Trip Report: Weekend Bird Photo Tour to Terelj National Park | Central Mongolia

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Weekend birding trip to the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park of Mongolia, the nearest biding spot from Ulaanbaatar city. The Park has large areas of forest steppe and mountain steppe, with alpine habitats on higher peaks, known as a home to globally threatened species of birds including Saker Falcon, Yellow-breasted Bunting, black-billed Capercaillie and some of iconic rare mammals such a Siberian Musk Deer, Eurasian Lynx and Eurasian Otter. We the Bird Mongolia took our 6th birding trip to The Gorkhi-Terelj NP.

Top Birds: Saker Falcon, Lesser Kestrel, Cinereous Vulture, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Black-billed Capercaillie, Ural Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, and Rufous-tailed Robin

Mammals: Siberian marmot, ground squirrel, Tolai hare.


Birding Spots: Terelj River, Gorkhi-Terelj NP, 

Trip Date: May 23, 2020

Duration: 1 night/2 days

Trip Type: Bird Photography 100%

Meals: Mongolian and western style meals

Accommodation: Tented camp

Transportation: 4x4 vehicle  

Road Condition: RW on paved-road, on earth-road during the trip

Weather condition: May - June: Mostly sunny, 15-19 Celsius degrees during the day and 1-3 Celsius degrees at night.

Group size: 6 persons

Report written:                                                             


In the morning around 8 am, we headed to the south-east of Ulaanbaatar and drive for an hour to reach Terelj NP. The weather was lovely, we the team of Bird Mongolia together with our clients took our nature and bird photography trip. We arrived at the entrance of the park and continue to drive through the scenic valley and at the first stop along with Tuul river, the busy singing birds, just arrived from the long journey of their winter sites, we saw cute Long-tailed Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch and colorful Great Tit. Also beautiful Demoiselles, handsome Shelducks and Mallards were spotted on the riverside. Then hop on a car drive deep into the park looking for good camp site.

Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) – Өрнийн Тоншголжин

Great tit (Parus major) – Их Хөхбух

Around mid-day, we set up our tents, kitchen surrounded with beautiful bush forest, and had picnic lunch at the campsite. We took pleasant walks through the forest, found and photographed some song birds, including Taiga Flycatcher, Brown Flycatcher, Arctic Warbler and Siberian Rubythroat.

Taiga Flycatcher (Ficedula albicilla) - Хурган намнаа

Siberian Rubythroat (Calliope calliope) – Өнгөлүүрт Гургалдай

Until the sun set, some of us went up to the nearest mountain, some of us took a rest in peaceful nature. During the magical “golden hour”, birds were also getting active we got some remarkable shoots. Tonight, Mongolian shashlik dinner dressed with fresh green salads were served, nice talking and pleasant resting around the campfire. For the night-sky photographers, Mongolia is one of the best destinations in world, known as its clear sky and wonderful stargazing. Tonight, we took night-sky photography workshop and a good lesson.

Night photography - wild camping of Bird Mongolia with Ayan Travel 

On the second day. The morning songs of the bird warblers woke us up, another beautiful day comes, we had early birds’ photos session before breakfast. Today we walked to search of beautiful Black-billed Capercaillie, but we got some of stunning shots of Isabelline Shrike, Three-toed Woodpecker and we hadn’t photographed on our previous birding trips.

Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus) - Тольт дунхай

Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides dorsalis) – Гурван хумст Тоншуул

We got enough new birds on our birding list by the end of the trip. It was also good trip, with our experienced driver Munkhuu, and birding guide Enkhbat. See you with our next weekend birding report. If you are interested in our Nature Getaways | weekend Birding Trips to join, please feel free to contact us at info@birdmongolia.com or follow our social media updates at Facebook Page  and Twitter  


  1. Siberian Rubythroat (Calliope calliope) – Өнгөлүүрт Гургалдай
  2. Arctic Warbler (Arctic Warbler) - Умардын дууч шувуу
  3. Taiga Flycatcher (Ficedula albicilla) - Хурган намнаа
  4. Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica) - Дагуур намнаа  
  5. Great tit (Parus major) – Их Хөхбух
  6. Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus) - Тольт дунхай
  7. Common Stonechat - Эгэл шулганаа
  8. Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides dorsalis) – Гурван хумст Тоншуул
  9. Demoiselle Crane (Grus virgo) - Өвөгт Тогоруу
  10. Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) – Хондон Ангир
  11. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) – Зэрлэг Нугас
  12. Black Kite (Milvus migrans) – Сохор Элээ
  13. Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus) – Дагуур Галсүүлт
  14. Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) – Тураг Гогой
  15. Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)  – Бөвөөлжин Өвөөлж
  16. Common Magpie (Eurasian magpie) – Алаг Шаазгай
  17. Common Raven (Corvus corax) – Хон Хэрээ
  18. Daurian Jackdaw - Алагтуу хэрээ
  19. Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) – Улаан хошуут Жунгаа
  20. Mongolian Lark (Melanocorypha mongolica) – Монгол Болжмор
  21. Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)  – Адууч Чогчиго
  22. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) – Хөх Цэгцгий 
Category: Trip Reports