Himalayan fauna (part I)

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.

Himalaya_fauna 01 griffon 03 med

Himalaya_fauna 01 griffon 01 med

You can start seeing them from Lukla but the greatest density was above Namche.

Himalaya_fauna 01 griffon 05 med

Himalaya_fauna 01 griffon 07 med

I’ve seen vultures up to Lobuche area.

Himalaya_fauna 01 griffon 09 med

Himalaya_fauna 01 griffon 10 med

Himalaya_fauna 01 griffon 12 med

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The easiest to spot mammal is the Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), a furry wild goat.

Himalaya_fauna 02 Tahrs 01 med

Himalaya_fauna 02 Tahrs 03 med

You can see them from the path

Himalaya_fauna 02 Tahrs 06 med

Himalaya_fauna 02 Tahrs 05 med

Himalaya_fauna 02 Tahrs 08 med

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Little colorful birds fly around all the way.

Himalaya_fauna 04_blue-fronted redstart 01 med

You cannot miss the Blue-fronted Redstar (Phoenicurus frontalis).

It comes close to the settlements or even among houses.

Himalaya_fauna 04_blue-fronted redstart 04 med

Himalaya_fauna 04_blue-fronted redstart 05 med

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The Lammergeier, the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) was present in several places above Namche.

Himalaya_fauna 03 Lqmmergeier -07 med

Himalaya_fauna 03 Lqmmergeier -03 med

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.

Himalaya_fauna 03 Lqmmergeier -02 med

Griffon and Lammergeier.

Himalaya_fauna 03 Lqmmergeier -06 med

At very high altitude I’ve observed a strange dance: two eagles in clench, falling in a fast tailspin.

Himalaya_fauna 03 Lqmmergeier -04 med

I can’t say it was a nuptial behavior or just a quarrel for a bone.

Himalaya_fauna 03 Lqmmergeier -05 med

In the areas covered with high altitude forests you can spot the shy Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster).

Himalaya_fauna 07 Musk deer 01 med

Himalaya_fauna 07 Musk deer 02 med

Himalaya_fauna 07 Musk deer 03 med

Tengboche_musk deer 01_22apr19 med

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.

Himalaya_fauna 07 Musk deer 04 med

Curiosly , the adult musk deer has a noticeable pair of fangs.

Himalaya_fauna 07 Musk deer 05 med

Himalaya_fauna 07 Musk deer 06 med

A Himalayan Bluetail (Tarsiger (cyanurus) rufilatus).

Himalaya_fauna 05_blue-tail 02 med

I’ve seen it in two places, one around Tengboche monastery and one in the area between Lukla and Namche.

Himalaya_fauna 05_blue-tail 01 med

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The Great Rosefinch (Carpodacus rubicilla) comes close to the huts in the mornings.

Himalaya_fauna 06 rosefinch 01 med

Himalaya_fauna 06 rosefinch 02 med

Himalaya_fauna 06 rosefinch 03 med

They go to high altitude and I saw them in Lobuche and in Gorakshep.

Himalaya_fauna 06 rosefinch 04 med

Himalaya_fauna 06 rosefinch 06 med

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A Dark-breasted Rosefinch (Carpodacus nipalnesis) spotted at high altitude above Dzongla settlement in the way to Cho La pass.

Himalaya_fauna 06 rosefinch 08 med

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A wonderful surprise was the Grandala (Grandala coelicolor). They can come close to trails and fly in noisy flocks.

Himalaya_fauna 08 Grandala 01 med

Dzongla_Grandala 01_26apr19_med

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Stay close for the part 2.

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