Taipei - Day 1
Trip Start May 17, 2009
23Trip End Jun 15, 2009
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Up early, as we had to breakfast etc before our guide picked us up at 7am. First birds around the hotel included cattle egrets on the Jack Nicklaus designed greens and more interestingly; Chinese Bulbuls - a lifer for me and [for a bulbul] quite a striking bird. They very soon proved to be the most abundant and ubiquitous bird on Taiwan.
Our Taiwanese guide arrived and introduced himself, 'Sean' or 'Shawn'
First stop was Wulai, a little tourist town south of Taipei city. It is home to hot springs and indigenous people, and the latter dance cunningly outside hotels to entice you and your unsuspecting money in. We would have none it!! Instead enjoying walks through the foggy drizzle searching, occasionally successfully for birds. Highlights? Endemics such as Taiwan Barbet, Taiwan Whistling Thrush and most impressively, the Taiwan Blue Magpie. All up some 33 spp for the day - pretty good when considering the poor weather.
The scenery around Wulai was good - steep mountain sides, clothed in forests, cut by fast flowing rocky streams that ultimately flow into one of Taipei's many rivers. The lunch was a minor banquet including surprisingly good small whole dried fish - spicy and crunchy.
After Wulai we returned briefly to Taipei. We were not seeing Taipei at its best; rainy and foggy. However it's and Asian city and that means crowds, traffic, smog and traffic. It is pretty huge - some 6 million people - and has an amazing system of multi lane freeways, overpasses, underpasses, elevated roadways and bridges everywhere. I'm glad someone else had to do the driving. I was sitting in the front passenger seat occasionally looking for the non existent steering wheel.
Day one ends - 33 spp counted and looking forward to day 2!