The drive out of the Gobi Desert was a long and bumpy ride. We drove for about 8 to 10 hours for each day crossing hundreds of miles of desert. What was most surprising was that we saw such an abundance of wildlife; we had seen a lot of horses and camels, but I was amazed to see so many other animals that were able to eke out a life in this harsh environment. I could understand seeing camels in the desert, but when there was nothing for tens of miles, I couldn’t help but wonder how the horses found enough food and water. Seeing such majestic animals made the hours and hours pass by more quickly. I took many photos and wished I had a larger camera in order to get closer shots.
One particular animal that we passed was a very large condor (vulture). He was sitting by the side of the road sunning himself looking rather lazy. I had Simya pull over and I walked to him to get a closer shot. He let me get pretty close before he reluctantly gave up his rest and took to flight. He was slow to get running and then spread his wings and slowly floated along just above the ground. He flew a few hundred yards and then landed and continued his break.
The entire time we drove, we saw hundreds of thousands of small lark birds. They were busy flying around and I wondered if they were grouping to go south for winter. I cannot begin to imagine how many there were; they must have numbered in the millions.
Simya was the first to spot the fox, he called him out and we stopped to get some photos. I just managed to get my camera out when he turned and ran away from us at full speed. I got one clear shot before he bounded away into the desert shrubs.
Throughout our journey we saw many herd of wild gazelle. Some of the herds were small with perhaps 50 animals and some herds seemed to stretch as far as the horizon; I estimated one herd at over 500 animals and lost count as we continued to drive. I captured this photo as we watched a herd graze in front of a beautiful snow-capped mountain (they appear as a dark line at the base of the mountain between the yellow band of grass and snow – if you click on the photo you can see a better zoomed view).
I captured this photo of another gazelle herd that was a bit closer. I enlarged and zoomed on the herd in the second photo and you can make them out a bit better.
We also saw so many birds of prey including (below) hawks & eagles. Whenever a power line or tree was not present, they seemed to live or hunt from the ground.
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