Qinghai Lake birding


“Are you thinking of going on a birding trip to Qinghai Lake? Read this article to get some facts about this saltwater lake.”

Are you thinking of taking an adventurous tour this spring? But are unable to decide the destination? Well, that’s no big deal! You can simply flip through the pages of a travel magazine or else, look for adventurous spots on the internet; I’m sure you’ll come across numerous of them and be spoilt for choice. However, before you pick an adventurous spot, I want to share my thoughts on an adventurous tour with you. For me, adventure is not just about climbing mountains, indulging in adventure sports or doing wild things at unknown destinations. Instead, adventure to me is exploring new places, going close to nature (flora and fauna), and living each and every moment like it’s your last. So, if you want to go for a “true” adventurous trip, don’t book packages that have all clichéd activities included in it such as trekking, waterfall rappelling, mountain biking, etc. Instead, do something that is adventurous as well as soothing such as, bird watching. And, the best destination for bird watching is none other than China.

China has numerous provinces that are said to be the ideal locations for birding. But out of all those provinces, there’s just one that has managed to stand out, and that is Qinghai. Why? Well, it’s because this province has numerous locations for bird watching. But out of all those sites, there’s one that is flooded by numerous birders and tourists every year and that is the Qinghai Lake. So, I would definitely suggest you go on a Qinghai birding tour this spring and that too at this popular saltwater lake.

However, before you pay a visit to the Qinghai Lake, you need to know some major facts about it. What? Don’t have enough time to research? Worry not; just keep reading!

  • Fact 1: Largest Salt Water Lake in the People’s Republic of China

Qinghai Lake, also known as the Tso Ngonpo (Tibetan) or Koko Nor (Mongolian),is perhaps the largest lake in China, which covers an area of around 4583square kilometres.

  • Fact 2: Connected By Road Only (at least from Xining)

If you are thinking that you can avail a speedy mode of transport (train or plane) to travel from Xining, the capital of Qinghai to this large saltwater lake, then you are mistaken. This lake isn’t connected to the capital city with airways and railways. Hence, you need to adhere to roadways only.

Qinghai Lake is around 151 kilometers away from Xining and to travel to this beautiful birding spot, there are hardly 3 things you can do- book an exclusive off-road or tourist vehicle, share a car/van or else, avail a public bus.

More Information: Bayi Passenger Transport Station has regular buses going to Qinghai Lake. The first bus leaves at 6:00am and the last bus at 3:30pm.

  • Fact 3: This Lake has Various Islands

Have you heard of any lake that is surrounded by numerous islands? No? Then you must pay a visit to Qinghai Lake, at least once in your lifetime. This lake is surrounded by numerous islands such as:

  • Birds Island
  • Haixinshan Island
  • Guchashan Island
  • Shadao Island

And do you know what the best part is? All these above-mentioned islands are perfect for bird watching because this is a habitat for several migrant birds. It would be the best if you visit these islands or the lake area early in the morning!

  • Fact 4: It Has 191 Species of Birds!

Last but not the least, the Qinghai Lake has around 223bird species residing there, each belonging to 35 families, under 19 different orders. Among them, 116 species are breeding birds out of which 61 species are summer breeders and the rest 53 species are residents.

Some of the common birds that you can find here are Brown-headed Gull, cormorant, Bar- headed goose etc from Southeast Asia, India, Burma and South China.

So, these were the few essential facts related to the Qinghai Lake. To know more, keep researching online. And for more details on Sichuan birding tours, wait for my next article.


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