Our stay in Binder was at an end and I got one last shot of the lake as we drove away. We were now heading northeast towards Dadal and, after that, south to Toson Hulstay Nature Reserve. But since the journey always is the destination in Mongolia, there was plenty to see and experience in between…
My lead driver, Erdenebat, who seems to have been everywhere in Mongolia during his 14 years as a professional driver, brought us to this recently built memorial to the Queens of Mongolia. I gather that the local people are hoping it will draw visitors. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the name of the Soum where it’s located, but will update this post when I do. It may have been Bayan-Adarga. As you’ll see, if you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth a stop!
Our next two stops form part of the standard tour route in this area of the country. I generally avoid these places, but wasn’t going to miss anything connected with Chinggis Khan.
I’m going to start a short series for the holidays of “albums” with images I’ve shot of various types of animals and species that I’ve seen on my travels to Mongolia.
First up are the birds I saw on this latest trip in August 2011. If you see a mis-identified bird, please let me know. The field guide situation for Mongolian birds is still not what it needs to be.
Finally, we didn’t go hunting for any of these birds. They are what I saw as we drove around or walked in the reserves and parks. Mongolia is an extraordinary birding destination that deserves to be better known.
And now we come to the last leg of a wonderful two-week tour and a look at one last ecosytem, the mountain forest, which is the southermost extension of the boreal forest that circles the northern part of the Earth.
The Jalman Meadows ger camp, run on a seasonal basis by Nomadic Journeys, was set up high on a bluff overlooking the Tuul Gol.
While there is wildlife around, it’s the activities one can do here that are the main attraction and we took advantage of all of them!
Those of you who have followed this blog for awhile know that I’ve been going to Ikh Nart since my first trip in 2005. This time I had the pleasure of sharing the reserve with a fellow artist, Pokey Park.
Wildlife being what it is, one never knows what one will see on a given trip, or even if. But this visit exceeded our every reasonable expectation. For two of the four days, it seemed like we could hardly go an hour as we drove around the reserve without seeing argali, ibex, argali and ibex in the same place or cinereous vultures, a golden eagle or other birds. And we had sightings both other days, but not nearly as often.
The universe being what it is, on our way out of the reserve we drove through one of the areas where we had had multiple sightings of argali and ibex the previous morning and saw not a single animal.