In the last holiday to Himalaya (EBC and Gokyo Ri) I carried also a tele-lens especially for observing as many wildlife as possible. There are four snow leopards in the area of Sagarmatha National Park according to billboards; of course I wasn’t so lucky to spot one of them during a trail done during the spring peak touristic season. But I’ve succeeded to observe more than 25 species, mostly birds.
The observations were done during walking on EBC and Gokyo Ri trails. I didn’t have time for extensive watching, I only had close-range walks around the hut, one or two hours before breakfast or after diner.
The star of the journey was the Himalayan griffon (Gyps himalayensis), the great vulture gliding above immense landscape.
You can start seeing them from Lukla but the greatest density was above Namche.
I’ve seen vultures up to Lobuche area.
The easiest to spot mammal is the Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), a furry wild goat.
You can see them from the path
Little colorful birds fly around all the way.
You cannot miss the Blue-fronted Redstar (Phoenicurus frontalis).
It comes close to the settlements or even among houses.
The Lammergeier, the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) was present in several places above Namche.
As it eats almost exclusively bones, it must stay in line for a decent meal; firstly the Golden Eagle, the supreme killer, actively hunts down the prey, then the vultures eat the rest of the flesh and the Lammergeier waits for hist turn to make the victim vanish.
Griffon and Lammergeier.
At very high altitude I’ve observed a strange dance: two eagles in clench, falling in a fast tailspin.
I can’t say it was a nuptial behavior or just a quarrel for a bone.
In the areas covered with high altitude forests you can spot the shy Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster).
It seems to me they like quiet moments early in the morning or late in the evening, when they come out of the shelter on green meadows.
Curiosly , the adult musk deer has a noticeable pair of fangs.
A Himalayan Bluetail (Tarsiger (cyanurus) rufilatus).
I’ve seen it in two places, one around Tengboche monastery and one in the area between Lukla and Namche.
The Great Rosefinch (Carpodacus rubicilla) comes close to the huts in the mornings.
They go to high altitude and I saw them in Lobuche and in Gorakshep.
A Dark-breasted Rosefinch (Carpodacus nipalnesis) spotted at high altitude above Dzongla settlement in the way to Cho La pass.
A wonderful surprise was the Grandala (Grandala coelicolor). They can come close to trails and fly in noisy flocks.
Stay close for the part 2.