Birding in Taiwan: 14. Plumbeous Water Redstart

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“A common resident in Taiwan and is found between 500 and 2,300m above sea level (Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition) is the Plumbeous Water Redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosa affinis). Brazil 2009 states ‘200-2,500 meters with some attitudinal migration’. Above shows the male and below the female.

“The endemic subspecies in Taiwan R. f. affinis is said (Brazil 2009) to be ‘mid-grey with two faint white wingbars, grey underparts scaled white from chin to breast’. We met some fairly low down in the foothills, sharing the stream with Brown Dippers (Cinclus pallasii pallasii) and Little Forktails (Enicurus scouleri fortis).

“Although a fast moving bird, the pair we saw were rather confiding and would allow close approaches. Very territorial and we heard many calls and saw many tail displays. The male displayed more that the female.

“There are a number of calls but the commonest is the rising ‘ziet-ziet’ calls (Brazil 2009). Above is the male calling.

“Easy to hear over the rushing stream, but very hard to tease out from the background noise when processing as given very fast and frequent.

“A video recording here to better appreciate it but need to pump up the sound volume:

“Audio recording attached HERE.

“Sonogram and waveform above.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
18th December 2014

Location: Road to Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area, Dongshi, Taiwan
Habitat: Large stream cutting through hills and agricultural community land with secondary growth and scrub/tall grass

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