Tsengiin Burd is a pristine wetland in the Gun-Galuut nature reserve. It is a fantastic place to see cranes. Demoiselle Cranes Grus virgo and the very rare White-naped Crane G vipio breed here, while a few Siberian Cranes G leucogeranus still stop over on migration. We stayed at a ger camp that attracted other Siberia-bound migrants, and met with more at some nearby lakes. This was an extremely interesting site where one could be kept busy for weeks. We did what we could in the few days we were there.

Gun-Galuut, Mongolia

Demoiselle Crane Grus virgo, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 23 May 2008 (René Pop)

Demoiselle Crane Grus virgo, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 23 May 2008 (Magnus Robb). Two ‘unison calls’ of a pair at a distance, then more as they take off and fly towards the microphone. One of them continues while the other lands so close you can hear its footsteps on the gravel.

Gun-Galuut, Mongolia

White-naped Crane Grus vipio, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 22 May 2008 (René Pop)

White-naped Crane Grus vipio, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 24 May 2008 (Magnus Robb). Wingbeats of a pair flying past. Background: Gadwall Anas strepera, Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Common Redshank Tringa totanus, Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis and Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus.

Gun-Galuut, Mongolia

Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 24 May 2008 (René Pop)

Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 24 May 2008 (Magnus Robb). Song in flight, passing close to the microphone twice. Background: Isabelline Wheatears, Steppe Horned Lark Eremophila brandti and Tree Sparrow Passer montanus.

Gun-Galuut, Mongolia

Grey-necked Bunting Emberiza buchanani, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 21 May 2008 (René Pop)

Grey-necked Bunting Emberiza buchanani, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 22 May 2008 (Magnus Robb). Calls when taking off and in flight. Background: Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius, Common Tern Sterna hirundo, Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops and Steppe Horned Lark Eremophila brandti.

Gun-Galuut, Mongolia

Swan Goose Anser cygnoides, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 23 May 2008 (René Pop)

Swan Goose Anser cygnoides, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 22 May 2008 (Magnus Robb). Three flying past. Background: Asian Short-toed Lark Alaudala cheleensis.

Gun-Galuut, Mongolia

Pallas’s Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 22 May 2008 (René Pop)

Pallas’s Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus, Ikh Nart, East Gobi Province, Mongolia, 20 May 2008 (Magnus Robb). A small flock flying over a wadi at dawn. Background: Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni, Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla, Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni, Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla and Pallas’s Reed Bunting E pallasi.

Gun-Galuut, Mongolia

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 23 May 2008 (René Pop)

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, Gun-Galuut, Tuv Aimag, Mongolia, 24 May 2008 (Magnus Robb). A close flypast of a single bird at first, then joined by its mate. Background: Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola, Common Redshank T totanus, Eastern Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa melanuroides, Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis, Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe and Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia.