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Gallery of Mongolia 2015 images

MONGOLIA AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2015

We have recently returned from our second successful tour of Mongolia, where we explored three key areas for birds and wildlife: firstly steppe areas west of Ulan Bator, secondly the Gobi Desert to the south and finally the taiga forest in the Khan Khenti wilderness.

After arrival in Ulan Bator, we explored the Hustai National Park where amongst unforgettable open landscapes we were entertained by the rare Przewalski Horses as well as by exciting avian encounters with Amur Falcons, Azure Tits, Pallas's Gull, and Pallas's Fish Eagle. Steppe lakes are an important refuge for birds, and who can forget the marvellous array of migrant waders which included 500 Pacific Golden Plover, 55 Red-necked Stints, 125 Temminck's Stints, 4 Long-toed, 3 Little Whimbrel, 2 Sharp-tailed and 2 Broad-billed all on the same lake shore!

Returning to Ulan Bator and following an evening of culture at the Mongolian Dance Theatre, a short flight south brought us to the fascinating Gobi Desert, a land of surprising contrast such as stunning sand dunes one day and deep mountain gorges the next; a photographers paradise! A key species is the Henderson's Ground-jay, and we all enjoyed very close views of four individuals a stone's throw from our pleasant ger accommodation. Saxual Sparrows performed well and over 200 were counted assembling to roost, one of the highest recent counts of this localised species of which we are aware. Blyth's Pipits, Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler and Thick-billed Warblers were amongst a host of migrants vying for attention with Pallas's Sandgrouse and all these specialised species ensured top drawer bird watching. Mongolian Gazelles and close encounters with various types of Jerboa, some of the group even stroking these cute nocturnal creatures, added mammalian interest.

It was with reluctance that after 6 days we returned north, this time heading east of the capital firstly to the lakes of Gun Galut. Here Argali Sheep and White-naped Crane were a highlight, but rarer still the Oriental Stork that we discovered, a species so rare in Mongolia that the sighting instigated a twitch from Ulan Bator! The tour ended at Jalman Meadows, a beautifully scenic valley set in the taiga forest where Siberian Rubythroats, Pine Buntings and Long-tailed Rosefinches headed an impressive caste.

With enquiries already coming in, Birding Abroad will be touring Mongolia again in 2017 or 2018, so we suggest you register any expressions of interest with us as soon as possible.

female Amur Falcon Hustai National Park

male Amur Falcon

Arctic Warbler a frequent migrant through Mongolia

inside the restaurant ger at Jalman Meadows

brushing against the taiga forest at Jalman Meadows

Daurian Shrike, a common inhabitant of the Gobi Desert

the amazing Flaming Cliffs of Bayanzag where dinosaur eggs of Oviraptor were found in the 1920's

Saker Falcon, can be expected every day + Taiga Flycatcher, a smart male

sand dunes at Khongar Els, a most beautiful setting in the Gobi Desert

the iconic Henderson's Ground Jay, four individuals gave super views

Siberian Ibex, a most impressive beast!

Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler - if only this would happen at Spurn!

Azure Tit - stunning birds

Przewalski's Horse in its natural home - the only species of wild horse left in the world

A beautiful White-naped Crane. We found several family parties of this sought after species

juvenile Black-eared Kite, quite a sight close up

Pallas's Fish Eagle Ogiy Nur

the mighty Lammergeier

Yolyn Am

Demoiselle Crane - what a beauty!

Grey-necked Bunting at Yolyn Am

One of our frequent encounters with the Upland Buzzard

Gobi Jerboa

walking around an ovoo for good luck

sunset Ogiy Nur

many thanks to Andrew Ashworth for allowing us to use his photographs all taken on the tour

 
LANCE DEGNAN
14 Fiddlers Drive, Armthorpe
DONCASTER, South Yorkshire, DN3 3TT.
Tel: 01302 835094 email: lance@birdingabroad.com
NICK WHITEHOUSE
18 Cucklington Gardens, Muscliff,
BOURNEMOUTH, Dorset, BH9 3QS.
Tel: 01202 514575 email: nick@birdingabroad.com