A couple of hours spent at Qigu in the afternoon produced three Bramblings in the coastal forest, a personal Taiwan tick. The birds were feeding among the piles of driftwood and showing very well. Otherwise, the forest was extremely quiet – just one Arctic Warbler and two Brown Shrikes provided the only other evidence of migration. The breezy, clear and sunny weather of recent weeks means that migrants have probably been overflying the area without stopping.
Nearby, on the reserve, at least 300 Black-faced Spoonbills showed distantly – but in excellent afternoon light – from the embankment. Accompanying them, nineteen Caspian Terns also back for the winter, two passage Gull-billed Terns, and two Eurasian Curlews.
Just west of the terminus of Expressway 61, a drained lake is currently an excellent place to view very large numbers of common waders and a scattering of terns, with the most numerous species being Dunlin and Red-necked Stint. A scan of the flocks revealed nothing unusual, but several White-winged Terns and a lone Gull-billed Tern were perhaps noteworthy.
Taiwan tick: Brambling (total 259).