Sichuan is located in the southwest of China, in the transition zone of the three climatic regions of the mid-subtropical areas, the northern subtropics, and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and is not far from the warm temperate zone and the middle temperate zone to the north. Sichuan is an area where various geographical elements meet. From the Yulin River at an altitude of 150 meters in the east to the Gongga Mountain at an altitude of 7556 meters in the southwest, and spanning 8 latitudes from north to south and 11 longitudes from east to west, Sichuan is a large-scale, composite ecological transition zone in the center and west of China and includes all habitat types except the ocean.
With rich bird resources, Sichuan boasts more than 750 bird species, 41 species of which are Chinese endemic birds and rank first in China.
We will go through several bird-watching resorts in this tour: the high mountain and canyon bird area in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, the high mountain and wetland bird area in Aba Autonomous Prefecture of Tibetan and Qiang Minority, the western China rainy zone bird area and the Tangjiahe-Qinling Nature Reserve.
Among them, Emei Mountain, Wawu Mountain, Longcang Valley and Erlang Shan Mountain area are known as “rainy area of west China” and have become ideal habitats for many birds, especially parrotbill (Paradoxornis). It is the most concentrated place for parrotbill species in China, and most of them are unique in China, such as Grey-hooded Parrotbill (Paradoxornis zappeyi), Three-toed Parrotbill (Paradoxornis paradoxus), Emei Liocichla (Liocichla omeiensis), Golden-fronted Fulvetta (Pseudominla variegaticeps), Sichuan treecreeper (Certhia tianquanensis), Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus). At the same time, it is also a kingdom of azaleas and a great place to watch insects at night.
Wolong - Balang Shan Mountain - Mengbi Shan Mountain is a concentrated and representative area of wild birds of the Qionglai Mountains. There are some very representative birds concentrated here, such as Chinese Monal (Lophophorus lhuysii), Temminck’s Tragopan (Tragopan temminckii), Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus), Tibetan Snowcock (Tetraogallus tibetanus), Szechenyi's Monal-Partridge (Tetraophasis szechenyii), etc. It is a good place to watch Firethroat (Calliope pectardens). However, you can watch raptor like Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier, Gypaetus barbatus) and many birds of Corvidate like Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Yellow-billed Chough (Alpine Chough, Pyrrhocorax graculus). If we have luck, we can see the spectacular event of Grandala (Grandala coelicolor) gathering together. Wood Snipe haunts at the wet grassy slopes of the mountainside of Wolong.
The wetland on Ruoergai Plateau is the most beautiful wetland in China, and is one of the major breeding place for Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) and birds of anatidae on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Besides, it is the paradise for birds of prey that you can often watch, such as Himalayan Vulture (Gyps himalayensis), Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus), Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier, Gypaetus barbatus), Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug), Grey Sea Eagle (White-talied Sea Eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla), Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), etc. If we are lucky, we can watch Pallas’s Fish-eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus). Forest areas are also ideal places for observing birds, flocks of Blue Eared Pheasant (Crossoptilon auritum) and Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) are appearing at the grassland of forest edge, and Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) can be seen almost everywhere. Besides, many others are active in this area, such as Black-hcoled Jay (Sichuan Jay, Sichuan Grey Jay, Perisoreus internigrans), Snowy-cheeked Laughingthrush (Ianthocincla sukatschewi, Garrulax sukatschewi), White-browed Tit Warbler (Leptopoecile sophiae), Great Titi (Parus major), Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus), wolf and fox.
Jiuzhaigou - Huanglong area is also a bird kingdom. Except these birds that are popular with bird watching lovers, such as Chinese Monal, Sichuan wood owl (Pere David's Owl, Strix davidi), Snowy-cheeked Laughingthrush (Ianthocincla sukatschewi, Garrulax sukatschewi), Grey-crowned Crowtit (Paradoxornis przewalskii), Black-hcoled Jay (Sichuan Jay, Sichuan Grey Jay, Perisoreus internigrans) and Sichuan treecreeper (Certhia tianquanensis), the other nightingales are worth paying attention, such as Blackthroat (Black-throated Robin, Luscinia obscura), Rufous-headed Robin (Luscinia ruficeps), etc.
In addition to the rare animal Takin in Tangjiahe, bird-watching enthusiasts took the Grey-crowned Crowtit (Paradoxornis przewalskii) for the first time, which makes Tangjiahe Nature Reserve quickly become one of the focus of bird-watching lovers. It is also a good place for watching Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus), Chinese Monal (Lophophorus lhuysii), Rufous-headed Robin (Luscinia ruficeps), Snowy-cheeked Laughingthrush (Ianthocincla sukatschewi, Garrulax sukatschewi).
During this bird-watching journey, we can not only observe a large number of rare birds, but also enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of the Tibetan area in Sichuan, and experience the Tibetan customs, and view the glorious scene of the world-class forest parks Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong, Siguniang Mountain, Wolong Nature Reserve, Ruoergai wetland, Tangjiahe Nature Reserve, etc.