North of the Himalayas, reaching for the skies, lies the Tibetan plateau, perhaps the most isolated place in the world. Almost the size of Europe, at an average height of 4,000 metres, Tibet’s geographical and political borders are unclear following annexation by China.

Most birding trips concentrate on Qinghai province, on the edge of the plateau east of Xizang province where a diverse range of habitats offers good birding over a limited period of time. Of the seven endemic species of the Tibetan plateau, six, Tibetan Eared Pheasant, Tibetan Babax, Giant Babax, Brown-cheeked Laughingthrush, Tibetan Bunting and Tibetan Rosefinch can be seen during a fortnight's tour. The remaining endemic Sillem's Mountain Finch has not been sighted since 1929, but probably continues to breed in an area off-limits to westerners.

In addition to the endemics, many high altitude species from a range of families including pheasants, sandgrouse, redstarts, accentors, rose, snow and mountain finches make a trip to the plateau a must for any world lister.

For more information read Tibet – a bird trip to the Top of the World by Hannu Jannes and Pauli Dernjatin, Alula 4/2004.


Ibisbill, copyright Mike Nelson

Shanghai Birding Tour

Showing the 2 Most Recent Trip Reports Posted

Tibet (Xizang and Qinghai Provinces) - China, 29 May –27 June 2005, author George Wagner (link created October 16, 2005)
(Independent birding on the Tibetan Plateau - Black-necked Crane, Ibisbill, Tibetan Bunting, 6 species of snowfinches)

China, Qinghai and Tibet, 14 August - 10 September 2004, author Graham Talbot (added December 22, 2004)
(Przevalski's Redstart, Tibetan Sandgrouse, Gansu Leaf Warbler, Koslov’s Bunting, Koslov's Babax, Crimson-browed Finch, Solitary Snipe, Henderson’s Ground Jay)

No Sightings Have Been Posted for this Region Yet.