5 Jun 2019

Wanglang NNR, Sichuan - 25th - 29th May 2019

Blue-eared Pheasant - Crossoptilon auritum
Wanglang National Nature Reserve is in Pingwu County, north Sichuan, and has a contiguous border with the much more-visited Jiuzhaigou to the west.

Wanglang lacks the picturesque lakes of Jiuzhaigou,  but from a birding point-of-view it has a lot of similar habitat at similar elevations.


We travelled with Carrie Ma and Yann Musika, and Carrie had arranged a car and driver from Chengdu.  Thanks to Carrie too, for her bookings and other pre-planning !

There are buses to Pingwu town (Road no:205) from Chengdu and Mianyang, and a local bus terminates at the reserve entrance but the reserve itself is not served by public transport.

Most visitors arrive in their own cars, or by Tour Coach.

Chestnut Thrush - Turdus rubrocanus

White-throated Dipper - Cinclus cinclus

Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler - Pnoepyga albiventer

Chestnut-headed Tesia - Tesia castaneocoronata

Blanford’s Rosefinch - Carpodacus rubescens


We last visited in 2009. Some of the old blocks have been renovated, and there is a grand new “Bai Ma Wanglang Eco-Hotel” phone 0816-5113359, which appears to be bookable online. Electricity (local hydropower) appears reliable.

Cost was RMB 588, which included reserve admission for two persons (RMB 120 each), breakfast, dinner and use of the shuttle buses to the scenic areas.

Along the road to Baixionggou

Along the road to Baixionggou
Getting about

From Reserve HQs, a shuttle bus system operates to take visitors to the scenic sites and boardwalks at the end of the paved roads.  These are at around 3,000m elevation - HQs is about 2,500m.

Right at the road fork (7km) was Baixionggou, where we saw Blue Eared Pheasant. There is a boardwalk there.

Blue-eared Pheasant - Crossoptilon auritum

Blue-eared Pheasant - Crossoptilon auritum

Blue-eared Pheasant - Crossoptilon auritum

Baixionggou boardwalk

Grey-crested Tit - Lophophanes dichrous

Bianchi’s Warbler - Seicercus valentini
Greenhouse-like pavilions are being provided for the less-actively inclined.

Elliot’s Laughingthrush - Garrulax elliotii
Goldcrest - Regulus regulus

Vinaceous Rosefinch - Carpodacus vinaceus
Left at the fork, at 6-7 km was Dachoping (Grand Meadow)...

...and 4km beyond that, Zhugengcha, - an area with Golden Eagle, White-winged Grosbeaks and rhododendrons beneath the pines.

Zhugengcha, Wanglang NNR - about 3,100m

Chinese White-browed Rosefinch - Carpodacus dubius (f)

Chinese White-browed Rosefinch - Carpodacus dubius (m)

White-winged Grosbeak - Mycerobas carneipes

Purple daisy

Golden Eagle - Aquila chrysaetos

Slipper Orchid - Cypredium sp.


The road between the reserve entrance and park HQs was quite birdy, with “phylloscs” and flycatchers - among others- singing and nest building in the misty conditions.

Rufous-gorgetted Flycatcher - Ficedula strophiata

Claudia’s Leaf Warbler - Phylloscopus claudiae

Claudia’s Leaf Warbler - Phylloscopus claudiae

White-collared Yuhina - Yuhina diademata

Rosy Pipit - Anthus roseatus

Rusty-breasted Tit - Poecile davidi

Slaty-backed Flycatcher - Ficedula hodgsonii

Long-tailed Minivet - Pericrocotus ethologus

Sooty Tit - Aegithalos fuliginosus

Sooty Tit - Aegithalos fuliginosus

Sooty Tit - Aegithalos fuliginosus

Yellow-bellied Tit - Parus venustulus

Slaty-backed Flycatcher - Ficedula hodgsonii
Ferruginous Flycatcher - Muscicapa ferruginea

Great Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopos major

Bar-tailed Treecreeper - Certhia himalayana

Bar-tailed Treecreeper - Certhia himalayana

Bar-tailed Treecreeper - Certhia himalayana
Temperatures were around 20c, much more comfortable than at sea-level in China in late May…. The woods were very active with breeding birds, and all these shots were taken during four-and-a-half days of birding.

Thanks again to Carrie Ma (whose idea the whole trip was) and to Yann Musika for the pleasure of their company.


19th July 2019 

An apology - I don't seem to be able to comment or reply to comments on blogger, so thanks for looking, and especially thanks to everyone who leaves a comment !


  1. As exotic as ever (well apart from Goldcrest and GSW!). I haven't even heard of half those species.........

  2. You are fortunate, John, to have these little jaunts into China so close at hand.