June 28. Find the Carcass and Encounter White-lipped Deer Herd
I get up at 5:30 for breakfast preparation. We decide to try the first site where we have viewed two Snow Leopards. Remy want to get some quiet time. Remy is very devoted Buddhist . His understanding of Buddhism is amazing.
We climb to the site listening to the call of the noisy Tibetan Snowcock. When we are about half way to the targeted site, two Tibetan Snowcock fly from one side of the gully to another, just about a couple of hundred meters above us. We cautiously move up toward them. The two birds are showing their mating behaviors. It seems that these two birds know what I need, they stop running further up around our targeted site. I take some really nice footage and photos of these two lovely birds before they eventually disappear in the gully. The valley is still busy with the call of the Tibetan Snowcock. We search the rocks on the ridge again but fail to find the Snow Leopards. So we decide to climb higher to find the carcass of the Blue Sheep killed by the Snow Leopards. Standing on the ridge, I give my last look to the scenery in front of me. I have worked in the travel industry for about 20 years and have visited many different tourist attractions and many different countries. No single site I have visited in the past is comparable to the scenery in terms of beauty in front of me, the river winds its way into the horizon, and the grasslands on the both sides of the river are dotted with white and black tents of nomads with their yaks grazing around. Then mountain ridges standing like a wall, protecting the grasslands and river below.
The green grasslands, the clear river, blue sheep, yaks, domestic sheep, the white clouds and blue sky, and bare rocks on the ridges make this place paradise for wildlife including Snow Leopard and also make it such a beautiful landscape painting here. Visitors can be easily immersed into this atmosphere by the tranquility, the fresh air, the undisturbed wildlife, the diligent and friendly nomads. Here is the place where you can forget all the stress from fast modern society, no electricity, no mobile signal. Everything here is so natural and so real.
My deep thinking is broken by 10 flying Tibetan Snowcock, who land near a ridge in distance. After this, it seems all the Tibetan Snowcock unanimously decide to stop showing where they are with their noisy calls. The valley quiets down and the clouds show up. We make our way up to search for the carcass of Blue Sheep.
It doesn’t not take us long to find the carcass. The carcass site is only about 400 meters from our observation site. The head of the victim Blue Sheep is already gone, now we can only see some bones and fur. The dried red blood suggests how recently he has been killed by the predator. We take some photos and then we move toward the top.
Here again we enjoy a wonderful view of the rivers, mountains and grasslands below. The mountain peaks just spread out in front of us along the winding river. In distance you can see snow-capped mountain peaks. While we are enjoying the great moment on the mountain top, the silence is broken again by sound of falling rocks. Looking in the direction where the sound is from, we find a big herd of White-lipped deer running downward after two falling rocks. Deer are extremely sensitive. But this time, they make a mistake, one deer on the top might have triggered a rockslide. The sound from the falling rocks makes other deer mistakenly think something is chasing them. And then they all run for their lives . In less than 5 minutes, the deer have gotten to the bottom of the valley and have crossed the river and started climbing up. By now they have quieted down and slowed down their pace. We slowly make our way down and keep searching the slope every once in a while. We find a group of Blue Sheep moving slowly downward. From the herd, we find something unique and different from others. We set up our scope, and find it is a musk deer. After we make our way to the main road, I see three Snow Pigeons, two Red-fronted Rosefinch and a Wall Creeper.
As soon as I get to the camping site, I start cooking. At this time, two local Tibetan nomads come to visit us. We invite them for lunch. Just before we finish the lunch, thunder storm sounds in the sky. Very soon, snowballs start pouring down. We immediately put away all our dinning stuff and get into the tent. Though it is already close to the mid of summer, it not rare here to get this kind of hail. In about 15 minutes, the ground of our camping site is already covered with snow balls. It clears up very quickly, sun comes out and two beautiful rainbows appear in the sky. A perfect end to our Snow Leopard search.