Bai He Nature Reserve Birding
When : May 2017 Weather: Cool 8-15C
Nikon P900, Leica M240, Sony a7II
It’s not very often that I can blog on a place that I’ve never read a birding blog on before; almost always some birders have been before and there have been some reports…so this post on Bai He (White River) Nature Reserve is unique as I could not find anything on it at all before going there*….some background….we were staying at the new Banyan Tree (BYT) Resort at Baohua town in Jiuzhaigou(JZG). Now, the BYT resort is about 50km away from JZG and after seeing the splendour of the lakes of JZG, I was wondering where else we could go to to explore or bird…..on the BYT website, one of the places of interest nearby was listed as BaiHe golden monkey and panda Nature Reserve. Looking at the map, I found that it was but 25km away. Researching on line, one can find that 10 years ago grand plans were once in place to develop Baihe Nature Reserve into a nature sanctuary, with resort hotels, bird watching hides, golden snub nosed monkey and panda sanctuaries….but these plans never came to fruition….and talking to the locals, nobody seemed to know much about it….so we planned a visit there….not knowing if we’d draw a blank or find a new birding location….
- I subsequentlymanaged to find one previous bird report on birding Baihe: https://www.cloudbirders.com/tripreport/repository/GRUNWELL_China_06_2014.pdf
We took the hotel car for the day and set off with our driver Mr Zhang at 7am…..down the hill and onto the road towards JZG valley, we soon reached the turn off into the Baihe Nature Reserve Road on the left. There were several dwellings and small farms on the road side….
At this time we were still on the road leading into the nature reserve and little did we know that where this little house was located would turn out to be the location that yielded the most sightings on our way back later!
After shooting the rosefinch, we pushed on and headed to the end of the road where there was a barrier and a security post at the entrance into the nature reserve itself.
The nature reserve itself had lots of bird song but the heavy foliage precluded good sightings….on our way out…
Heading back to the house we’d found the rosefinch at earlier for lunch we had a most fruitful hour….
And heading back down the same road we had come on earlier, we stopped at various places where there looked to be some activity…
So here it is..our exploration of a hitherto undescribed possible birding location….in a word..it was an absolutely delightful morning of birding with many lifers and spectacular sightings. So if you are ever visiting Jiuzhaigou and want to do some birding, do yourself a favour and stay at the Banyan Tree resort where the birding is also pretty spectacular(see my previous post) and do not miss the Baihe Golden monkey and panda Nature Reserve…or rather don’t miss birding the road leading to the nature reserve. The reserve itself has too heavy a canopy for sightings. Oh and if you are staying at the Banyan Tree, ask for Mr Zhang to drive you; he became our bird spotter and got quite caught up in our enthusiasm. One of the best birding outings we’ve ever had in China…don’t miss it! We found the touristy Jiuzhaigou valley itself by comparison hard to bird as there were way too many people around.