China is a vast and productive land. Our China birding tours showcase the region’s many special and spectacular species, including numerous endemics and near endemics, as well as birds that are otherwise difficult to see elsewhere.
Our China in Winter birding tour concentrates on the south-east of this huge nation and offers a rich kaleidoscope of impressive and localised bird specialities, including several of the world’s most spectacular cranes. Foremost among these, poetically referred to as ‘the birds of heaven’, will be the elegant Siberian Crane, one of the rarest cranes on Earth. On our incredible China birding tour, we will be exploring the mountainous region of Fujian for one of the most sought-after pheasants in Asia – Cabot’s Tragopan. During this China birding tour we will also be looking for an impressive supporting cast of exciting birds, including the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper, which has recently been found to winter in this area, the rare Scaly-sided Merganser, thousands of Swan Geese, Falcated Duck, Baikal Teal, Oriental Stork, Saunders’s Gull, Reed Parrotbill, Pied Falconet, Elliot’s Pheasant and possibly even the rare Swinhoe’s Crake!
Sichuan Province showcases China’s finest and most rewarding bird tour hotspots and our Sichuan Birding tour will explore some of the nation’s most pristine and remote regions, searching for the many special breeding residents. To do so we will search a variety of habitats from alpine meadows to evergreen and temperate forests, to the grassland and snow-capped peaks of the Tibetan Plateau. Pheasants are of particular interest here on our bird watching tour, and we will be on the lookout for an astonishing ten species, namely White-eared and Blue Eared, Golden, Koklass, Blood, Common (Ring-necked), Mrs Hume’s and Lady Amherst’s Pheasant, Temminck’s Tragopan and Chinese Monal. The supporting cast includes Verreaux’s Monal Partridge, Przevalki’s Partridge, Tibetan Snow Partridge, Tibetan Snowcock, Chinese (Severtzov’s) Grouse, the rare Pere David’s Owl, Black-necked Crane, Wallcreeper, the range restricted Emei Shan Liochicla, aberrant Ground Tit, Swinhoe’s Minivet, Crested Tit-Warbler, Prezewalk’s Nuthatch, Sichuan Jay, Golden and Great Parrotbill, as well as the rare Rusty-throated Parrotbill and the stunning Grandala, all of which are possible! Our Yunnan Extension takes us to Yunnan Province in south-western China, a region that has recorded over 770 bird species, including 39 endemics! Our China birding tour highlights may include Lady Amherst’s and Mrs Hume’s Pheasant, Yunnan and Giant Nuthatch, Giant and White-speckled Laughingthrush, Chinese Babax and the highly localised Rufous-headed Robin. Yunnan also shares many lowland bird species with bordering Myanmar and Vietnam including Red-faced Liochicla, Black-faced Laughingthrush, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, Ward’s Trogon and Cachar Wedge-billed Wren Babbler.
Our Best of China – Qinghai & the Tibetan Plateau tour showcases one of China’s most diverse and rewarding birding hotspots – the stark yet scenically spectacular Tibetan Plateau. Commencing in Qinghai Province, we explore some of China’s most pristine and remote bird watching regions for its many sought-after breeding residents and northern migrants. Our China birding tour targets include Blue Eared Pheasant, Chinese Grouse, Black-necked Crane, Tibetan Sandgrouse, Tibetan and Himalayan Snowcock, Henderson’s Ground Jay, Wallcreeper, Przevalski’s (Ala Shan) Redstart, the aberrant Ground Tit, numerous snowfinches and rosefinches, and the beautiful Przevalski’s Finch (now placed in its own monotypic family). Fascinating cultures, dramatic and breathtaking landscapes, plus a bounty of exceptional birds all make this China birding tour one of the most rewarding birding experiences that Asia has to offer! Our exciting Lhasa Birding & Cultural Extension takes us to Tibet itself, one of the most mythical and least visited places on our planet. Here we have the opportunity of exploring this previously off-limits, ancient city and its surrounds for some very special birds, not to mention sampling the wealth of traditional arts and crafts for which it is world-famous. Avian targets include such specials as Tibetan Eared Pheasant, Giant Babax, Tibetan Partridge, Lord Derby’s Parakeet and Ibisbill.