Book Review: Birds of Japan & Birds of Bhutan and the Eastern Himalayas

Shanghai birders should consider buying Birds of Japan and Birds of Bhutan and the Eastern Himalayas. I served as proofreader of both books, published by Helm Field Guides. Keep Japan on your bookshelf or in your car as you bird the coast of China, and use Bhutan as your first reference in western Yunnan.

Authored by Mark Brazil, Birds of Japan follows Brazil’s 2009 opus, Birds of East Asia, the best field guide for the coastal provinces of China. Birds of Japan sees Brazil returning to his first love, Japan, where Brazil has been active since the 1980s.

Birds of Bhutan and the Eastern Himalayas, by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp, and Sherub, covers not just Bhutan but also the neighboring Indian states of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. All border Tibet, and Arunachal Pradesh extends east to a point only 80 km (50 mi.) from the Dulong Gorge in Yunnan.

Japan and Bhutan each come with introductions to their regions, richly illustrated with maps and photographs. With its detailed “Where to Bird” section, Grimmett et al.’s 38-page opener is as thorough an introduction as a birder is likely to find to the eastern Himalayas. Brazil’s is less extensive but still does justice to a biogeographically complex archipelago that stretches 3000 km (1,900 mi.) from subarctic Hokkaido to the subtropical Ryukyus.

Japan and Bhutan repurpose much artwork from earlier Helm works, Japan drawing from Birds of East Asia and Bhutan from Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. There is, however, much that is new. In Japan no less than 18 new illustrations of White Wagtail are offered, 12 covering the three ssp. (leucopsis, ocularis, lugens) most common on the Chinese coast. Illustrations better than those in Birds of East Asia are provided for Chinese Egret and several species of duck.

Published nearly a decade after East Asia, Japan incorporates many of the ornithological advances made since 2009. For example, in East Asia Brazil incorrectly writes that the calls of Pale-legged and Sakhalin Leaf Warbler are indistinguishable, and the illustrations suggest that the morphological differences between the two species are appreciable. In Japan, Brazil describes the higher-pitched call of Pale-legged, and the new paintings convey more accurately the near indistinguishability of the species on plumage and bare parts.

To a China-based birder, Birds of Japan offers regional interest and usefulness in the coastal provinces, where it can serve as a backup and partial update to Birds of East Asia. Japan also provides a foretaste of a second edition of East Asia. “The publisher has expressed strong interest in a new edition,” Brazil wrote, “and I have the artist already lined up. I am just awaiting a contract” (in litt., 2019).

Bloomsbury touts Birds of Bhutan and the Eastern Himalayas as “the one guide you’ll need on a visit to this incredible corner of Asia.” Including the neighboring Indian states along with Bhutan was an inspired decision, broadening the scope of the book without diminishing its coherence and increasing its usefulness in the Himalayan regions of China. For birders in the Dulong Gorge and at Baihualing, Ruili, and other hotspots in western Yunnan’s Gaoligong Mountains, Bhutan can replace Craig Robson’s Birds of Southeast Asia. Bhutan has better species descriptions than Robson’s sometimes cryptically concise work, and its illustrations excel those in Robson.

Birders in other parts of China will find Bhutan useful. In Himalayan south Tibet, in particular Yadong, wedged between Sikkim and Bhutan, birders will do just fine with Bhutan and only Bhutan in their backpack. Bhutan will prove useful in regions east of Himalayan China, notably Sichuan, as well as on the Tibetan Plateau. In southern Yunnan (Xishuangbanna), whose avifauna is more Southeast Asian than Himalayan, Bhutan can back up Robson.

Like Birds of Japan, Bhutan includes recent ornithological breakthroughs, among them Himalayan Thrush, a species described in 2016 by Alström et al., and Bugun Liocichla, discovered in 2006 in Arunachal Pradesh. Other Himalayan specialties sought after by China-based birders, such as Sclater’s Monal, Fire-tailed Myzornis, and Beautiful Nuthatch, receive ample coverage in the species accounts and introduction of Bhutan.

China sorely lacks good bird books. On the Helm Field Guides bookshelf, there are gaps where works such as Birds of Sichuan and Yunnan and Birds of the Tibetan Plateau should be. Birders in China have long had to cobble together field-guide strategies, using as a major component field guides covering regions of Asia bordering China. One welcome development has been the increasing quality of those guides. Nowhere are the improvements more evident than in Birds of Japan and Birds of Bhutan and the Eastern Himalayas.

Do you own either of the books discussed in this article? Add your review in the comments below.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Brazil, Mark. (2019). Email to author, 9 August.

Featured image: Covers of Birds of Japan (2018) and Birds of Bhutan and the Eastern Himalayas (2019), published by Helm Field Guides/Bloomsbury. (Craig Brelsford)
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Birding Dulong Gorge, Yunnan

“Dulong Gorge, Yunnan, February-March 2016” is part of a series on birding in Yunnan. Other reports in the series:

Sichuan & Yunnan, June 2014
Western Yunnan, January-March 2014

ITINERARY (all dates 2016)
For more information on places visited, see “List of Place Names” at the end of this report.

16 Feb. Gongshan
17 Feb.-3 March Kongdang, Dulong Gorge
4 March Wayaozhen
5 March near Kunming Changshui International Airport

LIST OF SPECIES OF BIRD NOTED IN YUNNAN, CHINA, 16 FEB. TO 5 MARCH 2016 (170 SPECIES)*

*For our Systematic List, click here.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Eurasian Teal Anas crecca
Common Merganser Mergus merganser
gamebird sp.
Hill Partridge Arborophila torqueola
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus
Mountain Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus nipalensis
Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus
Besra Accipiter virgatus
Himalayan Buzzard Buteo burmanicus
Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon) Columba livia
Snow Pigeon Columba leuconota
Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis
Banded Bay Cuckoo Cacomantis sonneratii
Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides
Himalayan Swiftlet Aerodramus brevirostris
Red-headed/Ward’s Trogon Harpactes erythrocephalus/wardi
Crested Kingfisher Megaceryle lugubris
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
Great Barbet Psilopogon virens
Golden-throated Barbet Psilopogon franklinii
Speckled Piculet Picumnus innominatus
Rufous-bellied Woodpecker Dendrocopos hyperythrus
Crimson-breasted Woodpecker Dryobates cathpharius
Darjeeling Woodpecker Dendrocopos darjellensis
Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus
Grey-chinned Minivet Pericrocotus solaris
Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus speciosus
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach tricolor
Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus
White-bellied Erpornis Erpornis zantholeuca
Black-headed Shrike-babbler Pteruthius rufiventer
Blyth’s Shrike-babbler Pteruthius aeralatus
Black-eared Shrike-babbler Pteruthius melanotis
Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus
White-throated Fantail Rhipidura albicollis
Oriental Magpie Pica serica
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
Yellow-bellied Fantail Chelidorhynx hypoxanthus
Yellow-browed Tit Sylviparus modestus
Rufous-vented Tit Periparus rubidiventris*
Coal Tit Periparus ater
Grey Crested Tit Lophophanes dichrous
Japanese Tit Parus minor
Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus
Yellow-cheeked Tit Machlolophus spilonotus
Striated Bulbul Pycnonotus striatus
Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus flaviventris
Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus
Brown-breasted Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthorrhous
Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer
Mountain Bulbul Ixos mcclellandii
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
Scaly-breasted Cupwing Pnoepyga albiventer
Pygmy Cupwing Pnoepyga pusilla
Rufous-faced Warbler Abroscopus albogularis
Black-faced Warbler Abroscopus schisticeps
Brown-flanked Bush Warbler Horornis fortipes
Slaty-bellied Tesia Tesia olivea
Chestnut-headed Tesia Cettia castaneocoronata
Black-throated Bushtit Aegithalos concinnus
Black-browed Bushtit Aegithalos bonvaloti
Ashy-throated Warbler Phylloscopus maculipennis
Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
Blyth’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus reguloides
Sichuan Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus forresti
Grey-cheeked Warbler Phylloscopus poliogenys
Chestnut-crowned Warbler Phylloscopus castaniceps
Hill Prinia Prinia superciliaris
Rufescent Prinia Prinia rufescens
Grey-breasted Prinia Prinia hodgsonii
Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis
Red-billed Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps
Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus ferruginosus
Grey-throated Babbler Stachyris nigriceps
Rufous-capped Babbler Stachyridopsis ruficeps
Golden Babbler Stachyridopsis chrysaea
Yellow-throated Fulvetta Alcippe cinerea
Rufous-winged Fulvetta Alcippe castaneceps
Yunnan Fulvetta Alcippe fratercula
Long-billed Wren-Babbler Rimator malacoptilus
White-browed Laughingthrush Garrulax sannio
Striated Laughingthrush Garrulax striatus
Blue-winged Laughingthrush Trochalopteron squamatum
Scaly Laughingthrush Trochalopteron subunicolor
Elliot’s Laughingthrush Trochalopteron elliotii
Black-faced Laughingthrush Trochalopteron affine
Assam Laughingthrush Trochalopteron chrysopterum woodi
Himalayan Cutia Cutia nipalensis
Bar-throated Minla Minla strigula
Red-tailed Minla Minla ignotincta
Red-/Scarlet-faced Liocichla Liocichla phoenicea/ripponi
Rusty-fronted Barwing Actinodura egertoni
Streak-throated Barwing Actinodura waldeni
Silver-eared Mesia Leiothrix argentauris
Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea
Rufous-backed Sibia Heterophasia annectans
Beautiful Sibia Heterophasia pulchella
Fire-tailed Myzornis Myzornis pyrrhoura
Golden-breasted Fulvetta Lioparus chrysotis
White-browed Fulvetta Fulvetta vinipectus
parrotbill sp.
Black-throated Parrotbill Suthora nipalensis
White-naped Yuhina Yuhina bakeri
Whiskered Yuhina Yuhina flavicollis
Stripe-throated Yuhina Yuhina gularis
White-collared Yuhina Yuhina diademata
Black-chinned Yuhina Yuhina nigrimenta
Zosterops sp.
Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Spotted Elachura Elachura formosa
Eurasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Chestnut-vented Nuthatch Sitta nagaensis
Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa*
Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria
Rusty-flanked Treecreeper Certhia nipalensis
Certhia sp.
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus
Alpine/“YunnanThrush Zoothera mollissima
Himalayan Thrush Zoothera salimalii
Grandala Grandala coelicolor
Turdus sp.
Chestnut Thrush Turdus rubrocanus
Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis
Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara
Large Niltava Niltava grandis
Gould’s Shortwing Heteroxenicus stellatus
Rufous-breasted Bush Robin Tarsiger hyperythrus
Himalayan Bluetail Tarsiger rufilatus
Little Forktail Enicurus scouleri
Slaty-backed Forktail Enicurus schistaceus
White-crowned Forktail Enicurus leschenaulti
Blue Whistling Thrush Myophonus caeruleus eugenei
Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros*
Hodgson’s Redstart Phoenicurus hodgsoni
White-throated Redstart Phoenicurus schisticeps
Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus
Blue-fronted Redstart Phoenicurus frontalis
Plumbeous Water Redstart Phoenicurus fuliginosus
White-capped Redstart Phoenicurus leucocephalus
Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush Monticola rufiventris
Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus
Pied Bush Chat Saxicola caprata
White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus*
Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii
Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus
Green-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga nipalensis
Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris
Rufous-breasted Accentor Prunella strophiata
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
White Wagtail Motacilla alba
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni
Golden-naped Finch Pyrrhoplectes epauletta
Leucosticte sp.
Dark-rumped Rosefinch Carpodacus edwardsii
Tibetan Serin Spinus thibetanus
Godlewski’s Bunting Emberiza godlewskii
Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla

* noted by Brian Ivon Jones only

THE TRIP

Tues. 16 Feb. 2016 Gongshan
Wed. 17 Feb.-Mon. 22 Feb. 2016 Kongdang

Fire-tailed Myzornis
Fire-tailed Myzornis, Dulong Gorge. (Craig Brelsford)

A week in Yunnan is under our belt, and Dulong Gorge is yielding amazing Himalayan specialties. Among the species noted by us so far are Fire-tailed Myzornis, Grandala, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Striated Laughingthrush, and Assam Laughingthrush as well as Gongshan Muntjac. We have noted western Yunnan favorites Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, Beautiful Sibia, Rusty-fronted Barwing, and Streak-throated Barwing. We have heard the mournful whistle of Hill Partridge, found a flock of 140 Tibetan Serin, noted Goldcrest in a mixed flock at 2960 m (9,710 ft.), and discovered 4 Eurasian Teal looking out of place on the Dulong River. Also using the river are Common Merganser, Great Cormorant, Crested Kingfisher, and Brown Dipper. Crimson-breasted Woodpecker was a lifer for us, and Wallcreeper delighted us all. We noted a troop of Stump-tailed Macaque.

HOW WE GOT TO DULONG GORGE

To reach this remote valley, on Tues. 16 Feb. Elaine, our partner Brian Ivon Jones, and I drove non-stop from Kunming Changshui International Airport to Gongshan (27.741232, 98.665604), a grueling twelve-and-a-half hour, 814-km (506-mi.) ride. Brian, an Englishman living in Shenzhen, is the person who first gave me the idea of visiting the Dulong Gorge; this is my fourth birding trip with him. From Kunming we took the G56 to the G320 and S228 north of Baoshan. We drove the narrow S228 at night because we guessed that traffic in the dozens of towns along the Salween River would be less. We were right. At 03:15 Wednesday we arrived exhausted but in good spirits at Gongshan.

On Wednesday morning 17 Feb., we stocked up on food and fuel at Gongshan. We filled the tank of our rented Mitsubishi Pajero and, after applying for a permit with the local government, filled a 30-liter (7.9 U.S. gal.) tank with gasoline. The tank would hold our extra source of fuel, for there are no service stations in the Dulong Gorge.

rental car
Our rented Mitsubishi Pajero near grocery store in Gongshan. We rented this brand-new vehicle at Kunming Changshui International Airport through the rental-car company Héxié Zūchē (和谐租车). It was the perfect car for our trip. (Craig Brelsford)

We birded the Gongshan-Dulong Road 87 km (54 mi.) to Kongdang (27.874454, 98.336630). On the Gongshan side, still in the Salween basin, we noted our first of many Ashy-throated Warbler, Yellow-browed Tit, Whiskered Yuhina, Stripe-throated Yuhina, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, and Green-tailed Sunbird. A bird wave at elev. 1980 m (6,500 ft.) gave us views of less-common birds such as Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Grey Crested Tit, and Blyth’s Leaf Warbler. At a scenic overlook at 2450 m (8,040 ft.), we found a stunning male Blue-fronted Redstart. At about 2600 m (8,530 ft.), we began to notice snow on the ground. At 2960 m (9,710 ft.), near the eastern terminus of the Dulongjiang Tunnel, with snow lying deep all around us, a bird wave passed. It contained Coal Tit as well as our first Rusty-flanked Treecreeper and Goldcrest.

Dulongjiang Tunnel
Eastern terminus of new Dulongjiang Tunnel above Dulong River Gorge, Yunnan. Elev. 2960 m (9,710 ft.). (Craig Brelsford)

On the other side of the tunnel, at elev. 2260 m (7,420 ft.), we noted Darjeeling Woodpecker and Beautiful Sibia at a stretch of road I call “Sibia Lane” (27.909517, 98.410674). I never fail to find Beautiful Sibia there. At the bridge below we found Yellow-browed Tit and a flock of Black-faced Warbler.

In Kongdang, the administrative center of the Dulong Gorge, I found a town much different from the one I met during my first trip here in June 2014. Bridges are being built, a row of new hotels and restaurants has arisen, and a service station is under construction. Despite the progress, this valley still feels like a land that time forgot. Some Dulong people keep the tradition of animal sacrifice, and we have seen two old women with tattooed faces.

DULONG GORGE FROM END TO END

Crimson-breasted Woodpecker
Crimson-breasted Woodpecker Dryobates cathpharius. (Craig Brelsford)

We spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday exploring the areas south, north, and east of Kongdang. On Thurs. 18 Feb. we drove to Qinlangdang (27.686833, 98.283097), the village at the southern terminus of the Dulong Gorge road and the last stop before the China-Burma border. We noted 45 species and covered elevations ranging from 1220 m (4,000 ft.) at Qinlangdang to 1570 m (5,150 ft.) along the cliffs north of that village. Great Cormorant and Crested Kingfisher were a surprise. An impressive bird wave just south of town netted us many trip firsts, among them Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Niltava, and Silver-eared Mesia. At stops along the road we found Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, a lifer for all of us, as well as Golden-throated Barbet, Black-faced Laughingthrush, Rusty-fronted Barwing, and Alpine Accentor.

On Fri. 19 Feb. we headed north. We easily found Wallcreeper, and in the heavily forested opposite bank of the river we heard the harsh cries of Striated Laughingthrush. As we drove, we scanned the river carefully, particularly the calm spots. At one such spot we found 4 Eurasian Teal. They were not feeding and must have been using the gorge as a conduit to more suitable waters. South of Xiongdang (28.106766, 98.322952), conifers and other alpine flora begin to predominate, and the landscape looks profoundly different from the lusher, warmer areas around Qinlangdang. We found a scree slope far above us and, using my spotting scope, I pulled in a flock of 8 Grandala.

Jones and Du
Brian Ivon Jones (L) and Elaine Du viewing Grandala. (Craig Brelsford)

Dizhengdang (28.079174, 98.325987) occupies one of the broadest areas we have seen in the Dulong Valley and is an excellent place for birding. At the fringes of the farmland are scrubby areas that hold many species and will surely hold more come spring, and there is a collection of abandoned farmhouses and adjacent gardens that will be nicely overgrown a few months from now. We finally were able to leave the car here and walk around. We picked up many trip firsts, among them Himalayan Buzzard, Snow Pigeon, Grey-backed Shrike, Black-browed Bushtit, and White-throated Redstart. We drove north to the village of Xiongdang. We drove past the church in Xiongdang on a dirt road that is soon to be a paved highway to Tibet. We stopped 3 km (2 mi.) north of the village. As it was late afternoon and because the road was getting rougher, we decided to turn back. We noted Common Merganser and Brown Dipper, and as we approached Xiongdang again we encountered another Wallcreeper.

Eurasian Teal
Eurasian Teal in Dulong River. (Craig Brelsford)

Sat. 20 Feb. saw us head back up the Gongshan-Dulong Road. We birded an elevation range of 1350 m (4,430 ft.), from 1490 m (4,890 ft.) in Kongdang to 2840 m (9,320 ft.) at the snowy western terminus of the Dulongjiang Tunnel. Elaine saw a bird that had to be either Ward’s or Red-headed Trogon, and we heard the cries of Hill Partridge on the ridges above us. At Sibia Lane, elev. 2260 m (7,420 ft.), Elaine cried out, “Myzornis!” Brian and I came running and found a pair of this quintessential Himalayan bird. The pair gave us clear views before retiring into the undergrowth, and we found another pair nearby. The beautiful, emerald-green cross between parrotbill and babbler was a lifer for Elaine and Brian. I had seen the species in 2014.

Striated Laughingthrush and Assam Laughingthrush were hard-won ticks. A flock of 4 of the former appeared screaming above us on the Gongshan-Dulong Road. The fig tree on which they were feeding was directly above us, 25 m (82 ft.) high. I leaned back and took record shots, set down my camera, and recorded the harsh cries before a car came and forced me to pause. Later, examining the photos and listening carefully to my recording, we were able to get the ID. Here is the recording I made of Striated Laughingthrush (00:08; 1.1 MB):

The Assam was almost as tricky. Walking along the road, I scared off a single laughingthrush. As Black-faced Laughingthrush has been the most commonly seen laugher so far, I played back a recording of that species to see whether I would get a response. The Assam called back from cover. It was obviously not a Black-faced, but what was it? The bird alighted very briefly on a backlit branch, a silhouette against the sky; this allowed me to determine its size and nothing more. But I had recorded the call, and comparisons to Assam recordings I have downloaded from xeno-canto.org allowed me to make the ID. Here is my recording of the brief call (00:03; 905 KB):

On Sun. 21 Feb. it rained all day and we did no birding. In Kongdang electricity was out for most of the day, and even the cell-phone signal died. We took advantage of the down time to sleep.

Gongshan Muntjac
Gongshan Muntjac, Gongshan-Dulong Road, elev. 2300 m (7,550 ft.). (Craig Brelsford)

Mon. 22 Feb. saw us redo our route to the Dulongjiang Tunnel and back. The big find of the day was the mysterious Gongshan Muntjac. We were at the large clearing at 2300 m (7,550 ft.) on the Gongshan-Dulong Road. I had just recorded a lively pair of Bay Woodpecker and was walking back toward the car and Brian. My partner was looking at a dark spot below us on the road. Brian and I aimed to shoot, and I found to my horror that the ultra-high humidity of the gorge had compromised the focusing mechanism on my lens. I had to focus manually, and by that time the muntjac had turned its back to us. Brian captured the earlier moment when the deer was still facing us; I could only get photos of it looking away. The diminutive, rare deer scurried under the guardrail to cover. We walked downhill to the point where it had stood. Above us, we heard a sound like a man imitating a dog barking. Muntjacs are also known as “barking deer”; now we knew why. We believe we photographed a doe and that the buck was barking from cover. So little is known about Muntiacus gongshanensis that IUCN lists it not as endangered or near threatened but as “data deficient.” Almost all photos taken of the species have been done by camera traps. We have photos of an animal that we saw. I recorded the barking (00:19; 1.6 MB):

The other mammalian highlight was Stump-tailed Macaque. Walking along the road, I noticed rustling in the bamboo far down slope. At first I thought I had startled a herd of small deer. I got this impression because the animals were on the ground and were on all fours. I was able to determine that the animals were macaques. I noted a bare face and nub of a tail. We estimate the troop contained about 10 individuals.

Alpine Thrush
Alpine/’Yunnan’ Thrush, Gongshan-Dulong Road. (Craig Brelsford)

Amid these glories, the birding was not bad! We added these species to the trip list: Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Bar-throated Minla, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, White-browed Fulvetta, Himalayan Bluetail, Rufous-breasted Accentor, and the recently re-described Alpine/“Yunnan” Thrush. Elaine, who is familiar with the Zoothera thrushes because of my keen interest in this genus, radioed me: “Himalayan Thrush!” I ran back and just managed to capture record shots. The bird I photographed has the dark ear coverts, yellow base of lower mandible, and yellow legs that distinguish Alpine/“Yunnan” Thrush from Himalayan Thrush.

Rufous-breasted Bush Robin
Rufous-breasted Bush Robin. This photo records the moment I first laid eyes on this beautiful Himalayan species. (Craig Brelsford)

Other big news: 290 Grandala in two flocks, an impressive 168 Tibetan Serin, a Fire-tailed Myzornis whose loud calls caused us to stop the car to look, and yet more encounters with Rusty-flanked Treecreeper and Rufous-breasted Bush Robin.

Tues. 23 Feb.-Thurs. 3 March 2016 Kongdang
Fri. 4 March 2016 Wayaozhen
Sat. 5 March 2016 Kunming

The second half of our Dulong trip lasted 13 days, from 23 Feb. to 6 March 2016. Brian Ivon Jones, my wife Elaine Du, and I saw drier weather and a rich procession of birds, taking our species count to 170. We found Golden-naped Finch at bird-rich Sibia Lane, we noted Fire-tailed Myzornis at various locations, we marveled at Ibisbill on the Dulong River, and we witnessed a spectacular flock of 300 Grandala. With the clearing of mudslides that had blocked access to the southern end of the gorge, we spent five days around Qinlangdang. There, Brian noted Beautiful Nuthatch, and we found Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler, Red-billed Scimitar Babbler, Himalayan Cutia, and Scaly-breasted Cupwing. Driving and walking along the twisting roads, we noted Black-headed Shrike-babbler, Gould’s Shortwing, Long-billed Wren-Babbler, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, and the newly described Himalayan Thrush and Alpine/“Yunnan” Thrush. Rufous-breasted Bush Robin made several appearances at various elevations, Himalayan Bluetail was noted in smaller numbers, and White-naped Yuhina and Yellow-throated Fulvetta often were in large flocks. Heading back to Kunming, we found Banded Bay Cuckoo near Wayaozhen.

RAIN, RAIN, RAIN … AND A REPRIEVE

mudslide
This mudslide near Bapo temporarily kept us away from the bird-rich areas around Qinlangdang. Mudslides are common in the Dulong Gorge. (Craig Brelsford)

The rain from the first week of the trip was still with us on Tues. 23 Feb. and Wed. 24 Feb., causing a mudslide near Bapo (27.737042, 98.350309) that blocked access to Qinlangdang. Even on Thurs. 25 Feb., skies were still grey, and despite the excellent weather on Fri. 26 Feb., the road to Qinlangdang was still blocked. We grit our teeth and birded on.

23 Feb. saw us note just 28 species, but among them were choice birds such as Black-headed Shrike-babbler, Golden-naped Finch, Blue-winged Laughingthrush, and Dark-rumped Rosefinch. We found Golden-naped Finch, the rosefinches, a few of our Fire-tailed Myzornis, and White-browed Fulvetta around Sibia Lane. This bird-rich spot on the Gongshan-Dulong Road has tall trees, rich undergrowth, and many birds, among them the Beautiful Sibia which are a constant presence there and for which the place is named.

Golden-naped Finch
Golden-naped Finch was a major target for us. This female was photographed 23 Feb. at Sibia Lane. (Craig Brelsford)

On 24 Feb. we noted 51 species despite the rain and despite doing all our birding within 12.5 km (7.8 mi.) of Kongdang, our home base. One reason for our success was my re-discovery of Dulong Beach (27.795076, 98.329884), a place I remembered from my 2014 visit and one of the few broad areas in that part of the Dulong Gorge. At Dulong Beach, one can park in a spacious parking area well off the narrow road, and it is possible to walk around. Great Cormorant roost on boulders studding the Dulong River, and occasionally a Mallard flies by; Himalayan Swiftlet can be seen in the corridor of sky framed by the gorge; Ashy Drongo and Striated Bulbul hawk insects high in the trees; White-naped Yuhina and Grey-cheeked Warbler browse in the trees; Golden Babbler join bird waves with Yellow-browed Tit, Rufous-capped Babbler, and Yellow-throated Fulvetta; and Chestnut-headed Tesia, Slaty-bellied Tesia, and Pygmy Cupwing call from the undergrowth.

Chestnut-headed Tesia
Chestnut-headed Tesia, Dulong Beach. (Craig Brelsford)

We also birded an even broader area, Pukawang (27.839581, 98.327779), the resort 8 km (5 mi.) north of Dulong Beach and 4.5 km (2.8 mi.) south of Kongdang. There we found Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Large Niltava, Rufous-breasted Accentor, and Little Bunting using the now-barren gardens and fields. Little Forktail was in the Dandangwang River. We found Elliot’s Laughingthrush.

Rufous-breasted Bush Robin
For its combination of stunning beauty and strong Himalayan character, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin was my Bird of the Trip. We recorded Tarsiger hyperythrus 44 times in Dulong Gorge, and only 1 of those records was of a female. I got this photo at Pukawang on 24 Feb. (Craig Brelsford)

25 Feb. saw us stymied in our quest for Qinlangdang by a mudslide at Bapo. We retraced our steps to Dulong Beach, where in a bird wave we found Black-throated Parrotbill. We had our first record of Grey-chinned Minivet, and at Pukawang we had our only record of Pied Bush Chat and only Dulong record of Eurasian Hoopoe. The next day saw splendid blue skies, but the still-blocked road meant we had to work the Gongshan-Dulong Road once again. There, we achieved stunning photos of the moon setting over the mountains, fresh with new snow. In the afternoon, we returned to Dulong Beach, where Brian spotted Black-crested Bulbul high on the ridge on the opposite side of the river.

RETURN TO QINLANGDANG

Dulong Gorge
Beautiful Dulong Gorge between Maku and Qinlangdang. (Craig Brelsford)

Once the weather improved and the road crews cleared the road, we headed straight for Qinlangdang and the southern end of the gorge. We spent five of the next six days here: Sat. 27 Feb. through Mon. 29 Feb. and Wed. and Thurs. 2-3 March.

On 27 Feb., during the 43 km (27 mi.) drive from Kongdang to Qinlangdang, we stopped at Dulong Beach. There we met Ān Kǎi Xiáng (安凯祥, “Steven An”), a tour guide whom I have met on several occasions, and Hóu Tǐ Guó (侯体国), the man famous for running the photo blinds at Baihualing. They were guiding Erik and Henning, two Danes and friends of Jesper Hornskov. Erik and Henning paid this writer a nice compliment: They had read my post on Week 1 of the Dulong trip! We chatted awhile and admired a Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher. Also at Dulong Beach, we saw Crested Kingfisher flying rapidly up the river and found Scaly Laughingthrush.

Further down, we yet again heard Long-billed Wren-Babbler calling from thick undergrowth on the side of the road; try as I might, I could not coax the bird out, but I recorded its call (00:03; 922 KB):

Driving back, nearing dark we got a lifer for Brian and Elaine: Rufous-backed Sibia. I captured sound and an image of this impressive bird (00:35; 2.2 MB):

Rufous-backed Sibia
Rufous-backed Sibia, Dulong Gorge, elev. 1410 m (4,630 ft.). Heterophasia annectans annectans occurs in extreme western Yunnan. (Craig Brelsford)

On the morning of 28 Feb., again near Qinlangdang, and after hours spent searching for Beautiful Nuthatch with no success, I heard dueling Spotted Elachura singing from either side of the Dulong River. Dilemma: (1) Study elachura, a sure thing, or (2) invest still more time in searching for Beaut Nut? Brian opted for Choice 2 and walked ahead. Elaine and I chose Option 1 and achieved an excellent recording of the strange song of Spotted Elachura plus my closest views ever of the species. Here is what I captured (01:17; 3.9 MB):

Brian, meanwhile, found Beaut Nut! He radioed us, but we arrived too late. Congrats, Brian! We also got Himalayan Cutia, a lifer for Brian.

Other great birds from 28 Feb.: Black-headed Shrike-babbler and Blyth’s Shrike-babbler, another encounter with that Long-billed Wren-Babbler on the side of the road, Scaly-breasted Cupwing, good views of Striated Laughingthrush, and new looks at Blue-winged Laughingthrush and Scaly Laughingthrush. We found 4 Zoothera birds, most likely Alpine/“Yunnan”/Himalayan Thrush, feeding along the pre-dawn road and looking like nightjars (Brian’s apt description) as they fled our car.

Himalayan Thrush
Himalayan Thrush, Kongdang-Qinlangdang Road. Note the very dark subocular/moustachial area connected to the dark lores and the ill-defined dark spot on the ear coverts. These features allowed us to easily distinguish this bird from Alpine/’Yunnan’ Thrush, members of the Plain-backed Thrush complex newly described by Per Alström and his colleagues. Read here about my minor contribution to Per’s discovery. (Craig Brelsford)

29 Feb. saw us once again working the area around Qinlangdang. The terraced fields at the north entrance to the village are a good place for birds, yielding our only Dulong records of Hill Prinia, Slaty-backed Forktail, and Black Redstart as well as Blue-fronted Redstart and Olive-backed Pipit. At Brian’s nuthatch spot just north of town, relaxing in our parked car I got our only owl record of the trip: Asian Barred Owlet, calling unseen from the ravine on the opposite side of the river. In the morning, as we were driving to Qinlangdang we heard Brown-flanked Bush Warbler singing at Maku and at another place farther south.

local folks
Pickupful o’ local folks at Dizhengdang. (Craig Brelsford)

On 1 March we changed direction, heading north 31 km (19 mi.) on the paved road to Dizhengdang. There, we revisited the extensive farmland north of town. Within a large flock of Little Bunting, Elaine and I picked out 3 Godlewski’s Bunting. Blue-winged Laughingthrush were using trees between two abandoned farmhouses, and we found Snow Pigeon and a smart male Hodgson’s Redstart. Brian went off on his own, finding White-throated Dipper. We drove through Xiongdang to the road being constructed north of that village. We took it to a point 9 km (5.6 mi.) north of town, where a rockslide stopped us. We noted Mountain Hawk-Eagle here.

Incredible Ibisbill, 1 of 4 we found on the thundering Dulong River in Xiongdang. The vision and determination of Brian were instrumental in our finding this Himalayan wader. "The habitat is right; they must be here," Brian said repeatedly. On 1 March, Brian's hunch proved true.
Incredible Ibisbill, 1 of 4 we found on the thundering Dulong River in Xiongdang. The vision and determination of Brian were instrumental in our finding this Himalayan wader. ‘The habitat is right; they must be here,’ Brian said. (Craig Brelsford)

Heading back, just north of Xiongdang, Brian, once again walking ahead, radioed us: “Ibisbill, flying downstream!” Brian deserves credit for insisting that this most unusual of waders would be on the Dulong. “The habitat is right; they must be here,” he had said repeatedly. Now Brian had his reward, but what about Elaine and me? Would it be possible for us to get a view? It was up to me to guess where the Ibisbill had flown to. Zipping past Brian’s position, Elaine and I sped south in the Pajero, splashing through a creek along the way. We approached the church in Xiongdang, and I said, “Let’s try here.” Elaine and I got out and, lo, there were 4 Ibisbill along the rumbling stream below. Brian arrived, and we savored the view together.

Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler
Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler near Qinlangdang, elev. 1220 m (4,000 ft.). (Craig Brelsford)

On our two final full days in the gorge, 2-3 March, we dove back into the Qinlangdang area. We met Himalayan Thrush and Alpine/“Yunnan” Thrush on the road, we had a strange encounter with an apparently lost Northern Lapwing, and we added Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler, Red-billed Scimitar Babbler, and Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike to our trip list. I achieved an excellent recording of the powerful song of tiny Scaly-breasted Cupwing (00:24; 1.7 MB):

We found several common birds that we had not noted before, among them Japanese Tit, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, White-bellied Erpornis, and Chestnut Thrush. These late additions are an indication of the vastness of the forests and the long time it takes to get an accurate impression of the avifauna of this rich gorge.

BACK TO KUNMING

Fire-tailed Myzornis
Fire-tailed Myzornis, Dulong Gorge, 26 Feb. (Craig Brelsford)

We took two full days to cover the 900 km (560 mi.) between Kongdang and Kunming. On Fri. 4 March we spent the daylight hours driving the 90 km (56 mi.) to Gongshan. We saw a massive flock of 300 Grandala, added Great Barbet to the trip list, heard Hill Partridge calling unseen, and noted Fire-tailed Myzornis and Golden-naped Finch. After refueling, we departed Gongshan at 17:15 and drove south on the S228. Along this amazing, narrow road, the lifeline for the dozens of communities along the Salween River, we saw folks taking sponge baths under the spigots along the road, saw people getting haircuts at open-air barber shops just inches from passing cars, and watched a drunken man nearly walk into the path of our car. Few roads are more interesting, or more dangerous, than the S228. Long after dark, we made it to Nujiang and pressed on, arriving exhausted at 01:15 in Wayaozhen (25.445260, 99.263076), a town just a few kilometers north of the G56 freeway. Once again, we had made it through the Salween Gorge in good time, as before by driving mainly at night when traffic is less.

New birds came to us immediately the next morning: Red-vented Bulbul and Grey-breasted Prinia in the farm-garden area just across from Bababa Hotel, Grey Wagtail in a stream running between rows of houses, and White-browed Laughingthrush and Yellow-browed Warbler on the scrubby, partly forested hillside behind the hotel.

ravine overlooking Mekong
In western Yunnan, good birds can be found almost anywhere. In this unspectacular ravine overlooking the Mekong River, we noted Banded Bay Cuckoo, Grey-throated Babbler, and Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike. (Craig Brelsford)

The grand finale, the fitting end to our profitable expedition, came later in the morning, less than a kilometer north of the G56. Driving on the G320 toward the freeway, I was scanning the hillside to our right and admiring the Mekong River to our left. I noticed a forested ravine that looked promising. Brian was game for a final hunt, and we set off. Elaine stayed at the car, scanning the treetops with the spotting scope. Brian and I walked up the ravine until we could walk no more, then doubled back. Along the way we heard Slaty-bellied Tesia and saw Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike. Brian picked up Grey-throated Babbler, a species we had noted in Dulong Gorge but that Brian had not seen well.

Brian went on ahead, and I stayed behind in the forest. Suddenly a Banded Bay Cuckoo appeared on a branch just 3 m (10 ft.) from me, calling. This species is hard to find in China, has long been among my most desired of cuckoos, and was a lifer for me. I was without my camera, but I had my recorder and used it. In the recording, one notes the similarities and differences between the four-note call of Banded Bay and the well-known four-note call of Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus. Whereas the call of Banded Bay is a high-pitched whistle, the call of Indian is fuller and throatier. Examine my recordings:

Banded Bay Cuckoo 1 (four-note whistle; 00:07, 1.1 MB)

Banded Bay Cuckoo 2 (rising call plus four-note whistle; 01:18, 3.9 MB)

I hustled down the hill to the car, roused Elaine and Brian, and took them up the hill. They heard the call of Banded Bay Cuckoo.

We took the G56 to Kunming Changshui International Airport, driving the last of the 2856 km (1,775 mi.) that we logged on this trip. We spent the night in the strangely named but very clean Rainbow Interstellar Hotel (+86 871-65301666). On Sun. 6 March we flew home, Brian to Shenzhen, Elaine and I to Shanghai.

Our simple list of the 170 bird species we noted is at the top of this page. For the systematic list, click here.

PRACTICALITIES

Kongdang
Main street in Kongdang, our base of operations in Dulong Gorge. (Elaine Du)

In Kongdang we checked into Dúlóng Jiāng Dàjiǔdiàn (独龙江大酒店; +86 886-3066888, +86 139-8868-5660). The hotel was new and clean. Electric power was intermittent throughout the village, and because of the uncertain electricity it was prohibited to run the air-conditioning unit; our room was usually chilly as a result. Hot water was not guaranteed. In 2014 I stayed in Dàpíng Bīnguǎn (大平宾馆; +86 139-8869-6984).

buying fuel
At the time of our expedition, Dulong Gorge still had no service stations, and on a long trip it was impossible to carry enough extra fuel over the mountain from Gongshan. It was possible to buy fuel from unauthorized sellers. Here, Brian and I add gasoline purchased from a local fruit merchant. (Elaine Du)

We flew into and out of Kunming rather than Baoshan or Dali because of the wider selection of rental cars. We worked with the rental-car company Héxié Zūchē (和谐租车; +86 871-67085834). Héxié rented us a brand-new, four-wheel drive Mitsubishi Pajero, the perfect car for our trip.

PHOTOS

Elaine Du
Elaine Du updating our bird list, Dizhengdang. (Craig Brelsford)
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker above Gongshan. (Craig Brelsford)
Wallcreeper
Wallcreeper, Dulong Gorge. (Craig Brelsford)
Grandala
Grandala, Gongshan-Dulong Road. (Craig Brelsford)
Dark-rumped Rosefinch
Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Sibia Lane. (Craig Brelsford)
Golden Babbler
Golden Babbler, Dulong Beach. (Craig Brelsford)
Black-throated Parrotbill
Black-throated Parrotbill, Dulong Beach. (Craig Brelsford)
Streak-throated Barwing
Streak-throated Barwing, Dulong Beach. (Craig Brelsford)
White-naped Finch
White-naped Yuhina near Qinlangdang. (Craig Brelsford)
Speckled Piculet
Speckled Piculet, Qinlangdang. (Craig Brelsford)
Grey-cheeked Warbler
Grey-cheeked Warbler, Qinlangdang, Elev. 1220 m (4,000 ft.). Conspicuous teardrop eye-ring helps distinguish Grey-cheeked Warbler Phylloscopus poliogenys from White-spectacled Warbler P. intermedius. (Craig Brelsford)
Hodgson's Redstart
Hodgson’s Redstart, Dizhengdang. We found this handsome male in open forest at the fringe of farmland. (Craig Brelsford)
Chestnut-crowned Warbler
Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Qinlangdang. (Craig Brelsford)
Scaly-breasted Cupwing
Scaly-breasted Cupwing, Qinlangdang. (Craig Brelsford)
Rusty-flanked Treecreeper
Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Gongshan-Dulong Road, elev. 2040 m (6,690 ft.). (Craig Brelsford)
Sichuan Leaf Warbler
Sichuan Leaf Warbler, Qinlangdang, Dulong Gorge, 2 March. Like Gansu Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus kansuensis, this bird has a distinct pale rump, crown-stripe equally distinct throughout its length, and a postocular stripe that hooks downward posteriorly. The bird here has a darker base to the lower mandible than would likely be the case in P. kansuensis, making it highly probable that the bird is Sichuan Leaf Warbler P. forresti. (Craig Brelsford)
Snow Pigeon, Dizhengdang, 19 Feb. 2016. Elev. 1850 m.
Snow Pigeon, Dizhengdang. (Craig Brelsford)
Craig Brelsford
Craig Brelsford removing rocks from Gongshan-Dulong Road, 22 Feb. (Elaine Du)
Brian Ivon Jones (L) and Craig Brelsford
Brian Ivon Jones (L) and Craig Brelsford celebrating after finding Golden-naped Finch, on bridge below Sibia Lane, 23 Feb. 2016. (Elaine Du)

LIST OF PLACE NAMES

Location of Gongshan County
Location of Gongshan County (pink) and Nujiang Prefecture (yellow) within Yunnan, China. By Croquant (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Baoshan (Bǎoshān Shì [保山市]): prefecture-level city W Yunnan.

Bapo (Bāpō Xīnzhài [巴坡新寨]; 27.737042, 98.350309): village 23 km S of Kongdang. Elev. 1390 m.

Dandangwang River (Dāndāngwáng Hé [担当王河]): tributary of Dulong River. Confluence at Pukawang, 4.5 km S of Kongdang.

Dizhengdang (Dízhèngdāng [迪政当]; 28.079174, 98.325987): village Dulong Gorge 31 km N of Kongdang. Elev. 1850 m.

Dulong (ethnic group): indigenous people living in Dulong Gorge. Known in Chinese as Dúlóngzú (独龙族). At ca. 6000 members, the smallest of the 56 officially recognized ethnic groups in China.

Dulong Beach (27.795076, 98.329884): birding area on scenic stretch of Dulong River 12.5 km S of Kongdang. Elev. 1460 m.

Dulong Gorge (Dúlóng Jiāng [独龙江]): canyon in Gongshan County, NW Yunnan bordering Tibet & Burma.

Dulong River (Dúlóng Jiāng [独龙江]): rises E Tibet, flows through Dulong Gorge into Burma, where it meets Mali River to form Irrawaddy River.

Dulongjiang Tunnel: part of Gongshan-Dulong Road; connects Salween & Irrawaddy basins. Elev. of E terminus: 2960 m. Elev. of W terminus: 2840 m.

Gaoligong Mountains (Gāolígòngshān [高黎贡山]): range running N-S 600 km from SE Tibet into W Yunnan & adjacent Kachin State in N Burma. Range divides Salween River & Irrawaddy River basins.

Gaoligongshan: see Gaoligong Mountains.

Gongshan (Gòngshān [贡山]; 27.741232, 98.665604): town NW Yunnan in Gongshan County. Also known as Cíkāi Zhèn (茨开镇). See also Gongshan County.

Gongshan County (Gòngshān Dúlóngzú Nùzú Zìzhìxiàn [贡山独龙族怒族自治县]): subdivision of Nujiang Prefecture in NW Yunnan. Contains Dulong Gorge.

Gongshan-Dulong Road: road ca. 90 km connecting Gongshan & Dulong Gorge; also known as Dulong River Road (Dúlóng Jiāng Gōnglù [独龙江公路]).

Hēipǔ (黑普) Tunnel: tunnel in Gaoligong Mountains between Gongshan & Dulong Gorge. Once the main tunnel between Gongshan & Dulong Gorge; now superseded by Gaoligongshan Dulongjiang Tunnel.

Irrawaddy River: major river of Burma; a small part of Irrawaddy Basin lies in China (Dulong River).

Kongdang (Kǒngdāng Cūn [孔当村]; 27.874454, 98.336630): village Dulong Gorge 87 km W of Gongshan on Gongshan-Dulong Road. Also known as Kongmu (Kǒngmù [孔目]). Elev. 1490 m.

Kunming Changshui International Airport (Kūnmíng Chángshuǐ Guójì Jīchǎng [昆明长水国际机场]; 25.101330, 102.934924): primary airport serving Kunming.

Lancang River: see Mekong River.

Maku (Mǎkù Cūn [马库村]): hamlet Dulong Gorge 37 km S of Kongdang & 6 km N of Qinlangdang. Elev. 1570 m.

Mekong River: river rising on Tibetan Plateau & flowing through Yunnan to Southeast Asia. In Yunnan often referred to as Lancang River (Láncāng Jiāng [澜沧江]).

Nujiang River: see Salween River.

Pukawang (Pǔkǎwàng [普卡旺]; 27.839581, 98.327779), resort in Dulong Gorge 4.5 km S of Kongdang. Site of confluence of Dandangwang River & Dulong River. Elev. 1480 m.

Qinlangdang (Qīnlángdāng [钦郎当]; 27.686833, 98.283097): village Dulong Gorge 43 km S of Kongdang. Elev. 1220 m.

Salween River (Nùjiāng [怒江]): river rising on Tibetan Plateau, flowing through W Yunnan & into Burma.

Sibia Lane (27.909517, 98.410674): birding area on Gongshan-Dulong Road with many tall trees. So named because Beautiful Sibia are abundant there. Area extends ca. 1.5 km from bridge crossing large stream E toward Dulongjiang Tunnel.

Wayaozhen (Wǎyáozhèn [瓦窑镇]; 25.445260, 99.263076), town in Baoshan, Yunnan. Elev. 1310 m.

Xiongdang (Xióngdāng Cūn [雄当村]; 28.106766, 98.322952): village Dulong Gorge 35 km N of Kongdang & 4 km N of Dizhengdang. Elev. 1850 m.

Yunnan (Yúnnán Shěng [云南省]): province SW China. Area: 394,000 sq. km. Area (comparative): slightly smaller than Sweden & California; slightly larger than Japan. Pop.: 45.7 million.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. & Inskipp, T. 2011. Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Christopher Helm, London. Behind Robson and MacKinnon, our third reference in Dulong Gorge.

MacKinnon, John & Karen Phillipps. A Field Guide to the Birds of China. Oxford University Press. Our second reference in Dulong Gorge.

Oriental Bird Club. Oriental Bird Images. orientalbirdimages.org

Robson, C. 2005. Birds of Southeast Asia. Princeton University Press, Princeton, USA. Our first reference in Dulong Gorge and western Yunnan.

Smith, Andrew T. and Yan Xie, eds. Mammals of China. Princeton University Press, Princeton, USA. Our first reference for mammals in China.

EQUIPMENT

Cameras: Nikon D3S; for landscapes, Apple iPad, Apple iPhone 4S, and Apple iPhone 6
Lens: Nikon VR 600mm F/4G
Sound recorder: Olympus DM-650
Binoculars: Swarovski EL 8 x 32 (Craig), Zeiss Conquest HD 8 x 42 (Elaine)
Spotting scope: Swarovski ATX-95
Tripod and head: Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fiber Tripod, Manfrotto VH502AH video head

Featured image: The sublime spectacle of the moon setting over the Gaoligong Mountains at dawn was our reward for enduring days and days of rain. Photo taken on Gongshan-Dulong Road near Kongdang on 26 Feb. 2016. Nikon D3S, 600 mm, F/9, 1/320, ISO 640. (Craig Brelsford)

Systematic List of Birds Noted
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Systematic List of Birds Noted, Dulong Gorge Expedition, February-March 2016

Compiled by Craig Brelsford and Elaine Du

For taxonomy and English names, our first reference is the IOC World Bird List. When a species is recorded more than once in a day, we list the elevations at which we noted the species as a range, with the lowest and highest elevation stated. Our list of mammals is at the bottom of this page.

Return to Dulong Gorge 2016 Report

Anseriformes: Anatidae

Mallard
绿头鸭 (lǜtóu yā)
Anas platyrhynchos

1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26

Eurasian Teal
绿翅鸭 (lǜchì yā)
Anas crecca

4 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1600 m) on 2016-02-19

Common Merganser
普通秋沙鸭 (pǔtōng qiūshāyā)
Mergus merganser

1 N of Xiongdang (1930 m) on 2016-02-19

Galliformes: Phasianidae

gamebird sp.

1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2380 m) on 2016-02-26

Hill Partridge
环颈山鹧鸪 (huánjǐng shānzhègū)
Arborophila torqueola

5 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2100 m) on 2016-02-20
1 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1670 m) on 2016-02-26
2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2060 m) on 2016-03-04

Pelecaniformes: Ardeidae

Little Egret
白鹭 (báilù)
Egretta garzetta

1 near Kunming (1900 m) on 2016-02-16

Suliformes: Phalacrocoracidae

Great Cormorant
普通鸬鹚 (pǔtōng lúcí)
Phalacrocorax carbo

3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420 m) on 2016-02-18
8 between Pukawang & Dulong Beach (1460-1480 m) on 2016-02-24
6 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
2 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
4 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1440 m) on 2016-02-27
1 at Qinlangdang (1290 m) on 2016-02-28
3 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
3 at Qinlangdang (1250 m) on 2016-03-03

Accipitriformes: Accipitridae

Crested Honey Buzzard
凤头蜂鹰 (fèngtóu fēngyīng)
Pernis ptilorhynchus

1 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-03

Mountain Hawk-Eagle
鹰雕 (yīngdiāo)
Nisaetus nipalensis

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1520 m) on 2016-02-27
1 N of Xiongdang (2120 m) on 2016-03-01

Crested Goshawk
凤头鹰 (fèngtóu yīng)
Accipiter trivirgatus

1 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-25
1 at Qinlangdang (1290 m) on 2016-02-28
1 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-02-29

Besra
松雀鹰 (sōngquèyīng)
Accipiter virgatus

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1440 m) on 2016-02-27
1 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Himalayan Buzzard
喜山鵟 (xǐshān kuáng)
Buteo burmanicus

1 at Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-02-19
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2090 m) on 2016-02-22
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
1 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1880 m) on 2016-03-01
3 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1880 m) on 2016-03-04

Charadriiformes: Ibidorhynchidae

Ibisbill
鹮嘴鹬 (huánzuǐ yù)
Ibidorhyncha struthersii

4 at Xiongdang (1850 m) on 2016-03-01

Charadriiformes: Charadriidae

Northern Lapwing
凤头麦鸡 (fèngtóu màijī)
Vanellus vanellus

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1600 m) on 2016-03-03

Columbiformes: Columbidae

Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)
原鸽 (yuángē)
Columba livia

3 on G56 near Dali (2050 m) on 2016-03-05

Snow Pigeon
雪鸽 (xuěgē)
Columba leuconota

24 at Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-02-19
2 at Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-03-01

Oriental Turtle Dove
山斑鸠 (shān bānjiū)
Streptopelia orientalis

3 on G56 W of Kunming (2150 m) on 2016-03-05

Cuculiformes: Cuculidae

Banded Bay Cuckoo
栗斑杜鹃 (lìbān dùjuān)
Cacomantis sonneratii

1 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Strigiformes: Strigidae

Asian Barred Owlet
斑头鸺鹠 (bāntóu xiūliú)
Glaucidium cuculoides

1 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-02-29

Apodiformes: Apodidae

Himalayan Swiftlet
短嘴金丝燕 (duǎnzuǐ jīnsīyàn)
Aerodramus brevirostris

20 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
5 at Kongdang (1490 m) on 2016-02-29
5 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1780 m) on 2016-03-01
8 at Kongdang (1490 m) on 2016-03-03
2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2450 m) on 2016-03-04

Trogoniformes: Trogonidae

Red-headed Trogon or Ward’s Trogon
红头咬鹃 (hóngtóu yǎojuān) / 红腹咬鹃 (hóngfù yǎojuān)
Harpactes erythrocephalus/H. wardi

1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2000 m) on 2016-02-20

Coraciiformes: Alcedinidae

Crested Kingfisher
冠鱼狗 (guān yúgǒu)
Megaceryle lugubris

2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420 m) on 2016-02-18
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-27

Bucerotiformes: Upupidae

Eurasian Hoopoe
戴胜 (dàishèng)
Upupa epops

1 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-25
1 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Piciformes: Megalaimidae

Great Barbet
大拟啄木鸟 (dà nǐzhuómùniǎo)
Megalaima virens

1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2320 m) on 2016-03-04

Golden-throated Barbet
金喉拟啄木鸟 (jīnhóu nǐzhuómùniǎo)
Megalaima franklinii

7 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1340 m) on 2016-02-18

Piciformes: Picidae

Speckled Piculet
斑姬啄木鸟 (bānjī zhuómùniǎo)
Picumnus innominatus

1 at Qinlangdang (1290 m) on 2016-02-28
1 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02

Rufous-bellied Woodpecker
棕腹啄木鸟 (zōngfù zhuómùniǎo)
Dendrocopos hyperythrus hyperythrus

1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2280 m) on 2016-02-22

Crimson-breasted Woodpecker
赤胸啄木鸟 (chìxiōng zhuómùniǎo)
Dryobates cathpharius

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420 m) on 2016-02-18
2 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1670 m) on 2016-02-19
1 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-03

Darjeeling Woodpecker
黄颈啄木鸟 (huángjǐng zhuómùniǎo)
Dendrocopos darjellensis

2 at Sibia Lane (2260 m) on 2016-02-17

Bay Woodpecker
黄嘴栗啄木鸟 (huángzuǐ lìzhuómùniǎo)
Blythipicus pyrrhotis

2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2280 m) on 2016-02-17
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18
2 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2300 m) on 2016-02-22
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420 m) on 2016-02-27
4 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1290-1500 m) on 2016-02-28
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420-1570 m) on 2016-02-29
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1420 m) on 2016-03-02
2 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-03
2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1900-2040 m) on 2016-03-04

Passeriformes: Tephrodornithidae

Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
褐背鹟䴗 (hèbèi wēngjú)
Hemipus picatus

6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1470 m) on 2016-03-02
6 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Passeriformes: Campephagidae

Grey-chinned Minivet
灰喉山椒鸟 (huīhóu shānjiāoniǎo)
Pericrocotus solaris

2 between Kongdang & Bapo (1440 m) on 2016-02-25
2 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
6 at Qinlangdang (1200 m) on 2016-02-28
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-03-03

Scarlet Minivet
赤红山椒鸟 (chìhóng shānjiāoniǎo)
Pericrocotus speciosus

2 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Passeriformes: Laniidae

Long-tailed Shrike
棕背伯劳 (zōngbèi bóláo)
Lanius schach tricolor

2 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Grey-backed Shrike
灰背伯劳 (huībèi bóláo)
Lanius tephronotus

1 at Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-02-19
1 at Wayaozhen (1310 m) on 2016-03-05

Passeriformes: Vireonidae

White-bellied Erpornis
白腹凤鹛 (báifù fèngméi)
Erpornis zantholeuca

4 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02

Black-headed Shrike-babbler
棕腹䴗鹛 (zōngfù júméi)
Pteruthius rufiventer

2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2030 m) on 2016-02-23
3 at Qinlangdang (1290 m) on 2016-02-28
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1360 m) on 2016-03-03

Blyth’s Shrike-babbler
红翅䴗鹛 (hóngchì júméi)
Pteruthius aeralatus

3 at Qinlangdang (1200 m) on 2016-02-28

Black-eared Shrike-babbler
栗喉䴗鹛 (lìhóu júméi)
Pteruthius melanotis

1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1980 m) on 2016-02-17
4 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1920 m) on 2016-02-22
2 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
1 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860 m) on 2016-02-26
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1570 m) on 2016-02-27
7 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1460 m) on 2016-03-03
4 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2000-2080 m) on 2016-03-04

Passeriformes: Dicruridae

Ashy Drongo
灰卷尾 (huī juǎnwěi)
Dicrurus leucophaeus hopwoodi

3 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
4 at Qinlangdang (1290 m) on 2016-02-28
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1570 m) on 2016-02-29

Passeriformes: Rhipiduridae

White-throated Fantail
白喉扇尾鹟 (báihóu shànwěiwēng)
Rhipidura albicollis

2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380-1430 m) on 2016-02-18
3 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860 m) on 2016-02-20
3 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1270-1450 m) on 2016-02-27
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1350-1560 m) on 2016-02-28
4 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-02-29
3 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1360 m) on 2016-03-03
1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2300 m) on 2016-03-04
4 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Passeriformes: Corvidae

Oriental Magpie
喜鹊 (xǐquè)
Pica serica

2 near Kunming (1900 m) on 2016-02-16

Large-billed Crow
大嘴乌鸦 (dàzuǐ wūyā)
Corvus macrorhynchos

4 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2960 m) on 2016-02-17
6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380-1430 m) on 2016-02-18
4 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1510 m) on 2016-02-19
8 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1890-2840 m) on 2016-02-20
2 at Dulongjiang Tunnel (2840 m) on 2016-02-22
4 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1530-2040 m) on 2016-02-23
4 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
4 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1470-1840 m) on 2016-02-26
2 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-27
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1320 m) on 2016-02-29
6 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1850-2000 m) on 2016-03-01
6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420 m) on 2016-03-02
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1460 m) on 2016-03-03
1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2340 m) on 2016-03-04

Passeriformes: Stenostiridae

Yellow-bellied Fantail
黄腹扇尾鹟 (huángfù shànwěiwēng)
Chelidorhynx hypoxantha

6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380-1430 m) on 2016-02-18
3 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1610-1670 m) on 2016-02-19
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1750 m) on 2016-02-22
2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1600 m) on 2016-02-23
2 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
13 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
4 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1250-1570 m) on 2016-02-27
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1290-1560 m) on 2016-02-28
6 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
2 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-03
1 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Passeriformes: Paridae

Yellow-browed Tit
黄眉林雀 (huángméi línquè)
Sylviparus modestus

3 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1980-2130 m) on 2016-02-17
28 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18
2 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1670 m) on 2016-02-19
3 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2100 m) on 2016-02-20
5 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1920-2650 m) on 2016-02-22
4 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
18 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
6 at Sibia Lane (2260 m) on 2016-02-26
8 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2000-2080 m) on 2016-03-04

Rufous-vented Tit
黑冠山雀 (hēiguān shānquè)
Periparus rubidiventris

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1360 m) on 2016-03-03

Coal Tit
煤山雀 (méi shānquè)
Periparus ater aemodius

16 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1980-2960 m) on 2016-02-17
2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2090 m) on 2016-02-23
6 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2040 m) on 2016-03-04

Grey Crested Tit
褐冠山雀 (hèguān shānquè)
Lophophanes dichrous

1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1980 m) on 2016-02-17
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1840 m) on 2016-02-22

Japanese Tit
远东山雀 (yuǎndōng shānquè)
Parus minor

2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1360 m) on 2016-03-03
3 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Green-backed Tit
绿背山雀 (lǜbèi shānquè)
Parus monticolus

2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1850-2090 m) on 2016-02-17
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380-1430 m) on 2016-02-18
8 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1580-1670 m) on 2016-02-19
2 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1890 m) on 2016-02-20
4 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1840 m) on 2016-02-22
3 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
1 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2070 m) on 2016-02-26
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420 m) on 2016-02-29
2 at Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-03-01
2 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-03
1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2080 m) on 2016-03-04

Yellow-cheeked Tit
黄颊山雀 (huángjiá shānquè)
Machlolophus spilonotus

6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380-1430 m) on 2016-02-18
4 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1670-1700 m) on 2016-02-19
6 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2100 m) on 2016-02-20
1 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860 m) on 2016-02-26
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1200-1560 m) on 2016-02-28
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420 m) on 2016-02-29
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1360 m) on 2016-03-03

Passeriformes: Pycnonotidae

Striated Bulbul
纵纹绿鹎 (zòngwén lǜbēi)
Pycnonotus striatus

20 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
8 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
6 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
4 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-27
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420-1520 m) on 2016-02-28
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420 m) on 2016-02-29
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1510 m) on 2016-03-03

Black-crested Bulbul
黑冠黄鹎 (hēiguān huángbēi)
Pycnonotus flaviventris

4 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26

Red-whiskered Bulbul
红耳鹎 (hóng’ěr bēi)
Pycnonotus jocosus

2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1880 m) on 2016-02-17

Brown-breasted Bulbul
黄臀鹎 (huángtún bēi)
Pycnonotus xanthorrhous

5 at rest area near Dali (1400 m) on 2016-02-16
10 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1880 m) on 2016-02-17
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18
4 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1700 m) on 2016-02-19
3 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
6 between Kongdang & Bapo (1490 m) on 2016-02-25
3 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1480 m) on 2016-02-26
4 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1470 m) on 2016-02-27
2 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1900 m) on 2016-03-01
4 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Red-vented Bulbul
黑喉红臀鹎 (hēihóu hóngtúnbēi)
Pycnonotus cafer

3 at Wayaozhen (1310 m) on 2016-03-05
10 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Mountain Bulbul
绿翅短脚鹎 (lǜchì duǎnjiǎobēi)
Ixos mcclellandii

5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1460 m) on 2016-02-18
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
6 between Kongdang & Bapo on 2016-02-25
10 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1340-1570 m) on 2016-02-27
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1290-1370 m) on 2016-02-28
4 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420 m) on 2016-02-29

Black Bulbul
黑短脚鹎 (hēi duǎnjiǎobēi)
Hypsipetes leucocephalus

12 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1880 m) on 2016-02-17
26 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430-1440 m) on 2016-02-18
3 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
10 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Passeriformes: Hirundinidae

Barn Swallow
家燕 (jiā yàn)
Hirundo rustica

15 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18
15 in Kongdang (1490 m) on 2016-02-23
7 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
40 between Kongdang & Bapo (1480-1490 m) on 2016-02-25
5 at Wayaozhen (1310 m) on 2016-03-05

Red-rumped Swallow
金腰燕 (jīnyāo yàn)
Cecropis daurica

17 near Kunming (1900 m) on 2016-02-16
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18

Passeriformes: Pnoepygidae

Scaly-breasted Cupwing
鳞胸鹪鹛 (línxiōngjiāoméi)
Pnoepyga albiventer

2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1290-1420 m) on 2016-02-28
1 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
3 at Qinlangdang (1250 m) on 2016-03-03

Pygmy Cupwing
小鳞胸鹪鹛 (xiǎo línxiōngjiāoméi)
Pnoepyga pusilla

1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2640 m) on 2016-02-22
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1300 m) on 2016-02-28
1 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-02-29
3 Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1420 m) on 2016-03-03

Passeriformes: Cettiidae

Rufous-faced Warbler
棕脸鹟莺 (zōngliǎn wēngyīng)
Abroscopus albogularis

2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1550 m) on 2016-03-02

Black-faced Warbler
黑脸鹟莺 (hēiliǎn wēngyīng)
Abroscopus schisticeps

14 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2050-2130 m) on 2016-02-17
3 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2460 m) on 2016-02-20
5 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2300 m) on 2016-02-22
3 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
7 at Sibia Lane (2260 m) on 2016-02-26
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1570 m) on 2016-02-27
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1560 m) on 2016-02-28
1 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
8 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2000-2320 m) on 2016-03-04

Brown-flanked Bush Warbler
强脚树莺 (qiángjiǎo shùyīng)
Horornis fortipes

2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420-1570 m) on 2016-02-29

Slaty-bellied Tesia
金冠地莺 (jīnguān dìyīng)
Tesia olivea

1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-27
3 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-02-29
4 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1350 m) on 2016-03-02
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1510-1600 m) on 2016-03-03
2 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Chestnut-headed Tesia
栗头地莺 (lìtóu dìyīng)
Cettia castaneocoronata

1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
21 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-27
2 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
2 at Qinlangdang (1220-1250 m) on 2016-03-03
1 at Sibia Lane (2260 m) on 2016-03-04

Passeriformes: Aegithalidae

Black-throated Bushtit
红头长尾山雀 (hóngtóu chángwěishānquè)
Aegithalos concinnus

6 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1980 m) on 2016-02-17
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18
4 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2100 m) on 2016-02-20
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-03-03
8 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2000-2080 m) on 2016-03-04

Black-browed Bushtit
黑眉长尾山雀 (hēiméi chángwěishānquè)
Aegithalos bonvaloti

2 at Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-02-19
9 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2300 m) on 2016-02-22

Passeriformes: Phylloscopidae

Ashy-throated Warbler
灰喉柳莺 (huīhóu liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus maculipennis

6 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2590-2960 m) on 2016-02-17
11 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430-1520 m) on 2016-02-18
17 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1580-1700 m) on 2016-02-19
2 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1760 m) on 2016-02-20
10 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1890-2360 m) on 2016-02-22
6 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2030-2260 m) on 2016-02-23
3 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
8 between Kongdang & Bapo (1480 m) on 2016-02-25
4 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1460-2300 m) on 2016-02-26
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1460-1470 m) on 2016-02-27
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1230-1570 m) on 2016-02-28
4 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1570 m) on 2016-02-29
1 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
9 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1930-2300 m) on 2016-03-04

Yellow-browed Warbler
黄眉柳莺 (huángméi liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus inornatus

3 at Wayaozhen (1310 m) on 2016-03-05

Blyth’s Leaf Warbler
西南冠纹柳莺 (xīnán guānwénliǔyīng)
Phylloscopus reguloides

1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1980 m) on 2016-02-17
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1840 m) on 2016-02-22
2 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25

Sichuan Leaf Warbler
四川柳莺 (sìchuān liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus forresti

1 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1600 m) on 2016-03-01
1 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
2 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Grey-cheeked Warbler
灰脸鹟莺 (huīliǎn wēngyīng)
Phylloscopus poliogenys

2 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
3 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
12 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1570 m) on 2016-02-27
1 at Qinlangdang (1200 m) on 2016-02-28
4 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-02-29
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1400 m) on 2016-03-02
4 at Qinlangdang (1220-1250 m) on 2016-03-03

Chestnut-crowned Warbler
栗头鹟莺 (lìtóu wēngyīng)
Phylloscopus castaniceps

3 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02

Passeriformes: Cisticolidae

Hill Prinia
黑喉山鹪莺 (hēihóu shānjiāoyīng)
Prinia superciliaris

1 at Qinlangdang (1250 m) on 2016-02-29

Rufescent Prinia
暗冕鹪莺 (ànmiǎn jiāoyīng)
Prinia rufescens

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18
2 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1430 m) on 2016-02-24

Grey-breasted Prinia
灰胸鹪莺 (huīxiōng jiāoyīng)
Prinia hodgsonii

2 at Wayaozhen (1310 m) on 2016-03-05

Passeriformes: Timaliidae

Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler
棕颈钩嘴鹛 (zōngjǐng gōuzuǐméi)
Pomatorhinus ruficollis

1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1930 m) on 2016-02-23
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1510 m) on 2016-03-03
2 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Red-billed Scimitar Babbler
棕头钩嘴鹛 (zōngtóu gōuzuǐméi)
Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1360 m) on 2016-03-03

Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler
红嘴钩嘴鹛 (hóngzuǐ gōuzuǐméi)
Pomatorhinus ferruginosus

4 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02

Grey-throated Babbler
黑头穗鹛 (hēitóu suìméi)
Stachyris nigriceps

1 at Qinlangdang (1270 m) on 2016-02-27
2 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
1 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Rufous-capped Babbler
(红头穗鹛 (hóngtóu suìméi)
Stachyridopsis ruficeps

2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1570 m) on 2016-02-18
1 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1580 m) on 2016-02-19
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860 m) on 2016-02-20
2 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
8 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860-2260 m) on 2016-02-26
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-27
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1600 m) on 2016-02-28
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420-1570 m) on 2016-02-29
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1570 m) on 2016-03-02
9 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1880-2040 m) on 2016-03-04

Golden Babbler
金头穗鹛 (jīntóu suìméi)
Stachyridopsis chrysaea

6 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1270 m) on 2016-02-27
1 at Qinlangdang (1230 m) on 2016-02-28
1 at Qinlangdang (1220) on 2016-02-29
10 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2040 m) on 2016-03-04

Passeriformes: Pellorneidae

Yellow-throated Fulvetta
黄喉雀鹛 (huánghóu quèméi)
Alcippe cinerea

1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1980 m) on 2016-02-17
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2460 m) on 2016-02-20
12 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1840 m) on 2016-02-22
4 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
30 between Kongdang & Bapo (1410-1460 m) on 2016-02-25
16 at Sibia Lane (2260 m) on 2016-02-26
18 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1270-1460 m) on 2016-02-27
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1230-1380 m) on 2016-02-28
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-02-29
45 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1350 m) on 2016-03-02
13 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1520 m) on 2016-03-03
55 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2100-2260 m) on 2016-03-04

Rufous-winged Fulvetta
栗头雀鹛 (lìtóu quèméi)
Alcippe castaneceps

1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1980 m) on 2016-02-17
6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380-1430 m) on 2016-02-18
3 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1580 m) on 2016-02-19
12 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
6 at Sibia Lane (2260 m) on 2016-02-26
1 at Qinlangdang (1270 m) on 2016-02-27
18 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
6 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2000-2260 m) on 2016-03-04

Yunnan Fulvetta
灰头雀鹛 (huītóu quèméi)
Alcippe fratercula

5 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Long-billed Wren-Babbler
长嘴鹩鹛 (chángzuǐ liáoméi)
Rimator malacoptilus

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1440 m) on 2016-02-27
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1440 m) on 2016-02-28

Passeriformes: Leiothrichidae

White-browed Laughingthrush
白颊噪鹛 (báijiá zàoméi)
Garrulax sannio

2 at Wayaozhen (1310 m) on 2016-03-05
6 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Striated Laughingthrush
条纹噪鹛 (tiáowén zàoméi)
Garrulax striatus

4 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1580 m) on 2016-02-19
4 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2360 m) on 2016-02-20
4 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1290 m) on 2016-02-28
11 at Qinlangdang (1250 m) on 2016-02-29
4 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
8 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-03

Blue-winged Laughingthrush
蓝翅噪鹛 (lánchì zàoméi)
Trochalopteron squamatum

2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1930 m) on 2016-02-23
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
2 between Kongdang & Bapo (1470 m) on 2016-02-25
2 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1460-1470 m) on 2016-02-26
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-27
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1400 m) on 2016-02-28
12 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1570 m) on 2016-02-29
5 at Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-03-01

Scaly Laughingthrush
纯色噪鹛 (chúnsè zàoméi)
Trochalopteron subunicolor

1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-27
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1590 m) on 2016-02-28
6 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-03

Elliot’s Laughingthrush
橙翅噪鹛 (chéngchì zàoméi)
Trochalopteron elliotii

2 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-24
2 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-25

Black-faced Laughingthrush
黑顶噪鹛 (hēidǐng zàoméi)
Trochalopteron affine

4 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2850 m) on 2016-02-17
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380-1560 m) on 2016-02-18
2 N of Xiongdang (1950 m) on 2016-02-19
2 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2670 m) on 2016-02-20
18 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1920-2650 m) on 2016-02-22
15 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2040-2180 m) on 2016-02-23
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1440 m) on 2016-02-28
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1370 m) on 2016-03-02

Assam Laughingthrush
金翅噪鹛 (jīnchì zàoméi)
Trochalopteron chrysopterum woodi

1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2450 m) on 2016-02-20

Himalayan Cutia
斑胁姬鹛 (bānxié jīméi)
Cutia nipalensis

15 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1440 m) on 2016-02-28
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1370 m) on 2016-02-29
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1360 m) on 2016-03-03

Bar-throated Minla
斑喉希鹛 (bānhóu xīméi)
Minla strigula

4 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1840 m) on 2016-02-22
1 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860 m) on 2016-02-26
1 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1880 m) on 2016-03-01

Red-tailed Minla
火尾希鹛 (huǒwěi xīméi)
Minla ignotincta

1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1980 m) on 2016-02-17
6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430-1560 m) on 2016-02-18
2 between Kongdang & point N of Xiongdang (1700-1950 m) on 2016-02-19
1 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1470 m) on 2016-03-02
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1360 m) on 2016-03-03

Red-faced Liocichla or Scarlet-faced Liocichla
灰头薮鹛 (huītóu sǒuméi) / 红翅薮鹛 (hóngchì sǒuméi)
Liocichla phoenicea/L. ripponi

2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1470 m) on 2016-03-02

Rusty-fronted Barwing
锈额斑翅鹛 (xiù’é bānchìméi)
Actinodura egertoni

10 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1560 m) on 2016-02-18
8 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1580 m) on 2016-02-19
3 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2340 m) on 2016-02-22
12 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2030-2180 m) on 2016-02-23
15 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
9 between Kongdang & Bapo (1440-1480 m) on 2016-02-25
11 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
7 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-27
12 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420 m) on 2016-02-28
16 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1120-1420 m) on 2016-02-29
20 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1300-1590 m) on 2016-03-02

Streak-throated Barwing
纹胸斑翅鹛 (wénxiōng bānchìméi)
Actinodura waldeni

5 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2230-2260 m) on 2016-02-20
4 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2340 m) on 2016-02-22
6 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
7 between Kongdang & Bapo (1460-1480 m) on 2016-02-25
4 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1460-2180 m) on 2016-02-26
8 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-27
6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1570 m) on 2016-02-29
2 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-03

Silver-eared Mesia
银耳相思鸟 (yín’ěr xiāngsīniǎo)
Leiothrix argentauris

5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18
12 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
21 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420-1560 m) on 2016-02-28
6 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1880 m) on 2016-03-01
16 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1460-1520 m) on 2016-03-03

Red-billed Leiothrix
红嘴相思鸟 (hóngzuǐ xiāngsīniǎo)
Leiothrix lutea

4 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1610-1700 m) on 2016-02-19
4 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1760-1860 m) on 2016-02-20
7 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2000-2040 m) on 2016-02-22
7 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2030 m) on 2016-02-23
2 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380 m) on 2016-02-28
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1500 m) on 2016-03-03

Rufous-backed Sibia
栗背奇鹛 (lìbèi qíméi)
Heterophasia annectans

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1410 m) on 2016-02-27
10 at Qinlangdang (1290 m) on 2016-02-28
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1370 m) on 2016-03-02
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1360 m) on 2016-03-03

Beautiful Sibia
丽色奇鹛 (lìsè qíméi)
Heterophasia pulchella

5 at Sibia Lane (2260 m) on 2016-02-17
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430-1560 m) on 2016-02-18
16 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860-2450 m) on 2016-02-20
19 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1920-2360 m) on 2016-02-22
12 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1620-2360 m) on 2016-02-23
19 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
18 between Kongdang & Bapo (1380-1480 m) on 2016-02-25
24 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1470-2300 m) on 2016-02-26
15 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1440-1460 m) on 2016-02-27
6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1290-1370 m) on 2016-02-28
30 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1570 m) on 2016-02-29
1 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (2040 m) on 2016-03-01
14 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1420 m) on 2016-03-02
12 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1510 m) on 2016-03-03
10 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2040-2230 m) on 2016-03-04

Passeriformes: Sylviidae

Fire-tailed Myzornis
火尾绿鹛 (huǒwěi lǜméi)
Myzornis pyrrhoura

4 at Sibia Lane (2260 m) on 2016-02-20
3 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2000-2360 m) on 2016-02-22
4 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2260-2360 m) on 2016-02-23
5 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860-2300 m) on 2016-02-26
3 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2280-2300 m) on 2016-03-04

Golden-breasted Fulvetta
金胸雀鹛 (jīnxiōng quèméi)
Lioparus chrysotis

1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1840 m) on 2016-02-22
4 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1880 m) on 2016-03-01

White-browed Fulvetta
白眉雀鹛 (báiméi quèméi)
Fulvetta vinipectus

6 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2360 m) on 2016-02-22
3 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2300 m) on 2016-02-23
10 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2040-2320 m) on 2016-03-04

parrotbill sp.

15 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1610 m) on 2016-02-19

Black-throated Parrotbill
黑喉鸦雀 (hēihóu yāquè)
Suthora nipalensis

3 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25

Passeriformes: Zosteropidae

White-naped Yuhina
白项凤鹛 (báixiàng fèngméi)
Yuhina bakeri

15 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-24
17 between Kongdang & Bapo (1460-1480 m) on 2016-02-25
7 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
16 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1440-1500 m) on 2016-02-27
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420-1470 m) on 2016-02-28
3 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
16 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1400-1500 m) on 2016-03-03

Whiskered Yuhina
黄颈凤鹛 (huángjǐng fèngméi)
Yuhina flavicollis

6 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1880 m) on 2016-02-17
20 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380-1430 m) on 2016-02-18
4 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1700 m) on 2016-02-19
4 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1760 m) on 2016-02-20
2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1430-1620 m) on 2016-02-23
3 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
8 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1470-1780 m) on 2016-02-26
10 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1500 m) on 2016-02-27
9 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1370-1470 m) on 2016-02-28
4 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02

Stripe-throated Yuhina
纹喉凤鹛 (wénhóu fèngméi)
Yuhina gularis

10 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2350 m) on 2016-02-17
16 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1460-1580 m) on 2016-02-18
1 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1670 m) on 2016-02-19
7 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2550-2650 m) on 2016-02-22
17 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
4 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1470-1840 m) on 2016-02-26
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1450-1470 m) on 2016-02-27
10 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1370-1600 m) on 2016-02-28
4 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1570 m) on 2016-02-29
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1510 m) on 2016-03-03

White-collared Yuhina
白领凤鹛 (báilǐng fèngméi)
Yuhina diademata

5 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1880 m) on 2016-02-17
12 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1880 m) on 2016-03-04

Black-chinned Yuhina
黑额凤鹛 (hēi’é fèngméi)
Yuhina nigrimenta

10 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1880 m) on 2016-02-17
7 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2340 m) on 2016-03-04

? White-eye
?绣眼鸟 (ànlǜ xiùyǎnniǎo)
Zosterops ?

8 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Passeriformes: Regulidae

Goldcrest
戴菊 (dàijú)
Regulus regulus

4 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2960 m) on 2016-02-17
4 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860 m) on 2016-02-20
5 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1840 m) on 2016-02-22

Passeriformes: Elachuridae

Spotted Elachura
丽星鹩鹛 (lìxīng liáoméi)
Elachura formosa

2 at Qinlangdang (1290 m) on 2016-02-28
2 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-03

Passeriformes: Troglodytidae

Eurasian Wren
鹪鹩 (jiāoliáo)
Troglodytes troglodytes

1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2840 m) on 2016-02-20
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2550 m) on 2016-02-22
1 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-24
3 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1880-2040 m) on 2016-03-01

Passeriformes: Sittidae

Chestnut-vented Nuthatch
栗臀䴓 (lìtún shī)
Sitta nagaensis

3 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1980-2960 m) on 2016-02-17
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2330 m) on 2016-02-22
1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2090 m) on 2016-02-23

Beautiful Nuthatch
丽䴓 (lì shī)
Sitta formosa

1 at Qinlangdang (1290 m) on 2016-02-28

Passeriformes: Tichodromidae

Wallcreeper
红翅旋壁雀 (hóngchì xuánbìquè)
Tichodroma muraria

2 between Kongdang & point N of Xiongdang (1510-1880 m) on 2016-02-19
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2110 m) on 2016-02-20
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1500 m) on 2016-02-27
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380 m) on 2016-02-28
4 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1850-2100 m) on 2016-03-01

Passeriformes: Certhiidae

Rusty-flanked Treecreeper
锈红腹旋木雀 (xiùhóngfù xuánmùquè)
Certhia nipalensis

3 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2960 m) on 2016-02-17
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2460 m) on 2016-02-20
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2330 m) on 2016-02-22
1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2080 m) on 2016-03-04

? Treecreeper
?旋木雀 (? xuánmùquè)
Certhia ?

1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2000 m) on 2016-03-04

Passeriformes: Sturnidae

Crested Myna
八哥 (bāgē)
Acridotheres cristatellus

3 near Kunming (1900 m) on 2016-02-16

Passeriformes: Turdidae

Alpine/“Yunnan” Thrush
光背地鸫 (guāngbèi dìdōng)
Zoothera mollissima

1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2360 m) on 2016-02-22
1 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-24
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380 m) on 2016-03-03

Himalayan Thrush
光背地鸫 (guāngbèi dìdōng)
Zoothera salimalii

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1470 m) on 2016-03-02

Grandala
蓝大翅鸲 (lán dàchìqú)
Grandala coelicolor

48 between Kongdang & point N of Xiongdang (1780-1910 m) on 2016-02-19
50 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2040 m) on 2016-02-20
290 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1820-1890 m) on 2016-02-22
300 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2060 m) on 2016-03-04

? Blackbird
?鸫 (? dōng)
Turdus ?

1 all-black bird on G56 W of Kunming (2040 m) on 2016-03-05

Chestnut Thrush
灰头鸫 (huītóu dōng)
Turdus rubrocanus

2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1470-1510 m) on 2016-03-02
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1510 m) on 2016-03-03

Passeriformes: Muscicapidae

Oriental Magpie-Robin
鹊鸲 (quèqú)
Copsychus saularis

3 at Wayaozhen (1310 m) on 2016-03-05
1 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Rufous-bellied Niltava
棕腹仙鹟 (zōngfù xiānwēng)
Niltava sundara

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18

Large Niltava
大仙鹟 (dàxiānwēng)
Niltava grandis

4 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
2 at Qinlangdang (1250 m) on 2016-02-29

Gould’s Shortwing
栗背短翅鸫 (lìbèi duǎnchìdōng)
Heteroxenicus stellatus

1 S of Pukawang (1470 m) on 2016-02-24

Rufous-breasted Bush Robin
棕腹林鸲 (zōngfù línqú)
Tarsiger hyperythrus

4 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1420-1560 m) on 2016-02-18
1 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1580 m) on 2016-02-19
2 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860 m) on 2016-02-20
1 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2430 m) on 2016-02-22
2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2300-2360 m) on 2016-02-23
10 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
4 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1480-2260 m) on 2016-02-26
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1170-1460 m) on 2016-02-27
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1250-1520 m) on 2016-02-28
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1250-1570 m) on 2016-02-29
2 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1750-1850 m) on 2016-03-01
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1460-1590 m) on 2016-03-02

Himalayan Bluetail
蓝眉林鸲 (lánméi línqú)
Tarsiger rufilatus

2 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2300-2600 m) on 2016-02-22
3 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
5 between Kongdang & Bapo (1440-1480 m) on 2016-02-25
3 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1480-2070 m) on 2016-02-26
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430-1500 m) on 2016-02-27
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380-1570 m) on 2016-02-28
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1250-1420 m) on 2016-02-29
3 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1900-2120 m) on 2016-03-01

Little Forktail
小燕尾 (xiǎo yànwěi)
Enicurus scouleri

2 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1580 m) on 2016-02-19
3 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2180 m) on 2016-02-23
1 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-24

Slaty-backed Forktail
灰背燕尾 (huībèi yànwěi)
Enicurus schistaceus

1 at Qinlangdang (1200 m) on 2016-02-28
4 at Qinlangdang (1250 m) on 2016-02-29

White-crowned Forktail
白冠燕尾 (báiguān yànwěi)
Enicurus leschenaulti

5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1390-1530 m) on 2016-02-18
1 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1610 m) on 2016-02-19
1 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1460 m) on 2016-03-03

Blue Whistling Thrush
紫啸鸫 (zǐxiàodōng)
Myophonus caeruleus eugenei

1 in Kongdang (1490 m) on 2016-02-20
1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1970 m) on 2016-02-23
2 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
2 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-25
2 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1460-2180 m) on 2016-02-26
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1570 m) on 2016-02-29
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1460 m) on 2016-03-02
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1550 m) on 2016-03-03
1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1900 m) on 2016-03-04

Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher
橙胸姬鹟 (chéngxiōng jīwēng)
Ficedula strophiata

2 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
1 between Kongdang & Bapo (1480 m) on 2016-02-25
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-27
4 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1200-1290 m) on 2016-02-28
1 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-03

Black Redstart
赭红尾鸲 (zhě hóngwěiqú)
Phoenicurus ochruros

1 at Qinlangdang (1250 m) on 2016-02-29

Hodgson’s Redstart
黑喉红尾鸲 (hēihóu hóngwěiqú)
Phoenicurus hodgsoni

1 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1670 m) on 2016-02-19
2 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
1 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-25
2 at Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-03-01

White-throated Redstart
白喉红尾鸲 (báihóu hóngwěiqú)
Phoenicurus schisticeps

2 at Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-02-19

Daurian Redstart
北红尾鸲 (běi hóngwěiqú)
Phoenicurus auroreus

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1570 m) on 2016-02-18
4 at point N of Xiongdang (1880 m) on 2016-02-19
1 in Kongdang (1490 m) on 2016-02-23

Blue-fronted Redstart
蓝额红尾鸲 (lán’é hóngwěiqú)
Phoenicurus frontalis

1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2490 m) on 2016-02-17
1 at Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-02-19
1 at Qinlangdang (1250 m) on 2016-02-29

Plumbeous Water Redstart
红尾水鸲 (hóngwěi shuǐqú)
Phoenicurus fuliginosus

12 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1430 m) on 2016-02-18
16 between Kongdang & point N of Xiongdang (1490-1880 m) on 2016-02-19
4 in Kongdang (1490 m) on 2016-02-20
8 in Kongdang (1490 m) on 2016-02-23
12 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
12 between Kongdang & Bapo (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-25
8 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1320-1440 m) on 2016-02-27
8 at Qinlangdang (1290 m) on 2016-02-28
13 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1350-1490 m) on 2016-02-29
18 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1490-2120 m) on 2016-03-01
19 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1460 m) on 2016-03-02
9 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-03

White-capped Redstart
白顶溪鸲 (báidǐng xīqú)
Phoenicurus leucocephalus

8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1530 m) on 2016-02-18
8 between Kongdang & point N of Xiongdang (1510-1880 m) on 2016-02-19
2 in Kongdang (1490 m) on 2016-02-20
3 in Kongdang (1490 m) on 2016-02-23
6 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
5 between Kongdang & Bapo (1460-1480 m) on 2016-02-25
3 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1440 m) on 2016-02-27
2 at Qinlangdang (1290 m) on 2016-02-28
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1570 m) on 2016-02-29
8 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1490-2120 m) on 2016-03-01
6 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-03-02
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1550 m) on 2016-03-03

Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush
栗腹矶鸫 (lìfù jīdōng)
Monticola rufiventris

2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1340-1400 m) on 2016-02-18
2 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1580 m) on 2016-02-19
1 between Kongdang & Bapo (1480 m) on 2016-02-25
1 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1480 m) on 2016-02-27
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-28
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1500 m) on 2016-03-02
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1390-1420 m) on 2016-03-03

Siberian Stonechat
黑喉石鵖 (hēihóu shíjí)
Saxicola maurus

1 at Wayaozhen (1310 m) on 2016-03-05

Pied Bush Chat
白斑黑石鵖 (báibān hēishíjí)
Saxicola caprata

1 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-25

Passeriformes: Cinclidae

White-throated Dipper
河乌 (héwū)
Cinclus cinclus

1 N of Xiongdang (1900 m) on 2016-03-01

Brown Dipper
褐河乌 (hè héwū)
Cinclus pallasii

1 N of Xiongdang (1930 m) on 2016-02-19
1 N of Kongdang (1620 m) on 2016-02-23
2 between Kongdang & Bapo (1470 m) on 2016-02-25
2 at Qinlangdang (1220 m) on 2016-02-29
3 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1780-1990 m) on 2016-03-01

Passeriformes: Chloropseidae

Orange-bellied Leafbird
橙腹叶鹎 (chéngfù yèbēi)
Chloropsis hardwickii

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1560 m) on 2016-02-18
1 between Dulong Beach & Pukawang (1460 m) on 2016-02-26
2 at Dulong Beach (1460 m) on 2016-02-27
1 at Qinlangdang (1200 m) on 2016-02-28
1 at Qinlangdang (1250 m) on 2016-03-03

Passeriformes: Dicaeidae

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker
红胸啄花鸟 (hóngxiōng zhuóhuāniǎo)
Dicaeum ignipectus

4 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1850 m) on 2016-02-17
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18
3 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1510-1580 m) on 2016-02-19
4 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860 m) on 2016-02-20
2 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
1 between Kongdang & Bapo (1440 m) on 2016-02-25
2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1930 m) on 2016-03-04

Passeriformes: Nectariniidae

Green-tailed Sunbird
绿喉太阳鸟 (lǜhóu tàiyángniǎo)
Aethopyga nipalensis

2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2050-2480 m) on 2016-02-17
35 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380-1560 m) on 2016-02-18
7 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1510-1610 m) on 2016-02-19
19 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860-2460 m) on 2016-02-20
11 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1920-2360 m) on 2016-02-22
15 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2030-2360 m) on 2016-02-23
20 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
25 between Kongdang & Bapo (1440-1460 m) on 2016-02-25
28 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1460-2350 m) on 2016-02-26
17 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1440-1570 m) on 2016-02-27
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1350-1590 m) on 2016-02-28
8 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1390-1570 m) on 2016-02-29
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1360-1460 m) on 2016-03-03
18 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2040-2320 m) on 2016-03-04

Black-throated Sunbird
黑胸太阳鸟 (hēixiōng tàiyángniǎo)
Aethopyga saturata

2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1850 m) on 2016-02-17
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1380 m) on 2016-02-18
3 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1250-1420 m) on 2016-02-28
4 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1420 m) on 2016-02-29
6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1250-1300 m) on 2016-03-02
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1220-1360 m) on 2016-03-03
2 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Passeriformes: Passeridae

Eurasian Tree Sparrow
树麻雀 (shù máquè)
Passer montanus

3 at Wayaozhen (1310 m) on 2016-03-05

Passeriformes: Estrildidae

White-rumped Munia
白腰文鸟 (báiyāo wénniǎo)
Lonchura striata

11 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18
6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1470 m) on 2016-02-27

Passeriformes: Prunellidae

Alpine Accentor
领岩鹨 (lǐng yánliù)
Prunella collaris

2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1470 m) on 2016-02-18
4 between Kongdang & point N of Xiongdang (1580-1930 m) on 2016-02-19
7 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1860-2410 m) on 2016-02-20
15 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1750-2670 m) on 2016-02-22
28 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1520-2300 m) on 2016-02-23
14 between Dulong Beach & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1750-2330 m) on 2016-02-26
10 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1470-1500 m) on 2016-02-27
2 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1850-1900 m) on 2016-03-01

Rufous-breasted Accentor
棕胸岩鹨 (zōngxiōng yánliù)
Prunella strophiata

10 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1820 m) on 2016-02-22
6 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
5 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-25

Passeriformes: Motacillidae

Grey Wagtail
灰鹡鸰 (huī jílíng)
Motacilla cinerea

1 at Wayaozhen (1310 m) on 2016-03-05

White Wagtail
白鹡鸰 (bái jílíng)
Motacilla alba

8 at rest area near Dali (1400 m) on 2016-02-16
6 in Kongdang (1490 m) on 2016-02-18
2 in Kongdang (1490 m) on 2016-02-19
1 in Kongdang (1490 m) on 2016-02-24
2 between Kongdang & Bapo (1400-1490 m) on 2016-02-25
1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1490 m) on 2016-02-28
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1370-1490 m) on 2016-02-29
13 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1850-2040 m) on 2016-03-01
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1250-1370 m) on 2016-03-02
6 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1460 m) on 2016-03-03
3 at Wayaozhen (1310 m) on 2016-03-05
1 at Jīnliù Nóngjiā (1330 m) on 2016-03-05

Olive-backed Pipit
树鹨 (shù liù)
Anthus hodgsoni

5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1430 m) on 2016-02-18
5 between Kongdang & Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-02-19
6 between Kongdang & Dulong Beach (1460-1490 m) on 2016-02-24
8 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-25
2 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1470 m) on 2016-02-27
5 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1850-1980 m) on 2016-03-01
5 at Qinlangdang (1250 m) on 2016-03-02
5 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1410 m) on 2016-03-03

Passeriformes: Fringillidae

Golden-naped Finch
金头黑雀 (jīntóu hēiquè)
Pyrrhoplectes epauletta

3 at Sibia Lane (2260 m) on 2016-02-23
3 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1980 m) on 2016-03-04

Leucosticte sp.

1 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2980 m) on 2016-03-04

Dark-rumped Rosefinch
棕朱雀 (zōng zhūquè)
Carpodacus edwardsii

4 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (1910-2060 m) on 2016-02-23

Tibetan Serin
藏黄雀 (zàng huángquè)
Spinus thibetanus

140 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (2460 m) on 2016-02-20
168 between Kongdang & Dulongjiang Tunnel (1840-2330 m) on 2016-02-22
100 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1440-1460 m) on 2016-02-27
100 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2040-2280 m) on 2016-03-04

Passeriformes: Emberizidae

Godlewski’s Bunting
戈氏岩鹀 (gēshì yánwū)
Emberiza godlewskii

3 at Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-03-01

Little Bunting
小鹀 (xiǎo wū)
Emberiza pusilla

12 between Kongdang & Xiongdang (1610 m) on 2016-02-19
40 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-24
40 at Pukawang (1480 m) on 2016-02-25
3 at Qinlangdang (1250 m) on 2016-02-29
95 at Dizhengdang (1850 m) on 2016-03-01

SELECTED MAMMALS

Stump-tailed Macaque
短尾猴 (duǎnwěi hóu)
Macaca arctoides

10 (troop) on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2730 m) on 2016-02-22

Turkestan Rat
拟家鼠 (nǐ jiāshǔ)
Rattus pyctoris

1 found dead on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2540 m) on 2016-03-04

Black Giant Squirrel
巨松鼠 (jù sōngshǔ)
Ratufa bicolor

1 between Kongdang & Qinlangdang (1500 m) on 2016-02-29

Gongshan Muntjac
贡山麂 (gòngshān jǐ)
Muntiacus gongshanensis

2 on Gongshan-Dulong Rd. (2300 m) on 2016-02-22

Featured image: The sublime spectacle of the moon setting over the Gaoligong Mountains at dawn was our reward for enduring days and days of rain. Photo taken on Gongshan-Dulong Road near Kongdang on 26 Feb. 2016. Nikon D3S, 600 mm, F/9, 1/320, ISO 640. (Craig Brelsford)

Dulong Gorge 2016 Report
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Sichuan & Yunnan, June 2014

HIGHLIGHTS

— Being among the first birders to visit Dulong Gorge, “The Last Green Valley in China,” in the far northwestern corner of Yunnan

— In collaboration with Per Alström, finding, photographing, and sound-recording Himalayan Thrush at the dramatic Salween-Irrawaddy Divide in the Gāolígòng Mountains

— On the Old Erlang Road in Sichuan, spotting, waiting out, and finally photographing a rare female Firethroat, as well as photographing and sound-recording a male

— Finding and photographing a pair of Fire-tailed Myzornis at the Salween-Irrawaddy Divide

— In Dulong Gorge, finding several species of bird with limited ranges in China, among them Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Lemon-rumped Warbler, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, Scaly Laughingthrush, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Streak-throated Barwing, Beautiful Sibia, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, Fire-tailed Sunbird, and Scarlet Finch

— Noting 193 species of bird (see list below)

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus, Dulong Gorge, Yunnan. Elev. 2430 m. 16 June. (Craig Brelsford)

ITINERARY (all dates 2014)

31 May: Chéngdū (成都)
01-02 June: Old Erlang Road/Lúdìng (泸定)
03 June: Kāngdìng (康定)
04 June: Old Erlang Road/Lúdìng
05 June: Lóngcānggōu (龙苍沟)
06 June: Chéngdū
07-10 June: Éméishān (峨眉山)
11 June: en route to NW Yunnan
12 June: Gòngshān (贡山)
13-19 June: Dulong Gorge
20 June: Gòngshān
21 June: Dàlǐ (大理)
22 June: Chéngdū

Jon Gallagher guides Craig Brelsford
Jon Gallagher guides driver Craig Brelsford along difficult stretch of Gongshan-Dulong Road, 13 June. (Huáng Xiǎo Ān [黄小安])
THE TRIP

Sat. 31 May 2014
Chéngdū (成都), Sichuan

My flight from Shanghai arrived at 20:00 at Chéngdū. My partner Huáng Xiǎo Ān (黄小安) picked me up at the airport. Xiǎo Ān lives in Beijing. Later that night, Jon Gallagher arrived. Jon was born in England and is a naturalized U.S. citizen living in Maryland. This trip would be our second together; in 2013, the three of us birded in Qinghai.

Sun. 1 June 2014
Lúdìng (泸定)

Today I drove our rented Chevrolet Captiva to the Lǎo Chuān Zàng Lù (老川藏路), known in English as the Old Erlang Road. The road, no longer in regular use because of the new Èrláng Shān tunnels, lies between Yǎ’ān (雅安) and Kāngdìng (康定). The Old Erlang Road dips off the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau; the eastern side of the road is soggy and foggy; the western side, higher and drier. The contrast in vegetation and climate is stark and immediately noticeable. I’ve yet to see a place that more dramatically shows the contrast between wet eastern China and arid western China. Our top bird, found on the eastern side, was Chestnut-headed Tesia. Phylloscopus and Seicercus warblers were singing everywhere, giving me the easier IDs that I have been dreaming about. The most conspicuous leaf warbler was Claudia’s Leaf Warbler. Also common: Sichuan Leaf Warbler. I sound-recorded and photographed a Seicercus warbler; the recording of the voice was crucial in my ID’ing the bird as a Martens’s Warbler. Here are three recordings I made today:

Chestnut-headed Tesia (00:19; 1.1 MB)

Claudia’s Leaf Warbler (00:56; 1.7 MB)

Black-faced Laughingthrush (00:38; 1.4 MB)

Claudia's Leaf Warbler
Claudia’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus claudiae, Old Erlang Road, Sichuan. Elev. 2760 m. 1 June. (Craig Brelsford)

We drove to Lúdìng (泸定), the nearest city, 30 km from the western end of the Old Erlang Road.

Mon. 2 June 2014
Lúdìng

Walking alone up the Old Erlang Road, at an elevation of about 2730 m, I heard robins singing. Within minutes, I had found a male Firethroat. Two males apparently have territories on either side of the Old Erlang Road. Firethroat is listed as near-threatened by the IUCN. Near the highest point on the Old Erlang Road, we ran into Frank Lambert, who was leading a tour. We led Frank’s group back to our Firethroat spot. A few members of Frank’s tour were so happy to see the Firethroat, they had tears in their eyes. I recorded the beautiful song of Firethroat (01:18; 2 MB):

Firethroat
Firethroat Calliope pectardens, Old Erlang Road, Sichuan. Elev. 2760 m. 5 June 2014. (Craig Brelsford)

Tues. 3 June 2014
Kāngdìng (康定)

Raining this morning. At the “tree-lined avenue” on the west side of the Old Erlang Road (elev.: 2450 m), I saw Lady Amherst’s Pheasant. Cuckoos were singing from every tall tree. Large Hawk-Cuckoo were most commonly heard, followed by Lesser Cuckoo, Common Cuckoo, and Himalayan Cuckoo.

Large Hawk-Cuckoo (00:34; 1.3 MB)

Lesser Cuckoo (00:16; 1 MB)

Jon and I took a long walk along the road. We found another pair of Firethroat at about 2450 m above sea level. In the afternoon, we drove to Kāngdìng.

Wed. 4 June 2014
Lúdìng

We spent the morning at a site 5 km from Kāngdìng dedicated to photographing wild pheasants. The site is owned by Liào Kāng Lín (廖康林; +86 135-4147-1963, +86 836-2823096). Mr. Liào charges 80 yuan per photographer per day. A stay at his house costs 40 yuan per night. Cooked meals are available. Our time at Mr. Liào’s place was not very successful. We viewed only one gamebird, a Lady Amherst’s Pheasant (male), and it left after only a few seconds. Mr. Liào said the best time to come is March. While there, I recorded the local Alpine Leaf Warbler (00:41; 1.4 MB):

After finishing at Mr. Liào’s place, we drove back to the Old Erlang Road, where we caught a tantalizing glimpse of the female Firethroat. We drove back to Lúdìng, where we spent the night.

Slaty-blue Flycatcher
Slaty-blue Flycatcher Ficedula tricolor, Old Erlang Road, Sichuan. Elev. 2760 m. 3 June 2014. (Craig Brelsford)

Thurs. 5 June 2014
Lóngcānggōu (龙苍沟)

It took some work, but today on the Old Erlang Road I managed to capture clear shots of a female Firethroat. Photographing the female is a much greater challenge than photographing the male. The female is silent, much unlike the songster the male, and very shy. Special thanks to Jon and Xiǎo Ān for agreeing to give another morning to the female Firethroat (I’m happy to report that they too saw and photographed the female). As I continue to capture images for my photo field guide, I am striving to get shots of the most elusive species. The female Firethroat is a big step forward. Also attracted to our setup was a female Slaty-blue Flycatcher. In the afternoon, we drove to Lóngcānggōu (龙苍沟). We stayed at Hǔlín Shānzhuāng (虎林山庄; +86 189-8162-4444). There, a power surge occurred, destroying the battery charger for my camera, the power adapter of my Apple MacBook Pro, and other items.

Before that disaster occurred, we took a walk in the forest, where I recorded the haunting, hoopoe-like call of Himalayan Cuckoo (01:31; 2.2 MB):

Fri. 6 June 2014
Chéngdū

Early this morning, a rock ripped apart the oil pan (U.K.: sump) of our rented Chevy Captiva. We were driving into the wilderness area at Lóngcānggōu. We hit a bump, but the bump didn’t seem especially serious. I was shocked to see oil running over the ground. A tow truck from Yǎ’ān came to rescue us. We were taken to a Chevrolet dealership outside Yǎ’ān. We rented a Volkswagen Passat from an agency in Yǎ’ān and drove to Chéngdū.

Sat. 7 June 2014
Éméishān (峨眉山)

We visited the camera center in Chéngdū, where I bought a new battery charger. Our next stop was the Apple store, where Xiǎo Ān and I replaced our power adapters. We then drove to Éméishān (峨眉山).

Sun. 8 June 2014
Éméishān

Drizzled all day. In the early morning, we walked uphill from our hotel below the lower terminus of the cable car. Already there were many tourists, disturbing the few birds that we could see. We walked down the road from the cable car. On this road, there were fewer people. We found Bianchi’s Warbler. After lunch, we drove downhill to get below the fog. There are few safe places to stop along the busy road. The best place is at 1540 m, where a dirt road meets the main, paved road. If you’re driving uphill on the paved road, look for a road turning off to your right. The road is a few hundred meters uphill from the “32” sign. We spent an hour walking along the dirt road before rain forced us back to the Passat. Driving back up, we discovered another good spot within walking distance of the complex of hotels where we’re staying. This place is a ski area. Local workers live in some of the buildings. A walkway leads from a parking lot uphill past the slope and through a small forested area to a second parking lot above. Because few tourists go there, the ski area is quiet, and with its clearings and trails is highly birdable. In the forested part of the walkway near the upper parking lot, we saw Golden Parrotbill. We named the forested part the Magic Walkway.

Golden Parrotbill
Golden Parrotbill Suthora verreauxi, Emeishan, Sichuan. Elev. 1570 m. 11 June 2014. (Craig Brelsford)

Mon. 9 June 2014
Éméishān

Rain and fog all day. The team stayed in. No birding. In spite of our recent run of bad luck, we are still laughing, still having fun.

Tues. 10 June 2014
Éméishān

This morning, the sky was clearer and it was no longer raining. Jon and Xiǎo Ān took the cable car to the Golden Summit. They saw little, as the upper reaches of the mountain were foggy. Feeling weak, I slept in. Later, I felt better and walked alone to the Magic Walkway. I found at least 2 Chestnut-headed Tesia, Grey-hooded Fulvetta, Golden Parrotbill, and a first for me, White-bellied Redstart. Large-billed Leaf Warbler were singing everywhere. Here are two recordings made today.

Large-billed Leaf Warbler (01:27; 2.2 MB)

White-bellied Redstart (00:27; 1.2 MB)

White-bellied Redstart
White-bellied Redstart Luscinia phaenicuroides, Emeishan, Sichuan. Elev. 2390 m. 10 June 2014. (Craig Brelsford)

The temperature was around 10, very chilly. At the restaurant at our hotel, we ran into German birder Kai Pflug. Kai lives in Shanghai. I’d been communicating with Kai by e-mail for months but hadn’t met him until this chance encounter.

Wed. 11 June 2014
Along the S217 in Yunnan

We awoke at Éméishān to fog and drizzle. We went to the Magic Walkway. We found the White-bellied Redstart again and heard others singing. I recorded Martens’s Warbler. We received word from the Chevy dealership that the Captiva had been repaired. We drove down to the side road at 1540 m (the road we’d discovered on 8 June). There, visibility was excellent; there was no rain and no fog. We walked in and took the fork right. We found Rufous-capped Babbler. I made a good recording of the well-known call from close range (00:59; 1.7 MB):

Heading back toward the fork, we found a flock of Golden Parrotbill. Also in the area were Green-backed Tit, Red-billed Blue Magpie, and 3 Grey Treepie. A White-throated Needletail zipped by. We drove on the newly opened G93 to Yǎ’ān. Along the nearly empty freeway, I heard Indian Cuckoo. At the Chevy dealership, we finished up the paperwork on the Captiva, transferred our stuff from the Passat to the Captiva, and, after dinner in a restaurant down the road from the dealership, headed south. Our destination: Yunnan and Dulong Gorge. I drove for hours, mostly on the G5, the major freeway. A steady stream of Red Bull kept me awake. In Yunnan, we left the G5 and took the S217 to the G56. Somewhere along the S217, I became sleepy and pulled over. I slept for 90 minutes then continued driving.

Thurs. 12 June 2014
Gòngshān (贡山), Yunnan

Stopped at Gòngshān (贡山)! Dúlóng will have to wait till tomorrow. Despite not reaching Dulong Gorge, and despite 36 hours of nearly non-stop driving from Éméishān to Gòngshān, our mood is upbeat. One reason: the amazing 300 km odyssey through the Salween Gorge. In Chinese, the Salween is called the Angry (怒 [nù]) River because of its churning rapids, so readily seen in the gorge. But to the thousands of people living along its banks, the Salween is like a member of the family, a constant, nurturing presence. The S228 is the other lifeline of the communities here, the only route in and out and in many places the only flat surface. Sunning dogs, running children, toothless old men bearing loads, wrinkled old women chatting—all on the road. Our progress was often slowed to a snail’s pace. And the scenery! The higher one drives up the gorge, the greener the mountainsides.

Fire-tailed Myzornis
Fire-tailed Myzornis Myzornis pyrrhoura, Salween-Irrawaddy Divide (above Dulong Gorge), Yunnan, China. Elev. 3375 m. 13 June 2014. (Craig Brelsford)

Fri. 13 June 2014
Kǒngdāng (孔当)

We’re in Kǒngdāng, the major town here along the Dúlóng River (Dúlóng Jiāng [独龙江]). Kǒngdāng has no gas station—in fact, there isn’t one in this entire valley, a remote place bordering Burma and Tibet. Gòngshān, 300 km from the G56, is one step removed from normal China; this valley is yet another step beyond. The natives of this valley, the Dúlóng people, number about 7,000 and until recently were totally cut off from the outside world. There are still a few old women with tattooed faces, a tradition that arose from the fear that the neighboring Tibetans would invade and steal the women. I’ve been to 31 of China’s provincial-level entities and seen few places as strange and breathtaking as Dúlóng. We are staying at Dàpíng Bīnguǎn (大平宾馆; reach Mr. Huáng at +86 139-8869-6984; reach his wife at +86 157-0885-2602). Today, on the ridge dividing the Irrawaddy and Salween basins, at an elevation of 3270 m, our team found a pair of Fire-tailed Myzornis. A Golden Bush Robin caught our attention. We also found perhaps two species of what is still officially known as Plain-backed Thrush (Zoothera mollissima). The man who is studying the Plain-backed Thrush complex, none other than Per Alström, met us just below the Salween-Irrawaddy Divide. Per was with his partners, Zhào Chāo (赵超) and Zhào Jiàn (赵健). We talked for about an hour. Using the hood of Per’s jeep as a desk, Per and I opened our MacBooks, and Per copied over to me a recording he’d made of a bird in the Plain-backed Thrush complex. Per’s generosity inspired me. Per said, “I only have photos of thrushes I’ve captured. It would be good to have photos of the thrushes in their natural environment.” “I’ll do everything I can to get those photos,” I said.

Brelsford (L), Gallagher, Alström
THE MEETING IN THE WILDERNESS: Craig Brelsford (L), Jon Gallagher, and Per Alström (R), above the Dulong Gorge in remote northwestern Yunnan, 13 June 2014. Photo by Huáng Xiǎo Ān (黄小安).

Sat. 14 June 2014
Kǒngdāng

Rain and fog this morning grounded us until 09:00. The three of us worked our way from Kǒngdāng (elev.: 1500 m) to a bridge on the Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (2200 m). Here, the skies brightened, and old-growth, moss-covered trees on either side of the road seemed promising habitat for our target bird, Beautiful Nuthatch. We found none today, but those old trees proved productive, yielding Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker eating mistletoe berries, two pairs of Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Streak-throated Barwing, a male Scarlet Finch, and dazzling Yellow-cheeked Tit. Outside Qinghai and Xinjiang, I have not seen such vast expanses of unspoiled nature in China as I’ve seen in Dulong Gorge.

Scarlet Finch
Scarlet Finch Carpodacus sipahi, Dulong Gorge, Yunnan. Elev. 2430 m. 16 June 2014. Even far away, as here, the blood-red male commands attention. In China, Scarlet Finch is resident in southern and southeastern Tibet and western Yunnan. Nikon D3S, 600 mm, F/8, 1/250, ISO 2500. (Craig Brelsford)

Sun. 15 June 2014
Kǒngdāng

With good photography out of the question because of the rain, I turned Dulong Gorge into my classroom, with Jon Gallagher and Huáng Xiǎo Ān as my classmates. We spent the day building up our Dúlóng list and gaining familiarity with the more common birds we were finding. Through the fog we found several Yunnan specialties, among them Rusty-fronted Barwing. We also continued our search for Beautiful Nuthatch and Cachar Wedge-billed Babbler.

Davison's Leaf Warbler
Davison’s Leaf Warbler, Dulong Gorge, Yunnan, 15 June 2014. The four images displayed together here were taken within the space of two seconds. Note the double wing flick in panel bottom left. (Craig Brelsford)

On Friday, during our Meeting in the Wilderness, Per Alström told me to be on the lookout for Davison’s Leaf Warbler. In this far-flung part of Yunnan, Davison’s is the leaf warbler with the “double wing flick”; in other parts of China, the closely related Kloss’s Leaf Warbler is the double wing flicker. Today, during a break in the rain, we found Davison’s Leaf Warbler.

Mon. 16 June 2014
Kǒngdāng

Day 4 of our Dúlóng Expedition found my team in the high country again, up to the Dúlóng end of the new tunnel on the Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (2850 m). Amid the constant drizzle, we persevered. Among our hard-won gems were Rusty-flanked Treecreeper and Manipur Fulvetta. When the rain let up briefly at 18:00, the birds came out in great numbers, as if it were dawn. The star of that bird wave was a male Scarlet Finch sitting proudly atop the highest tree.

Rusty-flanked Treecreeper
Rusty-flanked Treecreeper Certhia nipalensis, Dulong Gorge, Yunnan. Elev. 2730 m. 16 June 2014. This species occurs in the central and eastern Himalayas, its range in China limited to southeastern Tibet and northwestern Yunnan (west of Salween River). (Craig Brelsford)

Tues. 17 June 2014
Kǒngdāng

Jon, Xiǎo Ān, and I continued our search for birds expected in this region but not confirmed. Glorious, rain-free weather did not make birding any easier, but it did allow us to enjoy expansive views across the valley.

Yellow-throated Fulvetta
Yellow-throated Fulvetta Alcippe cinerea, Dulong Gorge. Elev. 1570 m. 18 June 2014. (Craig Brelsford)

Wed. 18 June 2014
Kǒngdāng

We set our sights on finding Yellow-throated Fulvetta. It is a noisy, active bird, usually in small parties. Its limited range in China includes southeast Tibet and northwest Yunnan. At first glance, one may mistake it for a leaf warbler or bush warbler, but this species and its congeners in Alcippe belong firmly to the ground babblers (Pellorneidae). We quickly found one at the bridge near Pǔ Wàng Kǎ (普旺卡), south of Kǒngdāng. The rain came once again. Amid the steady shower, we got close to a Slaty-bellied Tesia (00:04; 852 KB).

Thurs. 19 June 2014
Kǒngdāng

Our final full day in Dulong Gorge saw less rain. We found another Slaty-bellied Tesia, and near Kǒngdāng we found a scraggly Brown Shrike. We parked near the river and studied the stream closely. Few birds rely on the turbulent, nutrient-poor water of the Dúlóng River. We saw a single Common Kingfisher.

Himalayan Thrush
Himalayan Thrush Zoothera salimalii, Irrawaddy-Salween Divide, above Dulong Gorge, Yunnan, China, 20 June 2014. Elev. 3375 m. (Craig Brelsford)

Fri. 20 June 2014
Gòngshān

Today, a week after meeting Per Alström and his partners, my team was back at the Salween-Irrawaddy Divide. I was mindful of Per’s desire to get “natural” images of a “Plain-backed Thrush.” During a rare break in the rain, I stepped out and played the song Per had transferred to me on 13 June. After a few minutes, a “Plain-backed Thrush” called back. The thrush perched just 15 m from me, singing powerfully. What a rush! I took dozens of photos and made three good recordings. Afterward, I texted Per: “We got your thrush! This morning, my team was on the Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road, on the Dúlóng side of the Hēipǔ (黑普) Tunnel (the high tunnel), just up the road from where our teams ran into each other. Rain was falling steadily, & there was much fog. During a break in the rain, I stepped out of the car and walked downhill, playing the recording that you shared with me. Within seconds, a hearty response. Then the rain started falling very hard, and the fog grew thick, and I had to run back to the Captiva. Half an hour later, there was another break in the weather, & I tried again. After a few minutes, my jaw dropped: a ‘Plain-backed Thrush’! The bird was singing powerfully in response to the recording. For 15 minutes, the thrush did circles around me, circles that as the bird grew used to me were getting tighter and tighter. The thrush perched just 15 m from me. I whipped out my pocket recorder and made 3 good recordings. Finally, a Nissan Paladin arrived, carrying a team of Beijing journalists who’d invited us to dinner last night down at Kǒngdāng! I had no choice but to greet them. By the time the journalists moved on, the thrush had moved off, and the rain had started again. Jon, Xiǎo Ān, and I lingered for an hour on the Dúlóng side of the Divide, but the rain never stopped. We drove through the tunnel to the Salween side and spent another hour there. The rain let up some, and I went out and played your Dúlóng recording. I got no response. When you generously lent me your recording, Per, you said that you’d like to see some photos of ‘Plain-backed Thrushes’ in their natural state, as opposed to captured birds photographed in the hand. Well, here they are. With these photos and the recordings I made, we should have little trouble determining to which of the new ‘Plain-backed Thrush’ taxa the individual I met belongs.” Later, Per wrote back, having seen my photos and listened to my recordings. He said he had little trouble determining to which of the new “Plain-backed Thrush” taxa the individual I met belongs. However, as Per’s work on the complex hasn’t been published yet, Per has asked me to temporarily refer to my bird by the currently recognized binomial, Zoothera mollissima. What a pleasure it was to find that “Plain-backed Thrush,” and at such a remote, thrilling location! What a pleasure it has been working with Per. As we drove through the mountains, we saw local people picking zhúyè cài (竹叶菜). We arrived in Gòngshān just before dark.

Himalayan Thrush
Himalayan Thrush, above Dulong Gorge, 20 June 2014. Note the somewhat rufous-toned upper surface, dark lower lores and subocular/moustachial area, lack of distinct dark patch on rear ear-coverts, entirely dark lower mandible, and pale pinkish legs. (Craig Brelsford)

UPDATE, 26 JAN 2016: The bird I found on 20 June 2014 is Himalayan Thrush Zoothera salimalii. Earlier this month, Per and his team published an article in which they make known that what was once thought to be one species (Plain-backed Thrush Z. mollissima) is actually three species, and perhaps four. The three species identified by Per and his team are Himalayan Thrush Z. salimalii, which is completely new to science; Sichuan Thrush Z. griseiceps, formerly Z. m. griseiceps, now given species status; and Alpine Thrush Z. mollissima (in the wake of the new discoveries, “Alpine Thrush” replaces the former name “Plain-backed Thrush”). A fourth putative taxon, “Yunnan Thrush,” requires further study. Here are the three recordings that I achieved of Himalayan Thrush on 20 June 2014:

(00:25; 1.2 MB)

(01:25; 2.2 MB)

(00:45; 1.5 MB)

Sat. 21 June 2014
Dàlǐ (大理)

We drove all day on the S228 through the Salween Gorge. Arrived after nightfall in Dàlǐ (大理).

Sun. 22 June 2014
Chéngdū

We drove from Dàlǐ to Chéngdū. Along the S217 in Yunnan, we did some roadside birding in a semi-arid region south of Shuǐrén (水仁). There, I saw my first-ever Crested Bunting. We drove through another big rainstorm and hobbled into Chéngdū well after dark. It was another exhausting drive, but Dulong Gorge was worth our sacrifices. I’d lived nearly seven years in China before seeing such expansive, little-touched forest. I’m calling Dulong Gorge “The Last Green Valley in China”—last in space (the “last” valley in northwestern Yunnan before Burma) and last in time (one by one, the other formerly rich valleys in China have succumbed to the harsh hand of man; Dulong Gorge remains rich, pure, pristine). I know that “The Last Green Valley in China” is an exaggeration; there are other well-preserved valleys in China. The point of my poetic license is to underline the environmental disaster unfolding in China and to highlight the value of Dúlóng.

Mon. 23 June 2014
Shanghai

We split up, Xiǎo Ān returning to Beijing, Jon to Maryland, and I to Shanghai.

L-R: Gallagher, Huáng (黄), Brelsford
L-R: Jon Gallagher, Huáng Xiǎo Ān (黄小安), & Craig Brelsford on Dulong River, elev. 1420 m. 19 June 2014. (Craig Brelsford)

BIRDS NOTED IN SICHUAN AND YUNNAN, JUNE 2014

For taxonomy and English names, my first reference is the IOC World Bird List. I noted 193 species, representing 12 orders and 45 families.

Galliformes: Phasianidae

Temminck’s Tragopan
红腹角雉 (hóngfù jiǎozhì)
Tragopan temminckii

3 (1 seen, 2 heard) on Old Erlang Road (1750 m) on 2014-06-02

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant
白腹锦鸡 (báifù jǐnjī)
Chrysolophus amherstiae

3-4 each day on Old Erlang Road (2300-2500 m) on 2014-06-02 & 2014-06-03
1 male at Liào Kāng Lín’s place (2590 m) on 2014-06-04
1 heard at Lóngcānggōu (1200 m) on 2014-06-06
1 heard at Éméishān (1830 m) on 2014-06-08

Pelecaniformes: Ardeidae

Eastern Cattle Egret
牛背鹭 (niúbèi lù)
Bubulcus coromandus

Few seen en route

Little Egret
白鹭 (báilù)
Egretta garzetta

Several along G5 near Xīchāng (西昌), Sichuan on 2014-06-22

Accipitriformes: Accipitridae

Black-winged Kite
黑翅鸢 (hēichì yuān)
Elanus caeruleus

1 along G5 near Xīchāng (西昌), Sichuan on 2014-06-22

Mountain Hawk-Eagle
鹰雕 (yīngdiāo)
Nisaetus nipalensis

1 on Dúlóng side of Salween-Irrawaddy Divide (3260 m) on 2014-06-13

Golden Eagle
金鵰 (jīn diāo)
Aquila chrysaetos

1 on S318 between Yǎ’ān (雅安) & Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-01

Chinese Sparrowhawk
赤腹鹰 (chìfù yīng)
Accipiter soloensis

1 on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-01

Eurasian Sparrowhawk
雀鹰 (quèyīng)
Accipiter nisus

5 in Dulong Gorge on 2014-06-18

Upland Buzzard
大鵟 (dà kuáng)
Buteo hemilasius

1 on Old Erlang Road (2600 m) on 2014-06-03

Columbiformes: Columbidae

Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove)
原鸽 (yuángē)
Columba livia

Common around towns, even in Dulong Gorge

Speckled Wood Pigeon
点斑林鸽 (diǎnbān língē)
Columba hodgsonii

6 at Éméishān (2750 m) on 2014-06-10
5 in Dulong Gorge (1820 m) on 2014-06-16
1 in Dulong Gorge (1740 m) on 2014-06-17

Oriental Turtle Dove
山斑鸠 (shān bānjiū)
Streptopelia orientalis

2 at Kāngdìng (康定), Sichuan on 2014-06-04

Red Turtle Dove
火斑鸠 (huǒ bānjiū)
Streptopelia tranquebarica

2 on Old Erlang Road (2980 m) on 2014-06-02
Along S228 in lower Salween Gorge on 2014-06-12

Pin-tailed Green Pigeon
针尾绿鸠 (zhēnwěi lǜjiū)
Treron apicauda

1 in Dulong Gorge (1820 m) on 2014-06-16

Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon
楔尾绿鸠 (xiēwěi lǜjiū)
Treron sphenurus

3 in Dulong Gorge (1620 m) on 2014-06-19

Cuculiformes: Cuculidae

Asian Koel
噪鹃 (zàojuān)
Eudynamys scolopaceus

1 heard at Lóngcānggōu (1500 m) on 2014-06-05
1 heard in Dulong Gorge (2430 m) on 2014-06-17
1 heard in Dulong Gorge (1620 m) on 2014-06-19

Large Hawk-Cuckoo
鹰鹃 (yīngjuān)
Hierococcyx sparverioides

Frequently recorded on Old Erlang Road, at Éméishān, & in Dulong Gorge

Lesser Cuckoo
小杜鹃 (xiǎo dùjuān)
Cuculus poliocephalus

Frequently recorded on Old Erlang Road, at Éméishān, & in Dulong Gorge

Indian Cuckoo
四声杜鹃 (sìshēng dùjuān)
Cuculus micropterus

1 beside G93 60 km N of Yǎ’ān (雅安), Sichuan (470 m) on 2014-06-11

Himalayan Cuckoo
中杜鹃 (zhōng dùjuān)
Cuculus saturatus

Recorded on Old Erlang Road 2014-06-01 & 2014-06-03
3 at Lóngcānggōu (1500 m) on 2014-06-05

Common Cuckoo
大杜鹃 (dà dùjuān)
Cuculus canorus

Frequently recorded on Old Erlang Road, at Éméishān, & in Dulong Gorge

Strigiformes: Strigidae

Himalayan Owl
灰林鸮 (huī línxiāo)
Strix nivicolum

1 heard at Éméishān on 2014-06-08
1 on Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (1700 m) on 2014-06-13

Caprimulgiformes: Caprimulgidae

nightjar sp.
?夜鹰 (? yèyīng)
Caprimulgus sp.

1 in Dulong Gorge (1600 m) on 2014-06-17

Apodiformes: Apodidae

Himalayan Swiftlet
短嘴金丝燕 (duǎnzuǐ jīnsīyàn)
Aerodramus brevirostris

Small numbers regularly noted in Dulong Gorge from 2014-06-15 to 2014-06-20

White-throated Needletail
白喉针尾雨燕 (báihóu zhēnwěiyǔyàn)
Hirundapus caudacutus

1 at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-11

Pacific Swift
白腰雨燕 (báiyāoyǔyàn)
Apus pacificus

Noted at Éméishān (2450 m) on 2014-06-08

House Swift
小白腰雨燕 (xiǎo báiyāoyǔyàn)
Apus nipalensis

Frequently seen in lower Salween Gorge on 2014-06-12

Coraciiformes: Alcedinidae

Black-capped Kingfisher
蓝翡翠 (lán fěicuì)
Halcyon pileata

1 flying over G5 near Pānzhīhūa (攀枝花), Sichuan on 2014-06-22

Common Kingfisher
普通翠鸟 (pǔtōng cuìniǎo)
Alcedo atthis

1 along Dúlóng River (1450 m) on 2014-06-19

Bucerotiformes: Upupidae

Eurasian Hoopoe
戴胜 (dàishèng)
Upupa epops

1 on hotel roof at Dàlǐ (大理), Yunnan on 2014-06-22

Piciformes: Megalaimidae

Great Barbet
大拟啄木鸟 (dà nǐzhuómùniǎo)
Megalaima virens

1-3 each day in Dulong Gorge (2200-2700 m) from 2014-06-14 to 2014-06-19

Piciformes: Picidae

Rufous-bellied Woodpecker
棕腹啄木鸟 (zōngfù zhuómùniǎo)
Dendrocopos hyperythrus

1 in Dulong Gorge (3100 m) on 2014-06-20

Darjeeling Woodpecker
黄颈啄木鸟 (huángjǐng zhuómùniǎo)
Dendrocopos darjellensis

1 in Dulong Gorge (2400 m) on 2014-06-16
1 in Dulong Gorge (2410 m) on 2014-06-17

Bay Woodpecker
黄嘴栗啄木鸟 (huángzuǐ lìzhuómùniǎo)
Blythipicus pyrrhotis

1 heard in Dulong Gorge (2020 m) on 2014-06-15

Passeriformes: Campephagidae

Swinhoe’s Minivet
小灰山椒鸟 (xiǎo huīshānjiāoniǎo)
Pericrocotus cantonensis

2 at Éméishān (1300 m) on 2014-06-08

Long-tailed Minivet
长尾山椒鸟 (chángwěi shānjiāoniǎo)
Pericrocotus ethologus

Recorded on Old Erlang Road, at Éméishān, & in Dulong Gorge

Passeriformes: Laniidae

Brown Shrike
红尾伯劳 (hóngwěi bóláo)
Lanius cristatus

1 in Dulong Gorge (1600 m) on 2014-06-19

Grey-backed Shrike
灰背伯劳 (huībèi bóláo)
Lanius tephronotus

Recorded on Old Erlang Road, at Éméishān, & in Dulong Gorge as well as en route

Passeriformes: Vireonidae

Blyth’s Shrike-babbler
红翅䴗鹛 (hóngchì júméi)
Pteruthius aeralatus

2 in Dulong Gorge (2260 m) on 2014-06-15

Black-eared Shrike-babbler
栗喉䴗鹛 (lìhóu júméi)
Pteruthius melanotis

2 in Dulong Gorge (2280 m) on 2014-06-14
2 in Dulong Gorge (1460 m) on 2014-06-15
1 in Dulong Gorge (2390 m) on 2014-06-16

Passeriformes: Dicruridae

Black Drongo
黑卷尾 (hēi juǎnwěi)
Dicrurus macrocercus

Frequently noted, usually en route between sites

Ashy Drongo
灰卷尾 (huī juǎnwěi)
Dicrurus leucophaeus

Noted in Dulong Gorge (2100 m) on 2014-06-14

Passeriformes: Rhipiduridae

White-throated Fantail
白喉扇尾鹟 (báihóu shànwěiwēng)
Rhipidura albicollis

1 each day in Dulong Gorge (2390 m) on 2014-06-15 & 2014-06-16

Passeriformes: Corvidae

Eurasian Jay
松鸦 (sōngyā)
Garrulus glandarius

1 on Old Erlang Road (2300 m) on 2014-06-03

Red-billed Blue Magpie
红嘴蓝鹊 (hóngzuǐ lánquè)
Urocissa erythroryncha

1 at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-11

Grey Treepie
灰树鹊 (huī shùquè)
Dendrocitta formosae

3 at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-11

Spotted Nutcracker
星鸦 (xīng yā)
Nucifraga caryocatactes

1 on Old Erlang Road (2920 m) on 2014-06-02

Large-billed Crow
大嘴乌鸦 (dàzuǐ wūyā)
Corvus macrorhynchos

Frequently recorded on Old Erlang Road, at Éméishān, & in Dulong Gorge

Passeriformes: Stenostiridae

Yellow-bellied Fantail
黄腹扇尾鹟 (huángfù shànwěiwēng)
Chelidorhynx hypoxantha

1 in Dulong Gorge (2320 m) on 2014-06-14
1 in Dulong Gorge (2630 m) on 2014-06-16

Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher
方尾鹟 (fāngwěi wēng)
Culicicapa ceylonensis

Several at Lóngcānggōu (1200 m) on 2014-06-06
1 on Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (2340 m) on 2014-06-20

Passeriformes: Paridae

Rufous-vented Tit
黑冠山雀 (hēiguān shānquè)
Periparus rubidiventris

1 at Éméishān (2850 m) on 2014-06-10
4 in Dulong Gorge (2400 m) on 2014-06-16

Coal Tit
煤山雀 (méi shānquè)
Periparus ater

1 on Old Erlang Road (2700 m) on 2014-06-03

Yellow-bellied Tit
黄腹山雀 (huángfù shānquè)
Pardaliparus venustulus

4 on Old Erlang Road (2770 m) on 2014-06-02
3 on Old Erlang Road (2500 m) on 2014-06-03
2 at Lóngcānggōu (1400 m) on 2014-06-06

Grey-crested Tit
褐冠山雀 (hèguān shānquè)
Lophophanes dichrous

1 at Éméishān (2850 m) on 2014-06-10

Black-bibbed Tit
黑喉山雀 (hēihóu shānquè)
Poecile hypermelaenus

2 in Dulong Gorge (2320 m) on 2014-06-14

Yellow-cheeked Tit
黄颊山雀 (huángjiá shānquè)
Machlolophus spilonotus

3-5 each day in Dulong Gorge (1800-2500 m) from 2014-06-14 to 2014-06-18

Japanese Tit
远东山雀 (yuǎndōng shānquè)
Parus minor

1 on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-03

Green-backed Tit
绿背山雀 (lǜbèi shānquè)
Parus monticolus

1 at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-11
1 at Lóngcānggōu (1400 m) on 2014-06-06
2 in Dulong Gorge (2430 m) on 2014-06-16

Passeriformes: Pycnonotidae

Collared Finchbill
领雀嘴鹎 (lǐng quèzuǐbēi)
Spizixos semitorques

2 on S318 between Yǎ’ān (雅安) & Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-01
Several on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-01
Several along G5 near Yǎ’ān (雅安), Sichuan on 2014-06-05

Striated Bulbul
纵纹绿鹎 (zòngwén lǜbēi)
Pycnonotus striatus

2 in Dulong Gorge (2220 m) on 2014-06-14
2 in Dulong Gorge (1450 m) on 2014-06-19

Black-crested Bulbul
黑冠黄鹎 (hēiguān huángbēi)
Pycnonotus flaviventris

1 along S228 in lower Salween Gorge on 2014-06-12

Red-whiskered Bulbul
红耳鹎 (hóng’ěr bēi)
Pycnonotus jocosus

Several along S228 in lower Salween Gorge on 2014-06-12
Several in Dulong Gorge (1820 m) on 2014-06-16
Several along S228 near Mekong River (1300 m) on 2014-06-21

Brown-breasted Bulbul
黄臀鹎 (huángtún bēi)
Pycnonotus xanthorrhous

Frequently recorded on Old Erlang Road, at Éméishān, & in Dulong Gorge

Red-vented Bulbul
黑喉红臀鹎 (hēihóu hóngtúnbēi)
Pycnonotus cafer

5 along S228 near Mekong River (1300 m) on 2014-06-21

Grey-eyed Bulbul
灰眼短脚鹎 (huīyǎn duǎnjiǎobēi)
Iole propinqua

1 along S228 in lower Salween Gorge on 2014-06-21

Black Bulbul
黑短脚鹎 (hēi duǎnjiǎobēi)
Hypsipetes leucocephalus

2 (white-headed form) each day at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-08 & 2014-06-11
15-30 each day in Dulong Gorge (1400-2900 m) from 2014-06-14 to 2014-06-20

Passeriformes: Hirundinidae

Sand Martin
崖沙燕 (yáshāyàn)
Riparia riparia

Several near Lóngcānggōu on 2014-06-05

Barn Swallow
家燕 (jiā yàn)
Hirundo rustica

Frequently noted

Asian House Martin
烟腹毛脚燕 (yānfù máojiǎoyàn)
Delichon dasypus

Frequently noted, even at high elevations, e.g., on Dúlóng side of Salween-Irrawaddy Divide (3260 m) on 2014-06-13

Red-rumped Swallow
金腰燕 (jīnyāo yàn)
Cecropis daurica

Frequently noted

Passeriformes: Pnoepygidae

Pygmy Cupwing
小鳞胸鹪鹛 (xiǎo línxiōngjiāoméi)
Pnoepyga pusilla

1 each day on Old Erlang Road (2450 m) on 2014-06-01 & 2014-06-02
2 in Dulong Gorge (2130 m) on 2014-06-14
1 in Dulong Gorge (1440 m) on 2014-06-15

Passeriformes: Cettiidae

Yellow-bellied Warbler
黄腹鹟莺 (huángfù wēngyīng)
Abroscopus superciliaris

1 on Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (2800 m) on 2014-06-13

Rufous-faced Warbler
棕脸鹟莺 (zōngliǎn wēngyīng)
Abroscopus albogularis

1 in Dulong Gorge (2280 m) on 2014-06-14

Black-faced Warbler
黑脸鹟莺 (hēiliǎn wēngyīng)
Abroscopus schisticeps

1 in Dulong Gorge (2390 m) on 2014-06-15
1 in Dulong Gorge (2400 m) on 2014-06-16
2 in Dulong Gorge (2270 m) on 2014-06-17
1 in Dulong Gorge (2310 m) on 2014-06-17
2 in Dulong Gorge (2410 m) on 2014-06-17

Brown-flanked Bush Warbler
强脚树莺 (qiángjiǎo shùyīng)
Horornis fortipes

1 on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-01
1 at Éméishān (2750 m) on 2014-06-10
1 in Dulong Gorge (1740 m) on 2014-06-17
1 in Dulong Gorge (1620 m) on 2014-06-19

Aberrant Bush Warbler
异色树莺 (yìsè shùyīng)
Horornis flavolivaceus

Noted Old Erlang Road (2500 m) on 2014-06-03
1 at Éméishān (2450 m) on 2014-06-08
1 at Éméishān (1330 m) on 2014-06-08
1 at Éméishān (2850 m) on 2014-06-10

Slaty-bellied Tesia
金冠地莺 (jīnguān dìyīng)
Tesia olivea

1 in Dulong Gorge (1450 m) on 2014-06-18
2 in Dulong Gorge (1400 m) on 2014-06-19

Chestnut-headed Tesia
栗头地莺 (lìtóu dìyīng)
Cettia castaneocoronata

1 on Old Erlang Road (2300 m) on 2014-06-01
2 at Éméishān (2390 m) on 2014-06-10

Passeriformes: Aegithalidae

Black-browed Bushtit
黑眉长尾山雀 (hēiméi chángwěishānquè)
Aegithalos bonvaloti

3 on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-05
3 in Dulong Gorge (2480 m) on 2014-06-20
3 in Dulong Gorge (2190 m) on 2014-06-20

Sooty Bushtit
银脸长尾山雀 (yínliǎn chángwěishānquè)
Aegithalos fuliginosus

1 on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-02

Passeriformes: Phylloscopidae

Alpine Leaf Warbler
华西柳莺 (huáxī liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus occisinensis

2 on Old Erlang Road (2480 m) on 2014-06-03
1 at Liào Kāng Lín’s place (2590 m) on 2014-06-04

Yellow-streaked Warbler
棕眉柳莺 (zōngméi liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus armandii

Noted on Old Erlang Road (2500 m) on 2014-06-02

Buff-barred Warbler
橙斑翅柳莺 (chéngbānchì liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus pulcher

1 at Éméishān (2450 m) on 2014-06-08

Ashy-throated Warbler
灰喉柳莺 (huīhóu liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus maculipennis

1 in Dulong Gorge (2390 m) on 2014-06-15
1 in Dulong Gorge (2650 m) on 2014-06-16

Lemon-rumped Warbler
淡黄腰柳莺 (dàn huángyāoliǔyīng)
Phylloscopus chloronotus

3 in Dulong Gorge (2700 m) on 2014-06-17

Greenish Warbler
暗绿柳莺 (àn lǜliǔyīng)
Phylloscopus trochiloides

Several at Éméishān (2450 m) on 2014-06-08

Large-billed Leaf Warbler
乌嘴柳莺 (wūzuǐ liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus magnirostris

3-7 each day at Éméishān (2390 m) on 2014-06-08, 2014-06-10, & 2014-06-11
2 (pair) in Dulong Gorge (2760 m) on 2014-06-17

Blyth’s Leaf Warbler
西南冠纹柳莺 (xīnán guānwénliǔyīng)
Phylloscopus reguloides

6 in Dulong Gorge (2390 m) on 2014-06-16
3 in Dulong Gorge (2270 m) on 2014-06-17
3 in Dulong Gorge (2310 m) on 2014-06-17

Claudia’s Leaf Warbler
冠纹柳莺 (guānwénliǔyīng)
Phylloscopus claudiae

5-15 each day on Old Erlang Road from 2014-06-01 to 2014-06-03 & on 2014-06-05
1-3 each day at Éméishān on 2014-06-08, 2014-06-10, & 2014-06-11
Seen in Dulong Gorge from 2014-06-14 to 2014-06-20

Davison’s Leaf Warbler
云南白斑尾柳莺 (yúnnán báibānwěiliǔyīng)
Phylloscopus davisoni

4 in Dulong Gorge (1870 m) on 2014-06-14

Kloss’s Leaf Warbler
白斑尾柳莺 (báibānwěiliǔyīng)
Phylloscopus ogilviegranti

1 at Éméishān (2450 m) on 2014-06-08
1 at Éméishān (2850 m) on 2014-06-10

Sichuan Leaf Warbler
四川柳莺 (sìchuān liǔyīng)
Phylloscopus forresti

7 on Old Erlang Road (2700 m) on 2014-06-01
3 at Éméishān (2450 m) on 2014-06-08
1 at Éméishān (2390 m) on 2014-06-10

Bianchi’s Warbler
比氏鹟莺 (bǐshì wēngyīng)
Seicercus valentini

3 at Éméishān (2450 m) on 2014-06-08
1 on Salween side of Salween-Irrawaddy Divide (3270 m) on 2014-06-13
1 on Dúlóng side of Salween-Irrawaddy Divide (3260 m) on 2014-06-13
1 on Salween side of Salween-Irrawaddy Divide (3260 m) on 2014-06-20

Martens’s Warbler
峨嵋鹟莺 (éméi wēngyīng)
Seicercus omeiensis

3 on Old Erlang Road (2450 m) on 2014-06-01
2 on Old Erlang Road (2450 m) on 2014-06-02

Alström’s Warbler
淡尾鹟莺 (dànwěi wēngyīng)
Seicercus soror

1 in Dulong Gorge (1450 m) on 2014-06-18

Chestnut-crowned Warbler
栗头鹟莺 (lìtóu wēngyīng)
Seicercus castaniceps

1 in Dulong Gorge (2280 m) on 2014-06-14
1 in Dulong Gorge (2260 m) on 2014-06-15
1 in Dulong Gorge (1820 m) on 2014-06-16
3 in Dulong Gorge (2700 m) on 2014-06-17
1 on Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (2190 m) on 2014-06-20

White-spectacled Warbler
白眶鹟莺 (báikuàng wēngyīng)
Seicercus affinis

2 in Dulong Gorge (1440 m) on 2014-06-18
1 in Dulong Gorge (1400 m) on 2014-06-19

Passeriformes: Cisticolidae

Rufescent Prinia
暗冕鹪莺 (ànmiǎn jiāoyīng)
Prinia rufescens

1 along S228 in lower Salween Valley on 2014-06-21

Passeriformes: Timaliidae

Black-streaked Scimitar Babbler
斑胸钩嘴鹛 (bānxiōng gōuzuǐméi)
Pomatorhinus gravivox

4 on Old Erlang Road (2450 m) on 2014-06-03
2 at Liào Kāng Lín’s place (2590 m) on 2014-06-04

Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler
棕颈钩嘴鹛 (zōngjǐng gōuzuǐméi)
Pomatorhinus ruficollis

Several at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-08

Rufous-capped Babbler
(红头穗鹛 (hóngtóu suìméi)
Stachyridopsis ruficeps

4 at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-11

Passeriformes: Pellorneidae

Yellow-throated Fulvetta
黄喉雀鹛 (huánghóu quèméi)
Alcippe cinerea

1 in Dulong Gorge (1450 m) on 2014-06-18
7 in Dulong Gorge (1600 m) on 2014-06-18
3 in Dulong Gorge (1600 m) on 2014-06-19

Rufous-winged Fulvetta
栗头雀鹛 (lìtóu quèméi)
Alcippe castaneceps

4 in Dulong Gorge (2260 m) on 2014-06-15
2 in Dulong Gorge (2460 m) on 2014-06-15
2 in Dulong Gorge (1620 m) on 2014-06-19

Rusty-capped Fulvetta
褐胁雀鹛 (hèxié quèméi)
Alcippe dubia

2 in Dulong Gorge (2260 m) on 2014-06-15

Yunnan Fulvetta
灰头雀鹛 (huītóu quèméi)
Alcippe fratercula

3 in Dulong Gorge (2460 m) on 2014-06-15

Passeriformes: Leiothrichidae

Chinese Babax
矛纹草鹛 (máowén cǎoméi)
Babax lanceolatus

5 on Old Erlang Road (2500 m) on 2014-06-03
2 at Liào Kāng Lín’s place (2590 m) on 2014-06-04

Chinese Hwamei
画眉 (huàméi)
Garrulax canorus

2 at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-11

Grey Laughingthrush
褐胸噪鹛 (hèxiōng zàoméi)
Garrulax maesi

2 on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-01

Barred Laughingthrush
斑背噪鹛 (bānbèi zàoméi)
Garrulax lunulatus

1 on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-01
2 each day on Old Erlang Road (2600-2800 m) on 2014-06-02, 2014-06-03, & 2014-06-05

White-browed Laughingthrush
白颊噪鹛 (báijiá zàoméi)
Garrulax sannio

6 along road near airport in Chéngdū (成都), Sichuan on 2014-06-01
Around Yǎ’ān (雅安), Sichuan on 2014-06-06
5 along S228 near Mekong River (1300 m) on 2014-06-21

Scaly Laughingthrush
纯色噪鹛 (chúnsè zàoméi)
Trochalopteron subunicolor

1 below Salween-Irrawaddy Divide, Dúlóng side (3170 m) on 2014-06-13
1 in Dulong Gorge (1780 m) on 2014-06-14

Elliot’s Laughingthrush
橙翅噪鹛 (chéngchì zàoméi)
Trochalopteron elliotii

2 on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-02
2 at Liào Kāng Lín’s place (2590 m) on 2014-06-04
2 at Éméishān (2850 m) on 2014-06-10

Black-faced Laughingthrush
黑顶噪鹛 (hēidǐng zàoméi)
Trochalopteron affine

1 on Old Erlang Road (2200 m) on 2014-06-01

Blue-winged Minla
蓝翅希鹛 (lánchì xīméi)
Minla cyanouroptera

3 at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-11

Red-tailed Minla
火尾希鹛 (huǒwěi xīméi)
Minla ignotincta

1 in Dulong Gorge (2310 m) on 2014-06-17

Emei Shan Liocichla
灰胸薮鹛 (huīxiōng sǒuméi)
Liocichla omeiensis

1 at Éméishān (1830 m) on 2014-06-08
1 at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-08

Rusty-fronted Barwing
锈额斑翅鹛 (xiù’é bānchìméi)
Actinodura egertoni

1 in Dulong Gorge (1460 m) on 2014-06-15

Streak-throated Barwing
纹胸斑翅鹛 (wénxiōng bānchìméi)
Actinodura waldeni

2 in Dulong Gorge (2280 m) on 2014-06-14
1 in Dulong Gorge (2430 m) on 2014-06-17

Red-billed Leiothrix
红嘴相思鸟 (hóngzuǐ xiāngsīniǎo)
Leiothrix lutea

Several at Lóngcānggōu (1200 m) on 2014-06-06
Several at Éméishān (2450 m) on 2014-06-08
Several at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-08

Beautiful Sibia
丽色奇鹛 (lìsè qíméi)
Heterophasia pulchella

8-20 each day in Dulong Gorge (1400-2800 m) from 2014-06-14 to 2014-06-20

Black-headed Sibia
黑顶奇鹛 (hēidǐng qíméi)
Heterophasia desgodinsi

1 in Dulong Gorge (2630 m) on 2014-06-16

Passeriformes: Sylviidae

Fire-tailed Myzornis
火尾绿鹛 (huǒwěi lǜméi)
Myzornis pyrrhoura

2 (pair) on Salween side of Salween-Irrawaddy Divide (3270 m) on 2014-06-13

Rufous-tailed Babbler
宝兴鹛雀 (bǎoxìng méiquè)
Moupinia poecilotis

4 along S228 in Salween Gorge (1770 m) on 2014-06-12

Chinese Fulvetta
高山雀鹛 (gāoshān quèméi)
Fulvetta striaticollis

1 on Old Erlang Road (2750 m) on 2014-06-02
3 at Éméishān (2350 m) on 2014-06-08

Grey-hooded Fulvetta
褐头雀鹛 (hètóu quèméi)
Fulvetta cinereiceps

3 on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-02
3 at Éméishān (2850 m) on 2014-06-10

Manipur Fulvetta
印缅褐头雀鹛 (yìnmiǎn hètóuquèméi)
Fulvetta manipurensis

3 in Dulong Gorge (2400 m) on 2014-06-16

Ashy-throated Parrotbill
灰喉鸦雀 (huīhóu yāquè)
Sinosuthora alphonsiana

4 on Old Erlang Road (2300 m) on 2014-06-03

Brown-winged Parrotbill
褐翅鸦雀 (hèchì yāquè)
Sinosuthora brunnea

2 on Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (2800 m) on 2014-06-13
1 on Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (3100 m) on 2014-06-20
3 on Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (3260 m) on 2014-06-20

Grey-hooded Parrotbill
暗色鸦雀 (ànsè yāquè)
Sinosuthora zappeyi

5 at Éméishān (2000 m) on 2014-06-08

Golden Parrotbill
金色鸦雀 (jīnsè yāquè)
Suthora verreauxi

3 at Éméishān (2390 m) on 2014-06-08
2 at Éméishān (2390 m) on 2014-06-10
6 at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-11

Grey-headed Parrotbill
灰头鸦雀 (huītóu yāquè)
Psittiparus gularis

1 along S228 near Mekong River (1300 m) on 2014-06-21

Passeriformes: Zosteropidae

Stripe-throated Yuhina
纹喉凤鹛 (wénhóu fèngméi)
Yuhina gularis

Recorded regularly in Dulong Gorge

White-collared Yuhina
白领凤鹛 (báilǐng fèngméi)
Yuhina diademata

Frequently recorded on Old Erlang Road, at Éméishān, & in Dulong Gorge

Rufous-vented Yuhina
棕肛凤鹛 (zōngāng fèngméi)
Yuhina occipitalis

1 in Dulong Gorge (2630 m) on 2014-06-16

Japanese White-eye
暗绿绣眼鸟 (ànlǜ xiùyǎnniǎo)
Zosterops japonicus

Several near Lóngcānggōu on 2014-06-05
Several along S228 in lower Salween Gorge on 2014-06-12
Dulong Gorge (1740 m) on 2014-06-17

Passeriformes: Troglodytidae

Eurasian Wren
鹪鹩 (jiāoliáo)
Troglodytes troglodytes

1 at Éméishān (1540 m) on 2014-06-11

Passeriformes: Sittidae

Chestnut-vented Nuthatch
栗臀䴓 (lìtún shī)
Sitta nagaensis

2 in Dulong Gorge (2210 m) on 2014-06-14
2 in Dulong Gorge (2220 m) on 2014-06-15

Passeriformes: Certhiidae

Rusty-flanked Treecreeper
锈红腹旋木雀 (xiùhóngfù xuánmùquè)
Certhia nipalensis

1 in Dulong Gorge (2640 m) on 2014-06-16

Passeriformes: Sturnidae

Crested Myna
八哥 (bāgē)
Acridotheres cristatellus

Seen in Yǎ’ān (雅安), Sichuan on 2014-06-06

Red-billed Starling
丝光椋鸟 (sīguāng liángniǎo)
Spodiopsar sericeus

1 along G5 near Yǎ’ān (雅安), Sichuan on 2014-06-05
2 on S217 S of Shuǐrén (水仁), Yunnan (1240 m) on 2014-06-22

Passeriformes: Turdidae

Himalayan Thrush
光背地鸫 (guāngbèi dìdōng)
Zoothera salimalii

1 on Dúlóng side of Salween-Irrawaddy Divide (3380 m) on 2014-06-20

Long-tailed Thrush
长尾地鸫 (chángwěi dìdōng)
Zoothera dixoni

1 on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-02

Chinese Blackbird
乌鸫 (wū dōng)
Turdus mandarinus

1 seen en route

Chestnut Thrush
灰头鸫 (huītóu dōng)
Turdus rubrocanus

3-5 each day on Old Erlang Road (2710 m) from 2014-06-01 to 2014-06-03

Passeriformes: Muscicapidae

Oriental Magpie-Robin
鹊鸲 (quèqú)
Copsychus saularis

1 along S228 in lower Salween Gorge on 2014-06-12
1 along S228 in lower Salween Gorge on 2014-06-21

Dark-sided Flycatcher
乌鹟 (wū wēng)
Muscicapa sibirica

1 on Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (2800 m) on 2014-06-13

Ferruginous Flycatcher
棕尾褐鹟 (zōngwěi hèwēng)
Muscicapa ferruginea

1 in Dulong Gorge (2290 m) on 2014-06-14

Large Niltava
大仙鹟 (dàxiānwēng)
Niltava grandis

1 male in Dulong Gorge (1870 m) on 2014-06-14
1 male in Dulong Gorge (1450 m) on 2014-06-18
1 male in Dulong Gorge (1600 m) on 2014-06-19
1 male in Dulong Gorge (1620 m) on 2014-06-19

Small Niltava
小仙鹟 (xiǎo xiānwēng)
Niltava macgrigoriae

1 female in Dulong Gorge (2020 m) on 2014-06-15
1 male in Dulong Gorge (1820 m) on 2014-06-16
1 male in Dulong Gorge (1740 m) on 2014-06-17

Verditer Flycatcher
铜蓝鹟 (tónglán wēng)
Eumyias thalassinus

1 in Dulong Gorge (2320 m) on 2014-06-16
1 on Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road, Salween side (2510 m) on 2014-06-10

White-bellied Redstart
白腹短翅鸲 (báifù duǎnchìqú)
Luscinia phaenicuroides

1-3 each day at Éméishān (2390 m) on 2014-06-10 & 2014-06-11

Firethroat
金胸歌鸲 (jīnxiōng gēqú)
Calliope pectardens

3 (pair plus 1 male singing unseen across the road) each day on Old Erlang Road (2730 m) from 2014-06-02 to 2014-06-05
2 (pair) on Old Erlang Road (2450 m) on 2014-06-03

Golden Bush Robin
金色林鸲 (jīnsè línqú)
Tarsiger chrysaeus

1 on Dúlóng side of Salween-Irrawaddy Divide (3260 m) on 2014-06-13
2 (pair) on Dúlóng side of Salween-Irrawaddy Divide (3260 m) on 2014-06-20

Little Forktail
小燕尾 (xiǎo yànwěi)
Enicurus scouleri

1 on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-02
1 in Dulong Gorge (1870 m) on 2014-06-15

Forktail sp.
?燕尾 (? yànwěi)
Enicurus sp.

2 immatures definitely not Little Forktail noted in Dulong Gorge (1440-1700 m) on 2014-06-17 & 2014-06-18

Blue Whistling Thrush
紫啸鸫 (zǐxiàodōng)
Myophonus caeruleus eugenei

5-10 each day in Dulong Gorge (1400-2800 m) from 2014-06-14 to 2014-06-19

Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher
橙胸姬鹟 (chéngxiōng jīwēng)
Ficedula strophiata

Regularly recorded at Éméishān & in Dulong Gorge

Little Pied Flycatcher
小斑姬鹟 (xiǎo bānjīwēng)
Ficedula westermanni

1 in Dulong Gorge (1790 m) on 2014-06-14
1 in Dulong Gorge (1400 m) on 2014-06-19

Slaty-blue Flycatcher
灰蓝姬鹟 (huīlán jīwēng)
Ficedula tricolor

1 female each day on Old Erlang Road (2730 m) on 2014-06-03 & 2014-06-05

Hodgson’s Redstart
黑喉红尾鸲 (hēihóu hóngwěiqú)
Phoenicurus hodgsoni

1 at Kāngdìng (康定), Sichuan on 2014-06-04

Daurian Redstart
北红尾鸲 (běi hóngwěiqú)
Phoenicurus auroreus

1 male on Old Erlang Road (2730 m) on 2014-06-03

Plumbeous Water Redstart
红尾水鸲 (hóngwěi shuǐqú)
Phoenicurus fuliginosus

10-25 each day along Dúlóng River (1400-1800 m) from 2014-06-14 to 2014-06-19

White-capped Redstart
白顶溪鸲 (báidǐng xīqú)
Phoenicurus leucocephalus

Common beside higher rivers & streams throughout

Blue Rock Thrush
蓝矶鸫 (lán jīdōng)
Monticola solitarius

Numerous along S228 in lower Salween Gorge on 2014-06-12
Along Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road on 2014-06-13

Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush
栗腹矶鸫 (lìfù jīdōng)
Monticola rufiventris

5-15 each day in Dulong Gorge (1400-2800 m) from 2014-06-14 to 2014-06-19

Siberian Stonechat
黑喉石鵖 (hēihóu shíjí)
Saxicola maurus

3 along S228 in lower Salween Gorge on 2014-06-12

Grey Bush Chat
灰林鵖 (huī línjí)
Saxicola ferreus

1 male on Old Erlang Road (2760 m) on 2014-06-03
2 in Dulong Gorge (1740 m) on 2014-06-17

Passeriformes: Dicaeidae

Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker
黄腹啄花鸟 (huángfù zhuóhuāniǎo)
Dicaeum melanoxanthum

2 (pair) in Dulong Gorge (2280 m) on 2014-06-14
1 male in Dulong Gorge (2390 m) on 2014-06-16

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker
红胸啄花鸟 (hóngxiōng zhuóhuāniǎo)
Dicaeum ignipectus

2 males in Dulong Gorge (2280 m) on 2014-06-14
2 (pair) in Dulong Gorge (2390 m) on 2014-06-16
1 male in Dulong Gorge (2270 m) on 2014-06-17
2 (pair) on Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (2190 m) on 2014-06-20

Passeriformes: Nectariniidae

Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird
蓝喉太阳鸟 (lánhóu tàiyángniǎo)
Aethopyga gouldiae

Frequently recorded on Old Erlang Road, at Éméishān, & in Dulong Gorge

Green-tailed Sunbird
绿喉太阳鸟 (lǜhóu tàiyángniǎo)
Aethopyga nipalensis

Frequently recorded on Old Erlang Road, at Éméishān, & in Dulong Gorge

Black-throated Sunbird
黑胸太阳鸟 (hēixiōng tàiyángniǎo)
Aethopyga saturata

1 in Dulong Gorge (1410 m) on 2014-06-15

Fire-tailed Sunbird
火尾太阳鸟 (huǒwěi tàiyángniǎo)
Aethopyga ignicauda

3 (2 males, 1 female) on Salween side of Salween-Irrawaddy Divide (3270 m) on 2014-06-13

Passeriformes: Passeridae

Russet Sparrow
山麻雀 (shān máquè)
Passer rutilans

Noted on Old Erlang Road (2200 m) on 2014-06-01
3 in Dulong Gorge (1740 m) on 2014-06-17

Eurasian Tree Sparrow
树麻雀 (shù máquè)
Passer montanus

Common around most habitations; not recorded in Dulong Gorge

Passeriformes: Prunellidae

Rufous-breasted Accentor
棕胸岩鹨 (zōngxiōng yánliù)
Prunella strophiata

1 at Éméishān (2850 m) on 2014-06-10

Passeriformes: Motacillidae

Forest Wagtail
山鹡鸰 (shān jílíng)
Dendronanthus indicus

1 singing in back yard of restaurant near Yǎ’ān (雅安), Sichuan on 2014-06-06

Grey Wagtail
灰鹡鸰 (huī jílíng)
Motacilla cinerea

Frequently recorded on Old Erlang Road, at Éméishān, & in Dulong Gorge as well as en route

White Wagtail
白鹡鸰 (bái jílíng)
Motacilla alba

Frequently recorded on Old Erlang Road, at Éméishān, & in Dulong Gorge as well as en route

Olive-backed Pipit
树鹨 (shù liù)
Anthus hodgsoni

1 on Old Erlang Road on 2014-06-02
Singles in Dulong Gorge (1440-1460 m) on 2014-06-15

Passeriformes: Fringillidae

Spot-winged Grosbeak
斑翅拟蜡嘴雀 (bānchì nǐlàzuǐquè)
Mycerobas melanozanthos

2 (pair) on Old Erlang Road (2750 m) on 2014-06-02
1 on Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (2340 m) on 2014-06-20

Grey-headed Bullfinch
灰头灰雀 (huītóu huīquè)
Pyrrhula erythaca

2 (pair) each day on Old Erlang Road (2750 m) on 2014-06-02 & 2014-06-05
2 (pair) at Éméishān (2450 m) on 2014-06-08
2 (pair) at Éméishān (2850 m) on 2014-06-10

Scarlet Finch
血雀 (xuě què)
Carpodacus sipahi

1 male in Dulong Gorge (2180 m) on 2014-06-14
1 male in Dulong Gorge (2390 m) on 2014-06-15
2 (pair) in Dulong Gorge (2390 m) on 2014-06-16
2 (pair) in Dulong Gorge (2430 m) on 2014-06-17
1 female in Dulong Gorge (2410 m) on 2014-06-17

Dark-rumped Rosefinch
棕朱雀 (zōng zhūquè)
Carpodacus edwardsii

1 at Éméishān (2850 m) on 2014-06-10

Vinaceous Rosefinch
酒红朱雀 (jiǔhóng zhūquè)
Carpodacus vinaceus

2 at Éméishān (2450 m) on 2014-06-08

Grey-capped Greenfinch
金翅雀 (jīnchìquè)
Chloris sinica

Several near Lóngcānggōu on 2014-06-05

Passeriformes: Emberizidae

Crested Bunting
凤头鹀 (fèngtóu wū)
Emberiza lathami

1 male on S217 S of Shuǐrén (水仁), Yunnan (1620 m) on 2014-06-22

Godlewski’s Bunting
戈氏岩鹀 (gēshì yánwū)
Emberiza godlewskii

1-2 each day on Old Erlang Road (2300-2500 m) on 2014-06-01, 2014-06-02, & 2014-06-03

Yellow-throated Bunting
黄喉鹀 (huánghóu wū)
Emberiza elegans

2-3 each day on Old Erlang Road (2300 m) on 2014-06-01 & 2014-06-03

Black-faced Bunting
灰头鹀 (huītóu wū)
Emberiza spodocephala

1 on Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road (2000 m) on 2014-06-13

Mammals

Northern Tree Shrew
北树鼩 (běi shùqú)
Tupaia belangeri

One seen foraging near a garbage bin at a gas station on G5 S of Yǎ’ān (雅安), Sichuan on 2014-06-22

PLACE NAMES

Dúlóng River, Dulong Gorge (Dúlóng Jiāng [独龙江]): valley and eponymous river in NW Yunnan; the valley borders Tibet and Burma; the Dúlóng River is part of the Irrawaddy Basin

Éméishān (峨眉山): nature reserve and holy Buddhist mountain in C Sichuan

Gāolígòng Mountains (Gāolígòngshān [高黎贡山]): mountain range in W Yunnan running N-S ca. 500 km and dividing the Salween and Irrawaddy River basins

Gongshan
Gongshan, a city on the Salween River in Yunnan, China. 13 June 2014. (Craig Brelsford)

Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road: road connecting Gòngshān (贡山) and Dulong Gorge

Irrawaddy River: major river of Burma; a small part of Irrawaddy Basin lies in China (Dúlóng River)

Liào Kāng Lín’s place: site dedicated to setup photography, specializing in gamebirds; 5 km from Kāngdìng (康定), Sichuan. Elev.: 2590 m

Lóngcānggōu (龙苍沟): nature reserve in C Sichuan

Old Erlang Road: former route of S318 on E edge of Tibetan Plateau in Sichuan between Yǎ’ān (雅安) and Kāngdìng (康定). The W end of the old road is about 30 km E of Lúdìng (泸定). The Old Erlang Road has been superseded by new tunnels but not completely abandoned. Known in Chinese as Lǎo Chuān Zàng Lù (老川藏路)

Salween-Irrawaddy Divide: in NW Yunnan, the ridgeline of the Gāolígòng Mountains separates the Salween and Irrawaddy basins; on the Gòngshān-Dúlóng Road, the Hēipǔ (黑普) Tunnel lies below the divide and joins the two basins

Salween River (Nùjiāng [怒江]): river rising on Tibetan Plateau, flowing through W Yunnan and into Burma, and emptying into Andaman Sea

Gallagher (L) and Brelsford
Jon Gallagher (L) and Craig Brelsford birding on Gongshan-Dulong Road, 16 June 2014. (Huáng Xiǎo Ān [黄小安]).
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. & Inskipp, T. 2011. Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Christopher Helm, London. Consulted at home in Shanghai.

Harrap, S. & Quinn, D. 1995. Chickadees, Tits, Nuthatches, & Treecreepers. Princeton University Press, USA. This excellent book, though old, remains Craig’s first reference for all questions related to the families Certhiidae, Paridae, and Sittidae.

Lynx Edicions. The Internet Bird Collection. ibc.lynxeds.com

MacKinnon, John & Karen Phillipps. 2000. A Field Guide to the Birds of China. Oxford University Press. Flawed but indispensable.

Oriental Bird Club. Oriental Bird Images. orientalbirdimages.org. Consulted regularly at home.

Robson, C. 2005. Birds of Southeast Asia. Princeton University Press, Princeton, USA. Craig’s first reference in Dulong Gorge.

Xeno-Canto Foundation. Xeno-Canto: Bird Sounds from Around the World. xeno-canto.org. Craig has downloaded hundreds of calls from this Web site.

ACKNOWLEGEMENTS

Huáng Xiǎo Ān and Jonathan Gallagher are great teammates—unselfish, friendly, tough, and knowledgeable. Brian Ivon Jones first suggested Dulong Gorge to me. Per Alström gave us much good information about Dúlóng.

Featured image: Yellow-cheeked Tit Machlolophus spilonotus spilonotus, Dulong Valley, Yunnan, China. Elev. 2320 m. 14 June 2014. (Craig Brelsford)

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A Minor Role in a Major Discovery

Now my involvement in the discovery of Himalayan Thrush was on this wise:

In June 2014, my partners and I drove 36 hours, including one stretch of 24 straight hours, covering 1500 km (930 mi.) to get from Emeishan in Sichuan to the Dulong Gorge in Yunnan. The reason? Per Alström was in the Dulong Gorge and was working on an exciting project, a project to which he said I might be able to make a small contribution.

Himalayan Thrush
Himalayan Thrush Zoothera salimalii, Irrawaddy-Salween Divide, above Dulong Gorge, Yunnan, 20 June 2014. Elev. 3380 m (11,090 ft.). (Craig Brelsford)

We finally met up with Per and his team on the road into the Dulong Gorge. There, Per transferred to me a recording of a species new to science, Himalayan Thrush Zoothera salimalii.

Little did I know that I was on the cusp of something big.

At the time, I did not know that the species was Himalayan Thrush; like any normal birder, I took the species to be Plain-backed Thrush. Per could only divulge that he was working on possible splits to Plain-backed Thrush, and could I please try to get a shot of a free “Plain-backed”? All his images, he said, were of captured birds, and he wanted shots of birds living their natural life. “I’ll do everything I can to get those photos!” I said. Per then left the Dulong Gorge, and my team entered the valley.

Himalayan Thrush
Himalayan Thrush. Note the very slightly rufous-toned upper surface, dark lower lores and subocular/moustachial area, lack of distinct dark patch on rear ear-coverts, entirely dark lower mandible, hooked upper mandible, and pale, pinkish legs. (Craig Brelsford)

Rain rain rain for days. Finally, a 45-minute window of dry weather. I’m at the spot Per indicated, elev. 3380 m (11,090 ft.). I play Per’s recording. Attracted by the recording, a Himalayan Thrush appears within minutes, and I get photos as well as recordings of the thrush’s song. What a payoff!

Now my photos figure in the article Per and his co-authors have written on Himalayan Thrush, Sichuan Thrush Zoothera griseiceps, and Alpine Thrush Z. mollissima (Z. mollissima was formerly called “Plain-backed Thrush” in English but in the wake of the new discoveries takes the name Alpine Thrush). Himalayan Thrush is completely new to science, and Sichuan Thrush has been elevated to species status (having been considered a ssp. of Z. mollissima). A fourth putative taxon, “Yunnan Thrush,” requires further study.

I’m proud to have played a minor role in Per and co.’s major discovery!

Himalayan Thrush
Himalayan Thrush on a wet boulder in the rain above Dulong Gorge. A ‘forest’ thrush on a rocky outcrop? Yes, write the authors: ‘At Dulongjiang, Yunnan province, China, we found Himalayan Forest Thrush to be numerous in a very different habitat: on steep slopes with bamboo and rhododendron scrub and rocky outcrops and a few scattered conifers, at or just above the upper tree limit, at 3350–3500 m a.s.l. … Surprisingly, we did not observe any birds in the seemingly suitable forest immediately below despite active searching.’ (Craig Brelsford)

WHAT IS ‘NEW TO SCIENCE’?

In the case of Zoothera salimalii, when we say the species is “new to science,” we are not saying that no human being had ever seen the bird before. Himalayan Thrush is locally common in its range, which extends from Sikkim in India to northwest Yunnan; thousands of birders and non-birders have seen it. “New to science” means that those observers did not understand its true nature. We did not understand that it is a species; if we thought about it at all, we assumed that any Z. salimalii we were seeing was just another Plain-backed Thrush Z. mollissima.

Himalayan
From article: ‘Z. salimalii has a narrow, almost unmarked golden-buff throat (whiter when worn) bordered by strong black malar.’ Note our specimen’s buff throat and distinct malar. (Craig Brelsford)

Per and his team discovered that, hidden within what was considered to be a population of Z. mollissima was an entirely different bird, separated from Z. mollissima by time (3-5 million years of evolution), habitat (Z. mollissima Alpine Thrush breeds higher than Z. salimalii Himalayan Thrush), song, and morphology.

The latter two characteristics are particularly surprising and point to the difficulties of birding in the Himalayan region. Per and his team did not need a microscope to begin to see that Himalayan Thrush is different from the other species in the Plain-backed Thrush complex. All they needed to do was look and listen closely. Yet for generation after generation, this straightforward analysis was not performed. This is not surprising, considering the ruggedness of the area in which these thrushes live and its sparse population.

Himalayan Thrush
My Himalayan Thrush was fit and strong—as he needed to be, if he wanted to command his large, rocky territory. (Craig Brelsford)

Once Per had examined Plain-backed complex birds in the hand and through photos, he found a whole series of visible differences. Per et al. write:

Compared to Z. mollissima, Z. salimalii has a noticeably longer and deeper bill, with more arched culmen and longer hook, and the lower edge of the lower mandible is more arched (vs. straight); bill usually completely or almost completely dark including base of lower mandible, whereas the base of the lower mandible is usually pale pinkish or yellowish in Z. mollissima (though may appear mainly dark also in Z. mollissima).

Most individuals of Z. salimalii have a thin whitish supraloral stripe over thick blackish lores, and a very dark subocular/moustachial area, more or less connected to the dark lores, compared to more diffuse pale supraloral and weak “salt-and-pepper” lores and subocular/moustachial area of Z. mollissima. Also, Z. salimalii usually shows less extensively pale-mottled ear-coverts than in Z. mollissima, especially on the upper part, and lacks or has only a very ill-defined dark spot on the rear ear-coverts, while Z. mollissima usually shows a distinct dark rear ear-covert patch. Z. salimalii is usually ruddier in color above than Z. mollissima. Z. salimalii has a narrow, almost unmarked golden-buff throat (whiter when worn) bordered by strong black malar, while in Z. mollissima the throat is usually whiter and generally more heavily marked (often much more so) and less strongly bordered by more diffuse malar stripes. Z. salimalii has the claws paler than the toes, lacking dusky areas, while in Z. mollissima the claws are at least partly darker than or similar in color to the toes. The legs of Z. salimalii are pinkish, while those of Z. mollissima are usually brighter and more yellow- or orange-tinged.

Himalayan Thrush
Himalayan Thrush, Baihualing, Yunnan, 4 Feb. 2014. Baihualing is in the southern part of the Gaoligong Mountains. The elevation here is ca. 1800 m (5,900 ft.). (Craig Brelsford)

So adept became Per at discerning the morphological differences of the various Plain-backed species, he was able to determine, by photos alone, that a “Plain-backed” I had found in Yunnan in February 2014 was also Himalayan Thrush. Per used my February 2014 photos along with my June 2014 photos in his article.

The song of Z. salimalii also contrasts markedly with that of Z. mollissima, Per et al. write. They note the “mainly rasping, grating, scratchy, cracked voice” of Alpine Thrush and the “more musical … ‘thrush-like'” song of Himalayan Thrush. Indeed, according to the article, the germ of the process that led to the discovery of Himalayan Thrush was Per standing in India and simply listening to Himalayan Thrush, remembering the similar song he’d earlier heard in Sichuan of what is now called Sichuan Thrush, and contrasting those sweeter songs with the scratchier song of Alpine Thrush. Here we see Per, the scientist famous for discovering new species according to complicated DNA research, relying not on microscopes but on good old-fashioned birding skills!

Himalayan Thrush
Himalayan Thrush powerfully shovels away dirt, leaves, and sticks as it searches for invertebrates on the forest floor. (Craig Brelsford)

Below, some of my recordings and videos of Himalayan Thrush.

Sound Recordings, by Craig Brelsford

Video (all taken by Craig Brelsford at Baihualing, Gaoligong Mountains, western Yunnan, 4-5 Feb. 2014)

Featured image: Craig Brelsford (L), Craig’s partner Jon Gallagher, and Per Alström (R), above the Dulong Gorge in remote northwestern Yunnan, 13 June 2014. The insets show Himalayan Thrush Zoothera salimalii, which Per was there studying, and photos of which I later acquired. (Huáng Xiǎo Ān [黄小安])
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