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SICHUAN (INCLUDING NORTHERN YUNNAN)

Sunday 12th May - Saturday 8th June 2013

Hannu Jännes

Giant Laughingthrush (Ueli Weber)

Giant Laughingthrush (Ueli Weber)

This year's Birdquest tour to Sichuan province in Central China, with an extended itinerary that included two completely new sites in Sichuan and a new site in northern Yunnan, proved a great success. We recorded 349 species, including a large number of Sino-Himalayan specialities and no less than 142 of Birdquest’s special diamond birds. Families that were especially well represented included no fewer than 16 species of pheasants and partridges, 34 species of warbler (including 20 Phylloscopus), and 11 species of parrotbill. The winner of the bird-of-the-trip vote was, by a large margin, the incredible Chinese Monal, which we saw extremely well in Wolong, followed by the splendid Golden Pheasant, the amazingly confiding Verreaux's Monal Partridge and Temminck's Tragopan. Other highlights included such stunning and difficult to get species as Tibetan Snowcock, Snow Partridge, White Eared, Lady Amherst's and Silver Pheasants, many Black-necked Cranes, a very showy pair of Wood Snipes, Tawny Fish Owl, many Grandalas, stunning Firethroats, Bar-winged Wren-babbler, Severtzov’s and Crested Tit-Warblers, Great, Brown, Spot-breasted, the very cute Golden and the very range restricted Grey-hooded and Przevalski’s (or Rusty-throated) Parrotbills, showy Barred and Giant Laughingthrushes, Emei Shan Liocichla, Sooty, White-browed and Père David’s Tits, Przevalski’s Nuthatch, Sichuan Jay, Hume’s Groundpecker, Slaty Bunting, and Sharpe's, Three-banded, Blanford's and Red-breasted Rosefinches. Highlights of our brief visit to Lijiang in northern Yunnan included the recently rediscovered Biet's Laughingthrush, Rufous-tailed Babbler (or Moupinia), Brown-winged Parrotbill, Black-breasted Thrush, Black-headed Greenfinch and Yunnan Nuthatch. Mammal highlights included many Chinese Ghorals, Takins, Tufted Deer and Hog and Eurasian Badger. Add to this the incredibly beautiful mountain scenery and the tasty food on offer, and it is easy to see why this tour is such an enjoyable experience.

Verreaux's Monal Partridge (Ueli Weber)

Verreaux's Monal Partridge (Ueli Weber)