To reach Ikh Nart, we drove a long way south towards the Gobi desert. At first the road was very good but when the tarmac stopped we continued on rough tracks through the sand. We reached Ikh Nart during a sand storm. It was amazing to see how our driver found his way, without a GPS. Ikh Nart turned out to be something of an oasis, a little valley in the desert with a tiny stream that trickled above ground in just a couple of spots. In its desert surroundings this made it a magnet for migrants. The variety was impressive, and there were enough small birds passing through to sustain several Daurian Shrikes Lanius isabellinus. We did not stay long enough to find out whether the shrikes were, themselves, migrants.

Ikh Nart, Mongolia

Daurian Shrike Lanius isabellinus, Ikh Nart, East Gobi Province, Mongolia, 19 May 2008 (René Pop)

Daurian Shrike Lanius isabellinus, Ikh Nart, East Gobi Province, Mongolia, 09:10, 18 May 2008 (Magnus Robb). Territorial calls followed by song, with mimicry of, eg, European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus and Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus.

Ikh Nart, Mongolia

Pallas’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus, Ikh Nart, East Gobi Province, Mongolia, 18 May 2008 (René Pop)

Pallas’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus, Ikh Nart, East Gobi Province, Mongolia, 09:47, 18 May 2008 (Magnus Robb). Plastic song of a spring migrant. Background: Daurian Shrike Lanius isabellinus, Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus and Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla.

Ikh Nart, Mongolia

Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla, Ikh Nart, East Gobi Province, Mongolia, 18 May 2008 (René Pop)

Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla, Ikh Nart, East Gobi Province, Mongolia, 08:26, 18 May 2008 (Magnus Robb). Several individuals visiting a drinking pool. Background: calls of Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus.

Ikh Nart, Mongolia

Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla, Ikh Nart, East Gobi Province, Mongolia, 18 May 2008 (René Pop). Male on spring migration.

Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla, Ikh Nart, East Gobi Province, Mongolia, 06:51, 18 May 2008 (Magnus Robb). Rattles and wingbeats of an adult male at one metre distance. Background: Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni, Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus, Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka, Tree Sparrow Passer montanus, Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea and Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla.

Ikh Nart, Mongolia

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni, Ikh Nart, East Gobi Province, Mongolia, 18 May 2008 (René Pop)

Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni, Ikh Nart, East Gobi Province, Mongolia, 20 May 2008 (Magnus Robb). A series of flight calls with maximum frequency ranging from 7.5-8.2 kHz. Background: Tree Sparrow Passer montanus and Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla.