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Birds in Mongolia

July 26th to August 12th, 2008

The main reason for me travelling to Mongolia was the total solar eclipse on August 1st. The trip wasn't a birding trip, so most of the birds we observed were just birds which we - 6-8 birders in a group of 29 - couldn't avoid noticing.

Mongolia is the country of wide open spaces. One magnificent panorama supersedes the other.

Probably the first thing one notes as a birder is the abundance of raptors. But when one realizes that the steppe is virtually undermined by millions of pikas, it is not difficult to figure out the main course for all these birds.

Major sites visited

We saw birds almost everywhere, however two sites deserve to be mentioned separately.

Tsagaan Ovoo ger camp (TSA)
The Tsagaan Ovoo ger camp is located close to the Ongiin Khiid monastery. Many different species were seen along an almost dried-up river next to the camp.
Yolyn Am (YOL)
Yolyn Am is a gorge located in the eastern parts of the Altai mountains. It is part of the Gurvan Saikhan National Park. Lammergeier, Wallcreeper, etc.

Itinerary

26/7  Ulaanbaatar Airport - Bayan Gobi ger camp, 47.2835 N, 103.7538 E
27/7Bayan Gobi ger camp - Kharkhorim, Khublai Khan ger camp, 47.1767 N, 102.8433 E
28/7Kharkhorim area
29/7Kharkhorim - Baidrag Gol River, 45.8470 N, 99.3413 E
30/7Baidrag Gol River - Tonkhil, 46.3183 N, 93.9041 E
31/7Tonkhil - Eclipse camp, 45.9586 N, 91.8016 E
01/8Eclipse camp area (E-day)
02/8Eclipse camp - Tonkhil
03/8Tonkhil - Uneen Us, 46.0407 N, 97.7998 E
04/8Uneen Us - Khairkhandulaan, 45.9348 N, 102.0726 E
05/8Khairkhandulaan - Tsagaan Ovoo ger camp (TSA), 45.3364 N, 104.0080 E
06/8TSA area
07/8TSA - Desert Gobi ger camp, 43.6580 N, 104.1665 E
08/8Desert Gobi ger camp - Yolyn Am (YOL), 43.4943 N, 104.0849 E - Desert Gobi ger camp
09/8Desert Gobi ger camp area
10/8Desert Gobi ger camp - Ulaanbaatar, 47.9175 N, 106.9167 E
11/8Ulaanbaatar
12/8Departure Ulaanbaatar

Systematic list

English and Scientific names follow The Swedish Holarctic List.

Birds seen/heard by others in our group but not seen/heard by me are marked in yellow.

English name, Scientific name, Danish name ...

  1. Ruddy Shelduck, Tadorna ferruginea, Rustand
    26/7 11, 27/7 6, 29/7 2, 5/8 4
     
  2. Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos, Gråand
    29/7 3
     
  3. Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea, Fiskehejre
    29/7 1
     
  4. Black Stork, Ciconia nigra, Sort Stork
    28/7 2
     
  5. Black Kite. 9K Jpeg Black Kite, Milvus migrans, Sort Glente
    ssp. lineatus, Black-eared Kite: Common
    Photo 1/8 Eclipse camp >
    Larger photo
     
  6. Lammergeier, Gypaetus barbatus, Lammegrib
    8/8 3-4 YOL
     
  7. Himalayan Griffon Vulture, Gyps himalayensis, Himalayagrib
    30/7 6 east of Altai City, 8/8 ~20 YOL
     
  8. Eurasian Black Vulture, Aegypius monachus, Munkegrib
    27/7 >4, 30/7 3 east of Altai City, 3/8 2, 6/8 1 TSA, 8/8 2-3 YOL, 9/8 1
     
  9. Upland Buzzard, Buteo hemilasius, Højlandsvåge
    29/7 common, 30/7 1, 31/7 1 Tonkhil, 2/8 1, 3/8 2, 4/8 5, 5/8 >20, 9/8 1
     
  10. Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis, Steppeørn
    26/7 1, 28/7 2, 29/7 common, 30/7 1, 31/7 >6, 2/8 1 Altai Mountains, 5/8 9, 8/8 1-2 YOL
     
  11. Lesser Kestrel, Falco naumanni, Lille Tårnfalk
    5/8 2 TSA, 6/8 9 TSA
     
  12. Common Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus, Tårnfalk
    27/7 1, 28/7 1
     
  13. Saker Falcon, Falco cherrug, Slagfalk
    29/7 common, 5/8 4
     
  14. Demoiselle Crane. 18K Jpeg Demoiselle Crane, Grus virgo, Jomfrutrane
    26/7 >90, 27/7, 28/7 4, 29/7 common, 30/7 2, 2/8 2 Eclipse camp, 5/8 ~35
    Photo 29/7 >
    Larger photo
     
  15. Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius, Lille Præstekrave
    3/8 1, 6/8 4 TSA
     
  16. Kentish Plover, Charadrius alexandrinus, Hvidbrystet Præstekrave
    30/7 2 Baidrag Gol River
     
  17. Northern Lapwing, Vanellus vanellus, Vibe
    4/8 2 Baidrag Gol River
     
  18. Long-toed Stint. 15K Jpeg Long-toed Stint, Calidris subminuta, Langtået Ryle
    6/8 7 TSA
    Photo >
    Larger photo
     
    Snipe sp., Gallinago sp., Bekkasin sp.
    6/8 1 in a very short glimpse TSA
     
  19. Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos, Mudderklire
    28/7 1, 31/7 1, 6/8 common TSA
     
  20. Green Sandpiper, Tringa ochropus, Svaleklire
    29/7 1, 8/8 1 YOL
     
  21. Wood Sandpiper, Tringa glareola, Tinksmed
    28/7 1, 6/8 1 TSA, 7/8 2
     
  22. Common Redshank, Tringa totanus, Rødben
    30/7 1, 3/8 1
     
  23. Black-headed Gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Hættemåge
    29/7 & 30/7 5 1cy Baidrag Gol River, 6/8 1 1cy TSA
     
  24. Herring Gull, Larus argentatus, Sølvmåge
    30/7 5, 2/8 4 Tonkhil
     
  25. Common Tern, Sterna hirundo, Fjordterne
    29/7 & 30/7 & 4/8: 4 Baidrag Gol River
     
    Other terns were seen at long distance but not id'ed to species: 26/7 3, 28/7 3
     
  26. Pallas's Sandgrouse. 5K Jpeg Pallas's Sandgrouse, Syrrhaptes paradoxus, Steppehøne
    Common Gobi Desert, 30/7 >50, 3/8 >20, 4/8 >12, 5/8 ~100, 7/8 >5000, 9/8 ~70
    Photo 7/8 >
    Larger photo
     
  27. Rock Dove, Columba livia, Klippedue
    Common at settlements, villages, towns and cities
     
  28. Hill Pigeon, Columba rupestris, Bjergdue
    29/7 1, 31/7 1 Altai Mountains, 2/8 14 Tonkhil, 6/8 1 TSA
     
  29. Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto, Tyrkerdue
    6/8 1 TSA
     
  30. Common Swift, Apus apus, Mursejler
    30/7 1 Uneen Us
     
  31. Pacific Swift, Apus pacificus, Orientsejler
    Common Ulaanbaatar
     
    Other swifts were seen or heard but not id'ed to species: 31/7 heard Tonkhil, 3/8 >6 Uneen Us
     
  32. Eurasian Hoopoe, Upupa epops, Hærfugl
    26/7 3, 28/7 3, 29/7 1, 31/7 1 Tonkhil, 2/8 1 Altai Mountains, 4/8 1, 5/8 1 TSA, 6/8 4 TSA, 8/8 1 YOL
     
  33. Mongolian Lark, Melanocorypha mongolica, Mongollærke
    Common, 26/7, 27/7, 29/7, 4/8
     
  34. Crested Lark, Galerida cristata, Toplærke
    3/8 1, 6/8 1 TSA
     
  35. Eurasian Skylark, Alauda arvensis, Sanglærke
    26/7 heard, 27/7 heard
     
  36. Horned Lark, Eremophila alpestris, Bjerglærke
    29/7 2, 30/7 2 Baidrag Gol River, 4/8 1, 6/8 1 TSA
     
  37. Sand Martin, Riparia riparia, Digesvale
    29/7 8, 30/7 >2
     
  38. Eurasian Crag Martin, Ptyonoprogne rupestris, Klippesvale
    8/8 8-10 YOL
     
  39. Barn Swallow, ssp. tytleri. 13K Jpeg Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica, Landsvale
    ssp. tytleri (orange-red underparts): Common east of longitude 99 E
    ssp. rustica/gutturalis (whitish underparts): Common west of longitude 99 E
    Photo 27/7 Bayan Gobi ger camp, ssp. tytleri >
    Larger photo
     
  40. Common House Martin, Delichon urbicum, Bysvale
    2/8 common Tonkhil
     
  41. Blyth's Pipit, Anthus godlewskii, Mongolsk Piber
    6/8 1 TSA
     
  42. Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla flava, Gul Vipstjert
    31/7
     
  43. Grey Wagtail, Motacilla cinerea, Bjergvipstjert
    2/8 1
     
  44. White Wagtail, Motacilla alba, Hvid Vipstjert
    29/7 1, 31/7 1 Tonkhil, 2/8 2, 2/8 2 Tonkhil
     
  45. Brown Accentor, Prunella fulvescens, Brun Jernspurv
    8/8 4 YOL
     
  46. Black Redstart, Phoenicurus ochruros, Husrødstjert
    8/8 ~5 YOL
     
  47. Isabelline Wheatear, Oenanthe isabellina, Isabellastenpikker
    Common
     
  48. Northern Wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe, Stenpikker
    26/7 1, 27/7 1, 29/7 1
     
  49. Pied Wheatear, Oenanthe pleschanka, Nonnestenpikker
    6/8 common TSA
     
  50. Wallcreeper, Tichodroma muraria, Murløber
    8/8 5 YOL
     
  51. Isabelline Shrike. 19K Jpeg Isabelline Shrike, Lanius isabellinus, Isabellatornskade
    1/8 1 near Eclipse camp, 6/8 1 TSA
    Photo 6/8 >
     
  52. Common Magpie, Pica pica, Husskade
    27/7 4, 31/7 1
     
  53. Red-billed Chough, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, Alpekrage
    Fairly common, 27/7 >5, 28/7 >50
     
  54. Carrion Crow, Corvus corone, Sortkrage
    Common Ulaanbaatar
     
  55. Common Raven, Corvus corax, Ravn
    Common
     
  56. White-cheeked Starling, Sturnus cineraceus, Gråstær
    6/8 3 1cy TSA
     
  57. House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, Gråspurv
    Common Ulaanbaatar area, 28/7 1 Erdene Zuu monastery, 4/8 1 Bayankhongor
     
  58. Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus, Skovspurv
    Abundant at settlements, villages, towns and cities
     
  59. White-winged Snowfinch, Montifringilla nivalis, Snefinke
    31/7 4 Altai Mountains, 2/8 1 Altai Mountains, 8/8 >6 YOL
     
  60. Mongolian Finch, Bucanetes mongolicus, Mongolsk Ørkendompap
    5/8 1, 6/8 1 TSA
     
  61. Long-tailed Rosefinch, Uragus sibiricus, Langhalet Karmindompap
    31/7 1 Tonkhil
     
  62. Pallas's Reed Bunting, Emberiza pallasi, Sibirisk Rørspurv
    6/8 4 TSA

Links

Text and photos: Stig Linander, created: 2008-08-23, last revised: 2016-02-26