• Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Taipei.
    • We arrive in Taipei during the late afternoon and transfer to our hotel for the night. If there’s any daylight left we may get a chance for a quick visit to a city park as an introduction to the wildlife of Taiwan.
    • Accommodation: Taipei, 1-night on bed and breakfast basis.
    • We start the day with a brief visit to the Botanical Gardens in Taipei. One of our main targets is the Malayan night heron as it quietly goes about its business despite the crowds in the gardens.
    • In the afternoon, we drive south to Hualian with stops en route for birding opportunities, hoping to see Styan’s bulbul on the way.
    • We overnight near Taroko National Park and its famous gorges at Leader Village in Bulowan, a simple but comfortable lodge with outstanding birdwatching on its doorstep. Located in indigenous Taroko aborigine land, with beautiful mountain views, we hope to see Taiwan fulvetta, yellow and black-throated tits, grey-chinned minivet and plumbeous redstart among other species.
    • Accommodation: Leader Village in Bulowan, 1-night on full board basis.
    • In the morning we go birdwatching around Bulowan, targeting the striking yellow tit, varied tit, and collared owlet. We now begin to climb to higher altitudes to explore the forests around Aowanda. Today we reach the highest point of the tour as we drive up to Hehuan Shan with an altitude of over 3,000 metres. Hopefully the mountain will not be shrouded with mist so that we can enjoy the spectacular scenery and birds to be found around the summit.
    • Accommodation: Cing Jing, 1-night on full board basis.
    • In the morning, we further explore further the rich diversity around Cing Jing. Birds such as Taiwan hwamei, Taiwan scimitar-babbler, white-eared sibia and Steer’s liocichia along with red-bellied squirrels can be found here.
    • In the afternoon we continue to Huisun Forest Recreation Area. Huisun is the best place to see Malayan night heron, grey treepie and bamboo partridge. It should also provide us with another opportunity to try and see the famous Taiwanese endemic of Swinhoe’s pheasant.
    • Accommodation:Huisun, 1-night on full board basis.
    • Early this morning we will visit Huisun Forest Station to look for any species that we may not have seen yesterday. We also keep a lookout for raptors, including the distinctive crested serpent-eagle, crested goshawk and besra.
    • Later in the day, we continue our journey to the beautiful Alishan National Park. The forests here are home to wonderful wildlife and plenty of endemic bird species. The park is a good area for rufous-capped babblers, plumbeous redstart and raptors including oriental honey buzzard and crested goshawk.
    • Accommodation: Alishan, 2-nights on full board basis.
    • Early morning will be spent exploring the area around our hotel looking for splendid birds such as the endemic flamecrest before visiting other areas of the national park. Today we hope to find birds such as Taiwan barwing, collared bush robin, red-flanked bluetail, Taiwan whistling thrush, Taiwan yuhina and gree-backed tit. The endemic Owston’s long-nosed tree squirrel can also be found in the park.

    • Today we descend to the west coast and visit several wetlands for shorebirds, pheasant-tailed jacana, terns and wintering migrants. This area also holds an important wintering population of black-faced spoonbill. We then continue to our hotel in Douliou, where tonight there may be the opportunity to look for mountain scops owl and other nocturnal creatures. 
    • Accommodation: Douliou, 1-night on full board basis.
    • The area around Douliou has some good lower altitude forest and bamboo thickets which host a good range of species including endemics such as Taiwan scimitar babbler, black neck-laced scimitar babbler, Taiwan partridge, Taiwan barbet and Swinhoe’s pheasant.
    • We then spend three nights in possibly the best area for Taiwan’s endemics. The montane forests of Dasyueshan are rich in birds and the varied altitudes provide different species. Mammals could include Formosan macaque and Formosan striped squirrel.
    • Accommodation: Anmashan/Dasyueshan Recreational Forest, 3-nights on full board basis.
    • The forested valleys of Wulai hold the Formosan magpie and it is a captivating experience when a tiding of these stunning birds are encountered.
    • After a morning exploring Wulai, we head back to Taipei and explore the lowlands for any species we may have missed – as well as winter migrants.
    • Accommodation: Taipei, 1-night on bed and breakfast basis.
    • Our final day begins with a visit to a coastal promontory on Taiwan’s north coast: the Yeliu Geopark, a good place for migrants. It is also a popular tourist destination because of the unusual rock formations.
    • In the afternoon we transfer to Taipei International airport and board our overnight flight to the UK.
  1. Day 14 Arrive UK

All prices are per person and include:

  • Services of the naturalist leader
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Accommodation
  • Most meals
  • Guided activities

Accommodation

Mid-range hotels and guest houses, simple and comfortable, located close to the birding sites. All rooms have an ensuite bathroom.

Meals

Most meals are included. Breakfasts and dinners are generally in the hotels, whereas lunch is usually an informal sit-down meal at a roadside restaurant or a picnic.

Birds

There are 24 endemics in Taiwan, and several of the endemic subspecies are likely to become full species in future years – such is the uniqueness of this island.There is also an array of interesting non-endemic species to see in winter.

  • Swinhoe’s pheasant
  • Taiwan blue magpie
  • Black-faced spoonbill
  • Flamecrest

Scenery

We travel along the eastern coastline and in the lowland forest from Taroko National Park, before climbing to the highest point of the tour – Heshuan Shan, over 3.000 metres high, with a stunning view of the mountain range around. The area is characterized by rolling green hills that often disappear in a sea of clouds.

We also explore the mountainous area of Alishan National Park, and visit Augu wetland on the west coast.

Walking

Most of the walking can be described as easy and an average level of fitness is required. At times in the lowlands and the far south there will be occasional steep steps and paths to negotiate at altitude.

Other excursions

Visit the Botanical Gardens in Taipei.

Ground transport

We travel by train from Taipei to Hualian, a three hour journey long the scenic eastern coast of Taiwan. The train is clean and comfortable and offers a unique way to explore the country.

Otherwise we travel with a private minibus and local driver.

Flights

Price includes return scheduled flights London – Taipei – London.

Altitude

We travel to over 3,000 metres above sea level very briefly. While in the highlands we mostly stay between 1,500 and 2,000 metres.

Climate

November in Taiwan is cool with temperatures in the range of 18-26C. It is cooler in the early morning and evening, but mostly pleasant and sunny with little rain.

  1. November 2017
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