Sunday, 27 July 2008

Birding in the Huben-Hushan Area

Under Construction !

Map showing location of Yunlin County. Huben is located in Yunlin County in Central-West Taiwan.

Map showing Linnei Township in Yunlin County. Huben Village is located in Linnei Township.

A typical Huben-Hushan stream - Photo: M.Wilkie

The Huben-Hushan area is a recognized Important Bird Area (IBA). Huben(TW017) is listed as an IBA on Birdlife International’s IBA list as an A1 criteria IBA.

Fairy Pitta - Photo: M.Wilkie

The Huben-Hushan area is thought to be the most important breeding area for the migratory Fairy Pitta Pitta nympha globally. The global population of this vulnerable IUCN Red-listed species may be as low as 3000 birds [Less than 10 000. Probably totals around 5000], and each summer (mid April-September) between 100-140 pairs breed in the area. The Pitta are best viewed from the last week in April through to mid June. Sighting Pitta after the end of June is very difficult as they become very quiet and secretive after breeding. The area has some good low altitude forest and bamboo thickets, thus, many of Taiwan's other low altitude forest birds can be seen in Huben, too.

Species common in the area are Taiwan Fulvetta [formerly Grey-cheeked Fulvetta]; Dusky Fulvetta; Common Kingfisher; Oriental Cuckoo (summer); Spotted Dove; Red Collared Dove; Barred Buttonquail; Arctic Warbler (winter); Rufous-faced Warbler; Rufous-capped Babbler; White-bellied Yuhina; Plain Prinia; Japanese White-eye; Grey Treepie; Black Drongo; Bronzed Drongo; Black-naped Blue Monarch; Taiwan Scimitar Babbler [formerly Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler]; Black-necklaced Scimitar Babbler [formerly Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler]; Light-vented Bulbul; Black Bulbul; Collared Finchbill; Taiwan Barbet [formerly Black-browed Barbet]; Grey-chinned Minivet; Striated Swallow; Pacific Swallow; Brown Shrike (winter); Malayan Night Heron; Crested Serpent Eagle; Crested Goshawk; Besra; Emerald Dove; Chinese Bamboo Partridge; Grey-headed Pygmy Woodpecker; Scaly-breasted Munia; White-rumped Munia; Mountain Scops Owl.

Malayan Night Heron - Photo: M.Wilkie

Ten Taiwan endemics have been recorded in the area: Taiwan Partridge [resident]; Taiwan Whistling Thrush [resident]; Swinhoe's Pheasant [resident]; Taiwan Blue Magpie [vagrant]; White-eared Sibia [rare winter]; Steere's Liocichla [rare winter]; Taiwan Barbet [resident]; Taiwan Fulvetta [resident]; Taiwan Scimitar Babbler [resident]; and Black-necklaced Scimitar Babbler [resident]. Striated Prinia and Maroon Oriole [rare] are also residents.

Huben - Photo: M.Wilkie

Huben Village is in Linnei Township, Yunlin County, Southern West-Central Taiwan. The village is about 10KM north-east of the town of Douliou (Pinyin spelling)/Touliu (Wade Giles spelling). Douliou, the county capital, is just off the No.3 National Highway, and can be reached by train or bus. The village of Huben is about 10km from the Douliou CBD. It's possible to take a taxi from Douliou or Linnei to Huben. A good place to bird is the area behind the Tian-sheng Gong Temple. There is a small track on the right of the temple grounds (it is a continuation of the road leading into the temple), and that's where to go. A quiet walk along this track that leads up into the hills should offer encounters with most of the common birds in the area.

A Huben Street - Photo: M.Wilkie

Accommodation in Huben is limited with just the Fairy Pitta Café offering very basic accommodation in the village. A bed is about NT$350 per night. The telephone number is +886(0)5 5890375, but you'll need to speak Mandarin for them to understand you. Some local English-speaking help is available through Central Taiwan Birder or Birdingpal. Another option is to book into a hotel in Douliou and commute between Douliou and Huben [about 10km]. A google search of "Douliou Hotels" will produce several options and you can take your pick.

Fairy Pitta Cafe - Photo: M.Wilkie

Also see:
Birding in Taiwan and Yunlin County
Huben Bird Stories
Threatened Birds of the Huben-Hushan area
Huben-Hushan Bird List
Hushan Mammal List
Hushan Frog List
Hushan Reptile List
Endemic Species & Subspecies of Hushan: Mammals, Reptiles & Amphibians
Fairy Pitta Gallery
Fairy Pitta Video
Recently Published Papers on the Fairy Pitta

Back to Birding Locations.

Yunlin County location map copyright free from Wikimedia Commons.
Linnei Township location map copyright free from Wikimedia Commons.

No comments: