Tibetan Bunting from the Kanda Pass area - see more pictures after list


This year I was lucky enough to make three trips into Qinghai, two of which were road-tours that also provided birding in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu..

We used three routes between Chengdu and the Qinghai border -

1 - a western route via Kangding, Ganzi,and Serxu to SW Qinghai around Yushu. Around 2 and half days drive to the border where the sichuan birding takes you through areas where it's possible for Lady Amherst's Pheasant and good opportunities for Ibisbill.

2 - a northern route up to Xining, which, because its mostly motorway, can be done in one very long day's drive - but makes for a comfortable two day trip. This journey passes close to two prime bird birding sites - Sichuan's Tangjiahe, and Lianhua in Gansu a reserve that gives Blue-eared Pheasant, Chinese Grouse and Pere David's Owl

3 - one of this year's groups wanted to combine a Sichuan/Qinghai trip with Crested Ibis in Shanxi and a visit to the Terracotta Warriors in Xian. A Chengdu, Xian, Xining trip can be done entirely using motorway.


The combined list for the Qinghai sections of these trips comes to 183 species. Prime species, Tibetan Bunting, Tibetan Babax, Tibetan Rosefinch, Przewalski's Redstart, Pink-tailed Bunting, Gansu Leaf Warbler were all fairly easy ticks - the only big dip being Tibetan Sandgrouse, which did't turn up on the Kekexili was made difficult by poor weather conditions on the Erla Pass.


Interesting observations was a young Pallas's Fish Eagle around Madoi and Demoiselle Crane on a wetland to the north of Chaka.


We also managed  24 species of mammal - highlights including Pallas's cat, Wolf, Tibetan Fox, Tibetan Antelope, White-lipped Deer, Alpine Musk Deer and Przewalski's Gazelle.


Combined 2014 Qinghai list


Yushu area - Yu

Nangqian area - Na

Kanda Pass - KP

Baizha  - Bh

Zhidoi area - Zh

Soujia area - Su

Qumarleh area - Qu

Budongquan area - Bq

Wild Yak Valley - WY

Golmud area - Go

Dulan area - Du

Chaka area - Ch

Rubber Mountain - Ru

Qinghai Lake - QL

Xinghai area - Xh

Erla Pass - Er

Madoi area - Ma

Huzhu, Beishan - Hu

Xinghai area - Xh


1.       Daurian Partridge Perdix dauurica - Xh

2.       Tibetan Partridge Perdix hodgsoniae - Yu, Na, Ru, QL

3.       Przewalski's Partridge Alectoris magna - Ch, Xh

4.       Tibetan Snowcock Tetraogallus tibetanus - Er, Su

5.       White Eared-Pheasant Crossoptilon crossoptilon - Bh

6.       Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus - Hu

7.       Blue-eared Pheasant Crossoptilon auritum - Hu


8.       Greylag Goose Anser anser - QL

9.       Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus - Su, QL, Ma

10.    Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea - common grassland species

11.    Mallard Anas platyrhynchos - QL

12.    Red-crested Pochard Rhodonessa rufina - QL

13.    Common Pochard Aythya ferina - QL

14.    White-eyed Pochard Aythya nyroca - QL

15.    Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula - QL

16.    Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula - QL

17.    Common Merganser Mergus merganser - Su


18.    Wryneck Jynx torquil - Go

19.    Great-spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major - Hu, Xh

20.    Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius - Bh

21.    Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus - Go


22.    Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops - widespread


23.    Eurasian Cuckoo Cuculus canorus - widespread


24.    Salim Ali's Swift Apis salinalii - widespread

25.    Common Swift Apus apus - widespread in N Qinghai


26.    Little Owl Athene noctua - Su, Zh, Go

27.    Eagle owl Bubo bubo - Su - heard only



28.    Hill Pigeon Columba rupestris - widespread

29.    Snow Pigeon Columba leuconota - KP

30.    Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis - Hu, Go

31.    Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto - Ch, Hu, Xi, Xh


32.    Pallas's Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus - Ch


33.    Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis - Yu, Su, Ch, QL, Ma

34.    Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo - Ch (wetland to the N of Chaka)


35.    Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta - Ch

36.    Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago - Ch

37.    Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus - Ch, QL

38.    Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus - Ma, QL

39.    Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea - WY

40.    Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus - QL

41.    Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola - QL

42.    Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos - WY

43.    Common Redshank Tringa erythropus - common species wetlands

44.    Greenshank Tringa nebularia - Zh


45.    Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii - Yu, KP, Xh


46.    Common Tern Sterna hirundo - QL, Ma, Na, Zh, Su, Qu

47.    Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida - QL

48.    Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus - QL, Ma

49.    Pallas's Gull Chlidonias hybrida - QL, Ch, Ma, Su

50.    Little Gull Larus minutus - QL


51.    Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus - Er, Ma, KP, Yu, Zh Du, Ch

52.    Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis - widespread

53.    Black-eared Kite Milvus lineatus - widespread

54.Himalayan Buzzard Buteo burmanicus - Na

55.    Upland Buzzard Buteo hemilasius - widespread and common on grassland

56.    Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus - Du

57.    Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus - Hu

58.    Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus - Bh

59.    Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis - Hu

60.    Northern Hobby Falco subbuteo - Ch, Xh

61.    Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus - QL, Yu

62.    Saker Falcon Falco cherrug - widespread grassland species

63.    Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos - Hu, Ru, Ma, KP

64.   Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca - WY

65.    Pallas's Fish Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus - Ma


66.    Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo - QL

67.    Great-crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus - QL, Ma

68.    Black-necked GrebePodiceps nigricollis - QL


69.    Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus - Ma, Na


70.    Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus - Go

71.    Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus - Ch, Du, Xh

72.    Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus - widespread

73.    Tibetan Grey Shrike Lanius giganteus - Yu, Ch



74.    Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius - Hu

75.    Black-billed Magpie Pica pica - widespread seen on 11 days

76.    Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyana - Hu, Ch, Xh

77.    Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax - widespread

78.    Henderson's Ground Jay Podoces hendersoni - Du, Ch

79.    Daurian Jackdaw Corvus dauurica - Na

80.    Carrion Crow  Corvus corone - Hu

81.    Common Raven Corvus corax - Er, Ma


82.    White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus - Hu, KP

83.    Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii - Yu, Hu


84.    Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis - Ch

85.   Chestnut Thrush Turdus rubrocanus - Hu

86.    Kessler's Thrush Turdus kessleri - widespread

87.    Chinese Thrush Turdus mupinensis - Hu


88.    Slaty-backed Flycatcher Ficedula hodgsonii - Hu


89.    Himalayan Bluetail Tarsiger rufilatus - Hu

90.    Himalayan Rubythroat Luscinia pectoralis - Yu, KP

91.    Siberian Rubythroat Luscinia caliope - Hu


92.  White-throated Redstart Phoenicurus schisticeps - Hu, KP

93.  Przewalski's Redstart Phoenicurus alashanicus - Ch

94.  Hodgson's Redstart Phoenicurus hodgsoni - widespread

95.  Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus - Xi

96.  Blue-fronted Redstart Phoenicurus frontalis - Hu, Ru, Ch

97.  Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros - widespread

98.  White-winged Redstart Phoenicurus erythrogaster - Su, Er

99.  White-capped Water-Redstart Chaimarrornis leucocephal - Gz, Yu,  Hu


100.          White-bellied Redstart Hodgsonius phoenicuroides - Hu


101.Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka - Xh

102.Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina - Ch, Xh

103.Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti - Ch, Du, WY, Go


104.Rosy Starling Pastor roseus - Bq - single juv


105.Chinese Nuthatch Sitta villosa - Hu


106.Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria - Hu, KP, Du, Xh


107.Hodgson's Treecreeper Certhia hodgsoni - Bh


108.Eurasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes - Bh, Hu


109.Sichuan Tit Poecile weigoldicus - Bh

110.Songar Tit Poecile montanus songarus - Hu

111.Rufous-vented Tit Periparus rubidiventris - Bh

112.White-browed Tit Poecile superciliosus - Ru, KP, Ch

113.Grey-crested Tit Parus dichrous - Bh

114.Eastern Great Tit Lophophanes minor - Hu, Go, Bh

115.Silver-throated TitAegithalos glaucogularis - Go



116.Hume's Ground Tit Pseudopodoces humilis - widespread on grassland


117.Pale Martin Riparia diluta- widespread wetlands

118.Asian House-Martin Delichon dasypus - Yu, Na, Xh, Hu

119.Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica - QL, Ma, Yu, Xh

120.Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica - Xh widespread during passage

121.Eurasian Crag-Martin Hirundo rupestris - KP, Yu, WY


122.White-browed Tit-warbler Leptopoecile elegans - Hu, Ru, Bh, Ch

123.Crested Tit-warbler Leptopoecile elegans - Bh


124.Desert Whitethroat Sylvia minula margelanica - Go


125.Alpine Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus occisinensis - widespread in shrubby growth

126.Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus - Ru

127.Yellow-streaked Warbler Phylloscopus armandii - Yu, KP, Xi

128.Sichuan Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus forresti - Bh

129.Gansu Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus kansuensis - Hu

130.Hume's Warbler Phylloscopus humei - Hu

131.Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides - Hu, Bh

132.Large-billed Warbler Phylloscopus magnirostris - Hu


133.Giant Laughingthrush Garrulax maximus - Bh

134.Plain Laughingthrush Garrulax davidi - Hu, Xh, Xi

135.Elliot's Laughingthrush Garrulax elliotii - Hu, KP, Bh


136.Tibetan Babax Babax koslowi - KP, Bh


137.Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula - widespread seen on 7 days

138.Crested Lark Galerida cristata - Go

139.Hume's Short-toed Lark Calandrella acutirostris - QL

140.Asian Short-toed Lark Calandrella cheleensis - Ma

141.Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla  - Go

142.Tibetan Lark Melanocorypha maxima - Er, Ma

143.Mongolian Lark Melanocorypha mongolica - QL, Go

144.Elwe’s Horned Lark Eremophila elwesi - widespread seen on 7 days


145.Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus - common and widespread, seen all days


146.Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia - QL, Xh


147.Black-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla adamsi - widespread

148.Henri's Snowfinch Montifringilla henrici - Er, Yu, Su

149.White-rumped Snowfinch Pyrgilauda taczanowskii - widespread

150.Rufous-necked Snowfinch Pyrgilauda ruficollis - widespread

151.Blanford's Snowfinch Pyrgilauda blanfordi - Ch, WY

152.Pere David's Snowfinch Pyrgilauda davidania - QL, Go,


153.White Wagtail Motacilla alba - widespread

154.Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava - Yu

155.Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea - Yu, Hu

156.Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola - Ch, Ma, WY, Xh  


157.Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni - Hu, Bh

158.Rosy Pipit  Anthus roseatus - Hu


159.Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris - KP

160.Robin Accentor Prunella rubeculoides - Ru, Ma, Bh

161.Brown Accentor Prunella fulvescens - Ru, Du

162.Rufous-breasted Accentor Prunella strophiata - Hu, KP, Bh, Xh

163.Maroon-backed Accentor Prunella immaculata - Bh


164.Grey-capped Greenfinch Carduelis sinica - Hu, Go

165.Twite Carduelis flavirost - Hu, Ru, Yu, Na

166.Desert Finch Rhodospiza obsoleta - Xh

167.Plain Mountain-Finch Leucosticte nemoricola - Er, Ma

168.Brandt’s Mountain Finch Leucosticte brandti - Er, Yu, Su


169.Przewalski's Finch Urocynchramus pylzowi - Ru


170.Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus - Na

171.Pink-rumped Rosefinch Carpodacus eos - Bh

172.Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch Carpodacus davidianus - Hu, Ru

173.Chinese White-browed Carpodacus dubius - Hu, Yu, KP

174.Streaked Rosefinch Carpodacus rubicilloides - Yu

175.Great Rosefinch Carpodacus rubicilla - Er, Qu

176.Tibetan Rosefinch Kozlowia roborowskii - Er


177.Crimson-browed Finch Propyrrhula subhimachala - Ru

178.Grey-headed Bullfinch Pyrrhula erythaca - Hu

179.White-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas carnipes - Hu, Ru, KP, Bh, Du


180.Godlewski's Bunting Emberiza godlewskii - Ru, KP, Xh, Yu

181.Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides - Xh

182.Tibetan Bunting Emberiza koslowi - KP

183.Pine Bunting Emberiza leucocephalos - Go, Xh


Mammal list

1-Long-eared Pika - Ganzi area of Sichuan

2-Plateau Pika

3-Chinese Red Pika - one dead example at Huzhu Beishan, Qinghai

4-Glover's Pika - Kanda Shan, Nangqian, Qinghai

5-Himalayan Marmot

6-Woolly Hare

7-Hog Badger - one at Chaka

8-Mountain Weasel

9-Tibetan Fox

10-Red Fox

11-Tibetan Wolf - a group of 2 adults and 2 juv animals seen hunting,foraging close to Qumarleh,  - a single animal seen in the Zhidoi area

12-Pallas's Cat - adult with two kittens - Zhidoi area


14-Wild Yak - common Wild Yak Valley

15-Blue Sheep

16-Agrali - Wild Yak Valley

17-Tibetan Gazelle - also seen in Sichuan in Shiqu area

18-Przewalski's Gazelle - 50+ in the gazelle reserve area at Qinghai Lake

19-Tibetan Antelope - west of Zhidoi

20-Alpine Musk Deer - flushed up by the Wolves close to Qumarleh

21-Siberian Roe - heard only at Huzhu Beishan

22-White-lipped Deer - Zhidoi and Qumarleh areas

23-McNeil's Red Deer - Between Yushu and Nangqian

24-Gansu Red Deer - 2 animals on Rubber Mountain


Tibetan Babax from Nangquan area


Tibetan Rosefinch from the Erla Pass


Przevalski's Finch, Rubber Mountain



Henderson's Ground Jay - Chaka Salt-lake


Blandford's Snowfinch, Chaka Salt-like


Pallas's Cat - with a Kitten - Zhidoi area


Kiang, Zhidoi area

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