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A Report from

Tibet, 2nd May - 7th May 2001,

Steve Bale

This was not a birding trip, as such.  My wife and I joined a tour group, organised by the Tibetan Tourist Bureau in Shanghai, (the only official way a foreigner living in Shanghai is allowed into Tibet).  The itinerary, therefore, was focused on Tibetan culture and not Tibetan birds.  I broke away from the group at every opportunity - typically birding the area outside the respective monastery, while the group (including my wife) toured the inside.

2nd May

Drive from airport to Lhasa
4 snow pigeon, 2 ruddy shelduck, 6 pallas's gull

Xian zu dao (a small island south of Lhasa city) 1 hr
3 black redstart, 60 brown accentor

3rd May 

Sera monastery 0730 - 0800
Male hodgson's redstart

Orchard north-east of junction of niangre beilu  & jiaji bei lu, 0815-0915
Black kite, 10 plus hoopoe

Potala palace, 1030
3 pacific swift, crag martin

Marsh n of beijing xi lu, 1430 - 1630
8 pallas's gull, citrine wagtail, wood sandpiper, many redshank, grey-backed shrike, brown-headed gull, green sandpiper, blyth's pipit, crested lark, oriental  skylark, grey-backed shrike, 3 tickell's leaf warbler

Drepung monastery, 1700 - 1900
20 red-billed chough, green-backed tit, prob fem beautiful rosefinch, male & fem white-breasted redstart, 2 tibetan partridge, 2 hume's groundpecker

4 May

0800 - 1945, 380 km drive from Lhasa to Shigatse (ten and a half hours driving, 90 mins birding)

Shannan district, Lhasa - Quxu
Tufted duck, goosander, great-crested grebe

Yamdroyumtso (lake) 4800m
8 shorelark, 6 tibetan snowfinch

Nojinkangsang peak 7191 (drove to 5100m) and 50km beyond
Upland buzzard, shorelark, 6 tibetan snowfinch, 2house crow, 100 red-billed chough, many hume's groundpecker

Kumbum (Palkhor) Monastery, Gyantse
Kestrel, brown accentor, robin accentor, wallcreeper (on wall, behind monastery)

5 May

Shigatse, parallel with nianchu he (river) is a large wooded area that runs over 3 miles to the north (c 300 m wide) called Dongfeng Linka. Take road to the east of city, walk north on track before bridge.

7.45 - 11.15 walked 2 miles n. of bridge
3 black kite, great cormorant, c 10 common tern,  c15 pallas's gull, magpie, white wagtail, wood sandpiper, 2 goosander, c 30 grey-backed shrike, 4 tickell's leaf warbler, grey wagtail, 30 + rufous turtle dove, 100+ hoopoe, common sandpiper, mallard, c6, russet sparrow, c15 giant babax, red-rumped swallow, green-backed tit, black redstart, oriental skylark, radde's warbler (first for Tibet ???), sand martin, gadwall

Zhashenlunbu monastery
1m, 1f rock bunting, 2 robin accentors

Nepal - Lhasa highway (280 km)
Tibetan snowfinch, greater short-toed lark, 8 himalayan griffon vulture, 2 rock bunting,  white-capped water redstart, 4 pallas's gull, 2 pacific swift, 2 hill pigeon, asian house martin, 4 ruddy shelduck, hoopoe, black redstart, goosander

6 May

Deprung Monastery (4000m and climbed mountain behind @ 5000m) 07.30 - 1900
Hoopoe, 22 tibetan partridge seen as follows 2 & 2 & 2 & 4 & 2 & 2 & 2 & 2 & 2 & 2, 20 grey-backed shrike, 4 red-billed chough, 4 tickell's leaf warbler, 30 rufous turtle dove, male northern goshawk, c20 beautiful rosefinch, c10 scarlet rosefinch, c 6 russet sparrow, rosy pipit, 4 black redstart, 2 streaked rosefinch, c20 white-throated laughingthrush, m&f white-throated redstart 2&2&2, 2 hume's groundpecker, robin accentor, himalayan griffon vulture, 2 rock bunting, prinia sp.?, blackbird

7 May

Luobolanka  (1 hr)
8 beautiful rosefinch, 6 russet sparrow, 8 rufous turtle dove, grey-backed shrike

The list below shows birds seen (61 species) compared with a pre-trip notional target list (essentially, birds that I wanted to see that, on the maps, looked within striking distance).  However, in reality, because the minimum elevation during the trip was 3,600m, many/most of the species listed below were never 'theoretically possible'.

snow partridge
tibetan snowcock
tibetan partridge ##
hill partridge
blood pheasant
himalayan monal
darjeeling woodpecker
pied cuckoo
eagle owl
tawny owl
hill pigeon ##
snow pigeon ##
speckled wood pigeon
oriental turtle dove
tibetan sandgrouse
solitary snipe
pintail snipe (pass)
lesser sand plover (sum)
pallas's gull (pass) #
brown - headed gull #
black-eared kite
pallas's fish eagle
himalayan griffon #
upland Buzzard #
golden eagle
mountain hawk eagle
northern goshawk #
wallcreeper #
grey-backed shrike ##
yellow-billed blue magpie
hume's groundpecker ##
r.b. chough #
house crow #
large-billed crow
long-tailed minivet (sum)
short-billed minivet (sum)
yellow-bellied fantail
grey-headed canary fly.
Blue-whistling thrush
plain-backed thrush
white's thrush
white-collared blackbird
chestnut thrush
red-flanked bluetail
white-tailed rubythroat
indian blue robin
black redstart
hodgson's redstart ##
white-throated redstart ##
blue fronted redstart
white-capped water redstart ##
plumbeous water redstart
white-bellied redstart
siberian flycatcher
rufous gorgeted flycatcher
snowy-browed fly
ultramarine fly
verditer fly
rufous-bellied niltava
vivid niltava
spotted forktail
grey bushchat
desert wheatear
white-tailed nuthatch
grey-crested tit
yellow-bellied tit
green-backed tit
marsh tit
white-browed tit
black-throated tit
rufous-fronted tit
crag martin
asian house martin
nepal house martin
pacific swift
black bulbul
spotted bush warbler
chestnut-headed tesia
grey-sided bush warbler
white-browed tit warbler
ashy-throated warbler
smoky warbler
tickell's leaf warbler ##
greenish warbler
large-billed leaf warbler
blyth's leaf warbler
golden-spetacled warbler
black-faced warbler
white-throated laughing thrush ##
striated laughing thrush
spotted laughingthush
streaked laughingthrush
scaly lt
brown-cheeked lt
black-faced lt
chestnut-crowned lt
grey-throated babbler
red-billed leothrix
chesnut-billed minla
giant babax ##
rufous-winged fulvetta
white-browed fulvetta
hoary-throated barwing
whiskered yuhina
stripe-throated yuhina
rufous-vented yuhina
great parrotbill
brown parrotbill
tibetan lark
greater s t lark
hume's s t lark
crested lark #
oriental skylark
shorelark #
mrs gould's sunbird
green-tailed sunbird
fire-tailed sunbird
tibetan snowfinch ##
white-rumped snowfinch
rufous-necked snowfinch
plain-backed snowf.
white wagtail
citrine wagtail
yellow wagtail
grey wagtail
blyth's pipit (pas)
rosy pipit ##
alpine accentor
robin accentor ##
rufous-breasted accentor
brown accentor ##
maroon-backed accentor
yb greenfinch
tibetan siskin
plain mountain finch
brandt's mountain finch
crimson-browed finch
blandford's rosefinch
dark-breasted rosefinch
common rosefinch
beautiful rosefinch ##
dark-rumped rosefinch
white-browed rosefinch
streaked rosefinch ##
great rosefinch
red-faced rosefinch
red-headed bullfinch 
grey-headed bullfinch
collared grosbeak 
white-winged grosbeak 
tufted duck
goosander #
great crested grebe
ruddy shelduck #
green sandpiper
wood sandpiper
common tern
sand martin
black kite #
red-rumped swallow
russet sparrow
rock bunting

**radde's warbler** - beyond previously described migration route?, new for Tibet?? (I doubt it)

## lifer = 17 species
# new for my chinese list = 30 species


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