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來臺灣賞鳥 

INTERNATIONAL TAIWAN BIRDING ASSOCIATION 臺灣國際觀鳥協會

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

 

George Clulow

 

Bill Keay

 

Simon Liao

 

Yang Chung-Tse

 

Allan Ridley

 

Hue Mackenzie

 

Hugh Currie

 

Kijja Jearwattanakanok

 

Peter Candido -

Re-Tern to Taiwan

 

Dave & Carol Roelen

 

Mark Wilkie

 

Phil Rostron

 

Héctor Gómez de Silva

Hanno Stamm

 

 

Terry Wright

Valerie Gebert

 

Max Berlijn

 

 

 

 

 

Max Berlijn

THE BIG CCTERN TWITCH

Matsu + Taiwan

17 T/M 23 July 2008

 

 

Max Berlijn

Epen, The Netherlands

max.berlijn@mail.ing.nl

 

Itinerary and Diary

 

In 2000, breeding Chinese Crested Terns where discovered in the Matsu Archipelago belonging to Taiwan but geographically more belonging to China. Since this species (prior to the last confirmed sighting in 1937) is on the holarctic list and always was a mythical bird for me (going over and over its picture in the Hong Kong guide during a stay there in 1989, indicated as extinct) there was no question about it. Try to see it as soon as possible!!). The question was how? In July (the best month for the species since they arrive late and are difficult to find when on eggs) 2004, Bjorn Anderson (living in China) managed to see it. My turn came in 2008 when Simon Liao of “Birding in Taiwan” arranged a trip to the area and made this public in 2007 on the internet. I joined immediately and the result is presented in this report.

 

17+18-08: I went on the fast train from Aachen via Koln to Frankfurt. Of course (as normal in Western Europe nowadays) there was a delay due to “technical problems” but I arrived in time at the airport. Here Lufthansa flew me (Business Class, because of a nice stewardess) to Hong Kong where I connected on a Dragonair flight to Taipei, arriving (in very bad weather) in the late afternoon. An hour’s drive took me a hotel near the domestic airport. Time for a massage (good for jet lag), Chinese food and a night’s sleep.

 

19-08: In the morning I went to the busy domestic airport to meet the other 10 participants from all over the world (two I knew well from other trips) who had the same idea as me. I arrived early and heard the announcement, “The 10.40 flight to Nangan (Matsu) is cancelled due to bad weather”…. I was astonished seeing the whole twitch falling apart. I met my fellow companions and our leaders Simon Liao and his assistant Dustin Wang. They seemed not too worried!!??

            We were taken to a VIP lounge to wait, and after 10 minutes my conclusions seemed right. No flight; typhoon Kalmaegi, in which I arrived yesterday, was now over Matsu causing problems for landing planes and ferries. Hours of nail-biting followed. Laptops were open and checking weather stations. Simon was constantly on his mobile, phoning Matsu for updates on the situation. When you miss a flight to Matsu due to weather, you are usually out of luck, because flights are difficult to rearrange in short notice. Simon said he has been to Matsu 20 times; half of the time he had problems going out, half of them when coming in. He has contacts in strategic places, and they were very helpful. To make a long story short, the weather passed during the afternoon and around 17.00 hours we where on the small plane for the 40 minute flight for Nangan, arriving there in time for a good meal and sleep for the day to come. Simon for President!!!

 

Typhoon Kalmaegi

Link: http://agora.ex.nii.ac.jp/digital-typhoon/summary/wNFRA/s/200807.html.en

 

 

20-08: Breakfast at 07.00 and after that the twitch was on. At 08.30 exactly we started heading for Chung (Tiejian) Islet by a boat which took 40 minutes not included a short stop at Chin Islet.

 

Closing in on the island with all the Great Crested Terns hanging in the air above, our heartbeats accelerated. It did not take long before I saw my first Chinese Crested Tern on the top of the island flying and dropping in and soon several more where found, some with young and some closely flying by the boat. One of the birds had speared its lower mandible through a piece of plastic. This bird had a chick.

            Aboard our boat some journalists picked up this story and we were in the papers the next day. Remarkably this bird was photographed this same day about 30 km away near Fujian on the Chinese coast (http://www.fjbirds.org/bbs/viewthread.php?tid=9101&extra=&page=1), proving that birds that occur at that location are Matsu birds. After two hours at the island we returned by the same route, happy and fulfilled. Around 15.00 hours we took the plane back to Taipei and the group split up. I went to the YMCA International House hotel and later on went to the Botanical Gardens for some more birding.

Participants from left to right: Robert Tizzard (Laos), Nick Lethaby (US), David Stanton (Hong Kong), Geoff Carey (HK), Valerie Brown (US), Dave Sargeant (Oman), Peter Milburn (Aus), Phil Hansboro (Aus), Richard Allison (UK) and myself. In the foreground, Simon Liao (leader) and Chang Shou-hua of the Matsu Wild Bird Society

 

21-08: Today I decided to join Simon, Dustin and Valerie on their Taiwan trip for two days. First we looked through the local paper, we were in it with the Chinese Crested Tern “plastic canister story”:

 

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/07/23/2003418300

http://tw.news.yahoo.com/article/url/d/a/080725/4/13vbi.html

 

We left the YMCA hotel about 07.00.  On the way to Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area (2640 meters), http://www1.forest.gov.tw/RA_En_JP/0300003/RA_EN-01.htm

in central Taiwan, we picked up lunch and breakfast for the following day. We started really birding at 11.00 and tried to clean up as many endemics as possible. We did well and arrived at the Dasyueshan NFRA around 15.00 hours, birded until dusk, had dinner and went to bed in the park cabins (quite nice).

 

22-08: Birded from first light at Dasyueshan NFRA until about 16.00 hours. Drove down to 900 meters in hopes to find Swinhoe’s Pheasant, but failed. In the end we cleaned up all but four of the generally accepted endemics along with some more lifers (30). A cab driver picked me up and drove me to Taipei in a bit more than 2 hours. I stayed in a motel (in Asia known for also other things than sleeping...) near Taipei International Airport in a quite “sleazy area”, but the hotel was extremely nice and not expensive.

23-08: Flew home the same way I came, without delays.

 

Legenda:

 

*AAAA = New (Holarctic) Species (30)

*AAAA = New species (9)

  AAAA = Good bird species

m = Seen on Matsu

THE BIRD SPECIES

 

 

 

001 LITTLE EGRET – Egretta garzetta m

       (kleine zilverreiger)

A total of 4 seen, three flying over the sea at Matsu.

002 EASTERN CATTLE EGRET – Egretta (ibis) coromandus

Common in the lowlands of Taiwan.

003 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON – Nycticorax nycticorax

       (kwak)

2 birds seen in the Botanical Gardens

Common during the evening in the lowlands of Taiwan.

004 MALAYAN NIGHT-HERON – Gorsachius melanolophus

20-08 1 very nice adult close-by in the Botanical gardens in the middle of the weekend crowd…

005 ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD – Pernis ptilorhynchus

21-08 1  flew over the beginning of the road to Dasyueshan NFRA

*006 MOUNTAIN HAWK EAGLE – SPIZAETUS NIPALENSIS ssp: nipalensis

21-08 2 birds, one adult (moult in the tail), quite pale (orange) underparts with not very obvious barring on the flight feathers. Huge hawk eagles.

*007 MIKADO PHEASANT – SYRMATICUS MIKADO

22-08 3 birds, two females and a male (without a long tail) at to Dasyueshan NFRA. All views long and next to the car, the male (even without a tail) was very impressive.

008 COMMON MOORHEN – Gallinule chloropus

       (waterhoen)

Common in the Botanical Gardens.

009 EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER – Haematpous ostralegus m

       (scholekster)

20-08 2 ex, on Chung Island together.

010 WOOD SANDPIPER – Tringa glareola m

       (bosruiter)

20-08 1 ex, passed the boat going back from Chung Island.

011 BLACK-TAILED GULL – Larus crassirostris m

20-08 3 ex, all not adult birds at Chung Island.

012 BRIDLED TERN – Onychoprion anaethetus m

       (brilstern)

20-08 100 ex on Chin Islet in a small colony, also some seen around Chung Island. Very nice views.

013 ROSEATE TERN – Sterna dougallii m

       (dougalls stern)

20-08 1500 ex present mainly on Chung Island, but seen all over the waters at Matsu. The bills of the birds where mostly red.

014 BLACK-NAPED TERN – Sterna sumatrana m

20-08 25 ex. all on Chin Islet, in pairs.

015 GREAT CRESTED TERN – Thalasseus  bergii m

20-08 2000 ex., mainly in a colony at Chung Island but also during the boat trip. Many quite grown chicks.

* 016 CHINESE CRESTED TERN – THALASSEUS BERNSTEINI m

20-08 16 ex and one chick seen very well between the Crested terns on Chung island. A maximum of 20 were seen with three chicks. One bird had speared its lower mandible through a piece of plastic  (for the full story see itinerary). The chick seems paler and differently marked than the chicks of 014.  Saw Chinese Crested Terns flying by the boat, sitting around and feeding chicks, for about two hours, less than 100 meters away. The birds stand out, being white instead of grey on the upperparts, the area surrounding the eye is  white (black in crested) and of course, the bill tip is black.

 

Text Box: YouTube link for video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sk7hw0Z608

 

 

*017 ASHY WOOD-PIGEON – COLUMBA PULCHRICOLLIS

22-08 3 ex, seen in flight (quite distinctive) at Dasyueshan NFRA. Nice grey heads and mostly neck.

018 ORIENTAL TURTLE-DOVE – Streptopelia orientalis ssp: orii

A total of 4 seen in the lower parts of Taiwan.

019 SPOTTED DOVE – Streptopelia chinensis m

Common all over Matsu and Taiwan.

020 FORK-TAILED SWIFT – Apus pacificus m

19-08 1 bird over the hotel at Nangan.

021 HOUSE SWIFT – Apus nipalensis m

20-08 3 ex, flying around the hotel at Nangan

21-08 5 ex. seen somewhere on the day.

*022 TAIWAN BARBET – MEGALAIMA NUCHALIS

20-08 5 ex. in the Botanical Gardens, one recently fledged juv. (with a grey head and green body), great views.

21-08 heard a few times in the lowlands.

023 BARN SWALLOW – Hirundo rustica m

       (boerenzwaluw)

Common on Matsu, hunting in the less windy parts.

22-08 2 ex, seen somewhere along the way.

024 ASIAN (HOUSE) MARTIN – Delichon dasypus

21-08 25 in a colony on the way up to Dasyueshan NFRA. For the first time I found them very different than House Martins, less contrasting with darker underwings and undertailcoverts.

025 COLLARED FINCHBILL – Spizixos semitorques ssp: cinereicappilus

21-08 3 ex, together on the way up to Dasyueshan NFRA.

22-08 1 ex. on the wires on the way down from Dasyueshan NFRA.

026 CHINESE BULBUL – Pycnonotus sinensis m

Common on Matsu

Common around Tapei, mainly in the Botanical Gardens.

027 BLACK BULBUL – Hypsipetes leucocephalus ssp: nigerrimus

20-08 5 ex. at the Botanical Gardens in Taipei

21+22-08 a total of 6 seen in the lower elevations of Dasyueshan NFRA.

*028 FLAMECREST – REGULUS GOODFELLOWI

21-08 2 ex, of which one seen very well (attracted by tape) with the open white face, at 2500 meters in Dasyueshan NFRA.

029 BROWN DIPPER – Cinclus pallasii

21-08 2 ex, one adult and a juv. in a stream near Dasyueshan NFRA.

*030 FORMOSAN WHISTLING THRUSH – MYOPHONUS INSULARIS

22-08 2 ex, along the way down from Dasyueshan NFRA. Huge, like a little corvid, dark blue.

031 BLUE WHISTLING-THRUSH- Myophonus caeruleus m

20-08  1 ex, flying by but seen well on Matsu.

*032 WHITE-BROWED SHORTWING –BRACHYPTERYX MONTANA

22-08 2 ex, one calling (coming in to tape) and seen without bins at the base of a bush; the other flew over the road, dark bird with a tail and an obvious white brow. Both on the almost highest part of Dasyueshan NFRA. Better views would be nice…

033 STRIATED PRINIA – Prinia crinigera ssp: striata

21-08 2 ex. seen well along a stream. This is a (new) candidate for an endemic split (G.Sangster pers.med)

*034 YELLOWISH -BELLIED BUSH WARBLER – Cettia acanthizoides

22-08 7 ex seen spread over the day at the highest elevations in Dasyueshan NFRA.

Nice cettia, with a yellow belly and a ridiculous song.

*035 TAIWAN BUSH-WARBLER – BRADYPTERUS ALISHANENSIS

22-08 2 ex, seen well, one juv sitting on a stone wall and one singing adult in the open. Like a Savi’s warbler.

036 RUFOUS-FACED WARBLER – abroscopus albogularis

Quite commonly seen in the lowlands and therefore surprisingly easier than on the mainland of China; about 27 seen also in small flocks.

*037 FERRUGINOUS FLYCATCHER – MUSCICAPA FERRUGINEA

22-08 3 ex, on the highest point of Dasyueshan NFRA, together; one male and one female at the top, and one juv. (dull colour) lower down

*038 VIVID NILTAVA – NILTAVA VIVIDA

21-08 3 ex, two males and a juv. (with spots on head and breast) seen well just below the highest point at Dasyueshan NFRA; nice flycatcher.

*039 COLLARED BUSH-ROBIN – TARSIGER JOHNSTONIAE

21-08 4 ex, with a pair at a nest, quite high at Dasyueshan NFRA. The nest and pair fed their young at very close range without interest in us watching and digiscoping.

040 PLUMBEOUS REDSTART – Rhyacornis fuliginosa

21-0786 ex, spread over the day at streams, some very young juv.

041 ORIENTAL MAGPIE ROBIN – Copsychus saularis m

20-081 ex at Matsu.

20-08 3 ex in the Botanical gardens (seems to be introduced)

*042 WHITE-TAILED ROBIN – CINCLIDIUM LEUCURUM ssp: montium

21-08 3 ex, a pair seen very well in the lowlands and a male at Dasyueshan NFRA. Nice big dark robins with obvious white in the tail. This subspecies is not much different than the mainland birds.

*043 BLACK-NAPED MONARCH – HYPOTHYMIS AZUREA ssp: oberholseri

20-08 2 males seen well at the Botanical Gardens in Taipei. Cracking birds. This subspecies is not much different from mainland birds.

*044 RUFOUS CAPPED LAUGHINGTHRUSH – GARRULAX RUFICEPS

22-08 2 ex, seen very well, noisy as they were a bit lower down in Dasyueshan NFRA. It took a bit of searching.

*045 RUSTY LAUGHINGTHRUSH – GARRULAX POECILORHYNCHUS

22-08 1ex, seen well and heard even better at Dasyueshan NFRA. The diamond shaped blue eye was seen very well.

*046 TAIWAN HWAMEI – GARRULAX TAEWANUS

21-08 1ex., seen and heard well in the lowlands, coming in to the tape. Has little to do with Hwamei of the mainland…

*047 WHITE-WHISKERED LAUGHINGTHRUSH – GARRULAX MORRISONIANUS

Common at the highest altitude at Dasyueshan NFRA, in small flocks.

*048 STEERE’S LIOCICHLA – LIOCICHLA STEERII

Common from middle elevations in the mountains often in small flocks and very tame.

*049 BLACK-NECKLACED SCIMITAR BABBLER – POMATORHINUS ERYTHROCNEMIS

21-08 2 ex., seen and heard well in the lowlands going up to at Dasyueshan NFRA. Plain face and big (called “the big one). Recently split from the mainland complex.

*050 TAIWAN SCIMITAR BABBLER – POMATORHINUS FORMOSANA

21-08 3 ex., seen and heard well though skulking in the lowlands going up to at Dasyueshan NFRA (called “the small one” by local birders). Nice rusty sides of the neck. Recently split from the mainland complex.

*051 TAIWAN WREN-BABBLER – PNOEPYGA FORMOSANA

221-08 5 ex of which one seen reasonably well at the higher elevations Dasyueshan NFRA. Like a chick, very rusty on the upperparts and white speckles on the underparts. The song is completely different than Pygmy from the mainland. A Swiss ornithologist recently split this species from Pygmy.

052 RUFOUS-CAPPED BABBLER – Stachyridposis ruficeps ssp: praecognita

21-08 1 ex. seen well in a reedbed next to a small river in the lowlands.

*053 TAIWAN BARWING – ACTINODURA MORRISONIANA

21-08 3 ex, two at the guesthouse an one at the peak; nice bird with obvious barring on the wingcoverts.

*054 TAIWAN FULVETTA – ALCIPPE FORMOSANA

22-08 1 ex., at the highest point of  Dasyueshan NFRA. Seen well with grey streaked throat, brown-green in the wings and an obvious eye-ring, coming in to the tape of  035.

055 GRAY-CHEEKED FULVETTA – ALCIPPE MORRISONIA ssp: morrisonia

21-08 5 ex, spread over the day on almost all elevations; usually on its own.

*056 WHITE-EARED SIBIA – HETEROPHASIA AURICULARIS

21+22-08 a total of 15 seen spread over the trip; nice birds and quite common

*057 TAIWAN YUHINA  - YUHINA BRUNNEICEPS

21+22-08 a total of 25 seen spread over the trip; nice birds always in small flocks

*058 GOLDEN PARROTBILL – PARADOXORNIS VERREAUXI SSP: morrisonianus

22-08 2 ex, seen very well near the house at the top (2640 meter) of Dasyueshan NFRA. What a cracker!!

059 BLACK-THROATED TIT – Aegithalos concinnus

22-08 40+ ex, in total, all in small flocks at Dasyueshan NFRA.

060 COAL TIT – parus ater ssp: ptilosus

        (zwarte mees)

22-07 10+ ex, in small flocks at Dasyueshan NFRA, a very long crest.

061 GREEN-BACKED TIT – Parus monticolus ssp: insperatus

22-08 10 ex, seen usually in flocks with other species at Dasyueshan NFRA.

*062 YELLOW TIT – PARUS HOLSTI

22-07 2 seen very well in a group of other tits at Dasyueshan NFRA, one more yellow on the underparts than the other; what a cracker. Near threatened by BLI, I wish it was Holarctic……

063 EURASIAN NUTHATCH – Sitta europaea

22-08 7 ex. seen in various “raving titflocks” at Dasyueshan NFRA.

064 FIRE-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER – Dicaeum ignipectum

22-08 1 female in a flock of tits at Dasyueshan NFRA.

065 JAPANESE WHITE-EYE – Zosterops japonicus m

20-08 Common at Matsu and later that day in the Botanical gardens in Taipei.

066 BLACK DRONGO – Dicrurus macrocercus ssp: harterti

A total of 4 birds seen on the way up and down from Dasyueshan NFRA.

067 GRAY TREEPIE – Dendrocitta formosae

21-08 3 ex, seen in a bamboo forest in the lowlands.

068 EURASIAN MAGPIE – Pica pica

       (ekster)

20-08 1 ex. in the Botanical Gardens in Taipei.

069 EURASIAN NUTCRACKER – Nucifraga caryocatactes ssp: owstoni

       (notenkraker)

22-08 2 ex, at the parking lot at the highest point of Dasyueshan NFRA.

Very spotted head contrasting with a no-spotted body.

---- CRESTED MYNA – Acridotheres cristatellus

19-08 2 ex. at the airport of Hong Kong at a gate building.

----- JAVAN MYNA – Acirdotheres javanicus

Introduced.  Common in the lowlands of Taiwan, it seems that there is some doubt about the myna species on Taiwan.

070 EURASIAN TREE SPARROW – Passer montanus

       (ringmus)

20-08 common in the Botanical Gardens in Taipei

071 VINACEOUS ROSEFINCH – Carpodacus vinaceus ssp: formosanus

21+22-08 14 ex in total seen well around the top of Dasyueshan NFRA, feeding on the ground an calling, males and females with white tertial tips.

*072 GREY-HEADED BULLFINCH (BEAVAN’S BULLF??.) – PYRRHULA ERYTHACA ssp: owstoni

22-08 15 ex, in small flocks around the top of Dasyueshan NFRA. This subspecies will probably be elevated to species level in short time.

 

 

 

THE HAIRY LIST

 

001 TAIWAN MACAQUE – Macaca  cyclopis – 21-07 1 ex at Dasyueshan NFRA

002 FORMOSAN RED-BELLIED SQUIRREL – Callosciurus erythraeus taiwanensis – 20-07 5 ex, Botanical Gardens Taipei

003 FORMOSAN STRIPED SQUIRREL – Tamiops maritimus formosanus – 22-07 10 ex at  Dasyueshan NFRA.

 

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