October 25, 2016

Tuul Gol, 13 September 2016

text & photos by ABu

Autumn has arrived. Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Juvenile Mandarin Duck
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

A bright sunny day followed yet another cold night and when I was at the river it was still only 3°C (37.4°F). Despite the fantastic light, today was a very frustrating day. On arrival I came across a flock of dabbling ducks, mainly consisting of Mallards and Common Teals. One bird stood out immediately: a (the?) juvenile Mandarin Duck. Despite my most careful approach the Mandarin slowly swam into dense cover and through the bushes I could only take very poor record shots of it while the other ducks took flight right away. As I didn’t take my scope with me and because of the bad quality of the pictures the sex of this bird remains unclear, still.

Next was a group of about 120 Little Buntings. Although I literally was surrounded by them I could not achieve good shots. Apparently they knew exactly when they had to fly off: in the very moment my camera got the focus on them. The Little Bunting picture in this blog is that of a single bird. And so it went on all the 6 hours I walked around. Apart from the buntings there wasn’t much and sometimes I walked for a while without seeing a single bird.

Then there was that late Lanceolated Warbler which ran through the grass just a meter in front of me. Sounds good, eh? No, it isn’t. That is too close for photographing with my long lens! Anyway it would have been probably nothing more than a record shot of a small thing behind a lot of vegetation.

Finally the few penduline tits around preferred to stay inside the young bushy Siberian Elms. Only once, shortly after the Northern Sparrowhawk had flown along they came out for a brief check and I could manage to get a single bird documented.

Definitively I have to go again! Not only to get better shots of the Mandarin Duck.


Little Bunting
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Azure Tit
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Azure Tit
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Azure Tit
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Bird List (46 species)

Ruddy Shelduck 2
Mallard 12
Gadwall 2
Common Teal 10
Garganey 5
Mandarin Duck 1 juv.
Common Merganser 1 juv
Great Cormorant 9 juv.
Grey Heron 1
Black-eared Kite 4 ad.
Booted Eagle 1 ad.
Northern Sparrowhawk 1
Common Kestrel 1
Eurasian Hobby 1 juv.
Green Sandpiper 1
Spotted Redshank 1 (heard only)
Common Snipe 1
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker 3
Black Woodpecker 1


Great Cormorant
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Grey Heron
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Booted Eagle
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Booted Eagle
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Mongolian Horned Lark 2
Red-throated Pipit 4
Olive-backed Pipit c15
Grey Wagtail 2
Citrine Wagtail 2 juv.
Bluethroat 1 ad. male
Daurian Redstart 10
Siberian Chiffchaff 1
Yellow-browed Warbler c20
Dusky Warbler c15
Lanceolated Warbler 1
Taiga Flycatcher 7
Eurasian Tree Sparrow c120
Azure Tit c. 30
Great Tit 4
presumed "Stoliczka’s" White-crowned Penduline Tit 7


White-crowned Penduline Tit
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Taiga Flycatcher juv.
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Olive-backed Pipit
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Northern Raven 4
Eurasian Magpie c10
Red-billed Chough 5
Daurian Jackdaw 4
Oriental Crow 2
Common Rosefinch six 1cy
Long-tailed Rosefinch c10
Pine Bunting c40
Little Bunting c300
Black-faced Bunting c10
Meadow Bunting 1


Long-tailed Rosefinch
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

Long-tailed Rosefinch
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

“Golden” leaves
Tuul Gol, UB, September 2016

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