6 APR 2007, Khovd - K. & A. Braunlich
Unfortunately I got the bug this week and had to watch birds rather on Planet Earth than somewhere outside – which is a shame, since I must have missed several arrival dates… It was very warm today (here, above 15 Celsius in early April is VERY warm!). The main stream of the Buyant gol, the fast flowing river on the west side of town, is still completely frozen. But branches are beginning to melt, and there are some open puddles. The sky above Khovd, which was so long dominated by wintering crovids has been definitely taken over by Mongolian Gulls (77 today) and Black-eared Kites (c.150) by now. A two-hour walk in the afternoon resulted in no less 29 species in total and ten new species for this spring: 6 Greylag Geese (species no. 196 for Khovd since late Oct 05) flying east, 3 Mallards, 1 Eurasian Wigeon, and 2 Eurasian Teals (for any larger waterfowl numbers one must drive c.40 km to Khar Us Nuur National Park), 1 Great Black-headed Gull, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Eurasian Sparrowhawks, 1 Steppe Buzzard (but one already seen here by Valdemar Holmgren on 1 April), 14 Citrine Wagtails (11 superb males!), and a flock of 8 Water Pipits. The latter two species were resting in plantations which are flooded by the owners/keepers these days (but there is neither green grass nor any green leaves or flowers to see yet). Other species today include 1 Upland Buzzard, 1 male Eversmann’s Redstart, 6 Black-throated Thrush and 4 Masked Wagtails.