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The Overview of this trip will tell you the following information:
 
I.  Highlight Birds
II. Trip Briefing
III. Trip Essentials (Price, Guide, Group Size, Dates, and Length, etc.)
IV. Inclusions and Exclusions
 
I. Highlight Birds

Highlight birds: Blue Eared Pheasant, White-eared Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Tibetan Snowcock, Tibetan Partridge, Rusty-necklaced (Przevalski’s) Partridge, Buff-throated (Szechenyi’s Monal) Partridge, Tibetan Sandgrouse, Pallas’s Sandgrouse, Mongolian Ground Jay, Tibetan Bunting, Pink-tailed Bunting (Przevalski’s Finch), Tibetan Babax, Black-necked Crane, Bar-headed Goose, Saker Falcon, Amur Falcon, Tibetan Rosefinch, Pale Rosefinch, Streaked Rosefinch, Chinese White-browed Rosefinch, Tibetan Snowfinch, White-rumped Snowfinch, Rufous-necked Snowfinch, Przevalski's (Ala Shan) Redstart, Güldenstädt’s Redstart, Crested Tit Warbler, White-browed Tit Warbler, Gansu Leaf Warbler, Chinese Nuthatch (Snowy-browed Nuthatch), Przevalski’s Nuthatch (White-cheeked Nuthatch), Plain Laughingthrush, Elliot's Laughingthrush, etc.


II. Trip Briefing
This trip starts in Xining and covers the most popular birding sites in Qinghai. It will be highlighted by the spectacular natural sceneries, authentic Tibetan culture and mostly importantly the endemic birds such as, Tibetan Bunting, Tibetan Rosefinch, Pink-tailed Bunting, Tibetan Sandgrouse, Hume’s Ground Jay, Tibetan Rosefinch, Tibetan Snowcock, Black-necked Crane and Tibetan Lark. Though the birding on the high-elevation area and remote areas in Tibetan area is quite tough, we will be rewarded by the good view of some rare endemics you can only see them here beside the stunning landscapes, beautiful wild flowers, authentic Tibetan culture and grazing wild animal flocks. In the alpine lakes, we will see the summer breeders such as Black-necked Crane, Ibisbills, Rudy Shelduck and Pallas’ Gull, Brown-headed Gull and Great Cormorant

III.  Trip Enssentials 

• Trip Duration:14 Days from June 20th to July 3rd
• Tour Leader: Dave Suddaby & a local guide
\

• Difficulty: mostly moderate, demanding on certain part
• Trip Cost:US$6720/pax, Special Offer: US$3,385/pax 
• Single Supplement: US$480/pax
• Trip Size: Up to 8 birders
• Status: Confirmed & 6 spaces available

 

IV. Inclusions and Exclusions

The cost includes the following.
1. Nice private transportation throughout the trip, including airport pickups
    in Xining airport (XNN) and drops in Yushu airport(YUS).
2. All meals at local popular restaurants as mentioned in the itineraries
    which make birding tours in Qinghai irresistible.
3. All the Entrance Tickets for places listed in the itinerary including cable
    cars and shuttle buses.
4. Hotel stays from first day to the last day, nice 3-star hotels in big cities
    and local best guesthouses in local places.
5. Bottled water, seasonal fruits, and snacks throughout the trip.
6. Western Breakfast whenever is possible.
7. Service charges of a professinal western bird guide and an English-
    speaking local bird guide.
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 client-side or factors beyond the control of AlpineBirding such as natural disaster and governmental policy change.
c. Discretionary tips to the local bird guide and driver.
d. All personal expense such as laundry service.
e. Airfare to the place where our trip starts and from the place where our trip ends.
f. Any program not listed in the itineraries.

 


Day 1 (June 20th) Arrival in Xining
Xining is the capital of Qinghai Province. Upon arrival at Xining Airport, our AlpineBirding's bird guide or driver will pick you up and drive you to the hotel in the city. Depending on your time of arrival, you are warmly welcome to join an easy birding exploration on the mountain nearby this afternoon. The mountain area is good sites to see the forest birds like Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Plain Laughingthrush, Oriental Turtle-dove, Hill Pigeon, Chestnut Thrush, Godlewski’s Bunting, Meadow Bunting, Red-billed Chough, Black Redstart, Daurian Redstart, we will also try the sparse Pale Rosefinch here.
Overnight: Haolong Hotel or similar    Meals: D

Day 2 (June 21st) Xining-Dongxia Forest Park-Huzhu Beishan Mountain
This morning, we will depart Xining city early and began the drive west towards Dongxia Forest Park where we can seek out some superb specials including the Crested Tit Warbler, White-browed Tit Warbler, Gansu Leaf Warbler, Chinese Nuthatch (Snowy-browed Nuthatch), Przevalski’s Nuthatch (White-cheeked Nuthatch), Plain Laughingthrush, Elliot's Laughingthrush, Siberian Rubythroat, Chinese Thrush. We will explore different hills here patiently, the dense forest also home to other noteworthy species like Daurian Jackdaw, Rook, Kessler’s Thrush, Chestnut Thrush, Common Rosefinch, Chinese White-browed Rosefinch, Grey-headed Bullfinch, Grey-capped Greenfinch, Red Crossbill, Slaty-backed Flycatcher,White-throated Redstart, Rufous-vented Tit, as well as the shy Smoky Warbler. After lunch at a local restaurant, we head on to Huzhu Beishan mountain.
Overnight: Huzhu Yingyuan Guesthouse or similar    Meals: B, L, D

Day 3 (June 22nd) Huzhu Beishan Mountain
Whole day birding in Huzhu Beishan in search of our targets. Our first targets here will be two superb Chinese endemics, the magnificent Blue Eared Pheasant, In the lower forest area we will look for some interesting birds including Crested Tit Warbler, Himalayan Bluetail, Wallcreeper, Chestnut Thrush, Common Roesfinch, Pink-rumped Rosefinch, Grey-headed Bullfinch, Goldcrest, Rufous-breasted Accentor, White-winged grosbeak, White-throated Dipper, Brown Dipper, Spotted Bush Warbler, Large-billed Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Chinese Leaf Warbler.
Overnight: Huzhu Yingyuan Guesthouse or similar    Meals: B, L, D
Day 4 (June 23rd) Huzhu Beishan Mountain-Heimahe via Qinghai Hu Lake
Spending the morning birding in Huzhu Beishan Mountain. Then drive to Heimahe in the afternoon. Along the way to Heimahe, we will take some time to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the alpine lake-- Qinghai Lake as well as the alpine waterfowls including Black necked Crane, the only crane breed on plateau. As well as the Bar-headed Goose, Northern Pintail, Red-crested Pochard, Eurasian Wigeon, Whooper Swan, Ferruginous duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Black-necked Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Pallas’s Gull, Kentish Plover, Pale Martin, Green sandpiper, Common Redshank. We can also see some grassland birds like Hume's Short-toed Lark, Asia Short-toed Lark, Mongolian lark, Tibetan Lark, Rufous-necked Snowfinch, Pere David’s Snowfinch, Isabelline Wheatear, Ground Tit, etc. After the enjoyable birding time around the lake, we head on to Heimahe to check in our hotel.
Overnight: Cuican Xingcheng Hostel or similar   Meals: B, L, D
Day 5 (June 24th) Heimahe-Rubber Mountain-Chaka
This morning we will drive a short distance to Rubber Mountain where is further east to Heimahe. The mixed shrubs and meadows are perfect hides for the Pink-tailed Bunting (Przevalski’s Finch) which is a bird in a family all of its own. While there are many other interesting birds hide in the scrubby mountain slope such as the shy Tibetan Partridge, Saker Falcon,Streaked Rosefinch, Chinese White-browed Rosefinch, Tibetan Snowfinch, White-rumped Snowfinch, Rufous-necked Snowfinch, Brown Accentor, Robin Accentor, Ground Tit, Himalayan Griffon, Upland Buzzard. After our exploration in rubber mountain, we head on to Chaka.
Overnight: Yanlifang Hotel or similar   Meals: B, L, D
Day 6 &7 (June 25-26th) Chaka
All the creatures here have made prefect evolution to fit the environmental color. Some species are not easy to be sought out from the interminable harsh desert and arid mountain ranges, but definitely worth trying, such as the Pallas’s Sandgrouse which is a gorgeous desert species and adept at camouflaging itself in the ochre desert steppe. We will drive to different hills nearby to explore all the species indeed including Henderson’s Ground Jay, rare and elusive Przevalski's (Ala Shan) Redstart, Rusty-necklaced (Przevalski’s) Partridge, Isabelline Shrike, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Amur Falcon, Isabelline Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Crested Lark, Asian Short-toed Lark, Hume’s Short-toed Lark, White-cheeked Starling, Azure-winged Magpie, Mongolian Finch, Pere David’s Snowfinch, Blanford's Snowfinch, Upland Buzzard, etc.
Overnight: Yanlifang Hotel or similar    Meals: B, L, D

Day 8 (Jue 27th) Chaka -Wenquan
We will depart Chaka early this morning. The driving to our next destination will always be full of surprises if you always have alert eyes towards the sky and vast scrubby plateau, we can expect some predators and grassland birds such as Golden Eagle and pitpits, shrikes, finches, snow finches, larks. We will arrive Chaka around lunch time where we can search for Rusty-necklaced (Przevalski’s) Partridge again if needed. Before we arrive at the small town Wenquan where we will stay in a simple but conveniently placed guesthouse, we will drive pass by Ela Shan pass this afternoon. The highway winds up over the spectacular ELa, the pass of nearly 4500m where the road is surrounded by snow-capped peaks that stretch away toward the distant horizon. Here is the place we will focus on searching for Tibetan Sandgrouse and Tibetan Rosefinch next morning. Around the pass, we can also spot other birds like White-winged Redstart, Asian Short-toed Lark, Desert Wheatear, Margelanic Whitethroat, Desert Finch and Pine Bunting.
Overnight: Wenquan guesthouse or similar   Meals: B, L, D
Day 9 (June 28th) Wenquan-Ela Mountain-Maduo
We will spend the forenoon around Ela mountaion pass in search of some endemic and alpine species. Our first target would be the highly range-restricted and rare Tibetan Rosefinch, while we slowly hike up searching for this bird, we will also scan the mountain slope and try another difficult target, the Tibetan Sandgrouse, though we do need some fortune to find it. Other species we can expect around this area are Güldenstädt’s Redstart, Tibetan Lark, White-rumped Snowfinch, Rufous-necked Snowfinch, Henri’s Snowfinch, Brandt’s Mountain Finch, Bearded Vulture, Himalayan Vulture, Tibetan Snowcock.
Followed our exploration at Ela mountain, we will drive on towards Maduo, along the driving, we will have good chance to see some plateau mammals like Kiang (Tibetan Wild Ass),
 Tibetan fox, 
Black-lipped Pika, Himalayan Marmot, Tibetan Gazelle, etc. While the poles at both sides are good place for spotting some raptors including Upland Buzzard, Himalayan Vulture, Saker Falcon, etc.
Overnight: Maduo    Meals: B, L, D
Day 10 (June 29th) Maduo-Yushu
Today we will drive pass by the mighty Yellow River area and drive further west towards the east edge of Tibet. As we depart Maduo, the scenery will start changing after a short driving. As closer as we get to Yushu, the capital of Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, the magnificent valleys will be unfurled before us. The changing of the environment gives us chance to see species rely on different habitat. Before we head into the valley, we will spend some time on the grassland where is a very important breeding place for the summer migrations including the Black-necked Crane and Bar-headed Goose.
Overnight: Yushu    Meals: B, L, D

 
Day 11 (June 30th) Yushu-Nangqian
This morning, we will depart Yushu and drive deep along the rugged and grand valleys towards Nangqian, our last destination in Qinghai of this trip. This site holds amazing birding resources especially the three range-limited endemic species, the Buff-throated Partridge (Szechenyi’s Monal-Partridge), Tibetan Bunting and Tibetan Babax. Our two days’ searching in this area normally gives us high reward. After a nice set-down lunch in Nangqian, we will drive to our birding site directly and start birding upon arrival.  We can expect some exciting species like Tibetan Bunting, Tibetan Babax, Tibetan Partridge, Snow Pigeon, while other birds like Red-billed Chough, Common Hoopoe, Giant Laughingthrush, Elliot's Laughingthrush, Grey-hooded Fulvetta, Kessler's Thrush, Blue-fronted Redstart, Brown Accentor, Pink-rumped Rosefinch, Chinese White-browed Rosefinch are also on offer. Besides, the river shoal outside of this county is ideal habitat of a stunning summer breeder, the Ibisbill, which is one of our main target here, though it is a tricky species to be sought out from the less-distinguish background.
Overnight: Nangqian    Meals: B, L, D

Day 12 (July 1st) Nangqian
We will leave early this morning to another forested mountain area and spend a whole day there. During the golden morning hours, we will track pheasants preferentially. Besides the endemic Buff-throated Partridge (Szechenyi’s Monal-Partridge), the White-eared Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Tibetan Snowcock and Tibetan Partridge also inhabit in this area. Other species we can expect in this area are Tibetan Babax, Three-toed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Pink-rumped Rosefinch, Red-fronted Rosefinch, Sichuan Tit, Crested Tit Warbler, White-browed Tit-Warbler, White-tailed Rubythroat, Lammergeier (Bearded Vulture), Golden eagle, Daurian Jackdaw, Alpine Chough, White-throated Dipper, White-winged Grosbeak, etc.
Overnight: Nangqian    Meals: B, L, D

Day 13 (July 2nd) Nangqian-Yushu
Spending most of the day birding in Nangqian area in search of our target. In the late afternoon, we drive to Yushu for our overnight stay.
Overnight: Yushu    Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 14 (July 3rd) Depart or start Lasa Extension
Drive to Yushu airport to catch flight, AlpineBirding service ends.
Overnight: /   Meals: B

Following are some of the feedbacks we have got from our clients we had served.
 


 

 1. Peter Robert and Pia, Peter Rober is a professional bird guide from UK,

Dear Philip, lily and Jiawei,

We are all noww safeyl back home and Ihave had time to produce my trip reoprt for the wonderful bird tour that you arranged for us. I attach the docuemtns here for your interest - you may use them and adapt them any way you wish if you need to.

 It was a great experience seeing China - the birds, travel, culture, sceerny with you. You did an absoluteyl first rate job in all respects - some of the best service and professional arrqngements and leading of a tour in my 40+ years of experience worldwide to 100 countries and over 300 tours organised and led.

 Thank you all - I will certainly promote your services to my friends and colleagues and hope your business prospers as it deserves. If I can be of any help do let me know.

 Very Best Wishes  -  Peter (& Pia)
 


 

 2. Michel Watelet,joined our customized trip in 2013

Hi Philip 
Thanks also for this trip, you were very friendly and professional.

I’ll go to Brasil next week for birdwatching and mammals.
 Michel

 


 

3. KC Lee from Hong Kong, joined a customized trip from end of December of 2015 to early January in 2015. Though because of heavy snow, we were tramped in Zhangmu,a small town in Tibet bordering Nepal, every body enjoy the birding in this trip.

Dear Philip,
 
  Despite the hassles, it has been a very joyful journey! We have had countless happy moments and excellent views of birds many rare birds. Thanks for the excellent arrangements. Looking forward to have chance to bird with you and your colleagues again.
 
  Yes we indeed need to produce appropriate documents in order to claim insurance. To simplify matters, we will draft a sample letter to you, so that you can reprodue several copies of it, one for each member of the group, with the individual's name and identity appear in the letter. The draft letter should be ready within the next few days. Thanks.
 
  Regards,
  KC

 




Feedback From Richard and Carol who went birding with AlpineBirding in August of 2013

Dear Philip and Jiawei
Thank you very much for your email and hope that you got back safely to Chengdu yesterday. We got back home a couple of days ago, but work is already busy! I hope that you had a good time surveying future opportunities near Chongqing.
 
We had a really great time with the three of you, and talking on the way home we rated the day hike at Zhuque (along with the Great Wall) as our best day in China. The birding was better than expected there, especially with Jiawei working extremely hard to lure species out with calls - his (and your) knowledge was fantastic and I owe you for about 10-20 species that I would not have found myself. The scenery was excellent, and also the food - this was the lasting memory of the trip we had with you. We also learnt so much about China and its culture, and are indebted to you for this. I think my bird highlights were the Rosefinches and Crested Ibis. I've yet to start editing my photographs.
One thing is for sure though, that I will be back in China for a real birdwatching holiday at some stage in the future. Especially with those direct flights to Chengdu.
 
Many thanks once again for all of your hard work.

Richard and Carol

1. How about your bird guides, are they professional enough?
All our bird guides are carefully chosen and have rich experiences of guiding westerners. Most of them are full time bird guide of AlpineBirding. Their specieties  in colleague are always involved with ecology, they have strong interests in birds and have guided lots of birding trips for AlpineBirding. They know the birds, birding sites and culture aspects of the places you are going to visit very well. To be honest, because English is not official language in China, our guide can't speak fluent English as the bird guide from western countries, their knowledge on birds and cultural aspects of places you are going to visit is excellent..

2. How difficult is this trip?
The difficulty of this trip can be labled from easy to moderate. Most of times,we will search for birds on the roadside or the forest near the main road. There are some optional hikes along the trails, but it is optional and very few. The most difficult part of the trip is that we will be in the elevation areas in most of the time, the highest elevation we will stay is around 4000 meters and the highest place we will go is around 4700 meters above the sea level. Consult your doctor if you have never been to high elevation area before.

3. How about the food? Is there aways western food avaible?

For this trip, western food is extremely scant. Because we need to go to very remote areas of China, we have to eat in lots of local small restaurant either Sichuan restaurant or even Muslim restaurants. Though the size of those restaurants are generally small but the food from the restaurant is quite tasty.

4. Can AlpineBirding help me to get Chinese Visa?
Yes, we can provide necessary documents needed for your visa application. Once you confirm to participate our trip, our staff will help you with this.

5. Do I need vacination for this trip? Do I need bring medicines?
We think it is unnessary you can also consult your personal doctor for suggestions. Yes, you'd better bring your own medicine. Though we have lots of phamacies in China, all the medicines are explained in Chinese. So the best way is to consult your doctor and bring some medicines in case of needs.

6. What kind of birding gears do I need to bring?
We will bring a swarovski spotting scope and A Field Guide to the Bird of China, you need to bring your own binoculars. We will also print a checklist for each of our trip participants. Unless we specify in our itinerary, we do not camp in our trips but in some trips, we have to stay in local family guest house which is quiet basic, if you want to bring your own sleeping bags, you can bring.

7. What does AlpineBirding trips include and exclude?

Please read the inclusions and exclusions given in the same page where you find the trip cost.

8. How do you compared your trips with birding trips provided by other world famous birding companies?

We hold great respects toward the major birding companies in the worlld and we got to know birds from providing logistic services for Tropical Birding. Even nowadays, the birds guides of TropicalBirding are still our good friends. They have their advantages and we have our own advantages. We will do everything we can to ensure your full enjoyment of your trip and realize the best value of each penny you have paid to us.

9. Do we need special permit to go to those Tibetan areas?
Literally, you don't need permit to go to Tibetan area outside Tibet Autonomous Region. But we need to be prepared that we may have to change our itinerary if some temporary measures are taken in certain place due to outbreak of some unexpected things.

10. How is the weather like in July? What do we need to bring?
Though July means coming of hot weather in most of the world, for Tibetan area it is different. Due to high elevation, the morning in some places are still pretty cold, can be as low as zero cesus degree, especially when we are searching birds in mountain passes. It will not be a surprise if it snows at the time of our birding there.


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