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ULTIMATE TIBET & XINJIANG

Friday 8th June - Saturday 30th June 2018

Hannu Jännes

Sillem's Mountain Finch (Hannu Jännes)

Sillem's Mountain Finch (Hannu Jännes)

The Ultimate Tibet & Xinjiang tour to Xizang, Qinghai and the much less visited Xinjiang Provinces, proved extremely successful, producing a fantastic range of Tibetan Plateau specialities, including EVERY plateau endemic! Yes, you read it right, this time we even saw the near mythical Sillem’s Mountain Finch, a species that had been seen perhaps only by a handful of people before! Our stunning list of special birds included the much sought after Lord Derby's Parakeet as well as Tibetan Eared Pheasant, Szechenyi’s Monal Partridge (or Buff-throated Partridge), Giant and Tibetan (or Kozlov’s) Babaxes, Brown-cheeked (or Prince Henri’s) Laughingthrush, Ground Tit, Tibetan (or Kozlov’s) Bunting, Tibetan (or Roborovski’s) Rosefinch and the strange Przevalski’s (or Pink-tailed) Finch, the sole member of its family. In addition, our brief visit to the deserts of Xinjiang yielded four important dry country birds with Biddulph’s Ground Jay, White-winged Woodpecker, Tarim Babbler and Saxaul Sparrow. Add to these a number of highly sought after, but more widespread, species, like White Eared Pheasant, Tibetan Snowcock, Przevalski's, Daurian and Tibetan Partridges, Ibisbill, Tibetan and Pallas's Sandgrouse, the handsome Mongolian and gigantic Tibetan (or Long-billed) Lark, Siberian and Chinese Rubythroats, the very range restricted Przevalski's (or Ala Shan) Redstart and seven other Phoenicurus redstarts, Wallcreeper, Chinese and Przevalski's Nuthatches, Henderson's Ground Jay, six species of snowfinch and 11 species of rosefinch and you are a long way to understanding why our tours to 'the Roof of the World' are so popular!

Much to the surprise of many participants, mammals are also well represented on this tour, and we had great views of Grey Wolf, Tibetan and Goitered Gazelle, Chiru (or Tibetan Antelope), Blue Sheep, the attractive Kiang, the massive Wild Yak, three species of pika, Tibetan Fox and many cute Himalayan Marmots. As well as these avian and mammalian highlights there is the privilege of travelling in this remote part of China with its breathtakingly beautiful high landscapes, the chance to see the fascinating lifestyles and cultures of the local peoples, and, of course, the usually great food.

Tibetan Rosefinch (Hannu Jännes)

Tibetan Rosefinch (Hannu Jännes)