01 July 2000. We spent most of our first day on Kandar Shan La and the grassy slopes above it, Jesper's site for our main target (and the only remaining speciality) Kozlov's Bunting. They were quite easy at the right place and I saw 10 (6 males and 4 females). Job done, trip successful! Other birds seen included 5 Himalayan Griffons, Lammergeyer, 2 Rosy Pipits, 2 Brown and 8 Alpine Accentors, 6 Blue-fronted Redstarts, 5 River Chats, a superb male Grandala, flight views of a Wallcreeper, 10 Chough, 8 Hodgson's and 6 Brandt's Mountain Finches, 5 Red-breasted Rosefinches and 50 Blue Sheep. On our return to Nangyen we stopped to look in fields by the Mekong River where I saw Golden Eagle, 2 Hoopoes, 3 Grey-backed Shrikes, 2 Rock Sparrows and 2 Scarlet and 50 Pink-rumped Rosefinches.
|Kandar Shan La|
|Ed and what to us was an overloaded truck at Kandar Shan La|
|climbing above the pass, looking for ...|
|Kozlov's Bunting, my best digiscoping effort|
|Kozlov's Bunting (photo: Barry Wright)|
|looking down at the road from above Kandar Shan La|
|me above Kandar Shan La|
|me, extremely well pleased with how the trip has gone|
6 'dolani' White Eared Pheasants (with greyer breasts), 3 Tibetan and 3 Szechenyi's Monal Partridges, 6 Himalayan Griffons, 2 Lammergeyers, 4 Cuckoos, 2 Olive-backed Pipits, a brown-throated Dipper, 2 Tibetan Rubythroats, 4 White-throated Redstarts, 5 River Chats, 8 Kessler's Thrushes, 6 Tickell's Warblers, 5 Kozlov's Babax, single Giant and Elliot's Laughingthrushes, 2 superb Wallcreepers, 2 Beautiful and 2 White-browed Rosefinches and 4 White-winged Grosbeaks.
|taking prayer stones to a new level|
|Phil, Ed, Barry and Ash scanning for Wallcreepers at Kandar Shan gorge|
03 July 2000. We had five days to get back to Xining for our flights to Beijing but as we'd seen pretty much everything possible Jon and Ash were keen to get back to Xining early to enable them to fly to Chengdu and visit Lhasa, not an option for the rest of us. All being well with the roads it was possible to do the journey in four days with a few stops which seemed a reasonable compromise and gave the rest of us a chance to revisit Dong Xia and Xining Bei Shan. Today we had a long drive back to Yushu but still had time for a few roadside stops along the way, starting with a detour to Kandar Shan La for a last quick look at Kozlov's Bunting. I saw one male. Other birds seen during the day included 8 Ruddy Shelduck, 42 Himalayan Grifons, 2 Lammergeyers, a Saker, 3 Black-necked Cranes, 2 Ibisbill, 15 Snow and 66 Blue Hill Pigeons, 7 Cuckoos, Little Owl, 19 Hoopoes, 3 Long-billed Calandra Larks, 4 Citrine Wagtails, Dipper, 8 Rufous-breasted Accentors, 2 Tibetan Rubythroats, 6 Blue-fronted and a male Hodgson's Redstart, 5 River Chats, 10 Kessler's Thrushes, 10 Kessler's Thrushes, 6 Stoliczka/s Tit-Warblers, White-browed Tit, 17 Hume's Groundpeckers, 2 Alpine and 250 Common Chough, 2 Daurian Jackdaws, 2 Rufous-necked and a White-rumped Snowfinch, 3 Twite, an Eastern Great and 15 Beautiful Rosefinches and 11 Godlewski's Rock Buntings.
|me between Nangyen and Yushu|
|street market in Yushu|
|nice looking rugs|
04 July 2000. We made steady progress back towards Xining reaching Maduo after brief stops at Bayanka La and Dayematan. As we were travelling through open country for most of the time and I was in the front I tried my best to keep track of the number of each species that I saw. Counting raptors on telegraph poles was easy but passerines more difficult and many remained unidentified. Birds recorded included 30 Bar-headed Geese, 50 Ruddy Shelduck, 4 Himalayan Griffons, Lammergeyer, 133 Upland Buzzards, 6 Black-necked Cranes, flocks of 41 and 55 Lesser Sandplover, 11 Wood Sandpipers, 6 Little Owls, 16 Saker, 7 Long-billed Calandra and 46 Shore Larks, 44 Hume's Grounpeckers, 3 Dippers, 2 Brown and 6 Robin Accentors, male Tibetan Rubythroat, 95 Black, single Hodgson's and Guldenstadt's and 3 Blue-fronted Redstarts, 16 Kessler's Thrushes, 7 Tickell's Warblers, a pair of White-browed Tits at a nest, 11 Rufous-necked, 6 White-rumped and 3 Black-winged Snowfinches, 2 Brandt's Mountain Finches and 5 Eastern Great Rosefinches. We also saw 2 Tibetan Wolves, a heard(?) of 42 Kiang and 20 Tibetan Gazelles. Not at all bad for a travel day.
05 July 2000. Another travel day, we drove with few stops, including a pass at 4460m, to Wenquan where we stayed in the same/only motel in town. Birds seen included 57 Ruddy Shelduck, 24 Himalayan Griffons, 53 Upland Buzzards, 4 Lesser Sandplover, 2 Saker, a Long-billed Calandra , 5 Hume's Short-toed and 40 Shore Larks, 23 Hume's Grounpeckers, 31 Black and 4 Guldenstadt's Redstarts, 19 Rufous-necked, 5 White-rumped, 6 Henri's and a Black-winged Snowfinch, 25 Brandt's Mountain Finches and a male Roborovski's Rosefinch.
|Himalayan Poppy at Wenquan|
|Roborovski's Rosefinch on our return to Er La|
|Roborovski's Rosefinch (photo: Barry Wright)|
|me back at Er La|
|market in Datong|
|Xining Bei Shan|
|we were now down to one vehicle - our driver, Barry, Phil, Jesper and Ed at Xining Bei Shan|
|Xining from Bei Shan|
|modern buildings in Xining|
09 July 2000. I saw 7 Azure-winged Magpies on the drive to Beijing airport and 2 Oystercatchers at Schipol.
[Blogged July 2019]
[Blogged July 2019]