Gullivers’s Travels 2012

text by Andreas Buchheim

part four (final): The Birding Days

Our first site was the gorge of the Khovd River, near the border between the three provinces Khovd, Uvs and Bayan-Olgii, a site that had been recommended to us by Axel Bräunlich. It was not that easy to get there as we had to navigate through an agricultural area along the river but near a reservoir we came across a group of Rosy Starlings. At the entrance to the gorge we found a party of 6 Siberian Ibex and virtually the first birds were two female Spotted Great Rosefinches aka Severtzov’s Rosefinch. After having pitched our tents at the nice “camp ground” we started ringing and did birdwatching as well. This all happened on 28 May.


Khovd River Gorge, May 2012, © L. von der Heyde


Khovd River Gorge, Sept 2006, (photo not from
the Gulliver tour). © A. Bräunlich


Male Pied Wheatear, Khovd Gorge, May 2012,
© A. Buchheim & L. von der Heyde


Pair of Isabelline Shrike,
the male is linking to Turkestan Shrike by plumage,
Khovd Gorge, May 2012, © A. Buchheim & L. von der Heyde

The next day Lutz spotted a pale “thing” that just had landed in the cliff. We put our scopes on it and it turned out to be a male Barbary Falcon, the desert relative of the Peregrine. The bird was paired with another falcon. This female falcon was not much bigger than its male and hence quite small for a female and looked like a hybrid between a Peregrine and a Barbary Falcon: There was no orange on the head and the moustache was rather broad (for a Barbary) and triangular. The cheek patch reached the eye, nevertheless (not typical for the local breeding Peregrines). Its underside was more densely barred than that of the male (which is normally the case in both Peregrine and Barbary Falcons) but not as barred as in a pure Peregrine so the underside looked quite white (a bit peachy). Interesting! (note: Axel Bräunlich observed at this site a Peregrine on 13 May 2006).

On 30 May we went to a valley where we had found Mongolia’s first Pied Flycatcher in 2006 and but this time we found the usual birds like Chukar, White-winged Snowfinch, Brown Accentor, Godlewski’s and Grey-necked Buntings, Barred Warbler, Sulphur-bellied Warbler, Great Reed Warbler (a migrant as there are no reeds) and more common stuff only. It was nice to see a mixed group of ortolan-type buntings (1 Ortolan and 2 Grey-necked Buntings, all females) along the road.

Then we headed for Khovdijn Khar Us Nuur to find some Relict Gulls for Lutz and Tuvshin. We arrived at the lake shore in the early afternoon of 31 May and camped at the watchtower (this is at the south-western corner of the lake). There was a huge flock of Common Swifts over the lake and we estimated that it consisted of about 3000 individuals with only a handful Pacific Swifts among them. On the muddy areas large numbers of White-winged Terns (about 700 pairs) were attending later breeding sites (just a guess) and there were a further 2000 hunting insects above the reeds. Our quick check for Relict Gull was unsuccessful; only 400 Black-headed plus 500 Pallas’s and around 300 Mongolian Gulls were the only Larids we saw. 

On 1 June we tried again for the Relict Gull but failed again to find one. Lutz and Tuvshin were quite desperate but white-headed birds like 20 White-headed Ducks and the Yellow Wagtails of the nice taxon leucocephala cheered them up.


Male “White-headed Wagtail”, Uvsijn Khar Us Nuur,
Jun 2012, © A. Buchheim & L. von der Heyde


Male “White-headed Wagtail”,
a different individual, Uvsijn Khar Us Nuur, Jun 2012,
© A. Buchheim & L. von der Heyde

Then came gulls' day: 2 June 2012: The gulls had been coming to the meadows every morning to feed on insects giving us the brilliant chance to check each of them very carefully. So they did today. Wham! Something unusual was spotted through the scope – a first winter Slender-billed Gull, the second for Mongolia! Lutz and I went down to take some record shots and while doing so we found 8 Relict Gulls! Happy guys returned to the camp for a liquid breakfast.


A nice trio (left to right):
Pallas’s, Slender-billed and Relict Gulls feeding on
the meadow, Uvsijn Khar Us Nuur, Jun 2012, © A. Buchheim


Nice duo (left to right): Black-headed and Slender-billed Gulls,
Uvsijn Khar Us Nuur, Jun 2012, © A. Buchheim


The same day we visited Khovd city for having a shower and buy provisions.


Approaching Khovd City from the east,
Jun 2012, © Lutz von der Heyde

We camped in the famous Otzon Chuluu plantation, not far from Khovd hot (c. 4 km north of the city centre).


Otzon Chuluu plantation (green circle), north of
Khovd hot (Khovd city). © Google / Digital Globe


Otzon Chuluu from the air, Nov 2007,
(photo not from the Gulliver tour). © A. Bräunlich

We stayed there until Tuvshin and Lutz went back to Ulaanbaatar on 6 June, and ringed many songbirds, i.e. two Yellow-browed Warblers among the many Hume’s Warblers plus much more.


Otzon Chuluu plantation (in the background right, at the
foot of the mountain), Jun 2012, © Lutz von der Heyde


Inside Otzon Chuluu plantation, Sept 2006,
(photo not from the Gulliver tour). © A. Bräunlich


Yellow-browed Warbler (left) and Hume’s Warbler,
Otzon Chuluu, Jun 2012, © L. von der Heyde


Siberian Chiffchaff: not all have all black bills.
Otzon Chuluu, Jun 2012, © A. Buchheim & L. von der Heyde


Blyth’s Reed Warbler, a local breeder in Otzon Chuluu,
Jun 2012, © A. Buchheim & L. von der Heyde


ssp margelanica of Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca,
Otzon Chuluu, Jun 2012, © A. Buchheim & L. von der Heyde
(thanks go to Peter de Knijff for DNA analysis)

ssp margelanica of Lesser Whitethroat, another individual,
Otzon Chuluu, Jun 2012, © A. Buchheim & L. von der Heyde
(thanks go to Peter de Knijff for DNA analysis)

Masked Wagtail (personata), Otzon Chuluu,
Jun 2012, © L. von der Heyde

The trip was very successful and the gullivers want to say a big “thank you” to our driver Banzai and tour cook Ayush for completing the team. Bye, Bye!


Gulliver Tuvshin Unenbat with gull AJ23,
Mongolia 2012, © A. Buchheim

Gulliver Lutz von der Heyde with gull AL24,
Mongolia 2012, © A. Buchheim

Gulliver ABu (with a handful of gulls ready for release),
Mongolia 2012, © L. von der Heyde


Links to previous posts:
part one: Terchijn Tsagaan Nuur
part two: Oigon Nuur
part three: Uvsijn Khar Us Nuur
MONGOLIA’S ECOREGIONS

from: Encyclopedia of Earth:

<<An ecoregion is a contiguous area characterized by well-defined similarity in flora and fauna as well as geomorphology, climate and soils; ecoregions are generally relatively large geographic units on the order of 50,000 square kilometers or more. Ecoregions may be terrestrial or marine, and do not recognize any political boundaries or landscape alterations by humans. Generally an ecoregion is depicted by a geographic descriptor coupled with a biome identity, further articulating one or more specific climatic or dominant plant community appellations: for example, Chilean Mattoral or Madagascar Dry Deciduous Forests.

There are several alternative formal naming schemes for the Earth's ecoregions; one of the most widely used, developed by the World Wildlife Foundation, recognizes 867 separate ecoregions. Because of the very large scale of an ecoregion, the landscape is not monolithic, but may have pockets of ecological diversity; however, the ecoregion is defined by its preponderant vegetative, geological and meteorological composition. Correspondingly boundaries between regions are sometimes diffuse, resulting in a broad ecotone.>>

Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [First published in the Encyclopedia of Earth February 21, 2010; Last revised Date July 4, 2012; Retrieved January 12, 2013 http://www.eoearth.org/article/Ecoregion?topic=49597


example: Alashan Plateau semi-desert.

Here is a list of most ecoregions which cover parts of Mongolia. The list is also linked in the sidebar, so that it is easily accessible later, too.


TEMPERATE BROADLEAF & MIXED FORESTS

ecoregion: Manchurian mixed forests
This ecoregion lies almost completely outside Mongolia, and touches it border in the easternmost part of the country only (in Nömrög).


TEMPERATE CONIFEROUS FORESTS

ecoregion: Altai montane forest and forest steppe

ecoregion: Khangai Mountains conifer forests

ecoregion: Sayan montane conifer forests


BOREAL FORESTS/TAIGA

ecoregion East Siberian taiga
This ecoregion lies immediately to the north of Mongolia, but shows several features which are typical for the northernmost forests of the country.


TEMPERATE GRASSLANDS & SHRUBLANDS

ecoregion Daurian forest steppe

ecoregion Mongolian-Manchurian grassland

ecoregion Selenge-Orkhon forest steppe


MONTANE GRASSLANDS & SHRUBLANDS

ecoregion Altai alpine meadow and tundra

ecoregion Khangai Mountains alpine meadow


DESERTS & XERIC SHRUBLANDS

ecoregion Alashan Plateau semi-desert

ecoregion Eastern Gobi desert steppe

ecoregion Gobi Lakes Valley desert steppe

ecoregion Great Lakes Basin desert steppe


Encyclopedia of the Earth: Ecoregion
TWO AND A HALF MEN

If you scroll down a bit and have a look at our Tsagaan Sar - Mongolian Lunar New Year post you will see two and a half men: Andreas Buchheim aka Abu and his son, and the founder of Birding Mongolia, Axel Bräunlich. Which means that in the first month of the Year of the Water Snake we joined forces, and are publishing Birding Mongolia together from now on. Hurray! Bolna!
Birding Mongolia summer 2012 tour

text and photos © Paul B. Jones

part 2: MAMMAL BONANZA


This is a compilation of photos of mammals taken during our trip through Mongolia, 22 June to 14 July 2012, led by Axel Bräunlich/Nomadic Journeys. The order here is not necessarily following the itinerary.


Argali in Ikh Nart at sunrise.

The Argali Ovis ammon is the largest wild sheep in the world. Originally found across the highlands of Central Asia, hunting and habitat loss from overgrazing domestic livestock have eliminated the species from much of its former range.

This silhouette was taken just as dawn broke near Nomadic Journey’s Red Rock Ger Camp in central Mongolia. The back light above the animal’s ears and below the horns creates the illusion of a pair of eyes, an interesting if somewhat eerie effect.

Argalis are doing well in the Red Rock Camp area, protected by the nearby Ikh Nart Nature Reserve.

Red Rock Ger Camp in the Ikh Nart upland.
Photo © Jodie van Dieen

Set among the dramatic and rocky north Gobi landscape, Nomadic Journey’s Red Rock Ger Camp was the nicest accommodations of our Mongolia tour. The company has succeeded in creating an ecologically sound presence in a challenging environment that at the same time is a comfortable and friendly place to stay.

The camp borders on the Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve (Ikh Nart) in the Dornogobi Aimag or East Gobi Province of Mongolia. Established in 1996, Ikh Nart covers about 660 square kilometres of grassland and desert-steppe. The protected area shelters 600–700 Argali, as well as some 150 Siberian Ibex Capra sibirica. Ongoing studies of the local wildlife are being conducted by the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Denver Zoological Foundation and other organizations.

However, the first stop after departing our arrival point Ulaanbaatar was the Khustain Nuruu National Park (aka Hustai National Park), located about 110 kilometres west of the capital city.

Takhi, Khustain Nuruu NP.

The park is known in Mongolian as Хустайн нуруу (Birch Mountains) and protects a beautiful area of rolling steppe, rocky hills and forest patches. One its key attractions is a reintroduced population of Takhi Equus (ferus) przewalskii the last truly wild horse in existence.

Takhi, mother and foal, Khustain Nuruu NP.

The Takhi, also known as Przewalski’s Horse (pronounced prrr-sha-VAL-skee’s), is a rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse native to the steppes of Central Asia. At one time extinct in the wild and existing only in captive populations, it has been reintroduced in Mongolia at Khustain Nuruu National Park and two other sites.

As we got a little close to the mare and foal the
stallion moved in on us. We decided to back off.

Common names for this animal include Dzungarian Horse, Asian Wild Horse, Mongolian Wild Horse and Przewalski’s Wild Horse (after the Russian geographer and explorer Nikolai Mikhaylovich Przhevalsky). Its taxonomic position is still debated, some authors treat the horse as a distinct species, Equus przewalskii.

Long-tailed Ground Squirrel
Spermophilus undulatus, Erdenesant.

Photographed from our Toyota Land Cruiser’s window on the outskirts of Erdenesant, a small Mongolian town to the west of the capital city Ulaanbaatar. This colourfulish rodent is also known as Eversmann’s Souslik.

Long-eared Hedgehog Hemiechinus auritus, defensive posture.

My first hedgehog sighting ever, spotted on a night walk at the Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. In addition to being a super neat life form, hedgehogs also occupy a huge space in popular culture. They don’t occur in the Americas and it was a big goal of the trip to see one, so this was an exciting moment.

I caught it out of the corner of my eye in the spot light and it immediately jammed itself up against a rock. When we approached closely it rolled into a perfect ball.

Long-eared Hedgehog, Tsagaan Suvarga, Gobi.

This one was photographed at the Tsagaan Suvarga (White Cliffs) Ger Camp, again on a night walk. After finding nothing on the steppe we swung by the camp’s small rubbish dump and noted movement in a discarded cardboard box. When we tipped the box’s contents this guy rolled out. Not a pristine wilderness experience but still a neat encounter with an awesome animal.

Tolai Hare Lepus tolai, Gobi.

This photo of a Tolai Hare was taken at dawn at the Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. The animal was encountered on the low rocky outcrop beside the lodge and allowed close approach.

Tolai Hare, Ikh Nart NR.

The Tolai ranges across Asia from the Caspian Sea east through Mongolia into northern and central China. It lives in semi-desert, steppe and rocky habitats, occupying a similar niche to North America’s Jack Rabbits.

We encountered good numbers of this pleasant species throughout our trip; they would often allow close approach.

baby Pallas’s Pika Ochotona pallasi, Yolyn Am.

These animals were incredibly abundant at Yolyn Am in the Gobi Altai Mountains. As we entered the valley at first it was “Wow, a pika.” Quickly it turned to “Wow, a whole family”, then “Okay, there are at least a dozen of them over there” until finally “This is a bit creepy, hundreds of them are staring at us from the hills.”

Adult Pallas’s Pika, Yolyn Am.

An adult surveying the land at Yolyn Am, Valley of the Lammergeier. You could spend a few days in the area just working on getting the ultimate pika image.

Pika fight, Yolyn Am.

The extraordinary abundance of pikas in Yolyn Am seems to cause a fair bit of conflict within the population. These two young ones were engaged in a mild tussle but we saw adults really battling away - rolling down slopes, jaws locked on each other’s faces.

Siberian Marmot Marmota sibirica, Gun Galuut NR.

In early 1990 Mongolia underwent a revolution resulting in a multi-party political system and the transition to a market economy. But with the end of communism the great Mongolian Marmot Massacre began. Newly liberated entrepreneurs took advantage of the de-regulated environment and systematically shot millions of these large rodents for sale on the commercial meat market ($45 a carcass).

Marmots are now gone from most of their former range and have been declared an endangered species. The landscape is dotted with their abandoned burrow mounds, a sad reminder of the marmot’s importance as a soil aerator, prey species for larger predators such as eagles and wolves, and a shelterer of smaller animals and birds who also utilize their burrows.

Fortunately small pockets of this keystone species in the steppe ecosystem survived the onslaught. As the state re-asserts regulatory authority they are commencing a comeback. This particular marmot family, a sign of hope perhaps, was photographed at Gun Galuut Nature Reserve. They would not allow me to approach for a close up picture, a wariness of humans warranted by history.

You can’t really judge size by this photo but the marmots (also known as Mongolian Marmot or Tarbagan Marmot) are very large. When a Corsac Fox trotted by the big one on the left charged at it and chased the smaller animal away.

Corsac Fox Vulpes corsac, Gun Galuut NR.

The Corsac Fox is a medium-sized canid found throughout the central steppes of Asia, including Mongolia. This one was photographed at sun set in the Gun Galuut Nature Reserve approximately 100 km east of Ulaanbaatar.

My plan was to obtain images of Siberian Marmot by lying low in the grass beside one of their burrows. Unfortunately the large rodents would not cooperate and mostly stayed out of sight. To my surprise, however, one of these beautiful foxes popped up fairly close by. It was a little bit nervous and would occasionally drop back underground. When it did that I would rush forward five metres or so and reposition my camera. When the fox reappeared and eyed me suspiciously I would quietly say “What? What? I haven't moved!” Eventually I was able to get close enough to take some photos.

Patience in photography is something I had to learn. Until recently I would give an animal or bird a minute or so and if it didn't pose I would move on. Now in certain situations I am willing to invest some time and wait for opportunities to arise.

Corsac Fox, Gun Galuut NR.

This beautiful Central Asian fox can be distinguished from the superficially similar Red Fox by its smaller size, slighter build and black (not white) tip to the tail.

We had three Corsac sightings during our three weeks in Mongolia. One ran quickly across the road near Erdenesant west of Ulaanbaatar. Two other family groups were seen amongst the marmot colonies at the Gun Galuut Nature Reserve, including this one pictured above that was photographed at dusk with a tripod mounted Canon 1D Mark IV/800mm f5.6 lens combo.

Siberian Chipmunk Tamias sibiricus

The Siberian Chipmunk occurs across northern Asia from central Russia to Japan and is the only chipmunk found outside North America. This one was photographed in larch forest in north-eastern Mongolia.


link to part 1: click here
Сар шинэдээ сайхан шинэлээрэй!
 Happy Tsagaan Sar!

To all our readers, friends and colleagues:

Very best wishes for the Lunar New Year

from Andreas Buchheim aka Abu and Axel Bräunlich.




Birding the Khentii Aimag in winter

text & photos © Andreas Buchheim



The Onon River north of Binder village, Khentii, Jan 2013

Winter birding in Mongolia’s countryside requires special care as it s gets freezing cold during the night. Early planning will help to overcome the different obstacles. Thus the guys of the Mongolian Birdwatching Club, namely Huyagaa, Amarkhuu and Tuvshin and I had met already in October for a thorough planning.


Amarkhuu, Huyagaa and Tuvshin
birding the Khentii, Jan 2013

From 23 to 26 January we were out in the Khentii Aimag (Khentii province) in northern Mongolia, a region characterized by forests and large areas of steppe. During the trip night temperatures dropped down to minus 36°C (–32.8°F), but day temperatures reached “cozy” minus 15°C (5.0°F), with no wind and mostly blue skies.


Daurian Partridge, Khentii, Jan 2013

We started early on 23rd and were already 100 km east of the capital by sunrise to reach Binder village at 5 p.m. after having passed the villages of Jargaltkhaan, Ömnödelger and Bayan Ovoo. The next day we spent some time along the frozen Onon River and arrived at the village of Dadal in the evening to stay there for two nights. On 25 January our local guide Bender showed us around within Onon-Balj National Park. Most of the time we walked through the riparian forest of the Balj River in our fruitless search for waxwings. We returned to UB via the very same route.


Open stretch of the Onon River in the morning, Khentii, Jan 2013


Two of the 9 Common Goldeneyes,
Onon River, Khentii, Jan 2013


White-throated Dipper, Khentii, Jan 2013

During our days in the field we did not see a single our most sought-after species, i.e. Snowy Owl, Great Grey Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Rough-legged Buzzard and Gyr Falcon, just to name a few. This was partly due to the fact that we spent only a single day in the proper steppe and for we never went into real taiga. Nevertheless we came across 42 species and saw a new taxon for Mongolia (see full list below). Most species were extremely shy, especially when occurring in larger flocks. The Snow Buntings took already flight at a distance of ca. 250 m hence I did not take many pictures.


This is how the steppe should look like in winter, but most
areas of the steppe were totally covered by snow, not
because the snow was very deep: only 2 cm of snow were
enough to cover the overgrazed steppe! Khentii, Jan 2013


Part of the biggest flock of Lapland Bunting we saw.
There are 1506 birds in this picture! Khentii, Jan 2013


Species List

Common Goldeneye We found a group of 9 at an open stretch of the Onon River.
Black Grouse 277 plus about 50 in Onon-Balj NP.
Daurian Partridge Many groups along the Onon River, the largest holding 27 birds.
Eurasian Black Vulture A group of 8 at a carcass in Onon-Balj NP plus several twos and singles.
Golden Eagle two singles, one near the above mentioned carcass and another one sitting on a pole of a power line
Upland Buzzard 4 near Jargaltkhaan was the only “concentration”
Hen Harrier a male and a female (presumably a pair, as the female was following the male rather closely) north of Binder village
Saker Every now and then single birds seen, in total only less than 10.
Hill Pigeon 20 in Binder village plus the occasional bird elsewhere
Rock/Feral Pigeon It is always hard to tell “which is which” but we saw about 5 smaller flocks of up to 15 birds with some obvious Feral Pigeons; most birds were Rock Pigeon look-alikes.
Little Owl Two along the Onon River.
Great Spotted Woodpecker Few along the Balj River.
Grey-headed Woodpecker One at the Balj River.
Asian Short-toed Lark Only seen within the large flock of Père David’s Snowfinches, probably less than 20 birds.
Horned Lark We saw only birds of the local subspecies brandti with the largest group consisting of 80 birds.
Mongolian Lark Only very few birds seen, in total less than 10!
White-throated Dipper One pale morph bird of the polymorphic subspecies baicalensis at an open stretch of a small tributary of the Balj River.
Red-throated Thrush A single bird at the Balj River was the only thrush we saw.
Great Tit Several in the villages, some of them heavily stained with soot.
Azure Tit The only one we saw was near Binder village.
Eastern Marsh Tit Only two seen at the Balj River.
Willow Tit We saw only a small group of about 5 along the Onon River and a further two at the Balj River.
Long-tailed Tit About 15 at the Onon River were the only ones we came across.
Eurasian Nuthatch Only two birds seen, one at the Onon River and one along the Balj River.
Northern Grey Shrike All three birds seen belonged to the subspecies sibiricus and were on their watchout in the Onon-Balj NP.
Azure-winged Magpie A group of 30 was roaming through the riparian forest along the Balj River.
Common Magpie (leucoptera) Seen in every village and at the carcass in the NP.
Rook (pastinator) A single bird along the main road c. 120 km east of Ulaanbaatar.
Oriental Carrion Crow Each village had several pairs of these birds.
Common Raven Pairs well spread over the entire area we covered with a larger concentration around the carcass where about 25 were feeding.
Red-billed Chough We did not see many at all; most birds in the villages but also some in the steppe.
Eurasian Jay (brandtii) The only one we saw quickly disappeared into the forest of the NP which we were crossing by car.
House Sparrow Only few were seen per village.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Commonly encountered in each village.
Père David’s Snowfinch (aka Small Snowfinch) A large group of about 500 along the main road near Jargaltkhaan (this flock contained also some Asian Short-toed Larks, Horned Larks and Lapland Buntings), and a second flock of 80 birds in Jargaltkhaan village.
Long-tailed Rosefinch We saw a group of 35 at the Onon River near Binder village and heard the species calling from the riparian forest along the rivers several times without seeing them.
Mealy Redpoll The largest flock was a group of 15 at the Balj River. Only three small flocks seen.

EURASIAN GOLDFINCH (frigoris) A flock of 7 at Dadal village was seen well before sunrise and they flew off soon not to be seen again. All members of this flock belonged to the black-crowned subspecies frigoris (by range; formerly also known as major). This is apparently the first observation of a Eurasian Goldfinch of the western black-crowned “nominate group” for Mongolia, so far only birds of the eastern grey-headed “caniceps group” had been recorded in the country.


Record shot of the frigoris Eurasian Goldfinches
(I had to make up the picture a lot because it was shot
when it was still very dark, sorry for this kind of artwork),
Dadal village, Khentii, Jan 2013

Common Bullfinch We saw only 7 birds, all males belonged to the nominate subspecies.
Meadow Bunting The largest group had 60 birds and was seen near Dadal village.
Snow Bunting On the way to Ömnödelger village we saw a group of 140 birds and later another but smaller flock of about 15.
Lapland Bunting By far the most numerous birds on the entire trip with the largest group consisting of more than 3500 individuals. This species’ flocks were always very densely packed.


Part of the flock of more than 500 Père David’s Snowfinches,
all birds in this photo without the prominent wingbar
are Lapland Buntings, Khentii, Jan 2013
 
Common Raven flying over the reflecting snow which
highlights every single feather tract, Khentii, Jan 2013

Adult Golden Eagle, Khentii, Jan 2013


Adult Golden Eagle taking off, Khentii, Jan 2013


Part of the big flock of Black Grouse, Khentii, Jan 2013


Female Black Grouse about to land, Khentii, Jan 2013


Male Black Grouse in flight, Khentii, Jan 2013


Adult Common Magpie, Khentii, Jan 2013


First winter Common Magpie, Khentii, Jan 2013