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Birding in Zixi Mountain and Kunming—the "City of Eternal Spring"
 
Located in southwestern China, Yunnan Province has recorded over 940 bird species including around 40 endemic species, ranking first in China in terms of the total bird species. This excursion focuses on the city and nearby area of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. Kunming is known for its pleasant weather and beautiful flowers. Meanwhile, the lush mountains around make it a good birding site for urban species such as Grey-chinned Minivet, Short-billed Minivet, Blyth's Shrike Babbler, Brown-breasted Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Buff-barred Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Black-throated Tit, Spectacled Fulvetta, Rusty-capped Fulvetta, Ashy-throated Parrotbill, etc.
 
Additionally, we will drive out of the city to Zixi Mountain in Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture where we can find two fascinating endemic birds, namely the Yunnan Nuthatch and the rare Giant Nuthatch. Besides, we also have chances to seek out the stunning Mrs. Hume's Pheasant and other special forest species.
 

Tour Info Sheet

Highlight Birds Yunnan Nuthatch, Giant Nuthatch, Mrs. Hume's Pheasant, Speckled Piculet, Grey-capped Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Long-tailed Minivet, Grey-chinned Minivet, Blyth's Shrike Babbler, White-throated Fantail, Yellow-bellied Fairy Fantail, Ashy-throated Warbler, Buff-barred Warbler, Black-faced Warbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Black-streaked Scimitar Babbler, Chinese Thrush, Himalayan Bluetail, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Ashy Drongo, Spectacled Fulvetta, Yunnan Fulvetta. Mountain Bulbul, Yellow-browed Warbler, Black-throated Tit, Spectacled Fulvetta, Rusty-capped Fulvetta, Ashy-throated Parrotbill, Whiskered Yuhina, Red-billed Leiothrix, Chinese Thrush, Blue-fronted Redstart, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Black-headed Greenfinch, etc.
Numbers of Species to Expect  60-80
Ease of Birding mostly easy birding with a few tricky species
Other Attractions colorful minority culture 
Photography Opportunities  birding focused but with very good photography chances
Habitats Covered subtropical forests
Expected Climate mostly comfortable, see details in the "pre-trip briefings"
Physical Requirements mostly easy
Accommodation very comfortable

What makes this trip irreplaceable?
 
1. Searching for Giant Nuthatch and Yunnan Nuthatch in Zixi Mountain.
 
2. Experienced guides with great knowledge about local birds and rich experiences of guiding travelers from different countries. 
 
3. A short program with great flexibility. This trip can be customized to meet your needs and preferences better.
 
4. Years of working as a local partner for some prestigious western companies specialized in birds and wildlife.
 
5. A strong logistic team in the office to ensure our trip goes smoothly and every participant has a comfortable and memorable journey. 

Dates & Prices

Dates Booking Status Price Single Supplement Group Size Guide Notes
All Year Round Space Available 850USD/pax 55USD/pax Departure from 2 Local Guide Customizable
Slide the sheet to the left to see the full sheet if you are viewing on your phone or tablet.
 
The cost includes the following:
1. Private transportation throughout the trip, including pick-up and drop-off at the hotel or airport.
2. All meals from lunch on day 1 to dinner on day 3.
3. All the entrance tickets for places listed in the itinerary including cable cars and shuttle buses.
4. Hotel stays from the first day to the last day, two clients occupy one twin-bed room on a sharing basis at nice 3 or 4 star hotels in big cities and local best guesthouses in remote areas.
5. Bottled water and snacks throughout the trip.
6. Simple western breakfast whenever is possible.
7. Service charges of a professional and experienced local bird guide throughout the whole trip.
8. China domestic travel insurance.
9. Service of all logistic supports. 
 
The cost does not include the following:
a. Drinks during meals.
b. Extra charges due to change of itinerary from the client's side or factors beyond the control of AlpineBirding such as natural disaster or governmental policy change.
c. Discretionary tips to guides and drivers.
d. All personal expenses such as laundry service.
e. ANY AIRFARE.
f. Any program not listed in the itinerary.
 
Please be aware that the price is inapplicable during any Chinese official holidays including but not limited to Chinese New Year, Labour Day, National Day, etc. Please contact us to confirm the price if your trip date covers any Chinese holidays.

Itinerary

Tour Map

Day 1: Kunming to Zixi Mountain via Xishan Mountain.
Meet your private bird guide and driver in Kunming, either at your hotel or at the airport, then we drive to Xishan Mountain. We will spend the morning in Xishan in search of some forest birds like Grey-chinned Minivet, Short-billed Minivet, Blyth's Shrike Babbler, Brown-breasted Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Buff-barred Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Black-throated Tit, Spectacled Fulvetta, Rusty-capped Fulvetta, Ashy-throated Parrotbill, Whiskered Yuhina, Red-billed Leiothrix, Blue-winged Minla, Chinese Thrush, Blue-fronted Redstart, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Black-headed Greenfinch, etc. In the afternoon, we will complete a 2.5-hour drive to Zixi Mountain in Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture.
 
Day 2: Zixi Mountain Forest Park.
Covering about 16,000 hectares in land size, Zixi Mountain is the largest natural park in Yunnan Province, the forest coverage is as high as 91%. The park is dominated by evergreen forests and Yunnan pine forests that provide an ideal habitat for many nuthatches, as well as some specials of southwestern China. Over 150 bird species have been recorded here, the most attractive targets here are the endemic Yunnan Nuthatch and the rare Giant Nuthatch. 
 
Other species we will have a good chance of seeing including the stunning Mrs. Hume's Pheasant and Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, as well as Speckled Piculet, Grey-capped Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Long-tailed Minivet, Grey-chinned Minivet, Blyth's Shrike Babbler, White-throated Fantail, Yellow-bellied Fairy Fantail, Ashy-throated Warbler, Buff-barred Warbler, Black-faced Warbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Black-streaked Scimitar Babbler, Chinese Thrush, Himalayan Bluetail, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul, Ashy Drongo, Spectacled Fulvetta, Yunnan Fulvetta. Sometimes, the shy Mountain Tailorbird can be spotted in the lush mixed broadleaf-conifer forest. 
 
Day 3: Zixi Mountain to Kunming.
We will spend most of the day in the forest to try our targets again. In the late afternoon, we will drive you back to Kunming. This will conclude the services for this scheduled itinerary from AlpineBirding.

Gentle Reminder:
· The bird species mentioned in the itinerary are just for your reference, it changes with the seasons. We may tune the itinerary according to the latest bird information to maximize our chances.
· We are more than happy to assist with hotel booking, flight booking, etc. before or after the trip to make your travel more enjoyable and comfortable, please feel free to let us know in advance. 

Guide(s)

 
We will arrange one of our best local guides for this trip who has rich experiences of guiding tours in this region. The followings are some of our professional guides who have guided tours in this area for many years.

Shay Xie
Shay is among the first group of professional bird guides with the academic background of ornithology. He spent his childhood in a small county of Chongqing municipality where is the eastern edge of the Daba Mountains. Being brought up in a beautiful natural environment and surrounded by beautiful nature creatures, Shay has developed a strong interest in nature and birds since he was a small kid. Following the call from his inner heart, he chose to study ecology as his major when he was admitted to Sichuan University. The campus of Sichuan University itself is one of the most famous birding sites in Sichuan and he spent most of his afterschool time birding there. Since that time he started working as a part-time bird guide. By now, he has successfully guided many avid birders from different countries including Norway, Britain, the US, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, etc. 
 

Bella Zhang
Bella, the director of AlpineBirding, was graduated from Sichuan Agricultural University with a Bachelor's Degree. She joined AlpineBirding in early 2016 and became the director of AlpineBirding in 2018. She was born and grown up in a Bai ethnic family in Yunnan Province which boasts of the largest number of bird species in China. Her interests toward birds started with her observation of a Long-tailed Minivet in her mom's garden at a very young age. As she grows up, the interests and love toward birds become stronger and stronger. Because of that, she found AlpineBirding before graduation and joined the company for further learning of birds. Bella has guided a number of birding trips in cooperation with AlpineBirding guide in the past years, her passion, readiness to help, and detail-oriented attitude have won her lots of praise from our clients.
 

Linked Tours


Currently, there is no extension available for this tour. If you want to spend more time before or after the main tour to look for certain species or enjoy other attractions, you are warmly welcome to share your ideas with us to tailor make a tour of your own style. Please send us an email to info@alpinebirding.com with your preferences, we will get back to you in a timely manner.

Reports


We don't have a report available for this tour at this stage, please feel free to email us, we are more than happy to answer any of your questions and share the latest bird information with you.

Testimonials

   
Claire and Michael / Southwest China (Sichuan & Yunnan)
Several Very Good Weekend Trips in Sichuan and Yunnan
 
My wife and I are serious birders from the US. During 2018, we lived in Thailand for a work assignment, and had the opportunity to do several weekend trips up to China to go birding with Alpine.
 
We had successful and memorable outings in Zixishan (Yunnan), as well as Balangshan and Longcanggou (Sichuan), picking up specialties such as Alpine Accentor, Lammergeier, Black-headed Mountain-Finch, Blood Pheasant, Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Elliot's Laughingthrush, Giant Laughingthrush, Golden Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Snow Partridge, Snow Pigeon, Tibetan Snowcock, Verreaux's Partridge, White Eared-Pheasant, White-capped Redstart, Chinese Bamboo-Partridge, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Gray-faced Liocichla, Lady Amherst's Pheasant, Red-tailed Laughingthrush, Temminck's Tragopan, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Godlewski's Bunting, and Yunnan Nuthatch, in addition to many others.
 
Even without the birds, Balangshan has the most inspiring mountain vistas we've ever seen.
 
Bella and her team arranged for comfortable transportation, lodging, and very experienced guides. But the best additional benefit was the food - our guides always took us out for the best local lunches and dinners - it will be very difficult to return home and have Sichuan food now, knowing how it pales in comparison to the real Chinese food in China...
 
Bella and Alpine were also very responsive and attentive to our overall satisfaction, and when we suggested some things that could be improved, they were happy to accommodate us. It was much appreciated.
 
We recommend Alpine Birding as a great way to see some of the most incredible birds found only in one of the most beautiful regions of Asia.
 
Claire and Michael / Southwest China (Sichuan & Yunnan) May 29, 2018
Peter & Pia / Southwest China (Yunnan)
Dear Philip, lily and Jiawei,
 
We are all noww safeyl back home and Ihave had time to produce my trip reoprt for the wonderful bird tour that you arranged for us. I attach the docuemtns here for your interest - you may use them and adapt them any way you wish if you need to.
 
 It was a great experience seeing China - the birds, travel, culture, sceerny with you. You did an absoluteyl first rate job in all respects - some of the best service and professional arrqngements and leading of a tour in my 40+ years of experience worldwide to 100 countries and over 300 tours organised and led.
 
 Thank you all - I will certainly promote your services to my friends and colleagues and hope your business prospers as it deserves. If I can be of any help do let me know.
 
Peter & Pia / Southwest China (Yunnan) December 27, 2013
Victor Yu / Southwest China (Yunnan)
2005 Winter Birding Trip to Yunnan, China
 
I had a wonderful time birding in Yunnan with Philip He and Parus Yang from Alpine Birding Tour.
 
They are so professional and helpful. They did their best to arrange comfortable accommodation and food. We did birding to sites of Mountains, hills, lakes, and farmlands in Yunnan. Parus Yang, a young man with an ornithological degree, is a very knowledgeable bird guide with sharp eyes and ears.
 
I've observed total 235 species and 97 lifers. It's really fruitful and enjoyable.I look forward to joining their next birding tour.

Victor Yu / Southwest China (Yunnan) January 12, 2005
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