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China Xizang

Blue-fronted Redstart Phoenicurus frontalis ©Alister Benn Website

Xizang [provincial capital Lhasa] is better known to the rest of the world as Tibet - see the separate page for Tibet for another perspective.

The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), also called Xizang Autonomous Region, is a province-level autonomous region of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Within the People's Republic of China, Tibet is identified with the Autonomous Region, which includes about half of historical Tibet, including the traditional provinces of Ü-Tsang and Kham (western half). Its borders coincide roughly with the actual zone of control of the government of Tibet before 1959. Tibet is the second-largest province of China by area (spanning over 470,000 sq mi/1,200,000 km2) after Xinjiang. Unlike other autonomous regions, the vast majority of inhabitants are of the local ethnicity.

Tibet is under the administration of the People's Republic of China. The Central Tibetan Administration, commonly referred to as the Tibetan Government in Exile and headed by the Dalai Lama considers this situation an illegitimate military occupation and holds that Tibet is a distinct sovereign nation with a long history of independence, though the Dalai Lama currently does not seek full independence for Tibet, but would accept an autonomous status similar to that now held by Hong Kong.

The Tibet Autonomous Region is located on the Tibetan Plateau, the highest region on Earth. In northern Tibet elevations reach an average of over 4,572 metres (15,000 ft). Mount Everest lies on Xizang's border with Nepal.

Xinjiang, Qinghai and Sichuan lie to the north and east of the region; Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh to the west; and Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh to the south. Tibet also shares a short southeastern border with the PRC province of Yunnan.

Contributor

Wikipedia

GNU Free Documentation License

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet_Autonomous_Region

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 561

Endemics

Number of endemics: 1

Sillem's Mountain-Finch Leucosticte sillemi

Checklist

Checklist

WebBirder Checklist

Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder

Useful Reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of China

by John MacKinnon, Karen Phillipps and David Showler | OUP | 2000 | Paperback

ISBN: 0198549407

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guides & Tour Operators

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China Birding Tour

Tour Operator

China Birding is a travel company based in China, Chengdu and Tibet.We do tailor made itineraries for any bird watchers who have an interest in the birds of China: Qinghaai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet. We have the experience. We can do tour arrangements for individuals or for for birding travel companys visiting China. We can arrange all your hotels, travel and guiding…

Kingbird Tours

Tour Operator

Trip Reports

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CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2006 [11 November] - Jesper Hornskov

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2008 [10 October] - David Hoddinott

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Tibetan Snowcock, Przevalski’s and Tibetan Partridge, Bean, Bar-headed and Lesser White-fronted Geese, Mandarin Duck, Baikal Teal, Saker Falcon, Bearded and Cinereous Vultures, Japanese Sparrowhawk, Upland Buzzard, Water Rail, Demoiselle and Black-necked Cranes, Eurasian Woodcock, Saunders’s and Relict Gulls, Tibetan and Pallas’s Sandgrouse, Henderson’s Ground Jay, White-browed and Yellow-bellied Tit, Groundpecker, Crested Tit-Warbler, Mongolian and Tibetan Larks, Chinese Hill Warbler, Gansu Leaf Warbler, Plain and Elliot’s Laughingthrushes, Bearded Reedling, Chinese and White-cheeked Nuthatches, Wallcreeper, Grey-backed and Kessler’s Thrushes, Przevalski’s Redstart, 6 species of Snowfinch, Pink-tailed and Tibetan Rosefinches and 15 species of Bunting…

2013 [05 May] - Dave Stejskal & Jesper Hornskov

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…A stop on the slopes of Rubber Mountain yielded the remarkable prize of multiple Przevalski's Rosefinches, a newly-recognized monotypic family found only here. A hike up a juniper-clad canyon brought us our only encounters with the endemic and beautiful Ala Shan (Przevalski's) Redstart. A slow climb up a frozen talus slope above a high mountain pass at over 15,000 feet brought us looks of one of the plateau's least-known and rarest birds - a beautiful male Tibetan Rosefinch. A little farther on - a pair of seldom-seen Tibetan Snowcocks…

2013 [06 June] - Nick Bray

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…we quickly picked up a pair of Yellow-billed (Chinese) Grosbeaks feeding on the floor of one quiet little side trail. A Chinese Blackbird was then picked up and we spent a little time noting down the structural differences which surely prove this is a good split from its European cousin! A flock of Black-throated Tits was nice, as was a Plumbeous Water-redstart, but not as good as an immature Red-billed Starling feeding along one of the drainage channels. We also enjoyed the antics of several White-browed Laughingthrushes here…

2013 [06 June] - Sam Woods

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2013 [07 July] - Rob Hutchinson

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…Tibetan Sandgrouse, Gansu Leaf Warbler, Crested Tit Warbler, Henderson’s Ground Jay, Pallas’s Sandgrouse and the regal Black-necked Crane. Finishing in Tibet we had perfect encounters with Tibetan Eared Pheasant, Giant Babax, Prince Henri’s Laughingthrush and Lord Derby’s Parakeets. Mention should also be made of the mammals which this year included four species of endearing pika, Tibetan and Red Fox, Blue Sheep, Goitered and Tibetan Gazelle, Wolf, the rare Tibetan Antelope, Kiang and some impressive Wild Yak…

2013 [08 August] - Mark Beaman

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…Tibetan Plateau specialities, including every plateau endemic apart from the effectively inaccessible Sillem’s Mountain Finch, even including Lord Derby’s Parakeet (not a Birdquest lifer but a species we have not seen for some years), not to mention the likes of Tibetan Eared Pheasant, Szechenyi’s Monal Partridge (or Buff-throated Partridge), Giant and Kozlov’s (or Tibetan) Babaxes, Prince Henri’s (or Brown-cheeked) Laughingthrush, Groundpecker (or Ground Tit), Kozlov’s (or Tibetan) Bunting, Roborovski’s (or Tibetan) Rosefinch and the strange Przevalski’s (or Pink-tailed) Finch, the sole member of its family…

2014 [08 August] - Henk Hendriks

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...It did not take long before we scored our first target, Reed Parrotbill. It took a little longer and after observing many Yellow Bitterns, we finally observed a Von Schrenck’s Bittern. Whiskered Tern was common and we regularly observed Oriental Reed Warbler at the reedy edges of the lake. A small flock of Asian Azurewinged Magpies gave good views...

2014 [08 August] - Henk Hendriks

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...It did not take long before we scored our first target, Reed Parrotbill. It took a little longer and after observing many Yellow Bitterns, we finally observed a Von Schrenck’s Bittern. Whiskered Tern was common and we regularly observed Oriental Reed Warbler at the reedy edges of the lake. A small flock of Asian Azurewinged Magpies gave good views...

2015 [03 March] - Sam Woods - Sichuan & The Tibetan Plateau

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...we were very successful, finding almost all of the species on the elite list of birds requested, most notably the Pink-tailed Bunting or Prezevalski’s Rosefinch, (photo below), leaving this birder with just two more world bird families to complete his family quest.

2015 [06 June] - Jesper Hornskov

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Our trip aimed to see as many of the unique birds of the Tibetan highlands as we could, but searching for birds typically allows one to pay close attention to mammals as well, and it is hopefully of interest what we saw at a time of the year when few dedicated mammal-watchers visit this mysterious land. Predictably, the timing of our trip meant that we saw relatively few migrants, but we did see many of the key specialities extremely well.

2016 [06 June] - Jesper Hornskov

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Annotated List

2016 [07 July] - Mike Nelson - Tibetan Plateau and Xinjiang

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Along the way we picked up Eurasian Buzzard, Greyheaded Bullfinch, Willow Tit, Elliot’s and Pere David’s Laughingthrush, Yellow-streaked, Hume’s and Greenish Warblers, Goldcrest, Chinese and Przewalski’s Nuthatch, Crested Tit-Warbler, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, Bluefronted and White-throated Redstart, Eurasian Siskin, Chinese White-browed Rosefinch and Rufous-breasted Accentor

Organisations

Xinjiang Bird Watching Society

Information

Xinjiang Bird Watching Society, which was established in May 2004, is an NGO with about 40 core members concerning and protecting birds in Xinjiang. It is now under the Xinjiang Ecological Society…

Reserves

Maidika

Information

Satellite View

A vast swamp meadow above 4,900 meters, with permanent and seasonal pools and lakes in the headwater region of the Maidicangbu, a tributary stream of the Lhasa River…

Mapangyong Cuo

Information

Satellite View

A high-altitude wetland of the Tibetan plateau (4,500-6,500m asl) covering Mapangyong and Laang Lakes with surrounding swamps and rivers, "one of the highest elevation freshwater wetlands in the world" and a source of the Yalu Tsangpo/Brahmaputra River…

Motuo Nature Reserve

Information

Satellite View

The Motuo Nature Reserve with an area of 62,620 hectares lies in Motuo County of Tibet Autonomous Region…

Other Links

Checklist - Birds of Tibet

Checklist