2015 Wawu Shan and Balangshan Birding Tour
May 26 - Jun 01 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 doesSichuanoffer 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. A total of about 1,300 bird species have been recorded inChina, and over 600 of these have been recorded inSichuan. There is also a high number of bird species at least 60 unique toChina, 25 of these species are more or less confined toSichuan. It is theses rare birds, particularly the gorgeous pheasants, as well as many more widespread species, which the World's birdwatchers are literally queuing up to look for. Without a doubtSichuanis the very best ofChina.
Destinations: Chengdu, Longchan Gou (Wawu Shan), Rilong, Maerkang,Chengdu
Birds Possible: 120-150 species
Day 1__26th May 2015 Chengdu to Longcang Gou Lunch, Dinner
Early morning drive to Chengdu Panda Breedin gCenter, half day panda visiting and bird watching, and after lunch, drive fromChengduto 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 westernSichuanbeyond.
The prime endemic birds you may see here are:
Lady Amherst's Pheasant, Temminck's Tragopan, Chinese��Bamboo 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.
Blue Whistling Trush
Day 2__27th May 2015 Longcang Gou Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
One whole day we will do birding in both up and down parts of the valley.
Day 3__28th May 2015 Longcang Gou to Rilong B, L, D
Do morning birding in Longcang Gou/Wawu Shan. And then we will climb over Jiajinshan Mountainto Rilong town. We will stop for birding on the way.
3-night in New Siguniang Hotel or similar
Day 4__29th May 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 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.
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
Day 5__30th May 2015 Birding in Balangshan Area Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Do Early morning birding in aizi 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 6__31st May 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.
Day 7__1st June 2015 Maerkang to Chengdu Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we will drive back to Chengdu. We will do birdwatching on the way back to Chengdu.
Rate: 1680 USD per person
1. 6 nights' accommodation as mentioned in the schedule. Two people share a twin room.
2. English speaking birding guide.
3. 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners including seasonal fruits.
4. Group transfer as described.
5. Tour sites entrance fee.