14 May 2011

Northwest Yunnan Province, China - PART I "Yak-o-rama"

Yak-o-rama - "a panorama with Yaks"

We flew to Kunming in mid-April, and from there to "Xiang Ga Lei La" ("Shangri-la" - geddit?). The town was formerly Zhongdian.  The name of the town and surrounding area was changed a few years ago to promote tourism.

Lao Shay Guesthouse

Our first birding of the trip was around the shallow wetland of Napahai.  Most of the wintering birds had gone, but there was still quite a lot to see.

Northern end of Napahai

Black Storks

many Red-billed Choughs

Oriental Skylark

Himalayan Griffon Vultures feeding on dead livestock

Himalayan Griffon

"Shangri-la" and a lot of the rest of NW Yunnan lies at elevations of 3,000 metres or more.  

Traditionally a lot of the locals are Tibetans, and this atmosphere makes it an interesting place to visit, not just for birdwatchers.


  1. Himalayan Griffon... beautiful in flight shot.

  2. What a pose! I'd really love to visit that part of the world. Both the griffons and the storks are just great!

  3. Great to have you back - and looking forward to the rest of your pics and words!

  4. Superb stuff John, wow how different from Hong Kong can you get.........

  5. Nice to see your images from our old stomping ground. I recognise the woman leading the cows...

  6. Great Blogs John. I am heading up that way in March "12, with my non-birding daughter. Looks like we will find enough to keep both of us amused.


    Carl Clifford

  7. Hi All,

    Thanks for your input - it's not just the birds, as you can see - the atmosphere is pretty special as Alister might attest.

    Carl - there is a Trip Report by Jon Hornbuckle on the web about a visit to Mingyong in March (2003 ?) you might find useful ! Can't see it on "Travelling Birder" so it might on Jon H's website.