Welcome to Birdquest


Tuesday 16th April — Tuesday 30th April 2019
(15 days)

Leaders: Steven An and Mark Beaman

Group Size Limit: 7

Tour Category: Easy to moderate walking and mostly comfortable accommodations

High priority birds on this special expedition will include a series of Birdquest lifers: the endangered and rapidly declining Silver Oriole, the only quite recently described Nonggang Babbler, Hainan Partridge, Hainan Peacock-Pheasant, Chinese Barbet and Hainan Leaf Warbler.

A rich supporting cast of important specialities includes the endangered White-eared Night Heron, the beautiful Cabot’s Tragopan, White-necklaced (or Rickett’s) Partridge, Silver Pheasant, Blyth’s Kingfisher, Blue-rumped Pitta, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, White-winged Magpie, Limestone Leaf Warbler, Rufous-cheeked Laughingthrush, the stunning Red-tailed Laughingthrush, Golden-fronted, Huet’s and Dusky Fulvettas, and Yellow-billed Nuthatch.

Our expedition will focus on five different areas.

The first part of our journey will take us to rarely-visited southwestern Guangxi province, on the borders of Vietnam, where we will have no trouble finding the recently-described endemic Nonggang Babbler, as well as Blue-rumped Pitta, the gorgeous White-winged Magpie and Limestone Leaf Warbler.

From the mainland we travel to the island of Hainan, where we will explore the Jianfengling reserve for three endemics, Hainan Leaf Warbler, Hainan Partridge and Hainan Peacock-Pheasant, as well as Chinese Barbet, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, Rufous-cheeked Laughingthrush, Huet’s and Dusky Fulvettas, and Yellow-billed Nuthatch.

Moving northwards, we visit Maoershan, home to the endemic and highly localized Gold-fronted Fulvetta.

Eventually we come to Nanling National Nature Reserve (also known as Ba Bao Shan) in northern Guangdong province, where the mega-bird is the Silver Oriole, but where we can also expect to see the superb Cabot’s Tragopan, Silver Pheasant, the restricted-range Red-tailed Laughingthrush, as well as Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Golden Parrotbill, Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher and quite possibly White-necklaced (or Rickett’s) Partridge.

Finally we will explore an area in the Guangdong/Jiangxi borderlands for the endangered White-eared Night Heron and the highly localized Blyth’s Kingfisher.

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels/guesthouses are mostly of good or medium standard. The guesthouse at Nanling is fairly simple, but all rooms have private bathrooms. Road transport is by minibus and roads are mostly very good or good.

Walking: The walking effort is easy for the most part, sometimes moderate.

Climate: Conditions will range from warm or hot in the lowlands to cool at the highest altitudes. At this season the weather is mainly sunny or overcast and dry, but periods of rainy weather are not uncommon. It is sometimes rather humid, especially near the coast.

Bird Photography: Opportunities are worthwhile.


Day 1  The expedition begins this morning at Nanning. Nanning is the capital of Guangxi province in southern China. From Nanning we head southwestwards to Nonggang in southwestern Guangxi, where we will stay for three nights. We should arrive in time for some initial birding.

Days 2-3  Today we will visit a reserved area where we will surely get wonderful views of the recently-described Nonggang Babbler, which was only discovered in 2005. Other good birds here are Blue-rumped Pitta, the beautiful White-winged Magpie and Limestone Leaf Warbler.

Day 4  This morning we will return to Nanning and catch a flight to Sanya, situated on the southern coast of the large island of Hainan off southern China. From Sanya we drive inland to Tian Chi (‘Heaven’s Lake’), a beautiful area in the mountains where we will stay for four nights. Depending on flight schedules, we will have some time for birding at Nonggang or at Jianfengling.

Days 5-6  The Jianfengling National Forest Park protects an extensive area of upland native forest in the interior of Hainan. Here we will be looking for the endemic Hainan Leaf-Warbler (which is easy to find), the endemic Hainan Partridge (which is shy but which we should see with persistence) and the endemic Hainan Peacock-Pheasant (which we should hear but have only a slim chance of actually seeing!). Other great birds in this fine area are the restricted-range Chinese Barbet, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, Rufous-cheeked Laughingthrush, Huet’s and Dusky Fulvettas, and Yellow-billed Nuthatch, all of which we should see, and in addition  the more widespread Silver Pheasant.

Day 7  Today we will return to Sanya and catch a flight to Guilin, from where we drive to Maoershan for a two nights stay. The whole area is renowned for its beautiful and spectacular karst limestone scenery.

Day 8  Our prime target at Maoershan is a highly localized but beautiful Chinese endemic, the pretty little Golden-fronted Fulvetta. There will also be a wide selection of montane species characteristic of South China.

Day 9  Today we head eastwards to Nanling National Nature Reserve for a four nights stay. We will either have time for some final birding at Maoershan or some initial birding at Nanling, depending on what seems best at the time.

Days 10-12   Nanling National Nature Reserve is one of the last reliable places to see the beautiful but fast declining and endangered Silver Oriole. We should see a number of these lovely creatures during our visit. Other good birds here are Cabot’s Tragopan, Rickett’s Partridge, Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher, the lovely Red-tailed Laughingthrush, Gold-breasted Fulvetta and Golden Parrotbill.

Day 13  After some final birding at Nanling we will head northwards to the Guangdong/Jianxi border area for a two nights stay.

Day 14  In this remote area we will be concentrating on seeing both the critically endangered White-eared Night Heron and the impressive Blyth’s Kingfisher. There will of course be a good variety of other birds to find.

Day 15  After some final birding we transfer to Guangzhou airport, where the tour ends in the early evening.


Birdquest Inclusions: our tour prices include all flights and all tipping, including tips for local guides and drivers. Some bird tour operators do not do this, yet for participants these costs are an unavoidable part of the tour. The value of these inclusions on this Birdquest tour amounts to approximately $500.

£3990, €4570, $5390 Nanning/Guangzhou. Deposit: £500, €600, $700.

Includes surface transportation, accommodations, meals, entrance fees and tips/gratuities.

Also includes these flights: Nanning-Sanya, Sanya-Guilin.

Single Room Supplement: £432, €494, $583.

This tour is priced in US Dollars. Amounts shown in other currencies are indicative.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.

Many of the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOL Certificate

Birdquest Ltd is Registered in England, Company No. 01568270. The address of our registered office is Two Jays, Kemple End, Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 9QY

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