Field Guides
Home Tours Guides News About Us FAQ Contact Us
Field Guides Tour Report
Taiwan 2020
Feb 1, 2020 to Feb 12, 2020
Phil Gregory & local guide Arco Huang

This gorgeous male Swinhoe's Pheasant was one of the birds of the trip! We found a pair of these lovely endemic pheasants at Dasyueshan. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

This was a first run for the newly reactivated Taiwan tour (which we last ran in 2006), with a new local organizer who proved very good and enthusiastic, and knew the best local sites to visit. The weather was remarkably kind to us and we had no significant daytime rain, somewhat to my surprise, whilst temperatures were pretty reasonable even in the mountains- though it was cold at night at Dasyueshan where the unheated hotel was a bit of a shock, but in a great birding spot, so overall it was bearable. Fog on the heights of Hohuanshan was a shame but at least the mid and lower levels stayed clear. Otherwise the lowland sites were all good despite it being very windy at Hengchun in the far south.

Arco and I decided to use a varied assortment of local eating places with primarily local menus, and much to my amazement I found myself enjoying noodle dishes. The food was a highlight in fact, as it was varied, often delicious and best of all served quickly whilst being both hot and fresh. A nice adjunct to the trip, and avoided losing lots of time with elaborate meals.

Following recent research, Taiwan now has 28 endemics and around 56 endemic subspecies, so there is a good haul for listers and many spectacular birds. Highlights for our group were amazing views of both sexes of both Swinhoe's and Mikado Pheasant, a fine male of the endemic formosanus race of Ring-necked Pheasant, Taiwan Partridge, White-backed Woodpecker, Taiwan and Black-necklaced Scimitar-babblers, the elusive Rusty and confiding White-streaked Laughingthrush, amazing views of Himalayan Owl, Mountain Scops Owl (twice!), Collared Scops and Northern Boobook, Yellow Tit, Chestnut-bellied Tit, Taiwan Yuhina, Dusky Fulvetta, Taiwan, White's, Brown-headed and a putative Scaly thrush, Taiwan Whistling-thrush and the spectacular Taiwan Blue Magpie. There were some nice mammals too, with Reeves's Muntjac, Taiwan Serow, White-faced Flying-Squirrel and Pallas's Squirrel.

Altogether, it was a great success from the birding point of view, with additional bonus species in Taiga Bean Goose, a vagrant Lesser White-fronted Goose, the rare Nordmann's Greenshank and unexpected Greater Flamingo. Taiwan is a beautiful country, with great scenery, some attractive hotels, enjoyable cuisine and friendly people, with a very interesting culture- those Daoist temples are something else! A few extra days sightseeing before or after the trip is recommended.

My thanks to Arco and Luna our local agents, our skilled and very diligent driver, to Sue and Rowan at Sicklebill Safaris and to Karen at Field Guides for their hard work in putting together this first iteration of the new tour.

Why not join us for the 2021 offering which is taking place in May, and should have a good chance of Fairy Pitta amongst all the other attractions?


Sunday Feb 2 Optional pre-trip birding for those who arrived early, otherwise arrival day and transfer to Taichung from Taipei.

Monday Feb 3 Taichung to Dasyueshan via some lowland birding en route, overnight at 9000' (2600m), owling near hotel.

Tues Feb 4 Dasyueshan area down to Km 23 and owling above km 43

Wed Feb 5 Dasyueshan morning, afternoon at Guguan bridge park around 500m

Thurs Feb 6 Guguan area/ Guoxin and Huisun FR Taiwan Blue Magpie area, Puli and Waterwater GH overnight

Fri Feb 7 Waterwater GH Puli area/ Hohuanshan to 3100m (10380') foggy at high altitude at Taroko NP. Overnight at Waterwater GH

Sat Feb 8 to Yushan NP in sunny conditions , 9000' (2100m) then toFirefly Lodge at Gonghua Kwantein Reserve

Sun Feb 9 Firefly Lodge area then to Long Luan Tan Lake and Hengchun in far south

Mon Feb 10 Hengchun and Long Luan Lake/ Inda Farm/ Tainan melon farm fields/ Salun HSR station/ Huben owling/ overnight Douliou

Tues Feb 11 Bude wetland/ Aogu wetland forest park, overnight Douliou

Wed Feb 12 Xitou Forest Park 0800-1030/ Daian mangroves Taichung/Taipei

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE (Anser erythropus) – We saw a report on the Taiwan rare bird network, and realized we should be able to take it in on the way back to Taipei. The site was bizarre, just some mangroves on the coast, and the bird was hidden in one of the islets when we got there, but fortunately emerged just before we had to leave. It looked like a subadult, with white blaze not fully developed, but small size and with an orange-yellow eye-ring. It was found in January and some photos are on eBird, a vagrant in Taiwan.
TAIGA BEAN-GOOSE (Anser fabalis middendorffii) – Three at Aogu wetland were a surprise find. The large bills and forehead shape indicate this species.
MANDARIN DUCK (Aix galericulata) – 2 were seen at Shimen on the pre-trip birding morning only, scarce in Taiwan.
GARGANEY (Spatula querquedula) – A fine pair of early migrants at Aogu wetland.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata) – A female at Long Luan Tan Lake, then about 700 at Aogu wetlands.
EURASIAN WIGEON (Mareca penelope) – One at the Jacana reserve, then some at Long Luan Tan, and about 40 at Aogu.
EASTERN SPOT-BILLED DUCK (Anas zonorhyncha) – One from the Jacana reserve, and 3 at Long Luan Tan were the only records.
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos) – Just 3 at the Jacana reserve.
NORTHERN PINTAIL (Anas acuta) – Two at the Jacana reserve and 70 at Aogu wetlands.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (EURASIAN) (Anas crecca crecca) – 30 at the Jacana Reserve and 3 at Aogu. Badly named, as Old World folks call the American bird Green-winged Teal (an IOC split too), and this is actually Eurasian Teal.
TUFTED DUCK (Aythya fuligula) – 20 at Long Luan Tan and a few at Aogu.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
TAIWAN PARTRIDGE (Arborophila crudigularis) – The photographers had been putting out rice at Km 23, and sure enough, around 1630 a fine pair of these skulking and elusive birds came in to feed very close by, with 2 more seen later by some. [E]
MIKADO PHEASANT (Syrmaticus mikado) – The group saw a male and female high up on Dasyueshan early one morning, one of the iconic Taiwan species. [E]
RING-NECKED PHEASANT (RING-NECKED) (Phasianus colchicus formosanus) – A fine male in the melon field near Tainan has the greyish-green legs and paler grey rump and lower back that make it the endemic race formosanus, and as such a genuine wild Ring-necked Pheasant. There are various hybrids with introduced birds in some parts of Taiwan, but here they seem good and as such maybe Phil's first wild specimen of this widely naturalized species.
SWINHOE'S PHEASANT (Lophura swinhoii) – Great views from Dasyueshan of both males and females of this gorgeous species, now much easier to see than of old. [E]
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) – Two adults at Aogu were a surprise, they seemingly turned up two years ago and are thought to be genuine vagrants. This must be the most easterly record except for a vagrant bird on Cocos Island.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (LITTLE) (Tachybaptus ruficollis poggei) – Small numbers at the Jacana reserve and Long Luan Tan.
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis) – A couple at Aogu marshes.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Common in the urban areas. [I]
ASHY WOOD-PIGEON (Columba pulchricollis) – Phil saw 3 fly over at the Temple of 108 Gods, but I doubt anyone else got a countable view.
ORIENTAL TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia orientalis orii) – Widespread with up to 70 in day.
RED COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia tranquebarica humilis) – Small numbers around the Waterwater (Beauty Spring N Guest House) area at Puli.
SPOTTED DOVE (EASTERN) (Streptopelia chinensis chinensis) – Widespread, this nominate race is split by BirdLife from the Indian birds which are much more spotted above.
Apodidae (Swifts)
HOUSE SWIFT (Apus nipalensis kuntzi) – Small numbers at Hengchun and Douliou.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – Six day records with most from the Pheasant-tailed Jacana site.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra) – Small numbers from the Jacana reserve and then at Aogu marshes.
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN (Amaurornis phoenicurus) – Singles from Puli, then at Hengchun.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – A good count of 150 at the Jacana reserve, and 90 at Aogu.
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – 40 at Aogu.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – 4 at Bude marshes.
PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis fulva) – 5 at Bude marshes.
LESSER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius mongolus) – 15 at Bude.
KENTISH PLOVER (KENTISH) (Charadrius alexandrinus alexandrinus) – 15 at Bude.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (CURONICUS) (Charadrius dubius curonicus) – 3 at Puli by Waterwater GH.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) – Not yet in breeding dress, but nice views of 9 of this still very striking species at the Kwantein Reserve.

This is the female Swinhoe's Pheasant. As with many female ground-nesting birds, she is not as colorful, but she is quite lovely in her own way. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (SIBERIAN) (Numenius phaeopus variegatus) – Just one single at Bude marshes.
FAR EASTERN CURLEW (Numenius madagascariensis) – Just one at Bude marshes, now a globally rather rare species.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica) – 40 at Bude.
RED-NECKED STINT (Calidris ruficollis) – Three or 4 in with the Dunlin at Bude.
DUNLIN (Calidris alpina) – About 150 at Bude, but we could not locate the Spoon-billed Sandpiper that has been there.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – Three day records, the first at Puli.
SPOTTED REDSHANK (Tringa erythropus) – 10 at Bude.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – 4 at Bude.
NORDMANN'S GREENSHANK (Tringa guttifer) – Phil located one of the 2 wintering birds at Bude, and we had quite good views before it moved out into the marsh. The short, rather thick, yellowish legs are a good field character. It is a rare species classified by BirdLife as Endangered, and was new for almost everyone.
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – 3 at Bude, the fine bill very apparent.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – 8 at Puli and 2 at Aogu.
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus) – 30 at Bude.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
BLACK-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) – About 100 at Bude by the fishing port.
HERRING GULL (VEGA) (Larus argentatus vegae) – One at Bude and 1 at Aogu, split by IOC as Vega Gull.
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons) – 5 at Bude.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – 8 from Bude and Aogu.
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – 30 at Aogu.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo) – About 100 from Bude and Aogu.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
YELLOW BITTERN (Ixobrychus sinensis) – Great views of 6 at Aogu; we did unusually well for them here.
CINNAMON BITTERN (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus) – Nice looks at 2 at Aogu.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Widespread, with 60 at Aogu the most.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – Just a single from Aogu, a nicely coloured adult.
GREAT EGRET (EURASIAN) (Ardea alba alba) – Small numbers were widespread.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (INTERMEDIATE) (Ardea intermedia intermedia) – 2 from the Jacana reserve, and 5 at Aogu. Linda got quite proficient at sorting out the confusing white egrets on this day.
LITTLE EGRET (WESTERN) (Egretta garzetta garzetta) – Small numbers were widespread.
CATTLE EGRET (EASTERN) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) – Six day records, a few coming into the striking orange-headed breeding dress of this distinctive eastern taxon,which is split by the IOC.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – 3 day records, with 30 at Aogu the most.
MALAYAN NIGHT-HERON (Gorsachius melanolophus) – Lovely views of one at the Temple of 108 Gods near Puli, then fantastic close birds at Xitou. Joyce and LInda also saw one at a roadside stop for Blue-magpie. Taiwan is one of the best places to see this elusive species.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
AFRICAN SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus) – A few feral birds at Aogu, now well-established in Taiwan. [I]
EURASIAN SPOONBILL (Platalea leucorodia) – Two fine adults at Aogu, a nice comparison with Black-faced Spoonbill, too.
BLACK-FACED SPOONBILL (Platalea minor) – Great looks at Aogu, with 6 birds. A rare species, with around 6000 individuals in total population.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – 3 day records from Hengchun area and Aogu.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis ptilorhynchus) – One at Yushan and 4 at Inda Farm near Hengchun.
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE (CRESTED) (Spilornis cheela hoya) – Widespread and quite vocal.
BLACK EAGLE (Ictinaetus malaiensis) – Nice views at Dasyueshan and en route to Alishan.
EASTERN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus spilonotus) – A single female-plumage bird at Long Luan Tan near Hengchun.
CRESTED GOSHAWK (Accipiter trivirgatus formosae) – Quite common and seen perched several times.

Steere's Liocichla was seen at several places, but our best view was at Xitou near the end of the trip. Photo by guide Phil Gregory, from a previous visit to Taiwan.

BESRA (Accipiter virgatus fuscipectus) – A couple of brief views of small accipiters that were most likely this species, but essentially unconfirmed.
BLACK KITE (BLACK-EARED) (Milvus migrans formosanus) – This endemic taxon is scarce in Taiwan and we only saw 5 around Inda farm near Hengchun.
Strigidae (Owls)
MOUNTAIN SCOPS-OWL (Otus spilocephalus hambroecki) – A silent bird perched in a pine at the car park at Anmashan Hotel, my best ever views, then one at Douliou that was a good catch up for those who had not done the night walk at Dasyueshan.
COLLARED SCOPS-OWL (Otus lettia glabripes) – One was calling really well at Firefly Lodge, and we succeeded in getting it to show later after a brief initial view.
COLLARED OWLET (COLLARED) (Glaucidium brodiei pardalotum) – Heard at Dasyueshan but quite distant, they seemed oddly unresponsive this time. [*]
HIMALAYAN OWL (Strix nivicolum yamadae) – A huge bonus from Dasyueshan, one began calling back quite close and eventually flew down the road and overhead, perching up in a fir for great looks. Formerly classed as Tawny Owl but vocally quite different and long since split, uncommon and a very good find for us, a lifer for all.
NORTHERN BOOBOOK (Ninox japonica totogo) – Great views of one in Douliou, a nice responsive bird.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis) – 3 day records, with 2 from Aogu the most.
Megalaimidae (Asian Barbets)
TAIWAN BARBET (Psilopogon nuchalis) – Quite common and very showy, a spectacularly colourful species. [E]
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
GRAY-CAPPED WOODPECKER (Yungipicus canicapillus kaleensis) – Quite common and seen at various woodland sites. [*]
WHITE-BACKED WOODPECKER (WHITE-BACKED) (Dendrocopos leucotos insularis) – Fine views on two occasions at Dasyueshan, quite a distinctive taxon.
GRAY-HEADED WOODPECKER (BLACK-NAPED) (Picus canus tancolo) – Heard in the distance at Dasyueshan but did not come in. [*]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – A single over at Hengchun was a nice trip addition.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
GRAY-CHINNED MINIVET (Pericrocotus solaris) – Great views at Dasyueshan; the males are wonderful fiery red and black birds.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
WHITE-BELLIED ERPORNIS (Erpornis zantholeuca) – Just one from Guguan; formerly a Yuhina but now classed as being part of the vireo family, the sole Old World representative.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
BLACK-NAPED ORIOLE (EAST ASIAN) (Oriolus chinensis diffusus) – Lovely views of a couple from Inda farm near Pingtung.
MAROON ORIOLE (Oriolus traillii ardens) – This splendidly colourful bird was seen well at Pingtung Inda farm, and must be a good candidate for a split, as it's crimson and not maroon.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
BLACK DRONGO (Dicrurus macrocercus harterti) – Quite common in the central and southern lowlands.
BRONZED DRONGO (Dicrurus aeneus braunianus) – Two day records of this small-billed species, most from the Temple of 108 Gods at Puli.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Hypothymis azurea oberholseri) – A couple seen at the spa town of Guguan, and a single at Firefly Lodge.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
BROWN SHRIKE (Lanius cristatus) – Small numbers in the lowlands, race(s) uncertain, as some seemed to have greyish heads and others brown.
LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanius schach) – Only seen on a single day at Aogu, where we saw 4 individuals. The Taiwan Field Guide gives it as an endemic race formosae, but this is not recognized by Clements or the IOC.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
EURASIAN JAY (HIMALAYAN) (Garrulus glandarius taivanus) – Seen well at Dasyueshan only, a distinctive endemic taxon split as Plain-capped Jay by BirdLife.
TAIWAN BLUE-MAGPIE (Urocissa caerulea) – A great group of this large, colorful species at Huisun Forest Reserve, they showed really well, then we had 3 next day right by the road near Puli. [E]
GRAY TREEPIE (Dendrocitta formosae formosae) – Five day records starting at Dasyueshan.
ORIENTAL MAGPIE (Pica serica) – Seen at the railway station at Salun in Taina; a split from Common Magpie, with a very dark face and rather different call. [I]
EURASIAN NUTCRACKER (SOUTHERN) (Nucifraga caryocatactes owstoni) – A distinctive island race; I am surprised it is not yet split as it has a largely plain mantle. Singles from Dasyueshan and Yushan.
LARGE-BILLED CROW (Corvus macrorhynchos) – Just 4 day records from the lowlands, only one or two each time.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
COAL TIT (CHINESE) (Periparus ater ptilosus) – Seen well at Guguan; this race has a small crest and is rather different to European birds.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED TIT (Sittiparus castaneoventris) – Seen well at Guguan; it seems uncommon and is a Taiwanese endemic now that it is split from what was Varied Tit. [E]
GREEN-BACKED TIT (Parus monticolus insperatus) – Small numbers from the lowlands and hills.
TAIWAN YELLOW TIT (Machlolophus holsti) – The group saw it at Dasyueshan, and there was one at Guguan; an attractive and sparse endemic. [E]
Alaudidae (Larks)
ORIENTAL SKYLARK (Alauda gulgula) – Singing well around Tainan.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
STRIATED PRINIA (Prinia crinigera striata) – This proved troublesome but we finally got one at Firefly Lodge. IOC and Birdlife split this as Swinhoe's Prinia too, and it is a Taiwan endemic. [E]
YELLOW-BELLIED PRINIA (Prinia flaviventris) – Another prinia that proved elusive; we got it well at Douliou and Aogu. BirdLife splits this as Chinese Prinia.
PLAIN PRINIA (Prinia inornata flavirostris) – The most widespread prinia, seen at several sites.
ZITTING CISTICOLA (TINNABULANS GROUP) (Cisticola juncidis tinnabulans) – Seen well at Long Luan Tan lake near Hengchun; this species is long overdue for splitting up as these sure don't sound like the European birds.

We found a small group of Taiwan Rosefinches at Hohuanshan, including this beautiful rosy-red male. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

GOLDEN-HEADED CISTICOLA (Cisticola exilis volitans) – The cisticola that snuck in at the marsh at Puli has to be this species, as Arco was playing the tape. Vocally quite distinct to Australian birds.
Pnoepygidae (Cupwings)
TAIWAN CUPWING (Pnoepyga formosana) – Great views at Dasyueshan when one rolled across like a ping-pong ball, and then another at Xitou. Formerly a wren-babbler but now in their own family. [E]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
GRAY-THROATED MARTIN (Riparia chinensis chinensis) – Only seen at Aogu and Bude, where we saw 6 birds. I think the Sand Martin reported at Puli will have been this species.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Five day records, most around Hengchun and then Aogu.
PACIFIC SWALLOW (Hirundo tahitica) – Small numbers on 5 days, most at Hengchun.
STRIATED SWALLOW (Cecropis striolata) – Three day records of this large rufous-rumped species with the pale underwing coverts, with 3 at Guguan the first, then 5 at Firefly Lodge.
ASIAN HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon dasypus) – A couple up at Dasyueshan.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
COLLARED FINCHBILL (Spizixos semitorques cinereicapillus) – Uncommon; this odd distinctive bulbul was seen on 3 days, with some good views.
STYAN'S BULBUL (Pycnonotus taivanus) – The main reason for going down to Hengchun, and despite windy conditions I found one perched up and was able to get folks back to see it nicely. It's a restricted range Taiwan endemic, and hybridizes with the common Light-vented Bulbul where they overlap. [E]
LIGHT-VENTED BULBUL (FORMOSAE/ORII) (Pycnonotus sinensis formosae) – A common species in the lowlands.
BLACK BULBUL (GRAY-WINGED) (Hypsipetes leucocephalus nigerrimus) – Seen a few times in the hill forests.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER (Phylloscopus inornatus) – Heard calling several times, and seen at Inda Farm foraging high in the canopy.
ARCTIC WARBLER (Phylloscopus borealis) – Also seen at Inda Farm.
Scotocercidae (Bush Warblers and Allies)
RUFOUS-FACED WARBLER (Abroscopus albogularis) – This is the one with the trilling call like a distant telephone; it was seen well at Dasyueshan and Firefly Lodge.
JAPANESE BUSH WARBLER (Horornis diphone) – Seen in the paddies at Puli.
MANCHURIAN BUSH WARBLER (Horornis canturians) – This robust species was seen at the Guest house at Puli by Tim and I.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BLACK-THROATED TIT (BLACK-THROATED) (Aegithalos concinnus concinnus) – This delightful little species with the small bill and short tail was seen at Dasyueshan and Xitou.
Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers, Parrotbills, and Allies)
TAIWAN FULVETTA (Fulvetta formosana) – This high altitude endemic was seen at Hohuanshan and then at Yushan; it is low density and quite retiring. [E]
VINOUS-THROATED PARROTBILL (Sinosuthora webbiana bulomacha) – This was seen on the pre-trip to the reservoir at Shimen.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
TAIWAN YUHINA (Yuhina brunneiceps) – Vocal and active in noisy flocks in the montane forest, with a cute brown cap on the crested head. [E]
SWINHOE'S WHITE-EYE (Zosterops simplex simplex) – Widespread, formerly part of Japanese White-eye but now split. [E]
Timaliidae (Tree-Babblers, Scimitar-Babblers, and Allies)
RUFOUS-CAPPED BABBLER (Cyanoderma ruficeps praecognitum) – Common by voice; the best views were near the bridge on the lower levels of Dasyueshan.
TAIWAN SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus musicus) – 2 seen well at Guguan bridge area. [E]
BLACK-NECKLACED SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Megapomatorhinus erythrocnemis) – This is a tricky one, but we got good looks at a skulking but responsive individual at Cingjing. [E]
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)
DUSKY FULVETTA (Schoeniparus brunneus brunneus) – Uncommon and furtive in the lower forest levels, heard more than seen, the first was near the bridge at Guguan.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
MORRISON'S FULVETTA (Alcippe morrisonia) – Seemed fairly common at mid-altitudes, the first being a dozen or so at Dasyueshan. This was formerly Gray-cheeked Fulvetta but is now split as an endemic. [E]
TAIWAN HWAMEI (Garrulax taewanus) – A stop in the lowlands near Taichung got us good views of 3 of this skulker, otherwise only heard at Guguan. Formerly part of Hwamei but now split as an endemic. [E]
RUFOUS-CROWNED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla ruficeps) – Hmm, well Arco reckoned there were some in with the Rusty Laughingthrushes at Dasyueshan, but I am not sure if anyone else got onto them? This is an an uncommon endemic, formerly part of White-throated Laughingthrush. [E]
RUSTY LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Ianthocincla poecilorhyncha) – A vocal flock eventually showed quite well in the undergrowth around Km 25 on Dasyueshan; it has a blue eye-ring, yellowy bill and large white undertail coverts. Formerly part of Gray- sided Laughingthrush but now split as an endemic, perhaps the hardest of the family to see here. I had heard it previously but these were my first sightings. [E]
WHITE-WHISKERED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Trochalopteron morrisonianum) – An easy to see and very striking laughingthrush, common at high altitudes and quite confiding. [E]
WHITE-EARED SIBIA (Heterophasia auricularis) – This beautiful, exotic looking bird showed very well at the fruiting tree at Km 23 at Dasyueshan with up to 15 birds there. Also seen at Hohuanshan and Fushan. [E]
STEERE'S LIOCICHLA (Liocichla steerii) – We had some 4 day records of this gorgeous bird, starting at Dasyueshan but with the best views at Xitou near the end of the trip. [E]
TAIWAN BARWING (Actinodura morrisoniana) – The group saw this at the Mikado Pheasant site on Dasyueshan; another uncommon endemic. [E]
Regulidae (Kinglets)
FLAMECREST (Regulus goodfellowi) – This lovely little bird was seen very well in the conifers at Dasyueshan, Hohuanshan and Xitou; endemic to Taiwan and a striking species. [E]
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
EURASIAN NUTHATCH (CHINESE) (Sitta europaea formosana) – Only seen at Dasyueshan, this one has pinkish underparts.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
EURASIAN WREN (EURASIAN) (Troglodytes troglodytes taivanus) – A single at Hohuanshan, a dark endemic race too.
Cinclidae (Dippers)
BROWN DIPPER (Cinclus pallasii) – One on the creek at the bamboo-partridge site at the lower levels of Dasyueshan.

The tiny Taiwan Fulvetta was seen at Hohuanshan and at Yushan. These lovely little birds are rather shy; the photo, by guide Phil Gregory, comes from a previous trip to Taiwan.

Sturnidae (Starlings)
BLACK-COLLARED STARLING (Gracupica nigricollis) – The group who did the pre-trip saw this at Shimen, but we met no others, rather to my surprise.
CHESTNUT-TAILED STARLING (Sturnia malabarica nemoricola) – A couple at Inda farm were the only ones of the trip.
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – Amazingly few, really only singles seen on 4 days in the lowlands, a native species here.
JAVAN MYNA (Acridotheres javanicus) – This is the common dark myna in the lowlands, and an odd one, as the native range is basically Java and Bali where it is now quite rare. [I]
CRESTED MYNA (Acridotheres cristatellus formosanus) – Small numbers around Puli; the whitish bill is a good field character, not yellow or orange like other dark mynas.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
WHITE'S THRUSH (Zoothera aurea) – Five day records, with nice views from Dasyueshan and Hohuanshan; uncertain which race occurs here and much confusion with Scaly Thrush.
SCALY THRUSH (Zoothera dauma) – A bird high on Dasyueshan may belong here and I got some poor photos, but my posting on Birdforum querying the identity got a very big response, and the basic result was that no-one really knows how to separate this from White's Thrush, with the taxonomy uncertain and even unsure which taxon occurs here!
TAIWAN THRUSH (Turdus niveiceps) – A lucky pick-up at Km 23 on Dasyueshan, at the fruiting tree, where we saw single female or immature birds on two days. Good to see this very distinctive taxon split by most now, though IOC still lags and keeps it in Island Thrush! [E]
BROWN-HEADED THRUSH (Turdus chrysolaus) – Nice looks at the Taiwan Blue-Magpie site at Huisun FR, also seen at Inda Farm. Uncommon.
PALE THRUSH (Turdus pallidus) – Just 3 day records, with 3 at the fruiting tree on Dasyueshan the most, and a single at Inda Farm.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa dauurica) – One at Inda Farm.
ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN (Copsychus saularis) – Joyce found us one at Huisun, apparently a native species and not introduced as it was long presumed to be.
VIVID NILTAVA (SMALL) (Niltava vivida vivida) – Great views of this beautiful bird at the fruiting tree at Dasyueshan, with both males and females showing very well indeed, and up to 15 in a day.
TAIWAN SHORTWING (Brachypteryx goodfellowi) – Frustrating, as we heard it twice but it was non-responsive at both Dasyueshan and near Firefly Lodge. [E]
TAIWAN WHISTLING-THRUSH (Myophonus insularis) – Great views of this uncommon endemic from Dasyueshan and the lowlands near Taichung. [E]
WHITE-TAILED ROBIN (WHITE-TAILED) (Myiomela leucura montium) – Two seen on Dasyueshan, shy and skulking but showed well by the fruiting tree at Km 23.
RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL (Tarsiger cyanurus) – Two single records from Taichung lowlands and Dasyueshan.
COLLARED BUSH-ROBIN (Tarsiger johnstoniae) – Quite common on the track at Dasyueshan, but I was never persuaded that we saw White-browed Bush-Robin there. [E]
SNOWY-BROWED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula hyperythra innexa) – A fine bird from Xitou at the end of the tour, a potential split as well.
PLUMBEOUS REDSTART (Phoenicurus fuliginosus affinis) – Three day records from streams around Taichung and Dasyueshan, also at Guguan.
DAURIAN REDSTART (Phoenicurus auroreus) – Seen nicely in the lowlands around Puli.
BLUE ROCK-THRUSH (PHILIPPENSIS) (Monticola solitarius philippensis) – Just a single from the bush near Hengchun, surprisingly scarce.
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
PLAIN FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum minullum uchidai) – A good view of one at Firefly Lodge, nondescript and easily overlooked.
FIRE-BREASTED FLOWERPECKER (FIRE-BREASTED) (Dicaeum ignipectus formosum) – Seen on day one in the lowlands, and heard on several other days.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
INDIAN SILVERBILL (Euodice malabarica) – A small flock at the Jacana reserve were unexpected. [I]
WHITE-RUMPED MUNIA (Lonchura striata) – Good looks at a flock of 5 at a roadside stop near Guguan, and then 3 at Xitou.
SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) – 9 at Long Luan Tan lake were the only record.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus) – The default sparrow in Taiwan, seen in all the suburban and urban areas.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea) – Seen on 5 days on streams in the hills, a rather beautiful species.
EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (GREEN-HEADED) (Motacilla tschutschensis taivana) – The most were at the lodge at Puli in the paddyfields, and everything seen well proved to be the taivana race with the marked facial pattern.
WHITE WAGTAIL (CHINESE) (Motacilla alba leucopsis) – Just 2 day records from the Puli area; this is the white-faced Chinese taxon.
RICHARD'S PIPIT (Anthus richardi) – 3 in the fields near Tainan; a large and well streaked pipit with an upright stance.
AMERICAN PIPIT (JAPONICUS) (Anthus rubescens japonicus) – 6 down at Hengchun, but flighty and not seen well; this taxon is a likely split.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
TAIWAN ROSEFINCH (Carpodacus formosanus) – I was getting worried in the fog at Hohuanshan, but happily we got good looks at 3 females and a lovely reddish-pink male later.
BROWN BULLFINCH (BROWN) (Pyrrhula nipalensis uchidai) – A small flock at the Km 23 fruiting tree at Dasyueshan.
GRAY-HEADED BULLFINCH (Pyrrhula erythaca owstoni) – Arco and maybe some of the group thought they saw this with the Brown Bullfinches at Km 23.

FORMOSAN ROCK MACAQUE (Macaca cyclopis) – Quite noisy, and seen well at Fushan; an endemic primate too.
PALLAS'S RED-BELLIED SQUIRREL (Callosciurus erythraeus) – Seen several times in the mountains.
GIANT FLYING SQUIRREL SP. (Petaurista alborufus) – Seen on the night walks at Dasyueshan; a large and spectacular squirrel with a white belly and white face. Usually called White-headed Giant Flying-Squirrel.
YELLOW-THROATED MARTEN (Martes flavigula) – A couple of folks got a glimpse of one at Fushan.
MUNTJAC SP. (Muntiacus reevesi) – Seen nicely at Dasyueshan, quite dark reddish brown in color with blackish central facial stripe. Often known as Barking Deer as they have a loud barking call. A Taiwan Serow was also seen in daylight here, and is a similar dark blackish color but with recurved horns. I think some saw this on the first night walk too.


No snakes or lizards seen, just an introduced Red-eared Turtle in the paddies at Puli. Very little in the way of butterflies either at this time of the year.

Totals for the tour: 182 bird taxa and 5 mammal taxa