March 19, 2007

23 MAR 2007, Khovd - A. Braunlich
A very warm day brought some new arrivals to Khovd (for comparison in brackets my first observations in 2006): 2 Black-eared Kites (25 March), 1 Black-throated Accentor (18 March), 1 Pine Bunting (14 March), 4 Common Starlings (23 March), and 2 Mongolia Gulls (25 March). Present in large numbers were Carrion Crow (c.350) and Twite (c.250).

21 MAR 2007, Ulaanbaatar, Nairamdal Park - Konchog Norbu & A. Braunlich
The birdlife in Ulaanbaatar’s central park is still dominated by wintering corvids, mostly Carrion Crows and Magpies, but also a few Red-billed Choughs, a Common Raven and c.40 Daurian Jackdaws. c.80 Great Tits were a clear sign of beginning migration. Other birds seen included two Hawfinches, a drumming Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (another seen later the day in the city centre), and a Common Kestrel attacking an Upland Buzzard. Just outside the park 3 Long-tailed Rosefinches were feeding in some rank herbage.

Daurian Jackdaw. Photo © A. Braunlich

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Photo © A. Braunlich

19 MAR 2007, Ulaanbaatar sewage ponds - Konchog Norbu & A. Braunlich
Despite rather low temperatures (-7˚C) already 260 Ruddy Shelducks gathered at the sewage ponds west of the Mongolian capital (a few are wintering here). No other waterbirds arrived yet. Additional observations included 1 Saker Falcon, 2 Eurasian Black Vultures and a flock of 43 Eurasian Skylarks.

Ulaanbaatar sewage ponds. Photo © A. Braunlich

18 MAR 2007, Khovd, Otzon Chuluu - A. & K. Braunlich
Like in the other plantation (c.7 km distant) visited yesterday 11 Meadow Buntings and 3 Spotted Great Rosefinches were seen. The first Evermann’s Redstart (male) of the year was spotted exactly on the same date like in 2006

17 MAR 2007, Khovd, near the airport - A. Braunlich
Winter visitors still present were 11 Meadow Buntings, 3 Spotted Great Rosefinches and 37 Hill Pigeons. The male ”Red-throated Thrush” discovered a week ago was seen again. Better views revealed the lack rufous in the tail, letting to the conclusion that it is apparently a hybrid Red-throated x Black-throated Thrush. New arrivals were a single Reed Bunting and 9 Lapland Buntings, the latter among c.120 Horned Larks resting on the barren river plain. Other birds seen include 6 Eurasian Black Vultures, 1 adult Golden Eagle (breeding in the Altai, but only my second observation in Khovd since October 2005), 5 Daurian Partridges (resident), 1 Black-throated Thrush, and 2 Fieldfares.

Lapland Bunting. Photo © A. Braunlich

Red-throated x Black-throated Thrush. Photo © A. Braunlich

16 MAR 2007, Khovd - A. Braunlich
1 Saker Falcon resting. A rather rare species in Khovd, with just 5 observations in 2006.

A Saker had its fill, note the bulging crop. Photo © A. Braunlich

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