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Bird watching Tour on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in winter

Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch

The colourful nature is the most beautiful “background” for birds. To take satisfactory photos, technology, opportunity and luck are all indispensable.

Black necked Crane tibetan Crane Black necked Crane tibetan Crane
Black necked Crane tibetan Crane

The bird pond film is clean, but the cats are not interested. Firstly, the environment and subjects are repetitive, which harms photographers. Secondly, it does not portray the birds’ actual habitat, so it cannot be considered “Ecological Photography”. (Some exceptions, such as the black-billed grouse shooting spot in the natural Daxingan Mountains.) Natural wildlife photography can also result in a clean image.

Grey headed Canary flycatcher Grey headed Canary flycatcher
Grey headed Canary flycatcher
Brown accentor Brown accentor
Brown accentor
Black throated Stone Black throated Stone
Black throated Stone

Tibet is one of the few places in China without a bird pond, offering a unique blend of stunning scenery and bird watching. The journey takes you from the Lhasa River Valley to the Brahmaputra River Valley, through the Medog subtropical forest and Jilong Valley, one of the renowned “Five Himalayan Valleys”. You will encounter a variety of landscapes, from expansive river beaches to forested areas alive with birdsong and flowers. The backdrop of snow-capped mountains, reaching heights of four to five thousand meters, adds to the grandeur of the river valleys, creating a vibrant tapestry of bird life.

Tibetan Eared pheasant Tibetan Eared pheasant
Tibetan Eared pheasant
Blue fronted Redstart Blue fronted Redstart
Blue fronted Redstart
Rufous breasted Accentor Rufous breasted Accentor
Rufous breasted Accentor
Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch
Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch
Rufous fronted Bushtit Rufous fronted Bushtit
Rufous fronted Bushtit

The Rufous-fronted Bushtit looks like a colour-changed version of the Red-fronted Bushtit, but they live in different habitats. The former lives in areas with an altitude of 2,000 to 3,000 meters. This was photographed in a park in Linzhi and was later seen in Lebugou.

The White-browed Fulvetta is a high-altitude bird commonly found in thorny oak shrubs and understory vegetation in sub-alpine forests. We have observed numerous individuals at Kajiu Temple, particularly one with dishevelled plumage resembling an “angry little bird”. A more subdued variant of avian species.

White browed Fulvetta White browed Fulvetta
White browed Fulvetta

The colour of the Rusty-flanked Treecreeper perfectly matches its surroundings.

Rusty flanked Treecreeper Rusty flanked Treecreeper
Rusty flanked Treecreeper

The Fire-tailed Mysornis is the standout bird species of Medog, boasting a unique and captivating color palette of red, green, white, and black, exuding an exquisite beauty and grace.

Fire tailed Mysornis Fire tailed Mysornis
Fire tailed Mysornis
Grandala Grandala
Grandala

There is no need to elaborate on the Grandala, as we have already provided extensive information. In brief, the blue hue in the snow is remarkably vivid and stunning.

Black throated Prinia Black throated Prinia
Black throated Prinia

The Yellow-bellied Fantail, Black-throated Prinia, and Grey-hooded Warbler are especially vibrant in their natural habitat.

Yellow bellied Fantail Yellow bellied Fantail
Yellow bellied Fantail
Grey hooded Warbler Grey hooded Warbler
Grey hooded Warbler

We will encounter humorous scenes along the way, such as the Red Deer Reserve near Lhasa. A Little Owl perches on a roadside sign, impressively motionless like a sculpture. The serious ambience is disrupted only by the aluminium plate in front of me, seemingly requesting something as you pass by. By the way, the vertically striped belly on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is larger and darker than the mainland, perhaps due to subspecies.

High-altitude areas are characterized by hypoxia, low temperature, and intense ultraviolet radiation. Birds inhabiting this region will have improved cold tolerance, anti-hypoxia ability, metabolic capacity, and increased weight.

Tibetan Owl Tibetan Owl
Tibetan Owl

Among the birds in light and shadow, my favourite is the Saker Falcon in the sidelight and the Blood Pheasant among the rocks. Bird watching and bird photography have distinct objectives and outcomes. They prefer to customize their itinerary or go with a few friends. While this may be more expensive, it allows for both observation and photography.

Saker Falcon Saker Falcon
Saker Falcon
Blood Pheasant Blood Pheasant
Blood Pheasant
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About the author

The Tibetan Travel website's creator, hailing from Lhasa, is a cultural enthusiast. They promote responsible tourism, connecting the world to Tibet's beauty and heritage. Awards recognize their contribution.

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