April 13, 2007

13 APR 2007, Khovd - A. Braunlich
In the afternoon we got the second rain shower of the year. It is unbelievable that air can smell this fresh – after many months of treating our lungs with dust and the smoke from the yurts. About 80% of the c.30,000 people in the town of Khovd live in yurts.

Our house (the apartment block in the centre of the photo)
is surrounded by the traditional white Mongolian yurts.
The plots are separated from each other by wooden fences.
Photo from autumn 2006 © Axel Braunlich

A walk along the river after the skies cleared up was quite successful, with 36 species logged, including 8 new for the year (marked with an *): 3 Whooper Swans*, 16 Water Pipits, 6 Citrine Wagtails, 1 Grey Wagtail*, 45 Masked Wagtails, 13 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 2 Bluethroats*, 1 Hoopoe*, 1 Stock Dove*, 2 Western Jackdaws*, and 58 Black-throated Thrushes. Behind the stadium a little wheatear-party took place, with 1 male Pied, 1 male Isabelline (singing), 3 males and one female Northern and 3 males Desert Wheatears* in an area of c.2 hectares. A dark morph Booted Eagle* resting nearby was – as always – mobbed by Carrion Crows. The local Black-eared Kite roost has increased to c.250 birds.

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