Taiwan is home to 24 endemic bird species and over 50 endemic subspecies as well as an array of other east Asian specialities in its well protected forests. This tour will focus on seeing as many of Taiwan’s special species as possible. Sought-after lowland species such as Mikado’s and Swinhoe’s Pheasants will be among our first target species, before we head to mid and higher elevations to look for an array of endemics and other specialities, including raptors, Savannah Nightjar, Himalayan Wood Owl and a range of scops-owl species. We then transfer to Taiwan’s west coast in search of terns, spoonbills, sandplovers, sandpipers, stints and other wetland birds. We will also check out scrubby embankments for species such as Golden-headed Cisticola. We conclude our holiday with a 2-night stay in a low mountain forest managed by the indigenous Atayal tribe. The forest is home to the stunning Formose Magpie and Silver-backed Needletail among many other interesting species and it should make a wonderful finale to the trip.
- Look for lowland species such as Swinhoe’s Pheasant in Dasyueshan Forest
- Taiwan Rosefinch & the endemic Taiwan Fulvetta among higher elevation species
- Taiwan Hill Partridge, Taiwan Bush-warbler & Taiwan Wren-babbler
- Endemic Taiwan Barwing among mid-elevation species
- Japanese Sparrowhawk, Black Eagle & Mountain Hawk-eagle among raptors
- Broad-billed Sandpiper, Saunders’ Gull, waders & ducks on west coast
- Visit wintering ground for 2,500 Black-faced Spoonbills
- Vinous-throated Parrotbill & 4 species of starling possible
- Formosan Whistling-thrush, Plain Flowerpecker & Varied Tit in mountain forest
- Taiwan has good infrastructure, an interesting culture & delicious food!
Taiwan Blue Magpie
Known to early Portuguese sailors as ‘Isla Formosa’ or ‘the beautiful island’, Taiwan is home to 24 endemic bird species (plus over 50 endemic subspecies) as well as a wide array of other east Asian specialities that reside in its well protected forests. Despite this, few Westerners have experienced Taiwan’s birdlife, and this new tour will focus on seeing as many special species as possible on an island blessed with a good infrastructure, an interesting culture and good food!
On arrival in Tapei, we have the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with some of the common lowland species before moving to the mountains for a 3-night stay in the Dasyueshan Forest to search for a wide variety of species that include such sought-after endemics as Swinhoe’s and Mikado Pheasants. At higher elevations we will also look for Taiwan Rosefinch and the endemic Taiwan Fulvetta, whilst at lower elevations we’ll search for such further endemics as Taiwan Hill Partridge, Taiwan Bush-warbler and Taiwan Wrenbabbler. An impressive selection of mid-elevation species is also possible here, amongst them the endemic Taiwan Barwing and raptors such as Japanese Sparrowhawk, Black Eagle and Mountain Hawk-eagle. In the evenings we will hope to get good views of a range of Scops-owl species, Savannah Nightjar and Himalayan Wood Owl.
Our next area of focus is the wetland region of Taiwan’s west coast. This is the main wintering ground for almost 2,500 Black-faced Spoonbills and we will enjoy this impressive gathering, as well as the accompanying terns, sandplovers, sandpipers (including Broad-billed Sandpiper) and stints. There is even a chance of Saunders’ Gull, and many other familiar waders and ducks are likely. Scrubby embankments can hold Goldenheaded Cisticola, Vinous-throated Parrotbill and up to four species of wintering starlings.
We conclude our tour with a 2-night stay in a low mountain forest managed by the indigenous Atayal tribe. This is home to the stunning Formosan Magpie, Formosan Whistling-thrush, Plain Flowerpecker, Varied Tit and Silver-backed Needletail, making for a wonderful finale to our time on this very special island.
It was a good, balanced holiday covering a large section of the country and its habitats.
The guide, Richard, was superb - not only on bird knowledge but on the country itself. Although we had several days of rain, his hard work ensured the trip was a success.
Good memories of beautiful Mikado and Swinhoe's Pheasants and Collared Scops Owls perched in ornate temple ceilings while humans celebrated a special day below.
I very much enjoyed the forest birding for the Taiwan endemics, the group worked well and the tour leader was excellent.
Also enjoyed learning from Richard about the history and culture of Taiwan.
The whole trip was very good, Richard was excellent as was the wildlife, Peter who also helped drive and at lunch was great too! The general wildlife was good, the food brilliant!! The birding was good whether you were in forest, wetland, mountains, coast or even in a temple!
Richard Foster was superior in his care of the birding clients. He checked in with each of us and developed cordial relationships. His instructions were clear and he made maximal use of the time available to us in the field.
This trip covers a region that I haven't visited before so I found it particularly interesting. The central mountain chain of Taiwan contains some excellent tracts of forest and the population appears to have a good attitude to conservation of their wildlife and habitats.