Birder's Guide

MAR 2015

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 42 of 67

41 March 2015 | Birder's Guide to Travel briefy, if at all, before merging with the undergrowth. Fortunately, there are now a few select feeding stations around the island where these amazing birds can be seen well and for prolonged periods. The once-skittish and diffcult-to-lay-eyes-on Taiwan Partridge is another feeding station attendee, making the gamebirds, which used to be very diffcult to see, decidedly gettable on shorter trips to the island. Most of Taiwan's other spectacular endemics have always been quite sim- ple to fnd. In the central highlands of Dashueshan, it is possible to see 17–20 endemic species in a day or two, includ- ing the fruit-eating Taiwan Barbet, and a bevy of babblers: the gregarious and spritely Taiwan Yuhina, with its quaint crest; White-eared (Taiwan) Sibia; the furtive Steere's Liocichla; and the tree- hugging Taiwan Barwing. The noises of the forest are complicated by the var- ied calls of the White-whiskered, Rusty, and Rufous-crowned laughingthrushes; Collared Bush-Robin; the cute and tail- less Taiwan Cupwing (Wren-babbler); Flamecrest; Taiwan Bush-Warbler; and Yellow Tit. Joining the endemics in the mixed-species focks are other spectacu- lar resident birds, including Eurasian Nuthatch, Vivid Niltava, Gray Treepie, several species of energetic fulvettas such as Grey-headed (Morrison's) and Dusky, Vineous-throated and Golden parrotbills, Green-backed Tit, and "Owston's" and Brown bullfnches, and the tiny, bamboo- loving Rufous-faced Warbler. With such steep slopes and high rainfall on Taiwan, impressive waterfalls, gushing torrents, and lakes abound. These hold another guild of exciting birds, including the dapper Brown Dipper, which dives into the fast-fowing water, immersing it- self and scrambling along riverbeds, look- ing for amphipods and arthropods. The dipper has to share its home with another Asian stream specialty: Little Forktail. Seeing these little riverine treasures dart- ing in and out of the rapids is an incredible treat. The edges of river scrub or the eaves under bridges are the favored nesting habitat of the endemic Taiwan Whistling- thrush, an iridescent violet-blue creature most often detected by its spine-tingling screeching. Where the water slows and Temple pillar carving near Tsengwen Estuary. Photo © Keith Barnes Pair of Mikado Pheasants. Photo © Keith Barnes Steere's Liocichla. Photo © 阿堯

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