Report: Birds and Mammals of Ladakh July 2017

Tibetan Wild Ass, Hanle

Dear All,

Do apologise for the long gap from our last post – sharing with you a pictorial report, from a 10 day birdwatching trip organised by Nature India to the Cold Desert of Ladakh. We birded in marshes around Leh, high altitude (4500m or so) lakes/plains of Pangong Tso, Tso Kar and Hanle and the in high passes (above 5300m) to and from from these locations. Highlights included several bird specialities of the Tibetan Plateau/Trans Himalayas such as Black-necked Crane, Tibetan Sandgrouse, Tibetan and Horned Larks, Hume’s Groundpecker, Great and Streaked Rosefinches, Little Owl, Tibetan and Blandford’s Snowfinches, Brandt’s Mountainfinch, White-throated Dipper, Saker Falcon, Upland Buzzard, Golden Eagle, Red-fronted Serin and Brown Accentor among others – many of them raising chics in the all too brief, but surprisingly productive summer of the region. Mammals sightings included four species of Pika, Tibetan Wild Ass, Weasel, Bharal, Stolickza’s Vole, Himalayan Marmot and Red Fox. Ladakh is known for its spectacular landscapes and this experience of it lived upto that reputation, with dramatic mountainscapes, valleys, lakes and meadows, often taking on various hues in changing light, wherever we visited. A special thanks to Adesh and Mandar, our tour leaders, superb bird guides and hosts with a wealth of natural history knowledge, for this memorable trip.

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