuous till km 125. At km 131 is even a nice traffic sign warning people for pheasants crossing the road! I couldn’t found the pheasants on the 15th, probably because of the heavy tourist traffic, frustrating. On the 25th I was just in time, seems to be not an easy place to see the pheasants here. However, chances are even smaller at the Blue Gate Trails, difficult species to come by!
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus formosanus Well-marked subspecies
A male was seen and heard regularly in the fields near Tainan Science Park.
14/3: 1 male in the fields near the Pheasant-tailed Jacana reserve, Guantian.
14/3, 15/3: few birds in the dry riverbed of the Zengwun River near Danei.
3/4: 1 male seen from the train somewhere between Tainan and Taipei.
Slaty-legged Crake Rallina eurizonoides
8/3: Found dead along the way between Eluanbi and Kenting.
White-breasted Waterhen. Amourornis phoenicurus
Seen regularly at ditches or rice paddies in the lowlands. Very common on Lanyu Island.
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Common. Also noted on Lanyu Island.
Common Coot Fulica atra
9/3: Common at Longluan Lake.
Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
14/3: 36, all in winter plumage, at the Pheasant-tailed Jacana Reserve in Guantien.
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
Very common, also in polluted ditches. 9 At sea and later on the rocky shore at Yeyin, Lanyu Island on March 31.
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
23/2: Group at Sihcao Wildlife Preserve.
Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum
19/3: 2 calling and flying low North at Shanhua Township.
23/3: 3 flying North over Shanhua Township.
30/3: 1 above sea, seen from the ferry between Kenting and Lanyu Island.
1/4: 6 near Hungtou, Lanyu Island.
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
23/2: Group at Sihcao Wildlife Preserve.
9/3: 2 birds in the early morning at the fields of Sheding Nature Park, near Kenting.
16/3: Group at Chiku.
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
16:3: some at Chiku.
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Observed at rice paddies in Tainan County, at Kenting beach and Chicku.
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
16/3: Very common at Chiku.
31/3: Few at Hungtou, Lanyu Island.
Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus
16/3: Few birds at Chiku from the Black-faced Spoonbill hide.
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultia
31/3: 2 males in summer plumage and 3 females near Hugtou, Lanyu Island.
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
16/3: few at Chiku.
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
23/2: Sihcao Wildlife Preserve.
16/3: Chiku.
Common Redshank Tringa totanus
23/2: Sihcao Wildlife Preserve.
16/3: Chiku.
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
23/2: Sihcao Wildlife Preserve.
16/3: Chiku.
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
23/2: Sihcao Wildlife Preserve.
16/3: Chiku.
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Fairly common in the lowlands in rice paddies.
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Common, in rice paddies in the lowlands and also on Lanyu Island.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Common, also noted on Lanyu Island.
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
14/3: 3 at the Pheasant-tailed Jacana Reserve in Guantien. Seen well, Pintail en Swinhoe’s excluded.
14/3: 4 in the dry riverbed near Danei. Pintail en Swinhoe’s excluded.
31/3: 1 on Lanyu Island.
3/4: 6, Guandu Nature park, Taipei.
Rufous-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis
16/3: ± 20 at Chiku.
31/3: 9 at the beach near Hungtou, Lanyu Island.
Dunlin Calidris alpina
16/3: Very common at Chiku.
Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
30/3: 1 at sea between Kenting and Lanyu Island.
Black-tailed Gull Larus crassirostris
23/2: ± 7 1st winters seen from Sihcao Bridge, near Sihcao Wildlife Preserve, Tainan City.
Sanders’s Gull Larus saundersi
23/2: 3 adult summer plumage and 4 first winter birds Chiku, seen from the Black-faced Spoonbill hide. See a movie of one bird at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu4ll5lqJMg
16/3: 1 adult summer plumage at Chiku, seen from the Black-faced Spoonbill hide.
On both days, no Black-headed Gulls were seen, making finding this rarity very easy! By the way, no Black-headed Gulls seen at all during my stay.
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia
23/2 and 16/3: Few birds at Chiku from the Black-faced Spoonbill hide.
Little Tern Sterna albifrons
16/3: Few birds at Chiku from the Black-faced Spoonbill hide.
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii
30/3: 2 adult birds, fishing for a prolonged time on the ocean near Hungtou, Lanyu Island.
Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus
30/3: 2 birds seen from the ferry between Kenting and Lanyu Island.
Ashy Wood Pigeon Columba pulchrocollis
2/3: 2 flying over the path at Tenjhih.
26/3: Few birds seen and heard at the Blue Gate Trails.
28/3: Few birds seen and heard at Peitungyenshan.
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis orii
24/2: 2 near Danei.
27/3: Common at Chun-Yang Farm near Wushe.
28/3: 4 along the road from route 14 to Peitungyenshan.
3/4: 1 at Guandu Nature park, Taipei.
Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis
Very common.
Red Collared Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica
Abundant in the lowlands
Philippine Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia tenuirostris
31/3: 2 at the ‘Cuckoo Dove spot’ near Yeyin, Lanyu Island. See map in 2004 report mentioned in the Literature section.
31/3, 1/4: 1 briefly in the Flycatcher Creek, south of Hungtou, Lanyu Island.
Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica
31/3, 1/4: Few males heard and seen very well in the Flycatcher Creek, south of Hungtou, Lanyu Island.
White-bellied Pigeon Treron sieboldii sororius
26/3: 1 heard at the 1st Blue Gate Trail.
Should be common, was surprised to see none, this in contrast to the Whistling Green Pigeon.
Whistling Green Pigeon Treron formosae formosae Possible full species
Nominate formosae is very and fairly distinct from the northern and southern Ryukyu races respectively, and its separation at species level may be appropriate (Collar 2006)
1/3: 1 seen perched in a tree from road 183, Tainan County.
9/3: Male seen very well in the early morning at Sheding Nature Park near Kenting.
31/3: 2 at the ‘Cuckoo Dove spot’ near Yeyin, Lanyu Island. See map in 2004 report mentioned in the Literature section.
31/3, 1/4: Few birds in the Flycatcher Creek, south of Hungtou, Lanyu Island.
Males have a weird and funny song. Apparently fairly common in the South.
Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis
9/3: Singing male at the parking lot of the Longluan Lake Visitor Centre.
9/3: Adult seen from the bus near Heng Chun Airport, near Kenting.
14/3: 2 immature plumage birds at the Pheasant-tailed Jacana Reserve.
14/3: 1 immature at the dry riverbed near Danei.
30/3 – 1/4:Very common at Lanyu Island.
Mountain Scops Owl Otus spilocephalus
1/3: Heard calling at 8 PM from Tenjhih village.
Ryukyu Scops-Owl Otus elegans
30/3: Only heard calling a few times at 7PM near Hungtou Village, Lanyu Island. Strong wind and pouring rain.
31/3: This night no rain, only strong wind. Wanted to go to Hungtou Village at 10PM, but when I stepped out of the guest house at Yujen Village I heard 2 or 3 calling birds in the mountains above the village, so skipped Hungtou Village.
Collared Owlet Glaucidium brodiei pardalotum Well-marked subspecies
28/3: 1 flushed from the road side while walking at Peitungyenshan. Flew very low over the road into cover. When flushed again it flew away into the forest. Tiny!
Savanna Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis stictomus
28/2: 6 birds at the dry riverbed near Danei Township, Tainan County. Different calling birds at 5:30 AM, and at dawn good views from the bridge over the Zengwun River.
Fork-tailed Swift Apus pasificus
Fairly common, especially in the mountains. Less common than House Swift. Also noted on Lanyu Island.
House Swift Apus affinis
Very common, also on Lanyu Island.
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Fairly common, even at polluted ditches in cultivated area and on Lanyu Island.
Taiwan Barbet Megalaima nuchalis Endemic species
Common in forests, but sometimes also on wires alongside the road. Heard often.
Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus kaleensis
Irregularly seen near the Tainan Science Park.
27/3: My only good views of this species were at Hui Sun Forest Area.
A Greater Spotted Woodpecker like call was heard at different places which were likely from this species.
White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos insularis
2/3: 4 birds at Tenjhih Forest Recreation Area.
26/3: 1 calling and briefly seen at Blue Gate Trail 1.
Gray-faced Woodpecker Picus canus tancolo
28/3: 1 heard and briefly seen at Peitungyenshan.
Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula
Often heard singing birds in the field near Tainan Science Park. Also heard at other places in Tainan County, including Chiku.
Plain Martin Riparia paludicola
Fairly common. Seen in different habitats, including Tainan City center.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Common, but less common than Pacific Swallow. Migration to the north was observed above the sea near Chiku on March 16. Abundant on Lanyu Island, where nearly all birds had pure white underparts.
Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica
Common. A pair was building a nest in Eluanbi on March 8. Once at Lanyu Island.
Striated Swallow Hirundo striolata
Common in the lowlands. This swallow is distinctively bigger than Barn Swallow.
Red-ruped Swallow Hirundo daurica
16/3: 1 at Danei.
Besides the size I don’t know how to separate Red-rumped Swallow from the former. However, size difference seems to be a reliable character. If seen with other Hirundo swallows, Striated Swallow is clearly bigger, whereas Red-rumped is not. The size of the Red-rumped Swallow near Danei could be compared with Barn Swallow.
Asian House Martin Delichon dasypus
1/3: Few at Tenjhih village.
15/3: Group at Yushan NP. The plate in the field guide to the birds of China depicts black underwing coverts. To me they appeared not black but grayish.
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus
31/3: 2 adults in summer plumage in the fields near Yeyin, Lanyu Island.
1/4: 9 at Hungtou Village, Lanyu Island. All birds with red throat and in very fresh plumage!
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni
28/2: 1 heard calling while flying over head at Danei.
1/3: Group at dusk at Tenjhih Forest Recreation Area.
East Siberian Wagtail Motacilla ocularis
16/2: 1 in the fields in Shanhua Township.
31/3: 4 in the fields near Yeyin Village, Lanyu Island.
Amur Wagtail Motacilla leucopsis
17/2: 1 male in the fields in Shanhua Township
2/3: 2 males along the road in Maolin.
Black-backed Wagtail Motacilla lugens
8/3: 4 birds in the early morning on Kenting beach. One of them was a summer plumage male.
Green-headed Wagtail Motacilla taivana
Common in the lowlands, especially at rice paddies. Also noted on Lanyu Island. The longer legs give this species a different posture than the Western European yellow wagtails. Call also different than flava, more like feldegg.
Grey Wagtail Motacilla citreola
Heard and seen frequently at rivers, ditches, rice paddies etc. Common on Lanyu Island.
Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris
1/3: 1 female at Tenjhih forest recreation area.
2/3: Group of female types along a gravel road behind Tenjhih village.
15/3: male along the 21 in Yushan NP.
26/3: Common at the Blue Gate Trails.
27/3: Common at Chun-Yang Farm.
38/3: Few at Peitungyenshan.
Collared Finchbill Spizixos semitorques Well-marked subspecies
Fairly common in hills near villages, for instance at Danei and Siding. Common at Chun-Yang Farm.
Styan’s Bubul Pycnonotus taivanus Endemic species
Common at Kenting. Besides a different head pattern, Styan’s Bulbul has a whiter, lighter breast. I also saw some possible hybrid type birds at Kenitng: they had the right head pattern for Styan’s, but they lacked the orange spot near the bill and had a greyish wash on the breast and underparts like Light-vented Bulbul. From the bus back to Kaohsiung I saw Light-vented Bulbuls from Fangliao.
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis formosae
Abundant. One of the commonest birds in the lowlands of Tainan County. Also seen at higher altitudes like Chun-Yang Farm, near Wushe.
Brown-eared Bulbul Ixos amaurotis
Common on Lanyu Island.
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus Well-marked subspecies
Common in forests in the hills and mountains. Common at Kenting Forest Recreation Area. 1 at Guandu Nature Park. The field guide to the birds of China depicts a completely black bird, but the subspecies in Taiwan has grey flight feathers.
Flamecrest Regulus goodfellowi Endemic species
15/3 and 25/3: 2 from the Dongpu Mountain trail in Yushan NP. Common along the road from Shangtungpu to Lintzu Mnt., Yushan NP.
Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes taivanus
25/3: 1 brief encounter along the road from Shangtungpu to Lintzu Mnt., Yushan NP.
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris
25/3: 1 tame bird photographed on road 21, between km 136-136.5.
Blue Rock-thrush Monticola solitarius
Sometimes seen at the research centre in Shanhua Township.
Also seen around Danei and Kenting. Common on Lanyu Island
Formosan Whistling-thrush Myophonus insularis Endemic species
29/2: 1 in a dry riverbed along road 183 in Tainan County.
2/3: singing male along a gravel road behind Tenjhih village.
Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma
1/3: 2 birds flushed from a path in Tenjhih forest recreation area.
15/3: 3 times a solitary bird at the road side of the 21, Yushan NP.
25/3: 1 solitary bird at the road side of the 21, Yushan NP.
27/3: 4 at different places in Hui Sun Forest Area.
28/3: 3 along flushed at Peitungyenshan.
I don’t know how to distinguish dauma from aurea. The Collins Field Guide, Birds of the Palearctic: Passerines, by Norman Arlott (2007) depicts both, dauma with brownish tipped median coverts, aurea with white tipped median coverts. If this is a reliable character to distinguish the two, then I saw both: aurea on 25/3 and dauma on 27/3. Has anybody more info about these subspecies?
Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus
17/2: 1 in the Hills near Danei.
7/3: 2, very shy, in the Hills near Danei.
Pale Thrush Turdus pallidus
8/3: 1 male in a group of Brown-headed Thrushes at Kenting Forest Recreation Area.
15/3: 1 at route 21, Yushan NP.
31/3: 1 at Flycatcher creek, Lanyu Island.
Brown-headed Thrush Turdus chrysolaus
8/3, 9/3: Surprisingly common at Kenting Forest Recreation Area. Especially around the ´cliff of apes´ and along the detour road to the exit.
31/3: Large flock at flycatcher creek, Lanyu Island. Also single birds on other places on the island.
3/4: 1 at Guandu Nature Park
Dusky Thrush Turdus eunomus
A male was wintering in my back yard in Shanhua Township!
30/3: 1 at Lanyu Island, near the light house.
White-browed Shortwing Brachypteryx montana goodfellowi Possible full species
26/3: Seen twice very well and song heard once at 2nd Blue Gate Trail.
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Common, for instance often heard in the rice paddies in Shanhua Township.
Yellow-bellied Prinia Prinia flaviventris
Fairly common in the lowlands and hills, but less common than Plain Prinia.
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata flavirostris
Common in the lowlands but also at Chun-Yang Farm.
Manchurian Bush Warbler Cettia canturians
Japanese Bush Warbler Cettia diphone
17/2: Along the ditch behind the research centre in Shanhua Township.
24/2: Sound recorded around the research centre in Shanhua Township.
1/3: 1 along the 183, Tainan County. Bird was clearly bigger than the other Bush Warbler species. The bird had a clear eyebrow, pink legs, long tail, white belly, warm brown flanks, and gave a ‘tsr’ call.
3/4: 1 at Guandu Nature Park, Taipei, was seen very well from the main hide. Clearly smaller than the bird from March 1. Underparts dirty grey, throat bit lighter, long pink legs, size like Phylloscopus or small Acrocephalus, upperparts dark warm brown. Feeding on the ground or low in tree.
The field guide to the birds of China does not give much information about the identification and status of these two Bush Warbler species. The four sightings were for sure one or both of these two species, they were clearly different than the other Bush Warblers occurring in Taiwan. Places of sighting (lowlands) supports this. It is tempting to say I saw both species: the bird from March 1 was different from the bird at April 3: size, upperpart coloration and flank color were different. But which sighting was which species….hope the upcoming book ´birds of East Asia´ will give more information about identification and status.
Brownish-flanked Bush-warbler Cettia fortipes robustipes Possible full species
15/3: Sound recorded along the 21 in Yushan while searching for Mikado Pheasant.
15/3: 1 seen well along the Dongpu Mountain trail in Yushan NP.
27/3: Heard at Chun-Yang Farm.
I found this species fairly similar to Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus (same color and strong pink legs), but the Bush Warbler has a rounder head and a less obvious supercilium.
Yellowish-bellied Bush-warbler Cettia acanthizoides concolor
Common in forests and mountains, like Yushan NP and Blue Gate Trails.
Taiwan Bush-warbler Bradypterus alishanensis Endemic species
15/3: 1 singing in the valley at the start of the Lintzu Mnt. trail, Yushan NP.
25/3: Up to 4 singing in the valley at the start of the Lintzu Mnt. trail Yushan NP, and 1 singing at Shangtungpu, Yushan NP
Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis
1/3: 1 along the 183, Tainan County.
I couldn’t see the wing bars, but size and posture excluded other Phylloscopus warblers and Cettia Bush Warblers. Maybe Arctic Warblers are very worn in this time of the year, so the wing bars are less obvious than in autumn.
Rufous-faced Warbler Abroscopus albogularis
Fairly common at forested mountains, like Yushan NP and Blue Gate Trails.
Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki
26/3: Female in a mixed flock at the 1st Blue Gate Trail.
Snowy-browed Flycatcher Ficedula hyperythra
2/3: Female seen well after some patience and luck along a gravel road behind Tenjhih village.
26/3: Good views of a female, foraging along a land slide at the second Blue Gate Trail. Great views of a male at the end of the 1st Blue Gate Trail.
Vivid Niltava Niltava vivida Well-marked subspecies
1/3: 1 male in a mixed flock in Tengjhih Forest Recreation Area.
2/3: Male seen well along the path to the Maolin Gorge waterfall.
27/3: Pair along the small ravine at Chun-Yang Farm.
Siberian Rubythroat Luscinia calliope
31/3: Great views of a winter plumage bird along a path in the rain forest at Lanyu Island. If you take the road to the weather station from the island cross road, there goes a small path to the left where the road to the station makes a sharp right, just some 20m after it begins. This is one of the few places where you can get into the forest.
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus
15/3: 3 birds along route 21 while searching for Mikado Pheasants.
28/3: 1 at Peitungyenshan.
All birds were in winter plumage.
White-browed Bush-Robin Tarsiger indicus Well-marked subspecies
15/3: 1 male at the paved road from Shangtungpu to Lintzu Mnt. entrance, Yushan NP.
25/3: 12 (twelve!) at the paved road from Shangtungpu to Lintzu Mnt. entrance, Yushan NP. I walked this stretch at 7 AM, they were simply common, hopping on and along the road. Remarkably, on the way back, a few hours later I saw none! And believe me, they were not female Collared Bush-Robins!
Collared Bush-Robin Tarsiger johnstoniae Endemic species
Common at Yushan NP near Tatajia. Also seen at the Blue Gate Trails and Peitungyenshan.
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus
1/3: 1 female along a river from road 183 in Tainan County.
14/3: 1 female in a dry river bed near Danei.
27/3: 1 female (again), Chun-Yang Farm.
Plumbeous Redstart Rhyacornis fuliginosus affinis
2/3: Male seen well along the stream from the path to the Maolin Gorge waterfall.
28/3: Male along the road from route 14 to Peitungyenshan.
White-tailed Robin Myiomela leucura montium
Males were common along route 21 in the early morning while searching for Mikado Pheasant. Some were very approachable. Common at the blue Gate Trails and Peitungyenshan.
Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis
23/2: 1 male in the mangroves at the Sihcao Wildlife Preserve. Very shy, took me two hours to get reasonable views of this bird. True vagrant, ship assist, cage bird?
Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maura
30/3: female in the fields near Hungtou, Lanyu Island.
Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea oberholseri
Common in forests, but also in more cultivated areas like the yards of the Research Centre in Shanhua Township.
Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone atrocaudata
1/4: 3 males at the ‘Flycatcher Creek’, Lanyu Island. One was seen where the path to the creek meets the creek, two others were heard singing further into the creek.
Rusty Laughingthrush Garrulax p. poecilorhynchus Possible full species
26/3: Family party at the 2nd Blue Gate Trail.
In flight, white tail feather points were visible. These birds were different than the nominate race depicted in the book Birds of China: breast, back and mantle warmer brown, so less contrast with primaries, secondaries and crown. Crown lacks black streaking.
Taiwan Hwamei Garrulax taewanus Endemic species
9/3: 2 singing in the hedge along the start of the path from the car park to the Longluan Lake visitor centre. Later brief views in the scrub close to the car park. A previous trip report heard and saw them here as well, so this seems to be a reliable spot for this sometimes hard to come by recent split.
White-whiskered Laughingthrush Garrulax morrisonianus Endemic species
15/3, 25/3: Common at Yushan NP. Not seen at the Blue Gate Trails.
Steere's Liocichla Liocichla steerii Endemic species
Common in forested mountains.
Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler P. e. erythrocnemis Possible full species
1/3: Duet heard in the early evening along the road just past Tengjhih village. Brief views the following day at the same spot.
Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler P. ruficollis misicus Possible full species
Common in the hills around Danei. Also seen on other places, like Yushan NP.
Taiwan Wren-Babbler Pnoepyga formosana Endemic species
This name was used in Dutch Birding (30: 104-105), split based on Collar 2006 and del Hoyo, Handbook of the birds of the world 12.
26/3: After learning their call, heard different times along the Blue Gate Trails: a set of 3 or 4 high-pitched notes, well spaced and descending slightly. Different high calls and sounds heard along the trails could be from this species. After some patience I managed to see one bird very well. Not seen elsewhere.
Rufous-capped Babbler Stachyris ruficeps praecognita
Common in forests with dense undergrowth like Tengjhih, Yushan NP and htw Blue Gate Trails. .
Taiwan Barwing Actinodura morrisoniana Endemic species
1/3: Small group in a mixed flock at Tengjhih Forest Recreation Area.
15/3: Twice a small group along the 21, while searching for Mikado Pheasant in Yushan NP.
26/3: 3 times a small family party along the Blue Gate Trails.
Streak-throated Fulvetta Alcippe cinereiceps Well-marked subspecies
Seen at Yushan NP, Blue Gate Trails and Peitungyenshan.
Dusky Fulvetta Alcippe brunnea Well-marked subspecies
27/3: Briefly seen in dense undergrowth at Chun-Yang Farm. Way harder to observe than its two relatives. Skulker, keeps low in vegetation.
(Taiwan) Gray-cheeked Fulvetta Alcippe morrisonia
A split according to http://www.hannostamm.com/taiwan_september_2007a.htm
However, Collar 2006 rates it as a ‘dubious subspecies’.
Common. Seen in mountain forest, but also in more cultivated habitat near Danei.
White-eared Sibia Heterophasia auricularis Endemic species
Common in forests like Tengjhih, Kenting, Yushan, Blue Gate Trails, etc.
Taiwan Yuhina Yuhina brunneiceps Endemic species
Very common in forests at higher elevations. Large flocks around blossoming trees in Tengjhih forest recreation area and Yushan NP.
White-bellied Yuhina Yuhina zantholeuca
2/3: Few along the path to the Maolin Gorge waterfall.
27/3: Some noisy birds in the trees around the parking of the main service center at Hui Sun Forest Area.
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Paradoxornis webbianus bulomachus
27/3: 3 birds in the scrubby patches near the tea plantations in Chun-Yang Farm.
Golden Parrotbill Paradoxornis verreauxi morrisonianus Well-marked subspecies
15/3: A group of ± 40 birds along a trail at Lintzu Mnt. Just before Lulin lodge (seen from Shangtungpu) goes a trail to the left, it’s the Lintzu Mnt. entrance. Take the path and then the second trail to the right, a narrow trail through the high bamboo thickets. Along this path I was at once surrounded by the noisy parrotbills, great!
28/3: Surprised to find a group of about 15 birds at Peitungyenshan, in the bamboo thickets along the road between the first tea plantations and the farm.
Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus
Fairly common in forests like Tengjhih, Yushan NP, Blue Gate Trails, etc.
Coal Tit Parus ater ptilosus
15/3: 2 at the same spot as the Golden Parrotbills in Yushan NP.
25/3: Different birds between Shangtungpu and the Lintzu Mnt. Entrance.
Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus insperatus
15/3: 4 along route 21, while searching for Mikado Pheasant, in Yushan NP.
26/3: Fairly common at the Blue Gate Trails.
28/3: Different encounters at Peitungyenshan.
Yellow Tit Macholophus holsti Endemic species
Only seen on two places, and despite spending 12 hours of bird watching at the Blue Gate Trails, not seen there. Peitungyenshan must be the best spot for this species.
15/3: 2 along route 21, while searching for Mikado Pheasant, in Yushan NP.
28/3: Twice a few birds in a mixed flock.
Varied Tit Sittiparus varius Well-marked subspecies
27/3: 1 seen well while preening for a long time in a pine at Hui Sun Forest Area, along the Green Shower Trail.
According the Birds of China, the Taiwanese subspecies lacks the white stripe over the crown. However, while the bird was preening I could see the white stripe was present in this bird.
Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea
Fairly common, seen at Tengjhih village, Yushan NP, Blue Gate trails and Peitungyenshan.
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectum
15/3: 3 along the 21 in Yushan NP.
26/3: Common along the Blue Gate Trails.
28/3: Common at Peitungyenshan
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus
Very common, also in cultivated areas.
Lowland White-eye Zosterops meyeni batanis
White-eyes are common on Lanyu Island. I am not sure if both Lowland and Japanese White-eyes occur on the island. All birds were fairly similar to the birds of the mainland. Sometimes I got the impression birds were a bit bigger, and the back a bit more dark green than the main land birds. Vocalization was different: song was a pleasant melody of clear whistling notes.
Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii
24/2: Male in the hills around Danei.
2/3: 2 males along the path to the Maolin Gorge waterfall.
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
Very common in the lowlands.
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach
Fairly common in hills and lowlands.
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus harterti
Very common in the lowlands.
Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus braunianus Well-marked subspecies
1/3: 1 along road 183, Tainan County.
25/3: 2 at the walk to the Tsen Pagoda, Sun Moon Lake.
27/3: A few noisy individuals at Hui Sun Forest Area.
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius taivanus Well-marked subspecies
Seen in low numbers at Tengjhih forest recreation area, Yushan NP, Blue Gate Trails, Hui Sun Forest Area, Chun-Yang Farm and Peitungyenshan.
In Holland singing Jays are seldom heard, and their song is very soft. However, in Hui Sun and Chun-Yang Farm I saw a singing Jay, and their song was way louder than the Dutch Jays, full of imitations of for instance Large-billed Crow and Gray-cheeked Fulvetta.
Formosan Magpie Urocissa caerulea Endemic species
27/3: Three times a family group was found at Hui Sun Forest Area. I was there at a hot midday, so that maybe explains why these groups were very silent, contra many trip reports. One family group was seen building a nest in front of the research and education center, in the only deciduous tree right from the entrance (seen when standing in front of the building). The other two groups were seen from the Green Shower Trail.
Gray Treepie Dendrocitta formosae formosae Well-marked subspecies
Common in lowlands, but also common at places like Hui Sun Forest Area.
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
Fairly common in the lowlands, irregularly seen at the research institute in Shanhua Township.
Eurasian Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes owstoni Well-marked subspecies
25/3: 1 from a Lintzu Mnt. trail, Yushan NP.
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
Not seen in the lowlands, but regularly encountered in the mountains, usually in low numbers. On March 25 a group of 11 birds at Yushan NP.
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus
14/3: 2 in the wires near the Pheasant-tailed Jacana reserve.
3/4: Short views of fly by birds, who seemed to have a dark vent.
It took me a while to know how to identify Crested Mynas. Different sources state that the Taiwanese subspecies has white under tail coverts. With this knowledge in mind I saw many Crested Mynas. However, after a few weeks I learned that this is not true. Crested Mynas in Taiwan have black under tail coverts with white fringes, like the mainland nominate. All the mynas I had seen with white under tail coverts were Javan and/or White-vented Myna. These two species are introduced and have a crest too! After realizing this I saw many mynas with white under tail coverts, but no defenitive Crested Mynas! So be aware of calling the first myna you see a crested, cause I found them scarce, with only one good sighting! Crested Mynas give a more black impression than the browner Javan and/or White-vented Mynas. To make things more complicated: Common Myna is also introduced and common on the island.
White-shouldered Starling Sturnia sinensis
9/3: 2 males and 1 female at the car park of the Longluan Lake visitor center.
12/3: 2 in the wires at Shanhua Township.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
Abundant in the lowlands.
White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata
Less common than Chestnut Munia:
1/3: 3 at Tengjhih forest recreation area.
7/3: 6 near Danei Township, Tainan County.
9/3: 2 at the car park of the Longluan Lake visitor center.
27/3: 4 at Chun-Yang Farm.
Chestnut Munia Lonchura atricapilla
Regularly a group was seen in Shanhua Township, other groups seen at different places in lowlands.
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
15/3: 2 in the pines with Flamecrests at Yushan NP.
26/3: 1 heard at the 2nd Blue Gate Trail.
Vinaceous Rosefinch Carpodacus vinaceus
15/3: Regularly 1-3 birds along Route 21, while searching for Mikado Pheasant.
25/3: Between Shangtungpu and the Lintzu Mnt. entrance, Yushan NP: A male feeding at a few meters distance. It came closer and closer, when nearly hopping over my shoes it decided to fly away.
Brown Bullfinch Pyrrhula nipalensis Well-marked subspecies
26/3: A pair at the 2nd Blue Gate Trail, both carrying nest material.
Gray-headed Bullfinch Pyrrhula erythaca Well-marked subspecies
15/3: 1 at the Lintzu Mnt. trail and 4 between Shangtungpu and the big Chinese Hemlock, yushan NP. The group of four was very approachable, up to a few meters!
25/3: 3 near the big Chinese Hemlock, Yushan NP.
Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala
Fairly common. Seen at Danei, Tengjhih, Yushan NP and some other places.