Trip report: Tibet, China (June 2011) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Keith Barnes. This was a custom tour.

Tibet is spectacular. Both visually stunning and spiritually rich, and it is home to many scarce, seldom-seen and spectacular looking birds. If you are looking for a trip that delivers a long triplist, then it is best you look elsewhere. Our modest tally of 162 species in 18 days indicates that Tibet is not exactly megadiverse. However, what it lacks in species numbers it more than makes up for with a spectacular collection of local, scarce and seldom-seen species. One of the main motivations for birders to visit these days is that the taxonomic oddity, the Pink-tailed Bunting, is increasingly recognised as being in its own monotypic family, the Urocynchramidae. This part of Tibet is one of the few areas where this local and enigmatic bird can be seen with any regularity, and we saw at least 15 individuals, including males, females, found a nest, and watched them displaying, which was a serious treat.

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