Thursday, January 24, 2013

Starting 2013 slowly.

A new year, not a big year, but keeping my new bird sightings noted.

As expected, endemics have been a bit slow to rouse this winter season, usually takes a bit more time and accepting a few will just not or pop into view.

Vivid Niltava ww543
The highlight at Wulai (as well as Red Oriole, Blue Magpie, and great flocks of Minivet at Neidong FRA) was a Verditer Flycatcher at the elementary school at Fushan. Remember this is in New Taipei City/Taipei County not the Botanical Gardens at Fushan Yilan County. A very nice bonus were three Mandarin Ducks in the river just above the last part of Fushan Village. Hike the path on the north side of the river.

The reported Baer’s Pochard at Shrgang Reservoir eluded me, but on the third try the (single male visiting this winter) Scaly-sided Merganser gave excellent views. Best to search from the road on the north side of the reservoir - a wide section of the downhill road overlooks the best

Doesn’t sound likely, but managed to entertain the family (non-birding wife, kids, mother-in-law) AND see some excellent birds on a daytrip to the Pheasant-tailed Jacana Reserve, one of them being a pair of Baer’s Pochards.

Also present were plenty of Pintail, N. Shoveler, G.W Teal, E Wigeon, Jacana and Black-winged Stilts.  A few Garganey, Coot, and Common Snipe were nice to have when try to get second looks at Baikal Teal and Falcated Teal (first time on Taiwan-proper for me I think). The furthest pond viewable from the last hide seems to hold the best birds.

I saw 2 Smew at Beimen late December but not recorded in last year’s list.

New Birds:

Verditer Flycatcher    Eumyias thalassinus
Smew    Mergellus albellus
Baer's Pochard    Aythya baeri