Monday, November 28, 2011

Taktsang Lhamo and its Vultures - August 2011

This year in August I had the great opportunity to explore the area around Taktsang Lhamo (chin. Langmu Si) in order to look out for Griffon Vultures.

The area mostly consists of rolling hills with a lot of pasture land around. Only a small area of rocks behind the monastery features a different landscape.
These cliffs are home of more than 100 individuals of vultures, including Himalayan Griffon, Lammergeier and Cinereous Vulture.

We tried to find easily accessible nests in order to observe feeding and fledging of the young. Every single corner of this cliffy valley was investigated.

From the top of one of the mountains I had a perfect prospect of the monasteries and the embedding township.

The cliffs are full of caves, ledges and sometimes big holes just like heavenly gates...

...Many of those are even passable.

Apart birds and rocks you can also find a huge diversity of alpine plants, such as this red poppy:

The second part of our journey brought us to the first bend of the Yellow River, in Tibetan called Machu. The pasture area here is called Tankhor (chin. Tangke). Apart Tibetan nomads there still live a few Mongolian tribes on this vast grassland.

In the morning the river often is covered by thick fog. Sometimes the fog reaches all the way up to the big monastery above the river's shore.

This panoramic view shows the Machu River Bend. It meanders down from behind the little hill in the middle and leaves the picture to its right. The river in the front is the White River which comes down from Mewa (chin. Hongyuan).