May 13, 2007

early-MAY 2007, Tsetserleg, Khangai Mountains - K. Schleicher
Birdwatching was exciting during the past days at the wet steppe next to the airport. On every visit I saw new spring arrivals: 2 May: Wood Sandpiper, 8 May: Water Pipit, White Wagtail M. (alba) personata ('Masked Wagtail'), Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Snipe (courtship flight), Little Bunting; 9 May: Marsh Sandpiper; 10 May: Sand Martin and Long-toed Stint. The Northern Lapwings are already sitting on their nests on the tops of permafrost hillocks, but no eggs are layed yet. They are permanently busy attacking Northern Ravens. The highest number of Bar-headed Geese at this site was 21, the highest number of Demoiselle Cranes 25.

Taiga Flycatcher. Photo © K. Schleicher

On 7 May at the rocky top of a mountain north of Tsetserleg (2400 m a.s.l.) I observed 10 Alpine Accentors. On the way down the valley in the larch forest a single Mistle Thrush was sitting on a branch.
On 11 May in the city park of Tsetserleg c.10 Taiga Flycatchers and 6 Little Buntings rested. One Little Bunting flew against an electric cable and fell to the ground, dead, just in front of me. For the third time I observed a White-backed Woodpecker, feeding on marrow.

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