A naturalist visiting Mount Huangshan, no matter how tuned in he is to the fine points of plant and animal life, might be forgiven for failing to tear his eyes away from its magnificent and ever-changing scenery (yes, the final scene of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was filmed here). I had that difficulty myself, and have therefore spared my readers the same temptation by relegating my views of the mountain to a separate, earlier post. Hopefully, you have all, by now, had time to absorb these (and make plans, real or virtual, to see this great natural wonder for yourselves), and are ready to turn your attention to the life, animal and human, you can find along the trail. Meanwhile, take note of the sage advice posted above.
That doesn't mean that we non-climbers are treated to a literal walk in the park once we arrive. The trails around the summit cover a vast distance, much if which you reach by climbing endless sets of stairs. Zhang suggested that we should descend, eventually, by a different cable route than the one we had taken to the top, and we didn't realize until we were well past the point of no return that this meant ten kilometers of ever-steeper staircases (past, of course, one magnificent view after another, so I am glad we did it).
Latoucheornis siemsseni), an obscure central Chinese endemic often thought to be different enough from the more typical buntings (Emberiza) of the Old World to deserve its own genus.
Finally, just before we drove back to town for an exceedingly well-earned rest, I was able to get my closest view yet of a Collared Finchbill (Spizixos semitorques), one of China's most distinctive and handsome bulbuls.