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Mfuwe's second year.


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Galana

@inyathi  @SoukousI agree. I saw Ibisbill at Kosi when there in 2016. They are not that 'rare' just darn hard to spot. March 2016 I saw 15 in one flock at Spituk. My host disrupted lunch to take me to them.

Glad you liked the Mountain weasel too. Special little chap to me.

I saw other mammals of course but this is a Birding Big year and I don't want to get struck off!

OK. Just for you...

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00. Woolly Hare. Lepus oiostolus.

 

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00. Blue Sheep or Bharal.  Pseudois nayaur

 

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00. Himalayan Marmot. Marmota himalayana

 

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00. Ladakhi Pica. Ochotona ladacensis)

 

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00. Unspecfied Lizard. How the heck do they survive at 4500m and -20C?

I have saved one more special (to me ) Mammal for later but its not a carnivore.

Back to birds......

 

 

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A few more offerings with the only moan:-   178. Red-breasted Paradise Flycatcher.   179. Northern White-faced (Scops) Owl.   18

Not done all of today yet. I got called away.   67. Great Tit. Ballakesh Plantation.   68. Chaffinch. A nice male in the Pink, pink! Ballak

Another set that contains two 'specials' for me. 306. Hume's Groundpecker. Pseudopodoces humilis. Tso Kar.   307. Plain-backed Snowfinc

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Galana

More birds.......

 

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291. Streaked Rosefinch. Carpodacus rubicilloides. Namshang La.

 

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292. Robin Accentor.  Prunella rubeculoides. Namshang La and other locations.

 

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293. Horned Lark. Eremophilaalpestris. Rumste.

 

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294. Brandt's Mountain Finch.  Leucosticte brandti  Namshang La.

 

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295. White-throated Dipper. Cinclus cinclus. Somewhere close to Namshang la.

Getting into EBC territory. sorry.

 

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TonyQ

I am enjoying seeing the non- birds also. The Horned Lark is a fine looking bird.

 

We went to Ladakh a long time ago (15 -20 years) and there were no birds there at allB)

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Galana
2 hours ago, TonyQ said:

and there were no birds there at allB)

Or you had your dark trekking snow glasses on??:huh:

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Galana

On we go to 300 and beyond.

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296. Desert Wheatear.  Oenanthe deserti. Kiagar Tso.

 

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297. Ruddy Shelduck. Tadorna ferruginea  Tso Moriri.

 

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298. Brown-headed Gull. Larus brunnicephalus.  Tso Moriri.

 

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299. Hill Pigeon. Columba rupestris. Almost everywhere.

 

And to end with something very special.....

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300. Black-necked Crane. Grus nigricollis. Nyamor. Tso Kar.

Black-necked Cranes, the alpine crane, were the last species of crane discovered and described by ornithologists in 1876 due to the remoteness of their range. Vulnerable due to habitat loss and predation by feral dogs.

One of the birds I had travelled to see.

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Peter Connan

Congratulations on the tripple ton! Lots of really great birds to get there too.

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Tdgraves

Well done on 300

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xelas

What a pleasure it must be. posting #300 a bird one has travelled so far (and so high)! Congratulations, @Galana !

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TonyQ

Well done on 300. What a magnificent bird to reach this milestone.

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Galana

Thanks to all @Peter Connan @xelas, @Tdgraves,

and @TonyQ  it took a while but my target was to get there before the half year and the sun started heading south again. Larry, my cuckoo, is already away and currently in Croatia.

 

One more mammal before more birds....(yes, there are more!!)

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00. Tibetan Wild Ass. Equus kiang. Or just 'Kiang' in Ladaki. A truly beautiful creature and reflective of the wild open places it inhabits. Herds of up to one hundred can be found. To see a small herd gallop over the sandy wilds is something I won't forget. ( I also like typing its name as it really upsets my American obscenity checker!! :o)

This group were seen around the shores of Tso Startsapuk.

 

Now for 5 more birds.

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301. White-capped Water Redstart. Chaimarrornis leucocephalus.Tsokar.

 

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302. Little Owl. Athene noctua. Tso Kar. I was really surprised to find this little bird in India.

 

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303. Upland Buzzard. Dark Morph. Buteo Hemilasius. Tso Startsapuk.

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304. Long-legged Buzzard.  Buteo rufinus. Startsapuk

 

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305. Oriental Skylark. Alauda gulgula.  Tso Startsapuk

 

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Soukous

Black Necked Crane - wonderful - on my wish list

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Galana
2 hours ago, Soukous said:

wonderful - on my wish list

Stay tuned there are a couple more that may be on your list too.;)

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Galana

Another set that contains two 'specials' for me.

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306. Hume's Groundpecker. Pseudopodoces humilis. Tso Kar.

 

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307. Plain-backed Snowfinch (or Blandford's) Pyrgilauda blanfordi.  Tso Kar. I have never seen an odder face on a bird before. Cute though!

 

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308. Lesser Sand Plover. (Mongolian) Charadrius mongolus  Tso Kar. I had seen these in Africa often but never thought to catch up with one on its way home!

 

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309. Lesser Kestrel.   Falco naumanni.  Tso Kar. Sorry about the heat haze.

and now for another 5 star bird.

 

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My word what an EBC but that is all I could get from the road.

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But all was not lost, if Mo won't come up the Mountain then your's truly will have to go down.

 

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310. Tibetan Snowcock. Tetraogallus tibetanus. The summit of Taglang la. At 5320 m.amsl (17320 feet!!) the height was envigorating but the bird was well below. So we climbed down, and back up, to get these shots. Dedication indeed. Make every tick count!!

 

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00. Team photo. Mengis, LSS, Thomchok.

 

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lmSA84

Great collection! I haven’t heard of even half of these. 

 

I would have have liked to have been a fly on the wall on the day they named the Hume’s Groundpecker!

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Galana

How about "Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker?"

 

Five more including an ace EBC.

 

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311. Lammergeier. Bearded Vulture.  Gypaetus barbatus. Taglang La.  Nestlings count!

But if you insist....

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Here is the adult........

 

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312. Pallas's Gull. Larus ichthyaetus. Tso Kar.

 

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313. Yellow-billed Chough. Pyrrhocorax graculus. Rumtse. Might as well count it now as in the Dolomites in September.

 

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00/ Might as well throw in the Red-billed Cousin although already counted as it is our National bird.

Occurs in Ladkh too.

 

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314. Tibetan Sandgrouse. Syrrhaptes tibetanus. Tso Startsapuk. Another 5* star bird for me.

 

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315. Rock Bunting. Emberiza cia. Uley, Indus Valley.

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xelas

@Galana I know you must be carrying a pair of really good binoculars with you. But some of those photos/birds were at very long distances. Have you used telescopes for ID those birds? Yours or from the guide? Surely the Pallas Gull was not ID from the photo?!

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Galana

LoL

@xelas of course we had bins. The Pallas's gull was ID'd with Bins and called by Guide. We then verified by scope. You can see a Ruddy Sheldduck in the same shot.

Most, if not all, our bird's IDs are 'called' at the time. Very rarely is it necessary to check out the photo after processing at home. Any shots are just records of the sightings!! e.g. The first Snowcock would have done as an EBC but I wanted better for my own use.  As you know I don't post process apart from a modest cropping as I don't have any programme even if I wanted to.

I hope this helps you.:P

 

I would mention that there are only four species of gull in Jamur/Kashmir.

In descending order of size we have Pallas's. 70cm. Your friend the Caspian 65cm, Brown-headed which we had seen at 42cm and Black-headed at 38cm.

Elimination was not hard on site.

 

 

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xelas
49 minutes ago, Galana said:

Most, if not all, our bird's IDs are 'called' at the time.

 

That is one very tangible advance of having a birding guide, @Galana. How do you record the calls? By taking note or using a voice recorder or ...

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Galana

Almost to the final five from Ladakh.

But first to answer @xelas  query. By 'call' I don't mean the bird but one of the group calling the name out. As to how it is recorded this is usually by the photo even if a poor one such as 317 below. Another EBC but we did see it clearly it is just by the time I can get a hopeful focus the darn thing has spiralled up. Otherwise the call is recorded on the man made and fairly infallible computer we are born with.:o

 

So on we go.

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316. Black Redstart. Phoenicurus ochuros. Phyang. Not a bit like our European one of the same species.

 

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317. Himalayan Griffon. Gyps himalayensis. Uley Valley.  We DID see it clearly when it was closer but....

Now for another Five star and so lucky..

The road was blocked by a landslide so progress up to the pass was stalled.

Whilst watching some grey wagtails and a Pica a brown bird whizzed by up the stream.

I called "Dipper" and crossed my fingers.. Oh joy. It was my sought after Brown Dipper and the following sequence ensued..

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318. Brown Dipper. Cinclus pallasi. Uley valley.But why when the other Dipper had gone up stream had she stayed behind?

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Hang on that one has spots!! There are young ones. and so my cup was full.

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Not one but two......

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Both yelling to be fed....

 

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Ladakh is also home to a race of White-throated Dippers that don't have white-throats but the 'spotted' young confirm these were my sought after Brown Dipper. :lol:

 

Another bird with Tibetan in the name....

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319. Tibetan Blackbird. Turdus maximus  Phyang Valley. Formerly a race of Eurasian Blackbird but now a good species. Slightly larger, no eyering and has some slight spotting.

 

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320. Brown Accentor. Prunella fulvescens. Khardong La. 

 

Out all day birding guiding tomorrow. Back soon.

 

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xelas

Thanks, @Galana! It was about memorising all those bird names. My "man made" memory is obviously more limited then yours, I tend to forget new bird's names before evening time. A small booklet is my friend :rolleyes:.

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Soukous

You've excelled yourself Fred. #317 has to be the perfect EBC shot. 

 

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Soukous

To pick up on @xelas point. For me a birding guide (human not book) is invaluable. If they are good they can identify birds before I even see them.

Also, by identifying a bird by its call makes it easier for me to spot it as I know what I'm supposed to be looking for.

 

I reckon my strike rate with a birding guide is at least 2x what it is without one, even if I have a knowledgeable companion.

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Dave Williams

@Soukous. Agreed.No doubt a local guide knows where to look too. Birds can stick to their territories for years.

 

You have been busy in my absence Fred. What a great collection of stunning species and now you are breathing down my neck on numbers too. However, my trip back to Estonia did give me 2.5 lifers; and an EBC that would have topped yours until I saw the vulture which I have to say is dodgy to the extreme!!

Oh and what's 0.5 of a lifer? Wait and see!

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PeterHG

What an incredible collection @Galana ! So many species I didn't even know existed. Challenging circumstances to find them, though. Pure dedication on your part!

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Galana
11 hours ago, Soukous said:

#317 has to be the perfect EBC shot. 

:rolleyes: Thanks for the compliment but one can always do better.

I am not sure if I understand the discussion on 'Guides'. I had thought of Field Guides but maybe I mistook the drift.

Yes, I do hire  a local person if available. Tomchok in this case. An extra pair of eyes is always welcome anywhere, our diver was no mean spotter in his own right even while dodging traffic on Himalayan hairpins and precipices. He could give many of those much lauded East Africans a run for their money.

However to me the main use of a local guide is 'local knowledge' and not just IDs. They know where we can go and where is off limits or a dead end whereas on our own (unguided) we may (do) land up in all sorts of trouble. I speak from experience with several arrests, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and India on my record. That they were all WITH a qualified guide says quite a bit about guides too.:lol:

 

On 6/28/2018 at 9:00 PM, Galana said:

Out all day birding guiding tomorrow. Back soon.

Off topic but this was a success. My "Birding Pal" client went off at 17.30 well content with his score and many excellent photos.

More BY birds to follow and thanks for all the comments.

@Dave Williams".5" of a lifer? Which half counts?? Do you still need the other half?:P

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