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TOUR SUMMARIES

Recent Updates From the Field

Sichuan, China (May-June 2010) Guided by Sam Woods

This custom tour to China tour was all about one special group of birds: pheasants. Some of the most extravagant birds in Asia come from this family, and the Sichuan tour is one of the best tours on Earth to nd them. Although they can frequently be some of the shyest birds in Asia, we enjoyed a rare run of luck with pheasants on the tour, seeing 9 dierent species, all males, each one seen by everyone! It all began with a shock male Silver Pheasant on the lower slopes of Emei Shan during an unscheduled

road block! From Emei we moved onto Wawu Mountain, a haunt of some rare and stunningly beautiful pheasant species that brought its own surprises too. A misty day on the mountain proved a boon for pheasants. It all started with a female Lady Amherst’s Pheasant that stopped us in our tracks just after dawn, as it wandered around in the road. Then dramatically another pair of pheasants joined it: this time a pair of gorgeous Temminck’s Tragopans. The male was even seen perched up on a roadside concrete block calling back at us in the telescope! By the end of this remark- able pheasant day we had amassed

NINE

dierent

Lady

Pheasants

(including

Amherst’s several

extravagant males), separate tragopans!

and THREE

Moving to Wolong reserve, and one of the most spectacular areas to bird on the planet, Balang Shan, we watched in awe at a pair of Chinese Monals wandering around a ower- sprinkled alpine meadow, while ghostly pale White Eared-Pheasants patrolled the lower slopes, and also observed Tibetan Snowcocks shuing across a bare rocky slope higher up on this spectacular moun- tain. Lower down in Wolong, a day trip to the Wuyipeng Panda Research Station was remembered for not what was up at the station, but what was standing in the path at the start of our walk: a magical male Golden Pheasant, a truly breathtak-

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