Visit Mongolia for a 2 week guided birdwatching tour. Famous as the home of Ghengis (Chinggis) Khan and the epicentre of migrations of people that changed the course of history in Asia and Europe. Mongolia currently has the world’s lowest population density, with much of the country still being dominated by nomadic herders. This nomadic lifestyle leaves much of Mongolia still a place of vast wilderness and habitat diversity with treeless plains and high mountains interspaced with rivers, lakes and marshes as well as taiga forest and sandy deserts. With over 480 species of birds, many of them migratory, Mongolia’s vast wilderness makes it a birders dream.
This tour is a comprehensive but relaxed birding experience with selected introductions to Mongolian history and culture in a small group context.
This is not a difficult tour and is suitable for anyone with a moderate standard of fitness. Most of the birding is conducted from close to the tour vehicle. However there are only limited medical facilities away from the capital city and phone coverage is poor. Not all roads are sealed.
This is largely in tradition style gers in remote but comfortable tourist ger camps. Bathroom and shower facilities can be very basic. In Ulaanbaatar we stay in a comfortable western style hotel. Mutton is the predominate meat used and is served in a variety of ways including some tasty but not over spiced stews. The availably of vegetables and fruits can be limited especially away from the capital.
Day 1: Arrive in Ulaanbaatar. Birding on the outskirts of the city for White-crowned Penduline Tit, Red-billed Cough, Isabelline Wheatear and more. Return in time for a “Welcoming Dinner” and overnight in a city hotel.
Day 2: Drive to Tereij area for taiga forest birding. Taiga Flycatcher, Common Rosefinch and Red-throated Thrush are amongst the target species. Overnight in a tourist ger camp.
Day 3: Continue to bird the taiga forest for Chinese Bush Warbler, Siberian Rubythroat, Orange-flanked Bluetail, a variety of woodpeckers and Long-tailed Rosefinch. Overnight in a tourist ger camp.
Day 4: Driving east into the steppe we will look for White-naped and Demoiselle Cranes, Steppe Eagle, Cinereous Vulture, Mongolian Lark, Pied Wheatear and Whooper Swan. We will be paying special attention to lakes and rivers which often have migrating stints, plovers, ducks and wagtails at this time of year. Overnight in tourist ger camp.
Day 5: Second day exploring the steppe region. There will be a chance find out more about the lives of the local nomadic herders. Overnight in tourist ger camp.
Day 6: Travel back to Ulaanbaatar where we will have a chance to attend a cultural performance in the city before a dinner at a Mongolian Barbecue Restaurant. Overnight in city hotel.
Day 7: Today we set off for Hustai National Park birding along the way. Hustai is an area where Przewalski’s Wild Horse can be seen. It is also a good site for raptors with the possibility of seeing Golden Eagle, Saker and Amur Falcon, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Booted Eagle, Black Kite, Upland Buzzed, Cinereous and Himalayan Vulture all at the nest in this protected area. Daurian Partridge, Meadow Bunting and Mongolian Lark are also amongst the birds in in this vicinity. Overnight in local ger camp.
Day 8: Today we drive south west towards a semidesert region stopping at a number of lakes and marshes along the way. We will be looking for Black-throated Diver, Tufted Duck, Bar-headed Goose, White-naped and Demoiselle Cranes, Slavonian Grebe, White-winged Black Tern, Oriental Red-Warbler and Eastern Marsh Harrier. Later in the day we will visit an area of sand dunes at Eisentasarkhai Overnight tourist ger camp.
Day 9: Today is spent birding in this semi-desert area and the adjoining high rocky mountains This is another good area for raptors with a second chance for many of the species from Hastai and Bearded Vulture as a new possibility. Typical steppe species including Asian Short-toed Lark can be found in this area. Overnight tourist ger camp.
Day 10: Early morning exploring the local steppe area before driving north-west into the Karakorum where we will visit a historical site – the ancient capital of Chinggis Khan. Overnight in tourist ger camp.
Day 11: Continue north to Ugii lake. This is home to a wide variety of waterfowl including Swan Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Common Goldeneye and Pochard. Black-tailed Godwit can also be seen as can Mongolian Gull, Common Tern (longipennis) and passerines such as Small Snowfinch and Rock Sparrow. Overnight tourist ger camp.
Day 12: Bird the Ugii lake area. Overnight tourist ger camp.
Day 13: An early departure east to the Dashinchilen Tsagaan marshes where White-naped and Demoiselle Cranes breed and Common Crane can also be often seen along with Greyleg Goose. Pallas’s Reed Bunting, Asian Dowitcher, Citrine, White and Yellow Wagtails, Bearded Parrotbill, Paddyfield Warbler and a varity of different ducks and many shorebirds are also in this area. Overnight in tourist ger camp.
Day 14: Start the day birding the Dashinchilen area before heading back to Ulaanbaatar where you will arrive around mid afternoon. The tour ends with a farewell dinner and a night at the hotel
Day 15: Transfer to airport and begin homeward journey.