Thursday, 19 September 2013

The day we crossed a river!

One of the birds we all wanted to see was Chinese Fulvetta. It is an endemic, here at this location, at the edge of its range and therefore very hard to see. Jesper informed us that in this entire valley (and it was huge) there were only around three pairs of this small bird! So we were to give it a go!

It was a good valley for birds flying overhead: Himalayan Griffon Vultures were constantly in the air, with Sparrowhawk & two species of Martins.
Some raptors were a little high - but not all!

A nice adult male Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Eurasian Crag Martin
Small flocks of Asian House Martins flew by

First we had to cross the river. Now rivers at this altitude run fast and furious, so you have to be careful when wading across. But the main thing is the cold! The water is freezing, numbingly cold and this is the height of summer! We all prepared in our own way and set off across the river. A few gasps and rude words were heard from several people, but eventually everyone made it across without mishap. I had the camera at the ready just in case!
 Mike & Pete enjoying themselves!

 Mike seems to be enjoying it the most!

Nearly there!
Relief ? He made it!
We must have been quite a sight, as a local dog came to view the fun and frolics!
We were not the only living things on the river that day. Although I suspect these birds were much more at home than we were!
White-throated Dipper
The wonderful male River Chat
Once across we had the inevitable hill to climb, but we stumbled across 3 Blood Pheasants, which gave great, if distant views.

Blood Pheasant - what a great bird!

 Birding was a little slow, but we racked up a few species on the long walk to our main quarry.

Grey-backed Shrike
Crested Tit-Warbler - female, but wait for it!

The outrageous male!

Kessler's Thrush

Pink-rumped Rosefinches were common.

 Eventually, Jesper heard the call of the Chinese Fulvetta and we climbed to the spot. A pair showed very well to all.

Drab, but rare & not many birders
 have seen this species!

We now retreated back down the valley, just as the sky darkened! The temperature was falling fast & we still had that lovely river to cross! By the time we crossed & the drivers picked us up, everyone was ready to call it a day & head for the (sic) comfort of our hotel.

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