Trip Report
Ladakh

 
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Trip Report, Ladakh 2004
by Mathias Ritschard & Daniel Matti (pictures)
 

 


  Ladakh   Checklist

Page 2

Tibetan Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes tibetanus
Only observed near Tso Kar, where 9 birds (3 pairs, one of them with 3 chicks) were noted on 11th and 10 birds (presumably the same individuals as the day before and an additional single male) on 12th. The birds used to appear at the campsite at Tso Kar (at the spring opposite to Thukse village) after sunrise, calling loudly while flying in, and were feeding in the short grass directly above the campsite for several hours. Moreover they used to spend some time drinking water at a small pond below the campsite. After some rain the night before no birds appeared on 13th. Also, calls were heard between Tso Kar salt lake and Startsapuk Tso in the morning of 12th.

© Daniel Matti

© Daniel Matti

Male, Tso Kar, 11.7.04

Female, Tso Kar, 12.7.04

Rock Pigeon Columba livia
Very common around Leh, along the Indus, in lower Rumbak Valley and in Nubra Valley. Not observed above 4000m.

Hill Pigeon Columba rupestris
Commonly observed in upper Rumbak Valley, at all sites in the Changtang region, around Khardung La and along the Leh–Sarchu (-Manali) road. Replaces Rock Pigeon above 4000m. A single bird was observed near Diskit in Nubra Valley at only around 3000m.

© Daniel Matti 
Rumbak, 2.7.04

Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis
Rather common in and around Leh, along the Indus, in lower Rumbak Valley and in Nubra Valley, up to about 4000m. Highest number was around 20 birds between Thikse and Shey on 14th.

Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
A single bird was reported from Zinchen in lower Rumbak Valley on 5th, feeding among Oriental Turtle Doves. This species is known from Ladakh as a rare migrant in late autumn and our observation may be the first ever summer record. 

© Daniel Matti
Zinchen 5.7.004

Eurasian Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Single birds were observed along the Indus between Thikse and Choglamsar, at lower Rumbak Valley and around Sumur in Nubra Valley; moreover, a single bird was seen at Upper Sumdo at ca. 4500m on 8th.

Little Owl Athene noctua
Reported from the Upper Rumbak Valley and the Changtang area. A single bird was observed above Yurutse at around 4700m on 4th and another was calling at the campsite at Yurutse in the evening of 3rd and 4th. A family with 2 chicks was observed at the eastern shore of Tso Kar on 10th.

© Daniel Matti
Tso Kar, 10.7.04 

Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo
A single adult bird (presumably a female) and a chick was seen at the nest site at Upper Sumdo on 9th. The nest is rather easily found in a rock face on the left hand side immediately behind Upper Sumdo village. Another bird (maybe the male?) was present at Puga on 9th and 10th. If you walk from Puga towards Polokongka La check the rock faces to you right hand, a few 100 metres before the new school building at Puga.

© Daniel Matti   © Daniel Matti
Upper Sumdo, 9.7.04                                             Puga, 9.7.04

Common Swift Apus apus
Rather common at lower altitudes. Mainly seen around Leh and the Indus Valley as well as in Nubra Valley. Highest count was around 30 birds near Choglamsar on 30th of June and around Hundar on 16th of July.

Common Hoopoe Upupa epops
Commonly observed in and around Leh, along the Indus (where around 30 birds were estimated between Thikse and Choglamsar on 30th of June) and in Nubra Valley.

Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla
2-3 birds were calling along the Indus between Thikse and Choglamsar on 30th of June and a single bird was heard in gardens above Leh on 6th of July. A pair was feeding their recently fledged chicks at Hundar on 15th. Wryneck is said to be rare as far east as Leh.

© Daniel Matti
Juvenile, Hundar, 15.7.04

Hume’s Short-toed Lark Calandrella acutirostris
Very common in some parts of the Changtang region, especially around Startsapuk Tso where around 600 birds were estimated on 12th. Also rather common around Sumdo, Tso Moriri and around the campsite at Tso Kar, as well as between Tso Kar and Taglang La along the Manali – Leh road.

© Daniel Matti
Tso Kar, 13.7.04

Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula
A single bird was singing near Spituk along the Indus on 1st and a few birds were observed around Hundar, Sumur and Panamik (maximum: 8 birds including juveniles on 18th) in Nubra Valley.

© Daniel Matti
Juvenile, Panamik, 18.7.04

Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris
Very common in some parts of Changtang, where up to 150 birds (Startsapuk Tso, 12th of june) were observed daily. Less common in upper Rumbak Valley, where a few were observed around Rumbak and Ganda La, and at Khardung La.

© Daniel Matti    © Daniel Matti
Juvenile, Tso Kar, 11.7.04                            Rumbak, 2.7.04
 

Sand Martin Riparia riparia
2 birds were reported from Mahe Bridge on 7th.

Eurasian Crag Martin Hirundo rupestris
Small numbers (up to 15 birds daily) were observed in lower Rumbak Valley, above Leh, along the Indus between Upshi and Mahe Bridge, around Upper Sumdo and Puga in Changtang and around Hundar and Sumur in Nubra Valley.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
At least 2 birds were reported from the northern end of Tso Moriri on 9th.

Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
1-2 birds were seen above Sumur in Nubra Valley on 18th; in summer, Red-rumped Swallow is a rare vagrant to Ladakh.

Northern House Martin Delichon urbica
Small numbers were noted along the Indus near Choglamsar and between Upshi and Mahe Bridge, above Leh, at Upper Sumdo, between Leh and Taglang La and in Nubra Valley, where around 40 birds were present along Hundar River on 16th.

White Wagtail Motacilla alba
Rather common along streams, observed in the Indus Valley between Thikse and Choglamsar, in lower Rumbak Valley between Zinchen and Rumbak and around Hundar, Diskit and Panamik in Nubra Valley. The vast majority of the birds were alboides (the subspecies breeding in Ladakh), with about 3 personata observed in the Shey Marshes on 30th of June.

© Daniel Matti
White Wagtail
, ssp. alboides, 1st summer / adult female, Shey Marshes, 14.7.04

Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola calcarata
Commonly observed at most locations up to around 4600m; highest count was around 80 birds along the Indus between Thikse and Choglamsar on 30th of June.


Shey Marshes, 30.6.04

© Daniel Matti
Shey Marshes, 30.6.04 One of several juvenile birds with whitish head. 

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
Small numbers (up to 5 birds daily) were noted in and above Leh, along the Indus between Thikse and Choglamsar and in Rumbak Valley.

White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus
A few birds were noted in Rumbak Valley between Zinchen and Rumbak as well as around Yurutse. A single bird was seen near Tso Moriri. 2 pairs were present around Upper Sumdo in Changtang, whereof one pair consisted of a normal bird and a bird of the little known ’sordidus’ morph. They were feeding three chicks, two normal and one dark morph bird.

© Daniel Matti  © Daniel Matti
Juvenile, Upper Sumdo, 8.7.04                      Juvenile, probable 'sordidus' morph,
                                                                   Upper Sumdo, 8.7.04 

© Daniel Matti
Adult,  ‘sordidus’ morph, Upper Sumdo, 8.7.04

Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii
The only observations concern a few birds in Nubra Valley, where an adult and a juvenile were seen at Hundar River on 16th and a single juvenile bird at Sumur on 18th.

Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
A family with at least 2 chicks was observed between Zinchen and Rumbak in Rumbak Valley on 1st; around 4 individuals, whereof one was observed carrying food, were noted in gardens above Leh on 6th and a single bird was seen at Hundar on 15th.

Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris
Only observed around Khardung La, where around 5 birds were seen on 15th and at least 2 on 19th.

Robin Accentor Prunella rubeculoides
Rather common around Rumbak and Yurutse in Rumbak Valley and around Sumdo and Upper Sumdo in Changtang (up to 20 birds daily) as well as around North Pullu at the northern slope of Khardung La. A single bird was seen around Tso Kar on 13th.

© Daniel Matti
Rumbak, 2.7.04

Brown Accentor Prunella fulvescens
Rather common around Rumbak and Yurutse in Rumbak Valley and around Upper Sumdo and Puga in Changtang (up to 8 birds daily).

© Daniel Matti
Upper Sumdo, 8.7.04

White-tailed Rubythroat Luscinia pectoralis
A pair was seen displaying at Upper Sumdo on 7th; only the male was seen at the same location on 8th.

Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
Common in bushes along the Indus between Thikse and Choglamsar, where around 20 birds were noted on 30th of June. Also rather common and widespread in Nubra Valley, where up to 10 birds were recorded daily.

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros 
Very common; up to a few dozen birds seen daily at all sites except along the Indus between Thikse and Choglamsar and at Tso Kar.

White-winged Redstart Phoenicurus erythrogaster
2 males were observed at the mountain slopes west of Yurutse in Rumbak Valley at around 4700m on 4th; a single male was seen along the Indus between Upshi and Mahe Bridge on 7th and a pair just below Sumdo on the same day. A few birds were noted at Khardung La on 15th and 19th, with around 8 birds (including many juveniles) above North Pullu on 19th.

© Daniel Matti
Upper Rumbak Valley, 4.7.04

Pied / Variable Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka / picata
A single female bird was only shortly seen between Leh and Choglamsar on 7th. 

Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti
Only observed in the Changtang region, where it is rather common. Up to 10 birds a day were noted around Upper Sumdo, Namshang La (between Upper Sumdo and Tso Moriri), Puga and Tso Kar.

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
Most easily found in Rumbak Valley, where up to 5 birds were seen daily, and at most sites in Nubra Valley.

© Daniel Matti
Yurutse, 4.7.2004 

Blue Whistling Thrush Myophonus caeruleus
Only reported from lower Rumbak valley, especially at Zinchen, where 3-5 birds were seen on 1st and 5th.

Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca althaea
Rather common in and around Leh, along the Indus between Thikse and Choglamsar and in lower Rumbak Valley between Zinchen and Rumbak. Very common in Hippophae thickets in Nubra Valley, where up to 50 birds were noted daily.

Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus sindianus
Very common in and around Leh, in lower Rumbak Valley, in Nubra Valley and especially along the Indus between Thikse and Choglamsar, where around 300 birds, including many juveniles, were estimated on 30th of June.

© Daniel Matti
Juvenile, Sumur, 17.7.04

Sulphur-bellied Warbler Phylloscopus griseolus
Rather common and widespread in Upper Rumak Valley, where up to ca. 15 birds were reported daily.

Tickell’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus affinis
A few were observed only around Upper Sumdo in the Changtang area.

© Daniel Matti
Upper Sumdo, 8.7.04

White-browed Tit Warbler Leptopoecile sophiae
Rather common but difficult to see in Hippophae thickets in Nubra Valley: around 6 birds were noted between Hundar and Diskit on 16th, 5 at Sumur on 17th and 18th and a total of about 12 birds at Panamik on 18th.

Great Tit Parus major
Present in small numbers (not exceeding 10 birds a day) in and around Leh, in Indus Valley between Thikse and Choglamsar, at Zinchen in lower Rumbak Valley and in Nubra Valley.

Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria
A single bird was seen along the Indus between Upshi and Mahe Bridge on 7th.

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© Mathias Ritschard & Daniel Matti (pictures), 2004
Questions and comments to Mathias Ritschard:
locustella@students.unibe.ch

 

   
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