01 July 2010

Sichuan China BALANG SHAN (May 2010)

One of the most spectacular settings on Earth to bird (in my very humble opinion) is the mountain of Balang Shan, in the Wolong Panda Reserve in Sichuan. My group though had trouble believing this as the 4600m high giant was cloaked in thick fog/cloud, leaving the scenery unseen for a number of days. However, once the cloud cleared gasps went up and we pulled in quite the haul of celebrity birds: a pair of Chinese Monals graced in an alpine meadow, a clean White Eared Pheasant fed quietly on the slopes below, glowing Purple Grandalas worked the upper slopes, and Svertsov's Tit-Warblers displayed their undeniable cuteness to all on the shrubby hillsides on the far side of the pass (see photo), just a short drive down from where a male Himalayan Rubythroat showed off his best feature while singing from the mountain shrubbery, with snow-dusted slopes behind. On top of all of that, Lammergeiers haunted the skies above, Verreaux's Monal-Partridge scuttled across the road, AND a bundle of rosefinch species kicked off an amazing tour for these pink finches, some 11 species of which were tallied by the end!

1 comment:

Andy Johnson said...

I love the varied bunting X boreal chickadee X gnatcatcher sp. Awesome bird!