Tuesday’s Hike – Part II [Fog and Birds]

Things are clear down here...

Once I arrived at the Yangmingshan Bus Terminal after a walk along a portion of the Jinbaoli Trail [金包里大道], I immediately scoured the food vendors for a lunch more suitable than the apples and 7-11 sandwiches I inhaled on the previous trail. After fried fish balls and some soup, I stood back in line to get back on the park bus. Yangmingshan’s park buses are tiny, there are always a lot of people much more deserving of a seat than I am, so each time I usually unnaturally contort my neck because of the low ceiling. It also doesn’t help that many of the bus drivers drive like maniacs.

Visibility?

After arriving at Erziping Station [二子坪站] and buying some extra snacks and water at the visitor center, I decided to follow the park ranger’s advice and take the road up to Mt. Datun’s main peak [大屯山主峰] and walk down the trail back to Erziping.

Spooky trees!

On a clear day there is allegedly a superb view from Mt. Datun of Taipei. I have no way to verify this because I was walking through a sea of clouds. At the peak of the mountain is the Navigation Station of the Civil Aviation Bureau [民航局導航站]. Here, one of its building is sitting in a veil of mystery:

The Main Peak [大屯山主峰]

Taking the path down from the main peak, I was naturally delighted to see a break in the clouds:

A splash

Some unusual leaf buds racing towards the sun:

Unusual

The wooded areas had a lot of mosquitoes flying around. I applied bug repellent earlier, so none of them bothered me.

Trail picture [surprise!]

A sign pointing to Mt. Datun’s west peak warned hikers that it is a strenuous hike, maybe I’ll make time visit that one someday…

Heading back

Before I knew it I had arrived at this very familiar park, Cathy’s grandfather took us here when I visited Taiwan for the first time:

Erziping Panorama

View the large
I was photographing this Cherry Blossom [櫻花] when I looked towards one of the tall trees nearby and saw a Formosan Blue Magpie [台灣藍鵲 (Urocissa caerulea)] again…

Cherry Blossoms [櫻花]

The bird quickly flew down into the trees, I followed a small footpath into the woods it was hiding. A family of mountain stray dogs were barking relentlessly at me, but gradually they moved away. I was searching the trees to see where the bird flew to. Soon I spotted it as it flew overheard along with others in a flock of six.

Looking...

Besides earlier that day when I saw one on the Jinbaoli Trail. This was only my second sighting in nature. The other time was when a friend was driving down Yangmingshan near Zhuzi Lake and I saw two flying near the road [In captivity saw one at the bird rehabilitation center in Zhishan].

In the tree...

Sure the photos didn’t come out nearly as good as Taiwan’s real bird photographers, but they’re the best I’ve taken to date.

Curious...

One was immensely curious over a plastic bag that was on the ground. One of Taiwan’s endemic species, they can be found in the mountains at elevations of 300-1200m. They look quite interesting as they fly because of their long tails. When they walk on the ground their tails bounce up and down as they hop, their legs somewhat resembling kangaroos when they do this.

Stop looking at me!

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