Monday, April 2, 2012


March 18/19th

Smangus (or Sih-ma-ku-sa, 司馬庫斯) is one of the remotest aboriginal communities in Taiwan. They are well known for their kibbutz-like communal lifestyle, and the grove of ancient Taiwan cypress trees a 2-3 hour hike from the village. Located deep in Hsinchu County, if going there (no public transport) be prepared for long twisting roads. Good accommodation options available. A top spot.

Taiwan Firecrest. Source - see below.
A window of warm and dry weather meant that several good mid-elevation species were seen - mostly near the village and on the scenic path to the big trees. Swinhoe’s Pheasant, Flamecrest, Green-backed Tit, Rufous-faced Babbler, Crested Serpent Eagle, Jay, Grey-faced Fulvetta, Liocichla, Black-throated Tit, White-tailed Robin, Yuhina, Sibia, Taiwan Tit,  and a yet-to-be identified medium-sized brown chap.

The only new bird was a glimpse of the endemic Taiwan Pygmy Wren Babbler on the trail to the, otherwise mediocre, ‘Eco-garden’. Note the new name and family Taiwan Cupwing.

New Bird:

Taiwan Wren-Babbler (Taiwan Cupwing)    Pnoepyga formosana    Endemic species