We got back to the monal site by first light with the intention of getting Koklass Pheasant but despite several calling birds in the immediate vicinity, none were on view, but we did see a few White Eared Pheasants again. So we headed through the tunnel and tried our luck with Verreaux’s Monal-partridge, again with the same result. However, Common, Chinese Beautiful and Chinese White-browed Rosefinches were present, and we also saw a pair of White-winged Grosbeaks before heading up to the top in search of Tibetan Snowcock.
|Red-fronted Rosefinch (male)|
|Red-fronted Rosefinch (female)|
As we got higher we found ourselves in the low cloud and visibility was again hampered, so after a few abortive attempts at checking the area only resulted in nice views of Red-fronted Rosefinch we drove over the pass. Lo and behold it was clear on this side and even warm!
So we staked out one particular area which had Grandala and flocks of Brandt’s Mountain-finches, but it wasn’t until a while later that a Tibetan Snowcock was found by yours truly on a walkabout and dragged everyone across country (despite the altitude) to view a huge open area set back away from the road. Unfortunately this bird had gone by the time we had got there, but another one flew across the slope and ran up into the scree allowing a few people to get on to it.
There was also a White-tailed Rubythroat and Rufous-breasted Accentor here to keep us occupied for a while. But we needn’t have worried as a little later we found a snowcock on the slope above us and we had cracking views in the scope as it fed on a grassy area for quite a long time. Needless to say, after all the hours spent searching, everyone was elated with this and even caused an early ‘picnic’ lunch. Afterwards we drove lower and as well as enjoying the warmth and sunshine feasted our eyes on a superb singing White-tailed Rubythroat close to the road, as well as Streaked and Pink-rumped Rosefinches, and as a confiding Alpine Leaf-warbler.
Leaving here we drove back over the pass and down through thick low cloud and only stopped for birding when we had descended into clearer weather.
Graham spotted a Maroon-backed Accentor feeding unobtrusively on the forest floor, whilst a Grey-crested Tit did the opposite and gave ‘in your face’ views right in front of us. And we ended the day with a Slaty-backed Flycatcher before returning to the hotel in Sawan Village.