early APR 2007, Tsetserleg - K. Schleicher
First records of spring arrivals around Tsetserleg (for comparison in brackets first observations from Khovd, which is c.730 km to the WNW from Tsetserleg; obs. A. Braunlich): 5 Apr: one Black-throated Thrush (28 Feb); 7 Apr: one female Common Chaffinch (30 Mar), one singing Isabelline Wheatear (7 Apr); 9 Apr: one singing Northern Wheatear (8 Apr), and at a wet area with a creek next to the airport: 8 (6 in courtship flight) Northern Lapwings (1 Apr), 3 White Wagtails M. a. baicalensis, 2 singing Eurasian Skylarks (24 Mar). Species which also have been observed, but not as first records for the year are 44 Ruddy Shelducks, and a flock of 72 Eurasian Jackdaws and 2 Daurian Jackdaws.
The first Hill Pigeon clutch (2 eggs) was in the loft of my apartment on 3 Apr. Black-eared Kites are common by now and can be watched circling in pairs over their nesting trees.
During the last two weeks I had several times the chance to observe Chinese Beautiful Rosefinches Carpodacus (pulcherrimus) davidianus in birch/willow scrub. The highest number was 12-15 (with only 2 males in the flock) on 29 March.
Male Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch. Photo © K. Schleicher
Female Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch. Photo © K. Schleicher