Brown Bullfinch and Taiwan Blue Magpie, Wutai and Maolin, March 22nd-23rd

We took off to the local mountains for the weekend, in order to make the most of what seems likely to be the last spell of cooler weather before the intense heat and humidity of summer is upon us.

It wasn’t really a birding visit, but naturally I always had my binoculars to hand. The loop trail at Maolin, behind the De-En Gorge guesthouse, produced some of the local specialities including Maroon Oriole, Taiwan Bamboo-Partridge, wintering Yellow-browed Warbler, and distant views of the local flock of Taiwan Blue Magpies.

The next morning, we drove south to Wutai, where a walk down to the abandoned village near Km 45 produced some interesting birds: a flock of 8 Brown Bullfinches, 3 White-bellied Green Pigeons, Collared Finchbill, and a Fork-tailed Swift passing overhead.

Finally, we stopped in Shenshan, just down from Wutai, so the girls could get their shopping fix. Meanwhile, I birded around the village. There was a brief moment of excitement when I finally spotted some sparrows on overhead wires, but disappointingly they turned out to be Tree Sparrows …. therefore my search for the elusive Russet Sparrow continues. Also in the area, plenty of Oriental Turtle Doves and still a few Brown-headed Thrushes around the gardens and allotments.

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