October 30, 2007

Khovd, 30 Oct 2007 - A. Braunlich, A. Laurie

We visited a plantation in the afternoon for a couple of hours and saw 19 species – a typical result for this time of the year. Most numerous were Eurasian Tree Sparrow (c.80), Meadow Bunting (c.60), Long-tailed Rosefinch (c.30), and 106 Red-billed Chough (flying high in small flocks, to a roost?). The latter is a new local maximum, though Choughs are more common in the higher parts of the Altai. Noteworthy were also 1 Godlewski’s Bunting and 1 Stock Pigeon. Predators present in the plantation included 1 Great Grey Shrike, 2 Common Kestrels, 2 Eurasian Sparrowhawks, and 1 Merlin.

Grey Bullfinch. Photo © A. Braunlich

A new local record was a male Grey Bullfinch or Baikal Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula cineracea which is sometimes, for example often in Russian literature in the Handbook of the Birds of the Western Palaearctic, treated as a species of its own right, P. cineracea. Previous observations (3) of male bullfinches during the last two years here in Khovd referred to ‘Northern’ Bullfinch P. p. pyrrhula.

Grey Bullfinch. Photo © A. Braunlich

Grey Bullfinch is said to be common in the Kazakh Altai (more info) and for example in in spruce-fir forests of the Sayan Mts immediately to the north of western Mongolia.


egor_13 said...

Yes Axel, it's definitely cineracea.

Gyorgy Szimuly (SzimiStyle) said...

Cineracea based on the Clements world list is a subspecies of Eurasian Bullfinch. Strange but officially hasn't split yet.

Unknown said...

Dear Axel! I'm very interested in the Great Grey Shrikes you see around Khovd. The form mollis should be possible to find, and it would be very interesting to see photographs! Do you have such?
All the best!
/Magnus Hellström