The 700 Party

Last month I passed another milestone in my obsessive birding career: I spotted my 700th species!  This is by no means a huge number in the grand scheme of things, as there are an estimated 10,150 bird species on Earth, but the average birder (who does not travel extensively) may only see around 350-450 species; the average non-birder may only be aware of seeing a fraction of that number.

To celebrate this achievement, I wanted to throw a big party.  The majority of my friends here in Korea are non-birders, but accept my quirky hobby even if they don’t entirely understand it.  The idea was two-fold: 1) do something that would remind all of us of our homes, and 2) maybe get one or two of them hooked with a well chosen “gateway bird” (patent pending).

The site of the aptly named “700 Party” was easy enough to decide.  We booked The Damyang House, a small house near the Gwangjuho Lake Eco-Park in Damyang-gun, owned and operated by expat Sean Walker and his wife Jojo.  Enough great things can’t be said about The Damyang House – it’s a little bit of home in rural Korea.  The house has a yard (unheard of in Korea), with a hammock, fire pit (!), wood-burning stove inside, and a top-notch entertainment system.  Sean and Jojo are a dream to work with, as their flexibility and attention to detail go above and beyond what you’d expect for a B&B.  Whether you’re thinking of visiting Damyang and want something more than a “love motel,” or you want that perfect venue for your upcoming event, I highly recommend checking out The Damyang House on AirBNB.

The Damyang House
© Sean Walker

The party started with some birding around Chunghyo-dong and the Gwangjuho Lake Eco-Park.  The place was pretty crowded in the afternoon, but we still had a good time, saw some good birds, and also attracted a small crowd of Koreans to see what the group of foreigners were so fascinated by in the trees.

Birding at the Gwangjuho Lake Eco-Park

Our craning necks and binoculars started to attract attention from the locals.  Here we are observing a pygmy woodpecker, and sharing the moment with some surprisingly excited Koreans, who probably never noticed these small birds before.
© Amanda Serrano

And here is the bird that caused all the fuss:  Pygmy Woodpecker (Dendrocopos kizuki nippon)

Wandering through rice paddies in Chunghyo-dong

As daylight waned, we returned to The Damyang House and started up the barbeque.  I can’t tell you how nice it was to cook on an actual Weber with real charcoal and everything!  Once night fell, we transferred the coals to the fire pit and had ourselves a campfire…marshmallows and all!

Good food, better company…

Two Binch cookies and a roasted marshmallow make for a half decent Korean smore
© Lianne Bronzo

Thanks to our friends for coming out to “the middle of nowhere” to celebrate this geek-tastic occasion, and especially to The Damyang House for providing the perfect venue.

The 7 Hundreds

The 7 Hundreds

The Fortress and the Unexpected Year Bird

The end of summer in Korea is a spectacular time of year.  Korean summer consists of inescapable humidity and crippling heat.  Everyday.  For nearly four months.

Once summer ends, though, things take on a whole new appearance.  It rarely rains throughout September, with every day being a perfectly clear sky and comfortably warm temperatures.  October is much of the same, though the leaves start to change color and fall away, and the temperature dips ever so slowly at night.  And as hard as you try to ignore it, the sun creeps behind the horizon a little earlier each day.

So it was on a perfect October morning that Melanie and I set out to Geumseongsanseong (금성산성), an ancient fortress ruin in the mountains around Damyang-gun, just north of Gwangju.  We’ve hiked this steep climb many times, but had never actually gone all the way around the fortress wall.  This wall encloses a small valley, and protects an old hermitage at its center.  Like the Great Wall in China, the battlements follow the lay of the land, resulting in a lot of sharp ups and downs along the path.

One of the gates at Geumseongsanseong

Looking out over Damyang-gun

This hardy tree clings to life on a solid boulder along the wall of Geumseongsanseong

The view from the northern wall of Geumseongsanseong

In addition to the amazing scenery (especially on a clear autumn day), I’ve found many interesting bird species in this area that I rarely encounter elsewhere.  See an earlier post about Geumseongsanseong, when I observed alpine accentors and a golden eagle, two species that I have yet to see anywhere else in Korea to date.

It took Melanie and I almost six hours to hike the entire perimeter, keeping in mind we were going at a leisurely pace.  Hiking with me usually consists of a lot of stopping and starting, as every song or call I hear requires identification.  If I can’t ID it just on sound alone, I have to stop and look for the source, because chances are if I can’t ID a sound, it’s because I’ve never encountered it before (and therefore, LIFER!)  Melanie has an abundant supply of patience…

We were finishing up our hike as the sun descended towards the horizon.  Then, a flutter of movement as something flushed from right along the trail at Melanie’s feet and bee-lined it for the tree branches above.  My mind goes through the motions: medium-sized ground bird, large body, powerful direct flight.  Strong wing beats that produce some noise.  Overall brown color, cryptic patterning, short tail.  (Oddly enough, this is practically word-for-word what went through my mind as I watched the whole event, which lasted no more than 5 seconds.)

I put all of that information together, instantly ruling out 99% of my Field Guide to the Birds of Korea.  Only two candidates remain, and I can rule out common pheasant easily because of the short tail observation.  Which leaves only one option left: hazel grouse!

Hazel grouse are small gallinaceous birds, part of the order that includes turkeys, chickens, and other game birds.  They closely resemble the ruffed grouse of North America.  However, they are scarcely seen, due mainly to their naturally shy nature and cryptic camouflage.  I have only encountered hazel grouse before on two separate occasions, both of which were over a year earlier.  Melanie, on the other hand, had never seen one before.

Male Hazel Grouse (Tetrastes bonasia amurensis)

For all the fuss it made flushing from the side of the trail, we had to peer through the branches to actually see the grouse.  Finally, I located it hiding behind a low-hanging branch.  The grouse looked down at us, and remained relatively motionless.  Then it began to vocalize in a high-pitched whistle; the sound was very uncharacteristic of most gallinaceous birds I’ve encountered before, and had I only heard it calling and not actually have seen it, I would never have guessed a grouse was making this call.

A pair of hikers passed us by soon after, and the grouse decided to fly off to another tree.  Generally grouse are not strong flyers, and make short direct evasion flights when flushed or startled.  This time the grouse only flew about 10 meters away, and landed in an exposed tree where it was in plain sight!  I cautiously approached, and was treated to a one-on-one photo session with a truly accommodating bird.  It wasn’t until a nosy Eurasian jay appeared that the grouse began to move further into the surrounding forest.

Hazel Grouse closely resemble Ruffed Grouse in every way but the facial patterning

And with that, we continued on down the mountainside, enjoying a beautiful sunset after an incredible hike.  Although the day was not particularly birdy, encountering a hazel grouse and having such good views made for a very memorable experience.

Birding Gageo-do

I’ve been fortunate enough to have done some birding on islands, namely Amherst Island in Canada, on Kinmen Island and mainland Taiwan, and on some of the small islands off the coast of Korea, namely Eocheong-do (오청도) and Heuksan-do (흑산도).  Large islands can often offer the adventurous birder endemic species, found nowhere else on Earth.  Smaller island, on the other hand, are havens for birds during migration, and one never knows what will show up.

Unlike the other islands I’ve birded in Korea, Gageo-do (가거도) is about as isolated as a Korean island can get.  It’s out in the middle of the Yellow Sea, about 140 kilometers from the nearest mainland port, and has a very small population compared to its size.  The island itself is quite rugged, characterized by high, forest-covered mountains in the interior, surrounded by rocky cliffs around the coast.  It’s not an easy terrain to navigate on foot, and the trails that do exist are not maintained and barely deserve the name.  As compared to Eocheong-do, with its well-kept hiking trails and convenient paved roads, Gageo-do is challenging…but it makes it that much more rewarding.

Island birding in Korea means pelagic birding, as the islands are only accessible by ferry.  Depending on the destination, this rare opportunity to observed the ocean’s unsung avian wonders can be thrilling or a complete miss.  The ferry to Gageo-do takes between 4 and 5 hours to reach the island, making a few stops at other islands along the way.  However, unlike the ferry to Eocheong-do, passengers are not permitted to go outside of the cabin throughout the trip, so all birding must be done looking through the window.

The rocky shores of Gageo-do

The rocky shores of Gageo-do

Nevertheless, the sea was surprisingly calm and the skies were clear.  At about the one hour mark, we came onto several groups of red-necked phalaropes out in the ocean.  These shorebirds spend the breeding season on land in the northern latitudes, but retreat to the open ocean for the winter.  It wasn’t until we were nearing Gageo-do that I began to see my first pelagic species.  Gageo-do has a breeding colony of Swinhoe’s storm petrels, which nest on the surrounding islets.  There were dozens of groups of threes and fours, flying quickly from the path of our ferry.  Hidden among these small birds were three unusual specimens.  Swinhoe’s storm petrels are bat-like in appearance, and have dark plumage all over their bodies.  So imagine my surprise when I picked out three birds showing bright white rump patches as they evaded the ferry.  Reviewing my copy of Onley & Scofield’s Albatrosses, Petrels & Shearwaters of the World, I narrowed it down to either Leach’s storm petrel or (more likely) band-rumped storm petrel.  Reviewing my observations, I decided on Band-rumped, as the birds I observed did not have the forked tail common in Leach’s.  I doubt this is the first recorded sighting of this species in Korean waters, but it is nonetheless an exceedingly rare occurrence.  Both A Field Guide to the Birds of Korea and the Birds Korea Checklist for the Republic of Korea only list Swinhoe’s storm petrel as occurring in Korean waters; even the checklists on Avibase fail to mention any other storm petrel species.  If only I had been able to get a photo for confirmation…

When we finally arrived at the island, my first encounters were with the resident species.  Blue rock thrushes were plentiful, and the prevalence of first-year birds indicate there was a successful breeding season on the island.  The marina held dozens of grey herons and smaller numbers of great egret and little egret.  The village of Gageodo-ri was patrolled by a pair of common kestrels, which would put in an appearance everyday of my trip.  Elsewhere around the village were numerous light-vented bulbuls; these rare breeders actually outnumbered the brown-eared bulbuls which are far more common on the mainland.  And flitting about the harbors were numerous wagtails, including grey, white, and eastern yellow wagtails.

Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius philippensis)

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea cinerea)

Looking out over Gageodo-ri

But it was the migrants that I was interested in.  There isn’t much in the way of shorebird habitat at Gageo-do.  The beaches that are there are rocky and the sand is replaced by smooth pebbles.  However, a few migrant shorebirds were around, including singles of Pacific golden plover, red-necked stint, long-toed stint, and several wood sandpipers that could be found on the grassy common area at the center of Gageodo-ri.  Cryptic Latham’s snipes were flushed from their hiding places in the tall sedges around Gageodo-ri and Hangri-maeul.

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

I was hoping for some migrant warblers and flycatchers, which should be moving through in good numbers.  The few trails that I had located around Gageodo-ri were too overgrown to bird effectively – I spent more time avoiding thorns and watching my footing than watching the birds around me.  Luckily, there are two roads that traverse the island, connecting the main village of Gageodo-ri to the small hamlets of Hangri-maeul and Sam-gu.  Most of the migrant passerines could be found along these roads, where the edges of mountain forests met the rocky coastline.

This road (1 of 2 on the entire island) connects Gageodo-ri and Hangri-maeul

Grey-streaked Flycatcher (Muscicapa griseisticta)

The most common bird along these roads, besides the blue rock-thrushes, were grey-streaked flycatchers.  I am not sure whether this species breeds on the island; I usually found them in groups of three or more, flitting along the roads and into the air as they hawked insects and dragonflies.  Migrant warblers could also be found along the roadsides.  I didn’t find many warblers in large numbers, but there was definitely a good variety of species.  Dusky warblers were probably the most numerous; although I rarely actually saw them, their distinctive chip note could be heard frequently along the road.  Eastern crowned leaf warblers and yellow-browed warblers were present in smaller numbers, and I had a brief glimpse of a brightly colored Pallas’s leaf warbler.  However, the best Old World warbler (and the best bird of the entire trip!) was Middendorff’s grasshopper warbler, a drab brownish warbler that I located twice near the village of Gageodo-ri.

Although it isn’t much to look at, the Middendorff’s was officially my 700th species!

Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella ochotensis)
This is Life Bird #700!

Eastern Crowned Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus coronatus)

Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)

The most numerous bird of all, however, was the Japanese white-eye.  These small greenish birds were literally dripping off the leaves.  I would often have to sift through large flocks of white-eyes just to spot that one non-white-eye.

Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus simplex)

There were so many white-eyes that the tree branches simply ran out of room for them all…

The island also hosted a few predators as well.  In addition to the pair of kestrels that patrolled the skies above the main village, at least two peregrine falcons were also making use of the thermals over the mountainous interior.  Shrikes were also fairly common on the island, with three species present.  Brown shrikes are often found on the islands offshore around Korea; I found one on Eocheong-do during the spring migration.  On Gageo-do there were two brown shrikes, each on a different side of the island.  A single juvenile bull-headed shrike indicated that there was likely a breeding pair of adults somewhere on the island, even though they remained unseen during my stay.  The big surprise was not one but two long-tailed shrikes, again on either side of the island.  These shrikes are quite common in China and Taiwan, but almost entirely absent from Korea.  Occasional records do crop up on some of the islands, but overall it is quite a rare bird for the country.

Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus cristatus)

Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach schach)

The four days on Gageo-do were a great way to kick off the fall migration.  There was a good variety of resident and migrant species, and I was treated to some rarer species that I can’t find on the mainland.  In total I saw just over 50 species, and picked up 4 life birds, including #700!

Eight Years

Yesterday marked eight years since I said goodbye to my bachelor ways and made the big plunge into married life.  Add another six years onto that, which covers the long process of courtship we call “dating.”  All told, I’ve been with my significant other for nearly half of my life.

And the cake was never the same again ...August 26, 2006

And the cake was never the same again …
August 26, 2006

That’s…well, incredible?  Amazing?  Inspirational?

It’s all of those things, and more.  Eight years ago I took my best friend and made her my wife.  Eight years ago, I gained a companion who would stand by me through everything Life had in store for me.  And for eight years, it’s been an unforgettable ride.

My first great love introduced me to my second great (though to a lesser extent) love.  It was one of those moments that seemed so insignificant, but which ended up changing everything.  Yes, it was my wife who introduced me to birding, and she didn’t even know she was doing it.

In fact, truth be told, she was the one who got me into listing.  I was opposed to it at first.  And I remember it very clearly: “But how will you know if you’ve seen it before if you don’t write it down?”  Words that will forever haunt her…

Eight years it too long of a time to wrap up into a single post.  Too many moments, too many people and places, and not everything is appropriate for public viewing.  But let it be said that, because of all of the good, and despite all of the bad, the past eight years have been far better than a bum like me deserves.

So this one’s for you, Mel.

Ta Prohm, Cambodia
February 17, 2014

Saving the Coucal

To me, one of the most positive qualities of human beings is our ability to show compassion to other species.  Altruism within a species is fairly common (for a variety of reasons), and while seeing a young teenager help an old woman carry groceries to her house may give me that Hallmark feeling, it isn’t really that unusual.  But far fewer organisms show this same altruism to members of a different species.  Humans are unique in that regard – only a handful of species (some primates, dolphins, dogs, etc.) exhibit this behavior, so it could be said that it is one of the things that separates humans from the other animals.  On a personal note, I really dislike that statement, since it implies that humanity is somehow above or better than other organisms, and I feel that most of the world’s environmental problems would be solved if we realized that we are NOT above or better than the world around us.  But that’s not the point of today’s post, so let’s move on.

I’ve worked with birds in a variety of ways.  While I list them and photograph them in my spare time, I’ve actually worked with birds one-on-one, through a variety of research projects involving point-counts, mist-netting, and nest searching.  I’ve been trained on the proper way to handle birds of all species, how to go about searching for and monitoring nests with a minimum of interference, and how to recognize stress behaviors in birds.  Therefore, I’ll begin this post with the old adage don’t try this at home, I am a professional.

Melanie and I were biking along the northern shore of Kinmen.  As we turned a corner, I noticed a small dark shape sitting on the road.  Traffic in Kinmen is not what you would call “busy,” but nonetheless there are tour buses and construction vehicles that are very large and move very quickly.  Needless to say, the road is not the kind of place where one takes a nap.

It's rarely a good sign when a bird is resting on the road ...

It’s rarely a good sign when a bird is resting on the road …

I quickly identified it as a juvenile greater coucal, and my initial impression was that it had been hit by a car.  We’ve all seen enough roadkill in our lives to know the end result of vehicle vs. Nature.  I was expecting to find a mangled wing, and the realization of what would have to be done next started to gnaw at my insides.

To my (very relieved) surprise, when I approached the bird I did not find any obvious sign of injury.  It turned its head to look at me, but did not attempt to escape.  Not the best of signs, but not the worst, either.  It appeared to me that the bird was either disoriented or exhausted, as evidenced by its open mouth and slight panting.  If nothing else, I decided to move the bird to a more shaded area, where it could cool down instead of baking in the blazing sun on sizzling asphalt.

Coucals are medium-sized ground cuckoos.  They have strong legs and talons, although they are not as sharp or long as a hawk’s.  Still, care needed to be taken when handling the bird; even an accidental scratch by a sharp claw is enough to break the skin and cause a serious injury.  Fortunately for me, the coucal made no fuss, and allowed itself to be picked up and moved off the road.

CAM00989

Once we were off the road, I gave the bird a quick look-over.  I gently stretched each wing, to ensure that there were no broken bones.  The coucal did not show any sign that this caused any pain or discomfort.  All of the feathers looked in good order, there was no blood or other sign of injury, and the wings could be moved easily.  The coucal also kept a firm grip on my hands.

With no indication of injury, I placed the bird into a small opening in the vegetation.  The spot was well shaded by the trees, and provided some cover so the coucal would not be obvious to any predators.  I also used my water bottle to give the bird some quick drinks of water, which it lapped up readily.  After about 10 minutes or so, the bird closed its mouth and began looking around again.  It seemed much more alert, and when a large dump truck cruised by where we were standing, it jumped into the bushes and disappeared.

My educated guess is that the bird, being a first-year juvenile, may have overexerted itself in the hot weather, and suffered sun stroke.  Having nowhere else to go, it landed on the only open place it could find, which happened to be the middle of a road.  It’s not worth thinking about what would have happened had Melanie and I not come by when we did.

As I have already mentioned, I am trained in the proper handling of birds.  I do not recommend handling any wildlife that you may come across, both for their safety and for your own.  If you come onto an injured animal, contact a local wildlife management agency, a wild animal care center, or your local police station.  The point is, do something.  Making a quick phone call to save an animal’s life is hardly a difficult thing to do.

Before disappearing into the brush, the greater coucal allows me to take a quick portrait.

Before disappearing into the brush, the greater coucal allows me to take a quick portrait.

Best wishes to my new friend, the greater coucal, and here’s hoping you lead a long and healthy life.  Stay away from those roads!

China / Taiwan Tally Sheet

Here is a complete list of all the birds seen throughout our trip to China and Taiwan.  Where available, I have included a link to photos of each species.  There are 89 species listed.

SPECIES LATIN BINOMIAL LOCATION
     
Waterfowl – Anatidae    
Eastern Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha Taiwan
     
Grouse – Phasianidae    
Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus China, Taiwan
     
Grebes – Podicipedidae    
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis China, Taiwan
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus Taiwan
     
Herons & Bitterns – Ardeidae    
Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis Taiwan
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea China, Taiwan
Great Egret Ardea alba China, Taiwan
Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia China
Little Egret Egretta garzetta China, Taiwan
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Taiwan
Chinese Pond-heron Ardeola bacchus Taiwan
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax Taiwan
     
Ospreys – Pandionidae    
Osprey Pandion haliaetus Taiwan
     
Hawks – Accipitridae    
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus Taiwan
     
Rails – Rallidae    
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus Taiwan
Eurasian Moorhen Gallinula chloropus Taiwan
     
Oystercatchers – Haematopodididae    
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus Taiwan
     
Plovers – Charadriidae    
Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola Taiwan
Greater Sand-plover Charadrius leschenaultii Taiwan
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus Taiwan
     
Sandpipers – Scolopacidae    
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos Taiwan
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus Taiwan
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus Taiwan
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia Taiwan
Common Redshank Tringa totanus Taiwan
Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis Taiwan
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata Taiwan
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres Taiwan
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata Taiwan
     
Gulls & Terns – Laridae    
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida Taiwan
Royal Tern Sterna dougallii Taiwan
     
Doves – Columbidae    
Rock Pigeon Columba livia China, Taiwan
Oriental Turtle-dove Streptopelia orientalis China
Red Collared-dove Streptopelia tranquebarica Taiwan
Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis China, Taiwan
     
Cuckoos – Cuculidae    
Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus Taiwan
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis Taiwan
     
Swifts – Apodidae    
Pacific Swift Apus pacificus Taiwan
     
Kingfishers – Alcedinidae    
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis Taiwan
White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis Taiwan
     
Bee-eaters – Meropidae    
Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus Taiwan
     
Hoopoes – Upupidae    
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops Taiwan
     
Woodpeckers – Picidae    
Grey-capped Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus China
     
Shrikes – Laniidae    
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus China
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach China, Taiwan
     
Drongos – Dicruridae    
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus China, Taiwan
     
Crows & Jays – Corvidae    
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus China
Red-billed Blue-magpie Urocissa erythrorhyncha China
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica China, Taiwan
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos China
Collared Crow Corvus torquatus Taiwan
     
Swallows – Hirundinidae    
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica China, Taiwan
Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica Taiwan
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica China
     
Tits – Paridae    
Marsh Tit Poecile palustris China
Coal Tit Periparus ater China
Japanese Tit Parus minor China
     
Long-tailed Tits – Aegithalidae    
Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus Taiwan
     
Bulbuls – Pycnonotidae    
Collared Finchbill Spizixos semitorques China
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis China, Taiwan
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus Taiwan
Chestnut Bulbul Hemixos castanonotus China, Taiwan
     
Bush-warblers – Cettidae    
Brownish-flanked Bush-warbler Horornis fortipes China
Yellowish-bellied Bush-warbler Horornis acanthizoides China
     
Cisticolas – Cisticolidae    
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius China
Hill Prinia Prinia superciliaris Taiwan
     
Parrotbills – Paradoxornithidae    
Beijing Babbler Rhopophilus pekinensis China
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana China
     
White-eyes – Zosteropidae    
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus China, Taiwan
     
Old World Babblers – Timaliidae    
Rufous-capped Babbler Cyanoderma ruficeps China
Streak-breasted Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis China
     
Laughingthrushes – Leiotrichidae    
Chinese Hwamei Garrulax canorus China
Père David’s Laughingthrush Ianthocincla davidi China
Chinese Babax Ianthocincla lanceolata China
Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea China
     
Old World Flycatchers – Muscicapidae    
Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica China
Oriental Magpie-robin Copsychus saularis China, Taiwan
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana China
Blue Rock-thrush Monticola solitaria China
     
Thrushes – Turdidae    
Orange-headed Thrush Geokichla citrina China
     
Starlings – Sturnidae    
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus Taiwan
Javan Myna Acridotheres javanicus Taiwan
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis China
Black-collared Starling Gracupica nigricollis Taiwan
Daurian Starling Sturnia sturnina China
     
Finches – Fringillidae    
Oriental Greenfinch Chloris sinica China
     
Old World Sparrows – Passeridae    
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus China, Taiwan
     
Estrildid-finches – Estrildidae    
White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata China