Lijiang birdwatching info
Northwest of Kunming and in a region that borders Tibet, the wonderfully picturesque old town and surroundings of Lijiang are another great spot.. It boasts Naxi, Tibetan, Mosu, Lisu and Pumi nationalities, breathtaking mountain and lake scenery, Tibetan monasteries, deep gorges and the backpacker comforts of Lijiang's lovely old town. There are proposals to create the Chinese equivalent of Yellowstone Park here, a 66,000 square long Three Great River National Park, where the Yangtze, Mekong and Salween all pass within 70 kilometers of each other. Lijiang is a popular tourist resort, there are numerous hotels of all conceivable standards and even more restaurants. There's also a daily flight from Kunming to Lijiang airport (28 kilometers from the old city).
There are several good areas to go birding around Lijiang -
a. Heilongtan or Black Dragon Pool Park (or occasionally also known as Yu Quen Park) is right on the northeastern edge of Lijiang town This is the best site in China for Giant Nuthatch - search the 'relict pines' near the second pavilion/pagoda near the stepped track around Elephant Mountain.
b. Lashihai (Lashi Hai & previously more commonly known as Lashiba Hai) �C a sizeable lake 20 kilometers almost directly west of Lijiang that holds large numbers of wintering waterfowl (often including small numbers of Falcated Duck), Common Cranes and occasional birds of prey such as White-tailed Eagle.
c. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Chinese Name = Yulong Xueshan)
About 35 kilometers (50 minutes drive) north of Lijiang is this spectacular mountain. In winter its largely inaccessible but spring visits can produce Buff-throated Partridge, White Eared & Lady Amherst's Pheasants, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, White-throated Redstart, Giant Laughingthrush, Rufous-tailed Babbler & both Alpine & Maroon-backed Accentors here. There are several chairlifts up the mountain �C the one at Yun Shan Ping Suo Dao starts at 09:00 & goes up to Yun Shan Ping (4700 meters) and is the best for birding.