Itinerary (subject to minor change)
Sat. Apr. 2:Taipei
Afternoon visit to the botanical gardens which have some great birds including the Malay Night Heron. This evening, visit a night market to experience city culture and enjoy dinner in the city. Overnight Taipei.
Sun. Apr. 3:Taipei - Yangmingshan
An early start as we head to the northern shoreline of the island, traversing the Yangming mountains en route. We visit Yehlui Geopark north of Taipei and spend the morning visiting a few migrant hotspots looking for migrants. This afternoon we take a bit of a cultural diversion and visit the Maokong Gondola which gets us into the teahouses above the Taipei basin but has some great forest and is home to the Taiwan Blue Magpie. There is also a great temple to visit to give us a feel of Taiwan’s Buddhist roots. Overnight Yangmingshan.
Mon. Apr. 4:Yangmingshan to Tainan
Morning visit to Yangmingshan National Park with its amazing area of Geothermal activity. This afternoon we head to Tainan for water birds. We start by exploring the lowlands and relatively developed west coast. A stop at Shimen may reveal the electric blue Formosan Whistling-Thrush and the Taiwan Blue Magpie before we head further south to the coastal wetlands of Tainan enjoying the stunning spectacle of wintering shorebirds and waterfowl. Our main quarry will be late Black-faced Spoonbills that may still be hanging around. The spoonbill is not the only rare bird here. Other migrants include Red-throated Pipit, Oriental Reed Warbler, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Spot-billed Duck, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Tufted Duck, Hen Harrier, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Lesser and Greater Sand-plovers, Pacific Golden Plover, Black-bellied Plover, Asiatic Dowitcher, Gray-tailed Tattler, Red-necked Stint, Long-toed Stint, Dunlin, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Great and Red Knots and Common and Spotted Redshanks. Overnight Tainan.
Tue. Apr. 5:Tainan to Alishan via Pingtung County
After more coastal and wetland birding, we head north to Alishan county. In the afternoon we go to an incredible blind that regularly delivers both Swinhoe’s Pheasant and Taiwan Partridge. After dark – if the weather is good and energy levels permit – we might do a night-walk for owls and flying-squirrels, as this area is great for both. We overnight in Alishan.
Wed. Apr. 6:Alishan to Wushe via Yushan NP
We depart early so that we reach the magical Yushan National Park at the crack of dawn.Although this is our first time in the mountains and there will be many new birds, our main quarry is the incredible Mikado Pheasant.Other wanted specialties here include Golden Parrotbill and the distinctive local owstoni form of Gray-headed Bullfinch.In the afternoon we head through to the Chingjing area of Wushe township and visit one of a myriad of sites that should deliver some mid-altitude birds.Exactly where we go depends on what we have already seen but Ao Wan Da or Huisun forest reserves are good options.Overnight in Wushe.
Thu. Apr.7:Wushe to Hualien
Today we cross the spine of the island.We go over the highest road pass in Taiwan, looking for high altitude endemics, including the White-whiskered Laughingthrush and Collared Bush-Robin.The pass is home to Alpine Accentor and Taiwan Rosefinch.We continue down into the scenic Taroko Gorge to see the endemic Styan’s Bulbul and admire the scenery. This stunning area is well worth our time and we spend the afternoon enjoying the scenery of the gorge and the Taiwan east coast scenic area.We overnight in the small coastal town of Hualien which has its own charms.
Fri. Apr. 8:Hualien to Wushe
We retrace our steps from the previous day stopping to look for wildlife or any key species that we missed. After lunch, we bird our way back to Wushe, stopping to look for birds such as Taiwan Bush-Warbler, Taiwan Yuhina, the moustached White-eared Sibia, the tail-less Taiwan Wren-Babbler, Steere’s Liocichla and Taiwan Barwing.Joining the endemics in the mixed species parties are Vivid Niltava, Black-throated Tit and Brown Bullfinch. The newly split endemic Taiwan Thrush, with its snow-white head, is another target but is a tricky bird to find. Overnight in Wushe.
Sat. Apr. 9:Wushe to Dashueshan
After a final morning exploring the Wushe area, we head to the impressive Dashueshan, which literally means ‘Big Snow Mountain’. This is one of the best general birding areas in Taiwan.We enjoy four nights here.
Sun. Apr. 10 - Tue. Apr. 12:Dashueshan
Local photographers have done an incredible job of making some of Taiwan’s most spectacular yet normally skittish birds remarkably easy to see here. First and foremost among these are the spectacular pheasants. The white-backed Swinhoe’s Pheasant is a regular at stakeouts along the road. The pheasants are called “the kings of the mist” in local parlance, a celebration of their elegant plumage and secretive nature .The birds themselves are bold and unafraid, and you will not likely find easier pheasants anywhere in the world to photograph and enjoy at leisure. The common but shy Taiwan Partridge is also frequently heard and often seen along this road. Although the game birds are the stars, we have the opportunity to search for many more of the interior forest species including some recently split taxa such as the noisy Taiwan Bamboo Partridge, furtive Taiwan Shortwing, scarce and stunning Taiwan Thrush, dapper little Taiwan Cupwing, inquisitive Taiwan Fulvetta, spectacled Flamecrest, and stunning Steere’s Liochichla, as well as a bevy of tits, babblers, drongos and other flock species. The mixed broadleaved forests ought to reveal some garrulous laughingthrushes including, hopefully, Rufous-crowned and Rusty Laughingthrushes. Night drives here can be interesting and, as well as owls, we search for Red-and-white Giant Flying Squirrel, Taiwan Serow and maybe even a Hog-nosed Ferret-Badger.
Wed. Apr. 13 :Dashueshan to Huben
Our last morning in Dashueshan gives us another shot at any montane endemics we may still be missing and the stunning surroundings of this magnificent area make it a pleasure to explore.The day draws to a close in the western lowlands ofDaoliou County.Here we first visit a school which has several species of bat roosting there including the local and endemic Taiwan Golden Bat.We overnight in Huben.
Thu. Apr. 14: Huben to Taipei
Our main quarry this morning is the spectacular Fairy Pitta.Other species occurring here include the secretive Malayan Night Heron, Rusty Laughingthrush, Black-necklaced Scimitar Babbler and many more.After a morning in this area, we head back to Taipei and Taoyuan International Airport where the tour draws to a close.We can depart for Vancouver tonight, or extend our stay in beautiful Taiwan.
$7,820Cdn. per person based on sharing twin accommodation. Single supplement: $860
Costs are based on a group of 10 tour members accompanied by Dr. Keith Wade.
RESERVATIONS & PAYMENTS
A non-refundable deposit of $2,000 is due at time of booking, plus insurance premium, if required.
The balance of payment is due by December 20, 2021.
TOUR COST INCLUDES
- Escorted by Dr. Keith Wade
- Pre tour and on site lectures
- professional local bird tour leader
- Accommodation for 12 nights as per the itinerary
- All meals
- Private ground transportation
- Safe drinking water throughout
- Entrance fees
- Tips to guide and lodges
NOT INCLUDED IN TOUR COST
- Airfare (approx. $1,500 economy)
CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS
All payments are non-refundable unless space can be resold.
Prices quoted in this brochure are in Canadian dollars, based on a full tour, and foreign exchange rates in effect at time of printing (Sep. 201).
We reserve the right to adjust the tour cost if there are substantial price changes.