5 Mar 2012

Yunnan - Jan/Feb 2012 Part Four - The road to "Stone Treasure Mountain"

Leaving the Old City of Dali, we drove northwards along the shore of Erhai - the "Ear-shaped Lake" that the guidebook reminded us was China's sixth largest freshwater lake.

At the northwest corner of the lake is Shaping, where we found a newly completed wetland park, with "The Bird Formerly Known As Purple Gallinule" showing well in the morning sunshine.

Grey-headed Swamphen - Porphyrio poliocephalus

The weekly village market was in progress, so we dropped in.

Shaping Market

Shaping Market

On to Shibaoshan, the "Stone Treasure Mountain", where we found the guesthouse near the entrance had closed - so on we went to the picturesque town of Shaxi where we stayed at the Tea and Horse Caravan Trail Inn.  (Which we highly recommend.)

Town Square, Shaxi

Mornings were clear and cold at Shaxi. Verity's thermometer read minus two at 07:00hrs.  As we headed out  the smoke of many early morning fires drifted across the landscape.

Black-billed (Common) Magpie - Pica pica

The "Treasures" at Shibaoshan are some ancient Buddhist Grottoes.  For birders the site seems to be reliable for views of Yunnan Nuthatch near the summit.  But there are other birds there too.

Spectacled Fulvetta - Fulvetta ruficapilla

Rufous-breasted Accentor - Prunella strophiata

It's a bird ! It's a plane ! No, it IS a bird…

Crimson-browed Finch - Propyrrhula subhimachala (male)

Crimson-browed Finch - Propyrrhula subhimachala (female)

A couple of days later and we headed north again.  The sight of village women in ethnic minority dress demonstrated that we had arrived in Lijiang County, home of the Naxi.   

They were all going to market which we found down a side street…. 

We were less than two hours from Lashihai, a wetland "Ramsar Site".....


  1. The market pictures bring back happy memories of Lijiang, Christmas 1986 with Messrs Williams and Carey.

  2. It must have been great in those days, Dave !

    I'm afraid the 1996 earthquake and a 21st century tsunami of tourists has not been kind to the place... more on that later.

  3. The Rufous-breasted Accentor is my favourite! Birds in this post remind me a lot of my Arunachal trip, especially the Crimson-browed Finch.

  4. Ayuwat,

    Actually west Yunnan isn't far from Arunachal Pradesh, the Eastern Himalayas just curve around the north of Burma - and many of the mountain birds are the same. But we've found west Yunnan is cheaper to travel in !

  5. Love the Crimson-browed Finch pix. Great pix of a very rarely seen finch!

    Mike K

    1. Thanks, Mike...

      I know you've covered a lot of this ground too, - we had your 2008 Trip Report with us. A lively read !

  6. febr 2014 I got the Ibisbill very near to Shaxi town I almost couldn´t believe

    1. Thomas - fascinating record! I'll check the rivers more carefully next time.....