November 20, 2014

part seven (last)

Kind of Blue (and some red)

text by Abu

links to previous Mr. Hodgson and the Gull Calls 2013 on Birding Mongolia: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6

Brian had some commitments on 10 June and hence we went to the famous UB Ponds without him. This site is well covered by the local ornithologists and also frequently visited by birdwatchers from abroad. Over the years some locally rare birds had been found, i.e. Pallas’s Gull, Mandarin Duck and Eurasian Greenfinch.

Azure Tit, near Songino Khairkhan Uul,
UB, Jun 2013. © A. Buchheim

Azure-winged Magpie, near Songino Khairkhan Uul,
UB, Jun 2013. © A. Buchheim

Azure-winged Magpie, near Songino Khairkhan Uul,
UB, Jun 2013. © A. Buchheim

Small group of Azure-winged Magpies,
near Songino Khairkhan Uul,
UB, Jun 2013. © A. Buchheim

As usual, we started near Songijno Khairkhan Uul to check out the riparian woods. They consist of three main kinds of trees: a Malus sp. (apple), a Crataegus sp. and a Prunus sp. all of them providing food for birds, sometimes until winter. Apart from the rather new colony of Eastern Rooks (pastinator) we saw the average, but still good enough, stuff: White-backed Woodpecker, Azure Tit and Azure-winged Magpie. A male Common Crossbill was the most unexpected species. It foraged in one of the apple trees. We unfortunately could not establish what it exactly ate.

Male Common Crossbill, near Songino Khairkhan Uul,
UB, Jun 2013 © A. Buchheim

One of the reasons for less reed birds this year,
UB Ponds, Jun 2013 © A. Buchheim

This male Leucorrhinia species (whiteface) cannot be identified
by the two pictures. It’s either rubicunda or intermedia, the
latter formerly regarded as a subspecies of rubicunda, but
now both are considered good species, differing apparently
at most very subtly in the males, more so in females.
Thanks to Igor Fefelov and Elena Malikova for the info!
UB Ponds, Jun 2013 © A. Buchheim

Yet another picture illustrating well why they are
called whitefaces, UB Ponds, Jun 2013 © A. Buchheim

At the ponds proper there were not many birds. The area was grazed down this summer and we counted 34 cows. Not much reed was left so there were not many Great Reed Warblers or Pallas’s Grasshopper Warblers this year. Quite nice were a male Falcated Duck, a family of Gadwall, a pair of Swan Goose, 4 White-winged Terns, the only Grey Heron and two Black-winged Stilts. The latter being the only waders present. The group of moulting ducks consisted of about 130 Tufted Ducks, around 100 Common Pochards and 60 or so Mallards.

In the bush land to the east we got 3 pairs of Yellow-breasted Buntings but not much else. For our fare well dinner we met Brian again and drank a few beers before we flew back to Europe on 11 June.

If you wonder what Patrick did during the trip: Check out the excellent website of Xeno-Canto for his wonderful recordings! Thanx Patrick!

Patrick recording bird sounds in the mountains,
Mongolia, Jun 2013. © Brian Watmough

No comments: