This spring season of Natural Habitat China Expeditions was a great success. All 4 trips had amazing weather, wildlife, and unparalleled chances to explore Sichuan Province, which in my opinion is one of the world’s best kept secrets. Here are some of the highlights for bird and wildlife signings in images…..
For me personally, I was most exited about two of the trips continuing our 5-in-a-row trip streak of moon bear sightings. Being a bear lover, to see such a thriving population of wild moon bears gets me so excited. The nature reserve we visit is perfect habitat for moon bears because the valley bottoms consist of old agricultural lands that have become wild. The density of chestnut, walnut and wild kiwi trees provides excellent food resources for the bears as flowers in the springs, and fruits and nuts in the fall. The bears are also becoming somewhat comfortable with people, which shows me the reserve has eliminated poaching and harassment by humans. Our excitement from these sightings helps to encourage the Government to manage parks and reserves for wildlife viewing opportunities. This is what it is all about!
It seems that every year the number of takin grow, and their fear of people decreases, making for many incredible viewing opportunities of these spectacular animals. Takin are related to mountain goats, as they are in the Bovid subfamily Caprinae (the goat antelopes). Large males can weigh over 1000 pounds, are heavily muscled, and very sure-footed in rugged, steep terrain.
Springtime is the best time to view wild golden pheasants, as it is breeding season, so the males are more vocal and active. We experienced the most amazing golden pheasant encounter in my, and our local ranger’s life. Two males danced and fought for half an hour right in front of us on an old dirt road in the nature reserve one evening.
What an amazing 2 days in a remote nature reserve, which is one of my favorite places on earth! Stay tuned for more highlights including awesome mountain landscapes and panda cubs!
Keep Exploring! Brad