18 DaysSichuan Tour (Late May/June)
Day 1:Arrival in Chengdu and Chengdu City Park Tour
Arrivingin Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province ,famous as the Panda hometown ofChina and also the best place for eating hotpot. In the afternoon, visit thecity parks and gardens to look for a few common species like Chinese Grosbeak, CollaredFinchbill, Vinous-throated , Ashy-throated Parrotbills and Chinese Blackbird,Light-vented/Chinese Bulbul, Oriental Magpie-Robin,Spotted and Oriental Turtle Doves, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Black-crownedNight Heron, Eastern Cattle and Little Egrets, Chinese Pond and Grey Herons,Long-tailed Shrike,
Japanese Tit, Red-rumped Swallow, Black-throated Bushtit,Japanese White-eye, Crested Myna and Grey-capped Greenfinch. White-browedLaughingthrushes. Night in Chengdu.
Day 2:Chengdu to Longcanggou
Earlyin the morning, drive to Botanical Garden and birding there , in case we havemissed some species from yesterday afternoon,we will spend a few hours here,then drive from Chengdu to Longcanggou. After arrival, birding at the lowerelevation around the hotel for the very rare Golden-fronted Fulvetta, and some otherspices like Red-winged Laughingthrush, Ashy-throated Parrotbill, BrownBullfinch, Red-billed Leiothrix, White-backed Woodpecker, Chinese BlueFlycatcher, Fujian Niltava, Brown Dipper, Plumbeous Water Redstart ,Slaty-backedForktail ,Sichuan Bush Warbler. Other more commonly found species that we mayencounter here include Large-billed, Sichuan, Claudia’s and Kloss’s LeafWarblers, Martens’s Warbler,,Rufous-capped Babbler .etc.
Days 3-4:Longcanggou Birding
We have 2 full days here at Longcanggou to look for importantspecies, we will drive and walk to differentaltitudes of the mountain from 1200 to 2400m in search of different species. Include some localizedand endemic Parrotbills and Pheasants. Temminck’sTragopan, Lady Amherst’s Pheasant, Grey-hooded , Golden, Fulvous, Great, Brownand Three-toed Parrotbills, Hodgson’s and Sichuan Treecreepers, Darjeeling,White-backed Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied, Aberrant, Spotted, Chestnut-crownedand Brown Bush Warblers, Bianchi’s Warbler, Golden-breasted and Grey-hoodedFulvettas, White-bellied Redstart,
White-browed and Golden Bush Robins, Yellow-browed, Coal,Rufous-vented and Pere David’s Tits, Eurasian Wren, Vinaceous Rosefinch,Spotted and Elliot’s Laughingthrushes, White-collared Yuhina ,Streaked Barwing(Verydifficult but possible). Emei Shan Liocichla , Himalayan and Lesser Cuckoos,Hodgson’s Hawk-Cuckoo, the rare Emei Leaf and White-spectacled Warblers,Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Buffy Laughingthrush,SlatyBunting , Long-tailed Minivet , Swinhoe’s Minivet , Alstrom’s,Grey-crowned and Buff-throated Warblers, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Red-billedStarling, Yellow-throated Bunting, Black-naped Oriole, Black-streaked ScimitarBabbler, David’s and Dusky Fulvettas, Brown-flanked Bush Warbler,Chestnut-flanked White-eye, Chinese Hwamei, Grey-faced Buzzard, Crested HoneyBuzzard.
ForMammals, we have a reasonable chance of seeing Red Panda.
Day 5:Longcanggou to Wolong
Aftera final morning birding, we leave Longcanggou for the famous BalangshanMountains in Wolong, we will stay in Wolong valley nearby the Giant Panda Reserve.
Wolong Giant Panda Reserve is world famous Nature reserve forresearching and conservation of Giant Pandas. This area also holdsmany pheasant species and we will try out best to see most of them. The road conditionin the valley has improved a lot from last year, so we can reach there in theearly afternoon, then we drive up to a temple to try for the Golden Pheasant,they usually wonder around the Tibetan Temple there.
Days 6 &7: Balangshan Mountain Birding
This is another highlight of our Sichuan Birding tour, we willdrive from 2200 m up to the 4484m pass, and try to find our targets indifferent altitudes, Chinese Monal ,White Eared Pheasant. Koklass Pheasant,Blood Pheasant, Verreaux’s Monal-Partridge, Temminck’s Tragopan. Streaked,Pink-rumped, Common, Dark-breasted and Chinese White-browed ,Sharpe’s Rosefinches,Kessler’s Thrush, Barred Laughingthrush ,Giant Laughingthrush, ChineseFulvetta, Fire-capped Tit, White-browed and Golden Bush Robins, Firethroat, andThree-banded Rosefinch, Rufous-vented, Sichuan and Grey-crested Tits,Blue-fronted and White-capped Redstarts, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, Rosy Pipit,Chestnut Thrush, Claudia’s, Alpine and Sichuan Leaf Warblers and PlumbeousWater Redstart. Golden Eagle, Himalayan Vultures, Eurasian Sparrowhawk andCommon Buzzard, Sichuan Treecreeper, Black-browed Bushtit, Plain-backedThrushes, Slaty Bunting..Near the pass we will look for Tibetan Snowcock, SnowPartridge, Grandala, Red-fronted Rosefinch (Asia’s highest breedingpasserine!), Brandt’s and Plain Mountain Finches, Alpine Chough, Wallcreeper,Snow Pigeon and Alpine Accentor.
Mammal hereat Balangshan: Blue Sheep (Bharal), Himalayan Marmot ,Gansu Pika.,Hog Badger,Tufted Deer and Chinese Goral.
Day 8:Balangshan to Maerkang
We will drive passby Balangshan Pass and reach to another sideof the mountain, if we have missed some species from previous 2 days, we canspend some time for what we are still missing, we will also make some stops forWhite-tailed Rubythroat, Hill pigeon and Tibetan Partridge and Przevalski’sNuthatch before we reach to Maerkang.
Day 9:Mengbishan Mountain
Todaywe will leave early in the morning and drive up Mengbishan Mountain to try forthe Blood and White Eared Pheasants if we are still missing them. Near the top,we will try for the very shy Verreaux’s Monal-Partridge. Then we will slowly walkdownhill in search of Sichuan Jay, Crested Tit-Warbler, Black Woodpecker,Three-banded Rosefinch, Przevalski’s Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Rufous-vented, Coaland Grey-crested Tits and Hodgson’s Treecreeper,White-throated Redstart , Collared and White-winged Grosbeaks, Spotted Nutcracker, ChineseFulvetta, Grey-headed Bullfinch.
Day 10:Maerkang to Ruoergai
Today is a long driving day, but a very enjoyable day, we willsee different sceneries and quite a lot of new birds on the way. we will leaveMaerkang early and drive across the vast Tibetan Plateau (3900m) to the town ofRuoergai. Stop nearby a river to look for Ibisbill, a rarely seen species inSichuan. We might also see Ruddy Shelduck, Common Merganser, Ferruginous Duck,etc,when we drive a little bit higher, in a differet habitat we will try for White-browedTit, White-browed Tit-Warbler, and today’s Star bird s ‘Black-neck Crane and Przevalski’s Finch’. Some other birds include,Tibetan Partridge, Plain Laughingthrush, Dusky Warbler, Horned Lark, Eurasianand Azure-winged Magpies, Oriental Skylark, Daurian Jackdaw, Carrion Crow,Northern Raven, Little Owl, Eurasian Hoopoe, Grey-backed Shrike, Twite, RockSparrow, Siberian Stonechat and the lovely Citrine Wagtail, Saker Falcon,Tibetan Snowfinch and Chinese Grey Shrike.
Day 11:Ruoergai, Baxi Valley and Tibetan Plateau
Todaywe will drive to Baxi Valley to try for a few new species: ‘Blue Eared Pheasant,Snowy-cheeked Laughingthrush, Chinese Grouse, Sichuan Tit, Przevalski’s Nuthatch, we might also see Sichuan Jay, Black Woodpecker,Crested Tit-Warbler ,Plain, Giant and Elliott’s Laughingthrushes ,White-throatedand Hodgson’s Redstarts, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Punk-rumped, HimalayanBeautiful and Chinese White-browed Rosefinches and White-browed Tit-Warbler.The Kessler’s and Chestnut Thrushes, Godlewski’s Bunting. In the afternoon, wewill visit the marshy, wetland edge to see some high-plateau wetland birds: Greylag,Bar-headed Geese, Great Crested ,Black-necked Grebes, Red-crested and CommonPochards, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler , Eurasian Teal, EurasianBittern, Brown-cheeked Rail, Citrine Wagtail, White-winged, Common andWhiskered Terns, Little Ringed Plover, Temminck’s and Red-necked Stints, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Whimbrel and breedingplumage Lesser Sand Plovers. A few High-plateau specialties: Tibetan Lark, Ground Tit, BlackRedstart ,Rufous-necked and White-rumped Snowfinches.
Mammals:Grey Wolf, Tibetan ,Red Foxes , Himalayan Marmot, Plateau Pikas.
Day 12:Ruoergai to Jiuzhaigou(Valley)
We spend another morning here to look for the species we mightstill missing here, then we head toJiuzhaigou valley by 4 hours drive. We will stay at a very good hotel.Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong is a World Heritage Site, is known as No. 1 Valley inChina, the scenery here is spectacular ,withtall pine tress ,beautiful waterfalls and blue water pools. It attractsthousands of tourists everyday from different parts of the world. It is one ofthe top travel destination in China.
Day 13:Jiuzhai Valley National Park
Thepark opens at 7:30, we will get our ticket ready 1 day before, so we do notneed to wait in the long queue, we can take the first shuttle bus to reach tothe Rufous-headed Robin site and try for it, the chance is very low, there wasno report of being seen this species from last year, but there we also havegood chance for Sichuan Treecreeper, as well as Hodgson’s and Bar-tailedTreecreepers, We will also try the primitive forests for Chinese Nuthatch, Chinese Thrush, Pere David’s Tit, Chinese
Leaf Warbler, Spotted Bush Warbler, Collared and White-wingedGrosbeaks, White-throated Dipper, Grey-headed Bullfinch, Vinaceous Rosefinch,Spotted Nutcracker, Tibetan Serin, Elliott’s Laughingthrush ,Indian Blue Robin ,Snowy-cheekedLaughingthrush. Eurasian Nuthatch, Sooty Bushtit, Yellow-bellied Tit, BrownDipper, Crimson-breasted and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Grey-headedCanary-flycatcher, Ferruginous, Slaty-backed and Slaty-blue Flycatchers,Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, White-capped and Plumbeous Water Redstarts,Spectacled Fulvetta and Rufous-faced Warbler. In the afternoon, we take theshuttle bus down to the reed area ,walk along the boardwalk to look for SpectacledParrotbill and some other species we might still missing.
Day 14:Jiuzhaigou to Tangjiahe
Thismorning we will leave early and drive up the mountain to Gong Gang Ling Pass tosee Pere David’s Owl,Chinese Grouse, those 2 are our main target for today, we might see a few other specieshere are Crested Tit-Warbler ,Maroon-backed and Rufous-breasted Accentors,Three-banded Rosefinch, Hodgson’s Treecreeper, Rufous-vented and Grey-crestedTits, Alpine and Sichuan Leaf Warblers,Goldcrest, Kessler’s and Chestnut Thrushes . Then we drive to the nearby town namedChuanzhu Temple for Lunch. in the afternoon, we continue the long drive east towards our next destinationTangjiahe National Nature Reserve.
Days 15 & 16: TangjiaheNational Park
Tangjiahe National Park is an very important National Park inChina, know for its bio-diversities, it is well known among birders and alsoamong the mammal lovers, The National Park has provide natural habitat for WildPandas and Golden Snob-nosed Monkeys, as well as Golden Takins and many othermammals, Hog Badger, Eurasian Wild Boar, Reeve’s Muntjac, Chinese Goral,Chinese Serow, Tibetan Macaque and Tufted Deer. For birds, there are GoldenPheasant(Excellent Chance), Temminck’s Tragopan,
Koklass Pheasants, Przevalski’s Parrotbill, Sichuan Treecreeper,Fire-capped Tit, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Baikal Bush Warbler, Emei LeafWarbler, White-throated and Spotted Laughingthrushes,Slaty Bunting.,Crested Kingfisher, White-capped and Plumbeous Water Redstarts,White-crowned, Little and Slaty-backed Forktails, Brown Dipper, Striated Heron ,TawnyFish Owl, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Asian Barred Owlet, Asian Koel,Crimson-breasted and Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpeckers, Mountain Bulbul,Rufous-faced, Alstrom’s and Sulphur-breasted Warblers, Kloss’s Leaf Warbler,Chinese Hwamei, Rufous-capped Babbler, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Spectacled,Dusky and David’s Fulvettas, Japanese, Chestnut-flanked White-eye,Rufous-bellied Niltava, Blue Whistling Thrush, Yellow-bellied and Pere-David’sTits, Sooty Bushtit and Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird. We will try both of the mammalsand the birds in 2 days.
Day 17:Tangjiahe to Chengdu
After a final morning birding ,we will drive back to Chengdu. Onthe way, we stop for Collared Crow, Red-billed Starling, Black-throatedBushtit, Grey-capped Greenfinch, Daurian Redstart, Grey Bush Chat, White-browedLaughingthrush, Brown Shrike and Russet Sparrow. In the evening, we will arrangea special dinner for farewell, the most popular local food: Hotpot. Hope youall will enjoy it.
Day 18Chengdu depart
Take the flight from Chengdu back to home country or to do our ExtensionTour to Yunnan or Qinghai, Tibet.(Tour Ends.)