Taiwan is a mountainous island in the South China Sea, about 140 km (90 miles) off the Chinese mainland. The forested beauty of the island led Portuguese sailors in 1590 to name it Ilha Formosa, meaning "Beautiful Island."
This trip was designed to maximize birding opportunities and acquaint participants with a variety of habitats in a short period of time. As the government of Taiwan presently wishes to promote eco-tourism, this was also a prototype for a Taiwanese-organized and led tour. At the conclusion of the week, our group of twelve met with government officials for a summary of our thoughts and experiences.
Birders should be aware that while Taiwan has 15 endemic species, there are numerous endemic subspecies, some of which may be raised to full species level in the future.
(E) = Endemic species
Thursday-Friday, 20-21 March; Day 1: Vancouver, BC, Canada to Changhua, Taiwan
Our 12-hour EVA (Evergreen) Airways flight from Vancouver landed at 05:00 at Chaing Kai Chek International Airport, near Tayuan, 50 km west of Taipei. Clearing Passport Control and collecting the luggage proceeded smoothly. Outside the terminal, we boarded our comfortable mini-bus, and headed south along Hwy. #1, which approximately parallels the west coast of the island. As the early morning light improved, we saw Crested Myna, Black-crowned Night-heron, Gray Heron and Eurasian Tree Sparrow, as well as Great and Cattle Egrets. After a brief stop in the city of Taichung to pick up our assistant leader, Mr. Ten-Di Wu, we proceeded to the Tatu River estuary, where we saw an adult East Siberian Gull, Little Grebe and Oriental Skylark. Continuing to Hambao Wetland, we heard, and eventually saw Golden-headed Cisticola, as well as Daurian Redstart, American (A. s. japonicus) and Red-throated Pipit, Plain Prinia, Brown and Long-tailed Shrike, and many more herons and egrets. Incessant wind made 'scope use difficult.
After a delicious lunch (the first of many memorable meals) in colourful Lukang, we returned to the shore at Hambao for low-tide shorebirding. The many waders on the mud flats included Snowy Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Red-necked Stint, Dunlin, Common Greenshank, Common Snipe and Great Knot. We scrutinized more wetlands before moving on to the Choshui River (actually, a mostly-dried river bed) for the evening's appearance of Savannah (Allied) Nightjar. While we watched for the nightjars, two Lesser Coucals flew by.
Saturday, 22 March; Day 2: Changhua to Meifeng
We drove to Pakua Mountain in the Tri-Mountain National Scenic area, just southeast of Changhua city for the "Gray-faced Buzzard Bird Fair". This was the 12th year for the annual fair, which celebrates an impressive conservation effort. Hundreds of volunteers host thousands of visitors who come to witness the northward migration of Gray-faced Buzzards. During the morning, we saw 60 of these raptors as they skimmed the mountain, rested in trees, and "kettled" overhead. As we walked past fair booths, we saw a small flock of Japanese White-eyes and Arctic Warblers in a nearby tree.
In the afternoon, we headed inland to Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area. After settling into the Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Centre, with comfortable rooms in the style of the 1,000-year-old Tang Dynasty, we birded the extensive, well-treed grounds. One fruiting tree teemed with birds - Black Bulbuls, Light-vented (Chinese) Bulbuls, Pale Thrush, Brown-headed Thrush, with a Scaly (White's Ground) Thrush on the lawn below. A Malayan Night-Heron (Tiger Bittern) lurked just inside the forest edge up the hill. The evening was humid and hinting at rain when we went inside for dinner. Later, from our rooms, we heard a Collared Scops-Owl calling, but before we could go out to look for it, the rain began, washing out any owling.
Sunday, 23 March; Day 3: Sun Moon Lake to Meifeng
The day began with 6 a.m. birding around the spacious and varied grounds of the Activity Centre. We heard several Black-browed (Müller's) Barbets calling, but it was some time before we had good, close looks at them. Birds during the morning included Gray-cheeked Fulvetta, White Wagtail, Gray-chinned Minivet, Rufous-faced Warbler, Vivid Niltava, Rufous-capped Babbler, Taiwan Yuhina (E), Bronzed Drongo, and Gray Treepie. A highlight was the discovery of a Collared Owlet.
Leaving Sun Moon Lake, we drove to Tze En Tower, which was said to be a good place for Large Cuckoo Shrike. Within five minutes, three of these birds arrived. On the road again, we detoured into some scrubby habitat in Dream Valley for Collared Finchbill, and were rewarded with the first of 20 seen in total that day, as well as Striated Prinia. At the bottom of a waterfall, we found a Plumbeous Redstart; again the first of several.
Following lunch at Renai (Wushe), we walked through the town of Lushan, looking unsuccessfully for Brown Dipper and Taiwan Whistling Thrush along the narrow river. We found Striated Heron, and Simon glimpsed a Little Forktail, not seen by anyone else, unfortunately.
Returning to the bus, we continued northeast to Meifeng Experimental Farm and National Taiwan University Field Station. The field station, at an elevation of about 2100 m, was to be our base of operations for three days of birding for endemic species, an important focus of the trip. Within a few minutes of our arrival, we found a White-tailed Robin and Steere's Liocichla (E) that had been attracted to a trickle of water spilling down through the undergrowth of the densely treed bank beside the main building. The open field below had Red-flanked Bluetail and Brown Bullfinch. Like the previous evening, the atmosphere was murky, promising a damp night.
Monday, 24 March; Day 4: Meifeng to A Li Shan
Rain began about 03:00 and was still pounding down when we gathered at 05:30 for the drive to Dui Yen Trail for what was to be a prime opportunity for endemic species. Conditions worsened. When it wasn't pouring rain, we were enveloped in lowering clouds. In spite of the poor visibility, we did find good birds: Taiwan Partridge, White-whiskered (Taiwan) Laughingthrushes, Collared Bush-robin, White-eared Sibia (all E), Varied, Green-backed and Black-throated Tits, another Red-flanked Bluetail, more White-tailed Robins, Gray-chinned Minivets, Taiwan Yuhinas, and White-bellied Yuhina.
After returning to Meifeng, we found two Eurasian Jays and more Taiwan Yuhina, Vinaceous-throated Parrotbill, Green-backed and Varied Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch and Tawny Owl. Later, we searched for three Yellow-throated Buntings which had wintered on the farm. On the way, we saw Olive-backed Pipits, more Pale Thrushes, another Scaly Thrush, and a pair of Chinese Bamboo Partridges, but could not find the buntings.
After lunch, with the rain still pouring, there was a sudden change of plan. The weather forecast predicted more rain for our entire time at Meifeng, which would be disastrous for our search for endemic species at that elevation. So, our resourceful leaders arranged for us to move to A Li Shan, another mountain with facilities at similar elevation, where it was not raining. We packed up and departed in 30 minutes. On our way, we stopped to walk a trail on Bei Dong Yen Mountain (Northeast Eye Mountain). We had great luck, with Yellow (Taiwan) Tit (E), and two male Swinhoe's Pheasants (E) in flight. The pheasants flushed from ahead and above, and flew around us, out over the valley and parallel to the slope. The scene was spectacular, with the misty mountains in the background - the most memorable birding moment of the trip!
Tuesday, 25 March; Day 5: A Li Shan to Douliou
On the road at 06:00 to drive to higher elevation. Along the way, we found a Eurasian Nutcracker feeding by the roadside. We stopped along the Yushan Landscape Highway, at the "Couple Trees", charred remnants of a 1963 forest fire. The two huge tree skeletons seem to reproach mankind for the carelessness that caused the fire. Here, at elevation 2610 m, we found Vinaceous Rosefinch, Alpine Accentor, more liocichlas and laughingthrushes, and a Honey Buzzard. Geologically, the area is 9-13 million years old. Continuing on to the Tataka Recreation Center, we noted the distant peak of Jade Mountain, at 3952 m, the Yushan Main Peak and the highest peak in East Asia. Birds here included Taiwan Bush-warbler (E), Taiwan Barwing (E), Gray-headed (Beaven's) Bullfinch, Verreaux's Bush-Warbler, many Brambling, and a Bluethroat, which was a surprising find.
After lunch in A Li Shan, we birded the A Li Shan Park Gardens above and behind the police building. Wu found three more Taiwan Barwings, but the birds departed before the rest of us could see them. After much searching we saw several Flamecrests (E) in the coniferous trees. An astonishing find was a Streak-throated Fulvetta, which should have been on the other side of the mountains!
In mid-afternoon, we descended to the lowlands, to bird some of the last remnant of undisturbed lowland forest in Taiwan. Finding Maroon Oriole was a happy surprise. The Taiwan race, Oriolus traillii ardens, is deep red, not maroon.
Wednesday, 26 March; Day 6: Douliou to Tainan
Early in the morning, we went to Thiany Kin (Mango Valley), at Pillow Mountain. In the deeply shaded valley, we came up behind a Malayan Night-Heron slowly walking down the middle of the road. The bird ignored our bus and kept walking, like a feathered gnome, refusing to move aside. After several minutes, it turned and looked at us, as if to challenge our presence on the same road. Then, after much wing shaking, erecting and lowering of throat and nape feathers, the bird flew into the roadside vegetation.
Arriving at our destination, we walked along a small stream, through lowland bamboo forest habitat, perfect for Fairy Pitta. The pittas would be back on territory there in about four weeks' time. Some of the birds noted were Dusky (Gould's) Fulvetta, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Maroon Oriole, and Japanese Sparrowhawk. Unfortunately, this site in is to be dammed and flooded to ease a water shortage. Leaving the valley, we drove to the Tsengwen River estuary, where we found the Black-faced Spoonbill viewing blinds crowded with observers, mostly school groups, eager to see and learn about this globally threatened, critically endangered species which arrives in Taiwan in October and departs in April. Some 700 spoonbills pass through the estuary, about 2/3 of the world population, with approximately 300 remaining through the winter. Sadly, this winter, 73 birds died of an epidemic of botulism, C. botulinum toxin type C. The good news was that 12 sick birds recovered after intensive treatment. Further birding in the estuary produced Spotted Redshank, Long-billed Dowitcher, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Bar-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew, Cinnamon Bittern and White-breasted Waterhen among other species. We tried for Chinese Bittern, but ran out of daylight. While searching for the bittern, Wu spotted a Slaty-breasted Rail, but the bird did not remain in view long enough for anyone else to see it.
Thursday, 27 March; Day 7: Tainan to Taipei
"Meeting Day". (See Introduction.)
Friday, 28 March; Day 8: Taipei to Vancouver
As we had still not found two Taiwan endemic species, we went to Yangminshan National Park, just north of Taipei. There, with the help of Kuang-Ying Lafei Huang, of the Conservation and Research Division, Yangminshan National Park Headquarters, we quickly located a Formosan Whistling Thrush (E), along with a migrant Yellow-browed Warbler in the same tree. Three Taiwan Magpies (E) took a little longer, but eventually we had excellent views.
For part of the afternoon, we went to the very impressive National Palace Museum, an essential destination for any visitor to Taipei.
The last event was a farewell banquet, hosted by the Government Information Office. Following the banquet, we drove to Chaing Kai Chek International Airport for our EVA Airways flight to Vancouver
The trip was very successful. In addition to an overview of Taiwan and various bird habitats, the group recorded a total of 149 species, including 2 that were heard only. We saw 13 of Taiwan's 15 endemic species, missing only Mikado Pheasant and Styan's Bulbul (we did not travel within the bulbul's range). See Taiwan Bird Lists, March 21-28, 2003 for details.
Compiled by Peter Candido. Taxonomy, names and sequence follow Clements, JF (2000) Birds of the World, a Checklist, and subsequent updates. Species endemic to Taiwan are shown in all caps.
Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis - 1 at Tatu River estuary; 20 at Tsengwen River estuary. Great Cormorant,Phalacrocorax carbo - 2 at Tsengwen River estuary. Grey Heron,Ardea cinerea - many at Tsengwen River estuary. Great Egret, Ardea alba - several in wetland habitats. Intermediate Egret, Egretta intermedia - Many at Tsengwen River estuary. Little Egret,Egretta garzetta - many in wetland habitats. Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis - many at Hambao and Tsengwen River estuary. Striated Heron,Butorides striatus - 2 at Lushan. Black-crowned Night-Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax - many at Tsengwen River estuary and other wetlands. Malayan Night-Heron, Gorsachius melanolophus - 1 at Sun Moon Lake; 1 at Thiany Kin road, Pillow Mountain. Cinnamon Bittern, Ixobrychus cinnamomeus - 4 at Tsengwen River estuary. Black-faced Spoonbill, Platalea minor - 290 at Tsengwen River estuary. Globally threatened. Eurasian Wigeon, Anas penelope - 30 at Tsengwen River estuary. Eurasian Teal, Anas crecca - 6 at Tsengwen River estuary. Spot-billed Duck, Anas poecilorhyncha - 2 at Hambao. Garganey, Anas querquedula - 3 at Tsengwen River estuary. Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata - 7 at Tsengwen River estuary. Osprey, Pandion haliaetus - 1 at Tsengwen River estuary. Oriental Honey-buzzard, Pernis ptilorhyncus - 2 along Yushan Highway. Crested Serpent-Eagle, Spilornis cheela - in flight, on Days 3, 5 and 6. Crested Goshawk, Accipiter trivirgatus - 1 in flight, Day 3. Not seen by everyone. Japanese Sparrowhawk, Accipiter gularis - 1, Thiany Kin, Pillow Mountain, Day 6. Gray-faced Buzzard, Butastur indicus - 60 in flight, Pakua Mountain. Eurasian Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus - 1 on Day 5. TAIWAN PARTRIDGE, Arborophila crudigularis - 1 Dui Yen Trail, Meifeng. Not seen by everyone. Chinese Bamboo-Partridge, Bambusicola thoracica - 2 at Meifeng Experimental Farm. SWINHOE'S PHEASANT, Lopohura swinhoii - Bei Dong Yen Mountain. Slaty-breasted Rail, Gallirallus striatus - 1 at Tsengwen River estuary. Not seen by everyone. White-breasted Waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus - 2 at Tsengwen River estuary. Common Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus - 1 at Hambao; 20 at Tsengwen River estuary. Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus - many at Tsengwen River estuary. Pacific Golden-Plover, Pluvialis fulva - 20 at Tsengwen River estuary. Black-bellied Plover, Pluvialis squatarola - 1 at Hambao, on mudflats. Snowy Plover, Charadrius alexandrinus - many at Hambao; 20 at Tsengwen River estuary. Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago -3 at Hambao; 1 at Tsengwen River estuary. Long-billed Dowitcher, Limnodromus scolopaceus - 1 at Tsengwen River estuary. Bar-tailed Godwit, Limosa lapponica - 30 at Tsengwen River estuary. Eurasian Curlew, Numenius arquata - 3 at Tsengwen River estuary. Spotted Redshank, Tringa erythropus - 5 at Tsengwen River estuary. Common Redshank, Tringa totanus - 3 at Tsengwen River estuary. Marsh Sandpiper, Tringa stagnatilis - 2 at Tsengwen River estuary. Common Greenshank, Tringa nebularia - 2 at Hambao; 3 at Tsengwen River estuary. Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos - 1 at Tsengwen River estuary. Ruddy Turnstone, Arenaria interpres - many at Hambao. Great Knot, Calidris tenuirostris - 4 at Hambao. Red-necked Stint, Calidris rufficollis - 100 on mudflats at Hambao. Dunlin, Calidris alpina - 3,200 on mudflats at Hambao; 3 at Tsengwen River estuary. East Siberian Gull, Larus vegae - 1 adult at Tatu River estuary. Black-headed Gull, Larus ridibundus - 3 at Tsengwen River estuary. Gull-billed Tern, Sterna nilotica - 3 at Tsengwen River estuary. Caspian Tern, Sterna caspia - 120 at Tsengwen River estuary. Whiskered Tern,Chlidonias hybridus - 20 at Tsengsen River estuary. Rock Dove, Columba livia - many in varied habitats. Ashy Wood-Pigeon, Columba pulchricollis - 1 at Bei Dong Yen Mountain, Day 4. Red Collared-Dove,Streptopelia tranquebarica - seen almost every day, in various habitats. Spotted Dove, Streptopelia chinensis - common in lowlands. White-bellied Pigeon, Treron sieboldii - 2 at Bei Dong Yen Mountain. Oriental Cuckoo,Cuculus saturatus - heard only, Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center. Lesser Coucal,Centropus bengalensis - 2 at Choshui River, while waiting for Savannah Nightjars. Collared Scops-Owl, Otus lettia - heard only, Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center. Tawny Owl, Strix aluco - Meifeng Experimental Farm. Collared Owlet, Glaucidium brodiei - Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center. Savanna Nightjar, Caprimulgus affinis - 4 at Choshui River. House Swift,Apus nipalensis - seen almost every day, in various habitats. Common Kingfisher,Alcedo atthis - 2 at Hambao; 1 at Lushan; 2 at Tsengwen River estuary. Black-browed Barbet,Megalaima oorti - 4 at Sun Moon Lake Activity Center; 1 at Meifeng area; 8 at A Li Shan Park Gardens. Gray-capped Woodpecker, Dendrocopos canicapillus - 4 in lowland habitat on Day 4. Oriental Skylark, Alauda gulgula - 5 at Tatu River estuary. Plain Martin,Riparia paludicola - several on Days 1 and 3. Barn Swallow,Hirundo rustica - common in lowlands. Pacific Swallow, Hirundo tahitica - 6 at Lushan; many at Tsengwen River estuary. Striated Swallow, Hirundo striolata - several, on Days 1, 3, and 6. Asian Martin,Delichon dasypus - 6 on Day 5. White Wagtail,Motacilla alba - 1 at Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center. Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla flava - 1 at Hambao. Gray Wagtail,Motacilla cinerea - 1 at Meifeng Experimental Farm; 2 others on Days 5 and 6. Olive-backed Pipit, Anthus hodgsoni - 2 at Meifeng Experimental Farm; 5 at A Li Shan; 2 at Yangminshan National Park. Red-throated Pipit,Anthus cervinus - 1 at Hambao. American Pipit, Anthus rubescens japonicus - 4 at Hambao. Large Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina macei - 3 at Tze En Tower, Sun Moon Lake. Gray-chinned Minivet, Pericrocotus solaris - 10 in total; at Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center; Meifeng; A Li Shan Park Gardens. Collared Finchbill, Spizixos semitorques - 20 at Dream Valley on Day 3. Light-vented (Chinese) Bulbul, Pycnonotus sinensis - common almost everywhere. Black Bulbul, Hypsipetes leucocephalus - common on Days 2, 3, and 4. FLAMECREST, Regulus goodfellowi - 5 at A Li Shan Park Gardens. All were in coniferous trees. Alpine Accentor, Prunella collaris - 6 on Day 5, at the "Couple Trees". FORMOSAN WHISTLING-THRUSH, Myophonus insularis - 2 at Yangminshan National Park. Scaly Thrush, Zoothera dauma - 1 at Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center, 3 at Meifeng Experimental Farm. Pale Thrush, Turdus pallidus - 1 at Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center, 8 at Meifeng Experimental Farm, 4 at A Li Shan Park Gardens. Brown-headed Thrush, Turdus chrysolaus - 1 at Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center. Golden-headed Cisticola, Cisticola exilis - 2 at Hambao. Striated Prinia, Prinia criniger, - 3 on Day 3 in scrubby habitat. Plain Prinia, Prinia inornta - 1 each on Days 1, 2, and 3. Yellowish-bellied (Verraux's) Bush-Warbler, Cettia acanthizoides - 1 at Tataka Recreation Center on Day 5. TAIWAN BUSH-WARBLER, Bradypterus alishanensis - 7 at Tataka Recreation Center; 1 seen well, others heard. Dusky Warbler, Phylloscopus fuscatus - 2 at Tataka Recreation Center. Yellow-browed Warbler, Phylloscopus inornatus - 1 at Yangminshan National Park. Arctic Warbler, Phylloscopus borealis - 2 at Pakua Mountain, Day 2. Rufous-faced Warbler, Abroscopus albogularis - 2 at Meifeng area. Vivid Niltava, Niltava vivida - 1 at Pakua Mountain; 2 at Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center; 1 in lowlands on Day 5. Bluethroat, Erithacus svevicus - 1 at Tataka Recreation Center (unusual habitat). Red-flanked Bluetail, Tarsiger cyanurus - 1 on Days 3, 4, and 5. White-browed Bush-Robin, Tarsiger indicus - 1 at Meifeng are. COLLARED BUSH-ROBIN, Tarsiger johnstoniae - 3 at Meifeng area; 4 at A Li Shan Park Gardens. Daurian Redstart, Phoenicurus auroreus - 1 at Hambao. Plumbeous Redstart, Rhyacornis fuliginosus - 8 on Day 3, several locations, including Lushan and A Li Shan Park Gardens. White-tailed Robin, Cinclidium leucurum - 4 at Meifeng area. Little Forktail,Enicurus scouleri - 1 at Lushan town, by leader only. Black-naped Monarch, Hypothymis azurea - 2 in lowlands on Day 5. WHITE-WHISKERED LAUGHINGTHRUSH, Garrulax morrisonianus - 3 at Dui Yen Trail, Meifeng; 5 at the "Couple Trees" on Day 5. STEERE'S LIOCICHLA, Liocichla steerii - 2 at Meifeng area, 4 at the "Couple Trees" on Day 5. Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Pomatorhinus ruficollis - 2, Thiany Kin, Pillow Mountain, Day 6. Rufous-capped Babbler, Stachyris ruficeps - 1 Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center; 1 at Thiany Kin, Pillow Mountain, Day 6. TAIWAN BARWING, Actinodura morrisoniana - 2 at Tataka Recreation Center; 3 at A Li Shan (not seen by all). Streak-throated Fulvetta, Alcippe cinereiceps - 1, A Li Shan Park Gardens (out of normal range). Dusky Fulvetta, Alcippe brunnea - 1, Thiany Kin, Pillow Mountain. Gray-cheeked Fulvetta, Alcippe morrisonia - 3 on Day 3. WHITE-EARED SIBIA, Heterophasia auricularis - 13 total at Dui Yen Trail, Meifeng and Bei Dong Yen Mountain, Day 4. TAIWAN YUHINA, Yuhina brunneiceps - fairly common at Sun Moon Lake, Meifeng, and A Li Shan Park Gardens. White-bellied Yuhina, Yuhina zantholeuca - 1 at Meifeng area; 2 more on Day 5; 3 more on Day 6. Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Paradoxornis webbianus - 1 at Meifeng Experimental Farm (not seen by all). Black-throated Tit, Aegithalos concinnus - 40 at Meifeng area. Green-backed Tit, Parus monticolus - 1 at Sun Moon Lake; 3 at Meifeng; 1 at A Li Shan Park Gardens. YELLOW TIT, Macholophys holsti - 1 at Bei Dong Yen Mountain. Varied Tit, Sittiparus varius - 4 at Meifeng area. Eurasian Nuthatch, Sitta europaea - 2 at Meifeng Experimental Farm. Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Dicaeum ignipectus - 3 on Day 4. Japanese White-eye, Zosterops japonicus - fairly common on Days 2 to 5. Maroon Oriole, Oriolus traillii ardens - 1 in lowlands on Day 5; 1 at Thiany Kin, Pillow Mountain on Day 6. Brown Shrike, Lanius cristatus - 1 at Hambao; 1 on Day 2; 1 on Day 6. Long-tailed Shrike, Lanius schach - 1 at Hambao; 2 at Tsengwen River estuary. Black Drongo, Dicrurus macrocercus - 2 on Day 1; many on Day 6; fairly common at low elevation. Bronzed Drongo, Dicrurus aeneus - 30 on Day 3. Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius - 2 at Meifeng Experimental Farm. TAIWAN MAGPIE, Urocissa caerulea - 3 at Yangminshan National Park. Gray Treepie, Dendrocitta formosae - 1 at Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center; 1 each on Days 5 and 6. Eurasian Magpie, Pica pica - 1 at Tsengwen River estuary. Eurasian Nutcracker, Nucifraga caryocatactes - 2, A Li Shan. Large-billed Crow, Corvus macrorhynchos - 3 on Day 3; 8 on Day 5. Crested Myna, Acridotheres cristatellus - 6 in lowland urbanized habitat on Day 1, 10 on Day 6. White-rumped Munia, Lonchura striata - 3 at Thiany Kin, Pillow Mountain. Nutmeg Mannikin, Lonchura punctulata - 10 in scrubby habitat on Day 1; 3 on Day 6. Black-faced Bunting, Emberiza spodocephala - 2 on Day 1; 1 on Day 3. Brambling, Fringilla montifringilla - 11 total at Tataka Recreation Center and A Li Shan Park Gardens. Vinaceous Rosefinch, Carpodacus vinaceus - 4 at the "Couple Trees". Eurasian Siskin, Carduelis spinus - 1 on Day 6 (not seen by all). Brown Bullfinch, Pyrrhula nipalensis - 3 at Meifeng Experimental Farm. Gray-headed Bullfinch, Pyrrhula erythaca - 3 at Tataka Recreation Center. Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus - Common in towns.
Seen: 13 of Taiwan's 15 endemics. Total species: 149, including 2 heard only.
Missed: Mikado Pheasant, Syrmaticus mikado and Styan's Bulbul, Pycnonotus taivanus. The bulbul, inhabiting the south and southeast of Taiwan, was not on our route.