Tuesday, February 14, 2012

North Coast - Yangmingshan, Yeliou and Jinshan.

North Coast - Yangmingshan, Yeliou and Jinshan.

On Monday February 13th I was guiding a non-birder around the north coast. We were blessed with unseasonal good weather (northern Taiwan, in contrast to southern Taiwan, is often grey in winter), and I was fortunate to be allowed to check out a couple nice places.

In Jinshan reported vagrant Common Mergansers had already moved on, instead I met a group of friendly Taiwanese bird photographers pointing their expensive Canons, Nikons etc at a Bull-headed Shrike and resting Black-tailed Gulls. Jinshan Wetland (also known as Chingshui Wetland) is a rough mix of fields and ponds just on the south side of Jinshan Town, on the north coast of Taiwan, in New Taipei City (the stupid new name for Taipei County). If passing the area, it is worth a look around.

We had a very nice stroll at Yeliou Geo-park. Very little bird life to see at this time of year (other than a black morph Reef Egret nearby - pictured). At migration time, and especially after inclement weather, this high promontory can be productive. Also good for pelagics. Don’t be put off by the horrible car parking area entrance - lots of people visit for the rock formations. Usually human-free at the most distant lookout spot.

We travelled back to Taipei City over Yangmingshan - the mountainous national park to the north of Taipei City.. The Formosan Blue Magpies were to be seen around the National Park Headquarters and lower down around Front Mountain Park.

New bird on north coast of Taipei:

Bull-headed Shrike    Lanius bucephalus