The woodland turned out to be a good place to see tits.
Azure tit was relatively easily seen and it was a lifer for me. The bird above is a juvenile.
southern entrance to Ulan Bator
The most common tit however was great tit. Nevertheless I struggled to get straight views.
great tit 1
great tit 2
The third tit was long-tailed tit. Despite seeing fewest of these, the few I did see gave me the best views.
long tailed tit
There are apparently 17 races of long-tailed tit. The ones near Ulan Bator belong to the race caudatus. This is the same as those found in Scandinavia and most easily characterised by their all white head.
long-tailed tit facing me
On two occasions I came across redstarts. The second time I got prolonged views.
Daurian redstart facing away
juvenile taiga flycatcher
While walking through the woods, I flushed two woodcock in two different places. Unfortunately each time I failed to track where each bird landed.
I must mention that tree sparrow was the most common bird of all.
Only two types of corvid were encountered. One was carrion crow. These included two juvenile birds which were just sitting in branches over hanging my path. They did not budge as I walked slowly past. It was almost like they couldn't fly or were frozen.
juvenile carrion crow
The other corvid was the ubiquitous magpie.
Remember that I was walking in woodland adjacent to the great Tuul River. This of course influenced the birds I saw.
The closer I got to the river, the more white wagtail and grey wagtail I saw.
However I didn't spot a single wader or heron family member at the river itself.
stretch of the Tuul River
The river wasn't barren though. At one stage I came across four goosander.
All were either female or juvenile. They were not easy for me to separate from red-breasted merganser. However the clean break between reddish head and white body at the neck as well as bill shape help define them as goosander.
The water also attracted a small number of pacific swift and common tern to fly over head.
Pacific swift with black kite
The final bird to my day list was seen as I walked away from the river towards the hotel through some scrubby grassland. It was a northern wheatear.
This part-day session was my last in Mongolia. However before I arrived back in Bulgaria via Istanbul, I stopped off for two days in Bishkeke, Kyrgyzstan. I managed some birding there which I will blog about next.
Species seen at Tuul River
Black Kite (Black-eared)