This blog is for family and friends, to share my feelings and photos with and for myself, to support my fading memory and improve my Japanese. I intend to do some writing in kanji, but am not getting very far without a Japanese computer. So for the moment I say "konnichi wa". Aisatsu dake - just saying hello.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Mt. Dasyueshan, Taiwan. Mikado Pheasant ミカドキジ

On the second day we started early. Our accomodation at the Dasyueshan Nature Park had been organized by Wayne and my room in the lodge was old but pleasant. Dressed in winter down we went back to the cold rocks of the previous day, but didn't have to wait long. A female was quietly picking seeds and worms or whatever, making chicken-like sounds.

I hadn't seen a female Swinhoe's Pheasant the previous day and thought this made up for that, but suddenly a great male flew in and we were in for a courting show!


The male was seriously interested in the lady and started performing.

 Looking for his girl. Where has she gone?

Ah. Found her!

 How could she not like all this fluttering of shiny blue feathers?

However, she wasn't too impressed. She quietly moved further in the forest, followed by her suitor.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Mt. Dasyueshan, more birds on the 1st day

The rest of the afternoon we stayed at another pheasant location, hoping to see the Mikado Pheasant.
Wayne and I sat quietly on the cold rocks (the thermometer had sagged a couple of inches) till there was no more light. A small glimpse of a female Mikado from 100m down was all we got, but there were other birds.

White-eared Sibia, endemic

Taiwan Yuhina, endemic

Taiwan striped squirrel

Vinaceous Rosefinch

Spotted or Eurasian Nutcracker

Steere's Liocichlia, another Taiwan endemic. I couldn't get a better picture than this.
I'll have to get back here and try harder.

Mt Dashyueshan, Taiwan. White-whiskered Laughingthrush

White-whiskered Laughingthrush

After lunch we drove to higher up to appr 2200m to see birds of that elevation. It was hard to beat the Swinhoe's Pheasant, but the endemic White-whiskered Laughingthrushes were so funny and cheeky, they demanded our attention by coming close. Too sometimes close to capture a sharp image!

Mt. Dasyueshan, Taiwan Swinhoe's Pheasant

Swinhoe's Pheasant

After 3 days Taipei I left early in the morning with Wayne, my birding pal and his friend Patrick, who came along because he had a car and liked birds too. From Taichung we went inland to the mountain called Dasyueshan, of which Anmanshan is a part. There is no public transport that way except for 1 bus on Saturday and 1 on Sunday, so Patrick played a very important role. His little suzuki was most uncomfortable, but it got us there.
We arrived around 11 at a place halfway up, known for sightings of the endemic Swinhoe's Pheasant. Sitting on the side of the road we peered into the thick forest and to my surprise we didn't have to wait long. A magnificent male with all blue, red and white feathers present darted across the road just to our right. He strolled a bit around the clearance on the other side, looking for scraps that somebody doubtlessly put there. This feeding practice is not looked well upon, but it does supply a photo chance!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Taiwan part 3, BLUE!


At noon I rested in a small hotspring hotel, recommended by a friendly police officer who was riding a bike with a birding book in his pocket. Here many birds hung around. This was close to where I'd seen my first Taiwan Blue Magpie and now there were many more! I counted 6 or 7. They had built a nest in a tree nearby. I didn't rest much, but took many photos. Here they come: