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'EASY' SICHUAN

Saturday 6th May - Thursday 25th May 2006

Mark Van Beirs

Birdquest’s second ‘Easy’ tour to Sichuan was a great journey through the breathtaking landscapes of this large and varied Chinese province, on which we recorded 284 species of birds and no fewer than 16 mammals. We managed to see a remarkable proportion of Chinese endemics and Sino-Himalayan specialities with just a tiny bit of physical effort. Families that were especially well represented include pheasants and partridges (11 species seen and another heard), robins, chats and thrushes (28 species), warblers (29 species) and babblers (30 species, including six parrotbills). The Bird of the Trip was without any doubt the fabulous Chinese Monal that we observed so incredibly well on its snow-covered alpine slope. Other highlights included Snow Partridge, Verreaux’s Monal Partridge, Tibetan Snowcock, Blood Pheasant, Temminck’s Tragopan, Koklass, White Eared and Lady Amherst’s Pheasants, Black-necked Crane, Eurasian Eagle Owl, White-tailed Rubythroat, Rufous-headed Robin, Firethroat, Golden Bush Robin, Grandala, Severtzov’s and Crested Tit-Warblers, Great, Brown, Grey-hooded and Fulvous Parrotbills, Sukatschev’s, Giant and Rusty Laughingthrushes, Emei Shan Liocichla, Sooty, Black-browed, White-browed and Père David’s Tits, Przevalski’s Nuthatch, Wallcreeper, Sichuan Jay and Hume’s Groundpecker. Quality mammals included Red Panda, Takin and Chinese Ghoral.