2015 Sichuan to Edge of Tibet Plateau (16days)

 

Sichuan to Edge of Tibetan Plateau Birding Tour

May 03 - May 18 2015  

Sichuan lies at the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau and this superb province has the richest concentration of Chinese specialties, holding around two-thirds of the country's endemic birds! Not only does Sichuan offer the best opportunities for seeing China's prime specialties, but due to the great diversity of its habitats, ranging from the subtropical lowlands of the Red Basin and rich evergreen foothill forests to cool temperate zone forests, alpine meadows and dramatic snow-capped mountain peaks, the province has a remarkable wealth of birds in general. Even then there is more to Sichuan, for beyond these rocky ramparts lie the vast grasslands of the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Without a doubt Sichuan is the very best of China

 

Birds Possible: 200-250 species

Highlights: Chinese Bamboo Partridge, Tibetan Snowcock, Snow Partridge, Lady Amherst's, Golden, Blood, Koklass & White Eared-Pheasant, Chinese Grouse, Chinese Monal; Emei Shan Liocichla, Rusty, Elliott's, Black-faced, White-browed, Giant, Spotted, Moustached, Red-winged & White-throated Laughingthrush, Chinese Babax and Hwamei; 8 species of parrotbills, Purple Cochoa, Firethroat, 14 species of Phylloscopus warblers, Crested Tit-warbler, 8 species of rosefinches (include stunners like Vinaceous and Three-banded) and Crimson-browed Finch.

 

Golden Pheasant

 

Schedule:

Day 1__03.05.2015 Arrive in Chengdu   Dinner

Today you will arrive in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel.

1-night in 4* Tianfu Sunshine Hotel or similar.

 

Day 2__04.05.2015 Chengdu to Longcang Gou   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early morning drive to Chengdu Panda Breeding Center, half day panda visiting and bird watching, and after lunch, drive from Chengdu to Longcang Gou. Longcang Valley lies at the western section of Wawushan. Check in hotel, walk around near the hotel and do some easy birding. Wood Inn is the best hostel in Longcang Gou. However, there is no private bath room in guest house. In the birding season, it's almost the home of birdwatchers.

2-night in Wood Inn or similar.

Wawu Shan, is an over 3000m peak, which situated about 70 km to the west of the more famous Emei Shan. Wawushan is the largest National Primeval Forest Park inChina. The elevation goes from 2830m. According to the investigations, there are more than 3500 species of plants and about 300 species of birds in Wawushan areas. At lower levels, areas of evergreen broadleaf woodland are interspersed with cultivation, but higher up this gives way to deciduous woodland and ultimately large open, grassy or bamboo-covered areas and stands of mixed coniferous-rhododendron forest. As we walk here amongst the gnarled, moss-encrusted trees we may enjoy some superb vistas across a seemingly endless series of mountain ridges to the great snow-capped peaks of western Sichuan beyond.

Golden-Breast Fulvetta

 

The prime endemic birds you may see here are:

Lady Amherst's Pheasant, Temminck's Tragopan, ChineseBamboo Partridge, Grey-hooded Parrotbill, Emei Shan Liocichla and the recently described Sichuan Treecreeper, Chinese Blue Flycatcher (split from Blue-throated), Black-streaked Scimitar Babbler, Grey-hooded Fulvetta, Brown-capped (or Dusky) Fulvetta and White-collared Yuhina, Elliott's Laughingthrush, the lovely Red-winged Laughingthrush.

And some widespread birds:

Asian Koel, Oriental Scops Owl, Himalayan Swiftlet, Fork-tailed (or Pacific) Swift, Darjeeling and Bay Woodpeckers, Grey Wagtail, Himalayan Black Bulbul (of the striking white-headed form), Long-tailed Minivet, Brown Dipper, Rufous-breasted Accentor, the superb Golden Bush Robin, White-bellied Redstart, Oriental and Lesser Cuckoos, Crested (or Oriental) Honey Buzzard, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Whistling Hawk-Cuckoo, Grey Bushchat, Blue Whistling Thrush, Slaty-backed Forktail, Verditer, Ferruginous, Slaty-blue, Rufous-gorgeted and Grey-headed Flycatchers, Blue Magpie, Large-billed Crow, Russet Sparrow, Dark-breasted and Dark-rumped Rosefinches, and the near-endemic Grey-headed Bullfinch, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Pygmy Wren-Babbler, Black-faced Laughingthrush, Red-billed Leiothrix, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Stripe-throated and Black-chinned Yuhinas, Rufous-vented, Coal and Green-backed Tits, the near-endemic Yellow-bellied Tit, Gould's Sunbird, Japanese White-eye, Hair-crested Drongo .etc.

Lady Armherst's Pheasant

 

Day 3__05.05.2015 Longcang Gou   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

One whole day we will do birding in both up and down parts of the valley.

Day 4__06.05.2015 Longcang Gou to Rilong   B, L, D

Do morning birding in Longcang Gou/Wawu Shan. And then we will climb overJiajinshanMountainto Rilong town. We will stop for birding on the way.

3-night in New Siguniang Hotel or similar

Day 5__07.05.2015 Birding in Balangshan area   B, L, D

Start at 4 a.m., Drive up to Mt.Balangshan, scan birds along the way, you will have big chance to see many game birds, such as Blood Pheasant, Tibetan Snowcock, Chinese Monal, Koklass, Tragopan.etc. We will walk down and watch birds along the main road. (You may see a big number of Grandala, Yellow Billed and Red Billed Chough, Golden Eagle, Lammergier,  Firethroat, Red Collared Dove, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, etc ).

Balangshan has an impressive avifauna. It's in the region of alpine meadows and jagged, snow-covered peaks.  We will be able to explore areas from the valley at about 2700m right up to the pass of snow mountain at about 4000m. We will do birding among the surrounding peaks rising to over 5500m and could even see the magnificent peak of Siguniang. The Wolong Giant Panda reserve is located at the foot of Balangshan in northwest of Sichuan. It is known as the headquarters of the World Wildlife Fund, to save the species from extinction, especially pandas.

 

Grandala

 

The prime endemic birds you may see here are:

Tibetan Snowcock, Snow Partridge, Chinese Monal. Grandalas,  Wood Snipe, White Eared Pheasant, Firethroat, Chestnut-headed Tesias, Koklass Pheasants, Temminck's Tragopan, Golden Pheasant, Kessler's and Chestnut Thrushes, Chinese Leaf Warbler, Spectacled Parrotbill, Barred Laughingthrush, Slaty Bunting, Black-browed Tit.

Other birds such as: Alpine Accentors, Lammergeier, Red-breasted Rosefinches, Himalayan Griffon Vulture, Plain and Brandt's Mountain Finches, Plumbeous Redstarts, River Chat (or White-capped Redstart), Spotted Bush Warbler, Tickell's Leaf Warbler, Rufous-bellied Niltava, the splendidly, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Chestnut-flanked White-eye, Spotted Nutcracker, Red-billed and Alpine Choughs, Chinese Beautiful (split from Himalayan Beautiful) and Streaked Rosefinches,  Common Buzzard, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Golden Eagle, Common Kestrel, White-browed Fulvetta, the Yellow-browed and Fire-capped Tits, Grey-crested Tit, Common (or Ring-necked) Pheasant, Snow Pigeon, Common Cuckoo, White-throated Needle-tail, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Asian House Martin, Olive-backed and Rosy Pipits, White-throated Dipper, White-tailed Rubythroat, Indian Blue Robin, White-browed Bush Robin, Blue-fronted, Daurian and  bold little Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler.

Chinese Monal

 

Day 6__8.05.2015 Birding in Balangshan Area   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Do Early morning birding in Haizi Valley with a fantastic view of endless snow mountains. And it's also a good place to see Rosefinchs. Bird watching on Balangshan higher level.

 

Day 7__9.05.2015 Rilong to Maerkang   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we will drive from Rilong to Maerkang. It's the capital of Kham district. Birding along the way. We shall make several stops to look for such birds as Chinese White-browed Rosefinch, White-winged Grosbeak, Collared Grosbeak, Hill Pigeon, Eurasian Crag Martin, Hodgson's Redstart, Blue Rock Thrush and Wallcreeper, Crested Tit-Warbler, Sichuan Jay, Winter Wren, Maroon-backed Accentor, Himalayan Red-flanked Bluetail,  White-throated Redstart, Verreaux's Monal Partridge, Severtzov's Grouse, Blood Pheasant, Black Woodpecker, Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker,  Greenish, Hume's Leaf and Yellow-streaked Warblers, Goldcrest,  Chinese Babax, Giant Laughingthrush, Chinese Fulvetta, Eurasian Treecreeper, Oriental Crow, Pink-rumped (or Stresemann's) Rosefinch.

2-night in Maerkang Hotel or similar.

White-Browed Tit Wabler

 

Day 8__10.05.2015 Maerkang   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Birding in Mt.Mengbishan forest.

Day 9__11.05.2015 Maerkang to Hongyuan   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

To Hongyuan, birding along the way on the Tibetan grass land.

1-night in Hongyuan Hotel or similar.

Day 10__12.05.2015 Hongyuan to Ruoergai   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we will drive from Hongyuan to Ruoergai via Waqie and Tangke. This area is on the edge of Tibetan plateau, including grass land swamp and hills, so there are a lot of big birds, such as Black-necked Crane, Gray-faced, Common & Upland Buzzards,Griffin, Falcon and Red stars. And there are many mammals.

1-night in Ruoergai Sunshine Hotel or similar.

Rouergai wetland, it distribute in Rouergai county, Hongyuan county in Sichuan and Luchu county, Machu county in Gansu, is the breeding and habitat area for Black-necked Crane, listed as the important wetland in the world.

Black-Necked Crane

 

Day 11__13.05.2015 Ruoergai to Jiuzhaigou   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we will starts birding from Ruoergai pass by Chuanzhusi to Jiuzhaigou. 2-night in Qianhe Hotel or similar.

Day 12__14.05.2015 Jiuzhaigou   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early in the morning visit Jiuzhaigou National Park, which is a world natural heritage. We will watch birds in the National Park. Overnight in Qianhe Hotel or similar.

Jiuzhaigou National Park is a magnificent area of high, snow-capped peaks, dense coniferous and mixed forests, hillsides covered with azaleas, bamboo, bushes and a lot of alpine flowers. The valley sides are frequently wreathed in cloud and the almost ethereal beauty of the area is further enhanced by the many intensely blue or turquoise lakes connected by waterfalls and rushing streams.

The prime endemic birds you may see here are:   Tibetan Siskin, Three-banded Rosefinch, Rufous-headed Robin, Blue-eared Pheasants, Sooty Tit, Chinese Thrush, Chinese Leaf Warbler, Chinese Nuthatch, Sukatschev's Laughingthrush, and Three-toed Parrotbill.

Sibrian Rubythroat

 

Day 13__15.05.2015 Jiuzhaigou to Tangjiahe   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In the morning you will do birding on the way to Tangjiahe. Endemics include Golden Pheasant and Slaty Bunting, Rusty-throated Parrotbill was rediscovered at Tangjiahe after an absence of twenty years in June 2007.

3-night in Tangjiahe Hotel or similar.

Day 14-15__16-17.05.2015 Birding in Tangjiahe   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Two whole days do birdwatching in Tangjiahe.

 

Blue Eared Pheasant 

 

Day 16__18.05.2015 Tangjiahe toChengdu   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Morning birding in Tangjiahe, and then we will drive back toChengdu.

 

Rate is 3800 USD per person

 

Included service:

1.    15 nights' accommodation as mentioned in the schedule. Two people share a twin room. If you don't want to share a room with another participant, but have a private room, you need pay single supplement which is USD600 per person.

2.    English speaking birding guide.

3.    15 breakfasts, 15 lunches and 16 dinners including seasonal fruits.

4.    Group transfer as described.

5.    Tour sites entrance fee including sightseeing bus inJiuzhaigouValley.

6.  Tangjiahe Nature Reserve special fee.

The group size is 4 to 10 people. We promise the group won't be more than 10 people. For more information, please contact us through info@chinabirdingtour.com