17 August 2017

Inner Mongolia, March 2017



Shore (formerly "Horned") Lark - Eremophila alpestris

There’s nothing like the swelter of August in HK to cause me to hark back to the cool few days in March we spent in Inner Mongolia, near the Chinese border with Russia.

We travelled with Mengxiu TONG of China Wild Tour in a small group.


It was well below freezing on most days near Hulun Lake, where Snowy Owls are usually present in winter, but this was a poor year and we dipped.

This ground has been covered by Terry Townshend in his Birding Beijing blog.  


Corsac Fox

Traditional lifestyle

21st-century lifestyle

Stuck again !


Black-throated Snowfinch - Pyrgilauda davidiana




Still, there were plenty of other things to look at….

Craig Brelsford of Shanghai Birding was there in January this year.

Manzhouli - "Border Town" architecture

We moved on after three days, east from Manzhouli to Yakeshi on the train, then were driven to the town of Wu’erqihan.  This is an area of low snowy hills and willow-covered river valleys, with plenty of birds to look at too. 

This ground has also been covered by Terry Townshend in his Birding Beijing blog.  








Ural Owl - Strix uralensis


Willow Tit - Poecile montanus

Bohemian waxwing - Bombycilla garrulus


Asian Rosy Finch - Leucosticta arctoa

Wild Boar - Sus scrofa




Eurasian Bullfinches - Pyrrhula pyrrhula (race:cineracea?)


Eurasian Bullfinch - Pyrrhula pyrrhula (race:cineracea?)

Great Grey Owl - Strix nebulosa

Great Grey Owl - Strix nebulosa



Little Owl - Athene noctua

Black Woodpecker - Dryocopus martius


Great Grey Owl - Strix nebulosa


Black Grouse - Lyrurus tetrix

Three-toed Woodpecker - Picoides tridactylus

Black-billed Capercaillie - Tetrao parvirostris

Black-billed Capercaillie - Tetrao parvirostris

Siberian Jay - Perisoreus infaustus

Long-tailed Tit - Aegithalos caudatus

Hazel Grouse - Tetrastes bonasia


Eurasian Nuthatch - Sitta europea

Long-tailed Rosefinch - Uragus sibiricus



The local driver/guides in the area have been running tours for five or six years now.  They are very good at knowing where the birds are likely to be, and it would be easy to get lost on a self-driven tour.


It was great fun, but thermal undies were absolutely essential !