Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Rusty-tailed Flycatcher near Samarkand

This morning our Rockjumper tour went up to the mountains south of Samarkand. We had a fantastic morning around Takhta-Karacha mountain pass, at about 1700 m. We saw so many wonderful birds, including Eastern Rock Nuthatch, Irania, Upcher's Warbler, Indian Paradise flycatcher, Red-headed and White-capped Buntings, 'vittata' Pied Wheatear, Lammergeier, Grey-headed Goldfinch, Hume's Lesser Short-toed Lark and many more. Just check this mouthwatering eBird checklist - bliss. No time to edit more photos tonight, more to follow. The most surprising find was a Rusty-tailed Flycatcher. Timur expertly first heard it singing, then all the group enjoyed great views of it. Rusty-tailed Flycatcher is a Himalayan-breeding species that extends its range NW to Tajikistan and just into SE Uzbekistan. It winters in SW India. Apparently this is the first record for Samarkand region. It normally occurs in higher elevations and in thicker forest. Possibly this is a migrant rather than a breeder. Not the most colourful bird of the day, but certainly of high quality.

Rufous-tailed Flycatcher (Ficedula ruficauda)

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