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Snow LeopardMONGOLIA
Snow Leopards & more!
June 5 - 19, 2021

Contact [email protected] to reserve your space!

Join Gina Nichol and Steve Bird as we explore some of the most pristine, bird-rich landscapes in the frontier of Asia on our superb Mongolian wildlife adventure!

Registration Form (pdf)>

Tour Registration Details, Terms, Cancellation Policies>


Mongolia! Just the mention of this "Land of the Blue Skies" conjures up images of nomadic horsemen riding across windswept Gobi desert and the legend that is Genghis Khan, leader of the once great Mongol Empire. Mongolia is one of the last surviving nomadic societies and one of the least densely populated places on earth. However exciting the history and culture of Mongolia are, it's scenery and wildlife are equally thrilling. On this tour, we will be immersing ourselves in Azure TitMongolia’s stunning landscapes and fabulous wildlife which includes many sought after species of birds and some incredible mammals that include Pallas’s Cat and the mythical Snow Leopard.

 

Using comfortable 4x4 Land cruisers we will explore many varied and scenic habitats of Mongolia including vast steppe land, incredible mountains, golden sand dunes, stony desert and lush grassland and lakes. Far, far better than tents, our traditional Ger Camps (Yurts) will provide comfort in a traditional style and are ideal as a basecamp while searching for Snow Leopard and other iconic species.

 

Photos: Top, Snow Leopard; Right, Azure Tit; Below, Yurts


Some of the species possible on this tour:
  • Black-billed Capercaillie
  • Siberian Rubythroat
  • Amur Falcon
  • Mongolian Lark
  • Long-tailed Rosefinch
  • Pallas’s Sandgrouse
  • Henderson’s Ground Jay
  • Kozlov’s Accentor
  • Wallcreeper
  • Mongolian Finch
  • Oriental Plover
  • Azure Tit
  • Pallas's Cat
  • Przewalski’s Horse
  • Siberian Marmot
  • Argali Sheep
  • Mongolian Gazelle
  • Corsac Fox
  • Marbled Polecat
    and more!
Ger Camp

This is sure to be a unique Sunrise Birding tour that you will never forget!
Join us to experience the magic of Mongolia!


ITINERARY
Day 1. June 5. Travel to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Today plan to arrive at the New Ulaanbaatar International Airport (Airport code: ULN), Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. We will then transfer to our city hotel. Because of the varying flight schedules, today is just arrival day with no activities or meals planned. Night Ulaanbaatar. The tour officially starts with breakfast tomorrow June 6.

 

Black-billed Capercaillie

Days 2 - 3. June 6 - 7. Terelj.
Today we will drive to Terelj where we will be based for 2 nights in order to search for the Black-billed Capercaillie. We have two main areas to search which are about 30km apart and will choose the most reliable site based on current information at the time. With luck we can find a male at his dance ground (lek)! There will of course be plenty of other species to look for including Pine and Meadow Buntings, Siberian Rubythroat, Daurian Jackdaw, Red-billed Chough, Mongolian Lark, Red-throated and Eye-browed Thrush, Common Crane, Pallas’s Reed Bunting, Rock Thrush, Ural Owl, Black Woodpecker, Hazel Grouse, Daurian Partridge, Red-flanked Bluetail, Taiga and Dark-sided Flycatcher, Daurian Redstart, Oriental Cuckoo, Common Rosefinch, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Olive-backed Pipit and possibly Chinese Bush-warbler. Handsome Long-tailed Sousliks are also numerous on the grassy slopes. 2 Nights Terelj (B, L, D).

 


Day 4. June 8. Terelj - Khustai National Park
White-naped Crane by Steve Bird.Today we will make the journey from Terelj to Khustai National Park. Along the way we will make a stop at Gun Galuut National Park, east of the capital city where several small wetlands could find us species such as Stejneger’s Scoter, Swan Goose, White-naped Crane, Relict Gull, Demoiselle Crane, Pallas’s Reed Bunting and Common Crane.

AmurAs we move on towards Khustai National Park we may come across the delightful Amur Falcon, plus the exquisite Mongolian Lark, Steppe Eagle and Pine Bunting. Other species we may encounter during the day include Hill Pigeon, Azure Tit, White-crowned Penduline Tit, Meadow Bunting, Long-tailed Rosefinch, Two-barred, Yellow-browed, Pallas’s Leaf, Arctic and Dusky Warblers, and Brown Shrike. We will also get our first introduction to some of the fascinating mammals of Mongolia such as the rare and endangered Przewalski’s Horse, plus Siberian Marmot, Daurian Ground Squirrel and Argali sheep.
Night Khustai (B, L, D).

 


zure Tit

Day 5. June 9. Khustai NP - Bayan Lake - Ulaanbaatar
We will spend most of the day exploring the Khustai National Park in search of Daurian Partridge, Swan Goose, Bar-headed Goose, Graylag Goose, White-naped Crane, Water Rail, Baillon’s Crake, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Pallas’s Reed Bunting, Common Reed Bunting, Bearded Tit, Daurian Jackdaw, Azure Tit, Long-tailed Rosefinch, Azure-winged Magpie, Booted, Golden and Steppe Eagles, Saker Falcon and Amur Falcon. Mammals could include Corsac Fox and Siberian Marmot, with chances of Wolf and Steppe Polecat and more opportunities for Przewalski’s Horse. We will then head back to Ulaanbaatar via a quick look to see if we can find anything new at Bayan Lake. Night Ulaanbaatar (B, L, D).

 

 

Day 6. June 10. Ulaanbaatar – Dalanzadgad
This morning we will set off to the South Gobi province center – Dalanzadgad, about 580 km. On the way we will check several small lakes where it is possible to see migrants plus a variety of water and wetland birds. Here we can hopefully find the gorgeous Pallas’s Sandgrouse, plus Rock Sparrow, Citrine Wagtail, Demoiselle Crane, Steppe Eagle, Upland Buzzard, Black and Griffon Vultures, Black-eared Kite, Golden Eagle, and Saker Falcon. We will also look for the brandti race of “Steppe” Horned Lark and the beautifully plumaged and striking Mongolian Lark. We can also look for Mongolian Gazelle and Corsac Fox, and possibly Brandt’s Voles. Depending on our arrival time we may have the chance to do a little birding around the hotel. Night in Hotel in Dalanzadgad (B, L, D)

 

 

Snow LeopardDays 7 - 12. June 11 - 16. Snow Leopard Ger Camp
This morning we will travel to the edge of the mountains which will take about 2 hours by dirt road to reach our fabulous Ger camp in the habitat of the mythical ‘Grey Ghost’ or Snow Leopard. These magnificent cats are, as expected, difficult to see but we have good chances with 3 main areas that they inhabit and our local herders who would have checked in advance and advise us of any sightings. In this highly scenic area we will not only be looking for Snow Leopard, but also the superb Pallas’s Cat, Steppe Polecat, Marbled Polecat, Grey Wolf, Beech Marten, Argali, Siberian Ibex, Corsac Fox, Red Fox, Mongolian Gazelle, Black-tailed Gazelle, and several species of Jerboa.

From strategic viewpoints, our main targets will be Snow Leopard, Pallas’s Cat, Steppe Polecat and Marbled Polecat and this will involve morning and afternoon stakeouts plus optional night drives. If we are successful with our targets we will then work to see the other species mentioned. Around our camp we can see White-winged Snowfinch, Pied and Isabelline Wheatears as well as several species of small mammal while, Alpine Marmots keep a watch out for Golden and Steppe Eagles that regularly hunt in the area.

 

Pallas’s Cat   Marbled Polecat

 

Depending how well we have done with Snow Leopard, we can make one or more day trips from camp to try and find Pygmy Jerboa among other species. Among the many birds we could encounter are Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Common and Demoiselle Cranes, Long-toed Stint, Asian Dowitcher, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Kozlov’s Accentor, Small Snowfinch and other interesting species may also include Henderson’s Ground JayPallas’s and Relict Gulls, Pallas’s Sandgrouse, Henderson’s Ground Jay, Asian Desert Warbler, Mongolian Finch, Saxual Sparrow, Godlewski’s Bunting and Père David’s Snowfinch, as well as Goitered Gazelle, Siberian Ibex and Mongolian Gazelles. There is also further chances for Baillon’s Crake and Argali.

Mongolian FinchAt Khongoryn Els are some of the largest and most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia, often referred to as ‘The Singing Sands’. Here it is sometimes possible to find Wild Ass and possibly other important species of Jerboa such as Long-eared Jerboa, Kozlov’s Pygmy Jerboa, and Five-toed Jerboa. On the evening of 16th June we will head back to Dalanzadgad where we will stay in a comfortable hotel. (B, L, D).

 


Day 13. June 17. Dalanzadgad
Oriental PloverThis morning we will visit some different habitat of several valleys where we hope to find Henderson’s Ground Jay and possibly Kozlov’s Accentor, Barred Warbler, Lammergeier, Wallcreeper and Greater Sand Plover. One of the prized birds for today if we are lucky will be the beautiful Oriental Plover. Night Dalanzadgad. (B, L, D).

 

 

Day 14. June 18. Dalanzadgad – Ulaanbaatar
Today after some final morning birding we head back towards Ulaanbaatar stopping if we see anything of interest along the way. Finally we will arrive at our comfortable city hotel. Night Ulaanbaatar. (B, L, D).

 

Day 15. June 19.
Today is departure day and having arrived the night before we would suggest a morning flight unless you wish to explore the city on your own. (B).

Photo credits: T. Humbas

 

LEADERS: Gina Nichol, Steve Bird & local guides

 

WHAT TO EXPECT:

  • Accommodation: We will be using comfortable City Hotels, plus Ger Camps. Our Ger camp at the Snow Leopard area is very comfortable and will be located depending on the most up-to-date cat news. The Gers Camp will be a wonderful experience and includes camping shower, toilet and a food catering tent.

  • Altitude: Range from 5,000 - 8,200 feet.  It will most likely be at around 2,300 meters (7500 feet) close to areas where we can view suitable Snow Leopard habitat.

  • Temperatures: During the night should be around 10 – 12°C (50 - 54°F) and 16 – 20°C (60 - 68 °F) during the day.

  • Transportation: We will be using 4x4 vehicles Land Cruisers or similar that allow just 3 persons plus driver per vehicle which allows everyone a window seat!

  • Treks: The furthest Snow Leopard trek required to any one viewpoint will be an hour, but we may not need to go this far dependent on the latest information and what the trail cameras reveal. It is just a matter of perseverance until we hopefully succeed!


Snow LeopardMONGOLIA!
June 5 - 19, 2021

Contact [email protected] to reserve your space!   
Registration Form (pdff)>
    

TOUR PRICE:  US$6900.00 per per person, double occupancy from (Airport code: ULN), Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Price based on exchange rates at the time the tour was posted (**see note below).

Single occupancy: US$595.00 per person.

Group Size: Maximum 10.

Deposit: $1000.00 per person per tour. Note: Tour deposits can be paid by credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise [email protected] when you have made payment. 


Included in cost:  Private transportation during the tour in 4x4 Land cruisers, all accommodations, and meals beginning with breakfast on Day 2 to breakfast on Day 15. All lodgings based on double occupancy during the tour; All park and other reserve entrance fees; Detailed pre-trip materials and checklist; Professional services of local guide and tour leaders throughout the trip.

 

Not included: International airfare to/from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, passport/visa fees, drinks other than bottled water; Items of a personal nature such as visa fees and personal travel insurance, gratuities, telephone calls, laundry, etc.

 

RESERVATIONS: Contact [email protected] to reserve your space!  Then follow up with your completed registration form and deposit of US $1000 per person per tour within two weeks to secure your place. Credit card deposits are possible with no added fees.   Please inquire.   Reservations are held with a deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.    >Download and print the Registration Form 

Terms & Cancellation Policies>


Final payment is due February 5, 2021.  Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees).  Please inquire.

 

Travel Planning: You will be responsible for making your travel plans to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.  Once the tour is confirmed to go ahead, we will send you information about booking your flights. Please do not book flights until you receive this information from us and are notified that the trip has sufficient numbers to run. We have a flight agent that can help if needed. Please plan to arrive on 5th June and depart on 19th June.

**Please note: Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators (in their local currency), estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to global financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs and foreign currency exchange rates over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, fuel costs and exchange rates can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount.

Cancellations and Refunds:
Please review our Terms and Conditions of Booking (pdf download)> prior to registering for this tour. All cancellations must be made in writing. Please ensure that you take out adequate insurance to cover this and any other eventuality as early as possible. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur.


There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour.

 

Insurance: Sunrise Birding LLC strongly recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 07-0025.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. 11.17 E7N

Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at [email protected].com 
Phone: 203.453.6724

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