May 13, 2009

Following hot on the heels of recent contributions (click here and here) on Ulaanbaatar’s Children’s Park (for a blog on the conservation of the park click here) some exciting news:

A huge fall of migrants in the Children’s Park, 10 May 2009
Tom Jenner

Little Bunting, Ulaanbaatar,
10 May 2009. Photo © Tom Jenner

I briefly visited the Children’s Park this morning and there were thousands of migrants. Biggest numbers were Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla, Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla, Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni, Naumann’s Thrush Turdus (naumanni) naumanni, Dusky Thrush Turdus (naumanni) eunomus and Red-throated Thrush Turdus (ruficollis) ruficollis. Others included Black-throated Thrush Turdus (ruficollis) atrogularis, Eye-browed Thrush Turdus obscurus, Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe, Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola, Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes and Siberian Rubythroat Luscinia calliope.

Northern Wheatear, Ulaanbaatar, 10 May 2009
Photo © Tom Jenner

Numbers were very hard to judge, but birds were everywhere; every small bush had several and they flew up from every metre or so as you walked through the grass. Very rough estimates are:

Little Bunting c.800
Taiga Flycatcher c.300
Olive-backed Pipit c.200
Naumann’s Thrush c.60
Dusky Thrush c.10
Red-throated Thrush c.10
Black-throated Thrush 3
Eye-browed Thrush 1
Northern Wheatear c.30
Siberian Rubythroat 1
Grey Wagtail 2
Hawfinch 1
Eurasian Woodcock 1

Olive-backed Pipit, Ulaanbaatar,
10 May 2009. Photo © Tom Jenner

There has been a lot of movement over the last week or so and it is worth visiting the park from time to time.

Eurasian Woodcock, Ulaanbaatar,
10 May 2009. Photo © Tom Jenner

PS. 12 May 2009. I visited the Children's Park again today and nearly all of the migrants had left. I could find only 3 Little Buntings, 4 Taiga Flycatchers and about 10 thrushes. The large numbers of migrants two days ago were most likely grounded due to the poor weather the day before.

Taiga Flycatcher, Ulaanbaatar,
10 May 2009. Photo © Tom Jenner

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