4 hours winter birding
on Bogd Khan Uul, Ulaanbaatar

text and photos © Andreas Buchheim



Pine Grosbeak, Bogd Khan Uul, Dec 2010.

On 19 December 2010 I spent 4 hours in the forest above the newly established skiing zone on the north-slope of Bogd Khan Uul. It was a sunny day with almost "hot" (for Mongolian winters) minus 4 degrees Celsius and so I hoped to get some pictures of forest birds. But before photographing I had to ascend the rather steep slope but as soon as I reached the forest I was surrounded by birds. A huge flock of about 350 Common Redpolls (no Arctic Redpolls identified) was around and with them were 3 Pine Grosbeaks and 7 Hawfinches. It was not easy to take pictures as the birds either were feeding very high in the trees or in the shade of the forest if they had come down. So I produced rather disappointing shots.


Male Common Redpoll, Bogd Khan Uul, Dec 2010.


Common Redpoll, Bogd Khan Uul, Dec 2010.


Common Redpoll, Bogd Khan Uul, Dec 2010.

Other birds seen were: 1 juvenile Black Vulture, 1 juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard (the bird of the day), 2 Eurasian Nuthatch, 1 Eurasian Treecreeper, 12 Eurasian Bullfinch (the red-bellied nominate subspecies), another 12 Pine Grosbeak, 7 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 7 Red Crossbill, 3 Marsh Tit and 13 Willow Tit. Of the Corvidae there was a total lack of Eurasian Jay and only Common Raven and Oriental Crow Corvus corone orientalis were seen as flybys. Clearly I need to go there again.


Pine Grosbeak, Bogd Khan Uul, Dec 2010.


Pine Grosbeak, Bogd Khan Uul, Dec 2010.