Akira Nomura

Fascinating Bird Watching and Photography Tour to Mongolia in July 2014

By Akira Nomura Download PDF
Professional bird photographer, Japan

"Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus) was a bonus bird to me. This male came out of reeds suddenly with 3 females to stare at us with dignity. At first glance, his magnificent bearded face reminded me of the hero of Mongolia, that is, Chinggis Khaan."

I am a Japanese bird photographer. As a bird photographer, my ultimate satisfaction is to photograph all bird species occurring in Japan and designated by The Ornithological Society of Japan as ‘Bird of Japan’. This was the first trip to Mongolia to commemorate the 25th year of my bird photographing career as well as to take photograph the birds that I have not seen before among the ‘Bird of Japan’. I gained an opportunity to know Prof. Sundev Gombobaatar from The Mongolian Ornithological Society when I contributed my photos to the publication for Mongolian Red List of Birds of 2011. I call him ‘Gomboo san’ intimately in Japanese through the cooperation and I was very glad that he invited me. I sent him the email of the list of birds that I wanted to photograph in order to increase the percentage of my satisfaction as much as possible. Thanks to his arrangements for the itinerary and transportation, I could take almost the listed birds.

Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) is a common breeding visitor to Mongolia. It is a rare wanderer and such a bright red plumage hardly visible in Japan.

He walked around in the habitats and found out my expecting birds. Indeed! He found out them much earlier than I did and what I have done was to press the shutter of my camera after his instructions. Moreover he found out the birds that I did not expect among the ‘Bird of Japan’ and subspecies as an exciting bonus! I visited Mongolia on July 5th of 2014 when it was late for breeding season. Instead it was good for me that I could take photograph lovely juveniles of many species and sometimes with their adults.

Pied Wheatear(Oenanthe pleschanka) is a common breeding to Mongolia. It is a rare wanderer and such beautiful white and black plumage hardly visible in Japan.

During my stay in Mongolia, I was too busy searching and photographing the birds to enjoy all the different habitats and beautiful scenery in Mongolia. Mongolia is such a vast and attractive country that many foreign bird watchers are fascinated to visit. I saw 89 species of birds which were rather few and the reasons were because we mainly looked for the listed birds and I spent much time on photographing to get my satisfactory image and finish. Therefore I decided to come back to Mongolia in next season in order to go to other districts such as Gobi desert where I could not go and to see other many Mongolian birds.
Lastly, I thank Gomboo san and a driver for their attendance of whole 8-days stay, even in the Naadam Holiday. Without their cooperation, I could not end my first trip to Mongolia in satisfaction and with great fun.

Red throated Thrush(Turdus ruficollis) is a common breeding visitor to Mongolia. It is a rear wanderer and adult and juvenile never visible at the same sight in Japan.