Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Birding in Leh, Ladakh

A six day trip to Leh, Ladakh was a long enough time to attempt and capture a few Himalayan birds. Many of these were visible at multiple places; some however were less common.

Many of these are also found at lower altitudes.

Birds at Leh, Nubra Valley-

There were a few birds we spotted at Leh; and many at our stay in Nubra Valley. With plenty of apricot trees, a river stream flowing right through our camp, plenty of birds had also made their homes at the same venue.

Common Blackbird
An extremely common bird (looks like a crow, but no streak of grey; and has a yellow beak). This was seen in large numbers in Leh and other areas.

Black Redstart female
A beautiful bird, spotted in some numbers in Nubra valley. This one was kind enough to pose perfectly.

Spotted Dove
Also seen were the Himalayan Pigeon (no pic)

The Red-fronted Serin or Fire-fronted Serin
A prize catch, and not so common bird, but was spotted in few numbers again in Nubra Valley, Hunder

Brown Accentor?
Not completely sure of ID, a small bird found in large numbers at Nubra Valley

Black-billed Magpie
A beautiful bird which exposes its bluish tinge only while flying; a very common bird in Leh and nearby areas.
A male Black Redstart.
Found hobnobbing with his female counterpart in Hunder, Nubra Valley

Robin Accentor
A lovely bird seen near Chang La

Spotted near Chang La enroute to Pangong

Spotted near Chang La enroute to Pangong

Birds at Pangong Lake-

Pangong Lake was a treasure trove with birds flying and swimming alike with delight in the crystal-blue water. Whilst there are a lot more smaller birds in and around the same which I just got a glimpse of, I could capture only the common ones.

A brown headed gull in flight
The most common bird around Pangong Lake. These beauties were spotted in large numbers near the lake either flying or swimming as in the next pic.

Brown headed Gull

A fleet of Common Mergansers, swimming in chilled Pangong

On your marks, get set, go!!
A whole bunch of birds basking in the morning sun at one corner of the lake.
Too far to make out, but seem to be gulls mainly and other duck species.

Common Merganser

Species spotted-

  • Rock Pigeon
  • Hill Pigeon
  • Spotted Dove
  • Common Blackbird
  • Black-billed Magpie
  • Sparrow
  • Mynas
  • Robin Accentor
  • Brown Accentor
  • Desert Whitear
  • Common Hoopoe
  • Black Redstart (male and female)
  • Red-fronted Serin or Fire-fronted Serin
  • Brown headed Gull
  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Common Merganser

Related links -
A six day trip to Leh, Ladakh