Tour Reports
Reports By Destinations: Xinjiang
2014 June 6-28 Qinghai and Xinjiang birding

7 birders (5 UKs 2USAs) and Tang Jun as local bird guide plus Steven An as co-guide.

All pictures were taken by Tang Jun during the trip. 
Reported by Tang Jun. 

6 June we met at Xining for overnight.Most arrive at Xining visa Beijing and one US birder visa Shanghai.Overnight at Yuandong Hotel
4 person's bags not arrived at the same plane but problem was settled next noon time,which is good. 

7 June morning birding at Dongxia then carry on to Fuzhu.
We started early and drive little bit more than 1 hour and get into Yaozigou Forest park,here we spent most of the morning and saw all our target birds include: Gansu Leaf Warbler,Chinese and White-cheeked Nuthatch, Chinese Bush Warbler,Crested Tit Warbler,Rufous-breasted Accentor, Siberian Rubythroat, Siberian Stonechat, Greenish, Hume’s Leaf and Yellow-streaked Warblers, Elliot’s Laughingthrush, Rufous-vented Tit, Grey-backed Shrike and some other birds.
After Dongxia,we carry on to Huzhu Beishan and stay at Huzhu Yingyuan Hotel which is a good one with wifi at lobby.

8 June Fuzhu Beishan birding whole day
As we saw 4 Blue-eared Pheasants yesterday already on the way to Huzhu Beishan, so this morning we spent in a valley main for the Chinese Grouse and the afternoon at another nearby valley where we got Chestnut-throated Partridge and saw some other birds include:Chinese Leaf Warblers ,Black Woodpecker, Northern Red-flanked Bluetail, Chestnut Thrush,Plain Mountain Laughingthrush. Staied at the same good hotel  

9 JUne last birding then drive to Kor Kor Nor Lake and stay at Heimahe
As we got almost all our birds then we do not spent extra time at Beishan and drive directly to Kor Kor Nor and just beside Huzhu town,we saw a Rook which is a target bird for one of the US birders.We did some birding at the east part of the lake where include: Hume’s Short-toed Lark, Isabelline Wheatears,Blanford’s Snowfinch, Bar-headed Geese and Pallas’s and Brown-headed Gulls, Black-necked and Great Crested Grebes, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Red-crested and Common Pochards, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Coot, Green & Wood Sandpipers
We staied at a new hotel named Qinghaihu Hotel which even has wifi and 24 hot water. 

10 June Most of the day at Heimahe Rubber Mountain, drive to Chaka
Packed breakfast then drive 15 minutes to the right site,here we spent all our morning in a vally and slop area, 3 pair of Pink-tailed Bunting with good photo chance and some other good birds include:Alpine Leaf Warbler, Smoky Warber, White-browned Tit, Robin Accentor
After packed lunch in field,as we did all birds of the area, so we drove toward Chaka where is 80km away. About 30km before Chaka,we tried do some researching in field for the Ground Jay,we got it and 2 birds running around for a long time.


11 June Chaka birding
This morning we dove to a nearby valley but it is still rainning when we got there,thus we chenged our plan by drove to another further site for the Alashan Redstart. When we got there,mud,rainning and foggy. We walked 3 km into the valley and at last we saw our target bird.
Alpine Leaf Warbler, Smoky Warber, White-browned Tit, Robin Accentor

12 June Chaka birding
We drove to the first valley again and siad that whatever the weather will be,we have to get into the valley and walk up the hillside.
Weather is ok and getting better and better. We did it and walked up and very good view of the Partridges and 5 Himalayan Snowcocks flew into the area and walked up along the hillside about 100m away from us.

13 June drive to Wenquan
We leave Chaka not that early as normal but still can get to Gonghe where we stop for a good dumpling breakfast which happied with all birders.After breakfast drop birders at a nearby spot and we did some shopping for the coming days.Drive another 180km to Wenquan where we will stay for one night, and guesthouse here is very simple but clean and without private toilet. And no water pipe available in rooms.
A big staff today is one Pallas Cat with good view a long time just before Er La Pass at the slope area. 

14 June birding at Er La Shan then drove to Maduo for better accommodation
After a big breakfast and handed 2 big Snicker bars other food. We started the hard trip for the Tibetan Sandgrouse & Rosefinch by climb up to the Er La Shan where nearly 5000m hight at the top.
We got the rosefinch about 1 hour later and after another very hard climbing,we got to the top.
Foggy and very cold at the plateau, we tried a long time by dispersed and till we almost give up, we saw one flew across in fog.So we decided still wounder around and luckly,I saw one bird very distant (now the weather is better) and land somewhere. So we runned to the about site and carefully scan. We found it, two of them.
Happy us walked down and jump into the bus and drive to the next good hotel 180km away for a warm night.


15 June drive from Maduo to Yushu
Yesterday,before our arrival at Maduo,where the good hotel,we saw a wolf sunning into sheep and bite one's tail. And them the wolf running across road where we drove up to get closed. To our right hand side, there are total 4 wolves.Normally difficult to see 4 of them together.
Today is main a driving day and mammals along the road, inlcude Tibetan Ass,Gezella.
And before Yushu where we drove into a valley where we saw good view of Ibisbill and about 60 White-lipped Deer in the mountain slope.


16 June birding between Yushu and Nangqian
Toady is only 180km drive,so we spent longer time to looks for birds en route.
Maily is the Great Rosefinch which I spent some time not far from Yushu airport area. And then we carry on our trip by into a gorge where we had good view of Streaked Rosefinch and soem of us saw Red-fronted Rosefinch but this one all of us did good view at Kande Shan again.


17 June one full day at Kande Shan
Only 40km drive from Nangqian town and when we got there, we had our warm breakfast,cold in the early morning.
In the first sunshine,we heard the song of the Tibetan Bunting.Then very good view and photo chance with the birds.After the birding include saw: Red-fronted Rosefinch,Tibetan Snowcock,Grandala plus many Blue Sheep.Some fo us climbed up the hill side and got good photos.
Till noon time,we down the mountain little bit and where had lunch, where we managed to had good view of the Blue Eared Pheasant and Buff-throated Partridge. Then drive drove down into the groge and climbed a little bit,we saw Tibetan Barbax very well. 



18 Juen one full day at Baizha Forest
As the Partridge and Barbbax normally be saw at Baizha Forest but we did already at Kande. So we spent out most time inside Baizhai at a forest for other birds include Blood Pheasant,Sichuan Leaf Warbler,Crested Tit Warbler,Maroon Accentor and some other birds.

19 June drive back to Maduo
Todat just a dirivng day for about 520km and soemwhere we still stopped for birding. 

20 June birding between Maduo and Gonghe
We stll need two Snowfinch: Tibetan and Sall. Plus the Whitethroat.We tried at some spot include Er La Shan.
At last,we saw the Small Snowfinch near Gonghe and ectually the next day, we saw a lot near Kor Kor Nor lake east part.

21 June birding at Gonghe and drive back to Xining
WE drove to Kor Kor Nor Lake birding again then dirve back to Xining and staied at the same hotel 

22 June birding at Xining, then drove to Lanzhou where flew to Urumuqi
Mainly bird for this morning is Paled Rosefinch which we got it after the breakfast in the hillside.Then drive back to hotel check out and drive another 240km to Lanzhou airport where has suitable flight to Urumuqi,long flew...nearly 3 hours to NW.
Met by Mr Zhang,the local bus driver who did many birding trips already.That's good as he knew what we wanted. 

23 June drive a long distance to Luntai at south Xinjiang desert

24 June almost full day at desert, and drive to Kuerle
we got birds include at the target site include: Ground Jay,Pied Wheatear, Desert Wheatears, Black Stork, Desert Finches, Isabelline Shrike, Long-legged Buzzard White-winged Woodpeckers, Saxaul Sparrow, Lesser Whitethroat
The dinner tonight can not be forgoten,we drunk 3 bottles of Chinese Rice Wine and lots beers...

25 June birding at Bosten Lake then drive back to Urumuqi 
We stopped at wetland area and did soem birding: Whiskered and White-winged Black Tern, Little Bittern, Caspian Gull, Great Reed Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Eurasian Reed Bunting, Bearded Reedling. Paddyfield Warbler and Savi's Warbler which is little bit south.
Due to lower season of the Chinese tourists,we used a very good 4 stars hotel by a 3 stars hotel price.

26 June birding at Nanshan

27 June birding at Nanshan
We spents quite a lot time on the Red-mantled Rosefinch but still can not see but most of other birds are ok include:Rose Starling,Azure Tits, Mistle Thrush, Common Whitethroat, Red-headed Bunting,Black-throated Accentor,Red-fronted Serin, Blue-capped Redstart, Eversmann’s Redstart, Oriental Turtle Dove, Oriental Greenfinch, Hoopoe, Barred Warbler and Eurasian Jakdaw.

28 June morning birded the Whited-headed Duck, then fly off Urumuqi.6 flew to Beijing back to UK,1 flew to Shanghai back to US.Steven An back to Nanchang where he is the local guide for us SE China trips and Tang Jun back to Chengdu.

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