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Explore China's Haven for Owls for Northern Owls and Specials 
 
Inner Mongolia is huge and the climate varies sharply from different regions. The winter is harsh especially in these regions with frequent blizzards, the temperature can drop to -35°C during the day time in extreme cases. However, the bare forest in this season provides good opportunities for spotting birds and mammals. Exploring the snowy habitat, we can harvest some exciting birds and mammals of northern China.
 
Our time will be separated into two areas. Firstly, the Wuerqihan, the lush coniferous forests are home to some sought-after owls and forest species including Ural Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Great Grey Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Boreal Owl, Little Owl, Eurasian Pygmy Owlet, Arctic Redpoll, Black-billed Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse, Black Grouse, Siberian Jay, Pallas's Rosefinch, etc. 
 
Besides, we will visit Xin Barag Youqi, also known as Xiqi. Carpeted by rolling grassland, it is the most reliable place to see Snowy Owl in China, we also have chances of seeing Pere David's Snowfinch, Asian Rosy Finch, and other interesting species including Eurasian Eagle Owl.
 

Tour Info Sheet

Highlight Birds
Snowy Owl, Ural Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Great Grey Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Boreal Owl, Little Owl, Eurasian Pygmy Owlet, Saker Falcon, Upland Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard, Pere David's Snowfinch, Asian Rosy Finch, Black-billed Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse, Black Grouse, Siberian Jay, Pallas's Rosefinch, Asian Rosy Finch, Arctic Redpoll, Common Redpoll, Hawfinch, Pine Grosbeak, Two-barred Crossbill, Eurasian Siskin, Long-tailed Tit, etc.
Numbers of Species to Expect70-100
Ease of Birdingmostly easy birding with a few tricky species
Highlight MammalsCorsac Fox, Red Fox, Siberian Roe Deer, Gerbil, etc.
Photography Opportunitiesbirding focused but with good photography chances
Habitats Coveredgrasslands, boreal forests
Expected Climatesevere cold, snow is possible, the temperature can drop to -20°C to -30°C
Physical Requirementsmostly easy, demanding but optional in certain parts
Accommodationcomfortable
Transportationoff-road vehicle

What makes this trip irreplaceable?
 
1. This trip covers two of the most important places for owls in China. We can expect 8 species of owls on a 9 days trip. Some species like the elusive Boreal Owl are not easy to see due to its sparse distribution, but they are definitely worth trying.
 
2. Our experienced guides have guided birding tours in these areas many years, they have great knowledge about local birds and birding sites with good access to the latest bird info. At the same time, they have rich experiences of guiding birders from different countries and understand their needs well.
 
3. Besides owls, this trip covers some popular and classic birding sites which are home to a great variety of birds of other families you are also equally interested in northern China.
 
4. A small group size of no more than 8 birders.
 
5. Years of working as a local partner for some prestigious western companies specialized in birds and wildlife.
 
6. A strong logistic team in the office to ensure our trip goes smoothly and every participant has a comfortable and memorable journey.


Dates & Prices

Dates Booking Status Price Single Supplement Group Size Guides
Dec 15-23, 2021Space Available2,500USD/pax
2,350USD/pax
185USD/pax8Local Guides
Slide the sheet to the left to see the full sheet if you are viewing it on your phone or tablet.
 
The cost includes the following:
1. Private transportation throughout the trip, including airport pick-up and drop-off; Train ticket as listed in the itinerary.
2. All meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 9.
3. All the entrance tickets for places listed in the itinerary including cable cars and shuttle buses.
4. Hotel stays from the first day to the last day, two clients occupy one twin-bed room on a sharing basis at nice 3 or 4 star hotels in big cities and local best guesthouses in remote areas.
5. Bottled water and snacks throughout the trip.
6. Simple western breakfast whenever is possible.
7. Service charges of a professional national guide and an experienced local bird guide throughout the whole trip.
8. China domestic travel insurance.
9. Service of all logistic supports. 
 
The cost does not include the following:
a. Drinks during meals.
b. Extra charges due to change of itinerary from the client's side or factors beyond the control of AlpineBirding such as natural disaster or governmental policy change.
c. Discretionary tips to local guides and drivers.
d. All personal expenses such as laundry service.
e. ANY AIRFARE except those stated in the itinerary.
f. Any program not listed in the itinerary.


Itinerary

Tour Map

Day 1: Arrival in Hailar, then drive to Wuerqihan.
Meet your private bird guide and driver at Hulunbuir Dongshan International Airport (HLD), after meeting the whole group, we will drive about 3 hours to Wuerqihan. Birding around the hotel if time permits.
 
Day 2-5: Wuerqihan & surrounds.
Located in the west of Da Hinggan Range (Greater Khingan Range), Wuerqihan is the closest forest from Yakeshi City that is occupied by lush coniferous forest, it is home to a lot of northern specials including owls, pheasants, tits, etc. We will spend 4 days birding in Wuerqihan in search of Ural Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Great Grey Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Boreal Owl. Other exciting birds we have a good chance of seeing including Arctic Redpoll, Black-billed Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse, Black Grouse, Siberian Jay, Pallas's Rosefinch, Asian Rosy Finch, Arctic Redpoll, Common Redpoll, Hawfinch, Pine Grosbeak, Two-barred Crossbill, Eurasian Siskin, Long-tailed Tit, Willow Tit, etc.
 
We can also expect mammals like Corsac Fox, Red Fox, Siberian Roe Deer, Gerbil, etc. 
 
Day 6: Wuerqihan to Xin Barag Youqi via Manzhouli.
Today's schedule will be mainly fulled by commuting. We will take a train to Manzhouli then drive to Xin Barag Youqi.
 
Day 7-8: Xin Barag Youqi & surrounds.
As a frontier city, Xin Barag Youqi is located in the vast Hulunbuir Grassland—one of the world's four largest grasslands and a world-famous natural pasture. The grassland provides excellent habitat for many grassland species. We will spend two full days in this area in search of Snowy Owl, Great Grey Owl, Little Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Black Grouse, Daurian Partridge, and other birds including Pere David's Snowfinch, Asian Rosy Finch, Saker Falcon, Upland Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard, etc.
 
Day 9: Departure from Xin Barag Youqi.
After a short birding in the early morning, we drive about 2 hrs to Manzhouli Xijiao International Airport (NZH) to catch your flight. AlpineBirding service ends.

Notes: 
There are very limited flight choices to Hulunbuir and from Manzhouli airports, please contact us in advance to double-check if your internal flights fit the itinerary. We can assist you with your flight booking, hotel booking, etc., before and after the trip.
 
Physical Rating: Moderate
The walking is easy as we spend most of our time inside the car, but the freezing cold weather can be a challenge to this tour. The temperature can drop to -20°C to -30°C in the daytime. It is very important to dress warmly during the tour. You can see more suggestions on our "pre-trip briefings".


Guide(s)

 
We will arrange one of our best local guides for this trip who has rich experiences of guiding tours in this region. The followings are some of our professional guides who have guided tours in this area for many years.

Philip He
As a half Kangba Tibetan, Philip is the main founder of AlpineBirding and is a native of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. He has a deep love for his Kangba Tibetan heritage and the land where he was born and raised. Philip's career has gone from mining technician to a teacher, then a translator, and finally to a guide and tour operator. As a professional working in this field for more than 20 years, Philip believes travel is an art and a process of sharing and discovery. Each trip is a unique artistic work created with knowledge and expertise based on the resources available and the interests and tastes of travelers. To help more people to gain a lifetime birding and traveling experience, he established AlpineBirding with aims to bring his professional, fun-filled tours to more people who are eager to explore birds and other beautiful attractions in China. 

Shay Xie
Shay is among the first group of professional bird guides with the academic background of ornithology. He spent his childhood in a small county of Chongqing municipality where is the eastern edge of the Daba Mountains. Being brought up in a beautiful natural environment and surrounded by beautiful nature creatures, Shay has developed a strong interest in nature and birds since he was a small kid. Following the call from his inner heart, he chose to study ecology as his major when he was admitted to Sichuan University. The campus of Sichuan University itself is one of the most famous birding sites in Sichuan and he spent most of his afterschool time birding there. Since that time he started working as a part-time bird guide. By now, he has successfully guided many avid birders from different countries including Norway, Britain, the US, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, etc. 
 

Reports


We don't have a report available for this tour at this stage, please feel free to email us, we are more than happy to answer any of your questions and share the latest bird information with you.

Testimonials


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