2 February 2013

Lincang birding, and some bits in between

 Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus

Like the trip itself, this post is mostly "context", with a few birds thrown in.

Our first stop in Lincang was Cangyuan, a border town with a lot of greenfield development going on south of the old settlement.

Home to the Wa ethnic minority, Cangyuan wants to present itself as a tourist destination, although so far the world hasn't paid much attention.  BUT - something I like in a would-be "destination" - they have produced a map of the county, available for 3 RMB in local bookshops with scenic spots and nature reserves highlighted.  Perhaps some of the tourism ambition will be achieved when an airport is built in the area in 2014. 

One of the tourist spots among limestone cliffs coincided with the only one for the area on my Nelles South China map; - "Precipice Paintings".

Off we duly went, and climbed a long flight of stone steps to a platform built under a plain rock face.  

The centuries have not been kind to the original  neolithic depictions of hunting scenes, etc. but some, er, - "touching up" is regularly performed by the descendants of the original artists.

This is true in nearby caves, too.  

The useful Cangyuan tourist map includes how to get to Nangunhe National Nature Reserve nearby, and a stroll along a water catchment at the edge of the reserve turned up a few things.

Black-headed Shrike Babbler Pteruthius rufiventer

Buff-barred Warbler Phylloscopus pulcher

White-browed Shrike Babbler Pteruthius flaviscapis

Yellow-bellied Fantail Rhipidura hypoxantha

Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii (female)

Later we reached the metropolis of Mangding - another town-fast-becoming-a-city close to the Burmese border. Not quite Las Vegas, but... they've got hustle and palm trees, they're getting there.

Ah, no "Breach of copyright" here, then !

But we wanted to get to "Ta Xue Shan ("Big Snow Mountain") National Nature Reserve" and so headed north east, stopping in Wumulong village.  The Yi ethnic minority are the most influential.  The married women have a rather other-worldly look with their large head dresses and gowns. There was plenty  to see on market day.

Don't worry, here arms were tucked inside her tunic...

I think this is the only place I've actually seen "street dentists" in action:-

BOTH of them are braver than me !

We spent a few hours birding along the road to the west of town. But most of the birds were too far away to get a decent photo, so you'll have to take my word for it. 

Finally, the bus waiting room at Banlao.  

Such places are surely a metaphor for life itself;- Waiting for that long journey, mostly unexciting, but with a few surprises perhaps ?



  1. Looks interesting, John but I'm not booking the dentist I'm afraid. I may go for NKIE flop-flips though. The Buff-barred warbler will drive the phylloscophiles crazy.

    1. Andrew,

      I preferred the navy blue "abiba" flip-flops, but let's wait and see which brand Paris Hilton displays at St. Tropez this summer !

  2. I want some of those NKIE shoes................and maybe a genuine ipud too.

    1. Stu,

      You'll be the only "Cool Cat" in NKIEs in Hakodate, I'm sure. And an "Ipud" may be bought at the local "Ipple" store. (I'm not kidding about "Ipple", either - I'll be posting about historical shopfronts in Shantou soon.)

  3. When I saw the male Black-headed Shrike Babbler on the HKBWS website I felt like the guy in the dentist chair - when I saw the female I WANTED the dental treatment as that would have been better than such a comprehensive double grip!!


    1. I know you've got an impressive "China List" Mike - so the absence of B-H S B from your total confirms my feeling that it's a top quality bird !