In July, when the Deosai Plateau is carpeted with wildflowers its known as the “Flower garden in the sky” and if the weather is nice, you can see the Himalayan Nanga Parbat from here.
This is my report about the Horned lark that I encountered on the Deosai Plateau.
The Horned lark is a wild bird that typically breeds in the northern part of Eurasia and North America in the summer and winters to the south. However in the northern part of Pakistan, it can be observed all year around. It can be seen in high-altitude open areas near Chitral, the Deosai Plateau and the Khunjerab Pass between 3,300 to 5,000 meters altitude.
The Deosai Plateau (Also known as Deosai National Park) is a high-altitude plateau with an average of 4,200 meters, near the boarder of India and the northwest of Pakistan. There are countless small streams that spread out across the plateau to form a wildflower haven sometimes called the “Flower garden in the sky.”
This open area is where the Horned larks breed in nests sheltered by the rocks and small indentations in the ground.
Wildflowers are in full bloom in early July.
This is the male Horned lark. As the name indicates, there are two horn-like crests on the top of its head. In some areas, there are Horned larks that have a more yellow coloring on their face throat, but in Pakistan they are white to a creamy color.
The male seen from the front.
The male Horned lark from behind. The created feathers that form the horns are incredibly cute.
This is a juvenile Horned lark. It was about the same size as the adult birds.
The Horned lark pecking at the grass seeds.
Is this a little bread crumb left by some tourists? They are feeding them to their chicks. The area around the campsite is the easiest place to observe them because of the food leftovers, and the Pakistani tourists are also enjoying bird watching as well.
These chicks have to grow up quickly and prepare for the winter. In the coldest part of winter, they will come down to the foot of the Plateau’s fields and valleys.
The Deosai Plateau was described as a “Flower garden in the sky,” but unfortunately, that situation is changing. In the summer, a large number of tourists visit and without much thought will leave their garbage behind and will go off-road driving into the grasslands.
I wish more people would realize that there are wild animals and birds that rely on these important breeding grounds, during the short summers of the Deosai Plateau.
Photo & text: Mariko SAWADA
Observation: July 2016, Deosai National Park, Gilgit-Baltistan
Tag : Birds of Pakistan , Deosai National Park , Deosai Plateau , Gilgit-Baltistan , Pakistan Blog , Pakistan Travel Blog , Save wildlife in Pakistan , Travel Pakistan Blog , Wildlife of Pakistan , Indus Caravan , Saiyu Travel Pakistan , Pakistan Travel company , Pakistan tour operator , Pakistan Photography Tour , Birds Photography Pakistan , Wildlife Photography Pakistan , Wildlife Tour Pakistan , Horned Lark