Birding round Chaka, Qinghai, China

Chaka is a small city, with nearly 2000 individuals. The primary attraction here’s a massive salt lake at an altitude of greater than 3000 meters that’s claimed to draw 3 million guests yearly – and thus precisely the form of place I attempt to keep away from in my travels. Thankfully, I share this desire with birds, which we discovered away from the lake, principally in some semi-desert areas.

Comparable to this Daurian Partridge.

The HBW delights with thrilling data on systematics historical past:
“Particular identify generally erroneously spelt P. dauuricae; latter spelling (the unique) was in genitive case as a result of wording of the outline, and has due to this fact to be corrected. Species previously known as P. barbata, however current identify has precedence. One latest examine discovered that this species was sister to P. perdix, and likewise that race przewalskii (generally subsumed inside suschkini, however typically paler) was basal to different taxa included inside the current species. Clinal and particular person variation make delineation of races considerably tough; proposed race turcomana (E Turkestan) is handled as a synonym of nominate, and castaneothorax (NE China) as a synonym of suschkini. “

Not the fowl’s fault, I suppose. Simply what ornithologists speak about when visiting their native pub.

The Ala Shan Redstart (which I cannot name Przevalski’s Redstart, see my juvenile rants concerning the evil Mr Przevalski in earlier editions of this weblog) is a really engaging fowl and – as many engaging birds – listed as Close to Threatened. A pity.

Probably my favourite fowl on the entire Qinghai journey was this Mongolian Floor Jay – thanks so much to Bella from Alpinebirding for locating it.

Apparently, that is one other fowl species that feels not so sure about flying (many people have comparable emotions). To cite the HBW “Prefers to run, somewhat than to fly, from potential hazard, however will take to the air if hard-pressed” (once more a superb time to suggest you to search for the “Silly Birds” Gary Larson cartoon on-line).

And that is what the jay eats, apparently – no less than sometimes. Most likely chocolate as nicely, however solely when there are not any fowl watchers round.

Citrine Wagtails are uncommon in Shanghai however apparently fairly widespread round Chaka, although sadly many of the ones we noticed weren’t in breeding plumage. I blame this on covid-19.

On Rubber Mountain, Black Restarts have been busy participating within the circle of life, blissfully ignoring the truth that in about 7.5 billion years, the earth will most probably be absorbed by the solar.

The Brown Accentor actually ranks among the many much less engaging accentors, although after all, some species on this household set a somewhat excessive bar.

I typically fairly like shrikes, being keen on our noisy Shanghai Lengthy-tailed Shrike. So, it was good to see an Isabelline Shrike.

We additionally noticed one other species with the identical first identify, the Isabelline Wheatear.

On condition that our information exhibiting us this fowl was named Bella, she instantly claimed some type of possession of those two species. So, I later appeared this up. And certainly, it appears Isabelline stands for Isabella. However the (apocryphal) story behind that is lower than interesting (supply), making me ponder whether Bella will uphold this declare sooner or later.

“Isabelline, often known as Isabella, is a pale grey-yellow, pale fawn, pale cream-brown, sandy or parchment color, typically used to explain plumage in birds like Isabelline Shrike, Wheatear and so on. The phrase clearly comes from the private identify Isabella. There’s a people story (Nonetheless, there are different theories as nicely) — talked about within the Oxford English Dictionary solely to disclaim its fact — that claims the origin was Isabella, Archduchess of Austria, daughter of Philip II of Spain. He laid siege to Ostend in 1601 and in a second of devoted fervour Isabella vowed to not change her intimate undergarments till town was taken. Sadly for her (and for these round her) the siege lasted one other three years, resulting in this off-colour phrase for over-worn underwear.”

In accordance with the HBW, the weight-reduction plan of the Pine Bunting throughout breeding season is especially invertebrates. Confirmed, although in a completely unscientific approach.

A Skylark allowed some very shut pictures from our automobile, although as typical, I can not inform whether or not it’s Eurasian or Oriental Skylark. My cats suppose each style comparable, so possibly the 2 species must be lumped anyway.

Rubber Mountain additionally had some somewhat wind-blown Siberian Stonechat

… posing on a wire subsequent to a Streaked Rosefinch.

Its cousin, a Nice Rosefinch, hung out at a car parking zone for vehicles, feeding on discarded seeds.

Rufous-necked Snowfinches can look very photogenic with the best background.

Lastly, at all times good to finish a weblog publish with a vulture as a delicate memento mori. At Rubber Mountain, we noticed just a few Himalayan Vultures – it appears they’re breeding there as nicely.





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