November 15, 2007

First European Robin for Mongolia? Khovd, 15 NOV 2007 - A. Braunlich

I was in Ulaanbaatar for a while, so I haven’t been birding in Khovd for two weeks. It is much colder now (-12 deg C today in the afternoon), and the rather limited winter bird life (mainly crows) dominates the short days.

Today, in the late afternoon my wife Katja and I had a stroll through one of the very quite plantations here in Khovd, for the first time since early November. First we saw just a few Carrion Crows and Eurasian Tree Sparrows. While watching the only “exciting” birds around, 2 Azure Tits, I noticed a small bird hopping away from me on the ground… wait a minute, hopping? A Red-flanked Bluetail? When the bird turned around we were very surprised to see its bright orange throat: An European Robin Erithacus rubecula! The sun had already dissapeared behind the mountains, but I still got the chance to take some (rather poor) photos before the robin flew out of sight into thick cover.


European Robin, Khovd, 15 Nov 2007.

Photo © A. Braunlich

To my knowledge there are no confirmed records of European Robin for Mongolia. I heard a while ago that Hungarian birders caught one (?) in the Altai, but I haven’t been able to track down this record. If anyone has any information on this I would be grateful if you could contact me.


European Robin, Khovd, 15 Nov 2007.

Photo © A. Braunlich


European Robin, Khovd, 15 Nov 2007.

Photo © A. Braunlich

The record comes not unexpected since the species “is expanding eastward along the southern part of the forest zone. The Robin has been recorded several times in Central Siberia in recent years.” (species chapter in: Rogacheva, H. 1992. The birds of Сentral Siberia. Husum: Husum Druck-u. Verlagsgesellschaft).


Breeding distribution of European Robin (grey;
source: Handbuch der Voegel Mitteleuropas) and
approximate location of Khovd (red dot)

1 comment:

Igor said...

Rare the find Axel! Congratulations!