Birding in Taiwan

 

 
Birding Stories

 

David Stirling

 

Macdonald Burbidge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr.Rob Butler

 

Karen Shih

 

Madelon Schouten

BIRDING TAIWAN, MAY 2–11, 2005 — A PERSONAL VIEW

 

George Clulow

 

Bill Keay

 

Simon Liao

 

Yang Chung-Tse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taiwan Birding Trip — November 7–16, 2005

Bill Keay

Lions Bay, British Columbia, Canada

 

            I don't remember who shouted "Painted Snipe" first, but I do remember George Clulow showing me the opening in thick grass where this magnificent bird was last seen. Focusing the scope produced not only one, but 15 (or so) Painted Snipe running through this small opening.  For me, it was the bird of the trip - It is one thing to see Painted Snipe paintings in birding guides, but to see it close and personal is breath-taking!  For 10 minutes we watched this incredible bird.  Just one of the 107 lifers I saw on this trip.

            Although not in the same class of most birders in our group (many who sported world bird lists of 2000 plus) headed by Simon Liao, Honorary Chairman of the Wild Bird Federation of Taiwan, I did pass the 1000 world bird mark on the first day (9 day trip). About 85 percent of our Taiwan birding adventure was active bird watching — the other part included press conferences, school visit, temple visits, and dinners with Taiwan government dignitaries.  Avian Flu was BIG news in Taiwan, and the sight of an international birding group here to purposely watch wild birds and not be worried about (or catch) Avian Flu, got the attention of the Taiwan press.  Fortunately, we had our "experts" explaining that watching wild birds posed NO threat to anyone.  Our story and pictures appeared in several papers and on Taiwan television.  (As a member of the Vancouver media, it was interesting to see how the local Taiwan press handled the event, and what questions they asked.)

            Simon, and Jo Ann MacKenzie put on a wonderful tour, and their knowledge of Taiwan birds is impressive.  Great birds I will remember include Spot-billed Duck, Malayan Night-Heron [Tiger Bittern], Crested Serpent-Eagle, Swinhoe's Pheasant, Black-winged Stilt, Black-tailed Godwit, Saunders' Gull, White bellied [Japanese Green] Pigeon, Common Kingfisher, Flamecrest, Steere's Liocichla, Golden Parrotbill (my second favorite bird of the trip), Yellow Tit, Formosan Magpie, and of course Black-faced Spoonbill — just to mention a few.

            As the only vegetarian of the group, I was more than a little worried about what I could and couldn't eat.  But Simon took charge - and made sure I was looked after at every meal break — whether it be a quick 7/11 stop, or a special meal put on by a Taiwan Senator.  Thank you Simon!!!!

            A special word to those bringing long lenses and hoping for close-ups of many of these incredible birds.  You might want to follow the example of Allan Ridley of California, who is the king of "digiscoping" — (taking digital pictures through a telescope).  They were great!

            Thank you all for such a great birding experience in wonderful Taiwan!  Again, special thanks to Jo Ann MacKenzie, Rob Butler and Simon.  And Rob, you are right... Simon is a god!!!!!

http://www.keaywildlife.com/pages/TAIWAN.html

台灣賞鳥之旅

Bill Keay

  我已經不記得是誰第一個驚呼” Painted Snipe”了,不過George Clulow所指給我看那從濃密草叢的空隙中,所目睹的令人嘆為觀止鳥兒的最後一瞥,卻深深烙印在我腦海中。在那塊小小的空地中,我們看到了不只一隻,而是十五隻左右的Painted Snipe。對我而言,這隻鳥就是這次旅行的意義---在賞鳥指南上看到Painted Snipe的圖片是一回事,如此貼近且私密的觀賞它卻是令人感動到喘不過氣來。我們觀賞著它達十分鐘之久,而這只是我這次旅行所看到107種鳥類的其中一種。

   儘管我和我們賞鳥團(Simon Liao—中華民國野鳥學會榮譽理事長所帶領)中大部分的賞鳥者身處的領域不同(many who sported world bird lists of 2000 plus)I did pass the 1000 world bird mark on the first day.這趟台灣賞鳥冒險之旅中,實際賞鳥活動大約就佔了85%,其他包括記者招待會、學校訪問、廟宇欣賞以及和台灣政府官員共進晚餐。禽流感目前在台灣是非常大的新聞,而我們這個國際賞鳥團體卻完全不擔心會受到感染,專程飛到台灣來觀賞野鳥,此舉著實引起了台灣媒體相當大的注意。幸運的是,我們有專家向所有人解釋觀賞野鳥是絕對不會對任何人造成威脅的。於是我們的故事和照片被許多台灣報章雜誌和電視節目刊登及報導。(身為Vancouver media的一員,觀察台灣本地媒體如何處理此類題材以及聆聽他們所問的問題是相當有趣的)

   此次由SimonJo Ann MacKenzie主辦的賞鳥之旅相當美好,而他們兩人對於台灣野鳥的豐富知識更是令我印象深刻。那些令我牢記在心的鳥兒包括Spot-billed DuckMalayan Night-Heron(Tiger Bittern)Crested Serpent EagleSwinhoe's PheasentBlack-winged StiltBlack-tailed GodwitSaunder's GullWhite bellied(Japenese Green)PigeonCommon KingfisherFlamecrestSteere's LiocichlaGolden Parrotbill(這趟旅程中我第二喜愛的鳥兒)Yellow TitFormoson Magpieand of course—Black-face Spoonbill,這邊只概略提一些。

   身為團中唯一的一位素食者,我其實有些擔心此行中的飲食問題,但是Simon卻已全替我設想好了無論是在7-11中的短暫停留,或是在由台灣議員所招待的晚宴中,他都仔細的替我確認我的每一餐。感謝你,Simon!

   一些特別的話要給那些帶著長鏡頭,盼望能夠更近距離捕捉到動人鳥兒倩影的朋友:你們可以試試數位攝影高手加州的Allen Ridley的方法,用望遠鏡拍攝數位相片,這個方法的效果相當不錯喔!

    在這令人驚艷的台灣,謝謝你們給了我如此美好的賞鳥經驗!再次感謝Jo Ann MacKenzieRob ButlerSimon。你說的對,Rob…Simon簡直像神一樣!!

 

Bill Keay

Bill Keay was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and raised in the small Alberta prairie town of Castor.  Following two years of Journalism at S.A.I.T. in Calgary, he started as a reporter for the Calgary Albertan newspaper.  In the next 5 years, he worked for various newspapers throughout Alberta and British Columbia.  In 1973-74, he (along with several friends) spent 6 months backpacking around South America.  On his return, he joined the Vancouver Sun newspaper in Vancouver as darkroom technician, and then as Staff Photographer.  He has worked at the Sun as Staff Photographer for over 30 years.

In 1984, Bill and his wife Wanda started their wildlife photography business.  Their artful creations have been sold as fine art around the world.  This work takes them on exciting adventures, such as a trip to film Polar Bear that required slogging 600 km over the frozen Arctic Ocean on a sled with an Inuit guide.  In 1992, Bill and Wanda put out a book titled The Wildlife of Bill Keay. It became a Canadian best seller.  The book was forwarded by the World's most famous birder,  Dr. Roger Tory Peterson.  Bill and Wanda have also photographed wildlife in Africa and recently in Ecuador, South America.  Bill, Wanda, and daughter Serena recently returned home after photographing "Spirit Bear”, Black Bear, and Humpback Whales in northern British Columbia.

Their wildlife photographs are displayed and sold at shows across Canada.  Exhibitions of their work have hung in many prestigious galleries, and a selection toured the country in the "BEST of Canadian Bird Photography" co-sponsored by the National Museum of Natural Science and the Canadian Nature Federation.  Their work has been presented to three heads of state, many dignitaries, as well as a Royal Family.  Bill and Wanda were asked to exhibit their photographs for Prince Philip at a World Wildlife Fund Dinner held in Vancouver.  Currently, people from 104 countries have logged into their www.keaywildlife.com  web site to view their wildlife work.  Bill, Wanda, and their daughter Serena are now producing wildlife Calendars for Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society, which teaches school children about the value of wildlife.

Bill has won the Canadian "National Newspaper Award" for feature photography, an "Award of Excellence" in the photograph-of-the-year competition held by the National Press Association in the United Sates, and 6 Canadian Press Awards.  In 1994, Bill received an award from the British Columbia Council for the Family for his photographic work on "Children of Poverty".  He received a "Citation of Merit" award in Toronto for a photograph from that series.  In Toronto, May 1999, he received a "Citation of Merit" for taking one of the three best news pictures in Canada.  In 2000, he won the "Jack Webster Award" for his "Wheat Farming" feature (photographed over a one-year period).  In May of 2001, he was nominated for a "National Newspaper Award" for a feature on drugs in the inner city.  Recently, Bill joined with other Canadian photographers to photograph "Children of Poverty" project in Canada.  They won the "Community Service Award" in Toronto for their efforts.   Bill is now listed in "Canadian Who's Who".

Bill and Wanda live in Lions Bay, British Columbia.  They have two daughters - Serena & Angela - and one granddaughter, Ayyah.