19 May 2012

Venturing into the Far East...TAIWAN (16 May)

I arrived in Taipei in the depths of night, knowing Keith Barnes was waiting, armed with my wish list, and ready to have two days intense chasing of endemics in Taiwan, an island I had never visited before. After a few mumbled words in the middle of the night from Keith we were up at the crack of dawn, after precious little sleep and were heading into the heart of the island and the Dasyueshan Recreation Area. This forested mountain offers most of Taiwan's much coveted endemics. My first endemic to fall was a Steere's Liocichla, which were ridiculously abundant on the mountain, closely followed by a cheery bunch of Taiwan Yuhinas, which were sharing a fruiting tree with the dapper White-eared Sibia. And not long after the boisterous and friendly White-whiskered Laughingthrush came bounding by and threw out the rulebook that all "Chinese" laughers are skulkers. Not on Taiwan.

However, it was the true "king of the mist" (and it was misty and rainy on the mountain), that I was truly hoping to see. Right on 4pm "he" appeared as predicted by Keith...a magnificent (and oh so tame) Mikado Pheasant foraging along the roadside. As if to prove that misty days are true "pheasant days" we also found another two males working the road verges on the way down to our accommodation. One day in Taiwan and three Mikado Pheasants, I had the feeling I was going to like this island!


JOTA ENE ✔ said...

Beautiful photos and beautiful gallery !

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