Friday, 4 November 2011

A last search for pandas

Today was our last opportunity for panda tracking, and thankfully the rain stopped. The paths were still streams as the rainwater continued to drain off the steep mountain sides. We bushwacked through the wet bamboo (tip - go near the back of the group so the people in front get the worst soaking!) to a beautiful wooded valley where there are resident red and white giant flying squirrels. They are pretty much guaranteed to put in an appearance when the guides bang on the bottom of their nest tree - fortunately there are still so few visitors to Foping that the squirrels don't get disturbed too often.I didn't manage to get any photos 'in flight' (which is impressive because at full stretch these animals are more than a metre across), but we climbed a steep slope to get on a level with the squirrels' home. Here is one showing neither its red and white coat nor its 'flying' abilities.In the meantime the trackers had had no luck with pandas, so we had lunch in the valley and headed home. One last Foping picture of some random moss (actually it did have takin hair caught on the underside, but not visible here).