During a recent birdwatching trip to eastern Mongolia Christoph Bock discovered a juvenile Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris at Gal nuur on 6 August 2010. Gal nuur is a small lake (c. 100 ha) in Mongolia’s easternmost province, Dornod aimag. The bird was extensively observed, photographed and filmed by the whole team (Amarkhuu, Christoph Bock, Axel Bräunlich, Katja Bräunlich, Benjamin Brenneis, Jan Brinke, Jochen Dierschke, Martin Grimm, Steve Klasan, and Stephanie Rapp).
Other wader species present at Gal nuur during the observation: Black-winged Stilt (175), Pied Avocet (80), Pacific Golden Plover (25), Kentish Plover (50), Grey Plover (2), Asian Dowitcher (2), Black-tailed Godwit (40), Spotted Redshank (50), Common Redshank (5), Marsh Sandpiper (110), Wood Sandpiper (20), Common Sandpiper (10), Ruddy Turnstone (4), Curlew Sandpiper (3), Terek Sandpiper (8), Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (30), Red-necked Stint (100), Broad-billed Sandpiper (2), and Sanderling (1).
Steve Klasan found another Great Knot (now two juv. together) at the same site the next day. Additional wader species present at Gal nuur on 7 August were Greater Sand Plover (1), Dunlin (1) and Red-necked Phalarope (2).
The globally threatened (Vulnerable) Great Knot breeds in north-east Siberia, Russia, and winters throughout the coastline of South-East Asia, and also on the coasts of Australia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
The present observation constitutes the first record of Great Knot for Mongolia and probably the first ever inland record in Asia outside the breeding areas.
During the 1-month trip 43 species of waders (shorebirds) were seen in total. More about them and other observations soon: watch this space!