Sichuan: Mammals & Birds

Red Pandas, Pallas' Cats and much more

At a Glance

FOCUS:

Mammals and birds

WHERE:

Sichuan, China

SAMPLE WILDLIFE:

Tibetan Macaque, Golden Snub-nosed Monkey, ‘Tibetan’ Wolf, Red Panda, Asiatic Badger, Chinese Mountain Cat and Pallas' Cat.

Dates and Prices:

Dates: October 2022

Leader: Nigel Goodgame (TBC)

Prices: TBC


Travel to China is currently not advised by the UK government as the country is on the "amber list". Hopefully this will be possible in 2022 without too many restrictions and until there is greater clarity we do not recommend making bookings.

  • Pallas's Cat, Sichuan
  • Tibetan Wolf, Sichuan
  • Tibetan Wolf, Sichuan
  • Robin Accentor, Sichuan
  • Red Panda, Sichuan
  • Takin, Sichuan
  • Himalayan Griffon Vulture, Sichuan
  • Black-lipped Pika, Sichuan
  • Tibetan Macaque, Sichuan
  • Black-necked Cranes, Sichuan
  • Hog Badger, Sichuan

Tour overview

We are delighted to announce plans for another small group (6 participants) tour to Sichuan to look for some of the special mammals and birds in this part of China. After several previously and highly successful WildWings trips, we intend to return again in late 2022 with the emphasis being to find some of China’s most enigmatic mammals, hopefully including Red Panda, Pallas’s and Chinese Desert Cat, Asiatic, Hog and Chinese Ferret Badgers, Tibetan Fox, Wolf, Golden Takin and Chinese Serow.

We hope to see in excess of 20 rarely encountered mammals on this tour and have previously been highly successful at finding these.

Whilst birding at this time of year can be fairly slow, nevertheless, we should see in excess of 150 species including sought-after birds such as Blood Pheasant, Lady Amherst’s Pheasant, Black-necked Crane, Tawny Fish Owl and Guldenstadt’s (White-throated) Redstart.

It is important to appreciate, however, that this is primarily a mammal tour and that we will not be spending a lot of time trying to track down ‘little brown jobs’, although we will try to accommodate the wishes of birders as far as possible.

Our trip will include both day and night-time outings, much of which will be from the comfort of 4x4 vehicles.

Key locations

  • Labahe - Our first location will be an upland forest reserve about four hours to the south-west of Chengdu where we will look for Red Pandas at around 2,500 metres above sea level.  Our preferred reserve is Labahe, where we have had excellent multiple sightings of Red Pandas on previous tours and we will endeavour to arrive here by early evening on our first day in Sichuan.  It is also a good site for birds including several species of pheasant. An alternative option is another reserve where Red Pandas are regularly encountered in fruiting trees at this time of year.
  • Rouergai lies on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau at around 3,300 metres and has become the place to see Pallas’s and Chinese Mountain Cats and Asiatic Badgers. The area is also superb for Tibetan Fox and we hope to see double figures of this charismatic species on several days.  By visiting the area in late autumn, we also anticipate seeing good numbers of Tibetan (Himalayan) Wolf and Tibetan Gazelle, along with Plateau (Black-lipped) Pika and Woolly Hare and, if they have not already started hibernating, Himalayan Marmots.We can also expect Black-necked Crane and Guldenstadt’s Redstart in this area along with large numbers of birds of prey which feed on the abundant pikas and sometimes offer great photographic opportunities.  At nearby Baixi we will visit an area of upland forest to look for Chinese (White-maned) Serow, Siberian Roe Deer, Tufted Deer, Sika Deer and Gansu Pika.  We also hope to see the spectacular Blue Eared-Pheasant and genuinely wild Common Pheasants, along with other good birds such as Guldenstadt’s (White-throated) Redstart, Giant Laughingthrush and Robin Accentor.
  • Our third site will be Tangjiahe which is at approximately 1,400 metres above sea level. Here we will look for Hog and Chinese Ferret Badgers, Masked Palm Civet and a wide variety of ungulates including (Golden) Takin, Chinese (White-maned) Serow, Chinese Goral, Tufted Deer, Reeve’s Muntjac and Wild Boar.  Primates are represented by Tibetan and Rhesus Macaques and, if we are lucky, Golden Snub-nosed Monkey.  Other less-likely possibilities include Northern Leopard Cat, Asiatic Black Bear and Forest Musk Deer along with two species of squirrel.  Likely birds include Golden Pheasant and hopefully Tawny Fish Owl.


NB: It is important to appreciate that access to reserves and other areas in China is constantly changing, eg as evidenced by the fact that wild Giant Pandas in Foping were only accessible for about four years before the reserve was closed again to foreigners. We believe, however, that Labahe, Rouergai and Tangjiahe currently offer some of the best mammal-watching in the Eastern Palearctic and should not be missed.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Depart UK.

Day 2: Arrive Chengdu.  Transfer to Labahe or our alternative Red Panda site.

Days 3-4:  Explore Labahe. 

Day 5: Transfer to Chengdu.  Overnight in Chengdu or nearby. 

Day 6: Transfer to Rouergai.

Days 7-10: Explore Rouergai.

Day 11: Transfer to Tangjiahe. 

Days 12-13: Exploring Tangjiahe.

Days 14: Transfer to Chengdu.

Day 15: Depart in early hours for UK


Please note: All itineraries are subject to weather, local conditions and final approval from the relevant authorities.



Potential Mammals (selected species only)

Tibetan Macaque, Golden Snub-nosed Monkey, ‘Tibetan’ Wolf, Red Fox, Tibetan Fox, Red Panda, Siberian Weasel, Mountain Weasel, Steppe Polecat, Asiatic Badger, Hog Badger, Chinese Ferret Badger, Masked (Himalayan) Palm Civet, Northern Leopard Cat, Chinese Mountain Cat, Pallas’s Cat, Wild Boar, Blue Sheep, Reeves’s Muntjac, Sika, Forest Musk Deer, Siberian Roe Deer, Tufted Deer, Red Deer (introduced), Sambar Deer, Chinese Serow, Common Goral, Golden Takin, Tibetan Gazelle, Swinhoe’s Striped Squirrel, Pere David’s Rock Squirrel, Pallas’s Squirrel, Red & White Flying Squirrel, Complex-toothed Flying Squirrel, Grey-headed Flying Squirrel, Parti-coloured Flying Squirrel, Northern Chinese Flying Squirrel, Woolly Hare, Plateau (Black-lipped) Pika, Confucian Niviventer, Chinese Water Myotis, Chinese Birch Mouse and Himalayan Rat.

Potential Birds (selected species only)

Mandarin Duck, Blue-eared Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Chinese Pond Heron, Lammergeier, Himalayan Griffon, Upland Buzzard, Himalayan Buzzard, Eastern Buzzard, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Crested Goshawk, Black-necked Crane, Pallas's GulI, Brown-headed Gull, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Snow Pigeon, Hill Pigeon, Oriental Turtle Dove, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Crested Kingfisher, Speckled Piculet, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Saker, Chinese Grey Shrike, Black Drongo, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Azure-winged Magpie, Spotted Nutcracker, Collared Crow, Sichuan Tit, Black-bibbed Tit, White-browed Tit, Rufous-vented Tit, Grey-crested Tit, Green-backed Tit, Yellow-browed Tit, Hume's Ground Tit, Tibetan Lark, Brown-breasted Bulbul, Chinese Bulbul, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Black-browed Bushtit, White-browed Tit-Warbler, Crested Tit-Warbler, Buff-barred Warbler, Pallas’s Leaf Warbler, Sichuan Leaf Warbler, Ashy-throated Warbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Rufous-capped Babbler, David’s Fulvetta, Plain Laughingthrush, Giant Laughingthrush, Black-faced Laughingthrush, Elliot's Laughingthrush, Red-billed Leothrix, Chinese Fulvetta, Grey-hooded Fulvetta, Great Parrotbill, Brown Parrotbill, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Fulvous Parrotbill, Stripe-throated Yuhina, White-collared Yuhina, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Przewalski's Nuthatch, Hodgson's Treecreeper, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, White-cheeked Starling, Kessler's Thrush, Fujian Niltava, Himalayan Bluetail, Golden Bush-Robin, Little Forktail, White-crowned Forktail, White-throated Redstart, Blue-fronted Redstart, White-winged Redstart, White-capped Water-Redstart, Plumbeous Water-Redstart, Brown Dipper, White-rumped Snowfinch, Rufous-necked Snowfinch, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Robin Accentor, Rosy Pipit, Grey-headed Bullfinch, Plain Mountain Finch, Pink-rumped Rosefinch, Chinese White-browed Rosefinch, Oriental Greenfinch, Tibetan Siskin, Slaty Bunting and Godlewski's Bunting.