fredag 19. januar 2018

Birding Baikal and the steppes too close to Mongolia 2017



BIRDING LAKE BAIKAL
AND
THE STEPPES TOO CLOSE TO MONGOLIA

MAY 19TH – 28TH 2017

Bård Nyberg, Vidar Krøke Steinvik, Roar Rismark, Terje Kolaas and Trond Sørhuus
Very happy and not yet arrested Træna Trampers of Norway.

For years we have tramped and lurked around on our «own» small raritiy island on the NW-coast of Norway, Træna (www.tranatrampers.blogspot.no), searching for the rarest of the rare eastern vagrants. After a few unfortunate episodes of the potential MEGA`s that slipped because of lack of experience with their calls, we found it strictly necessary to travel to the motherland of all rarities, Russia, to experience these birds calls and jizz`. Most of the rarities found on Træna are predominantly of Siberian origin, so why not go there?! A quick google search exposed a ringing station at lake Baikal (https://baikalringing.blogspot.no/), we contacted the leader of the ringing station, Yury Anisimov, and were immediately welcomed with plenty of sites to visit and birds to search for – all unresistably tempting, of course. After some planning and a pretty hairy target list, it was clarified that we should spend most of the time in the area near the ringing station combined with a trip further south to the steppes a little too close to Mongolia. And as said so done ...

Visa
Visa is required for entry into Russia, and processing time may be up to eight weeks. For entry, you must either have an invitation or travel through a tour operator. We solved this in the most flexible way by letting the tour operator www.pasvikturist.no provide the entire process at a cost of NOK 900 per visa. This works great - at least for norwegian citizens. 

Car hire and standard of roads
We were 5 birders on tour, of which two are keen photographers, so we decided to rent two cars from AVIS. Price for the Nissan X Trail was 43,000 RUB (approximately 5900 NOK). We managed to claspe the door into a passing car at some point, which cost us 10,000 RUB to the malformed car owner, in addition to the fact that AVIS had a good reason for charging 45.000 RUB repairing the damage afterwards.
The main roads are of excellent standard, and relatively little trafficy. Side roads may be of poorer standard, and in wet periods probably impossible to manage with a low 2x4. A higher 4x4 are therefore recommended. International driver's license is required.

Vaccinations
The Baikal area is notorious for many and disease-bearing ticks (rightly!!), so just in case, we did a vaccine in front. This should strictly be carried out at least 8 weeks prior to entry. Two of us were bitten, but nothing indicates infection so far…

...not the kind of tick we went to Siberia for!

Weather
Huge differences between the cold lowlands around Baikal and the hot steppes further south. The ice broke on Lake Baikal about two weeks before our arrival, and the daytime temperature ranged between 5-10 degrees C and the night temperature was consistently below 0 C in this area. In the steppe areas, the temperature reached 39 degrees C in the afternoon while it was close to the freezing point at night. Expect it windy, both in the lowlands and up in the steppes. According to the locals the weather can be like anything at this time of the year, though, so plan for any condition imaginable.


Time zone - day length
GMT +8 (7 hours before Norway). Sunrise around 5:00 PM. Sunset around 21:00.

Sunset at Beloozorsk.

Infrastructure and food
Irkutsk and Ulan Ude have facilities like all major cities, with good hotels, restaurants etc. As soon as you are in the village, however, there is a long distance between the facilities and they have quite a different standard. We had our base at the newly established camp site at the ringing station (we were the first guests there!) and on arrival there was neither installed water, gas for the kitchen or toiletpaper to the outdoor-non-water-toilet. We lodged in very small and cold cabins with external outdoor-toilet, sauna for weekly hygiene and a service building with gas stove. In Beloozorsk, Yura rented a private house of the same caliber - with electricity, but with the usual outdoor-toilet, fire-wood-heaten sauna and no water. This is probably the standard you can expect in this part of Russia.


The entrance of our home in Beloozorsk

Inside our house in Beloozorsk. Notice how nice BNy match the rest of the interior. 

Outside the big cities there is a long distance between the shops. The range of products in the few that are found is not characterized by fresh produce, so we lived to a large extent on noodles for breakfast and noodles for the evening meal. Got some fruit in Ulan Ude, and we felt healthy for a while. One should hamster more food in Irkutsk in retrospect. However, there are plenty of vodka, beer and potato chips in the stores.


Vodka, beer, nudles and chocolate - a classic birders meal.
...or why not buy a wolf in the souvenir shop at the airport?

Our Russian is far from fluent, so ordering food at the restaurant was for Russian roulette to count. Our first attempt ended in a salt disaster, but as soon as we got acquainted with the wonderful "Poze" (pronounced "påse") - a kind of baked meatballs, often served with salad and beetroot soup - we kept to it.



The horror meal of the trip. Salt with fat and some meat in it. Even a hungry RRi did not feed on it! 

Internet, phone and language
Internet (not very fast and not very stable, though) is available at most restaurants. Phone coverage consistently good. Not many speak English and no information is available in English. Here one must either speak / read Russian or bring an interpreter.


General considerations
The common Russian fellow in the street is apparently neither particular friendly or hostile. Usually we were met with some kind of indifference, on good and bad. However, the Russian authorities can be harder to handle. Already at the airport in Moscow, during testing of our brand new binoculars, we were surrounded by a group of 14-15 police officers who obviously wondered what we were into. They had been hinted about our suspiciously behaviour and took copies of our passports and visas before they let us enter our plane to Irkutsk – just in case, we guess.
 Our second meeting with the police was far more serious when we inadvertently found ourselves close to the Mongolian border without having the necessary special permission. All journeys closer to 20 km from national borders require a special permit. Two unfortunate of us were 18 km away, again someone alerted the police reporting our suspicious activity and were taken into custody and led to the military border station. Here we were interrogated by a countless number of different instances and after trial the following day, we were sentenced to pay 2500 RUB each and a one year's expulsion from Russia . The verdict was a combination of the illegal stay at the border, and much worse for future birdwatchers in Russia; conviction of "illegal collection of scientific material on Russian soil". Bird photography is obviously covered by this definition, and makes any birdwatcher with a camera a criminal according to this section. So be aware - follow the rules and be as anonymous as possible, and maybe you will be fine!

Roar and Terje - minutes before they were arrested too close to the Mongolian border. 



BIRDING SITES




2. Vydrino - Snezhnaya River delta


Grasslands combined with the delta of the river makes this a great site for general birding. This was our first serious stop on the trip and we were amazed by the numbers of Citrine Wagtails, Taiga Flycatchers, White-throated Needletails etc. The biggest surprise was the odd White-backed Woodpecker. Park the car and bird by foot.


3. Baikal Ringing Station




Our main site near the lake Baikal. The station is situated on the shore of lake Baikal, making migrating birds concentrate in good numbers from time to time. The area is a mix of habitats, such as grassy fields and bushlands, mixed broad-leaved forests and a few ponds as well as the shore of the lake and the river. An excellent site for general birding and with obvious variation and change from day to day.




4. Baikalsky forest cemetery


A «random» mixed forest with a few old paths making it convenient for birding. Great for singing breeders such as warblers, flycatchers and thrushes. 


5. Babushkin Forest


Another «random» site in the outskirt of Babushkin town, ok for passerines.


6. Black-faced Bunting river
«Random» river where we found our first Black-faced Buntings.


7. Selenga wetlands 1

A beautiful area close to the town of Posol`skoye. A few small lakes combined with grasslands made it great for ducks, waders and passerines. We stayed here for only half an hour. A couple of days would have been great – for photography in particular!


8. Selenga wetlands 2

The heart of the Selenga delta with loads of pipits, wheatears etc. Dirt tracks makes birding from and by car easy and gives access to steppe-like grassy fields as well as the river shore.


9. Orongoy - Ozero Torma lake

A small lake hosting loads of ducks, swans and waders as well as passerines such as larks in the surroundings. Easily watched from the road or by foot.


10. Selenduma lake

A small lake close to the town of Selenduma. Good for ducks. Our only Bittern hooped here.


11. and 12. Beloozorsk lakes - Ozero Verkhneye Beloye and Ozero Nizhneye Beloye

The jewels of the steppes and the Belzoorsk area; two lakes surrounded by dry and grassy steppes. The lakes worked as magnets on migrating ducks, waders and gulls, providing some of the best birds and moments of the trip. The lakes are accessed by dirt tracks winding through the steppes, producing insane numbers of larks, wheatears and other steppe habiting passerines. We stayed in a private house in the town of Beloozorsk.






13. River Dzhida bridge

A wooden bridge crossing the river Dzhida about 5 km north of the Mongolian border. The forest, bushes and grassy fields growing along the river produces great birding, with Azure Tit breeding ON the bridge and several Yellow-breasted Buntings among the highlights. NB: Crossing this bridge in direction of Mongolia is strictly forbidden without a special permit. We did not know that, causing that two of us were arrested by border police, brought into custody for two days and centenced to a 2500 RUB fine and a year expultion from Russia. Not pleasant at all, SO GET YOUR PERMISSION OR GET OUT OF HERE!


14. River Dzhida near Dzhida

Another very good patch for birding and a good alternative to the river Dzhida bridge area. Bird by foot. The only place where we found the Penduline Tit…


15. Gusinoozyorsk pine forest
Nice pine forest in the southern outskirt of Gusinoozyorsk. The main road A-340 winds through the forest, so just find a place to park and bird by foot.



DAY-BY-DAY TRAVEL



19.5: Trondheim – Moscow – Irkutsk (16 hours)

20.5: Irkutsk to Baikalsky Reserve and ringing station (260 km driving)

21.5: Baikalsky Reserve and surroundings

22.5: Baikalsky Reserve and surroundings

23.5: Baikalsky Reserve - Selengadeltaet - Orongoy -
Selenduma – Beloozorsk (app 600 km driving – full day)

24.5: Beloozorsk – Dzhida river

25.5: Beloozorsk – Dzhida river

26.5: Beloozorsk - Gusinoozyrsk - Baikalsky Reserve (460 km driving – 6 hours)

27.5: Baikalsky Reserve – Irkutsk (260 km driving)

28.5: Irkutsk – Trondheim (16 hours)

Vidar and his legendaric Kowa TSN-1.
A very happy Trond with a handful of wet dreams; Dusky Thrush and Rubythroat!


BIRD LIST – 188 species in total



Dvergsvane    / Bewick's Swan (Cygnus columbianus bewickii)
6 at Orongoy 23rd and 1 Beloozorsk 26th.

Sangsvane / Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)
1 at Selenduma 23rd.

Sædgås / Taiga Bean Goose (Anser fabalis middendorfii)
A flock of 13 at Beloozorsk 23rd to 26th.

Gravand / Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
1 - 5 ind. Baikal Sea and Beloozorsk.

Rustand / Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)
Common around Beloozorsk.


Stokkand / Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common.

Snadderand / Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Common but not numerous.

Stjertand /Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Seen in small numbers in suitable habitats.

Skjeand / Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common.

Brunnakke / Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Common.

Krikkand / Common Teal (Anas crecca)
Seen in small numbers in suitable habitats.

Knekkand / Garganey (Anas querquedula)
Seen in small numbers in suitable habitats.


Sibirand / Falcated Duck (Anas falcata)
3m at Selenga 23rd and 4m2f Beloozorsk 24 - 25th.



Taffeland / Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Numerous at Beloozorsk.

Toppand / Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common.

Knoppsjøorre / White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi stejnegeri)
2 at the ringing station 22nd and a total of about 40 Beloozorsk 23-26th.

Kvinand / Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)
Seen in small numbers at Baikal Sea, common Beloozorsk.

Lappfiskand  / Smew (Mergellus albellus)
A pair at Selenga 23rd.

Laksand / Goosander (Mergus merganser)
Singles at Baikal Sea, not seen elsewhere.

Siland / Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Seen in very small numbers in suitable habitats.

Toppdykker / Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
1 at the ringing station 22rd and about 10 at Beloozorsk 23 - 26th.

Horndykker / Slavonian Grebe (Podiceps auritus)
2 at Selenduma 23rd.

Svarthalsdykker / Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)
Seen in small numbers in suitable habitats.

Dvergdykker /Little Grebe (Tachyubaptus ruficollis poggei)
1 at Beloozorsk 24 - 25th.

Storskarv / Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis)
Small numbers at Baikal Sea.

Rørdrum / Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)
1 «hooting» at Selenduma 23rd.

Gråhegre / Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Singles seen at Baikal Sea and 4 at Beloozorsk on the 23rd.

Svartstork / Black Stork (Ciconia nigra)
About 10 singles seen between Selenga and Beloozorsk.

Munkegribb / Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus)
3 seen Dzhida River 24th feeding on dead horse.

Havørn / White-tailed Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)
1 subad 24th and 1 adult 26th. Both at Beloozorsk.

Kongeørn / Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos kamtchatica)
1 subad at Beloozorsk 24th.

Steppeørn / Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)
1 subad at Dzhida River 24-25th, 1 adult Orongoy 26th.



Dvergørn / Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)
1 light morph 24th and a dark one on the 25th. Both at Beloozorsk.

Svartglente / Black-eared Kite (Milvus migrans lineatus)
Common and seen anywhere.

Østsivhauk / Eastern Marsh Harrier (Circus spilonotus)
A minimum of 10 at Beloozorsk 23-26th.

Myrhauk / Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
At least 4 at Beloozorsk 23-26th.

Orientmusvåk(?) / Eastern Buzzard (Buteo japonicus)
1 seen close to Irkutsk on the 20th, 3 at Selenga the 23rd and 1 at Dzhida river on the 24th.

Mongolvåk / Upland Buzzard (Buteo hemilasius)
A minimum of 25 birds seen between Ulan Ude and the Beloozorsk area.


Orientvepsevåk / Oriental Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus orientalis)
A total of 5 seen at the ringing station.


Spurvehauk / Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus nisosimilis)
At least 10 seen Baikal Sea, 1 Dzhida River on the 25th.

Finkehauk / Japanese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter gularis sibiricus)
2 birds close to the ringing station all days. A few seen elsewhere around Baikal Sea.


Hønsehauk / Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis schvedowi)
1 f passing the ringing station on the 21st.

Tårnfalk / Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Common, but not numerous south from Ulan Ude.

Rødfalk / Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)
A pair at Beloozorsk 25-26th.

Amurfalk / Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis)
Breeding colony and commonly seen south of Gusinoozyorsk. Singles seen at the ringing station 21-23rd.



Lerkefalk / Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo)
Singles seen at the ringing station all days, 1 at Djzhda River on the 24th.

Dvergfalk / Merlin (Falco columbarius insignis)
1 m at Vydrino 20th.

Tartarfalk / Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug milvipes)
1 grey bird on the 23rd and a brown one on the 24th. Both at Beloozorsk.


Sothøne / Common Coot (Fulica atra)
4 at Selenduma 23rd, 2 at Beloozorsk 25th.

Trane / Common Crane (Grus grus lilfordi)
Small flocks seen south of Ulan Ude. A total of about 100 birds. Also in mixed flocks with Demoiselle Crane.

Jomfrutrane / Demoiselle Crane (Grus virgo)
Seen in various numbers between Ulan Ude and Beloozorsk. At least 150 at Beloozorsk N pond on the 25th.


Stortrappe / Great Bustard (Otis tarda dybowskii)
1 seen N of Orongoy on the 23rd.

Avosett / Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
A couple of hundred birds at Beloozorsk 23-26th, 6 at Vydrino on the 20th.


Dverglo / Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius curonicus)
Seen in small numbers every day in suitable habitats.

Sandlo / Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula tundrae)
2 at Vydrino on the 20th, 10 birds at Beloozorsk 23-24th.

Sibirlo / Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)
Up to 22 birds seen at Beloozorsk 24-26th.

Vipe / Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
A total of about 20 at Beloozorsk 23-26th.

Sandløper / Sanderling (Calidris alba)
1 at Beloozorsk 25th.

Myrsnipe / Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
7 at Beloozorsk 25-26th.

Tundrasnipe  / Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
13 at Beloozorsk 24-26th.

Temmincksnipe / Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii)
At least 40 at Beloozorsk 23-26th.

Langtåsnipe / Long-toed Stint (Calidris subminuta)
20 at Beloozorsk 24-26th.


Dvergsnipe/ Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
5 at Beloozorsk 24-26th.

Rødstrupesnipe / Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis)
1 at Beloozorsk 24-26th.

Grønnstilk / Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
1 Vydrino 20th and 20 at Beloozorsk 24-26th.

Skogsnipe / Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)
1 at Beloozorsk on the 23rd and 26th.

Strandsnipe / Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Singles seen at most rivers and lakes.

Tereksnipe / Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus)
1 at Beloozorsk 25-26th.

Rødstilk / Common Redshank (Tringa totanus ussuriensis)
3 at Beloozorsk 24-25th.

Sotsnipe / Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
About 400 at Beloozorsk 23-26th.

Gluttsnipe / Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
1 Vydrino on the 20th.

Damsnipe / Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis)
20 at Beloozorsk 23-26th.

Sibirvandresnipe / Grey-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes)
1 Beloozorsk on the 23rd.


Svarthalespove / Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa melanuroides)
1 at Selenga 23rd, 16 at Beloozorsk 24-25th.

Storspove / Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata orientalis)
1 at the ringing station 22rd, 2 in Selenga 23rd and 2 Beloozorsk 24th.

Småspove / Eurasian Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus variegatus)
3 at Selenga 23rd.

Rugde / Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola)
Seen in evening courtship flight at the ringing station 20th, 22nd and 26th. All sights most likely of  the same bird.

Enkeltbekkasin / Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
2 in display flight at the ringing station 23-24th.

Bajkalbekkasin / Swinhoe's Snipe (Gallinago megala)
1 in display flight at the ringing station on the 22nd and at least 5 at Selenga on the 23rd and 26th. 

Brushane / Ruff (Calidris pugnax)
Up to 12 seen at Beloozyorsk 24-26th.

Hettemåke / Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Seen in small numbers every day.

Mongolhettemåke / Relict Gull (Ichtyaetus relictus)
2 at Beloozorsk 24th.


Fiskemåke / Common Gull (Larus canus heinei)
About 20 seen at Beloozorsk 23-24th.

Mongolmåke / Mongolian Gull (Larus mongolicus)
Common around Baikal Sea. Also seen elsewhere in smaller numbers.

Polarmåke / Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus)
1 secondyear bird Babuskin harbour on the 21st.


Makrellterne / Common Tern (Sterna hirundo longipennis)
Common in suitable habitats, but not numerous.

Makrellterne / Common Tern (Sterna hirundo minussensis)
2 at the ringing station 21st and a few seen Selenga 23rd.

Bydue) / Feral Dove (Columba livia domestica)
Common.

Steindue / Hill Pigeon (Columba rupestris)
1 seen in prison 26th
..
Mongolturteldue / Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis orientalis)
Singles seen randomly on most days.

Gjøk / Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
Calling at the ringing station 23rd and 27th and Dzhida river on the 25th.

Orientgjøk / Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus optatus)
Heard several places around Baikal Sea. Not around Beloozorsk. Also a few cuckoos seen, but not identified.

Jordugle / Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus)
1 in Selenga 23rd.

Tårnseiler / Common Swift (Apus apus)
Only seen in Irkutsk 20th and 27-28th. Hundreds.

Gaffelseiler / Fork-tailed Swift (Apus pacificus)
Widespread and numerous(hundreds) except Beloozorsk area.

Pigghaleseiler / White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus)
Seen daily in small flocks around most river deltas at Baikal Sea. Fantastic views at Vydrino on the 20th.


Hærfugl / Common Hoopoe (Upupa epops saturata)
Singles seen randomly on most days.

Svartspett / Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
1 Vydrino 20th and 1 outside Gusinoozyrsk 26th.

Gråspett / Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus)
1 at Vydrino 20th and 1 north of Ulan Ude on the 26th.

Flaggspett / Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)
1 in Babushkin 22nd.

Hvitryggspett / White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos uralensis)
1 Vydrino 20th, 2 Dzhida river 24-25th and 1 at the ringing station 27th.


Dvergspett / Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor kamtchatkensis)
1 Vydrino 20th and 1 Dzhida river 25th.

Vendehals / Northern Wryneck (Jynx torquilla chinensis)
Singles seen at the ringing station 21st, Selenga 23rd, Dzhida river 25th and Gusinoozyrsk 26th.

Sanglerke / Eurasian Sky Lark (Alauda arvensis kiborti)
Common and widespread. Numerous at Beloozorsk.

Dverglerke / Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla longipennis)
Not more than 10 seen at Beloozorsk 24-26th.

Saltdverglerke / Asian Short-toed Lark (Alaudala cheleensis)
50+ Beloozorsk 23-26th.


Mongollerke / Mongolian Lark (Melanocorypha mongolica)
1 at the ringing station 22nd, common Beloozorsk.


Fjellerke / Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris brandti)
2 Orongoy 23rd, 20+ around Beloozorsk 23-26th.

Sandsvale / Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)
Small flocks(5-30) seen daily north of Ulan Ude.

Bleksandsvale / Pale Martin (Riparia diluta transbaykalika)
1 Vydrino 20th and 1 at the ringing station 27th.

Låvesvale / Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica)
Common and widespread.

Låvesvale / Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica tytleri)
Common and widespread.


Taksvale / Northern House Martin (Delichon urbicum lagopoda)
Small flocks up to 20 ind. seen widespread.

Tartarpiplerke / Richard's Pipit (Anthus richardi)
Common and widespread.

Mongolpiplerke / Blyth's Pipit (Anthus godlewskii)
Common south of Ulan Ude.


Vannpiplerke / Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta blakistoni)
1 at the ringing station 21-2nd.

Trepiplerke / Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
2 south of Irkutsk 20th.

Sibirpiplerke / Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni yunnanensi)
Common, numerous and widespread except Beloozorsk area.


Linerle / Eye-striped White Wagtail (Motacilla alba ocularis)
Breeding pair close to the ringing station 21-22nd.

Linerle / Transbaikalian White Wagtail (Motacilla alba baikalensis)
Common and widespread.

Gulerle / Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava tschutschensis)
1 in a flock of Citrine Wagtails at the ringing station 21st. Singles at Selenga 23rd and Beloozorsk 25-26th.

Sitronerle / Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)
Common and seen in good numbers every day. A maximum of 150 at the ringing station 21-22nd.


Vintererle / Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
Singles seen in suitable habitats daily.

Sidensvans / Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus centralasiae)
At least 5 birds had a short stop at the ringing station 27th.

Blåstjert / Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus)
1 Vydrino 20th and 1 Selenga 23rd.

Rubinstrupe / Siberian Rubythroat (Calliope calliope)
Common and widespread though not numerous.


Trillenattergal / Rufous-tailed Robin (Larvivora sibilans)
1 singing at the ringing station 26-27th and 1 singing outside Kamensk 27th.

Aurorarødstjert / Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus)
Common and widespread, often close to settlement.


Steinskvett / Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
Common and widespread.

Isabellasteinskvett / Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)
Common and numerous Beloozorsk area 23-26th.


Svartstrupesteinskvett / Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)
At least 10 birds Dzhida area 25-26th.


Asiasvartstrupe / Eastern Stonechat (Saxicola maurus / stejnegeri)
A few seen at the ringing station and Babushkin area 21-22nd.

Måltrost / Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos nathaliae)
Singles seen at the ringing station, Babushkin area 21-22nd and 27th and Dzhida river 25th.

Duetrost / Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)
1 at the ringing station 21st

Gråtrost / Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
1 seen 20th and 1 27th. Both seen south of Irkutsk.

Gråstrupetrost / Eyebrowed Thrush (Turdus obscurus)
Small flocks passing the ringing station 21-23rd and 27th.

Rødstrupetrost / Red-throated Thrush (Turdus ruficollis)
A pair building nest Dzhida river 25th. Only birds seen.


Svartflekktrost / Dusky Thrush (Turdus eunomus)
Hundreds passing the ringing station 21-23rd. Seemed to be more numerous than Naumanns but at least 50% of trapped birds showed intermediate characters with the latter.


Rødflekktrost / Naumann's Thrush (Turdus naumanni)
Hundreds passing the ringing station 21-23rd. See Dusky Thrush for comments.

Gulltrost / White's Thrush (Zoothera aurea)
2 birds seen at a cemetery east of Mishicha 21st.

Møller / Eastern Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca blythi)
Small numbers seen every day.

Gransanger / Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita tristis)
2 at the ringing station 21-22nd.

Lappsanger / Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis)
Common north of Ulan Ude. Maybe a couple of hundreds seen and heard.

Gulbrynsanger / Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)
Common and widespread.

Fuglekongesanger / Pallas's Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus proregulus)
A few seen at Selenga 23rd and 1 at the ringing station 27th.


Brunsanger / Dusky Warbler (Phylloscopus fuscatus)
A few at the ringing station 23rd, 1 at Dzhida river 25th and numerous at the ringing station 26-27th.


Viersanger / Radde's Warbler (Phylloscopus schwarzi)
1 on the 21st just outside Mishicha and 3 at the ringing station 27th.


Gråfluesnapper / Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata neumanni)
1 south of Gusinoozyrsk 26th.

Gråflankefluesnapper / Dark-sided Flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica)
A few seen at the ringing station and in the surroundings 21-22nd.

Brunfluesnapper / Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica)
Singles seen at the ringing station, Babushkin area and Selenga 21-23rd and 27th.


Taigafluesnapper / Taiga Flycatcher (Ficedula albicilla)
Common and widespread.

Kjøttmeis / Great Tit (Parus major kapustini)
Common and widespread.

Svartmeis / Coal Tit (Periparus ater)
Common where trees.

Asurmeis / Azure Tit (Cyanistes cyanus yenisseensis)
Breeding under bridge at Dzhida river 24th. Maybe 10 birds seen Dzhida river area 24-26th.


Løvmeis / Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris brevirostris)
2 at Dzhida river 25th.

Granmeis / Willow Tit (Poecile montanus baikalensis)
Common and widespread.

Stjertmeis / Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus sibiricus)
Small flocks seen Vydrino 20th, at the ringing station 21st and Dzhida river 24th.

Kronpungmeis / White-crowned Penduline Tit (Remiz coronatus stoliczkae)
2 + 2 Dzhida river 25th and 26th.


Spettmeis / Nuthatch (Sitta europaea asiatica)
2 east of Mishicha 21st

Isabellavarsler / Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)
1 Orongoy 26th

Brunvarsler / Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
Common and widespread. Small flocks (5-15) seen anywhere.

Blåskjære / Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)
Small flocks seen anywhere. A flock of 50+ Dzhida river 24-25th.


Skjære / Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica bactriana)
Common where settlement.

Mongolkaie / Daurian Jackdaw (Coleus dauuricus)
Small flocks just south of Ulan Ude 23rd and 26th.

Kornkråke / Rook (Corvus frugilegus)
Common and widespread.

Orientkråke / Oriental Crow (Corvus orientalis)
Very common.

Ravn / Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Common and widespread

Stær / Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Small flocks Ulan Ude 23rd and 26th.

Gråspurv / House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Common.

Pilfink / Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
Common.

Bjørkefink / Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)
Small flocks at the ringing station and Baikal Sea 20-23rd.

Grønnsisik / Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus)
Seen in small numbers daily.

Dompap / Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pyrrhula)
6 at the ringing station 23rd and a couple south of Gusinoozyrsk 26th.

Dompap / Bajkal Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula cineracea)
2 + 3 at the ringing station 21st and 23rd.

Kjernebiter / Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes)
Singles at the ringing station 21st, 22nd and 27th. 1 at Dzhida river 25th.

Grankorsnebb / Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)
Small flocks on passage at the ringing station 21-23rd and 27th.

Rosenfink / Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)
Small flocks on passage at the ringing station daily. Also single birds singing Selenga 23rd and Dzhida river 25th.

Langhalerosenfink / Long-tailed Rosefinch (Uragus sibiricus)
Singles and pairs seen Selenga 23rd and Dzhida river 24-25th.

Gulspurv / Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella erythrogenis)
1 south of Irkutsk 20th, 2 Dzhida river 25th.

Hvithodespurv / Pine Bunting (Emberiza leucocephalos)
Fairly common and widespread especially at Selenga 23rd and Dzhida river 24-25th. Singles elsewhere. No apparent hybrids with yellowhammer encountered.

Engspurv / Meadow Bunting (Emberiza cioides)
1 m in the big pine forest south of Gusinoozyrsk 26th.

Dvergspurv / Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla)
Common and numerous. Hundreds on passage at the ringing station 21-23rd.

Sibirspurv / Yellow-breasted Bunting       (Emberiza aureolus)
1 + 1 f at the ringing station 22nd and 27th. 6 singing m at Dzhida river 25th.


Kastanjespurv / Chestnut Bunting (Emberiza rutilus)
2 m(ad and 2k) trapped and ringed at the ringing station 27th.



Gråhodespurv / Black-faced Bunting (Emberiza spodocephala spodocephala)
Common and widespread.


Krattspurv / Pallas's Reed Bunting (Emberiza pallasi lydiae)
Common but not numerous. Breeding pair at the ringing station.


Sivspurv / Eurasian Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus pyrrhulus)
1 m at the ringing station 22nd.

Lappspurv / Lapland Longspur (Calcarius lapponicus)
Up to 4 at the ringing station 20-23rd.