April 15, 2007

15 APR 2007, SW-side Khar Us Nuur, c.40 km ESE from Khovd
- K. & A. Braunlich
7˚C, overcast, 50 species logged, incl. 10 species of duck. More than 80% of Khar us nuur (the Mongolian word “nuur” means lake) remain covered by ice. However, the first shorebirds defied the arctic conditions and were feeding along the partly ice-free shoreline: 26 Pied Avocets, c.30 Kentish Plovers, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Common Redshanks, and >50 Northern Lapwings. At an island which holds a gull colony since many years c.220 very vocal Great Black-headed Gulls gathered together with Mongolian Gulls Larus (vegae) mongolicus. 2 Common Sand Martins and 2 Common House Martins were early arrivals. A beautiful male Lesser Kestrel rested on the ground in the desert steppe adjacent to the lake, and a pair was seen in mountains nearby.

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