Taiwan not only harbours some of Asia’s most wonderful avifauna, but a host of other highlights that make it the perfect destination for a comfortable and relaxing birding tour. With 25 currently recognised endemics and many endemic subspecies, 9 of which will almost certainly be split in the next few years and elevated to full endemic species status, not to mention the incredible East-Asian Flyway, Taiwan has much to offer both the serious and casual birder alike. Located 100 km east of China, just south of Japan and Korea, and slightly north of the Philippines, this small island is less than 400 km long and 150 km wide with rugged central mountains interspersed with deep valleys, and boasts a high biodiversity in a very manageable package.
Our Taiwan - Spring Birding tour is a comprehensive tour of Taiwan that focuses on the endemics and other East Asian specialities in the nation’s largely pristine and well protected forests. Highlights include legendary species such as the magnificent Swinhoe’s and Mikado Pheasants, Taiwan Partridge, the spectacular Taiwan Blue Magpie, Chestnut-bellied and Yellow Tits, Black-necklaced Scimitar Babbler, Flamecrest, Collared Bush Robin, Taiwan Whistling Thrush, Malayan Night Heron, Chinese Egret, Black-faced Spoonbill, the exquisite Fairy Pitta, Japanese Paradise Flycatcher and Ryukyu (Lanyu) Scops Owl to mention just a few! Most of our time will be spent in the mountains, but we will allow some time in the lowlands and along the coast in order to search for wetland and coastal species: Lanyu (Orchid) Island in particular harbours several very interesting birds, including various endemic sub-species and other specialities that are otherwise very difficult to see anywhere else.
When circumstances allow, we will also make time for exploring and enjoying the numerous other aspects of Taiwan’s natural biodiversity, the fascinating human culture and, of course, for chasing any reported notable vagrants! In addition, the Taiwanese are a super-friendly and welcoming people who have blended the best parts of unspoiled, traditional Chinese culture with the influence of colonial Japan and the native Austronesian culture. Taiwan is free and democratic, has good infrastructure and is extremely safe for tourists, all of which should ensure a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding birding adventure!
Fairy Pitta, Taiwan Blue (Formosan) Magpie, Swinhoe’s & Mikado Pheasant, Taiwan Partridge, Taiwan Bamboo Partridge, Mandarin Duck, Black-faced Spoonbill, Chinese Egret, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Asian Dowitcher, Grey-tailed Tattler, Taiwan (Formosan) Whistling Thrush, Ashy Wood Pigeon, Whistling & White-bellied Green Pigeon, Philippine Cuckoo-Dove, Ryukyu & Mountain Scops Owl, Crested Myna, Maroon Oriole, Collared Finchbill, Taiwan Barbet, Taiwan Hwamei, Taiwan & Black-necklaced Scimitar Babbler, Rusty Laughingthrush, Japanese Robin, Siberian Rubythroat, Vivid Niltava, Steere’s (Taiwan) Liocichla, Taiwan Yuhina, White-browed & Collared Bush Robin, Taiwan, Brown-flanked & Yellow-bellied Bush Warbler, Lowland White-eye, Styan’s (Taiwan) & Brown-eared Bulbul, Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, Golden Parrotbill, Taiwan Barwing, Yellow Tit, Taiwan & Dusky Fulvetta, Grey-headed Bullfinch, Taiwan Rosefinch, Flamecrest, Chinese & Japanese Grosbeak Top Mammals
Taiwanese Macaque, Red-bellied Squirrel, Formosan Striped Squirrel, Giant & White-faced Flying Squirrel, Taiwan Serow Habitats Covered
subtropical lowland forest, coniferous temperate forest, mountains, rivers, marshes, lakes, coastline, islands Expected Climate
comfortably warm in lowlands, cool/cold in the highest areas Max Group Size
6 with 1 Rockjumper leader Tour Pace & Walking
moderate pace with easy walking Accommodation
basic but comfortable Ease of Birding
mostly unchallenging with some tricky species Other Attractions
excellent food, fantastic scenery, great people and cultural attractions, varied habitats, wide array of flora and butterflies, good infrastructure, comfortable, safe and clean Photographic Opportunities
Once again, Rich Lindie did a wonderful job showing us birds. His skills are really outstanding and added substantially to the trip. The local guide, Richard Foster, was also quite exceptional. He knew his birds, was very enthusiastic about showing them to everyone, and understood just how much cultural and social information to give us. He also supplied wonderful snacks and picnic meals, doing away with the necessity to put up with dull hotel packed breakfasts. A lovely trip, very enjoyable on all counts.
I'm just updating my life list, and Eric's detailed report was invaluable in ensuring its accuracy. I want to thank both Eric and our local leader for a fabulous experience. Their knowledge and consistently good natured personalities were much appreciated. I truly believe that Eric was born to be a birding trip leader. Loved the trip, loved the birds, loved the country. What else is there to say!
Rich Lindie is an excellent bird guide who tried hard for the birds.