The 4km-long loop trail behind the De-En Gorge guesthouse in the Maolin Valley is an excellent spot for some low-mid altitude forest birds. This was my first visit to the area since January this year, and despite the bad timing (mid afternoon), a few interesting species were seen.
It’s a reliable location for Maroon Oriole – of the distinctive Taiwanese form that may be an endemic species – which is a scarce and local bird in Taiwan. Woodland along the trail is also a good bet for White-bellied Erpornis, a bird I see extremely infrequently in Taiwan. I saw both of these species today, plus some other birds I usually see here and not often elsewhere – Taiwan Bamboo-Partridge and Bronzed Drongo.
However, there was no sign of any Taiwan Blue Magpies today, to my girlfriend’s disappointment. I’ve seen them fairly reliably in the past along the final third of the trail (when going clockwise). This is an easily accessible site from Kaohsiung for anyone looking for this uncommon and beautiful endemic.