I have been going to Taiwan since the early 1980s and have been gratified and delighted at the emphasis a new generation of Taiwan citizens is putting on the environment and conservation. For the last several years I have been visiting the mountains and other birding hot spots with private bird guides as a way of developing a more intimate relationship with the extraordinary natural face of the island. The ornithological experience in Taiwan has been superb and I have always come away wondering why there is not more buzz in the birding community about Taiwan as a bird watching destination.
Well perhaps things are changing.
On his November 2017 Bird Watcher's Digest podcast, publisher and editor Bill Thompson III (may he rest in peace) regales listeners with his experience birding in Taiwan at the invitation of the country, including Eco-Tourism Taiwan's Victor Yu who I had the chance to meet and bird with several years ago when I was first trying to identify a guide for my visit.
Thompson was joined by several professional bird tour operators, all of whom were visiting Taiwan for the first time. For some, including Bill, it was their first visit to Asia, period. All of them left the island nation believing that Taiwan is the perfect gateway country for discovering the joys of birding in Asia, a contention that I share unequivocally. Below is a copy-and-paste link to a video version of This Birding Life Episode 74 "Birding Taiwan" from Bird Watcher's Digest:
The Asian birds of Taiwan as seen through the eye and camera of Jared Keyes
High in the forested mountains in the cold early spring, the very first songster of the day was reliably this extraordinary creature. It would commence its vocalizations when there was barely a glow in the sky and its voice is a dead ringer for a Hermit Thrush.