With plenty of rain forecast for this weekend, I opted out of going to the mountains and instead went with my girlfriend to spectacular Taitung County, on the south-east coast of Taiwan.
It’s just about 4 hours drive from Kaohsiung to our favorite accommodation spot, the wonderful Sea Art Guest House nestled in the hills just to the south of the town of Dulan.
Located around 500 meters above sea level, the Sea Art Guest House is surrounded by lush tropical forest and backed by steep mountainsides. The gardens and surrounding trails are a good place to become acquainted with many of Taiwan’s mid-elevation forest birds.
During breaks in the rain, I spotted the following interesting birds around the garden and along the road leading up to the guesthouse: Maroon Oriole, Bronzed Drongo, Taiwan Bamboo-Partridge, Taiwan Scimitar-Babbler, Taiwan Barbet, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Black Bulbul, Collared Finchbill, Grey Treepie, Black-naped Monarch and Emerald Dove.
At night, several Mountain Scops Owls could be heard calling around the property; unfortunately my attempt to spotlight them was thwarted by heavy rain on the Saturday night. The following night, the owls weren’t calling. I’ve heard this owl on numerous occasions in Taiwan, but have yet to see it ….. and it won’t count on the year list until I do!
Other birds occasionally seen around the Sea Art Guest House – but not by me – include Taiwan Blue Magpie and Swinhoe’s Pheasant.
At lower elevations close to the sea, Taiwan Bulbuls are very numerous here. We also saw a lone Black-naped Tern offshore during a trip up the coast to Chenggong.