Guided by Charley Hesse. This was a set departure tour with a slightly different itinerary to the one currently being offered.
Taiwan is the hidden jewel of Asian birding and one of the most under-rated birding destinations in the world. There are currently in impressive 25 endemics (and growing by the year), including some of the most beautiful birds in Asia, like Swinhoe’s & Mikado Pheasants and Taiwan Blue-Magpie. Again we had a clean sweep of Taiwan endemics seeing all species well, and we also found the vast majority of endemic subspecies. Some of these are surely set for species status, giving visiting birders potential ‘arm chair ticks’ for many years to come. We also saw other major targets, like Fairy Pitta, Black-faced Spoonbill and Himalayan Owl. Migrants were a little thin on the ground this year, but we still managed an impressive 189 bird species. We did particularly well on mammals this year, seeing 2 giant flying-squirrels, Formosan Serow, Formosan Rock Macaque and a surprise Chinese Ferret-Badger. We spent some time enjoying the wonderful butterflies and identified 31 species, including the spectacular Magellan Birdwing, Chinese Peacock and Paper Kite. Our trip to the island of Lanyu (Orchid Island) adds a distinct flavour to the trip with its unique culture and scenery. With some particularly delicious food, interesting history and surely some of the most welcoming people in Asia, Taiwan is an unmissable destination.