As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 13 February 2017

New bird species sighted in Upper Dolpa

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 11, 2017- A new species of bird was recently sighted, for the first time in Nepal, in the high mountainous region of Upper Dolpa.

A Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Monticola saxitilis) was seen and photographed by an expedition in the region on May 27, 2016 near the renowned Shey monastery within the Shey-Phoksundo National Park in Dolpa district.

The discovery brings the total number of bird species to 866.

Naresh Kusi from Friends of Nature (FoN) Nepal, a non-governmental organisation working in the field of environment and biodiversity conservation, along with team members Geraldine Werhahn, Tshiring Lhamu Lama and Pema Rikzin Lama spotted the bird while studying Himalayan wolf (Canis himalayensi), wild yak (Bos mutus) and snow leopard (Panthera uncial) during May-July.

The identification of the bird reported by the research team was confirmed by the bird experts Carol Inskipp and Hem Sagar Baral. Later, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) and Bird Conservation Nepal authorised the presence of a new bird species in the country, said Kusi.

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush is considered an autumn passage migrant bird species in Pakistan and India. “The sighting location was very remote and rarely visited by ornithologists. More research is needed to ascertain the status of Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush in Nepal,” said Yadav Ghimirey, director, Wildlife Research at FoN.

During the same study, the team had also reported the sighting of a young male Tibetan argali (Ovis ammon hodgsoni) in Upper Dolpo, for the first time in more than four decades.

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