Sunday, January 29, 2012


Namaxia, and more Sihcao.

Visited good friends in Namaxia (formerly ‘Sanming’) Area in northern Greater Kaohsiung - a beautiful valley badly damaged by Typhoon Morakot in 2009. Except during heavy rain, the new road northwards (#21) from Jiaxian to Namaxia is in excellent condition. We explored on bicycle further up the valley...

Though scared by landslides and excessive hunting, bird life was quite good. In addition to the 2 new birds below, there were plenty of Japanese White-eyes, Treepies, Grey-cheeked Fulvettas, Barbets, Collared Finchbills, White-backed Woodpeckers, Crested Serpent-Eagle, Bronze Drongos, and both Scimitar-Babblers.

Previously overlooked, I mention two species of Wagtail below. In the lowlands I have encountered M.f. thunbergi (plexa) and M.t. taivana. Tricky taxonomy, but still easier to deal with than shore birds!

New birds in Namaxia, Kaohsiung:

Mountain Scops-Owl    Otus spilocephalus    "Endemic subspecies (O. s. hambroecki)"
Rufous-capped Babbler    Stachyris ruficeps    "Endemic subspecies (S. r. praecognita)"

New birds in Sihcao, Tainan:

Black-bellied Plover (aka Grey Plover)   Pluvialis squatarola
Terek Sandpiper    Xenus cinereus
Caspian Tern    Hydroprogne caspia
Saunders's Gull    Saundersilarus saundersi
Western Yellow Wagtail    Motacilla flava    
Eastern Yellow Wagtail    Motacilla tschutschensis
Zitting Cisticola    Cisticola juncidis

New (and rare) bird in Jacana Reserve, Tainan.

Baikal Teal    Anas formosa