November 3, 2016

UB Ponds, soon lost to industry!
15 September 2016

text & photos by ABu

UB Ponds are falling dry because of the new dam
that has cut off the main pond from the stream (foreground).
UB, September 2016

Several of the UB Ponds are going to be filled up soon.
UB, September 2016

Industry has come very near. UB Ponds, September 2016

A well visited stake-out for waterbirds and more are the UB Ponds, aka Green Ponds (in Mongolian). These ponds are under severe threat: The city government concluded that they pose a risk for the planes which start from or land at the airport and in addition to this different companies have decided to make a “better” use of this “useless” land. Industrial encroachment has started a few years ago and more and more ponds had been filled up meanwhile. Other ponds had only been fenced off so far but it will not take long until we have lost this site. The sewage stream had recently been cut off from the main pond which is now almost dry. We will see how many water birds will still winter here in the future.

I visited the ponds for a few hours on 15 September. Unfortunately it was very cloudy and it even rained during my visit. This meant that photographing was more a less just documenting the birds by achieving nothing more than record shots. Try to enjoy my shot which had been taking by hand-held equipment and excuse the poor quality of the pictures.

Goosander. UB Ponds, September 2016

Goosander. UB Ponds, September 2016

Juv. Falcated Duck framed by 2 Baikal Teals,
Mallard and Northern Pintail in the back
UB Ponds, September 2016

Falcated Duck. UB Ponds, September 2016

leading Falcated Duck plus 3 Gadwalls
UB Ponds, September 2016

Falcated Duck following 3 Gadwalls
UB Ponds, September 2016

Bird List (54 species)

Whooper Swan 7 (a family)
Swan Goose 2
Greylag Goose 3
Ruddy Shelduck c220
Mallard c140
Gadwall c80
Northern Pintail 9
Falcated Duck 4
Northern Shoveler c25
Eurasian Wigeon c20
Baikal Teal 15
Common Teal c90
Garganey 2
Common Pochard 17
Tufted Duck c45
Common Goldeneye 12
Common Merganser 3
Crested Grebe 8
Little Grebe 1 (ssp poggei)
Great Cormorant 18
Grey Heron c70
Black-eared Kite c450
Booted Eagle 1 dark morph juv.
Saker Falcon 1
Common Moorhen heard only
Common Coot c30
Northern Lapwing c20
Temminck’s Stint 1
Green Sandpiper 6
Spotted Redshank 14
Eastern Black-tailed Godwit 1 juv.
Common Greenshank 2
Common Snipe c10
Black-headed Gull 6
Mongolian Gull 7

landing Baikal Teal. UB Ponds, September 2016

Eastern Little Grebe (background: Spotted Redshank)
UB Ponds, September 2016

Common Snipe trying to hide behind a very thing twig
UB Ponds, September 2016

Barn Swallow 17
Red-throated Pipit 4
White Wagtail c35, mostly juv.
Grey Wagtail 2 juv.
Citrine Wagtail 2 juv.
Eastern Yellow Wagtail 1
Daurian Redstart 6
Two-barred Greenish Warbler 1
Dusky Warbler 5
Eurasian Tree Sparrow c250
Azure Tit 6
presumed “Stoliczka’s” White-crowned Tit c10

White Wagtail. UB Ponds, September 2016

Grey Wagtail. UB Ponds, September 2016

Grey Wagtail with a Gammarus sp
UB Ponds, September 2016

Northern Raven 8
Eurasian Magpie c15
Daurian Jackdaw 7
Eastern Rook c35
Oriental Crow 8
Little Bunting 9
Common Reed Bunting 1

I must try this site again in better weather!

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