After breakfast, we were driven to a village called Chonghu’er (冲乎尔乡), which was renowned for Red-backed Shrikes and other forest birds and buntings! The drive from Burqin, Altay region was just an hour away, but the terrains we passed by just blew my mind away!
We stopped for landscape photo shoots!
We were hopeful for accentors along the way but couldn’t find any! But as our car twirled round the steep bends towards the village, a short-toed eagle flew in the same area where the marmot was spotted! A double surprise even before getting to the actual birding spot! 😛 Not sure what marmot it was, but its always great to see four-legged wildlife!
short-toed eagle and marmot in Xinjiang
At the village, red-backed shrikes (红背伯劳) kept a comfortable distance from us but our patience paid off when they eventually allowed us to get closer!
red-back shrike couple in Burqin, Altay region
There were lots of cow dung in the fields on both sides of the trail- no sign of dung beetles, but plenty of birds!! The road seemed busy with tractors and bikes; and locals were curious to find foreigners in their village! But smiles were all over, and birds here seemed to mind their own business! Some of the birds seen here included:
Ortolan Bunting, 圃鹀
Spotted Flycatcher, 斑鹟
Pine Bunting, 白头鹀
European Greenfinch, 欧金翅雀
Mistle thrush with chicks, 槲鸫
Wood warbler, 林柳莺
European Goldfinch, 红额金翅雀
yellowhammer and mistle thrush with chicks in Xinjiang, China
from left- Pine bunting, Ortolan bunting, Spotted flycatcher
Having spent the whole noon here (we skipped lunch again, :-/) we went back to the magical forest to get better photos of the super-star, Black Woodpecker! It was a relaxing day of birding with many findings! 🙂
Here’s how the trail looked like! If you look carefully, you’ll see many cow dungs in the field… *COUGH*
Birding trail in Burqin