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SNOW LEOPARDS & BIRDS OF LADAKH

Sunday 15th September - Wednesday 2nd October 2013

Mark Beaman

What a fantastic adventure! I have not been more excited by being in any part of the world since I first travelled through Mongolia more than 30 years ago! Ladakh has that same feeling of Central Asian wilderness about it. Few people, vast and spectacular landscapes, wild mountains and deserts, and abundant and approachable wildlife. Mammals were a spectacular feature of our journey through this marvellous part of the world and included numerous Blue Sheep (or Bharal), Argali, Urial, Kiang (Tibetan Wild Ass), Grey Wolf (two sightings), Mountain Weasel and even some endearing pikas and voles. Seeing two Snow Leopards, one for more than four hours, was of course the icing on the cake as far as our expedition was concerned. In my case a lifetime ambition fulfilled at last! Birdlife was also fascinating, and highlights included Himalayan and Tibetan Snowcocks, Black-necked Crane, Ibisbill, Solitary Snipe, Tibetan Sandgrouse (positively numerous!), Mountain Chiffchaff, Hume’s Whitethroat, Great Spotted and Blyth's Rosefinches, the strange Groundpecker (or Ground Tit), and Tibetan and Blanford’s Snowfinches.