Birding in Xinjiang Day 6 Part1/2- 新疆观鸟, 布尔津-130团

What a long drive-from Burqin to an ex-military area known as “130”, took more than 6 hours! :-/ Packed with crisps, water and we sneaked some dumplings and eggs from breakfast (signs of no lunch… >.<), we drove past sand dunes, rocky terrains and windmills but didn’t see much until we arrived on a highway with rocky boulders on both sides! Here, the Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel and Red-billed Chough were neighbours! It was a very windy day and even though my bazooka lens and tripod saved me from flying away, I couldn’t stabalise myself, let alone walking! >.<”

kestrel in Burqin

Common kestrel taking shelter from the strong wind!

Soon we were back on the road again! On a few occasions, we saw a few Pallas Sandgrouse flew by, but it was the Mongolian finch (蒙古沙雀) that stirred up a moment of excitement after having driven for 2-3 hours! Yippee, another lifer for me! 🙂

Mongolian finch in Xinjiang

Mongolian finch in Xinjiang

After constant driving for another 2 hours, with semi-desert landscapes undulated before us…I thought my partner was suffering from an illusion when he asked our driver to take a detour as he spotted some Pallas’s Sandgrouse (毛腿沙鸡)! I was almost in*SLEEP* mode when he confirmed his sightings! Luckily, I did not miss this brilliant moment, or I would have *PUNCHED* myself!! 🙂

pallas sandgrouse in xinjiang

pallas’s sandgrouse in xinjiang

By the time we saw the Pallas’s Sandgrouse, it was already 2 p.m. and we’re still a long way from our destination! =_=”

PS. Here’s the view along the way!

View along the road, Xinjiang

View along the road, Xinjiang

Australia- Sydney, Cattai National Park – Part 1 of 2

I was recommended to do some birding in this park- Cattai National Park, as it’s supposed to be an easy drive from Sydney downtown. And thank God it was a pretty straightforward 50 mins drive.

The morning breeze was refreshing and as I drove along the quiet suburbs with beautiful landscapes, it somehow gave me this sublime feeling of loneliness, but yet makes me happy.  As I stop to watch some horses, I was interrupted by a loud bird calling repeatedly. It almost felt creepy! I looked up, Oh that’s the Laughing kookaburra! Somehow the bird reminded of the nursery song that I used to sing when I was just a kid!

laughing kookaburra

As I turned, a white and statue-like object on the barn roof caught my eye. It’s a Barn Owl! It seemed to realise his cover was blown and took off very quickly! Hang on! I’ve got an owl in flight photo (pat on the back)!

Barn owl in flight!

The drive towards the entrance of the park was truly amazing. The photos below are only some of the many bird photos I have taken before entering the park. They include Little Wattle Bird, Common Kestrel, Rufous Fantail, Yellow Rumped Thornbill, Willie Wagtail, White Throated Treecreeper, etc.

common Kestrel

little wattle bird

rufous fantail

yellow rumped thornbill

white throated treecreeper