Returned to the head of the valley we tried yesterday morning and this time the rain stopped (almost) during our field breakfast and we could head up into the mountains on our most scenic and adventurous walk to date. We had just began walking when a Tibetan Grey Shrike was spotted on nearby telegraph wires – what a great start. In fact we found another one further along the path, sharing the fence posts with a couple of Common Cuckoos.
|Looks like a long way up the mountain....|
|Amazing scenery up here.... Worth the effort!|
Once we reached the valley, we quickly found our first Przevalski’s Partridges scurrying up the hillside above us and we would see several more during the course of the morning. The first of a couple sightings of Wallcreeper this morning was particularly special for Chris. From the valley floor we hiked high up across a ridge in a circular route from 3200 – 3700m and it was particularly hard going but everyone ‘enjoyed’ it. We got off to a flyer with a pair of Tibetan Partridges seen well and higher up a group of 5 Himalayan Snowcocks flew right over us as they went from one ridge right away across the valley to the other side. We managed to track them down and had very nice scope views as they fed on a steep grassy slope.
The scenery was magnificent and well worth the effort. We also found Alpine Leaf-warbler, Beautiful Rosefinch, and a Kessler’s Thrush mobbing a perched Northern Goshawk. Once we had returned to the valley floor we spread out and managed flight views of 2 pairs of Daurian Partridges to make it a 4 ‘chicken’ morning.
After a late lunch in Chaka we drove to the desert east of the town and had our best view yet of a Mongolian Lark, but the rain that had been threatening came in and we had a well deserved early finish and a nice rest after our earlier exertions.