Great Birding and Bird Photography on the Sichuan part of the Tibetan Plateau with AlpineBirding
Shay and Philip took a friend and me on a 10-day birding trip on the Sichuan part of the Tibetan plateau, including places legendary among bird watchers, such as Balangshan, Mengibshan, and Ruoergai.
While I was initially a bit skeptical about the nature of the tour (I generally do not like guided tours), it proved absolutely worth it to have both Philip (to drive and to deal with the occasional oversuspicious police) and particularly Shay (for finding and identifying birds) around. While Shay has probably seen every bird on the trip multiple times, he is not content with just finding it and showing it to you but tries to make sure that you can also get a good photo of it, should you want to do so. This goes to the point where - if a bird was difficult to photograph - it sometimes was me giving up rather than Shay.
In conclusion, I think I would not have seen half of the birds on this trip had I taken it on my own. Highly recommended.Kai P / Sichuan part of the Tibetan Plateau July 14, 2021
One of a Kind Birding Experience in TangJiaHe
Bella and Philip with Alpine Birding not only crafted a wonder trip to showcase the beauty of Sichuan but were able to navigate unexpected changes with ease and skill. They guided us to experience more than 70 kinds of birdsc including Collar Crow, Tremnick’s Tragopan, and Golden Pheasant, along with many species of mammals. They were also knowledgable about regional culture. If you’re looking for a guide that will give you a deeper understanding of the nature of Sichuan, look no further than Alpine birding.Nichelle E / TangJiaHe, Sichuan May 28, 2021
I had a wonderful eight-day birding trip in Sichuan with Philip in October 2020.
Despite some unique travel challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Philip and his associates pulled off the entire trip smoothly, and we ended up seeing almost every one of my target birds (as well as a number of unexpected ones), increasing my China bird list by more than 50 species. We visited Longcanggou first, followed by Erlang Shan. Despite some high-elevation fog, we found a flock of blood pheasants at Erlang Shan, and a very nice range of passerines along the old Erlang Shan Road and in the surrounding forests, including golden-breasted fulvetta, gray-crested tit, white-winged grosbeak, and golden bush robin.
We then visited a lovely and little-known spot outside of Kangding, where Philip all but guaranteed we would see Lady Amherst’s pheasant, and we were not disappointed! We also saw Chinese babax at that site (another of my target birds), along with local endemic rufous-tailed babbler. That same day, we drove on up to the beautiful Tibetan Plateau above Kangding, and saw a wonderful array of birds, including Himalayan griffon vultures, red-billed choughs, white-browed tits, robin accentors, twits, and even an ibisbill!
After a day off in Chengdu, Philip took me to Wolong Sanctuary and Balang Mountain for three days, where I saw a marvelous array of new birds and other wildlife. Unfortunately, on all but one day, the famed “Tunnel Trail” on Balang Mountain was fogged in, but on the single day that the weather at that elevation was clear, we saw a magnificent flock of white-eared pheasants, a couple of Chinese fulvettas, some rufous-vented tits, and even a Chinese goral grazing quietly on the hillside above us. During repeated visits to Balang Mountain pass, we found some excellent alpine birds, including upland buzzard, snow pigeon, bearded vulture, white-browed tit-warbler, white-throated dipper, and snow partridge. We also saw a herd of blue sheep and numerous Himalayan marmots. In some alpine scrub forest just below the pass, I had superb views of a trio of usually furtive giant laughingthrush and a Sichuan tit. At lower elevations, we made two visits to the wonderful Lama Temple area and saw golden pheasants both times, in addition to very large numbers of other fantastic birds, such as streak-throated and white-naped yuhinas, gray-hooded fulvettas, and sooty tits.
Those eight days were one of the best birding and wildlife excursions of my entire life, set against a backdrop of world-class, spectacular mountain scenery. My guide Philip was always courteous, helpful, and accommodating, and I hope to travel with him again in the future. I wholeheartedly recommend the services of AlpineBirding to anyone who truly wants to become acquainted with Sichuan’s incredible birdlife and scenery!
Steven Bonta / Western Sichuan October 10, 2020
Wonderful Birding trip with AlpineBirding
On November 2019 we had an amazing birding trip to Sichuan area with AlpineBirding.
We went for 6 days to Wolong, Longcanggou and Labahe, and thanks to Shay, our guide, we manage to see many beautiful birds in an incredible scenery.
One of the highlights were 4 different Red Pandas that gave us amazing view!!!
You can't go wrong with AlpineBirding and I can highly recommend to travel in Sichuan and china with them, and I hope to do that again myself.
Yohay Wasserlauf / Western Sichuan October 13, 2019
Birding in Wuhan
I was in Wuhan for work and knew I would have a free weekend, so I wanted to arrange a birdwatching tour of the environs of the city.
I searched online and found Alpine Birding. Bella, who arranged the whole thing, was extremely diligent and efficient and responds very rapidly to emails. Unfortunately, I speak no Mandarin and the guides in and around Wuhan speak no English, but we managed with the help of a field guide and translation apps. Li, the guide, brought his wife - also a birder - and they were both lovely and took me to four different locations.
Saw many great birds, including black-crowned night heron, long-tailed shrike, black-winged stilt, ashy drongo and masked laughingthrush. Would definitely recommend them.
Helen S / Wuhan Weekend Birding May 26, 2019
The Birds of Balang Shan
My husband and I are just returned from an amazing and very professional Birding Tour by Alpine Birding in the Wolong Preserve/Balang Shan area; Western Sichuan Province. Gorgeous forests and alpine landscapes, the dividing line between the Sichuan Basin and the Qinghai Plateau. Awe-inspiring views!
We had a 1 1/2 day experience, all inclusive with a private driver (to and from and during the location), delicious meals and snacks and water provided, a room for the overnight stay, and our extraordinary Birding Guide Shay who showed and instructed us on far more birds than we could've hoped to see had we been on our own! He generously shared his superior equipment and bird identification field guide, and went above and beyond our expectations in stopping at many many locations to look for birds! We were impressed by his knowledge of bird identification and his deftness of scoping! Attention to detail was one of the hallmarks of our experience; We felt very well taken care of:)
While our trip was of necessity a simple overnight/daytrip, I highly recommend a longer excursion; We will definitely do another AlpineBirding tour in the future:)
Alice and Silas / Balang Mountain Excursion May 25, 2019