Seven eighths of Taijiang National Park is water, so it’s fitting the park is named after a vast lagoon that once existed just north of Tainan’s Anping District. A powerful typhoon almost 200 years ago closed the lagoon’s mouth, and sediment washing down from the mountains over the decades that followed filled most of it in. The marshy flats that appeared are rich in shellfish which in turn attract birds.
Close to 200 avian species – among them the Black-faced spoonbill, of which there are barely 1,000 in the world – have been recorded in the park, the ocean section of which stretches all the way to Penghu County. Ornithologists regard it as a world-class winter birding spot. The mammals found here tend to be small, but a good guide can show you some intriguing bat and shrew species.